Tag Archives: Las Vegas entertaiment

Ritzy Foundation Room in Las Vegas Opens to the Public

The bad economy can bring good things- with time.  The Foundation Room – the very ritzy, exclusive, expensive members-only hot spot at the top of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas – is now open to the public seven days a week. foundationroom

All week long, members and their guests will continue to get in free, while the rest of us will pay $20- a very small price to pay when you see their haute digs for social gatherings, business meetings, or just plain impromptu fun.

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Guns ‘n Beer Sin City Showdown

Like to get away from it all?  Have a brewskie and try your luck at video poker?  Now you can get all that and – if you’re really feeling lucky – a new 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun to call your own and have some good clean fun!  drinkingguns

The O’Aces Bar & Grill in Las Vegas, 4955 S. Decatur Blvd., is amping up their promotions campaign to lure in a new caliber of customers in our knee-deep recession.   They’re offering a smokin’ 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun as their jackpot to any video poker customer that is lucky enough to hit two royal flush bullseyes within a month.  That’s right.

The spirited promotion is stirring up a whirlwind of controversy, even for a city that sees and does it all.  Some say it’s downright dangerous, providing a legal license to kill.  Bar management quickly counters, saying they’re just being innovative and trying anything they can to survive, adding “it’s our right to bear arms.”  

So far, their innovative new business promotion is  proving to be a silver bullet killer- they’re bringing in customers they’ve never seen before. 

No word on what President Obama is planning to do to curb the proliferation of such handguns.

Win two royals and a scantily clad cocktail waitress just slings you the shiny gun from under the bar and you pack out the heat ?  Wrong.   Instead, the winning,  albeit most likely tipsy gambler receives a voucher that they then take to a gun store, pass a background check, pay the license fees- then pack the heat.    

And, yesiree, there are some other strings attached:  Gamblers need to plunk down at least a buck twenty-five and they must be active O’Aces rewards club members. 

Hurry, don’t miss out on this gunslinging action.  There’s still time to win.  Several of their customers have won one royal flush, but not two of the winning hands- yet. 

Bottoms up!

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Las Vegas Leads Nation in Nightclub, Bar and Lounge Revenue

The post-mortem is in for what’s commonly referred to as “The Show,” and what’s officially known as the annual Nightclub & Bar Convention & Trade Show, part of the International Hospitality Week, that was held last week for four days, March 1 though  4,  in Las Vegas. nightclub2

But The Show was definitely not dead – and nobody was spotted reading any last rites- especially great news in our sour, but always sweet Las Vegas economy.  Thousands of bar and nightclub conventioneers, though, literally hoisted-elbow-to-elbow, packing the Las Vegas Convention Center to check out the large array of new bar products and equipment from around the country and, of course, taste scrumptious food samples and imbibe on out-of-this-world libations. 

The good news is that Las Vegas represented the largest-volume of independent nightclubs, bars, and lounges in the United States for 2008.  Bad economy or not, Las Vegas proved once again that successful bar and nightclub operations is an art and science revenue reality:  Las Vegas is the home of 21 of the top 100 nightclubs and bars in the nation, drawing in a combined revenue from $360 million to $570 million in 2008.   Further adding to the prestigious ranking, Las Vegas was home to 6 of the top 10 venues. 

“Clearly, Las Vegas maintains its dominance as a nightclub destination,” says David Henkes, vice president of Technomic and leader of the firm’s adult beverage practice. 

Such are the findings of the primary and secondary research study undertaken by Nightclub & Bar magazine and Chicago-based market research firm Technomic, Inc., who partnered together to develop the first revenue-based listing of top-producing independent nightclubs, bars and lounges in the nation. 

The survey used to develop the Top 100 list showed that 60 percent of respondents experienced increases in total revenues in 2008; only 11 percent experienced sales decline and 29 percent reported no change from 2007. 

On average, alcohol accounted for 71 percent of total revenues, with cocktails generating the lion’s share of drink sales – 52 percent – and beer and spirits contributing 38 percent and 10 percent, respectively.  Food sales accounted for an average of seven percent of venue sales. 

Henkes projects that nightclubs, bars and lounges will fare better than their casual dining colleagues in the face of the continued downward economic spiral.   However, he cautioned that as unemployment rises and the recession continues to impact more and more consumers, the young adult demographic that favors these independent nightclubs, bars and lounges will likely curb their discretionary spending. 

“To succeed in 2009, operators will need a clear value proposition:  understand why people come to your venue and deliver an experience they can’t get elsewhere,” Henkes affirms.  “In the best of times, it’s difficult to keep a hot club hot – many of these Top 100 clubs have done so continuously for years – but all bar operators will need to work smart to keep going and growing.  Each individual concept needs to continuously reinvent itself to stay fresh for today’s customer, who is becoming more discerning in where they spend their entertainment dollars.” 

To wet your whistle, here’s the ranking of Las Vegas venues from the nation’s Top 100 revenue 2008 listing :  Tao Nightclub (1) – pictured in inset, Tryst (2), Pure (4), Jet (5), The Bank Nightclub (7), LAX (8), Body English (11), Moon Nightclub (12), ghostbar (13), Prive (17), Playboy Club (21), Drais After Hours (22), Christina Audigier (27), rumjungle (28), Studio 54 (29), Blush (31), Rain in the Desert (35), Stoney’s Rockin Country Bar (38), Krave Nightclub (44), Tabu Ultra Lounge (60), and Poetry Nightclub (79). 

Bottom’s up- here’s hoping for a good bar and nightclub 2009 performance.

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‘Legends in Concert’ Las Vegas Show Upgraded After 26 Years

legendsTomorrow, February 21, the third longest-running show in Las Vegas, behind only “Follies Bergere” (closing this March) and “Jubilee!” gives its last performance in its longtime home at the Imperial Palace on The Strip.  It reopens on Monday, February 23 at Harrah’s Las Vegas, sharing the main showroom with comedian Rita Rudner (prior Las Vegas Backstage Access blog article).

“Legends in Concert” is marking the move to make some long-delayed upgrades and relaunch their show that’s somewhat become a victim of its own success.

When original producer-director John Stuart introduced the show to the Strip in May 1983, it was quite the in place to go.  Departed Las Vegas greats such as Bobby Darin returned and shared stage time with other ill-fated stars who never made it to the Sands.  Buddy Holly and Janis Joplin were part of the opening-week lineup.

But now, costumed impersonators- or “tribute artists” as they are affectionately called- are so widely accepted and a staple of entertainment, that few blink an eye when a new artist enters the fray.  Tributes to everyone from John Denver to Ozzy Osbourne are a regular staple of off-Strip local casinos, as well as tribal-owned casinos around the country.  And lately, the official versions of classic rock bands such as Journey and Styx have blurred the faux line even more by pulling in singers from the tribute circuit.

With so many look-alike and now sound-alike acts in Las Vegas and around the country, it’s been hard for “Legends” to maintain its authenticity and dominance.  What makes Elvis One better than Elvis Five?

Answering the challenge, the new “Legends” at Harrah’s has been reinvented and will feature a new accompanying video to put each act into the context of its original times.  And the format is trying harder to blend the “modular” approach that allowed acts to easily be swapped in an out and provide a refreshed audience experience over time. 

The show also has grown bolder about exploring its fanciful and alluring premise, letting some of its acts – and their underlying new visual technology – appear together and thus magnify the illusions.  One Christmas themed episode re-created the famous “Little Drummer Boy” duet between Bing Crosby and David Bowie.

Has “Legends in Concert” truly experienced a New Age rebirth?

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