Saturday, August 13, 2011

CBS 1960's Las Vegas Crime Drama

1960's era Las Vegas might be coming to your television screen soon. CBS is developing a series based on the life and times of Ralph Lamb, the former Las Vegas sheriff (from 1961-1979) who battled the mob and helped form the Metro Police Department.

While the show is still in early stages, it looks promising. Nicholas Pileggi will be doing most of the writing. His previous work includes Goodfellas and Casino, so he knows his way around a good drama. Walk The Line director James Mangold is also attached to the project.

If the show makes it on the air, it will be fascinating to see how they re-create 1960's Las Vegas. They definitely can't use many of the current Las Vegas buildings. Maybe the Riviera and some parts of downtown. They'll most certainly need to build a large sound-stage like Boardwalk Empire did to recreate 1920's Atlantic City.

For more about the show: The Hollywood Reporter.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Which Las Vegas Hotel Imploded Next?

There's a blog post over at Vegas Tripping discussing which hotels are most likely to be imploded in Las Vegas.

I was thinking about it, and came up with these 5 hotels I think could be imploded in the near future:

Sahara - The hotel is already closed so step one is out of the way. Owner Sam Nazarian insists that he will be opening a re-branded Sahara in 2014, but most people agree that's never going to happen.

Harmon - Construction issues caused this never-opened CityCenter hotel to be capped at around 50% of its planned height. Repairing the building might be more trouble than it's worth.

Fontainebleau - Like the Harmon, this hotel might be taken down before it even opens. One of the tallest buildings in Vegas, the Font was left 70% complete when the owners ran out of money. Finishing the resort will cost well over a billion dollars, and nobody has that kind of money anymore. Another case where implosion would be cheaper than completion.

Hooters - The bankrupt hotel will continue operations for now, but if things get bad enough I wouldn't be surprised if it closed down eventually. Implosion would make room for a new Tropicana parking lot.

O'Sheas - This is a wild card because it won't be imploded, and isn't even a hotel. It will likely be de-themed and re-named for Project Linq though, which will effectively wipe it off the map.

A building that will never be imploded is the Jockey Club. Steve Friess had an interesting article in the Sun today about why the Jockey Club will live forever. The article mentioned Controlled Demolition Inc. (the company that does all of the Las Vegas implosions) already has a general plan of how to implode almost every hotel in Vegas. That's a scary thought.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Viva Elvis Changes Coming in 2012

Viva Elvis, the Cirque du Soleil show at Aria will be closed temporarily in early 2012 to undergo some major changes. The show will be revamped to become less biographical and more acrobatic.

Viva Elvis will go dark in January 2012, with an expected re-opening at the end of the first quarter.

Part of the change will be incorporating performers from the Cirque show ZED, which was forced to closed after the Japan earthquake.

One of the biggest complaints about Viva Elvis was that it wasn't really a traditional Cirque show. Instead the show relied heavily on Elvis era dance numbers.

While Viva Elvis has received mixed reviews, I'm not sure making these changes will improve that. Some people might be happy with the added acrobatics, but Elvis fans are going to be upset that the show is going to be "less of a biographical representation of Elvis."

Source: Fox 5 Vegas.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beso taken over by Landry's Restaurants

Eva Longoria's financially troubled Beso restaurant has been taken over and will be bought out by Landry's Restaurants Inc.

Eva Longoria will remain as a partner in the restaurant. Landry's owner Tilman Fertitta issued a statement saying, "Eva created a landmark restaurant at the spectacular CityCenter, and I look forward to working with her as my partner in Beso."

Landry's is a large company which owns multiple chain restaurants. They also own the Golden Nugget casinos. Having the backing of a large company like that means Beso will be in business for a while.

Eve, the closed nightclub portion of the restaurant might even re-open as a result of the new ownership.

Source: Press Release.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Aria Occupancy hits 90%

MGM Resorts International has reported their second quarter results, and Aria has scored all time high occupancy and room rates for the second straight quarter. Occupancy hit 90% in the second quarter of 2011 while ADR increased $1 to $202.

At the other MGM properties second quarter occupancy was 94% with an ADR of $126, compared to occupancy of 93% and ADR of $115 in the same quarter last year.

Aria Occupancy and Average Daily Rate:

1Q 2010 - 63% - $194
2Q 2010 - 80% - $178
3Q 2010 - 82% - $175
4Q 2010 - 80% - $190
1Q 2011 - 86% - $201
2Q 2011 - 90% - $202

Source: MGM Resorts International.