From Las Vegas Mafia History
“I’m sure that some old school Vegas locals remember watching this, but for those who haven’t this is one of the best Mob documentaries I’ve ever seen. I am also sure that this influenced both Martin Scorsese & Nick Pileggi to make Casino, and it shows some of the real footage that inspired some of Casino’s best scenes.PS: The old A&E show American Justice also did a great 2-hour special.”
RIP Ned Day
Details on the “Circa Sports Million” football contest are still being worked out, but Mike Palm shared some details on VSiN this week.
Casino operator and developer Derek Stevens (pictured) is launching a new sportsbook operation in downtown Las Vegas on June 1. Circa Sports was recently approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board to operate in Nevada. The new sportsbook operation will serve Stevens’ casinos:
The first Circa Sports sportsbook taking wagers is opening at the Golden Gate on June 1. Another one of Derek Stevens’ casinos, The D Las Vegas, will be opening its Circa Sports sportsbook closer to the end of June. Lastly, the namesake Circa Las Vegas is scheduled to open in December 2020. When it opens, the new sportsbook will have the largest sportsbook TV screen in the world.
Circa Sports might expand beyond these properties and the state of Nevada in the future but the plan is to focus on their own casinos.
Circa Sports is the first new sportsbook operator to open in Nevada in more than five years.
The “Circa Sports Million” will be a handicapping contest similar to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest. The entry fee will be $1,000 and contestants will pick five pro football games against the spread every week.
The grand prize is guaranteed to be $1,000,000 regardless of how many people enter the contest. Getting 1,000 people to sign up for a new contest won’t be easy. As Palm said to VSiN, it’s entirely possible there will be an overlay since this is the first year of the Circa Sports Million.
There will be approximately $1.5 million in total prizes in the inaugural contest this year. The Top 10 finishers will receive prize money. There will also be prizes awarded every quarter of the football season for the most correct picks. Prizes will be split if there are ties each quarter.
As of now, lines for the contest will be posted on Thursday morning each week of the NFL season around 8 am or 9 am. According to Palm, they’re still working out a deadline for when picks need to be submitted.
Similar to the SuperContest, participants must sign up for the contest in person. One thing that will be different than the SuperContest is the ability for contestants inside of Nevada will be able to make picks on their mobile app instead of visiting a casino to submit picks.
Proxy services will be allowed for out of state contestant to enter picks. However, Nevada residents can save a few bucks and submit picks from the comfort of home.
Stevens is a sports bettor that happens to operate casinos. He wants Circa Sports to evoke his passion for both.
Stevens wants customers to feel a similar rush that he had last year with a $25,000 bet on Michigan at 40-1 to win the NCAA basketball tournament. The potential win would have paid a cool million bucks and he wants others to feel that excitement.
The Golden Gate will offer a “no juice” promotion on opening day, June 1. This promotion and the “Circa Sports Million” are just the beginning. Expect to see more contests similar to the “Win Derek’s Car” promotion now running at The D Las Vegas.
Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino
300 W Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89102
“Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has officially set a grand opening date of Saturday, December 3, 2016. The property will commemorate the opening with an extravagant series of Asian demonstrations. Among the planned festivities are a firecracker show, which typically accompanies many Asian holidays and celebrations, driving away evil spirits; a lion and dragon dance, bringing good luck and good fortune to all; and the world’s largest traditional Kung Fu tea service will run throughout the hotel & casino. “It’s a great feeling, given the work our entire team has put into bringing Lucky Dragon to Las Vegas, to be able to announce its grand opening,” said David Jacoby” read more…
We can sum up New Years Eve in Las Vegas in one word: Crazy. And we mean crazy in a good way. The entire Strip is shut down to traffic and it becomes like one giant block party for you and 300,000 of your closest drinking buddies. At midnight, the casinos launch a choreographed fireworks display that makes the Times Square ball drop look like child’s play. Inside, the showrooms rock with the hottest entertainment and the nightclubs are packed with celebrities and partygoers who are dressed to impress. Book your room now and get the scoop on New Year’s Eve parties and events in Vegas below.
Oscar Goodman’s whirlwind book launch for ‘Being Oscar’ ends with burgers at Smashburger
By Robin Leach
[FROM] Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | 5:20 p.m.
By now, everybody from New York to Las Vegas knows that our former three-term Mayor Oscar Goodman has a bestseller on his hands with the publication of his memoir “Being Oscar.”
When I caught up with him in the whirlwind of autograph and photo sessions that stretched nonstop for six days after his jet-set, two-day, round-trip promotions in Manhattan, he told me, “The movie version is next. And a second book will be coming!”
In The Big Apple, he even had dinner with star chef Daniel Boulud, who last week revealed that he’s returning to Las Vegas to team with The Venetian and the Palazzo for two new restaurants. “One of the best meals of my entire life,” chuckled Oscar, “and very expensive!”
Our contributing photographer Tom Donoghue captured Oscar just about everywhere throughout the Las Vegas Valley: It was definitely him and not a masked man. Although for two appearances at The Mob Museum Downtown, there were plenty of Oscar masks for one amazing photo shoot. Oscar’s image is now even on T-shirts complete with his trademark pinstriped suit.
The excitement began at Oscar’s steakhouse Beef, Booze & Broads in the Plaza Downtown. The line of fans was already out the door a half-hour before he arrived. That first-night celebration continued via Downtown bus tours, with Oscar as official guide over his accomplishments while in office — and even out to Walmart stores. Read more
There will be yet another Full Moon Aug 1, 2012, 9:27 P.M. Las Vegas time.
From the Old Farmer’s Almanac:
“Historically, the Native Americans who lived in the area that is now the northern and eastern United States kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to the recurring full Moons.”
August’s moon is called The Full Sturgeon Moon
“Each full Moon name was applied to the entire month in which it occurred. These names, and some variations, were used by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.” read more about The Full Sturgeon Moon
“In August 2012, we will also enjoy a second full Moon on the 31st! The second full Moon in a month is commonly called a Blue Moon. This occurs about every 2.5 years.”
“Each month, we explain the names of the full Moon—plus, fascinating Moon facts:” The following video from The Old Farmer’s Almanac:
Great Basin, Nevada, Wyoming
According to Western Washington University, the Shoshone word for August’s Moon is “guuteyai-mea'” meaning, “hot.”
According to Western Washington University, The Mohawk word for August’s Moon is “seskehko:wa” meaning “time of freshness.”
“This artist rendering provided by Caesars Entertainment shows an artists[sic] rendering of a planned 550-foot-high observation wheel on the Strip in Las Vegas. The wheel is expected to be the largest in the world. The Caesars Entertainment is part of a planned $550 million development on the Strip. (AP Photo/Caesars Entertainment)”
By KEN RITTER
“LAS VEGAS — Caesars Entertainment Corp. announced Wednesday that it obtained a key county permit to build the world’s tallest observation wheel in a more than half-billion dollar retail, dining and entertainment complex it is developing on the Las Vegas Strip.”
“The Ferris-style wheel, dubbed the High Roller, is expected to stand 550 feet tall. It is the centerpiece of a planned $550 million development, dubbed LINQ, expected to open next year between the company’s Harrah’s Las Vegas, Imperial Palace and Flamingo Las Vegas casinos.”
“The height would eclipse the nearly 443-foot London Eye, which opened in 1999, and the 541-foot Singapore Flyer, which opened in 2008. Both were the tallest observation wheels in the world when they opened.”
“The Caesars project would also be taller than a 500-foot wheel called SkyVue currently under construction about 3 miles south on Las Vegas Boulevard. That wheel is also expected to open in late 2013″ read more…
“Support structures are now about 200 feet high for the rival SkyVue wheel, being built by developer Howard Bulloch and Compass Investments across the Strip from the Mandalay Bay resort, near McCarran International Airport.”
Julie Jacobson, File/Associated Press – FILE – In this April 27, 2011 file photo, Steve Wynn is interviewed in Las Vegas. Wynn was revealed as the Las Vegas casino owner who donated an anonymous gift of $500 each to 4,000 southern Nevada families in recent months. The $2 million gift to the United Way of Southern Nevada was the charitable organization’s largest donation to date, and for months, guessing the identity of the donor
By Associated Press, Published: June 25
LAS VEGAS — To LeRoy Stapleton, $500 could mean the difference between prolonged homelessness and finding a job that could get him back on his feet.
“It would be a big help,” said Stapleton, who lined up with 30 other people outside a Las Vegas unemployment office Monday morning waiting for it to open. “You need money to make money. If I had some gas, I could find a job.”
A Las Vegas casino owner’s anonymous gift of $500 each to 4,000 southern Nevada families in recent months has had tongues wagging in a state with the highest unemployment rate in the nation. The $2 million gift to the United Way of Southern Nevada was the charitable organization’s largest donation to date, and for months, guessing the identity of the donor became a popular pastime in Las Vegas.
The first round of families received $500 bank gift cards just before Christmas 2011. Another 2,000 families received the donations Saturday in Las Vegas. The families were not told how much they would receive. Casino titan Steve Wynn confessed earlier this month to a newspaper columnist that he was the not-so-secret donor, but the families were never told Wynn was behind the funds read more…
*Tag by LasVegasBuffetClub.Com
“But he wouldn’t shake their hands” “Stevie-boy doesn’t like plain-citizens to stand too close to him.” – LVBC editor & janitor
The question remains, did Steve Wynn ruin Las Vegas?
This is reprint of an older post, from around May of this year, however I thought YOU may have missed the demise of the Sahara.
This is very important news, for Las Vegites. After all, this is like Las Vegas loosing an arm or a leg.
BY HOWARD STUTZ
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted: May 14, 2011 | 8:52 p.m.
Updated: May 15, 2011 | 1:10 p.m.
In it’s day, the Sahara was Las Vegas’ epicenter.
Peter Villalobos would know.
For almost 35 years, he manned the Strip hotel’s front desk.
He watched the parade of celebrities and the pseudocelebrities.
He supervised thousands of hotel check-ins for high rollers and want-to-be high rollers.
Villalobos will be at his front desk terminal Monday when the Sahara’s final guest checks out at around noon. The nearly 60-year-old Strip resort will cease operations two hours later, a victim of both the recession and of progress.
Sahara owners SBE Entertainment of Los Angeles and private equity firm Stockbridge Real Estate of San Francisco acquired the hotel-casino in 2007 from the family of the late casino pioneer William Bennett. The new owners had hopes of breathing new life into the resort. They have not announced plans for the 18-acre corner of the Strip and Sahara Avenue.
In March, SBE said it was “no longer economically viable” to operate the Sahara.
GOING OUT WITH DIGNITY
Last week, Arash Azarbarzin, president of SBE’s hotel division, who has overseen the Sahara since the company took control, said the goal was to close the Strip resort “quietly and with dignity.”
His thoughts have been with employees like Villalobos, who remained loyal to the property, even as the city’s two-decade building boom added megaresorts that dwarfed the aged, 1,720-room Sahara.
Villalobos gave Azarbarzin a firm handshake last week and thanked him for the four years that SBE kept the property operating. The year SBE took over, the company spent about $2 million to refurbish and make cosmetic changes to the Sahara’s public areas. SBE never operated the casino; that was done by Navegante Group read more…
Wilbur Clark’s Desert Inn Hotel History / The Swinging Sahara Hotel History – 1950s
The Swinging Sahara Hotel History – 1950s
Post-WWII Las Vegas must have looked very inviting. Men with vision were coming into town to build hotels to cater to Americans hungry to travel after the rationing and sacrifices of the War. In less than ten years, there were five hotels, the El Rancho Vegas, Hotel Last Frontier, the Fabulous Flamingo, the Thunderbird and Wilbur Clark’s Desert Inn built on the two-lane highway that led to Fremont Street.
Though some locals wondered where all the people would come from to fill the new resorts, the men with vision kept assuring everyone they would come.
Fred Schivo was a long-time gamer who had the idea for the Club Bingo, a 300-seat bingo parlor. He had to find investors that would be willing to take the financial plunge. He lucked out when he met Milton Prell from Butte, Montana. Prell had operated the “30 Club” in Butte but like many other gambling visionaries of the day he relocated to the friendly climes of Las Vegas in the 1940s. Though not as well known today as others such as Wilbur Clark and Del Webb, Prell nonetheless, made an impact on Las Vegas.
Club Bingo opened on a rainy day, July 24th, 1947. In addition to the bingo parlor there were a few other games of chance but the Club Bingo had a reputation for fine food in its Bonanza Room. There were no hotel rooms, the Club Bingo was just a club for gambling, fine dining and they had a small showroom that showcased the talented Dorothy Dandridge, comedian Stan Irwin and the Treniers.
Milton Prell soon realized that the future of the Las Vegas Strip was in having a resort hotel that catered to the tourists swarming in from Southern California. That meant financing the building of a major hotel
Located on the east side of the Highway and directly across from the El Rancho Vegas, the Club Bingo had a prime location. In the years ahead, Prell would also build the Lucky Strike and the Mint Hotel on Fremont Street but it was the construction of the Sahara that led to the creation of the Sahara-Nevada Corporation which he would ultimately sell to Del Webb.
Prell approached Dallas financial wizard A. Pollard Simon with plans for 276 two-story units. Simon agreed to go ahead with the Sahara project despite the fact he was also helping finance Wilbur Clark’s Desert Inn. Local air-conditioning contractor Al Wild introduced Prell to Del Webb. Webb had just finished working on the Fabulous Flamingo. Wild had known Webb since 1935. Ultimately, according to Wild, Webb, Prell and Simon agreed to a “cost plus” arrangement that included a percentage of stock (20% it was later learned) in the new hotel be given to Webb as partial payment for his services.
The architect was Max Maltzmann and the designer was Albert Parvin. Maltzmann had been working in Los Angeles since the 1920s. Architecturally, according to Alan Hess, “the Sahara followed the basic partner of the Desert Inn and the Thunderbird. It featured a tall brick pylon at the entry which anchored the low wings that spun outward from its center like a pinwheel.” The motif was similar to the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix by Frank Lloyd Wright. There the sculptural elements of the textile block provided ornament. At the Sahara, the signage became the ornament.
The theme was North Africa. Statues of plastic camels and Arabs dotted the facade. Inside there was the Congo Room (the showroom), the Casbah Lounge and the Caravan Room. All that seemed to be missing was the Cafe Americain from Casablanca. Life-size models of African warriors, spears held high, flanked the Congo Room entrance. A nomadic caravan including camels was placed out front on the lawn.
The Caravan Room looked out over the pool terrace. Like all the other hotels back then, the Sahara was basically a motel in form. It had a low main building with a lobby and a casino in the front and the rooms to the sides. The glassy restaurants such as the Caravan Room looked out not only on the pool area but the well manicured and landscaped lawns. Lucius Beebe gushed “its twenty acres of landscaped ground with rare blossoms and shrubs to make even Boston’s Public Gardens look to its tulips” read more, virtually all about it with note-links, photos and more.
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