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By Dianne R. Davis
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Photo credit: Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis

 

Bubble-Licious Kicks Off UNLVino In Style.

The Bubble-Licious event held at Crystals at CityCenter started the 37th Annual UNLVino in high fashion. UNLVino, which is a major fund raiser for the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, is a joint venture of Southern Wine and Spirits and UNLV.

The estimated 1500 attendees were able to sample an array of champagnes,
sparkling wines, exotic champagne cocktails, and gourmet food samplings from 27 different booths. Booths were set up on the main floor and the balcony level of Crystals.

I was given a champagne glass when I entered Crystals and then headed for the booths to make sure the glass was never empty. Since I am not a great coinsurer of champagne, I never realized the number of different champagnes being marketed.

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Attendees could sample champagnes ranging from very sweet to very dry from suppliers such as Ste. Michelle, Pernod Ricard, Moet Hennessy and Beau Joie. After sipping champagne it was time to try some exotic champagne cocktails. The Crystal Bellini consists of White Peach Puree, Prosecco and Italian sparkling wine, while the Pink Flowers contains St. Germain elderflower liqueur, pink grapefruit juice and champagne.

Designated Drivers Inc had a booth prominently located near the exit of Bubble-Licious. Someone was thinking smart.

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Todd English, the well known chef and restaurateur, was the Dom Perignon honoree for the evening)


The Todd English P.U.B. was one of several restaurants offering samples of their cuisine. They served small gourmet roast beef sliders and fresh potato chips. Beso steakhouse provided some unique appetizers. While walking around the balcony I sampled some pizza from Wolfgang Puck’s Pizzeria and some roast beef from Mastro’s Ocean Club.

Bubble-Licious was a great kickoff to the UNLVino. I was really impressed with the organization of the event and the obvious quality input from the Hotel School student body. It is refreshing that proceeds from such a fun-filled event would go to such a worthy cause as student scholarships.

 

 


Shecky Greene Celebrates his 85th Birthday

Shecky Greene, far left, celebrated his 85th birthday with a Champagne toast from his April 3 audience at South Point Hotel & Casino. On stage with him to join in the celebration were l-r, entertainer Steve Lawrence, South Point owner Michael Gaughan, and South Point headliner Dennis Bono. Also in the audience to celebrate with Shecky were Steve's wife Edie Gorme, Dennis' wife Lorraine Hunt Bono, Comedian Marty Allen, and his daughter Alison Greene.

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The Las Vegas Mob Experience Should Be A “Hit”

The long anticipated Las Vegas Mob Experience opened on March 30 at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino.

If you are interested in learning about the history of the Mob and how it related to Vegas, this is the place to go. It contains the largest collection of mob related items and is the most technologically advanced of any collection of its kind.

According to Jay Bloom, managing partner of Eagle Group Holdings, the experience took two years and $25 million to create. Bloom and his staff consulted with relatives of many mob figures in order to gather stories and artifacts. Family members he worked with included Millicent Rosen, daughter of Bugsy Siegel, Vincent Spilotro, son of Tony Spilotro, and Carl Manno, grandson of Sam Giancana as well as members of Meyer Lansky’s family.

The Mob Experience is partly museum, but is much more. The interactive exhibits bring it to life as you take a journey through time.

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The trip begins as you, a refugee passenger, enter the US through Ellis Island. Much of the experience contains sets that seems straight from a movie lot.


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Photo by Burt Davis

The history of the mob is told through a series of newspaper exhibits and standard fact sheets. Live characters in the dress of the times review the history and place visitors in a scene.

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Photo by Burt Davis


As example, a bootlegger asks a guest to take a message to “Vito” who is eating at a restaurant further down the street. Visitors are asked what to do about a gambler who was caught cheating. Should we “make him disappear” or just break his arm? Your responses and decisions will help decide your “final fate.”

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Photo by Burt Davis


Will you leave or will you be wacked at the final hologram experience?

James Caan, Frank Vincent, and Tony Sirico (Paulie in the Sopranos) appear in holograms on screens throughout the exhibit narrating events and giving visitors interesting pieces of history as the story of the mob and Las Vegas unfolds.

The centerpiece of the experience is a series of rooms containing memorabilia and stories of some of the well-known gangster figures. Rooms are dedicated to Mickey Cohen, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Tony Spilotro. There is a Howard Hughes room, another devoted to The Demise of the Mob, and one entitled the Mob and Hollywood. Here, you can see what Bugsy Siegel’s living room looked like. There’s an antique projector on the table and we even see Bugsy’s home movies on the screen – the only know footage of him.

Meyer Lansky’s personal journals are on display along with an enlarged typed version of his thoughts. A glance at what he put down in the journals will have you hooked, wishing you had time to keep on reading. (Return visit?)

Some of the gangsters such as Sam Giaconno represented at the Mob Experience did not live in Las Vegas, but they had investments here which brought in a great deal of money.

Plan to spend 1 to 2 hours at the Mob Experience. It is well worth it. The Mob Experience is open daily from 10 AM to 10PM. Prices are $39.95 for general admission and $59.95 for the VIP package. Ask about locals’ and seniors’ discounts. Call 702-739-2662 to purchase tickets or they may be purchased on-line at
http://www.lasvegas.com/attractions/on_the_strip/lvmob.html.

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