By Judy Thorburn This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock

Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks
Director of Communications - Nevada Film Alliance

Westgate Announces Upcoming “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition - The Show - The Experience”

The Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino held a press conference on Thursday morning, February 26 announcing that Elvis will be back in the building for the first time in 40 years. “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition - The Show - The Experience” will include an expansive, new permanent exhibition featuring hundreds of artifacts never before displayed outside of Graceland, and live entertainment shows that celebrate the life and legacy of Elvis Presley.

Elvis Westgate 66577
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

On hand were David Siegel, Founder & CEO of Westgate Resorts and Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner of Graceland Holdings LLC. Together they together made the historic announcement and unveiled specific details of the upcoming exhibition and entertainment, which are scheduled to debut April 23, 2015. The press conference took place on the 46th anniversary of Elvis’ first press event at the construction site of the same venue, then known as the International Hotel, where Elvis performed over 600 record-breaking, sold-out shows.  Throughout his epic seven-year stint, Presley performed 837 consecutive sold-out shows. More people saw Presley perform at the property than anywhere else in the world.

Elvis Westgate 66594
David Siegel, Founder & CEO of Westgate Resorts
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Elvis Westgate 66602
Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner of Graceland Holdings LLC
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

“Elvis is synonymous with Las Vegas and this property, so we are tremendously excited to have this new attraction and live show here to entertain Las Vegas visitors,” said David Siegel, CEO of Westgate Resorts. “It is a true honor to join forces with Elvis Presley’s Graceland to bring Elvis to the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. We are thrilled to have Elvis back in the building.” 
“After a 40 year absence, it’s time for the authentic Elvis Presley to return to Las Vegas,” stated Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner of Graceland Holdings LLC. “Elvis redefined live entertainment in Las Vegas, so there’s no better location for this new venture than the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the very site where more people saw Elvis perform live than anywhere else in the world. The extensive exhibition, live shows and wedding chapel will together create an unprecedented Elvis experience for visitors.”

The first-ever permanent Graceland exhibition outside of Memphis will encompass over 28,000 square feet and include hundreds of artifacts from the Presley family’s treasured Graceland Archives, showcasing the man, the performer and the music that revolutionized popular culture around the world. Visitors will experience an unprecedented journey through Elvis’ life and career, beginning with his early days in Tupelo, Miss., through his first recording session in Memphis, rise to fame, Hollywood career, life at Graceland, the Las Vegas years and more. Graceland-produced videos will immerse guests in the experience, concluding with a 26-minute retrospective film featuring Elvis’ greatest performances.

Some of the rare artifacts include Elvis’ high school yearbooks, his first Gold Album, his 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and the first outfit worn on stage for his first concert at the International Hotel in 1969. Select artifacts will be rotated regularly with artifacts in the Graceland Archives, to keep the exhibit constantly evolving and fresh. The exhibition will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and tickets are priced at $22 plus taxes and fees, and available for purchase now.

Elvis Westgate 66566
Elvis performance costumes
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Elvis Westgate 66570
Elvis performance costumes
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The newly renamed and renovated Elvis Presley International Showroom will present Elvis-themed live shows for limited engagement runs on the very stage where Elvis performed for millions of guests during his record-breaking, seven-year stint from 1969 through 1976. The debut show will be “The Elvis Experience,” a large-scale production replicating one of Elvis’ legendary Las Vegas shows, starring actor Martin Fontaine and featuring 24 musicians and eight choir members portraying the original musicians and artists on stage with Elvis. The Elvis Experience is scheduled to open with the exhibition on April 23 and perform Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and start at $49 plus taxes and fees. After this limited engagement, the property will feature other limited-run, Graceland-produced live shows in the Elvis Presley International Showroom.
Another exciting feature will be the new, “Elvis Presley’s Graceland Wedding Chapel” which will be the first-ever wedding chapel in Las Vegas to be operated by Elvis Presley Enterprises. The chapel is also scheduled to open on April 23.
The grand opening of the exhibition, live show and wedding chapel will be marked with a star-studded celebration, with Priscilla Presley joining the roster of VIPs and celebrities on the red carpet. 

Rascal Flatts Kicks Off Residency with Grand Entrance in front of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Opening-Night Concert at The Joint

Award-winning music group Rascal Flatts celebrated the beginning of its Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot! residency with a grand arrival at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and a high-energy performance at The Joint on Wednesday, Feb. 25. Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot! continues at The Joint Feb. 27 – 28 and March 4, 6 – 7, 11 and 13 – 14.
The event kicked off with the renowned Foothill High School Marching Band as they marched out to one of Rascal Flatts’ No. 1 songs “Fast Cars and Freedom” in front of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s iconic guitar. Once in position, Rascal Flatts band members, Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney, revved the engines of NASCAR petty cars and burned out past hundreds of screaming fans, signaling the beginning of their residency in true Sin City style, courtesy of Richard Petty Driving Experience.

02.25.15 Rascal Flatts Leads Foothill High School Marching Band into The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Patrick Gray Erik Kabik Photography
Rascal Flatts Leads Foothill High School Marching Band into The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Photo credit: Patrick Gray Erik Kabik Photography

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Vice President of Entertainment Chas Smith and AEG Live Las Vegas’ Vice President of Booking Bobby Reynolds welcomed Rascal Flatts onto the stage. Smith and Reynolds presented the group with an official proclamation from Clark County, which declared Wednesday, Feb. 25 as “Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot! Day.”

02.25.15  Chas Smith Bobby Reynolds and Rascal Flatts Pose with Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot Day Proclamation  Patrick Gray Erik Kabik Photography
Chas Smith, Bobby Reynolds, and Rascal Flatts Pose with Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot Day Proclamation
Photo credit: Patrick Gray/Erik Kabik Photography

“Tonight’s the big opener, and we’re thrilled to death to be at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and to be the first country residency at The Joint,” said LeVox. “…we’d love to have you come out. I don’t think you’ve ever seen us before like this Riot tour.”
Following, Rascal Flatts presented Travis Pardee, the director of bands at Foothill High School, with a giant $5,000 check for the high school’s music program and to thank the students for their hard work. The donation was made on behalf of Rascal Flatts, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and AEG Live Las Vegas. The trio concluded the event by posing for photos with the race cars, signing autographs and leading the marching band through The Joint’s front doors.

02.25.15 Chas Smith Jay DeMarcus Travis Pardee Joe Don Rooney Gary LeVox and Bobby Reynolds Patrick Gray Erik Kabik Photography
Chas Smith, Jay DeMarcus, Travis Pardee, Joe Don Rooney, Gary LeVox, and Bobby Reynolds
Photo credit: Patrick Gray/Erik Kabik Photography

That evening, Rascal Flatts took the stage for the first concert of its nine-show residency. The packed house went wild as the band played top hits such as “Riot,” “Mayberry,” “Bless the Broken Road,” “Me and My Gang,” and many more. High-definition video displays, large LED screens, colorful lights, incredible solo breaks and covers like Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” completed the night of pure entertainment. The guys came back to the limelight for a bursting encore, playing “Life is a Highway” as fans danced along.

02.25.15 Rascal Flatts at The Joint in Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Erik Kabik Erik Kabik Photography 2
Rascal Flatts performance at the Joint
Photo credit: Erik Kabik/Erik Kabik Photography

Tickets start at $39.50 (plus applicable service fees) and can be purchased at the Hard Rock Hotel box office.

Additional recent and upcoming “happenings” in and around Las Vegas include:

CELEBRITY CARS LAS VEGAS has expanded to a showroom located at 7770 Dean Martin Drive, Suite 301, just off the I-15 and the Clark County 215 Beltway at Blue Diamond. The new 20,000-square-foot showroom, which opened in February, houses nearly 80 cars, trucks and motorcycles. The inventory includes everything from sleek classic cars, powerful muscle cars and exotic sports cars to classic cruisers and custom sports bikes, as well as luxury SUVs and large trucks. Celebrity Cars Las Vegas’ current inventory includes a 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia Coupe, a 1976 Porshe 911 Targa Coupe, a 2005 Bentley Arnage Sedan, a 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom with 22-inch custom wheels, and a 2008 Ducati Sport Classic GT1000, among other vehicles.  With nearly double the floor space and occupancy as the previous location, Celebrity Cars Las Vegas’ new showroom, complete with a full-service bar, is also ideal to hold special events, including charity galas and corporate parties. In addition to the available indoor space, the new location’s outdoor lot can accommodate up to 200 cars for events and car shows.

LEGENDS IN CONCERT at Flamingo Las Vegas is taking a trip back in time to 1983, when ticket prices were $9.95, for the show’s new locals’ discount during March and April. To commemorate the longest-running live tribute show in Las Vegas’ opening year, anyone with a valid Nevada ID will be able to purchase up to six tickets for $9.95 each, plus tax and service fees. The current lineup in Las Vegas features Leo Days as Elvis, Jason Jarrett as Michael Jackson, Chris VanDahl as Steven Tyler, Nellie Norris as Katy Perry and Elisa Furr as Celine Dion.

The DJ duo of BRODY JENNER AND WILLIAM LIFESTYLE launch their exclusive Las Vegas residency at TAO Nightclub and TAO Beach for 2015. Their residency, “One Night Stand with Brody Jenner & William Lifestyle”, will kick off as the pair mans the decks at TAO Nightclub March 6 and 20. They return to TAO Nightclub April 3 and then welcome the 2015 pool season with a summer preview at TAO Beach April 4.

In collaboration with Kore Group,, PARKFAB and Corner Bar Management Group, Park on Fremont will host a two day event, ‘PARK JAM’, an  outdoor extreme sports celebration that will take place on the lot next to downtown restaurant Park on Fremont on Friday, March 6 from 3 to 10 p.m. and on Saturday, March 7: 6 to 10 p.m. The event will include food, drinks, vendor booths, music, live art and a snowboarding competition featuring professional riders including Drayden Gardner, Scotty Vine, Lou Macias, Johnny Lazz and Ricky Crilley, on Saturday, March 7.

Legendary rock band CHEAP TRICK will headline NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas with the 12th Annual RaceJam concert at Fremont Street Experience on Saturday, March 7 at 9 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage.  The concert is part of the 12th Annual RaceJam 2015, a four-day event celebrating NASCAR Weekend with FREE nightly entertainment plus NASCAR merchandise booths taking place Thursday, March 5 – Sunday, March 8.  The annual downtown Las Vegas street festival and concert is held in conjunction with NASCAR Weekend, which features the Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 8 and the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, March 7, both at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  All concerts are free and open to the public and parking is available at the Fremont Street Experience parking garage located at Carson and 4th Street.

For the ninth consecutive year, MCMULLAN'S IRISH PUB in Las Vegas is raising funds to research and conquer childhood cancer, spearheaded by a gala head-shaving party on Saturday, March 7th from 11 a.m. until 3 a.m. on Sunday, March 8th. During the 16-hour period, the benefit will have scores of celebrities, bands, special performers and regular folks taking part in fighting childhood cancer. The Irish pub trade located on Tropicana and Cameron, is the headquarter for the event  and is delighted to work with 7th-year participant Nine Fine Irishmen at New York, New York, 4th-year participant RiRa Irish Pub at Mandalay Bay and 3rd-year participant Vinyl Lounge at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. 
Las Vegas Valley residents have gathered at McMullan’s and have provided more than $3.5M for the campaign to find a cure for the killer of more children than any other childhood disease.

“We don’t have huge formal dinners or silent auction as our fundraiser. Rather, we have hundreds of people from all over Southern Nevada show up at our pub and sponsor their neighbors, friends and even strangers who are willing to have their heads shaved in solidarity with children who have lost their hair to cancer,” says Brian McMullan, Owner of McMullan’s Irish Pub. “We hope to add to the more than $154 million to the Foundation awarded as grants to physicians and researchers across the globe. We will beat this horrific disease”
All of the dedicated ‘shavees’, barbers, volunteers and committee members who have participated for seven years will be admitted to the “Knights of the Bald Table”. Throughout the day you will be able to see people being knighted on stage in honor of their continuous contribution to this great cause. 
Masters of ceremonies for the shaving of an estimated 450 volunteers include TV personality, Robin Leach; TV newsmen, Nate Tannenbaum; TV news personalities, Gerard Ramalho and Elizabeth Watts; Entertainer, Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton Holmes; Starsky and Hutch’s Huggy Bear, Antonio Fargas; Jennifer Romas with the Sexxy cast, CBS Radio morning show host, Carlos Diaz and Spence and many more. Extensive radio remotes will originate on local CBS-owned FM and AM stations and the event can be streamed live from computers around the world.

For the third consecutive year, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosts its annual ST. BALDRICK'S FOUNDATION head-shaving fundraiser inside Vinyl on Saturday, March 7 from noon to 5 p.m. This year, resident artists for Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot! at The Joint, Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts and opener Craig Wayne Boyd, will make an appearance as celebrity shavers. Throughout the event, Jason Green, manager of local rock band Sin City Sinners, will be the emcee while the band performs several high-energy rock sets as participants raise critical funds used to help find cures for childhood cancer.  In the past two years, Hard Rock Hotel has raised more than $70,000 to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The property continues to set the bar high by pushing to exceed its yearly goals for the nonprofit this year.

Doors to Vinyl open for registration at 11 a.m. with festivities set to begin at noon. Guests who are interested in shedding their locks for the cause can register here. Those who are interested in donating or volunteering can learn more online or at the event.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of its grand opening, THE JUICE STANDARD, located at 4555 S. Fort Apache Rd., is giving COMPLIMENTARY JUICE to those who shave their luscious locks to support the ST. BALDRICK'S FOUNDATION during the month of March. Participants must tag The Juice Standard in their social media photos during the head-shaving event and show the photos to the cashier to receive a complimentary Bee Pure or Bee Vibrant, both twists on a classic lemonade blend.In addition to gifting a juice to St. Baldrick’s participants, the juicery has a jar set up at the front counter for those looking to make a cash contribution to the foundation by donating the dollar they would normally get back from recycling their glass bottles.

Pochiro Boxing Promotions presents “THROW DOWN AT SAM’S TOWN ROUND 3” on Saturday,  March 14 at 7:30 p.m During this action-packed event, Damian Vasquez will be putting his NABF Tittle on the line vs. Edwin Reyes, along with Wes Capper putting his WBC-USNBC Middle Weight Championship on the line vs. Tony Hirsch.
Additionally on the fight card, Mike Hunter 8-0, Oscar Vasquez, Charvis Hollyfeild, Cesar Sustaita and more.

Tickets starting at $35 plus taxes and fees are available at any Boyd Gaming box office.

Get a little lucky this St. Patrick’s Day with ST PATRICK'S DAY LEPRECHAUN SMACKDOWN BY MIDGETS UNLEASHED – the ultimate in midget wrestling on Tuesday, March 17 at the Fremont Country Club (601 E. Fremont St., Downtown Las Vegas). The St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Smackdown is an 18+ event.  Tickets for the St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Smackdown are $21 for guests 21 years or older and $22 for guests 18 – 20 years old.   Concessions will be available. Hosted by owner of Midgets Unleashed, “Turtle” aka Jacob Colyer, the St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Smackdown features all the big wrestling action in a smaller package.

The Onyx’s resident theatre company, Off Strip Productions, presents Nicky Silver's THE FOOD CHAIN, a darkly comic farce about our obsessions and the extreme lengths we take to pursue them. The limited run begins Thursday, March 19 at The Onyx, located at 953 E. Sahara Ave. #16 in Commercial Center. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays, March 19 through April 4 at 7:00 pm with Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Tickets are $25.00 for general admission and $20.00 for students, seniors and military and are available at the Onyx Box Office.

 Las Vegas’ hometown comedian JO KOY makes his return to the Treasure Island Theatre March 20 at 9 p.m. Tickets are available starting at $54.95, plus taxes and service charges. Guests must be 18 or older to attend.

The COMMANDERS JAZZ ENSEMBLE, part of the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West from Travis Air Force Base in California, swings into Henderson Saturday, March 21 for a concert at 3 p.m. at the Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Pkwy. COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS are available in advance at the Henderson Pavilion Box Office and the Henderson Convention Center, 200 Water St., in the Water Street District.

Legendary singer B.J. THOMAS will perform at the Suncoast Showroom March 28 and 29. Showtime each evening is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available from $15.95, plus tax and fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming box office.

A world-class doubleheader, featuring featherweight world champion JOHNNY GONZALEZ (57-8, 48 KOs) defending his 126-pound title against exciting young star GARY RUSSELL JR. (25-1, 14 KOs) in the main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, will take place at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, on Saturday, March 28, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).In the co-feature, undefeated rising star Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (25-0, 11 KOs) faces a tough test when he takes on the experienced former U.S. Olympian Vanes Martirosyan (35-1-1, 21 KOs) in an important super welterweight showdown. Tickets for the live event are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50, and $25.

MAVERICK HELICOPTERS has re-signed a multi-year contract with LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY that will continue its relationship as the exclusive helicopter operator for events at the complex including NASCAR Weekend, corporate functions and more. Through this agreement, Maverick Helicopters will manage the heliport and work with the speedway and its entities to transfer guests and celebrities to events.

Celebrity sightings:

Wednesday, March 4...

Steven Tyler, lead singer of the iconic rock band Aerosmith, was spotted at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for a Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot!  Tyler hung out backstage with the band before heading to his VIP suite where he watched the concert with a large group of friends.

Sunday, March 1...

American R&B singer, songwriter and producer SisQó was spotted at Blue Man Group inside Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. The artist went backstage after the performance for a private VIP meet-and-greet with cast members.

3.1.15 SisQo at Blue Man Group in Monte Carlo Resort and Casino
Photo courtesy of Blue Man Group

Saturday night, Feb. 28...

AJ Green was spotted with a large group taking over several dance floor tables at TAO  The wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals said hello to Eric D Lux in the DJ booth as he manned the decks.

At the next table over Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, aka Megatron, returned to the club for the second night in a row.

Austin “Chumlee” Russell of Pawn Stars fame was seen in the club with friends.

Maurice Jones-Drew, running back for the Oakland Raiders was also spotted taking in the scene from a VIP table, and a yet another table New England Patriots linebacker Akeem Ayers enjoyed the night with friends.

Friday night, Feb. 27...

Members of the acappella pop group Pentatonix were spotted dining at TAO with 20  people.

At TAO Nightclub, Calvin Johnson was seen with a group of friends.  Nicknamed Megatron, the running back for the Detroit Lions commanded a dance floor table, taking in the sounds of DJ Big Ben.