Judy Thorburn | Editor in Chief | Writer | ColumnistJudy Thorburn's 'Vegas Happenings' column

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


Plans Revealed For New Circa Resort & Casino Debut in Downtown Las Vegas, December 2020

After months of speculation, on Thursday evening, January 10, developers and brothers Derek and Greg Stevens officially unveiled plans for Circa Resort & Casino, a brand-new integrated gaming resort in Downtown Las Vegas slated to open in December 2020. A welcome addition to the iconic Fremont Street Experience, Circa will bring a new energy to Downtown as the first ground-up resort development in the area since 1980.

Circa Tower
Circa Tower - Photo courtesy of Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Derek was joined onstage at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during the public celebration. Among eager onlookers were a number of notable city and state officials, property executives, community partners and members of founding Las Vegas families including Freddie Sarno, son of casino developer Jay Sarno; Nevada Stupak, son of casino owner Bob Stupak; Michael and Brendan Gaughan, son and grandson of hotel and casino magnate Jackie Gaughan; and legendary bookmaker Jimmy Vaccaro.

Mike Nolan Brendan Gaughan Joe Woody Ken Epstein Jake Gaughan Michael Gaughan
Mike Nolan, Brendan Gaughan, Joe Woody, Ken Epstein, Jake Gaughan, and Michael Gaughan - Photo courtesy of Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Derek Stevens Mayor Carolyn Goodman at Circa Resort Casino Reveal Event
Derek Stevens Mayor Carolyn Goodman at Circa Resort Casino Reveal Event - Photo courtesy of Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Heidi and Freddie Sarno
Heidi and Freddie Sarno - Photo courtesy of Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas

The grand reveal took place after a thrilling introduction video, concluding with the unveiling of a huge neon sign emblazoned with the property name that will eventually be a part of Circa’s exterior.

Combining the best of Las Vegas service in a modern, state-of-the-art setting, Circa is designed for guests to live large in the now, make the most of life’s fleeting moments and create new memories through an exhilarating, multi-sensory experience. The 1.25-million-square-foot, 777-room resort, casino and spa will feature a variety of immersive culinary, entertainment and gaming experiences and unparalleled personalized offerings inspired by old-school Las Vegas hospitality.

Circa will be home to a state-of-the art parking structure playfully dubbed “Garage Mahal,” specifically designed with ride-sharing in mind. Catering to the growing use of Uber and Lyft, and housing 1,201 parking spaces, the centrally located nine-story garage will be the first of its kind in Downtown Las Vegas, allowing guests to conveniently and efficiently travel to and from the property.

Garage Mahal Parking Structure at Circa
Garage Mahal Parking Structure at Circa - Photo courtesy of Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Another signature element will be a multi-level, stadium-style sportsbook, equipped with the biggest screen in sportsbook history. The Stevens brothers recently announced a partnership with sports gaming media organization Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) to bring an in-house broadcast studio to Circa. This will allow bettors to have in-depth analysis from a roster of experts including broadcasters, industry professionals and athletes.

The resort will be defined by a bold design, accented by a backlit roofline and an expansive multi-tiered pool amphitheater. Featuring several pools and a massive screen with the latest high-resolution technology, the amphitheater will offer a unique watch-party atmosphere for sunseekers and sports fans. The venue will be complemented by a delicious food and beverage menu, private cabanas and music from DJs and special guests.

Postmodern Jukebox performs at Circa Resort Casino Reveal Event
Postmodern Jukebox performs at Circa Resort Casino Reveal Event - Photo courtesy of Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas

VSIN Studio at Circa
VSIN Studio at Circa - Photo courtesy of Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Circa’s interior will welcome the return of a Las Vegas icon: Vegas Vickie, the kicking cowgirl who was once perched high above the Fremont Street Experience, will become a key design feature and must-see photo opportunity within the hotel’s lobby.

Circa Pool Amphitheater
Circa Pool Amphitheater - Photo courtesy of Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Circa Sportsbook
Circa Sportsbook - Photo courtesy of Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Additional details about Circa’s amenities and opening will be announced in the coming months.

URBANeats Celebrates Grand Opening

URBANeats Market, a bodega-style market catering to people on-the-go looking for fresh food, celebrated their grand opening Thursday, January 10, at Allure Las Vegas, located on 200 Sahara Ave. This is the first of three planned stores set to open this year in Las Vegas. The two other URBANeats Market locations are set to open at 4480 W. Flamingo Road and 9775 W. Sunset Road.

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URBANeats Market - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

URBANeats GrandOpening 2
URBANeats Grand Opening ribbon cutting - Photo courtesy of URBANeats Market

The grand opening celebration was opened to the public and featured a ribbon cutting ceremony and other festivities that lasted throughout the day. Chef Scott Commings, Hell’s Kitchen winner and co-owner of The Stove located in Henderson, served up dishes made from ingredients available at URBANeats Market, including a charcuterie board, risotto and more.

“We can’t thank everyone enough for their love and support,” said Paul E. Sanchez, URBANeats’ Vice President and the designer behind the store’s image.

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URBANeats Market - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Urban Eats 4761
URBANeats Market - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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URBANeats Market - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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URBANeats Market management and staff - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The 3,000 square-foot facility features an upscale contemporary design applied to an all-glass front structure, creating a powerful presence on the ground floor of the condominium tower. The market especially caters to those short on time and on-the-go guests, featuring fresh pre-packaged food ready for warming, sandwiches and baked goods, along with convenient ready-to-go items. The store provides busy individuals with fresh, healthy and convenient choices for food, beverage and home needs, as well as personal care, while providing the finest customer service. It combines a casual, upscale environment with the traditional neighborhood market, making it an unparalleled experience. URBANeats Markets also offers traditional items such as produce, pet supplies, baby care and more. Local vendors will provide a unique assortment of grocery items, and national brand names will assure customers that URBANeats Market is committed to quality and competitive pricing.

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

THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE has selected CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION as the first-ever OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF THE NFL. Beginning with the upcoming 2019 NFL playoffs, this multi-year sponsorship is focused on Caesars providing unique experiences for NFL fans by using its casino properties, celebrity chefs, premier music artists and a wide range of entertainment elements.  Caesars will have the exclusive right to use NFL trademarks in the United States and the United Kingdom to promote Caesars casino properties and activate at key NFL events including the Super Bowl and NFL Draft.

To celebrate Chinese New Year 2019 and welcome the Year of the Pig, The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace has once again installed a massive 950-lb CHINESE DRAGON DISPLAY. A legendary creature in Chinese mythology and folklore, the dragon is a traditional symbol of power, strength, and good luck. The dazzling 22-ft. long, 6 ft. wide and 12 ft. high steel structure, covered in 30,000 red and amber LED lights, is located on the Fortuna Terrace near the interior casino entrance to The Forum Shops from Caesars Palace. A custom creation for The Forum Shops, the dragon sits upon a lush red carpet and is surrounded by hand-painted wood pillars, gold fencing and red velvet ropes. While the Chinese New Year begins on Tuesday, Feb. 5 and it is the Year of the Pig, the traditional Chinese dragon will be on display at The Forum Shops beginning January 9 and throughout the end of February.

In partnership with local artist Tanya “Miscre8” Watler and curator Patrick Duffy, Fashion Show Las Vegas – the area’s premier shopping, dining and experience venue – has debuted a ONE-OF-A-KIND THREE-DIMENSIONAL MURAL on its plaza staircase. The rainbow-inspired painted installation entitled“COLORS THAT SPEAK TO A UNITED CITY” is a tribute to an outlook of inclusion and hope. Located on the strip-side Plaza staircase, this 50-foot mural resembles a cascading rainbow and serves as a visual and interactive celebration of the diversity, enthusiasm and optimism that Las Vegas tourist and local population is known for. Former graffiti artist Tanya “Miscre8” Watler was chosen to bring the idea to life.

The Venetian® Resort Las Vegas and Sands® Expo turned their tower signs blue on January 11 to recognize HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS DAY. In 2007, the US Senate designated Jan. 11 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day to raise awareness of this worldwide crisis.

Comedy-Magician ADAM LONDON will celebrate six years of his show "Laughternoon" at the D Las Vegas by offering comedy magic fans tickets for $6 plus taxes and fees. The promotion can be accessed at the box office with code "6YEARS" and will be valid for general admission tickets to Laughternoon from January 12- January 20, 2019. Adam London’s Laughternoon shows are performed daily at 4 p.m. inside The Showroom at the D Las Vegas.

GLOBAL WINTER WONDERLAND is keeping the holiday spirit of giving alive,with a BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE OFFER on their Unlimited Carnival Ride passes, available now through Mon., Jan. 21. Guests can travel around the world in one night while viewing the larger-than-life lantern designs of landmarks from all seven continents as well as witness the incredible feats of strength of the Shaolin Warriors, Chinese acrobats, wire walkers and more! The new family event of the holiday season also features numerous carnival rides and games, international cuisine, live entertainment, and celebrations of holiday traditions and various cultures from around the world.   General admission tickets start at $20 for adults and $18 for children 4-12, plus tax and fees. Normally $25 per person, unlimited carnival ride passes are buy one, get one free when purchased at the on-site box office.

WET REPUBLIC ULTRA POOL at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino AND LIQUID POOL LOUNGE at ARIA Resort & Casino are CASTING for an array of open opportunities including model cocktail servers, model beverage runners, model bartenders, model barbacks, security specialists, promoters, food runners, cashiers, lifeguards and bar porters for both popular daylife venues. Limited to 250 interviews per day, job seekers may apply at Hakkasan Nightclub inside MGM Grand on Monday, Jan. 14 through Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Must be a minimum of 21 years old to apply and willing to audition in swimwear for model positions. Lifeguard applicants may be 18 years old to apply. The online application portal is open for all available positions.

FLAMINGO LAS VEGAS' GO POOL DAYCLUB is hosting a CASTING CALL for open positions on Monday, Jan. 14. The daylife destination is accepting applications for bartenders, cocktail servers, bar apprentices, bar porters, food runners, VIP hosts, cabana hosts, fountain workers and security guards looking to join the “flock” and provide impeccable guest service throughout the 2019 pool season. The January 14 open casting call will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bally's Employment Center located at 3645 Las Vegas Blvd South.

TOP OF THE WORLD AT STRATOSPHERE CASINO, HOTEL & TOWER has debuted its REMODELED DINING ROOM. The modern décor joins a new menu which now offers steaks and seafood complemented by fresh, seasonal ingredients, by Johnny Church, Golden Entertainment, Inc.’s corporate executive chef, and Pawan Pinisetti, executive chef of Top of the World. The remodel also includes a redesign of the lobby, improved lighting, and a full sound system upgrade.

Local writer, producer and President of the Las Vegas Convention Speakers Bureau Robin Jay has announced the release of her latest film, “BECOMING THE KEYS,” the third installment in the Key Movies series. The inspirational movie series combines a unique hybrid of fictional characters interacting with a few of today’s top thought leaders, including don Miguel Ruiz (‘the Four Agreements’) and Dannion Brinkley (‘Saved by the Light’) to create a compelling narrative, each reflecting on the importance of embracing the seven keys to greater success and a more joyful, loving and happier life. There will be an exclusive VIP RED CARPET PREMIERE Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. at the South Point Casino showroom. General admission tickets are available for sale at the casino box office/ticketmaster. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction will benefit Volunteers in Medicine, Southern Nevada.

XAVIER MORTIMER'S MAGICAL DREAM will expand to a larger stage and showroom as well as introduce astounding new visuals with its move tO Bally's Las Vegas 250-seat Windows Showroom on Saturday, Jan. 19. The spellbinding production will have a new show time: 6 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday, with tickets starting at $49 for general admission and $69 for VIP, excluding tax and box office fees.

Sensational female pop group DANITY KANE and the Los Angeles hardcore pop iconoclast BROOKE CANDY will be the featured musical performer at the 2019 GayVN Awards Show presented by ManyVids, set to take place Monday, January 21 inside The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel Casino.

Remedy’s Conestoga presents their 9th annual HILLBILLY BALL on Saturday, Jan. 26. Hillbillies and rednecks of all kind are welcome for a hollerin’ good time with live music, drink specials and a fun costume contest for the best lookin’ hillbilly in the barnyard! There is no cover for the party, however guests who would like to attend must be over the age of 21 with valid I.D. All of the hootenanny festivities begin at 8 p.m. Guests will enjoy the southern tunes of local country rock band Thrillbilly Deluxe. Guests can also enjoy drink specials and are encouraged to dress in their southern best and embrace their inner hillbilly to be the winner of the costume contest.

CELESTIA, an all-new, international production written and directed by Sasha Ivanov, the founder of the live entertainment company Intrigue Shows, will make its debut at the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. This tour de force of acrobatics, technology, artistry and illusion will be staged in a unique 200,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art tent located right on the Las Vegas Strip. Celestia will have eight performances per week, with 7 p.m. shows on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and is dark Mondays and Tuesdays. Tickets range in price from $29 - $89, not including taxes and fees.

Actor and comedian JEREMY PIVEN will make his Treasure Island debut Feb. 1 at 9 p.m. Tickets are available starting at $35.95, plus taxes and service charges.

Comedian BRAD WILLIAMS is returning to Las Vegas in 2019 for two performances at Rocks Lounge inside Red Rock Resort on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 and Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. Tickets are $35 plus tax and applicable fees.

LEGENDS IN CONCERT, which continues to celebrate 35 years as the longest-running show in Las Vegas with an incomparable cast of music legends, is set to debut an ALL-NEW RESIDENCY at its new home inside the Legends in Concert Theater at THE TROPICANA LAS VEGAS beginning February 11 2019. Legends in Concert will perform Monday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with additional matinee shows available at 4 p.m. on Thursday and Saturday, with tickets starting at $49.99 (excludes tax and fees). VIP booths and preferred seating will also be available, ranging from $59.99 to $79.99 (excludes tax and fees). Tickets can be purchased in person at the Tropicana Box Office.

THE NAKED MAGICIANS are bringing their finely chiseled magical and physical talents to Las Vegas from Australia for their first Strip residency. The R-rated magic show, starring Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne, will perform 6 nights a week, starting Wednesday, Feb. 13, inside BRAD GARRETT’S COMEDY CLUB at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Performances will be Wednesday through Monday, dark Tuesday, at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $54.95 (plus tax and fees) and go on sale Friday, Jan 4. All audience members must be 21 years or older.

Following another year of milestone development and a 25 percent increase in new home sales over 2017, the master-planned community of SUMMERLIN, retained its #4 RANKING on the list of 2018 best-selling MPCs by RCLCO, a leading national real estate consultant that has been ranking MPCs since 1994.  The ranking is determined by number of new home sales, and in 2018, 1,318 new homes were sold in Summerlin - the community’s strongest performance in more than a decade.


THE FACTORY KITCHEN is now open at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas. The newest Factory Place Hospitality Group restaurant made its debut on New Year’s Eve, introducing their Italian cuisine to the Las Vegas market.

Celebrity sightings:

Friday, January 11...

UFC president Dana White was spotted attending the 10 p.m. performance of ABSINTHE at Caesars Palace. After the show White went backstage for a photo with The Gazillionaire and his alluring Green Fairy.

Dana White attends ABSINTHE 1.11.19 Credit Joseph Sanders Spiegelworld Photography 1
Dana White attends ABSINTHE- Photo credit: Joseph Sanders - Spiegelworld Photography

OMNIA Nightclub Las Vegas at Caesars Palace threw the first of its kind, over-the-top $100,000 bash for GRAMMY Award-winning artist and recent iHeartRadio Music Award nominee, Zedd.The event featured a massive ball pit, gladiator style jousting, live human statues, inflatable champagne hot tub, money machine party cube, oversized throne and more. Built on the main dance floor beneath the famed 22,000-pound kinetic chandelier, Zedd celebrated the night hopping from DJ booth to ball pit as a sold out crowd cheered him on.

Grammy-Award nominee and world-famous rapper Tyga attended a performance of Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Following the finale of the dazzling production, Tyga was escorted backstage where he greeted the cast and thanked them for their impressive performance.

Tyga attended a performance of Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil - Photo courtesy of Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil

New Years Day, January 1...

Actors Michael B Jordan and Terrence J along with MTV host Steelo Brim, dined at LAVO inside The Palazzo.

New Year's Eve, Monday, December 31...

French Montana dined at Beauty & Essex inside The Cosmopolitan before heading to Marquee Nightclub where he led the crowd in a countdown to 2019 followed by a performance of his hits.

FrenchMontana 12.31.18 MarqueeLV
French Montana - Photo courtrsy of Marquee LV

French Montana counts down to 2019 MarqueeLV
French Montana counts down to 2019 - Photo courtrsy of Marquee LV

At TAO inside The Venetian, Gucci Mane played host for the night.  He was joined onstage by wife Keyshia Ka’Oir for the countdown before launching into a performance of songs for clubgoers.

GucciMane Keyshia KaOir TAO.12.31.18
Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka Oir at TAO - Photo courtesy of TAO Nightclub

GucciMane welcomes 2019 at TAO LV
Gucci Mane welcomes 2019 at TAO LV - Photo courtesy of TAO Nightclub

90s Icon, Dancing With The Stars finalist, and former Chippendale MC, Joey Lawrence, celebrated the new year with a nod to the past by hosting a FREE 90s-themed NYE house party at the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino. Anchored by his hearthrob character "Joey Russo" from the smash sitcom Blossom, Lawrence thrilled 90s fans and partygoers with photo opps, meet-and-greets, a countdown to the new year PLUS a suprise appearance from younger brother Andrew Lawrence (Andy), who currently plays "Eric Russo" in the hit CBS series "Hawaii Five-O."

Joey Lawrence - Photo courtesy of Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino

Globally acclaimed DJ and music producer, Calvin Harris, rang in 2019 at the world-renowned OMNIA Nightclub inside Caesars Palace where he performed to a sold out crowd.

Down The Strip, Grammy-nominated and Billboard Music Award-winning artist, J. Cole performed in the main room of Hakkasan Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. The highly sought-after artist celebrated 2019 with family and friends in the venue’s VIP Skybox.

Adding to the festivities, Grammy-nominated hip hop artist, Tyga performed a slew of smash hits to a sold out crowd at the illustrious JEWEL Nightclub at ARIA Resort & Casino. Model and actress, Amber Rose, joined Tyga and crew inside the DJ booth throughout the night. Also seen partying at the nightlife hot spot was actor, Michael B. Jordan. Jordan arrived with a group of 16 friends and later hopped on stage with Tyga for a friendly shoutout.

Rounding out the roster, hip-hop artist and Billboard Award-winning producer, Lil Jon, partied 2018 away at 1 OAK Nightclub inside The Mirage Hotel & Casino. The energetic DJ delivered countless hits to fans, spinning popular party anthems including “Shots,” “Turn Down For What,” “Outta Your Mind” and more.

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We, at Las Vegas Round the Clock, are deeply saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred in our city on Sunday evening, October 1, 2017 and send our deepest condolences, healing prayers and love to the victims, their families, and all those affected by the tragedy.