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Hotel tycoon Steve Wynn made global headlines with his $70 million New York City penthouse purchase last week, but if he’d hoped to escape his Las Vegas neighbors, he hasn’t moved that far. First, he’s wound up next door to Donald Trump’s Trump Park East condo tower and is steps away on the Strip from The Donald’s Trump International hotel condo.
Some fascinating people live next door to Steve when he arrives in the Big Apple: Las Vegas entrepreneur Jack Wishna, singer Tony Bennett (who lives there because the light over Central Park is perfect for painting his art) and The Donald’s son Eric Trump. Marla Maples lived there until she had to turn over the keys as required in her pre-nup with the real-estate billionaire.
It was in Steve’s new digs a few years ago that Jack found Jennifer Aniston being consoled by David Arquette and Courteney Cox after Brad Pitt left her for Angelina Jolie. While she was hiding from media, Jack walked his dog April, a Maltese gift from Wayne Newton, in the park with David, who was walking Courteney and his two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
The Donald, Steve and Venetian and Palazzo owner Sheldon Adelson will be together Monday night at a fundraising dinner and reception for Mitt Romney at the Donald’s hotel here when he flies in also to check up on his 2012 Miss USA Pageant.
Incidentally, this Memorial Day weekend, Steve’s stepson, model and singer Nick Hissom makes his first major music appearance at Tryst in the Wynn with his new single “Killin’ Tonight” with DJ duo Manufactured Superstars.
Said Nick, who was with mom Andrea, Steve and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger on Sunday at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand to meet The Wanted: “Entering the music industry has been a process of learning and personal growth for me. I’m certainly not slowing down when it comes to my modeling career. I’m just working twice as hard to pursue two industries that I’m equally passionate about.”
CONGRATULATIONS: Chef Steve Martorano on Monday celebrated the fifth anniversary of his Cafe Martorano at the Rio with a party to benefit our beloved Keep Memory Alive (Steve lost his grandmother to Alzheimer’s). The Platters and the Rat Pack entertained guests during the sensational four-course meal served family-style. Singer Cee Lo celebrated the festivities and invited Steve to the premiere of “Loberace” at Planet Hollywood beginning Aug. 29.
“It’s an amazing milestone,” Steve told me: “We have managed to defeat the odds and overcome all the challenges: triple-bypass surgery, one less gall bladder, and we’re still celebrating.”
HOSPITAL EMERGENCY: Singer Ray J is in a Las Vegas hospital being treated for “exhaustion and jet lag” after being taken ill after Sunday’s BMAs. The brother of Brandy apparently drove here for four hours after landing from a fast 32-hour round trip to and from China, where he performed a concert. He also hosted a party with actress Sophie Monk at the Rio’s VooDoo nightclub and wound up in a hospital early Monday.
HOMEWARD BOUND: Richard “The Old Man” Harrison from the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” was honored today in his hometown of Lexington, N.C., with the Key to the City by Mayor Newell Clark. Richard and his wife Joanne accepted the honor from the city where his life and career started. The 20-year Navy veteran has always acknowledged Lexington for all it has done for his family and him.
GOING UP: The 500-square-foot SkyVue observation wheel taking shape on the Strip has completed the first phase of construction opposite Mandalay Bay. Now it begins its vertical climb, as excavation has started on the 140,000-square-foot retail and dining experience. SkyVue will be the largest observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere when it opens. Each side of the wheel will feature a 50,000-square-foot LED screen, one of the largest in the world.
THE KING CALLS: TV talk-show titan Larry King called on Tropicana headliner magician Murray Sawchuck, his beautiful assistant Chloe Louise and comedy magic man Doug “Lefty” Leferovich to perform at his annual Cardiac Foundation Gala in Washington, D.C. The black-tie gala was attended by more than 500 VIP guests, and singer Sara Evans followed Murray onstage.
HIGH-SPEED WINNER: The Travel Channel has selected Primm Valley’s roller coaster the Desperado for its upcoming series “Insane Coaster Wars.” One of 24 finalists, the Desperado is featured in the Speed Demons category for being one of the fastest coasters across the globe. Fans vote for their favorite coaster through June 1, and the winner will be announced on the show Aug. 5.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Hair guru Michael Boychuck’s beauty team Kate Stromberg and Lavetta Fajardo from Color salon at Caesars Palace were kept busy on the Billboard arrivals carpet keeping hair and makeup intact for the dozen on-camera TV anchors, including “Extra’s” Rene Bargh.
DONNY & MARIE HELP NPR: Flamingo headliners Donny and Marie Osmond are helping Nevada Public Radio with special tickets for listeners at their Flamingo showroom for four nights June 13-16. Listeners will enjoy the 90-minute musical extravaganza with the couples’ favorite hits knowing that their ticket purchase has been donated to support public radio.
NIGHT SWIMMING: XS at the Wynn has launched its Season 3 summer soiree Night Swim, and 5,000 guests showed up for this past weekend’s launch of the after-dark pool party with Tiesto, Robbie Rivera, Steve Angello and younger brother AN21. Night Swim guests are encouraged to shed their evening attire and don swimwear while dancing in the pool under the stars. Deadmau5 headlines this Memorial Day weekend.
STAR SURVEILLANCE: Singer Taio Cruz watched master magician David Copperfield’s show in MGM Grand. “Absinthe” star Angel Porrino, BXM rider and MTV star Ricardo Laguna and local TV journalist Tedd Florendo judged Street Food Throwdown at Tivoli Village. Bottles & Burgers by Double Helix and Chi-Town Hustlers were the winners.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and star power forward Dirk Nowitzki were at Tiesto’s set at Encore Beach Club with Dirk’s bachelor party group. They also dined at Society Cafe and hit the dance floor at Surrender, where soccer star Wayne Rooney of Manchester United was at the next table. Wayne watched Sir Elton John’s “The Million Dollar Piano” at Caesars Palace while in town, as did Dr. Drew Pinsky.
Australian actress, singer and model Sophie Monk dined at Sugar Factory American Brasserie in the Paris and shopped at the adjoining retail store. Carson Kressley and Sabrina Bryan from “Dancing With the Stars: Live in Las Vegas” at the Tropicana partied at Piranha with Larry “Hot Chocolate” Edwards and J.Son of NakedBoyNews.com. Adult-film actress Tabitha Stevens hosted her live pod cast with streaming video from Crazy Horse III as she interviewed the cast of Showtime’s “Gigolos,” Joey Fatone, Anthony Cools, Devon Michaels and Jenny Hendrix. And Planet Hollywood headliner hypnotist Marc Savard checked out “CSI: the Experience” at MGM Grand.
“Mary Poppins” begins a run at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Big Boi of Outkast hosts at Pure in Caesars Palace. Dave Perrico, his 18-piece band Pop Evolution band and vocalist Naomi Mauro are at South Point. And A B & the Sea starts a three-night run of four shows a night at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Day 2 coverage of the 2012 Miss USA Pageant contestants at work and play, reality TV star Laura Croft observes the do’s and don’t’s of the Las Vegas fashion scene, plus, how actor and singer Tyrese Gibson got out of the ’hood to achieve Hollywood stardom.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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