A raking of the scene has turned up what follows:
• Last Thursday at the gala opening of his restaurant Mizumi at Wynn Las Vegas, Steve Wynn was reminded that his longtime friend and fellow casino mogul Kirk Kerkorian has turned 95. “Wow, that’s right. It’s June and I need to call him tomorrow,” Wynn said during a quick interview as his wife, Andrea, stood at his side. “He is a remarkable physical specimen. He has always been active.”
At some point, over time, Kerkorian has been dubbed the Father of Las Vegas. Kerkorian’s girlfriend (who also is his fiancee, if one can be dubbed as such when no wedding is planned), Joan Dangerfield, referred to him as such in introducing a video recorded at the Beverly Hills Hotel during Kerkorian’s birthday party June 6.
Kerkorian built the International Hotel and founded MGM Grand, which (literally) paved the way for such entrepreneurs as Wynn to make billions in Las Vegas.
If Kerkorian is the Father of Las Vegas, where does Wynn fit in that family photo? Could Kerkorian be the grandfather and Wynn the father?
“I’d rather be the son of Las Vegas!” Wynn said, laughing. “For me, father is too old! Kirk is 95. He should be father. I’m the son, or the baby. I’m clinging to my immaturity. I’m growing old gracelessly.”
Wynn is 70, but he doesn’t look it.
With little nudging, Wynn also went off on President Obama about what would need to happen for Las Vegans, or those interested in Las Vegas, to feel confident that the economic recovery has finally taken hold.
“We need a new president,” he said. “We need the kind of leadership in Washington that will deal with entitlements. If there is a change in leadership in November, I’m telling you, on the morning of Nov. 7, there will be a renaissance in America that will knock your socks off. Every business guy I know in America is frightened to death of this government. And I’m more a Democrat than Republican.”
Asked what he would first address if he were in office, or what a President Mitt Romney should make a top priority, Wynn was not specific.
“Go after the health care problem,” he said. “But there are so many things that are so quick and easy to do to get us back on track, to get the economy flowing again.”
That was enough talk of politics at this party. The Wynns were off to try the cod, the one allowance they make in their vegan diets.
• Frankie Moreno was to mark his 100th show at the Stratosphere tonight and used the occasion to announce a two-year extension with the hotel. The new deal means Moreno is under contract at the Strat, which expanded his schedule from three nights a week to four in March, through October 2015.
Moreno’s upcoming CD, featuring a handful of songs he’s yet recorded and updated versions of songs on previously released albums, is due mid-July. The song “Missin’ You” was written during the trip to Vienna and Italy that I took with the Brothers Moreno (Frankie, Tony and Ricky) in April. The album was mixed at the Studio at the Palms (with the great guitarist and producer Pat Thrall working with Moreno), and “Missin’ You” has bloomed from a single-guitar ditty played and sung in the alleys of Venice into a terrifically powerful tune. The song, and an accompanying video shot by Denise Truscello, was introduced to the show at the Stratosphere about three weeks ago. In the spirit of self-promotion, Frankie and Tony are guests on Friday’s edition of “Kats With the Dish,” where co-host Tricia McCrone says, “I love the pants!” For more, tune in Friday morning to KUNV 91.5-FM.
• On the topic of reaching new heights, a zip line is planned for Tropicana, leading from one of the hotel towers to the Strip. This has been in the works for quite a while, I understand, as zip lines don’t just appear from thin air. This one is being designed by Shani Properties, the proprietor of which is Kobi Shani, owner of The Cup coffee bar at Crystals. As Las Vegas can never be home to too many observation wheels, we can never have enough zip lines. Details to follow.
• At last check, the effort by a Las Vegas-based real-estate entity to purchase the Stirling Club at Turnberry Place remains alive. The sticking point has been formal approval by Turnberry Place Master Homeowners’ Association, which could not be arranged before Stirling Club’s lounge closed May 18. The accompanying tennis courts, gym, pool and restaurant also are shut, and residents (which include the prospective buyers, hint-hint) are furious. In a genteel sort of way, of course.
• Tickets are on sale for the next Composers Showcase at Cabaret Jazz at Smith Center, set for 10:30 p.m. June 27. Co-founded and emceed by “Jersey Boys” Music Director Ketih Thompson, the Showcase is easily the best $20 value in the city. Hit the Smith Center website for tickets and June 20’s stuffed-with-talent lineup.