Congratulations and Happy 8th Anniversary to Palms owner George Maloof. It’s difficult to believe that eight years have raced by since Paris Hilton was the guest of honor to cut the red ribbon back in November 2001. She wore a dress made from $100 chips that made global headlines. This also means congrats and Happy 8th to my pal Michael Boychuck for his celebrity-filled Amp salon at the Palms.
TV sportscaster and regular Palms guest Jim Gray celebrated his 50th birthday in The Playboy Club over the weekend of the anniversary. VIP guests for the party included Muhammad Ali, CNN royal Larry King, former NBA players Bill Walton, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, new Monte Carlo headliner comedian Frank Caliendo, ex-NFL player Eric Dickerson, ex-MLB player Joe Morgan and Hall of Fame football coach Don Shula. Iron Chef Kerry Simon was with seven friends at another VIP table sipping Ketel One cocktails.
Music mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, New York Yankees Derek Jeter and C.C. Sabathia and former Yankee Gary Sheffield were all staying in the Palms and Palms Place penthouses.
Over the weekend, Slipknot lead singer Corey Taylor married girlfriend Stephanie Luby in The Pearl Concert Theater in the Palms after their concert there. More than 300 of their friends and family attended the rock and roll wedding, with Billy Morrison as the minister and Dave Navarro and Mark McGrath of Camp Freddy performing at the ceremony. Corey himself broke from his new bride to sing three numbers to her with Camp Freddy, Dave’s supergroup. Guitar picks were thrown into the crowd. The ceremony’s walk-in music was “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”
Also spotted at the Palms, MLB free agent Jermaine Dye enjoying dinner for two consecutive nights with a friend at the N9NE Steakhouse bar and New York Giants defensive end Osi Omenyiora at N9NE with a large group that included San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis in the private dining room. Later, Osi was up at Moon, where Criss Angel, on a rare outing from his Luxor home, was at a separate VIP table with six friends sipping Fiji water and Ketel One cocktails. Derek dined at N9NE on an 8-ounce filet steak with creamed corn. He stuck to Fiji water before heading to Moon. Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs also partied at the Palms.
*Thousands of votes brought the Vinny vs. Vinny contest to a halt … literally. After weeks of battling it out in contests and challenges, the Vinny press conference scheduled for today has been postponed because there was such an overwhelming response in the final days of voting for Vinny Red or Vinny Blue. The late surge included voting from 55 countries. So the process of tallying votes will take a little longer than anticipated. I’ll let you know when it’s rescheduled.
*A warm welcome to hometown hero, tennis champ and philanthropist Andre Agassi. He is my 3,285th follower on Twitter. Click HERE to read our coverage of the launch of his Open: An Autobiography at the Wynn last Monday.
*Confirming my early tweet: It’s official that singer Christina Aguilera will host New Year’s Eve at Tao in The Venetian. Tickets are currently $150 per person (not including tax/fees) and include entry into the nightclub, an open bar and hors d’oeuvres from 9 to 11 p.m., with a champagne toast at midnight. There is no dinner seating that night, as all the tables will be moved out. After midnight, present your Tao ticket stub at Lavo in the Palazzo for free admission to party there until dawn.
*Congratulations to my amazing close-up magic pal Steve Dacri, who will start a one-year run at the Las Vegas Hilton every Wednesday night starting Jan. 27. Steve plans the closest-ever magic performances of extraordinary illusions and amazing card manipulation just inches from your eyes!
Former Venetian/Palazzo chief Bill Weidner, his wife Lynn and Fox News pollster Frank Luntz were at the Frank Caliendo show at the Monte Carlo. Bill told me he’s weighing several opportunities but also waiting for the economy to turn before embarking on a new venture. “Give me a few weeks, but something interesting is coming up,” he told me. … Another politico, James Carville, was seen at Caesars Palace. … Entourage actor Kevin Dillon gambled at the Hard Rock Hotel among the guests. ... Prison Break actor Amaury Nolasco had dinner after the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight at Robert De Niro’s Ago with Latin Grammy Award winner Calle 13. ... Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce was at Body English partying with friends alongside music mogul Jermaine Dupri. … Hangover star Zach Galifianakis hit Rockhouse with a group of friends and drank Bud Light from a signature 42-ounce Rockhouse guitar in a corner VIP booth, where he stayed for most of the night. He is in Las Vegas filming Due Date, the follow-up film from Hangover director Todd Phillips. …. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Nene Leakes and husband Greg certainly enjoyed their meals while staying at the Palazzo. At Lavo, they dined on a Kobe meatball, lobster scampi style pizza and sea bass, along with Oreo zeppole and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Earlier in the afternoon, the couple had lunch at Dos Caminos for the second consecutive day. They sat in the lounge feasting on guacamole and BBQ chicken quesadillas accompanied by El Camino margaritas.
Tickets go on sale today for Bon Jovi at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 6. Bon Jovi released their new album The Circle last week as part of their two-year global tour. … Larry Reeb, Buddy Flip and Joe Klocek headline at the Riviera Comedy Club through Sunday. … If you’re headed to the G2E welcome reception, please note that due to the sudden drop in temperatures, it’s been moved from the Paris pool to the Concord Ballroom.
We present Part 2 of our weeklong coverage of the incredible, new CityCenter with a one-on-one interview with MGM Mirage chief Jim Murren, who says not only are we coming out of the recession, but he’s also predicting 3 million new visitors here next year! We’ll also have photos galore as chef Emeril Lagasse is joined by an all-star lineup of TV kitchen kings for an amazing night of masterpiece meals and a $1 million charity fundraiser. Plus, photos of Melissa Rycroft as she celebrates her upcoming Dec. 12 wedding with a joint bachelor and bachelorette blast with fiance Tye Strickland at The Venetian and Palazzo, where 90210 star Jessica Lowndes celebrated her 21st birthday, too.
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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