As We See It

Dear 2014, we have a few questions regarding Las Vegas…

Empire of the Sun at the Life Is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas, Oct. 26-27, 2013.
Photo: Fred Morledge
Las Vegas Weekly staff

Will all of the new hotness Downtown sustain and continue to build on itself? From the Zappos move to the launch of Life Is Beautiful, the revival of the Atomic and the Gold Spike to the openings of Downtown Grand and the Container Park, the slew of new bars, restaurants and retail to a new school and more neighborhood events, the heart of Las Vegas beat hard in 2013. But will it prove to be too much too fast? Will the people really show up for the community they’ve always demanded?

What will come along to make DJs look old and tired like celebrity hosts? Remember when clubs threw their budgets at reality TV tartlets and pop starlets? Well, certain big DJ names are already being met with eye rolls around here. We’re guessing the next big thing will be holograms of dead celebrities dropping beats. (Tupac!)

What are they going to name the casino formerly known as Barbary Coast, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and (briefly) Gansevoort? The property on the corner of Flamingo and the Boulevard is on to its fourth name, and the rumor mill’s been spewing good candy as to what it might be. Early bets had Drai’s on the marquee in a nod to its anchor nightlife venue’s namesake, but these days the Cromwell and the Ilyse seem like front-runners (bring your best polo shirt!). So much for our dreams of martinis at the Dirty Dice.

Will the Las Vegas Philharmonic find a new director? With guest conductors taking the place of former music director David Itkin throughout the 2012-2013 season and again this season, it might seem that the Philharmonic is outsourcing on a permanent basis, but orchestra officials say they’re still looking for who might be the best fit for the position. A few guest conductors are returning for a second go-round, so it’s possible that they’re nearing a choice.

What ever happened to that Las Vegas model/cocktail waitress spotted “getting mighty close” with Justin Bieber? Back in the summer, the Biebs reportedly went indoor skydiving with Jordan Ozuna, who instantly popped up on celeb blogs as his potential new squeeze (the news died in about a week). Ozuna’s Twitter shows that she’s still looking hot and working in nightlife on the Strip. Meanwhile, gossip king Perez Hilton described Bieber’s year as a “tsunami wave of scandal.”

Which Las Vegas personality might get in a spat with Anthony Bourdain? Food critic John Curtas got heat in 2012 for “Steakgate” (look it up), and the R-J called down the thunder in 2013 with a Norm Clarke column that reported grumblings by former mayor Oscar Goodman over Bourdain’s alleged lateness for a taping of his CNN show, Parts Unknown. Bourdain’s response boiled down to: “I am guilty of many sins. Keeping people waiting is not one of them.” Even when he’s pissed off, we find Bourdain sharp and hilarious. So we almost hope there’s another dustup on the horizon.

What will happen to the CAC? Now that the financially struggling Contemporary Arts Center is regrouping in a donated space, board members are looking at options for moving forward. While a permanent home is still up in the air, the 25-year-old nonprofit still seems committed to being an exhibiting organization, dedicated to sophisticated programming—even if that means pop-up shows in temporary spaces.

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