A few weeks ago, I revealed that Binion’s owner Terry Caudill and his partner Big Daddy Carlos were planning major renovations and upgrades to their downtown area hotels with help from Hollywood celebrity friends including Jack Nicholson and Dan Aykroyd. Now it looks as if movie star Vince Vaughn will be the first to participate in this new roll of the dice.
I have learned exclusively that the comedy actor spent hours walking up and down Fremont Street and the neighboring spots checking out properties and looking at spaces for a business opportunity. One night, Vince stayed up late enough to monitor the action right through to the pre-dawn hours. I am reliably told that there may well be a Vince Vaughn concept in downtown’s future.
Wicked whispers & racy rumors
I’ve learned that a controversial nightlife czar who left Las Vegas amid an IRS investigation of one empire to open a new nightspot in Manhattan is back in town with plans to handle the marketing of a new nightspot at MGM’s CityCenter when it opens New Year’s Eve. He already has quietly become involved with retail outlets at The Mirage and at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile. … Also, what noted restaurateur is involved in a divorce that includes an international child custody feud with his wife who wants their young kids raised in Europe and not in Las Vegas. … Believe it or not, but the travel division of Costco is offering a package to a new Strip hotel property at a cut-rate price of $230 for two nights, including the airfare!!! ... Donny Osmond has confirmed that the celebrities and pro dancers on Dancing With the Stars get tan spray-painted before each TV appearance to give them that “extra glow.” “It’s an interesting experience to go into a booth and strip down as she takes the spray gun to my body like paint on the wall,” he joked. Donny also had revealed that although he and Marie have taped their Flamingo show, there is no set date for its DVD release, but we can see certain segments on his Web site DonnyOsmond.com.
*Birthday greetings to Fantasy headliner Angelica Bridges. Luxor President Felix Rappaport joined the Fantasy cast onstage to present the former Baywatch beauty and Playboy cover girl with a bouquet of flowers, a Tiffany pendant and a beautiful cake. We’d also like to welcome Angelica as our newest Twitter follower -- No. 3,390!
*Legendary comedian Don Rickles, who has starred in Las Vegas theaters longer than any other performer, has signed for a third consecutive year with The Orleans. He will launch his 51st consecutive year as a Las Vegas headliner in his first 2010 scheduled engagement on Feb. 20 and 21. It was back in 1957 when Frank Sinatra wandered into a small Hollywood nightclub where Don was performing. The still-unknown Don eyed Sinatra and said, “I just saw your movie, The Pride and the Passion, and I want to tell you, the cannon’s acting was great. And, make yourself at home, Frank. Hit somebody.” Sinatra doubled up laughing and became one of Don’s biggest boosters among Hollywood celebrities.
“We’re proud of our long-standing relationship with Don and thrilled to have him with Boyd Gaming for more than 10 years now,” said Terry Jenkins, Boyd Gaming corporate director of entertainment. “He’s the consummate Las Vegas showroom star and funnier than ever.”
Don had his own take on the new contract:” The Orleans Showroom always reminds me of the golden days in Las Vegas. It generates the warmth of that great era that featured the likes of Frank Sinatra. And, the accommodations at the hotel are just terrific. This year I understand they’ll be giving me a room that even has a sink and shower.”
*Today, some 100 at-risk students from After-School All-Stars and disadvantaged senior citizens will enjoy a Thanksgiving lunch served by Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, hotel mogul Elaine Wynn and Strip performers including Holly Madison and Josh Strickland of Peepshow; Jeff Leibow, Rick Faugno, Travis Cloer and Deven May of Jersey Boys; and Anthony Crivello, Kristi Holden and Andrew Ragone of Phantom -- The Las Vegas Spectacular. The traditional Thanksgiving will be served at Le Cordon Bleu’s fine-dining, student-run restaurant Cafe Bleu. More than one dozen chefs and students from the culinary school are involved in preparing and serving the meal.
*The new Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar has opened at Town Square after 17 years of other locations across America. On the debut night here, musicians Matt Newbold, Cristine Cochrane, Joel Henry and Dean Edwards took part in the entertainment.
American Idol Season 6 runner-up and dance music artist Blake Lewis hosted at Tao’s Worship party in The Venetian after dinner at Tao. It was 1 a.m. when Blake grabbed the microphone and beat boxed before performing his single “Binary Love” from his new album Heartbreak on Vinyl for a crowd that included adult film star Stormy Daniels with a group drinking champagne. … My I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here pal choreographer Cris Judd was at Lavo in the Palazzo with members of his touring dance show. Cris was celebrating his engagement to girlfriend Kelly Wolfe that we recently reported. The group enjoyed a feast that included Kobe meatballs and Oreo Zeppole. The happy couple was the subject of a drinking game where they answered questions about each other, hoping their answers matched. … Rapper Lil’ Jon was a bling fashion statement with his large gold chains at dinner in Lavo enjoying shrimp cocktail, chicken marsala, Budweiser and Don Julio tequila before heading upstairs to the nightclub. In the nightclub was Hollywood Undead celebrating lead singer Charlie Scene’s 27th birthday and porn princess Stormy Daniels’ romance with their drummer Glendon Crain. Blonde bombshell Megan Hauserman of VH1’s Megan Wants a Millionaire also was in the party crowd. … Playboy beauty queen and entertainer Kari Ann Peniche was at The Playboy Club and Moon. She wore a black mini-dress and posed for photos with the Playboy Bunnies before heading up to Moon. … Former MLB player Rollie Fingers had dinner at N9NE Steakhouse with former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian and enjoyed the seafood platter, rib eye with lobster mashed potatoes and sea bass for dinner. MMA star Joe Stevenson was at a VIP table inside Ghostbar at the Palms taking in the view of the Strip with friends. … Jerry Springer dropped by Cabo Wabo for a quick 30-minute lunch reading the paper while enjoying Sammy Hagar’s signature taco salad. It was his third visit to the Cantina since it opened two weeks ago.
Comedienne Maryellen Hooper is this week’s headliner at Harrah’s Improv through Sunday. Her supporting acts are Darryl Lenox and Kenny Kane. Maryellen was named Best Female Stand-Up at the 12th Annual American Comedy Awards. Her first comedy CD -- aptly titled Dignity Under Duress -- has just been released on Uproar.
Our full, four-day ROYAL ROBIN RUNDOWN guide to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, plus our full dance floor report with the Dancing With the Stars new champion. We’ll check in on Top Chef Las Vegas to see if it will be an all-male final showdown and post our Peter Max interview as he arrives in town.
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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