End Of An Era

I’m not much of a nightclub guy, but I’ve spent a few awesome nights at Rain Nightclub at Palms. It’s lasted a long time, but it closes for major renovations after this weekend. It will re-open as something different in the future, but it won’t be Rain.

The casino and 9Group announced Monday that Rain Nightclub will close early Sunday to make way for a multi-million dollar renovation….Renovations begin next year. The Rain announcement follows the closure in June of the Playboy Club at the Palms — also to allow space for renovations. New tenants haven’t been identified.

Rain opened in 2001, which is shortly before I first started visiting Las Vegas. At that time Rain was the only club to go to. While I’d rather eat, drink and gamble I could always take a short break from the tables to hang out with the good looking and famous people in Vegas.

I’ve written about seeing Britney Spears at Rain before so I won’t go into it again but it’s needless to say I’m listening to Britney while I write this.

There are many places in Las Vegas that are tied to very specific memories that are amazing parts of life. Rain was a part of some of those Vegas memories that I’ll never forget and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Rain will probably reopen as something awesome next year, but it doesn’t matter to me. I still have those awesome memories. I can’t imagine that the new Rain will challenge Marquee and XS for the current title of best clubs in Vegas. We’ll see.

The audio in the video below is not good quality, but that’s about how close I was when Britney first performed at Rain. If you can stomach her audio the fan reaction is awesome.

Cantor Gaming Adds Another Sportsbook In Las Vegas

Cantor Gaming Adds Another Sportsbook In Las Vegas..Blah Blah Blah. Instead of writing about each addition I figure I’ll give a guide to each Cantor Gaming sportsbook and list highlights.

  • Lagasse’s Stadium (Palazzo) – Restaurant, Bar, Stadium Seating, Mini Casino, Outdoor Billiards, Skyboxes. Easily the best sportsbook. Anywhere.
  • Venetian – Biggest and brightest sportsbook TV’s I’ve ever seen. A lot of room. Bar with video poker in back of book.
  • Tropicana – Huge with ample seating. Feels like mission control. Can enter without going into casino via MGM Grand bridge.
  • Cosmopolitan – This place is tiny and awkward. The only reason to go here is because it’s in Cosmo and close to Holsteins Burgers and Marquee.
  • Palms – Small and crowded sportsbook that has an adjoining poker room. If you don’t mind the click clack of chips in the background, this is fine.
  • Hard Rock – Small sportsbook that, besides football season, is never really crowded. Drink service is minimal so BYO.
  • MResort – This is where is all began for Cantor Gaming. With all of the new sportsbooks, this sportsbook looks and feels old. It can use an update.
  • Silverton – Silverton is considered a locals casino and is located between Mandalay Bay and M Resort. This sportsbook fits perfectly with the casino and is a sneaky great place to watch a game.

There are upsides to Cantor Gaming sportsbooks, like the new, beautiful television screens and nifty technology, but you will not receive a comp drink unless you’re betting $10,000 per game, you won’t receive any casino comps and you’ll be lucky to see a cocktail waitress walk by to get you a drink.

This list will be updated as Cantor Gaming adds more casinos.

Rumor: Britney Spears Making Vegas Her New Home?

Norm Clarke reported on a rumor likely to be true that Britney Spears will be following Motley Crue with a multi-week residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Britney Spears’ first multiweek deal as a Las Vegas resident headliner is being discussed with the Hard Rock Hotel.

Vegas Confidential has learned Hard Rock President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Pusateri and Spears’ manager, Larry Rudolph, have been talking.

Britney Spears isn’t quite rock music, but does it really matter any more? The theme’s of the hotels in Las Vegas, don’t really matter anymore. For years the Hard Rock has been playing non-rock music.

I’ve had a thing for Britney for years (you may know that already) and I hope this happens. My first run in with Britney was at Rain at Palms waaaaaaay back in the day when she did a few short 3 song sets preparing for a tour. My friends and I also met Paris Hilton that night. There may have been a Dennis Rodman sighting that night, but it may have been John Sally. Things got a little fuzzy.

Later, my friends and I saw her in New Jersey for the Onyx Hotel Tour. We tailgated for hours listening to Metallica and Slayer. It was awesome.

Britney had a breakdown shortly thereafter and was difficult to watch. The soft spot in my heart sunk. Watching her gaze without, seemingly, knowing where she was looking wasn’t easy to watch. In recent year her performances have been more sad than anything else.

I’m hoping that if this Hard Rock residency happens and is better than Motley Crue’s. I’m also hoping that it brings her closer to the performer I enjoyed back in the day. Watch the intro to the concert I saw (then “Toxic“) and tell me it isn’t awesome.

Rumor: Playboy Club Going to Cosmopolitan?

I don’t like passing on rumors, but if I see or hear the same rumor enough times I figure that there must be fire near all the smoke. The most recent rumor is that the Playboy Club, which is closing at Palms, will be re-opening next year at Cosmopolitan. First there was a comment on the story at the Las Vegas Sun and then there was a tweet from Global Gaming Biz, which also pointed to the story in the Sun. More recently the often inaccurate Robin Leach tweeted that he’s hearing the same rumor.

 

While the sources of this rumor aren’t the most reliable the addition of the Playboy Club to the Cosmopolitan doesn’t seem too far fetched given the recent changes going on at Cosmo. With the person that brought in all the “cool” entertainment recently leaving Cosmo and the addition of the EA Sports Bar the the hip factor seems to be leaving Cosmopolitan slowly, but surely.

The addition of the Playboy Club would fall in line with unhip, but seemingly popular addition of the EA Sports Bar. It would also continue the shift away from hip non-gamblers that are visiting the casino. While it may not be the most hip club and brand the Playboy Club was certainly popular and would draw a different demographic. Potentially a demographic of people that may gamble.

This is all just rumor from various places that don’t seem reputable, but the Playboy Club moving to Cosmopolitan seems very possible.

George Maloof: Chairman of the Board of the Palms

Good thing Matt Goss isn’t at Palms any longer or George Maloof may not be able to tell people that he’s the Chairman of the board a la Frank Sinatra.  George Maloof sheds (spins?) a little more information about TGP Partners owning 98% of the Palms in a Vegas Inc. interview today.

What about all of the speculation that Caesars Entertainment is taking control of the Palms?

When TPG got involved (with Caesars Entertainment) a couple of years ago, speculation was now that they own part of Caesars Entertainment, Caesars would own part of the Palms. But that’s not true. It’s not at all true. It’s never been true…..

….Do you still have full authority to run the Palms?

I’m in a management agreement, you could say, as chairman of the board of the Palms. I still have that authority.

I’m a skeptic by nature and while the Maloof’s have run Palms since they built it I still find it hard to believe that TGP won’t have Caesars take some part of management of the property at some point.

It would be really interesting to see the Maloof face working with the Caesars brand.  It doesn’t mix today, but it may make both stronger in the long run. Maybe he chose the words “Chairman of the board” as some kind of a subliminal message (I know that’s a stretch).

Frank Sinatra "Nothing But The Best"
Frank Sinatra "Nothing But The Best"

Maloofs Own Only 2% Of Palms

Last week I passed on info that Palms, in Las Vegas, received an injection of cash to help settle some of their debt problems.  Just a few days after the report that TGP Partners injected some money we all learn how much they and the Maloof‘s actually own.

The Maloof family will soon own just 2 percent of the Palms Casino, its trendy Las Vegas property, according to regulatory documents filed in Nevada….

….In an interview late Thursday, Maloof said the family could regain a more significant share – up to 20 percent – under buyback options granted by the creditors who are taking control…

….The casino’s creditors, investment firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, will own 49 percent each.

The Maloof’s seem to be only part of Palms in name, with a chance to still only be a part of it in name.  If each partner gives up 9% interest so the Maloof’s reach 20%, they’re still the smallest shareholder.

I’m not sure that Caesars Entertainment running the show at Palms will lead to profits, but it still seems as if it’s the next move when looking at TGP Capital’s (and Leonard Green & Partners) partners.

Palms One Step Closer To Caesars Management?

Yesterday Palms got a little help with their finances in exchange for controlling interest of their casino, hotel and spa in Las Vegas when the announced a partnership with TGP Capital (the folks who helped Caesars go private a few years back) and Leonard Green.

The deal between TPG Capital and the Palms has been rumored for months but not confirmed until today. In January, Bloomberg reported that the firms had acquired most of a loan for the casino last year and sources close to the deal said the company may take an equity stake in the first quarter as part of the restructuring.

TPG Capital, along with Apollo Global Management, took Caesars Entertainment (then Harrah’s Entertainment) private for $30.7 billion in January 2008.

Nothing in the initial releases points to takeover by Caesars, but it has been speculated for a while (initially by Steve Friess and The Strip Podcast) that a sale/partnership/takeover could end up with Caesars taking control of the property.

In this case it seems to reason that the money guys will bring in their favorite casino partners, Caesars, to help run day to day operations.

Of course, this opens the question of how soon will the “loosest slots in town” and great video poker pay tables switch to the mediocre Caesars numbers uses.  I think we have time here, but get ready.

New Britney Spears!

My taste in almost everything (besides steak) is questionable.  Since day one I’ve been a fan of Britney Spears. Not all of her music has been awesome and fun, but she will always have some JAMS.  This past weekend she was in Vegas, with some last minute hype for her new CD Femme Fatale.  She did 2 announcedsurprise” shows at Rain at Palms this weekend.  She did this 8 years ago, also at Rain, for In The Zone.  It really was unannounced back then and I was there.  It was awesome.

Surprisingly the people of Las Vegas (both media and humans) didn’t seem to know she’s been lip syncing this whole time.  It’s Britney Spears, if you don’t know that you’re either dumb or ignorant or both.  It doesn’t matter because she has JAMS!

Anyway, Britney may not be the highest quality musician or artist but there is a place for her in this world and in my life.  She will always have a special place in my heart because of the amazing night she and I spent together 8 years ago at Rain in Las Vegas and that will always be one of my favorite memories of my trips to Vegas.  Click the album cover below if you want to buy Femme Fatale on CD or download on iTunes.

Real World Las Vegas Starts Tonight!

Real World Las Vegas (Take 2) starts tonight on MTV.  I’m sure I’m more stoked than anyone else.  Instead of previewing the new cast I want to make sure everyone has their own copy of the original Real World Las Vegas on DVD because it’s a must have!  Click the image below if you need.  Tweet me with thoughts on the new cast!

Real World Las Vegas