In the spotlight this week, Very Bad Things: Though we’d never claim the title of this pitch-black comedy as a marketing slogan, it’s an apt description of what develops in this vicious 1998 thriller that is more or less The Hangover in hell. A cast including Jon Favreau, Cameron Diaz, Christian Slater, Jeremy Piven, Daniel Stern and Jeanne Tripplehorn topline this tale — about a third of which was filmed here — in which a group of party-hearty pals invade Vegas for a bachelor party. However, when a prostitute is killed, bodies begin piling up and buddies turn on each other as a coverup escalates. But hey — we do get to enjoy scenes including the merriment on Fremont Street and the vistas of Red Rock Canyon.
Sinatra’s martini glass? Liberace’s rings-’n-things? Dino’s hangover cure? Sorry, not here, gang. True, those Strip heroes swung hard and played harder to turn Las Vegas into Vegas, baby! They never rocked, though. Certainly, they never Hard-Rocked.
Which is why, in this Hard-Rockin’ room, you’ll instead find James Brown’s “SEX” jumpsuit and Pete Townshend’s smashed-in-half stage axe. Not to mention (fine, we’ll mention it) Britney’s come-hither schoolgirl outfit in which she channeled the spirit of Nabokov’s Lolita into a 3-1/2-minute pop-anthem video, triggering worldwide leers.
View it, baby, one more time. Right here.
An ethereal performance of “Free Fallin’” secured Las Vegas native Kiara Brown a spot on a team on NBC’s The Voice. Now it’s on to the Battle Rounds (beginning Oct. 14), and the 22-year-old singer-songwriter can’t wait to show off the power of her voice and the depth of her heart.
She was one minute, 26 seconds into Tom Petty’s classic during her Blind Audition, a virtual eternity for a singer eagerly waiting for a coach, when Blake Shelton pressed the button to turn around, followed by Gwen Stefani. Brown soon finished, joy and a sense of relief palpable through the TV screen. Backstage, her parents Valauna and John Brown, brother Jaylen Brown, aunt Jeani and uncle Brandon Spencer beamed as she chose to be on Stefani’s team.
“Free Fallin’” is a song Brown has performed often on Las Vegas stages throughout her youth. She was comfortable with the choice, but she knew it had drawbacks.
It’s hard to imagine a better location for a wedding industry trade show than the wedding capital of the world. After all, everybody loves coming to Las Vegas, whether or not they have marriage on their minds. That’s what organizers of the Wedding MBA show discovered when they made the decision to move it here, from Phoenix, in the convention’s early years.
“It was a real game-changer for us,” says Shannon Underwood, conference director of Wedding MBA (Merchants Business Academy). The move “helped boost attendance, and people were really excited to visit Las Vegas.”
More than $1 billion in economic impact will be pumped into Southern Nevada coffers thanks to a new agreement between the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to bring the latter’s yearly International Builders’ Show (IBS) to the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) annually for 13 consecutive years.
“For us, this is a no-brainer,” says NAHB CEO Jerry Howard. “You have the greatest convention facility in the world, which you’re making even better, in the greatest convention city in the world. Why wouldn’t we want to come here permanently?”
Starting in 2027 and stretching through 2039, the new deal is expected to generate an estimated $1.26 billion for the region. The agreement extends the long association between the NAHB and Las Vegas, which has hosted the show 19 out of the past 43 years that the show has traveled around the country, already having brought more than $1 billion to the local economy.
A cool California chick, Alexandria “Alex” Sandoval French began her career at Treasure Island as a bus person in Starbucks. About six months later, she was promoted to Starbucks fountain worker.
Alex has been described as a natural-born leader who leads by example and goes above and beyond expectations. Because of her hard work and attention to detail, Alex was recommended by the Starbucks district manager to be the sole trainer for the TI Starbucks team.
In the spotlight this week, Mecum Auto Auctions, Muscle Cars & More: Las Vegas Live. Auto aficionados, start you collective — and collector — engines as Mecum Auctions return to the Las Vegas Convention Center for its third annual confab here, Oct. 10-12, 2019. Rev up your eyeballs to ogle approximately 1,000 in all manner of collector cars (including an unrestored 1971 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T, a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 and a 1970 Pontiac Trans Am) and 400-plus “road art” items (vintage signs, coolers, gas pumps, clocks, large-scale neon signs and more) on the auction block.
Win began her security career with MGM Resorts International in 2008 as a construction security officer, where she demonstrated a high level of customer service and security acumen with every interaction and assignment. Because of her phenomenal performance, Win was promoted to security special events and projects supervisor in 2015.
In its seventh outing, the Life is Beautiful Festival offered countless opportunities for photos of fun and frolic amid the music, art and culinary experiences that filled 18 blocks in Downtown Las Vegas on Sept. 20-22. Performances by Billie Eilish, Chance the Rapper, The Black Keys and Post Malone provided the soundtrack to moments like this one.
Nevadans who want to commemorate the strength of the Las Vegas community, support the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center and remember the victims of the 1 October 2017 tragedy, can now purchase “Forever Strong” specialty license plates at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Created by the DMV in coordination with Clark County, the specialty tags feature the black-and-gold-heart logo designed by R&R Partners for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (which produces Las Vegas Newswire) on a gold gradient background. The word “Nevada” is centered at the top of the plate and “Forever Strong” is centered at the bottom.
On a recent weekday morning, inside a big, rust-colored building in North Las Vegas, about a dozen students are training for one of the most in-demand jobs in the valley.
They make and remake beds, fold towels, vacuum carpets and scrub bathrooms. They meet in “classrooms” designed to look like hotel suites and named for properties, miles away on the glamorous Las Vegas Strip, in which they hope to soon be employed — MGM, Caesars, Tropicana and Bellagio among them.
Landing these jobs shouldn’t be a problem.
“Our students, they come over here and within four days they already have jobs waiting for them,” says Nancy Cor, senior housekeeping instructor for the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas. “We train them to be successful.”
In the spotlight: Bugsy, Now You See Me and Fright Night. Bugsy — First, the minuses: You won’t see much of honest-to-goodness Las Vegas in director Barry Levinson’s 1991 gangster epic that purports to chronicle Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s rise in our town and his “creation” of the Flamingo hotel-casino.