The city of Las Vegas will receive $800,000 in grant money to restore the iconic La Concha Motel Lobby, listed on the City’s Historic Register, to be used as the Visitor’s Center of the Neon Museum. The mid-century modern masterpiece was slated for destruction when local activists raised a fuss and enough money to save the swooping seashell shaped building, designed by architect Paul Revere Williams, the first African American admitted into the American Institute of Architects. Williams also designed the Beverly Hills Hotel and the futuristic, spidery LAX-themed building at the LA airport.
The Neon museum rescues discarded neon signs, most of which rest at the “Boneyard,” a vacant lot filled with fantastic lighted signs that await the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to restore them. Repaired signs are scattered throughout downtown Las Vegas and lit nightly.
The museum sits along the Las Vegas Boulevard Scenic Byway. Three newly refurbished neon signs are scheduled to be added to the median in late 2009. www.neonmuseum.org.
From pirates to sirens to high tech amenities, TI continues to reinvent itself. The new rooms feature dark woods and earth tones splashed with accents of red, lime, yellow and orange and crisp white linens wrapping TI pillow-top mattresses. Like many hotels, the signature bedding can be purchased after a night or two of trying them out. Not a bad way to test market your new mattress. Check out electronics at the same time. The rooms offer a 26-inch flat-screen TV, MP3/iPod-compatible clock-radios and high speed internet access (for an additional charge).
Get rid of your blues each Friday night at Jerry’s Nugget when they offer a rotating lineup of the best Motown acts in Las Vegas inside the Royal Street Theater. On Saturdays, the theater converts to Latin music with the best in Latin pop, salsa and Regional Mexican. Shows are from 10 p.m. – 2 p.m. and have a two drink minimum. 21 and above. $5 cover charge for Motown Fridays; $10 cover for Latin Explosion (single ladies $5). Jerry’s Nugget Casino, 1821 Las Vegas Blvd. N, 702-399-3000.
With the Strip full of cowboys and your shopping bag full of presents, now is a great time to indulge in the flavorful concoctions at the off-Strip spas. One of our favorite is the Cocoa and Spice Treatments at Aquae Sulis Spa at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa (877-869-8777). Choose from a facial, manicure and pedicure package or detoxify your entire system with a whole body treatment that begins with a Cranberry Pomegranate Sugar Scrub, moves to a Pumpkin Cream and Hungarian Cocoa Powder body wrap and ends with a massage using Sugar Plum Souffle Cream. Cardamom essential oils and green tea extract help pull the built up toxins from your system.
Spa experts say getting rid of toxins can help alleviate aches and pains, and I can attest to the validity of that concept. After indulging in my heat wrap that smelled deliciously of cocoa, my joints seemed to move better as well as offer less pain. Many believe that detoxification wraps should be done at the change of each season to prepare your body for the coming changes. With the winter solstice approaching, what better excuse does one need?
As the National Finals Rodeo opens in Vegas today, expect the Strip to be full of cowboy hats and boots. The premier rodeo event of the year celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and will provide a welcome boost in tourist dollars. Expect the Strip to return the favor, modifying shows to reflect cowboy tastes. Lounges will be filled with country music, restaurants will beef up their beef and comedians will fill their repertoire with jokes that include boots and the stuff that sticks to them.
The seven events attract 175,000 visitors over 10 nights. 120 bullriders, calf ropers, bronco busters and steer wranglers compete for $5.625 million in prize money. Make no mistake, however. This is one of the most dangerous sports. In 2007 the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund helped injured cowboys and their families to a tune of $4.6 million. (100 percent of contributions goes to eligible applicants.)
Tickets sell out months in advance, but each year unused tickets are available for resale at the ticket booth at the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center (and at exorbitant rates through scalpers). While you are there, browse the hundreds of booths selling cowboy regalia at a premium. Those in the know head over to Boot City, where cowboy equipment, clothing and stuff is sold year round.
Modern-day swing kings Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (BBVD) are returning to Ovation after performing at the venue’s opening in summer 2007. The band formed in Los Angeles in 1989 by bandleader Scotty Morris as a jazz, blues and swing trio that included drummer Kurt Sodergren. In the years to come, they formed the remainder of the now swing band, playing swing music reminiscent of the ‘40s and ‘50s. In the mid-‘90s, the band released two albums, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Watchu’ Want for Christmas?, under their own label Big Bad Records. In 1996, the band received their big break when they appeared in the movie "Swingers" as the Derby Band and performed two of their songs, "You & Me & the Bottle Makes Three Tonight (Baby)" and "Go Daddy-O." The band then received a record deal with Capitol Records and has since released multiple albums and has continued to tour extensively. In their latest tour, they are premiering songs from their upcoming Cab Calloway tribute album, as well as performing music from the 2004 BBVD holiday album, Everything You Want for Christmas.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Holiday Concert
Date: Friday, December 19, 2008, at 8 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $34.95, $44.95 and $54.95 plus tax and applicable fees
All ages welcome- Under 21 must be accompanied by an adult
Head off the strip to the Station Casino brand for great local bands and visiting bands at bargain prices. The Railhead at Boulder Station always offers a top notch line up for the price of a drink. Thursdays feature Boulder Blues at the Railhead (all ages) are a local favorite. Free; those under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.
Ovation at Green Valley Ranch (21 and up) at Steel Panther from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 80’s glam metal parity band, hair band Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, great fun and rauncy humor. Free. Ages 21 and up.
The Chrome Room, Sante Fe Station features Purple Reighn, a Prince Tribute band, every Saturday night. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. (ages 21 and up) with $5 cover charge.
Yellow Brick Road, a great tribute band that harnesses the sounds of Robert Plant, Jimmy Hendrix and other classic rock stars from the golden age of rock play each Saturday at Access Showroom inside the new Aliante Station. Doors open at 10 p.m. Free for Boarding Pass members, $5 for all others (ages 21 and up).
Sunset Station’s Club Madrid features ENVY, a contemporary hits and hip hop cover band, each Saturday at 11 p.m.. Free. Ages 21 and up.
This guest post comes from Mary Jo Manzanares, Travel & Culture Channel Editor and blogger at Flyaway Cafe.
I wnet to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, while waiting to attendd a performance of Ka (a Cirque du Soleil performance).
Since I had about an hour to spare before meeting a friend to see the performance, and because I was looking for a quiet place to have a drink – away from the craziness, noise, and frenetic energy of the casino – and so I chose L’ Atelier du Joel Robuchon.
Walking to the door, I …read more
Today’s guest post is from Mary Jo Manzanares, Travel & Culture Channel Editor and travel blogger at Flyaway Cafe.
Bing, bing, bing. . . the bells, whistles, and bumpers of pinballs fill the air at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, while on display is the world’s largest pinball collection.
Established as a non-for-profit corporation, the museum showcases games from the 60’s to the present. It’s pure pinball, so deposit your coin and see if you can play well enough to rack up those additional games. The museum is family-friendly (no violent games allowed), and prices for the games …read more
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