Salute to Sinatra

Dec 11, 2001 7:33 AM

Without question, no entertainer has had a greater or more enduring impact on Las Vegas than Frank Sinatra. In honor of the legendary crooner, Las Vegas will celebrate Sinatra Day on Wednesday, Dec. 12, which would have been Sinatra’s 86th birthday.

“If anyone deserves his own day in Las Vegas, it is Frank Sinatra, who epitomized all the best of Las Vegas style and cool,” said Mayor Oscar Goodman at ceremonies last week. “Las Vegas wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for Frank Sinatra. He is synonymous with the city’s image. The ”˜chairman’ epitomized Las Vegas style.”

Goodman’s comments preceded awarding a proclamation and presenting a key to the city to Tina Sinatra, Frank’s youngest daughter.

“Of course, I knew her (Tina’s) dad very well, and some of the folks around her dad,” Goodman said with a smile, an obvious reference to some of his less-savory clients. “I have such wonderful memories of the icon who so symbolized Las Vegas.”

Tina Sinatra, fighting back tears, said she still feels “weird” three years after her father’s passing, but that she believes her father would have enjoyed campaigning for the city.

“We were approached about doing this campaign in the wake of the Sept. 11, so it was a big decision,” Tina Sinatra said. “But this is what my dad would have done. He would have stepped forward to lift spirits, to raise money for Las Vegas.

“He was a man of this world and he set standards for others to follow,” she continued. “More than anything, he enjoyed getting up every day and going to work.”

Lt. Governor Lorraine Hunt, on behalf of the state of Nevada and Governor Kenny Guinn, and Clark County Commissioner Mary Kincaid-Chauncey, on behalf of Clark County and as chair of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitor’s Authority, also presented proclamations to Tina at the press conference.

In conjunction with Sinatra Day, IGT will unveil the first-ever Sinatra Slots. The new Megajackpots, featuring four distinctive two-coin dollar Sinatra game designs and a $500,000 progressive top award, will make its world premier at the MGM Grand, Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, New York-New York, Golden Nugget and Primm properties.

The four game variations feature familiar IGT themes with designs capturing the singer in Las Vegas, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Sound bites of Sinatra talking to players along with Sinatra’s best-loved songs “Fly Me to the Moon,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “My Way” and “My Kind of Town” are also featured on the slots.

“What better way to honor Mr. Sinatra in Las Vegas than to celebrate his talent on a grand scale like this?” said Ed Rogich, vice president of marketing for IGT.

As part of the celebration, the MGM Grand and Sinatra Slots are sponsoring a free, ticketed concert starring the legend’s son, Frank Sinatra Jr. on Tuesday night (Dec. 11) in the MGM’s EFX Theater. Sinatra Sr. opened the MGM Grand’s Theater during Memorial Day weekend in 1994, marking his final Las Vegas performance.

A limited number of complimentary tickets will be distributed to the public on a first come, first serve basis.

On Wednesday, a number of activities will commemorate Sinatra Day, which will be marked by Strip marquees displaying the message “Happy Birthday Frank.”

Also, Sinatra Jr. will make the first pull on the Sinatra Slots at The Mirage and birthday cake and champagne will be served to guests in the casinos where the Sinatra Slots are located.

The fountains in front of the Bellagio will pay homage to the songster with music, lights and dancing water, while the Fremont Street Experience will play a custom-designed program on its 175,000-square-foot canopy of light and sound.

Additionally, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is releasing the CD, “Las Vegas Tribute to Frank Sinatra,” which features the song, “It’s Time for You.” The song provided inspiration for a series of television advertisements launched by the LVCVA this fall.