ALADDIN SALE A MIRAGE! ”” Recent reports that a deal may be imminent at the Aladdin should be taken with a giant grain of salt, sources say.
"There are the same old tire kickers out there, but nothing’s happening,’’ said one well-connected pipe.
Though burdened with $400 million in debt, the resort is generating positive cash flow and operators see no need for a fire sale. Colony Capital’s $350 million bid went nowhere last March and Park Place says all’s quiet next door. Heck, even Donald Trump took a pass and settled for a stake in the Riviera. For now anyway, it’s business as usual at the Aladdin.
ROASTING ON HIS LAURELS: He’s like a little dynamo, always on the move, always planning something, always looking to provide a few laughs. That’s Bill Nolan, a Las Vegas gaming executive who through his 23 years in the business has never failed to offer a handshake and a warm hello to anyone he meets, whether chief executive officer or security guard.
Nolan, who has worn the pinstripes of several different casino operators during his career, has been minding his time since leaving the financially-troubled Aladdin, by caring for folks for the Maloof Sports & Entertainment Co. Treating "kings" at the Sacramento Kings games is right down Bill’s alley.
Recently, Nolan has been promoting the idea for a "Roast for Joe & Gavin Maloof." In generally outlining the affair, Nolan can barely reign in his enthusiasm. Nevertheless, mark your calendars for Oct. 5 if you enjoy laughing. MC for the affair will be the hilarious Joey Villa and special guests will include Paulie Shorr, Tom Arnold and host of others.
AMERICAN SUPERSTARS, ALL: Generally speaking, things haven’t changed much since The Stratosphere opened its impersonator show, "American Superstars" a few years ago. The surprising feature, however, is that the current "stars" are still packing them in.
Last Wednesday, before a full house, the cast went through their routine of impersonating Ricky Martin, Elvis, Madonna, Charlie Daniels, Christina Aguilera and Michael Jackson, much to the delight of an appreciative audience.
The impersonators Michael Colby, Darren Lee, Coty Alexander, Johnny Potash, Naomi Rodriguez and Damian Brantley, backed up by a bevy of beautiful dancers, each were received with hoots and hollers. But, two stopped the show. "Fast Fidler" Johnny Potash as Charlie Daniels and Damian Bradley, who outdoes Michael Jackson, had the audience on their feet.
The show makes no bones about being anything more than what it is: an evening of fun.
A PRINCE NO MORE: When Saudi Prince Ahmed Salman’s 2001 Horse of the Year honors with his sensational three-year-old Point Given, he was hailed by the thoroughbred industry for his contributions to the sport.
But two things happened before the 2002 Kentucky Derby came around: First, the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, conducted by a large majority of Saudi Arabian natives, and second, Salman reached deep into his pocket to pay $900,000 for 90% of the Illinois Derby winner, War Emblem.
After War Emblem won the Kentucky Derby, the reaction was less enthusiastic than it had been for Point Given’s successes a year earlier in the Preakness and Belmont. Same lackluster reaction in Maryland. But War Emblem’s winning of the first two legs of the Triple Crown posed a dilemma for the N.Y. Racing Association as host of the Belmont Stakes. As much as the racing industry wanted a Triple Crown winner, New York, still feeling the effects of the World Trade Center attacks, wasn’t ready to warmly greet a Saudi Arabian national.
Salman, who died Monday of a heart attack at the age of 43 solved the problem by suggesting that important business in his homeland would keep him from attending the Belmont Stakes. He stayed home and War Emblem didn’t make the board. Sad ending all around.
NEW STATION HEADED FOR SUMMERLIN: Station casinos on Monday announced the planned purchase of 73 acres in Summerlin for about $65 million. The site, which is located at Charleston Blvd. and the Interstate 215-Charleston interchange, is earmarked for another fantastic Stations resort casino, perhaps along the lines of its upscale Green Valley Ranch in Henderson.
"We believe this is the best site in the Las Vegas Valley for the development of a locals-oriented regional entertainment complex," said Stations chairman and CEO Frank Fertitta III.
The new casino will be part of the Summerlin Centre, which will also feature an eight-acre Central Park, a 1.5 million square foot regional mall, an office district with high-rises, a high-density residential district and two traditional suburban residential developments.
PALMS PROWLING FOR CHICK SINGERS: Female musicians looking to showcase their talents should check out the Palms Casino Resort. Starting Monday, Chick Singer Night will take place at 8 p.m. in the Palapa Lounge, and will continue the first Monday of each month for the next three months at the Palms. CSN is open to the public and is free of charge.
The format is a simple one: Singers of all levels of experience, from the aspiring beginner to the seasoned professional, are invited to sing any style of music. On any given night, the CSN stage can feature jazz, rock, R&B, country, musical theatre and original material. Each singer runs her songs with the CSN band. Later that evening they hit the stage and give the performance of a lifetime.
Chick Singer Night, while offering fresh talent a start, is also another in the growing number of methods that Palms owner George Maloof can become the new Hugh Hefner! It will be interesting to see what comes next in the Chick Parade!