El Mentalista Mexicano celebrates 100th show at Planet Hollywood
June 25, 2018 10:17 AM
by Robert Mann
Santiago Michel, “El Mentalista Mexicano” (the Mexican Mentalist) has celebrated his 100th show on the Las Vegas Strip.
Beginning in December, Michel’s mind-reading performance, Ilusión Mental, uniquely performed entirely in Spanish, runs at 5:30 p.m. four nights a week at Planet Hollywood’s Sin City Theater. Industry observers, including Michel’s former UNLV instructor, David G. Schwartz, Director of the Center for Gaming Research & instructor at UNLV, note that potential for Spanish-language entertainment in Las Vegas, is significant.
Schwartz says his former student’s show is the first totally in-Spanish permanent show on the Las Vegas Strip and thus, at the age of 24, Michel now has a place in the Las Vegas entertainment history.
Michel, who recently graduated, credits UNLV’s International Gaming Institute with assisting him in discovering that each year between 4.5 and 7.8 million Spanish-speaking visitors come to Las Vegas. “It helped us realize there was an untapped market,” he says.
Ilusión Mental audiences, Michel says, are primarily but not entirely Spansh-speaking with typically five to 10 percent of the audience not understanding Spanish, but on at least one occasion more than half of his audience did not speak the language.
Alex Meruelo, the new owner of the SLS Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, and a major regional entrepreneur, told the Los Angeles Times recently that the Hispanic market is underserved in Las Vegas and he plans better market to the Latin American community at his newly acquired property.
Significant among Meruelo’s many holdings under the name “The Mereulo Group”, is a major Spanish-language television station in Los Angeles, a Southern California Bank and the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.