From last year's 15 "winners," surprisingly, only two have gone by the wayside while another is on its way out: the Chuck Jones Experience (sadly), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Trop's Mob Attraction. A batting average right at the Mendoza Line; one that makes us cheer for the real survivors, but one that won't
make us feel sick prevent us from listing some repeat offenders.
KISS MONSTER MINI-GOLF
No one figured the off-Strip KISS Monster Mini-Golf would have a shelf-life longer than Gene Simmons' tongue. Don't get us wrong. Golfers have had great feedback on the joint, but most also comment how empty it was during their round. Exhibit A: a reader last year whose wife hates the band, but loved the themed mini-golf; yet they still couldn't see it lasting three more months. Empty usually doesn't equal longevity. Exhibit B: Goretorium.
The Facebook and Yelp pages for Exposed Salon may be dead, but this spot at the Plaza keeps on serving up trims, skimpy clothed haircuts, and Harlem Shake Videos. If we want to get technical, the salon actually did close after their inclusion last year, re-opening in March of this year under new ownership and management. A counter on their website even tracks the number of visitors (all-time is at 19,911). Yes, folks, sex sells. Even at Plaza.
ROCK OF AGES
Last year, we called out the Bourbon Room at Venetian. Now, we shift our focus to the musical that inspired it, Rock of Ages. We recommended the show, but for us it was a one and done. So far, enough one-timers have kept the Venetian showroom a rockin', but for how much longer?
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
As fans of the touring version that came to The Smith Center, news of a permanent Million Dollar Quartet here in Las Vegas got us more excited than hopefuls at a Jerry Lee Lewis tryout. Honestly, we expected them to post up at the Venetian who had recently lost Jersey Boys and Phantom. Perhaps, Wynn. Mirage even. Still, we withheld judgement. But, after seeing the show at Harrah's, we just didn't think it had legs. Yet, eight months later, there's still a whole lotta shakin' goin' on. "Some healthy houses" have been reported recently, but when a show like this resorts to endless guest appearances, it causes worry.
Taking an ultra sexy Playboy Playmate of the Year and frequent Holly's World guest star and naming her headliner in a sexy Vegas show sounds like a reasonable recipe for success. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough of Claire Sinclair's personality on stage, or literally much of her at all, and even less flesh. In other words, the anti-thesis of a Playmate headlining a pseudo burlesque-y show. The show has since been revamped some, including the introduction of pasties, but still no (tasteful) nudes. Perhaps the loss of Peepshow will keep Sinclair's skin in the game, but for how long?
After Carlos'n Charlie's ate up half the Flamingo sportsbook, we stopped in looking for a fiesta, but instead found a siesta. We've since revisited at night, during the day, midweek, and weekends. Each time it felt as if we'd just missed a bad standup comic who'd gotten booked at a funeral. Maybe our timing has been continually unlucky, but for our party money, we'll continue to point visitors over to Senor Frog's, ironically owned by the same parent company.
We're admittedly huge fans of Elvis. Yes, we've TCB'd at Graceland. And, believe it or not, we're big proponents of Binion's. So, how did downtown's two-month-old King's Ransom tribute make the list? Despite somewhat uncomfortably swallowing half of (admittedly, underused) space in the rear of Binion's, foot traffic has continued to walk by versus in. At least during our past couple of observational stops. We don't doubt the amazeballs factor of what's inside, but wonder if enough ticket-paying customers will keep the lights on. That a Groupon is already being offered usually isn't a good sign. We hope there's a home for this exhibit here in Vegas, we just aren't sure the current footprint is it.
No, not all of Sugar Factory. But shouldn't at least one location have closed by now? New outlets have popped up around Las Vegas the past couple years like... well... candy. It feels like there's now one in every mall, hotel, and casino. And, if not Sugar Factory, another candy store. Does the Strip have that big of a sweet tooth? Even we can pass by a Starbucks once in awhile without Venti-ing up. Can the candy king just keep expanding?
Do you agree or disagree with our 2013 list of Surprise! We're Still Open? Who did we miss? Let us know! Or, play another fun game with us: Which three original businesses in the Linq will be the first to close? No, we aren't
always pessimists, just realists that not everything can last forever. Refresh yourself with the coming tenants starting with our past reports.
[Photos: Exposed Salon: Dr Adam P.Z.; Pin Up: Stratosphere; All others: VegasChatter]