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The Devil will direct a Las Vegas stripper show for charity.
Stick with us. This will all start to make sense in a moment.
Las Vegas is very much like a cruise ship. Thousands of tourists hop on board for a few nights of partying, dining, and frolicking before returning to their everyday lives. And, just like on those seafaring vessels, talented performers from around the world provide the entertainment.
Ryan Lyons is one such individual. A native of Windsor, Ontario, he relocated to Las Vegas in 2005 to help launch Le Reve - The Dream at the soon-to-open Wynn. After nine years and more than four thousand performances, many original cast members have disembarked and moved on to other adventures. But Lyons, a gymnast and tumbler who represented his homeland in international competitions, has made Las Vegas his permanent residence.
Our tour of Bally Technologies has revealed some numbers and poked around where the creative secret sauce is made. But, how does all that translate into what gamblers might see and touch on the casino floor?
At this year's CES (Consumer Electronics Show), we were beside ourselves over the possibilities new curved displays could bring to Vegas casinos. It was an even shorter wait than we anticipated. Already arriving on gaming floors over the past month are Bally Wave machines that house 40-inch wave displays. (See what they did there?) Bally Technologies is the first and (currently) only manufacturer to utilize these new displays. In some circles, that's pimped as an exclusive. In fact, this whole series is an exclusive while being a first look for many of you, too. Yeah, we said it. Now, scope out the slick curves in contrast to traditional displays on these babies below.
First, facts and figs culled from a tour of Bally Technologies' Las Vegas headquarters were thrown your way. We like a lucky number as much as the next guy, just maybe not quite as much as this guy. Yet, for others, the first sight of any statistic gets your head spinning faster than the roulette wheel we found on Bally's manufacturing floor. Generally, 75% of the time we're chomping at the bit to learn how 90% of gizmos work and where 9 out of 10 gadget ideas originate. So, when Bally offered to take us into the belly of the beast where ideas are born and games take shape, the smart money knew we were 100% on board.
As noted in part one of our tour notes, game ideas are only solicited from bona-fide Bally Tech employees. So, that idea for a George Costanza slot shouting "You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister!" or "Excuse me, I think you forgot my bread" won't make you famous. At least through any machines with a Bally logo on it.
Ever wonder what it takes to really get a slot machine from an idea to gaming floors worldwide? Curious where to submit that killer slot idea that's been spinning around your head? We took a fascinating tour of Bally Technologies headquarters right here in Las Vegas near McCarran Airport to answer those very questions and more.
Today, we'll share some facts, stats and stories relayed by our tour guide, Manager of Corporate Communications for Bally Tech, Mike Trask. We learned a few things and expect many readers will, too. But, if facts and figures make your head spin, come back later this week for fewer numbers, more pictures and stories.
Vegas Confessions / Behind The Scenes / Le Reve / Tours / Wynn / Wynn Las Vegas / Shows / Entertainment / → All Tags
Recently, we told you about the upcoming backstage tours at Le Reve: The Dream at Wynn Las Vegas. What we didn’t explore was the fact that “we” is actually a “me.” And, while reporting on the new attraction, I was struggling to keep my Clark Kent glasses in place and my secret identity concealed. You see, I am the world’s biggest Le Reve freak (or geek?). Not even sure what to call myself.
I want to revisit the day of my advance personal tour. Not as @sammasseur, writer for VegasChatter, but as Sam Novak, Le Reve’s most extreme fan. Unashamed, unabashed, and ready to let my geek-dom shine. This is how my dream came true.
Humorous head horticulturist spreads seasonal smiles.
Try saying that three times quickly. It does, however, help to have a sense of humor when tackling a large and important task. Whistle while you work, a spoonful of sugar... whatever it takes to get the job done. The man behind the enormous floral displays within Bellagio's Conservatory seems to have taken those kernels of advice to heart, and shared a wonderful sense of humor during this writer's recent visit to his “Merry Winter Wonderland."
Behind The Scenes / Le Reve / Tours / Wynn / Wynn Las Vegas / Shows / Entertainment / → All Tags
The Wynn Las Vegas aquatic spectacular Le Reve - The Dream has set itself apart from its Cirque du Soleil roots from the very beginning. With an up-close and intimate theater-in-the-round setting and the use of contemporary music, English language lyrics and identifiable characters, the show is something much grander than just a cousin to "O."
After a rocky start and many changes by director Franco Dragone, choreographapher Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Steve Wynn himself, it is now among one of the best tickets in town. Starting this month, Le Reve will pull back the curtain and uncover the inner workings of its world of dreams. And, this is one new Vegas attraction you won’t want to miss.
Behind The Scenes / Ads / Tix4Tonight / Tickets / Avant Garde / Best Little Whorehouse In Texas / Anthony Cools / Entertainment / Openings / Closings / Rick Thomas / Show Tickets / Saxe Theater / Show Coupons / Show Openings / Fees / Vegas Residencies / → All Tags
"The casino realized there are so many entertainers wanting to have a place to perform that they started charging rent for the room. Somewhere along the way, the casinos stopped connecting the dots between the show and the casino."
An empty theater is dead space, and casinos are eager to make it work for them. In the past, a casino had one showroom and one headliner that created a packaged brand. Now, there are dozens of shows, sometimes competing for the same audience. There is no formula to guarantee a hit -- even Cirque du Soleil has failed twice on The Strip in recent years, despite millions of dollars of start-up cash. So, what do you do when you're an unknown talent with a dream of stardom?
Behind The Scenes / Ads / Entertainment / Closings / Rick Thomas / Show Tickets / Saxe Theater / Show Coupons / Show Openings / Fees / Openings / Vegas Residencies / → All Tags
“Las Vegas show business is a business that has a huge hill to climb before the curtain ever goes up. Wish it would be like the "good old days" when the town was more "organized" and they paid the entertainers...”
Should you care what it takes to put on a show when you just want to be entertained? That depends on your perspective. In an era of music file-sharing, bootleg DVDs, and $30 million movie star salaries, we probably don’t care about the financial well-being of performers. But, live performance is different from listening to the radio. It’s communal -- a shared experience between the entertainers and a group of strangers that come together in the dark. For it to continue, it has to be profitable. Therein lies the challenge of today’s Vegas entertainer. We spoke to six current and former headliners to get a little insight, and they were very candid about the difficulties they face. We aren't mentioning any names, venues or shows to protect their identities.
Some live for Shark Week, others crave Restaurant Week. For Vegas show lovers that can't get enough Cirque du Soleil in their daily diet, the fourth installment of Cirque Week returns this November. Tickets put you behind the scenes of any (or all, if you choose) of the eight Las Vegas Cirque productions for "once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience the music, mystical characters and state-of-the art technology."
Speaking of once in a lifetime, read about VegasChatter's Cirque Week experiences with KA, Mystere and O last year. Or, what we learned in 2011 from Cirque Week. A little tongue-in-cheek aside, these behind-the-scenes events do offer a rare chance to peek behind the curtain of some amazing productions.
New to the mix this year is, of course, Michael Jackson ONE with a choreography lesson that is capped to 200 guests. In other words, if you want to walk the (moon)walk, you'd better talk the talk with your wallet sooner rather than later. The full list of events is below. Tickets are $100 to $585, plus the customary taxes and fees. To purchase or for more info, visit CirqueWeek.com.
Downtown / Room Renovations / Golden Nugget / Downtown Vegas / Aquariums / Behind The Scenes / → All Tags
A month ago, it debuted newly remodeled Gold Club accommodations in the Rush Tower. Accessed by key card only, the new digs now offer a more manly palette of dark brown, tan and crisp white. (See what they looked like before here.) Rooms also feature plasma screen televisions, too. A standard room is shown above while a suite and a bathroom can be seen below.
Events / Cirque Week / Behind The Scenes / Cirque du Soleil / KA / MGM Grand / → All Tags
Their performers may defy gravity like super-heroes, but now Cirque du Soleil legitimately belongs alongside Spider-man and the Fantastic Four. Cirque has teamed with Marvel Comics to produce a comic book based on KÀ. During Cirque Week we were introduced to the production team of a proposed four-issue series. The story honors the exact plot of the MGM Grand show and, if you've heard that Cirque don't always make sense, you certainly can't say that about the hero's journey of KÀ.