Luxe Life Blog
Strip Scribbles: Miss America, Michael Phelps and Cullen Jones
Our 2009 Miss America Katie Stam was back at home in Indiana for the USA World Swimming Championship Trials and witnessed two new records being set! Katie, a native of Seymour, started off her day with the Make a Splash program, where she spoke to 200 kids about how much she enjoys swimming and being Miss America.
She then joined a group of championship swimmers in an autograph session for fans. Later, Katie sang the national anthem at the trials and presented the medals.
She caught up with 2009 Miss America Pageant judge and Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones, who broke a U.S. record earlier in the day. Katie also met 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, who set a new world record during the meet.
*Superstar singer Beyonce’s Aug. 2 concert at Steve Wynn’s Encore Theater will be filmed for a TV special and follow-up DVD. Her visit here July 30 through Aug. 2 wraps her nearly sold out 2009 world tour, and additional seats have been released and available solely for locals without having to buy the required room packages. Prices are $250 to $1,000 apiece, with a maximum of two tickets per buyer.
*The roaming Travelocity gnome continues his adventures around town after “marrying” Holly Madison. He scrapped any honeymoon plans and even wound up wearing the feathers of a new entanglement with a sequined Jubilee! showgirl at Bally’s! After a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower Experience at Paris, the Travelocity gnome enjoyed lunch at Le Burger Brasserie. Then it was off to sit in for aces at the World Series of Poker before wrapping another busy photo day at The Rio’s Carnival World buffet.
*NBA Commissioner David Stern was at Iron Chef Kerry Simon’s restaurant in George Maloof’s Palm Place during his visit for the NBA Summer League season games at Thomas & Mack Center. There was good news and bad news during his time here. First, he promised that Las Vegas will be home for the Summer League games for at least a significant number of years because of the warm welcome extended by locals. But, secondly, he said that because of the current economic downturn and the lack of a proper modern arena, Las Vegas can’t be considered for either an expansion team or relocation of an existing team.
*In the overnight report from the WSOP at The Rio, there are now 27 players to be seated at three tables today, and both of our hometown poker princes Phil Ivey and Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari are still in the hunt. Even if KO’d today, they still will walk away another million dollars richer! Two other locals are in the Top 10. The final nine who will meet again in November should be known sometime tonight!
*Phantom -- Las Vegas Spectacular has extended its third anniversary special offer through Labor Day with regular price ticket buyers able to get a second ticket for only $30. The response to the June-July offer was so overwhelming that producers decided to continue it through Sept. 7.
*Grandma Lee, who has performed at Bonkerz Comedy Club in Palace Station, was featured on last night’s America’s Got Talent and won over the audience and judges. Piers Morgan even declared her his favorite contestant of the season. She advanced to the next round filmed here. Although she is still honing her skills at the young age of 75, she’s been invited back to perform at Bonkerz from Aug. 13-15. Check her out via YouTube:
*To celebrate the continuing 40th anniversary of the Las Vegas Hilton, a special $5 Elvis Presley commemorative gaming chip is available at the casino resort where he performed most of his Sin City concerts. You can buy it at the casino cage where you also will find a $5 gaming chip with Barbra Streisand.
*Just wanted our many friends in the food and beverage industry here to know that the MGM CityCenter folks will host a job fair tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They’re looking for F&B professionals for all the new restaurants, bars and kitchens opening at the sprawling complex in September and ramping up in December. Go to www.citycentercareers.com for an application.
*Summer is definitely the time to mix, and 20 aspiring mixologists will do battle in the ultimate cocktails contest for the most creative concoction at Sushi Samba in the Palazzo on July 24. Contestants will receive 10 ingredients plus a Leblon sponsor product and have 15 minutes to create a perfect cocktail. The judges will then select the Top 5 cocktails to move on to round two. In round two, the contestants will receive another set of ingredients, plus one secret ingredient that must be used by all. The contestants will have 20 minutes, and the winner receives a host of prizes.
Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, racing the mini-racecars at Pole Position Raceway opposite the Palms, came in first in his group with a top time of 26.89 … Washington Wizards assistant coach Sam Cassell was with six friends at Dos Caminos in the Palazzo and ordered the pescado tacos. … Rapper Too Short was at the main bar of N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms with five friends enjoying Ketel One and Red Bull and ordering the crispy rock shrimp to go. Also at N9NE was Memphis Grizzlies coach Damon Stoudamire, who feasted on lobster bisque and salmon with lobster mashed potatoes. … Saxophonist Kenny G dined at Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois in Caesars Palace. … 2005 WSOP champ Joe Hachem was ousted from play this week and took his family to dinner at Society Cafe in Steve Wynn’s Encore.
The NBA Summer League series picks up momentum with games in Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion. It’s New York vs. Detroit at 1 p.m., Milwaukee vs. Chicago at 3 p.m., Toronto vs. Phoenix at 5 p.m., Sacramento vs. NBA D-League Select at 5:30 p.m., Portland vs. Houston at 7 p.m. and Denver vs. Washington at 7:30 p.m. … Carey Hart welcomes Jet to his Wasted Space in the Hard Rock Hotel.
It’s face-to-face with former Sopranos star Steve Schirripa as he hosts NBC’s new $1 million challenge Face the Ace here in Las Vegas, and Vegas DeLuxe has an exclusive photo shoot. … Did you know you can make wine right here in Las Vegas, from crushing the harvest to bottling and proudly putting on your own label? … Plus, we’re ready to mark the 40th anniversary of America’s first landing on the moon with some out of this world events.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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