By Judy Thorburn
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Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
Entertainment Reporter/Film Critic - Las Vegas Tribune
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks

New Aliente Station Casino Debuts in North Las Vegas

At 11:11 p.m. On November 11, 2008, the first hotel casino to open in North Las Vegas in 5 and 1/2 years, the $662 million Aliante Station Casino, inspired by Scottsdale-modern architecture, officially opened its doors to the awaiting public.


“Aliante Station was designed to be a warm, welcoming, exciting entertainment destination for locals that blends the natural beauty of the (Las Vegas) area with all the amenities and conveniences that have become synonymous with the Station Casinos brand,” said Joe Hasson, Aliante Station’s Vice President/General Manager. “We built Aliante Station with our guests in mind, always ensuring the enjoyment of our guests is priority number one.”

So what does it look like inside? The interior casino decor features a mixture of light cream, tan, and sand colors on the walls, a soothing neutral background accented by graceful columns, along with art glass mosaics in shades of caramel and gold.  Hotel amenities include 202 guestrooms and suites and a fitness center that features 23 cardiovascular and weight lifting machines.

For gaming enthusiasts the casino offers 2,500 of the newest and most popular slots, a 12-table smoke-free poker room, a race and sports book and 40 table games including blackjack, roulette, craps, mini baccarat and pai gow.  

Entertainment-wise, the 13,500 square-foot Access Showroom provides a showcase for concerts as well as a more intimate lounge setting depending on how the space is set for the evening.  In between touring acts, the house bands include local favorites Yellow Brick Road, Envy and the Jerry Tiffee Band. In addition guests can visit the E.T.A. Lounge, nestled within the center of Aliante Station that was designed as a sexy, sleek and hip place to hang out 24/7. Movie enthusiasts can also sit back and enjoy the latest releases at Regal Cinemas’ 16-screen movie theatre.

Dining options include a price range that caters to almost every budget, from seafood and steaks to traditional Mexican delicacies to a gourmet buffet.  Restaurants include MRKT (pronounced market) Sea & Land, Pips Cucina & Wine Bar, Feast Buffet, Camacho’s Cantina, T.G.I. Friday’s®, and The Original Pancake House.  For quick fixes the Food Court offers six affordable quality food outlets such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen, Panda Express, Rubio’s Mexican Grill and Johnny Rockets.  

According the residents interviewed who live in the north part of the Valley, they are excited about this new property which offers them all the above amenities within a distance close to home, with a few jokingly said that they are willing to share it with others.

The opening of Aliente Station now brings the total to 11 Station Casino properties around Clark County. At a time when the country and Las Vegas has been affected by the economic slump, the company hopes that the number 11 will mean good fortune. That’s a gamble both the financial backers and visitors to the new venue are willing to bet on.

Aliente Station is conveniently located off Clark County’s 215 at 7300 Aliante Parkway in North Las Vegas.

Additional recent and upcoming “happenings” in and around Las Vegas include:

From Nov. 7-9 The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Poker Lounge was the setting for Dream Team Gaming’s new revolutionary team poker concept, Dream Team PokerTM that was unveiled at a private two day invitational tournament attracting a diverse group of celebrities, poker champions and casino players.

Holly Montag

Jamie Gold

Jean Robery Bellande

The tournament concluded with Team Bluff Magazine being crowned as the team champions (Eric Morris –Publisher of Bluff, Matt Parvis –Managing Editor and Justin Bonomo –local Poker Player).  Local poker player Jason Lilley from Team Flop was crowned the individual champion of the inaugural event was awarded with a ring and a bottle of Cristal. Team Bluff Magazine took home $39,000 in first place along with Dream Team Poker’s team championship rings which are valued at more than $5,000 each. For additional information on, Dream Team PokerTM please visit

Jason Lilley

In honor of Veterans Day and as a token of appreciation, The Tropicana Las Vegas treated members of Nellis Air Force Base to complimentary performances of the Folies Bergere on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  A special meet and greet with the Folies Bergere cast members and key Nellis officials took place directly following the Veteran’s Day performance.

Tropicana Vice President of Marketing Randy Sears, Folies Bergere Showgirl Janu Tornell and Nellis Air Force Base Colonel, USAF Commander Howard D. Belote pose in front of the infamous golden staircase.

Nellis Air Force base members mix and mingle with the cast of the
Folies Bergere during a special appreciation event this Veteran's Day.

Tuesday, November 11 the 17th Annual Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge  brought some of the biggest stars from the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours to Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nevada to battle in a head-to-head competition for tour bragging rights and a share of the $1 million dollar purse. Competing for the PGA TOUR was Rocco Mediate along with Ryder Cup team members Stewart Cink and Kenny Perry. The Champions Tour featured Fred Funk, Jay Haas  (making his fifth consecutive appearance), and Nick Price.  Representing the LPGA team were major championship winners Helen Alfredsson and Cristie Kerr together with Nevada resident Natalie Gulbis. Each threesome consisted of one player from each Tour competing in two separate, nine-hole stroke play matches. Claiming victory in the challenge was The Champions team. The final total donated to the Dave Thomas Foundation  for Adoption came to $3.7 million.

On Friday, Nov. 14 from 6:30 – 8 p.m., contestants from the 2009 Miss Nevada USA and Miss Nevada Teen USA pageants were available for a meet-and-greet and to sign autographs at Hawaiian Tropic Zone inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

2009 Miss Nevada U.S.A. and Miss Nevada Teen U.S.A. Contestants
Photos: Courtesy of Jacob Andrzejczak / Getty Images

For the third consecutive year, SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand and Joël Robuchon has been awarded the highly coveted Five Diamond Award from AAA, as recognition for being among the world’s most elite hotels and restaurants. AAA/CAA’s 65 full-time tourism editors evaluate and rate more than 58,000 hotels and dining establishments across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean each year, which is more than any other rating entity.  Of those, only 103 resorts and 59 restaurants, or 0.28 percent, earned the highly coveted AAA Five Diamond rating for 2009.

Also, for the eighth consecutive year, Bellagio received AAA’s prestigious Five Diamond Award as did Julian Serrano’s renowned restaurant, Picasso.  Additionally, Le Cirque received the distinction for the sixth consecutive year, making Bellagio once again the only hotel in the United States to be home to two AAA Five Diamond restaurants. 

As part of The Comedy Festival that is taking place at Caesars Palace, Thursday, Nov. 20, through Saturday, Nov. 22, Ellen DeGeneres is presenting ELLEN’S EVEN BIGGER REALLY BIG SHOW featuring a variety of performers from around the globe including Magician Hans Klok, celebrity impressionists and much more. The Variety Show will be taped on Thursday, Nov. 20, at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace and will premiere on TBS Saturday, Nov. 29.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch magician Jeff McBride’s “Magic at the Edge” inside the intimate Sound Trax Showroom at Palace Station you only have a short time  left to see the show since his limited engagement will be ending on November 22. From now until Nov. 22, locals will receive $10 off the original ticket price of $49 just by showing a Nevada ID. The show is at 7:30 p.m. nightly except Tuesdays.

McBride’s after show magical experience, Wonderground will also be closing.  People who wish to find out about Wonderground’s happenings after Nov. 22 can visit for more information. Jeff will appear and receive an award on The World Magic Awards TV special, airing on the MyTV network at 8pm on November 26th!

Immensely talented singer/impressionist Larry G. Jones performs his “Superstar Voices in Concert” at the Royal Resort on Convention Center Drive.  Tucked away in a tiny showroom at the resort, Jones’ show is a hidden little treasure, and one of the best entertainment deals in town, that shouldn’t be missed. Trust me, as a multi talented performer and crowd pleaser, Jones deserves a headlining gig at a major strip hotel.  Tickets for his show are priced at $24 - $34.  Cosmos Café and Ristorante, located inside the venue, steps away from the showroom, is offering a special three course concert dinner menu for show attendees.

For the first time ever, beginning with the 7:30 pm show on Saturday November 15, 2008 Donn Arden’s Jubilee! one of the longest-running production shows on the famed Las Vegas Strip, is offering ‘Not Topless’ Show at 7:30 PM on Saturdays (ages 13 and above are welcome but the performance is intended for adults). Jubilee! performs twice nightly at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and is dark on Fridays.

On November 22 recording artist Matisyahu, known for blending traditional Jewish themes with Reggae, rock and hip hop sounds is hosting his concert after party at LAVO with sounds by DJ Reach. The public is encouraged to attend, and regular cover charges for LAVO apply: local ladies are always free, out-of-state ladies are $20 and all gentlemen are $30. Doors open at 10 p.m.

Now through December 31, 2008,  FUEGO RAW TALENT,” the new high-energy show at the Sahara is offering students a complimentary ticket to the show in exchange for their opinion. In order to receive a free ticket, students must present their student ID card to the Sahara box office and agree to blog about their experience at the show through online blogs, newsletters and social media websites. The show is performed nightly at 8:30 p.m. inside the FUEGO RAW TALENT Theater at the Sahara Hotel & Casino.  Tickets are regularly priced at $79.95, inclusive of tax and fees.

Excalibur is offering a special $30 ticket price to comedian Louie Anderson’s show “Louie Anderson: Larger Than Life” when purchased through the Excalibur box office through November 26, 2008.  Anderson performs Sunday - Thursday inside the Thunder From Down Under Showroom at Excalibur.  Showtime is 7 p.m. nightly.  Guests must be 18 years of age.

From November 14 to January 6, 2009, Fantasy Faire Midway at Excalibur is offering 4-D holiday rides to help celebrate the holiday season.  Based on the popular movie, “The Polar Express™ 4-D”,   is a magical journey to the North Pole that comes alive in an unforgettable multi-sensory adventure complete with faux snow.  Guests also are invited to experience the charming antics of “SpongeBob SquarePants™ 4-D.”  Admission for “The Polar Express™ 4-D” is $12.95 per person.  Entry to “SpongeBob SquarePants™ 4-D” is $9.95 per person.  A special Holiday Pass, offering entry to both, will be available for $14.95 per person.

McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino is offering free drinks from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday, November 22 for anyone born in the month of November. Friends and family may also join in on the birthday celebration with a $10 all you can drink special for women, and $20 for men.

From 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23 Tonic II Salon, located at 7985 W. Sahara Ave. (between Buffalo Drive and Durango Drive) is holding an all-day cut-a-thon at $25 per cut from the Bumble-trained Tonic style team to benefit children’s cancer. Proceeds from the all-day cut-a-thon are benefiting Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada and Ella, an 8-year-old who has been diagnosed with DIPG, a rare brain tumor that is not treatable and a close family friend of salon Owner Ruben Fisher. Appointments are highly recommended and can be made by calling (702) 233-3002.

The CRISS ANGEL Believe Store located adjacent to the CRISS ANGEL Believe Theatre at the Luxor recently just opened.  The retail outlet offers exclusive branded merchandise from the newest production by Cirque du Soleil including a wide selection of keepsake items ranging from shirts, posters and hats to key chains, mugs and candles.  Unique jewelry, personally designed by Criss Angel, also is available for purchase.            

From Dec. 2 - 20, 2008, America’s favorite brother-sister duo Donny & Marie will include classic carols and other holiday surprises into their already dazzling show at Flamingo Las Vegas. “Its been 30 years since Marie and I have performed Christmas music on stage together, so we’re looking forward to adding a holiday flair to our show here at the Las Vegas Flamingo,” said Donny. “The holidays have always brought joyful times for our family.  We hope everyone will come help us celebrate the magic of the season,” said Marie. Donny & Marie perform at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday - Saturday and the special holiday shows will run from Dec. 2-20.

On Thursday, December 4, Frankie’s Tiki Room, the only authentic tiki bar in Las Vegas, will open inviting guests to experience the one-of-a-kind tiki environment complemented by traditional carvings, original Polynesian art, a full bar and gaming. “We are very excited to introduce Frankie’s Tiki Room to Las Vegas,” said P Moss, owner and founder of Frankie’s Tiki Room.  “Frankie’s offers guests a unique and authentic tiki bar experience with a Las Vegas twist.  From the combination of original exotic drinks and collectible souvenir mugs, tiki statues and lowbrow art, each detail has been carefully selected to create an unparalleled environment.”  Frankie’s Tiki Room is located at 1712 W. Charleston Blvd. and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008 Opportunity Village attempts to break the current world record (set in the UK in 2005 with 3,291 participants in the Liverpool Santa Dash) of the Largest Santa Gathering for the 4th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run at the Freemont Street Experience. The Las Vegas Great Santa Run is a fundraising effort benefiting Opportunity Village and serves as a light, spirited warm-up run for participants in The Las Vegas Marathon the following day.   For the third year in a row Siegfried & Roy will serve as Honorary Team Captains for the 2008 event. Check-in and greetings from Mayor Oscar Goodman begin at 8 a.m., and the race starts at 10 a.m. in and around the Fremont Street Experience. Registration is $35 prior to the race and $45 on race day and participants may register by visiting All participants will receive a five-piece Santa costume complete with hat, belt and beard. Entrants may choose from two courses: the 5K fun-run for the long-winded Santas or the Kris Kringle Jingle, a one-mile stroll for the casual walker or jogger.

On Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008 at 7:15 a.m. , The Las Vegas Marathon will host a run-through wedding ceremony on the race course at A Special Memory Wedding Chapel (800 S. 4th St.).  At the start of the marathon, the “Running Reverend” Jaime Firzlaff will lead participating couples from the starting line of the race to the chapel.  Once all the couples arrive, Firzlaff will conduct the ceremony before they continue along the race as newlyweds. All couples registered for The 2008 Las Vegas Marathon may participate in the run-through wedding ceremony free of charge.

For more information or to sign up for the ceremony, please e-mail Marti at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The Las Vegas Marathon will take place on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008 at 6 a.m. at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.  Fireworks start the race as runners run down the legendary Las Vegas Strip.  This year’s Marathon is limiting the number of participants.  Once 20,000 runners are signed up for the full and half marathon combined, registration will be closed.

The WORLD STARS OF MAGIC will be presented in the Suncoast Showroom for a three night engagement, December 12 – 14. The show Stars Tony Chapek’s fascinating and hilarious live performance that combines the latest in video technology with traditional sleight-of-hand to produce stunning “never before seen” illusions;  comedy magicians Kevin James , John Archer from the U.K.,  and Poland’s The Great Tomsoni and Company, aka John Thompson and Pam Hayes. Show time is 7:30 PM.  Tickets are priced from $19.95 plus tax.

Comedian/actor Larry the Cable Guy, returns to the Orleans Arena on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 9 p.m. Tickets are available now and are priced at $50.75, $62.75 and $80.75, and includes all taxes fees.

Celebrity sightings:

On Wednesday evening November 15, Actor Sidney Poitier was spotted having dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT, inside The Palazzo.

Tito Ortiz and pregnant girlfriend Jenna Jameson were seen checking into the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.  Afterwards, Ortiz was spotted doing some afternoon shopping at the Hard Rock Retail store, loading up on King Baby Jewelry.

Thursday evening Shane Victorino, centerfield baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies, was spotted dining at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT, inside The Palazzo.

Friday, actor, comedian and UFC commentator, Joe Rogan was seen having lunch at the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, inside MGM Grand.  Rogan is in town for the UFC fight at MGM Grand.

Friday night at LAVO inside The Palazzo, Mandy Moore was spotted dining in the restaurant with three girlfriends. After dinner they hopped aboard the LAVO/TAO Escalade cart and were transported to Barney’s for some late night shopping.

At a separate table, Kelly Carlson of Nip/Tuck also enjoyed a night out with friends.

MMA fighter Kenny Florian rushed over to LAVO for dinner immediately after the weigh in for tomorrow’s UFC bout.  Joined by his trainer and his entire camp, the group dined on signature dishes from Chef Ludo and were overheard talking about carb loading in preparation for the fight.

Hip Hop star Rick Ross and a friend had a bite to eat in the restaurant before heading upstairs to the nightclub.

Also spotted in the nightclub was Marlon Wayans, who had just driven in with friends from LA.  In a great mood he was laughing and dancing all night long.

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Geoff Jenkins held court at another table in the nightclub filled with friends celebrating his World Series win.

Friday night, the official Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon Girl, Arianny Celeste, celebrated her 23rd birthday while hosting at MGM Grand’s premier nightclub, Studio 54. She was joined by many of the UFC’s star fighters including Heath “Texas Crazy Horse” Herring who was the last to take on Brock Lesnar, a fighter in this weekend’s most anticipated battle versus fan-favorite Randy Couture. BJ “The Prodigy” Penn, Mac Danzig, and Matt “The Law” Lindland also partied into the early hours of the morning to kick off the highly awaited fight weekend.

Arianny Celeste

Also on Friday night, singer, actress and model Mandy Moore attended Bette Midler’s The Showgirl Must Go On at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. After the show, Moore came backstage to greet Bette.

Saturday evening Jason Mewes (of Jay and Silent Bob fame and the recent movie Zach and Miri Make A Porno) spent a full night at LAVO inside The Palazzo. Joined by his fiancé Jordan Monsanto and his co-star, adult film actress Katie Morgan, the group dined on signature dishes from the LAVO menu before making their way upstairs to a table on the dance floor.

Marlon Wayans had such a great time at LAVO on Friday night he returned on Saturday and even took the exact same dance floor table as the night before. Marlon Wayans was also spotted during the day inside Hawaiian Tropic Zone inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz and Jackson Rathbone all spotted enjoying dinner inside Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008.

Sunday night, November 15, UFC President Dana White ,along with actor Joe Rogan, partied it up at Wasted Space inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. They were both spotted drinking with singer Everlast, NY Yankees Jason Giambi and DJ Lethal.

Dana White, Jason Giambi, Everlast and DJ Lethal

Music legend Prince stopped by LAVO inside The Palazzo to check out DJ Vice.  He was accompanied by a stunning dark haired exotic woman and security. 

I will be back next week with more of what’s “happening” in and around Las Vegas.

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