Mega Spring Openings and Vegas Kentucky Derby


Contributed by Jackie Brett


THE PLAZA WILL OPEN THE SAND DOLLAR LOUNGE: The Plaza downtown with its vintage Vegas character will open The Sand Dollar Lounge, a new live music and craft cocktail venue, on the casino floor in early May. The Las Vegas bar will offer free nightly entertainment from local bands and national headliners accompanied by original handcrafted cocktails, pizza, and pool. Official grand opening celebrations will begin Thursday, May 26 and continue through Memorial Day Weekend. The second location for the established blues bar, The Sand Dollar Lounge Downtown will remain true to the vibes of the original, but with more room for an estimated 300 guests to rock in the 4,000-square-foot space. The new venue will mirror many of the same elements of the original location, such as the physical layout and vintage décor elements, like shimmering chandeliers and dark stained wainscotting. The additional space of the venue at the Plaza allowed for significant upgrades, including a larger stage area, more dance space, and expanded booth seating. The Sand Dollar co-owners Nathan Grates and Anthony Jamison worked with the Plaza to create the downtown craft cocktail and music venue that will serve pizza from the Plaza’s nationally recognized and award-winning Pop-Up Pizza. Accessible from the casino floor, the venue will change the face of the downtown corridor with a second, new glittering Main Street entrance. The Sand Dollar Blues Bar opened its doors in 1976, instantly becoming one of Las Vegas’ most iconic bars. Some of the greatest musicians, including Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Mick Jagger, have graced the Sand Dollar stage. The Sand Dollar Blues Bar closed in 2007 but reopened on Spring Mountain in 2009 as The Sand Dollar Lounge, honoring the tradition and history of the Vegas venue. In 2015, Nathan Grates and Anthony Jamison, took over The Sand Dollar Lounge with a vision of bringing back its original luster.

THE DUOMO AND CUPOLA CAFÉ WILL OPEN AT THE RIO: The Duomo will be an all-new music venue opening at the Rio on June 16. The 300-seat club will feature a massive center bar, nostalgic arcade and an Italian casual dining restaurant, Cupola Café, featuring a menu and flavors designed by celebrity-chef Mimmo Ferraro. The name “Duomo” is an Italian term for a cathedral. With a resident schedule to be announced shortly, The Duomo will feature a wide variety of live bands, including rock, pop, country, and alternative.Cupola Café, a trattoria style Italian eatery, will offer high quality Italian cuisine in a quick-service format. It will be a place where you can have an Italian espresso and pastry in the morning, a pizza lunch in the afternoon, and a romantic dinner accompanied by live music in the evening.

CHARLIE PUTH, TATE MCRAE WILL HEADLINE ‘98.5 KLUC SUMMER JAM’: The 98.5 KLUC Summer Jam will return to the Strip at Resorts World on Wednesday, June 1 featuring performances by Charlie Puth, Tate McRae, Iann Dior, Bibi and Ylona Garcia. The show begins at 6:30 p.m. for guests of all ages. General admission tickets start at $40. This will mark the 12th Summer Jam concert event in Las Vegas, with the last one taking place in 2019. It also marks the first concert at the Resorts World Event Center, where previous events, such as Top Rank Boxing and Keep Memory Alive’s Power of Love Gala, took place.

CAFÉ LOLA WILL EXPAND TO THE STRIP: Ultra-Instagrammable Café Lola, known for its feminine décor and over-the-top menu, will be opening its fourth location this summer at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace on the Strip. The eatery will be in the Festival Court area adjacent to Agent Provocateur and Tourneau. The European-inspired café will bring its floral walls, velvet couches, signature coffee, dining offerings including vegan and gluten-free options and Champagne selection. This flagship venue will take to new heights with patio seating, unique tableside experiences, a frosé walk-up window and a secret photo room. Guests can enjoy cult favorites such as Lola’s Signature Frosé, avocado toast, Granny’s Breakfast Sammy, and 24 Carat Gold Latté, along with Saint Honoré couture doughnuts, and soon-to-be favorites like Black Truffle Scramble.

ROCK BAND COUNTING CROWS WILL HEADLINE THE CHELSEA: GRAMMY® and Academy Award-nominated rock band Counting Crows will appear at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan on Saturday, July 23. In the last two decades, the group has sold more than 20 million records worldwide and released seven studio albums. Tickets start at $81. The Counting Crows exploded onto the music scene in 1993, with their intensely soulful and intricate take on timeless rock ‘n’ roll. They are deemed one of the world’s most preeminent live touring rock bands, having rocked their way to the top with their multi-platinum breakout album, “August and Everything After” and double-platinum sophomore album, “Recovering the Satellites.” Following their early success, Counting Crows went on to debut six albums and record the chart-topping “Accidentally in Love” for “Shrek 2” earning them an Academy Award and a GRAMMY® Award nomination. The band’s hits include “Mr. Jones,” “Big Yellow Taxi” and their latest single, “Elevator Boots.”

TONY HAWK TO HOST ‘WEEKEND JAM’ SKATE AND MUSIC: Leading technology company Pollen is teaming up with iconic skateboarder Tony Hawk for “Weekend Jam” at the outside Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, May 12-14. In honor of Hawk’s birthday, the event will bring together skateboarding, live music, video games, food trucks and more for a party hosted by the legendary Hawk. The lineup of musicians will include Modest Mouse, Descendents, DEVO, X, Cold Cave, The Vandals, Warish, Rough Francis and The Downhill Jam. Additionally, each day will feature the “Punk Rock Paint Brushes Art Auction,” with works up for bidding from the likes of Mark Mothersbaugh, Warren Fitzgerald, Christian Hosoi, Stacie Stevenson, Karl Alvarez, Steve Caballero, Jason Adams, Paul Kobriger, Blair Alley, Lisa Brownlee, Mark Desalvo, HDVideoMag and Kevin Salk. Doors will open each day at 1 p.m. with events beginning at 2 and 2:30 p.m. on Friday. Tickets for Tony Hawk’s Weekend Jam range from single-day general admission at $49.50 to three-day Platinum VIP at $249.50.

COUNTRY STAR CAM TO PERFORM AT SUNSET STATION: Country star Cam is returning to Las Vegas for a special performance at Club Madrid inside Sunset Station on Sunday, Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. Continuing the summer-long lineup of entertainment and special events honoring Sunset Station’s 25th anniversary, tickets start at $37.50. Cam took the world of country music by storm with her critically acclaimed full-length debut, “Untamed.” The record not only bowed in the Top 15 of the Billboard Top 200 and registered at No. 2 on the Top Country Albums Chart, but it also yielded her triple-platinum GRAMMY®, CMA and ACM-nominated smash single, “Burning House,” a song that defied industry norms and remains the best-selling country song by a female solo artist since its release in 2015. Cam’s commitment to her craft has landed her songwriting on Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz” album, Sam Smith’s “The Thrill of It All” album with the song “Palace,” which became the soundtrack for an Apple commercial, and she teamed up with Diplo for the Thomas Wesley country debut, “So Long.” Cam has supported acts like Sam Smith, George Strait, Harry Styles, Eric Church, Tim & Faith, and the Indigo Girls. In 2021, she was one of the few country acts to play Lollapolooza, Outside Lands, and ACL Festival. Her critically acclaimed sophomore release, “The Otherside,” featured the international Jolene-in-reverse hit “Diane,” the undeniable jam “Till There’s Nothing Left,” plus songwriting from Avicii, Sam Smith, and Harry Styles.

TOWNEPLACE SUITES BY MARRIOTT® OPENS IN NORTH LAS VEGAS: In the booming city of North Las Vegas, Nigro Construction has built and just opened a brand new extended-stay hotel, TownePlace Suites by Marriott®. This is the fourth hotel in Southern Nevada the Nigro family of companies own and operate. The nearly 70,000-square-foot property is located right off the I-15 north and features 119 suites where guests can balance work and life with the comfort, flexibility, and affordability that an extended-stay property offers. With an in-room fully equipped kitchen, complimentary high-speed internet access, in-room coffee and tea, and pet-friendly rooms, the space is set to make guests feel like they’re at home, whether staying for one night or one month. Other amenities include a hotel dining room area with complimentary breakfast, access to a state-of-the-art fitness center, a refreshing pool, a barbeque and picnic area with a large fire pit, open areas to lounge, and a Flex Area that can be open or private making it perfect for intimate business meetings. TownePlace Suites by Marriott® is located three miles from both the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which is great for EDC and NASCAR events, and Nellis Air Force Base with visiting relatives, etc., at 4360 Nexus Way.

MAGIC MIKE LIVE CELEBRATES FIVE YEARS IN LAS VEGAS: Last weekend, the cast and crew of “Magic Mike Live” at the Sahara celebrated five years of making magic in Las Vegas and around the world. After back-to-back sold-out performances, the Las Vegas company marked the occasion with a late-night party at Azilo Ultra Lounge and reminisced over the last five years with a three-tiered cake inspired by the Magic Mike Theater’s decor from Freed’s Bakery. After opening at the former Hard Rock Hotel on April 21, 2017, and closing Nov. 24, 2019, after an immensely successful run, the show moved into a custom-built theater inside a renovated Sahara, which had been SLS, in September 2021. “Magic Mike Live” performs at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; and is dark Monday and Tuesday. Some fun stats are 5.2 million Pink Magic Bucks tossed during shows, 41 costumes thrown offstage each show, 66 pairs of shows worn per show, 2,880 sock changes each year, and 18,000 single red roses given to lucky showgoers during the “Special Delivery” scene.

LISA VANDERPUMP HOSTED STAR-STUDDED GRAND OPENING AT PARIS: Last week, Vanderpump à Paris hosted its grand opening event at Paris officially welcoming guests to the Parisian-inspired restaurant. To commemorate the occasion, television celeb and philanthropist Lisa Vanderpump made an extravagant red-carpet arrival. She was joined by some of her famous friends including Lance Bass, Kym Whitley and Garcelle Beauvais. Additionally, cast members from “Vanderpump Rules” enjoyed the party, including James Kennedy, Lala Kent, Ariana Madix, Peter Madrigal, Katie Maloney, Scheana Marie, Brock Davies, Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz. Vanderpump à Paris is located across from Café Americano and is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. This location follows the success of Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace.

ILLUMINARIUM LAS VEGAS CELEBRATED ITS GRAND OPENING: Last week, Illuminarium Las Vegas hosted its grand opening of the flagship destination at AREA15. Over 900 guests enjoyed a curated montage of the Illuminarium experiences including WILD: A Safari Experience, O’KEEFFE: One Hundred Flowers, SPACE: A Journey to the Moon & Beyond and Illuminarium After Dark. In addition to showcasing the all-new spectacles, Illuminarium served an array of food and beverage offerings by new in-house eatery, Lumin Café & Kitchen, which is curated by James Beard Award-nominated and husband-wife business partners, Elizabeth Blau and Chef Kim Canteenwalla of Blau + Associates. The eatery offers a variety of small plates, shareable dishes and kids’ menu, as well as specialized late-night bites. Menu highlights include Pretzel Bites, Korean Fried Chicken, Lumin Burger and Buffalo Cauliflower. Designed by award-winning architecture and design firm Rockwell Group, Lumin Café & Kitchen also offers an inviting indoor-outdoor oasis accented with layers of natural woods, garden-inspired elements and colorful patterns featuring a floating white oak trellis interspersed with lush plants and pendant lighting. Illuminarium is now open daily at 11 a.m. with the last entry at 7 p.m. for daytime admission. Evening programming begins nightly at 8 p.m. for adults 21+. Tickets are not needed to visit Lumin Café & Kitchen.

BETTING SEMINAR PART OF RAMPART CASINO’S KENTUCKY DERBY: The Rampart Casino in Summerlin is offering two days of action for horse racing fans following the 148th annual Kentucky Derby. On Friday, May 6 there will be a Betting Seminar and Raffle inside the Cascade Lounge at 6 p.m. Veteran handicapper Bob Ike and Race & Sports Manager Duane Colucci will conduct the complimentary talk. Folks with a Rampart Rewards player’s card will be entered into a raffle to be held following the seminar. On Saturday, May 7 there will be a $1,000 Kentucky Derby Hat Contest and race day specials. Guests are invited to pull out their over-the-top fabulous hats on race day for a chance to win a portion of the $1,000 prize pool in free slot play. Participants can enter the contest at the Casino Valet area between 1-3 p.m. with the winner selected following the race. Kentucky Derby post time will be approximately 3:45 p.m. Diners can enjoy a $21.99 three-course Kentucky Derby special menu inside Earl Grey Café from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Those who place a derby wager for $50 or more prior to the race will receive their choice of a coupon to Clubhouse Deli for their choice of free chicken fingers, hamburger, or hot dog, and fries, or they can choose a $5 off coupon for Market Place Buffet. Additionally, all casino bars will feature $5 Mint Juleps, Louisiana Lemonades, and Derby Mules the entire day.

THE COVID MURALS ART EXHIBIT RUNS MAY 13-22: The COVID Murals, a limited-run art exhibit featuring dozens of the plywood board murals that covered storefronts in downtown Las Vegas during Phase I of the COVID-19 pandemic, will open to the public on Friday, May 13 following a ticketed preview party on May 12. More than 30 pieces will be on display at 920 S. Commerce Street located in the 18b Las Vegas Arts District. Tickets for the Thursday, May 12 preview party from 6 to 9 p.m. are $75 and include food, drinks, entertainment, and silent auction. Early bird tickets for the regular exhibit, open daily 4 to 8 p.m. from May 13 through May 22 are $10 until May 2, after which they increase to $15 each. Tickets are available at All proceeds will benefit the smART Initiative a 501(c)3 organization, the 18b Las Vegas Arts District Grants Program and the Artist Recovery Fund.

ALIMKHANULY- DIGNUM TITLE CLASH AT RESORTS WORLD: Middleweight contender Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly will be the main event spotlight on Saturday, May 21 when he faces undefeated Englishman Danny Dignum in a 12-round showdown for the vacant WBO Interim middleweight world title at Resorts World Event Center. In the co-feature, former junior world champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring returns to the lightweight division in a 10-rounder against undefeated NABF titleholder Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz.  Alimkhanuly-Dignum, and Herring-Ortiz will air live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+. Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $25 at

THE LITTLE VEGAS CHAPEL OFFERS STAR WARS DAY WEDDING PACKAGES: The Little Vegas Chapel is recognizing Star Wars Day on Wednesday, May 4 with “Yoda One For Me” and “I Chewse You” wedding packages featuring a Star Wars themed ceremony performed by a Princess Leia officiant. The “Yoda One For Me” is $777 pre-tax and “I Chewse You” $549. Both packages will have custom Star Wars music, photography including one Star Wars edited image, theme-inspired bouquet and boutonniere, professional photography, 30-minute extended photo session, 25 digital images, one Star Wars edited image, video recording of ceremony, and more. To book the one-day-only package call 702-385-5683.

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