“The setup sounds familiar: A cat, a cowboy and an artist walk into a bar. The twist, of course, is that in Las Vegas, a cat can have her own coffee bar, a singing cowboy can command center stage, and a Hollywood film director can transform a neon sign graveyard into a fine-art exhibit.”
So begins Michael Hiller’s report on Tim Burton‘s “Lost Vegas: Tim Burton @ the Neon Museum,” which opens Oct. 15. It will be Burton’s first American fine-art exhibit since 2009, when he mounted a show that drew 810,500 visitors to New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
In other Vegas developments, Jay Jones reports that big-name stars doing shorter stints means visitors can see more than one showstopper in a weekend.
That’s certainly different from 50 years ago, when Elvis Presley was beginning a grueling Las Vegas concert schedule that led to 636 sold-out shows at the International (now Westgate). “That show was hugely successful [and] introduced rock ’n’ roll to the big Vegas stage,” said Richard Zoglin, author of the new book “Elvis in Vegas.”
As Jones reports, today’s performers don’t even think about committing to such long concert schedules, even at the hottest spots on the Strip.
And is there no end to resort fees? Catharine Hamm’s “On the Spot” column notes the legal backlash against the sometimes sneaky add-ons with which hotels hit us. This comes in the wake of three such price increases on the Strip.
Vegas was once the land of $3 buffets and free parking. As its popularity has grown, so have nickel-and-dime charges that have ruined the best bargain in America.
Rant over. Let’s move on.
LOST IN VEGAS WITH BURTON
Read about film producer, director, writer, animator and artist Burton and his Oct. 15 walk-around exhibit of vivid cartoon art in the Neon Museum’s Boneyard exhibition space, North Gallery and Boneyard Park.
"Lady Gaga didn’t sign a long-term contract, and if anyone out there is really hot right now, it’s her,” one longtime Vegas observer notes. Jay Jones explores how things have changed since the days of Elvis.
LEGAL BACKLASH OVER RESORT FEES
Stays at three resorts on the Las Vegas Strip recently shot up by more than $50 due to increases to those controversial “resort fees.” Now states are fighting back. Read Hamm’s piece on the legal backlash.
THOSE FEES UPSET READERS, TOO
Hamm’s column on the backlash drew plenty of response from readers who find the practice underhanded and unfair.
LABOR DAY AIRPORT CRUSH
Heading to McCarran for the holiday weekend? Airlines for America, a trade group, predicts that 17.5 million passengers will fly on U.S. carriers between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3, up 4% over last year. The busiest day is expected on Friday, Aug. 30.
ELVIS IS EVERYWHERE, OF COURSE
If you can’t make it to Vegas this weekend, get a taste of the music in Orange County. The annual Elvis Festival on historic Main Street in Garden Grove celebrates the life of Elvis Presley this Sunday with a King of Cadillacs Car Show, a Dunka Dunka Burning Love dunk tank and Hound Dog hot dogs. The main stage will host performances by Elvis tribute artists from ages 6 to 70.
HIT US WITH YOUR BEST VEGAS PHOTO
Got a neon shot of the Strip that lights your fire? We’re seeking your summer vacation photos for our upcoming photo galleries in mid-September, online and in print.
The photos must have been taken between May 25 and Sept. 2, from the beginning of Memorial Day weekend to the end of Labor Day. They must be submitted by 6 p.m. Sept. 6.
You may submit your photos using a form that can be found here.
Be sure to read the terms of engagement, which prevent pros from participating and require that files must be at least 1 MB.
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Keep an eye out for deals in the heat of late summer and early fall. In the blasting heat of September, and with kids back to school, specials are sure to abound. For example, the Westgate is offering some premium rooms at $59.99 a night on a limited basis. That includes free parking.
Alas, it does not include resort fees. Just so you know.