Las Vegas flexes its nightclub muscle


Hakkasan, the MGM Grand’s megaclub, represents “the final icing on the cake” that makes Las Vegas the global leader in nightlife and restaurants.

Neil Moffitt, chief executive officer of Angel Management Group, said he could “see it in the faces” of music industry executives who stopped in for the opening on their way to Coachella, Calif.

“To have them blown away by it is the final endorsement,” said Moffitt, the man in charge of Hakkasan’s 80,000 square feet. “I’ve been having arguments for a long time that as each new nightclub opened it further endorsed” that Las Vegas was taking over.

“It legitimizes and gives us true credibility. I don’t know any other city,” Moffitt said, that offers the quality of club options and restaurants.

WRONG GUY

Among the torrent of misinformation from the hyper-competitive news broadcasts and social media were reports that Brown University student Sunil Tripathi was “Suspect No. 2” in the Boston bombings.

Fortunately for Las Vegans Art and Sue Manteris, it was quickly cleared up early Friday.

Sue, a longtime anchor at NBC affiliate KVBC-TV, Channel 3 (now KSNV), was born in India and raised in Denver. Her given name is Sunandra Tripathi.

“It’s a really common name in India, especially in northern India where I was born,” she said.

Sunil Tripathi was in the headlines in March when he disappeared and the FBI got involved in the search for him.

“When he went missing, some people called and expressed concern,” said Art Manteris, vice president of race and sports operations for Station Casinos. “Somebody got ahead of themselves and tried connecting it.”

WILD WEEK

What an emotional week it was for Bostonians.

Support came from everywhere after Monday’s deadly bombings, even the rival New York Yankees, who paid tribute by playing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” a decade-long tradition at Fenway Park. Displayed at Yankee Stadium were the logos of the Yankees and Red Sox and the words: “United We Stand.”

Boston native Amy Sadowsky, longtime executive for Planet Hollywood creator Robert Earl, best summed up the Yankees’ classy gestures: “I got goose bumps. I hate those bastards, then they go and do that.”

THE SCENE AND HEARD

With Britney Spears headed for a headliner residency at Planet Hollywood Resort, magician Marshall Sylver has agreed to move his upcoming show from the Theater of the Performing Arts to the resort’s showroom. Both the TPA and the showroom, currently the 1,400-seat home of “Peepshow,” are operated by BASE Entertainment. ...

Las Vegas residents Gladys Knight and Mary Wilson were among those invited to the premiere Sunday of “Motown: The Musical” in New York. Knight is played by R&B singer/actress Marva Hicks. During the finale, the show’s creator, Berry Gordy Jr., joined the cast onstage and brought up Knight, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and former Supremes Diana Ross and Wilson. Also there: Bono; the U2 legend and Wonder were among the performers the night before at Larry Ruvo’s epic Keep Memory Alive/Power of Love gala at the MGM Grand. ...

Dog lover Nicolas Cage is donating memorabilia from one of his movies to the silent auction at the Nevada SPCA’s “Animals in Wonderland” benefit Thursday at Spanish Trail. The entertainers include Pia Zadora, Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie, former Quiet Riot frontman Paul Shortino, David Perrico’s seven-piece band, and Frank Sinatra’s former musical director and pianist Vinnie Falcone. LJ Harness, founder of The Vegas Underground, will be on the drums. The event begins at 1:30 p.m.

SIGHTINGS

Irish actor Colin Farrell, checking out Hakkasan on opening night Thursday. ... In the crowd at the Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort on Saturday to see Jeff Bridges and his band: Cage, Harness and Steve Hart, director of the House of Blues Foundation Room. ... Dining at N9ne Steakhouse (Palms) on Friday: blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., in separate parties. ... Actress Molly Sims of NBC’s “Las Vegas” dined at Strip House (Planet Hollywood Resort) on Friday with a bachelorette party after stopping in Dos Caminos in Summerlin. ... Ex-heavyweight champ Riddick Bowe, at Crab Corner on Eastern Avenue and Flamingo Road on Friday.

THE PUNCH LINE

“For those of you who aren’t familiar with Coachella, it’s a big music festival in the California desert. If you didn’t get tickets or if you’re too far away, just get high and pass out in a Dumpster behind Trader Joe’s. Just like being there.” — Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.