Light Group stays in CityCenter plan


The Light Group remains plugged into the MGM Mirage-led CityCenter project.

Moving to quell speculation that MGM Mirage might be parting with the nightclub-restaurant giant, both parties said Wednesday that the partnership remains intact.

"They're totally involved," Alan Feldman of MGM Mirage said of The Light Group's The Harmon Hotel & Spa. "We're all in this together."

A rep for The Light Group founder Andrew Sasson said Sasson is "fully committed to make this the best, most luxurious boutique hotel in Las Vegas and the world." Lisa Long acknowledged The Harmon opening will be delayed about one year, to late 2010.

MGM Mirage announced the delay Wednesday and added that The Harmon, originally planned for about 50 stories, will stop at about half that with the condominium component canceled. Construction issues were blamed on the delay.

Construction questions will have to be answered by MGM Mirage, Long said.

The Light Group has partnered with MGM Mirage on a number of nightclub and restaurant projects.

GULBIS EYES BREAKTHROUGH

Pro golf hottie Natalie Gulbis celebrated her 26th birthday Las Vegas-style on Tuesday and announced her 2009 goal: "win my first major." Gulbis, a Lake Las Vegas resident, had her birthday party at Blush at Wynn Las Vegas.

Gulbis' best finish in a major after eight pro seasons is a tie for third in 2006. She continues to work with Las Vegas-based swing coach Butch Harmon, Tiger Woods' one-time main man.

"I'm getting better and better," she said. The LPGA's rookie of the year in 2002 had a career-best five finishes in the top-10 in 2008.

Gulbis recently competed in Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" with 15 others, but she wasn't revealing any of the details. The show premieres March 1 and will feature two-hour episodes.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

The Zowie Bowie duo of Chris Phillips and Marley Taylor will be providing the musical entertainment at this year's Nevada Ballet Theatre Black & White Ball honoring Bette Midler as "Woman of the Year" on Jan. 17 at Caesars Palace. Phillips and Taylor, who have been headlining at Red Rock Resort since 2006, will be performing their Vintage Vegas show with a 13-piece big band orchestra. ...

The news out of KDWN-AM, 720, is the resignation of Charlotte Burke, program director at the news/talk station, and the dismissal of four employees in the news and traffic departments. Beasley Broadcast Group exec Tom Humm said Burke's resignation was not related to the layoffs. Burke, in a statement, thanked the station for supporting her decision to spend more time with her family.

SIGHTINGS

Al Roker of NBC's "The Today Show," at Hash House A Go Go on Wednesday for the Pancake Tractor Driver Combo and fresh Tangerine Juice. He was accompanied by his producer. They are in town for the International Consumer Electronics Show. Later, Roker attended Midler's show at Caesars Palace ... Vanna White, co-host of the popular game show "Wheel of Fortune," spotted at The Venetian on Tuesday night for a private event. ... Erin Brockovich, shopping at Carina, the high-end boutique at Caesars Palace, on Sunday. She bought over $1,000 worth of Joseph Ribkoff clothing. ... ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons, partying Monday with friends at Frankie's Tiki Room, 1712 W. Charleston, the new watering hole created by local nightlife guru P Moss, owner of the Double Down Saloon. Gibbons' group left and returned with a pair of Brooks Brothers pajamas someone had purchased as a gift for the bartender. ... Kid Rock, checking out the Imperial Palace Auto Collections over the weekend. ... Among the reported 4,300 clubgoers at XS nightclub's first industry night on Monday at Encore: UFC stars Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin and magician David Darkstone, whose name has popped up as a potential replacement for Criss Angel in Cirque du Soleil's "Believe" (Luxor).

THE PUNCH LINE

"A plastic surgeon here in the United States has rigged his car so that it runs on fat left over from liposuction. That's right, Middle East -- a car that runs on fat. Now who has the greatest energy reserves in the world?" -- Conan O'Brien

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

 

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