INTEL: Michigan State gaming news, retail industry shakeups

November has been a big gaming month for Michigan State University.

First, 23-year-old Ryan Reiss won the Main Event at the World Series of Poker at the Rio, collecting $8.36 million. Reiss has a business degree from the school.

Then, Michigan State alumnus Bill Weidner returned to East Lansing and spent some time with students and faculty in the School of Hospitality Business.

Weidner, former president of Las Vegas Sands Corp., is the chairman and CEO of Global Gaming Asset Management. The company was recently hired to manage the $3.5 billion Baha Mar development in The Bahamas.

Weidner, who holds both a bachelor and master’s degree from Michigan State, took part in a lecture to students as part of a hospitality business class.

Later, Weidner, who was joined by his son James Weidner, met with the business school dean, held round-table discussions with two groups of student leaders, discussed international studies with school academic programs staff and the school’s study abroad office, and visited with the associate vice president of the Michigan State Alumni Association.

A recent beauty industry survey suggests nude is in.

In early October, market research firm IRI studied beauty sales in supermarkets, drugstores and mass outlets. Sales of blush, lip gloss and eyeshadow are struggling, while year-over-year lipstick sales are up 8.34 percent, anti-aging body product sales are up 8.89 percent, makeup tool sales are up 9.19 percent and concealer sales are up 10.85 percent.

Again, downtown Las Vegas wants you to shop local this holiday season.

Polly Weinstein, creator of the jewelry line The Jeweler’s Daughter, is bringing together local vendors to celebrate Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30. With El Cortez, Weinstein is organizing the third Neon Bazaar, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Jackie Gaughan Parkway at El Cortez.

More than 50 local retailers, designers, artists and small businesses including Patina Décor, Artifact, Velveteen Rabbit, The Attic, Boho Furniture, I Adorn U, Pop Goes the Icon, Desert Art Supply, Shaggy Chic and American Vagabond are expected to attend. There also will be live music, local food trucks, Santa photos and giveaways. The Art Institute of Las Vegas will present fashion shows throughout the day featuring clothing and accessories from local designers and boutiques.

“By shopping locally and supporting homegrown business, we keep money in our community and are ultimately investing in the future of our city,” Weinstein said.

Event sponsors include Lotus of Siam, Tower of Jewels, Rachel’s Kitchen and Tuxedo Junction.

Potential small-business sponsors can email for more information.

This year, the local retail industry has seen a bit of movement in top management.

It all started with Russ Joyner, who left Miracle Mile to join Federal Realty Investment Trust as vice president and general manager of Assembly Row, a mixed-use development in Somerville, Mass.

He was replaced by Jerry Irwin, who started the job in September. As the new general manager, Irwin left his post at the Fashion Show to take over the helm of Miracle Mile, thereby leaving another top vacancy on the Strip.

That was filled by Jim Heilmann, who previously was senior general manager of Park Place mall in Tucson, Ariz. Both Fashion Show and Park Place are owned by General Growth Properties. Miracle Mile is owned by David Edelstein and Aby Rosen, in conjunction with leasing and marketing consultant Robert K. Futterman &Associates LLC.

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.

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