weather icon Clear

Elvis leads Las Vegas’ masked message during pandemic

Updated June 22, 2020 - 9:15 am

I have but one word for people who don’t want to wear face masks in public: Yondr.

That’s the company that manufactures the soft pouches for cell phones at shows across the country, including some select Las Vegas performances. Four times in this city I have been inconvenienced by having my phone locked in one of these foam-like cozies. Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer, Bruno Mars and Chris Rock all required phones to be “pouched.” A show I missed, Jack White at Brooklyn Bowl, also pouched the phones.

The point: If I can live without a phone through an entire Las Vegas Strip performance, wearing a mask in public as a health precaution is a snap.

I am sensing Las Vegas visitors and locals are understanding the importance of wearing protective face covers inside resorts. This is merely anecdotal, of course. I am not into, how you say, “stats.” But in my return to rambling around the city I have seen more folks in masks than in the first few days of the city’s reopening.

Whether it’s enough is unlikely, though, and I think we’re fast heading to mandatory masking in public across the state. But it’s a start, as I observed Thursday in a pre-COVID-style sprint of four Strip hotel-casinos.

Also, impressively, a few well-known Vegas figures in town are masked up, 24/7. They are statuesque ambassadors at Westgate Las Vegas, Harrah’s and Paris/Bally’s. Recently I actually listed a few statues that needed to be masked, and in wag-the-dog fashion, they are now fashionably masked:

— At Westgate, the famous bronzed Elvis statue near the registration table wears a blue mask. But I understand Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis wants to swap it out for silver-and-black model. But hotel owner David Siegel is a Dolphins fan. No matter: The King is covered.

— At Harrah’s the iconic tourists Buck & Winnie, aka the Greenbacks, wear sequin-trimmed masks with the hotel’s logo.

— The sweeping man in the piece titled “The Aftermath” at Le Boulevard promenade, at the base of the Paris Las Vegas, wears a blue-paper mask.

— Caesar at the entrance of Caesars Palace, also in blue.

There are a few outliers, at this writing. Benny Binion (and his horse) at South Point, and Joe Louis at the Caesars Palace sports book are unmasked. But we get the message, which we share it through our sanitized, un-pouched phones.

Travis’ base

If there’s a COVID-19 Shutdown Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Travis Cloer is a charter member.

The former Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” in Las Vegas has performed solo, in a quartet and helped organize more than 275 former “Jersey Boys” cast members online. He managed a virtual duet in an existing video by Brian May of Queen.

Along with his family, Cloer has even performed in a driveway. Soon, he’s headlining in a drive-in.

Cloer is appearing with Christian Hoff, a former “Jersey Boys” castmate from his Broadway days, on July 6-8 at Ventura County Fairgrounds in California. About 350 cars will park around a four-LED setup as the guys sing from an elevated stage, their music carried on a dedicated FM station.

The guys are joined by Chris Lash, a wickedly talented musician and MD who headed up the “Baz” band at Palazzo Theater. Lash is also a veteran of many performances at The Composers Showcase of Las Vegas. Cloer calls the operation “lean and mean,” and it could lead to yet another ongoing live-performance outlet.

“If it goes well, yes,” Cloer said last week. “If it goes well, who knows?”

Rock that deal

To sharpen the explanation of how Hard Rock Hotel International once more owns its rock memorabilia collection:

In 2018, when JC Hospitality purchased Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas from Brookfield Asset Management, the purchase included all of the hotel’s memorabilia collection. Reps from Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, including Sir Richard Branson, had said they planned to hold and display those items.

However, Hard Rock International purchased the brand rights back from JC Hospitality in May, and that purchase included the memorabilia, so it belongs to Hard Rock International.

Look for those items to return to the Strip at some point, as Hard Rock Hotel has cleared the way to open an HRH-branded hotel in Las Vegas.

Rose. Rabbit. Lie to return

The supper club Rose. Rabbit. Lie at the Cosmopolitan is returning to its dinner/entertainment program next week beginning Thursday night. Details forthcoming, but I understand we’ll not enjoy up-close serenades from Skye Dee Miles until we’re clear of the social-distancing directives. But Skye and the band can still rock it, from afar …

Get Wet

Hearing around the scene that Wet Republic at MGM Grand is set for a return July 2. Not the full-scale club, but pieces of the experience.

Wet Republic opened in 2008, and remains one of the premiere dayclubs in the city.

The pool fortress had just announced extensive renovations on March 6, dubbed Wet Republic Day by the Clark County Commission, less than two weeks before the COVID shutdown. Ownership company Hakassan Group then laid off 1,600 employees. A small percentage are now being brought back.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats! podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Summertime Dole Whip Cocktails
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer at The Venetian has two new Dole Whip cocktails. The Golden Tiki, which offers a line of Dole Whip cocktails, is reopening Wednesday.
Lin-Manuel Miranda says 'Hamilton' criticism is 'fair game'
Lin-Manuel Miranda has responded to people claiming he presented an idealized version of the Founding Fathers. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Charlie Daniels, 'Devil Went Down to Georgia' singer, dead at 83 - Video
Charlie Daniels, the country music star, was struck by a hemorrhagic stroke in Hermitage, Tennessee. His death was confirmed on Monday. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jennifer Romas takes her 'Sexxy The Show' to Dreamland Drive-In - Video
Jennifer Romas, producer, director, choreographer and star “Sexxy The Show" at Westgate took her show to Dreamland Drive-In at FreshWata Studios in Las Vegas. The show, which is currently dark at the Westgate, is a benefit for charities Golden Rainbow of Southern Nevada, The Actors Fund and Pawtastic Friends. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Wynn Las Vegas’ ‘re-imagined’ buffet - VIDEO
On June 18, The Buffet at Wynn reopened to customers with what the resort called “a re-imagined all-you-can-eat concept that combines the abundance of the traditional buffet with the benefits of a full-service restaurant.” (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jimmy Kimmel issues public apology for past blackface sketches - Video
On Tuesday, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel took to Twitter to apologize for his blackface impression of NBA star Karl Malone. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kurt Cobain's MTV Unplugged guitar sold for record-breaking $6M - Video
The 1959 Martin D-18E, which was often out of tune, was expected to fetch between $1million and $2 million. The iconic guitar was sold during the online 'Music Icons' sale hosted by Julien's Auctions over the weekend. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joel Schumacher, director of 'Lost Boys' and Batman films, dead at 80 - Video
Schumacher died in New York City after battling cancer for a year. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'We are not a monolith' - Video
Lance Smith, a multidisciplinary artist, talks about how black artists should be acknowledged for their work and not tokenized or only have their work connected to trauma. "Blackness, we are not a monolith, we deserve to live and create in a world that respects us as we are." (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Amid protests and pandemic, black artists view works as means to empathy, healing - Video
Erica Vital-Lazare is an artist, writer, sometimes activist and professor at the College of Southern Nevada. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
PodKats! with Ross Mollison
On this edition of PodKats! Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes is joined by the founder of Spiegelworld and producer of Las Vegas Strip shows such as "Absinthe," and "Opium," Ross Mollison.
Paramount pulls 'Cops' series in wake of protests - Video
Paramount Network recently confirmed their decision to cancel the long-running reality show, "Cops." (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Restaurants add COVID-19 surcharge - Video
Some Las Vegas Strip restaurants are adding a COVID-19 surcharge to their bills to help offset the additional costs of reopening. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kats hangs at Mayfair Supper Club as Bellagio reopens
Las Vegas Review-Journal man-about-town columnist John Katsilometes visits The Mayfair Supper Club at the Bellagio on the Strip in Las Vegas on the first night after reopening Thursday, June 4, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas performers adapt to pandemic restrictions - Video
The coronavirus pandemic has forced creative people in Las Vegas, a city that thrives on live performance, to adapt to new or changed ways to entertain. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas woman brings Blue Angel to life - Video
When Las Vegas shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, Victoria Hogan created the Blue Angel costume and performance, emulating the statue locals know and love in order to connect with others in a time when connection isn’t as possible. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
‘Hamilton’ postponed as Smith Center remains dark indefinitely - VIDEO
The hit musical 'Hamilton' was supposed to run from September through October at The Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons rides a bicycle on the Strip with Kats
Las Vegas resident and ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons rides down the Strip with his wife Gilligan Stillwater GIbbons and Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes Wednesday, May 20, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons rides a bicycle on the Las Vegas Strip with Kats - Video
Las Vegas resident and ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons rides down the Strip with his wife, Gilligan Stillwater Gibbons, and Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Ex-WWE star Shad Gaspard found dead on beach - Video
Shad Gaspard, 39, the former WWE wrestler, was found dead Wednesday morning on the shoreline of Venice Beach in California. Gaspard went missing over the weekend. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffets won’t reopen soon, but they may return eventually - VIDEO
In a Tuesday earnings call, Frank Fertitta III, CEO of Station Casinos parent company Red Rock Resorts, said buffets won’t be among the amenities included in the early stages of the resorts’ reopenings. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Hamilton' to debut on Disney+ in July - Video
The film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popular musical was originally set for theatrical release in October. The musical’s director, Tommy Kail, shot three live performances featuring the original Broadway cast. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Little Richard dead at 87 - VIDEO
Little Richard, the pioneer and rock 'n' roll originator, died on Saturday, May 9. His son, Danny Penniman, confirmed the news but the cause of death is unknown. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jerry Stiller, actor and comedian, dies at 92 - VIDEO
Jerry Stiller's son, actor and director Ben Stiller, announced his father's death via Twitter. Jerry Stiller became widely known with a recurring role on "Seinfeld" as Frank Costanza, George's hot-headed father. He also starred on "King of Queens." (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wolfgang Puck's Players Locker opens in Downtown Summerlin along with others - VIDEO
Under the governor's orders a few restaurants were able to open their dining rooms in Downtown Summerlin Saturday, May 9. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nicolas Cage to portray Joe Exotic in ‘Tiger King’ TV adaption - VIDEO
Nicolas Cage is headed to television to take on the role of Joe Exotic, the iconic character from the Netflix docuseries "Tiger King." (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quarantined! 'The Ghost Adventures' miniseries by Zak Bagans - VIDEO
The four-part miniseries “Ghost Adventures: Quarantine” by Zak Bagans will debut in June on the Travel Channel. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 facts about Cinco de Mayo - VIDEO
The holiday celebrates the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Mexico began the holiday in 1862, but does not recognize it nationally anymore. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kristin Cavallari has already filed for divorce - VIDEO
Kristin Cavallari, the "Very Cavallari" star, announced she and her husband, former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, have separated after seven years of marriage and 10 years together. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brad Pitt portrays Dr. Anthony Fauci on ‘Saturday Night Live’ - VIDEO
"Saturday Night Live’ aired their second socially distanced episode of the COVID-19 pandemic on April 25. The episode’s cold open featured actor Brad Pitt portraying Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cirque lenders fighting company’s restart plan

According to reports, if Cirque lenders’ effort is turned back, the group would ask to replace Lamarre as Cirque’s CEO and as a board member, along with the rest of the board.