MGM Resorts: No return of Rock in Rio to the Strip

Maybe those speaker stands at Toshiba Plaza at the Park at T-Mobile Arena are a sign.

They look really familiar to anyone who attended the Rock in Rio USA music festival at Las Vegas Resorts Festival Grounds in May 2015. Those same speaker towers loomed over the scene when the plaza opened at the entrance of T-Mobile Arena earlier this year. They actually were pulled from the 50-acre Las Vegas Festival Grounds parcel on the southwest corner of the Strip and Sahara Avenue.

MGM Resorts owns both venues, and given the relocation of the speaker stands, it is apparent that Rock in Rio USA is finished on the Strip. MGM Resorts officials have been working for months with, or attempting to work with, executives in Brazil to return Rock in Rio to Las Vegas next May as scheduled. Several internal deadlines set by MGM brass — including one at the of October — have passed for a definitive announcement about the festival’s return.

Chris Baldizan, MGM Resort’s senior vice president of entertainment booking and development, said he has not heard anything that gives him confidence festival organizers want to come back. “No Rock in Rio,” he said in a text. “We’re working on some other things.”

Is this really the end of the festival in Vegas? “Until they say otherwise, yes,” Baldizan replied.

Rock in Rio played f0r consecutive weekends in its Vegas debut, with such superstars as Metallica, No Doubt, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift headlining on the main stage. The festival was a staging success with its themed Rock Street faux-neighborhoods and a zip line carrying fans high above the grounds (even though the Ferris wheel was knocked out of commission on the first weekend because of maintenance issues).

But it did not sell nearly as well predicted, drawing only about 140,000 attendees over four nights (328,000 were originally expected). Financial losses were estimated between $24 million and $28 million. Shortfalls are not uncommon for first-year festivals, but industry experts anticipated Rock in Rio’s losses to be less than $20 million. The original investment in the festival, including the construction of the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, was $50 million.

What is next at that site is uncertain. MGM Resorts has a giant lot on a famous site, with nothing booked. Whatever happens, they likely will need new speakers.

RANCH HANDS

Jon Taffer of “Bar Rescue” has made St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in Boulder City his pet charity project since moving to Vegas three years ago. On Friday, he hosted the organization’s 50th anniversary gala at Green Valley Ranch. Performers and supporters included “Master Magician”Lance Burton, Food Network star Vic Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas headliner Jeff Civillico (seated and recovering from knee surgery on Monday), Excalibur tribute act the Australian Bee Gees, members of Cirque du Soleil, longtime Elvis tribute artist Matt Lewis and Las Vegas performer Jennifer Lier with her send-up of Marilyn Monroe.

During a rare stage appearance, the retired Burton remembered his performance (or lack thereof) at the 16th anniversary gala in 1982. Venerable Las Vegas Sun critic Joe Delaney hosted and welcomed an unbilled Frank Sinatrato the stage. “Frank is never announced. He just shows up,” Delaney told Burton, who was 22 and performing as a specialty act with “Folies Bergere” at the time. Delaney offered to push Burton to the slot after Sinatra. “I can’t,” Burton said. “I have to be at my show.” Delaney shrugged, and Burton told Friday’s audience, “I was bumped for Frank Sinatra!”

HOLIDAY ACTION

Donny & Marie Osmond will light the Linq promenade tree at 6 p.m. Nov. 19. This year’s tree is 30 feet high, quite a lot taller than the trophy the exceedingly proud Donny Osmond claimed for winning “Dancing With the Stars” that he mentions during the duo’s show every night.

Downtown, Venetian Sands Showroom headliners Human Nature will serve as grand marshals of the annual Opportunity Village Great Santa Run on Dec. 3 at the Fremont Street Experience. Expect upwards of 10,000 Santa-costumed participants in the fun run, with the requisite appearance by Mayor Carolyn Goodman and (hopefully) her husband, Oscar Goodman. The festivities are at the non-martini hour of 8 a.m., never Goodman’s favorite time for public appearances.

Note: This version of the column corrects the date for the Great Santa Run.

John Katsilometes’ column runs Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday in the A section, and Fridays in Neon. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Dream of AJ Montgomery
AJ Montgomery lost part of his leg in a vehicle accident but found his dream as a performer in “Le Reve.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kelly Clinton-Holmes of the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes chats with Kelly Clinton-Holmes, director of the Stirling Club's New Year's Eve entertainment.
Month-by-month entertainment coming in 2019
“True Detective” Season 3, HBO (Jan. 13) Travis Scott, T-Mobile Arena (Feb. 6) Robbie Williams, Encore Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas (March 6, 8, 9, 13, 15 and 16) “Game of Thrones” Season 8, HBO (April) Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas Motor Speedway (May 17-19) “Fiddler on the Roof,” The Smith Center (June 4-9) “The Lion King” (July 19) Psycho Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay (Aug. 16-18) Life is Beautiful, downtown Las Vegas (Sept. 20-22) “Tim Burton @ the Neon Museum” (Oct. 15) “Frozen 2” (Nov. 22) “Star Wars: Episode IX” (Dec. 20)
Lacey Huszcza invites you to find something to love at the Las Vegas Philharmonic
Lacey Huszcza, executive director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic talks about the orchestra's wealth of programming. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gina Marinelli offers La Strega preview
Gina Marinelli used a pop-up New Year’s Eve dinner at Starboard Tack to preview items she’ll feature at her new Summerlin restaurant, La Strega. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Year’s Eve at Sparrow + Wolf
Sparrow + Wolf’s New Year’s Eve party was a sort of official unveiling of its newly renovated space. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Debra Kelleher Of The Stirling Club
Debra Kelleher, DK Hospitality President talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the Stirling Club.
Richard Ditton Of The Stirling Club
Richard Ditton, an investment partner of the Stirling Club talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the club.
NYE at the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes reports from the reopening of the Stirling Club on New Year's Eve 2018.
Michael Stapleton of the Stirling Club
Michael Stapleton, COO of the Stirling Club talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the club.
Recap the Countdown on Fremont Street — VIDEO
Nearly 40,000 people packed Fremont Street to enjoy America's Party Downtown. As the tradition stands, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman counted down the clock on the 3rd Street Stage, alongside her husband and former mayor, Oscar Goodman.
New Year's Eve live from the Las Vegas Strip Bellagio Fountains - Video
Reporter Aaron Drawhorn near the Bellagio Fountains as hundreds of thousands gather to celebrate New Year's Eve in Las Vegas
Ryan Reaves describes the flavors in Training Day beer
Ryan Reaves talks about the flavor of Training Day, the new beer from 7Five Brewing that was launched at the PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves describes his new beer
Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves talks about his new beer from 7Five Brewing at a launch party at PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' five biggest NYE concerts
Imagine Dragons at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Lady Gaga at The Park Theater at Park MGM, Maroon 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Bruno Mars at T-Mobile Arena, and Tenacious D at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Celebrate New Years Day, Hangover Day and Bloody Mary Day at Cabo Wabo
Celebrate New Years Day, Hangover Day and Bloody Mary Day at Cabo Wabo (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Symon, chef and owner of Mabel's BBQ, talks about his first Las Vegas restaurant
Michael Symon, chef and owner of Mabel's BBQ, talks about his first Las Vegas restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye @bizutesfaye
New American Eagle flagship on the Las Vegas Strip lets you customize your clothing
American Eagle flagship on the Las Vegas Strip lets you customize your clothing
Bellagio Conservatory display is Majestic Holiday Magic
Majestic Holiday Magic at the Bellagio Conservatory
Las Vegas Ready for 2019 NYE Fireworks Show
The city of Las Vegas is ready to celebrate "America's Party" with a new and improved fireworks show that will pay tribute to the Golden Knights.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like