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Phil Ruffin’s options abound at Las Vegas Strip’s festival grounds

Updated November 2, 2019 - 9:35 pm

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is the media tent at Day N Vegas, just off the Roll The Dice stage, where we have been directed by Cam Girl to “make some noise!” The crowd roars back, and it will be loud on the southwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue through late Sunday. If you’re driving by the neighborhood, honk to fit in.

Resort mogul Phil Ruffin (who is not on-site at the hip-hop spectacle) will take over this parcel, known as Las Vegas Festival Grounds, as part of the transaction that included Circus Circus. Ruffin is in the catbird seat with this property, which can easily attract 60,000 festivalgoers in a single weekend.

LVFG, as has become known in shorthand, could actually serve as the site of a 40,000-seat, big-league ballpark if any major league franchise wants to relocate to the Strip. Not breaking news, but merely conveying the venue’s versatility here.

The Festival Grounds are zoned for any mass-gathering event and are surrounded by under-construction or under-renovation resorts. The Strat, Sahara, the Drew, Resorts World and, just to the south, Circus Circus. Ruffin has a pin in a site that will only become more valuable as the deal closes at the end of the year. That’s when the fun really begins.

Club Gaga

Following Lady Gaga’s Halloween night frivolity at Park MGM, the Park Theater headliner arrived at about 1:30 a.m. to rock with Boys Noize, who furnished the music for Gaga’s Haus Laboratories beauty line. Dressed extensively as a unicorn, Gaga asked what it would cost to shut the club down and turn it into a private party.

Officials offered to simply shut down the place as a comped amenity for the pop superstar, whose social media posts alone would have made such a move invaluable. But Gaga reportedly insisted on paying, and ponied up (or, unicorn-ed up) $12,000 as the running rate to rent the space.

That included a five-minute open bar where everyone in the place got a free drink before leaving.

Gaga left, too — at about 6 a.m. That was her pumpkin time.

No place like Dome

Amid ample fanfare, Cardi B hosted her “Demon Dome” Halloween party to launch Kaos Dome at Kaos Nightclub and Dayclub at the Palms. Due for a change in directory after Marshmello was cut loose from his headlining agreement with the club, Kaos rocked through the evening, with Cardi’s fans co-mingling with Marilyn Manson’s devotees who attended his show at Pearl Concert Theater.

“A major harmonic convergence” is how one attendee described the hotel scene. Sadly, there was no collab between the two.

Cardi B was dressed as a dressed-down nun, incidentally. The genuflecting was rampant. Flavor Flav (who never needs a costume) and Flo Rida were among the noteworthy attendees.

Across the casino, Oscar-winning actor and matrimonial news-maker Nic Cage showed up backstage at Manson’s show. Andrei Gillott, a member of Guns N’ Roses’ management team, caught a photo of the two posing for a selfie. It is a classic.

View this post on Instagram

Nic Cage and I, reunited in Las Vegas.

A post shared by Marilyn Manson (@marilynmanson) on

Santana’s set

“September” by Earth Wind & Fire is in Carlos Santana’s new show-closing medley at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay, and that idea is as good as it sounds. Santana also lands with the Youngblood’s “Get Together” in his reliably, and spiritually, uplifting production.

What Works In Vegas

David Perrico at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center. His Pop Strings Orchestra run of “The Godfather” soundtrack sold out Friday night. That’s 22 consecutive sold-out performances for Perrico, who was among the first local acts to perform at Cab Jazz soon after it opened in spring 2012. Perrico continues to headline Fridays and Saturdays at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace.

Champs reunite

Kym Johnson, Donny Osmond’s pro partner from his “Dancing With the Stars” championship, took in one of the last Donny & Marie shows at the Flamingo on Friday night. Osmond and Johnson won the title in 2009. Yes, a decade ago. Osmond posted a photo on Twitter of Johnson with her husband, cybersecurity magnate Robert Herjavec, and her mother, Barbara. “It was great reminiscing about all of those tough dances Kym made me do. But we won! That’s all that counts!”

The mirrored-ball trophy has been displayed at the Flamingo ever since Osmond came back to Las Vegas with the title.

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

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