This Las Vegas visitor carries real star power

The Strip’s marquees are always jammed with big-named entertainers, but this weekend, a real star hits town: Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.

Aldrin was the second man on the moon, but he has become known more recently for his spirited performance on “Dancing With the Stars.”

When Luxor’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Jean George went looking for a way to treat the casino’s preferred customers, she discovered many were interested in meeting Aldrin. With help from Luxor marketing legend Gene Kilroy, who has known Aldrin for 40 years, arrangements were made to have the astronaut touch down on the Boulevard. On Saturday, Aldrin will take part in a high-roller banquet at Luxor.

Aldrin, 80, is scheduled to meet with local businessman and aerospace entrepreneur Robert Bigelow. Bigelow Aerospace has launched experimental modules and plans to create orbiting “space hotels.”

You can keep the usual crooners and comedians.

Once you’ve walked on the moon, you qualify as the highest roller of all.

LIGHTING THE WAY: There’s still time to sign up for the 20th annual Candlelighters Race for our Kids with Chet Buchanan 5K and one-mile community run set for 8 a.m. at Exploration Park inside the Mountain’s Edge community.

The gathering celebrates the lives of those touched by childhood cancer, and this year’s race ambassadors are two brave girls, Kyndel Gregory and Makenzie Hymas.

RIZZOLO TROUBLE: Frustrated lawyers for Amy and Kirk Henry are trying to have revoked the probation of former Crazy Horse Too owner Rick Rizzolo.

In a motion filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, attorneys Stan Hunterton and Donald Campbell accuse Rizzolo of violating the conditions of his parole on tax evasion by lying to authorities, attempting to hide his assets through confidential offshore trust accounts, engaging in a sham divorce from his wife, Lisa, diverting proceeds from the sale of Philadelphia real estate, and enjoying a high-rolling lifestyle despite owing the Henrys $9 million as a settlement in the 2001 beating of Kirk Henry, who was paralyzed by injuries suffered in the parking lot of the Industrial Road club.

Rizzolo was sentenced to a year and a day in prison as part of the global settlement of the lengthy investigation into the alleged criminal activity at the Crazy Horse Too.

Former club employee Robert D’Apice was convicted in connection with the Henry beating.

Henry was left a quadriplegic after nearly having his head wrenched from his neck.

Although you might not know it by the way he operates, Rizzolo is still technically under supervised release. It hasn’t prevented him from enjoying expensive restaurants and nightclubs.

Since leaving prison, Rizzolo “has received over $1.1 million from his financial dealings,” according to the motion. He is accused of failing to disclose his business transactions in violation of the conditions of his supervised release.

RETIRING ‘GLORY’: There are many ways to reflect on Sept. 11, and attending an American flag retirement ceremony is among the more patriotic tributes.

On Saturday at the Henderson/Green Valley Elks Lodge at 631 E. Lake Mead Parkway, Stan Bazar tells me that from 50 to 100 flags will be “destroyed in a dignified manner” in keeping with tradition.

YOUNG BUSINESS: If you’re under 40 and not out of business, you’re not only fortunate, but you also might just qualify for Nevada Business Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 issue coming in November. The magazine is accepting nominees who “have shown leadership and wisdom beyond their age.”

ON THE BOULEVARD: Now that Rizzolo and his “gangster lifestyle” are returning to the news, I guess it was only a matter of time before the name of his old friend, mob figure and casino Black Book member Joey Cusumano, began appearing in court documents. So much for Cusumano’s quiet Las Vegas retirement.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith.

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