Archive for December, 2008

Motorcycle daredevils make battling New Years Eve jumps in LAS VEGAS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 31, 2008 by ifly2lv

Motorcycle daredevils make battling New Years Eve jumps
December 31st, 2008

There are many ways to paint the motorcycle-themed New Years Eve celebrations; a battle of countries, newcomer versus family business, a ratings contest between television networks or even a fight of the Robbie’s.

Two motorcycle daredevils are scheduled to make death-defying jumps in Las Vegas tonight, one to appear on on ESPN and the other on FOX.

A year after breaking the Guinness World Record with a jump of 322 feet, 7 1/2 inches, Australian daredevil Robbie Maddison (pictured right) will jump as part of the Red Bull: New Year. No Limits on ESPN. He plans to jump his bike more than 120 feet high and land on top of the 96-foot high replica of the Arc de Triomphe in front of Paris Las Vegas. He’ll then drop off the Arc and free fall 50 feet to a massive landing ramp.

Robbie Knievel will have his own set of television cameras watching the attempt to make a 200-foot jump over the recently renovated erupting Mirage Volcano in Las Vegas. The attempt comes exactly 41 years after Knievel’s father, Evel Knievel, broke most of the bones in his body with a jump at Caesars Palace that went bad.

Robbie, 46, is one of four Knievel siblings who began jumping his bicycle at age 4 and moved to riding motorcycles at age 7. Maddison, 27, is making his own daredevil heritage and faces extreme numbers in tonight’s jump while Knievel is challenged by flames from a Vegas Landmark and his fathers history.

Upset about the two jumps being staged on the same night, the Australian daredevil told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “He is a disrespectful drunken bum, a no talent who is making a joke of a jump,” speaking of Robbie Knievel.

Robbie Maddison can be seen on ESPN and Robbie Knievel will make his jump on FOX.



Southwest Slashes Fares To Vegas thru 12/31!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2008 by ifly2lv

Southwest is slashing prices.

For two days only, Dec. 30 and 31, Southwest will sell all flights to Las Vegas at half price.

The fare from Dallas has been slashed to $159 round trip. Tickets are good for travel from Jan. 13 to March 11.

Rick Seaney with said, “This is the deepest discount I have seen in recent history and a sign of how bad airlines are hurting for demand right now.”

For more ticket information, visit


Record numbers of strippers seen showing up in Las Vegas

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2008 by ifly2lv



The worst economic crisis in decades has record numbers of strippers showing up in Las Vegas.

“We’ve had as many as 400 working at one time,” said Shai Cohen, director of marketing for Sapphire, which is billed as the world’s largest gentlemen’s club.

An even larger turnout is likely next month when 140,000 convention attendees show up for the annual porn trade show and the Consumer Electronic Show.

“We have seen a lot of new faces,” said Cohen. Before the economy started diving last summer, 250 to 300 girls would arrive at the 70,000-square-foot club.

“Girls who were in our system from long time ago are returning,” he said. The majority of newcomers are driving in from Southern California, he said, with two and three sharing a motel room to cut expenses.

Tipping is down, he added, and more patrons are using credit cards instead of cash.

Cohen has heard scuttlebutt that a number of local strip clubs are struggling, but Sapphire’s business has remained robust, he said.

“We have 10 sky boxes that go for $500 an hour and they’re being used. We hear people talking about the economy all day, but we haven’t noticed a big difference.

“Las Vegas has been an escape that’s been around forever. People need to be entertained.”


Lobbyist Vicki Iseman linked by Times to McCain sues paper

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2008 by ifly2lv


Details from smoking gun



A Washington lobbyist filed a $27 million defamation lawsuit against the New York Times yesterday, accusing the newspaper of falsely intimating that she had a romantic relationship with Sen. John McCain and used it to benefit her clients.

The lawsuit by Vicki L. Iseman, filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, focuses on a 3,000-word article the paper published Feb. 21 as the senator from Arizona was leading the race for the Republican presidential nomination. The suit blasts the paper for publishing what it called “gossip and innuendo.”

The Times reported that some of McCain’s top advisers had become convinced during his first campaign for the White House, in 2000, of a romantic relationship between the two and that they worried that Iseman’s clients often had business before the Senate committee McCain led. The article broadly examined McCain’s crusade for stricter ethics rules and whether “his confidence in his own integrity has sometimes seemed to blind him to potentially embarrassing conflicts of interest.”
Abbe Ruttenberg Serphos, a Times spokeswoman, said the paper “fully” stands behind its report. “We continue to believe it to be true and accurate, and that we will prevail. . . . It was an important piece that raised questions about a presidential contender and the perception that he had been engaged in conflicts of interest,” she said.
A spokeswoman for McCain did not return a telephone call and an e-mail seeking comment late yesterday. McCain has denied any romantic relationship, and his campaign called the Times report “gutter politics” when it ran.

Iseman, a telecommunications lobbyist and partner at the Arlington County-based firm Alcalde & Fay, declined to comment yesterday through her attorney.

Rodney Smolla, Iseman’s attorney, denied in an interview that his client and McCain had been romantically involved and said the Times article “was very damaging to her professionally and personally.”

The article was criticized by conservatives, numerous Times readers and the paper’s public editor, Clark Hoyt, who said it had “raised one of the most toxic subjects in politics — sex” without offering any proof that “McCain and Iseman had a romance.” But some media analysts called the article, which also scrutinized potential conflicts of interest in McCain’s background, an appropriate examination of his record.

The lawsuit names the New York Times Co., Executive Editor Bill Keller, Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet, and reporters Jim Rutenberg, David D. Kirkpatrick, Stephen Labaton and Marilyn W. Thompson. Thompson is now an editor at The Washington Post.

Love me some Jennifer Aniston

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2008 by ifly2lv

I have some ties to share with her!


The Good Times Stop Rolling: Vegas Meets the Recession

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2008 by ifly2lv
The Good Times Stop Rolling: Vegas Meets the Recession
An aerial view of the construction site for CityCenter in Las Vegas
An aerial view of the construction site for CityCenter in Las Vegas
Ethan Miller / Getty


Gaming revenue in Clark County, which includes downtown Las Vegas and the Strip, is down 8.5% for the year, to $8.3 billion. But the revenue for October, the last month for which figures are available, is off an ominous 24.3% vs. the same month in 2007. Visitor volume is down 3% over last year, though the city’s convention business is holding steady.

The Strip’s restaurants have seen a proportional decrease along with overall visitor traffic. David McIntyre, vice president of food and beverage at MGM Grand — which counts among its stable of high-end eateries such restaurants as Shibuya, Nobhill and a pair from French maestro Joel Robuchon — notes that visitors have become more careful with their dollars. “They’re still going out to eat; they’re just not spending as much money,” McIntyre says. “They might not have that second glass of wine.” (See 10 things to do in Las Vegas.)

The recession is hitting Las Vegas on all fronts. Nevada legislators have struggled to close a deficit of more than $1 billion in the 2009 budget. Budget projections for 2010 and 2011 also look grim. Construction on Boyd Gaming’s $4.8 billion Echelon resort was stopped last August just as three of its towers reached the 12th floor (the tallest would have risen to 55 stories). Construction won’t resume until 2010, though the cranes will remain towering above the site (it’s cheaper to leave them in place — and these days no one else in town needs them).

A mile or two down the Strip, MGM Mirage just sold off Treasure Island for $775 million to billionaire casino operator Phil Ruffin. The cash infusion should help the corporation finish construction on its $9.1 billion CityCenter, the largest private construction job in the U.S. Yet even in the best-case scenario, Vegas — and the rest of the country — won’t begin to drive out of the ditch until the end of next year, as consumer spending improves, new hiring resumes and the city’s battered construction industry gets back on its feet. The worst case? The recession deepens, and the ditch turns into a cliff.

From any vantage point, the situation is grim. Construction in the area dropped 92% in October, compared with the same month a year earlier. In November the county issued 80 new home permits, down from an average of almost 500 permits a month in 2007. Housing prices have deflated with a deafening groan. Keith Schwer, who runs the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, estimates that 50% of homeowners owe more than what their home is worth. Perhaps the only positive note is that housing prices have returned to more reasonable levels. “We’re getting back into the affordability range,” Schwer says. “The only problem is we don’t have credit to buy them, and we’re losing jobs.”

Nevada’s unemployment rate jumped from 0.4% to 8% in November, the highest rate since 1984, and Schwer says it could rise to 10% next year. The figure translates to more than 111,700 unemployed Nevadans, according to the state’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. (The national rate is 6.7%.) Meanwhile, the city’s largest food bank, Three Square, which supplies food to nonprofits throughout the city, budgeted $250,000 for purchasing food in 2008. The total food need for destitute families throughout the Las Vegas Valley is closer to $1.3 million.

Las Vegas, however, is nothing if not optimistic. Its history gives it good reason to be. Boosters point to the coming 2009 debuts of CityCenter, the Fountainebleau and the M Resort, which add up to $20 billion of construction, as proof that the Vegas brand is fundamentally strong. “There’s a resilience to Las Vegas that’s unlike anything else you see in the country,” says Dick Rizzo, vice chairman of Perini Building Co., the largest construction firm in town.

And then, as if on cue, here comes Steve Wynn. Three days before Christmas, he opened the new addition to his swanky Wynn Las Vegas resort, a $2.3 billion, 2,034-room playground called Encore. The new property is easily the most decorative and jubilant in the city; it lets in an abundance of natural light while somehow managing to keep the view of a struggling city at bay.

A new casino opening always pumps some energy into Las Vegas. But Vegas shares with the rest of the country the feeling that things will get worse before they get better. Whether Encore signals a new beginning for Las Vegas, the way Wynn’s Mirage did in 1989, is not a bet to take lightly. “We’re still in a fairly early phase in the downturn,” says Schwer. “I don’t see Steve Wynn sticking his finger in the dike and holding it back.”

Robbie Knievel’s Talks about New Year’s Eve Jump Over the Mirage Volcano

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 30, 2008 by ifly2lv



Jeff Androsky Talks Robbie Knievel’s New Year’s Eve Jump Over the Mirage Volcano
By Troy Rogers

Although daredevil Evel Knievel became a legend in his own time after attempting to jump the Colorado River in a rocket over the Snake River Canyon and the fountain at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Evel’s son Robbie Knievel has far surpassed his father’s legacy with many more successful record breaking motorcycle jumps over the years, including conquering the almighty Caesar’s fountain and the Snake River Canyon. And while Evel Knievel’s legacy lives on, Robbie Knievel has gone on to become the world’s greatest daredevil after more than 350 jumps and 20 world records. In 2009, Robbie will be heading overseas to London where he’ll attempt to jump 15 busses using the same Harley XR-750 that his father used at Wembley Stadium in 1975.

Shortly after the clock strikes 12 midnight on New Year’s Eve, as part of Fox’s New Year’s Eve Live broadcast, with performances by American Idol winner David Cook and Stone Temple Pilots front man Scott Weiland, Robbie Knievel will be ushering in 2009 with a hair raising 200-foot jump over the recently renovated erupting Mirage Volcano on to the Las Vegas strip, which will mark the 41st anniversary of Evel Knievel’s bone-crunching jump at Caesars Palace.

With New Year’s Eve only hours away, we tracked down Fox’s New Year’s Eve Live executive producer Jeff Androsky for an exclusive one-on-one chat to find out how he and Robbie are preparing to jump the Mirage Volcano, land safely, and still have time to party while 2009 is still fresh.

THE DEADBOLT: So what can you tell me about the stunt?

JEFF ANDROSKY: Well, it’s Robbie Knieval jumping 200 feet over the Mirage Hotel’s volcano onto the Las Vegas strip. It’s Robbie with a huge fireball between his legs, literally.

THE DEADBOLT: That sounds awesome.

ANDROSKY: Oh, yeah. And it’s been especially fun down here lately since Vegas got about six inches of snow.

THE DEADBOLT: [laughs] I’m guessing that makes things a little trickier.

ANDROSKY: Oh, man. It’s not just the snow but the temperature also effects everything we’ve already done. The temperature effects the tires, which effects the speed of the bike, and if there isn’t enough speed then the jump will be unsuccessful. There’s a lot to take into account – the angle of the ramp, the speed of the bike, the wind, the air temperature – we do a lot of planning and prep work and this weather throws everything off whack.

THE DEADBOLT: It’s strange that I’m talking to you because I was flicking through the channels last night and I saw Evel’s wipe out at Caesars and then a clip of him biting it at Wembley.

ANDROSKY: Oh, Wembley was an awesome jump.

THE DEADBOLT: So how does this jump at the Mirage compare with his jump at Caesars?

ANDROSKY: Back then those bikes that Evel used were so heavy. And the other thing were the shocks they used back then. The shocks that Evel used had about an inch or two of travel to them, which meant they moved up and down by two inches at the most, basically they were too stiff and made the landings extra rough. But the equipment that Robbie uses nowadays is tested and analyzed and very fine tuned, plus the new style shock absorbers help a lot.

THE DEADBOLT: So the old style shocks were the reason Evel would actually land the bike and then get thrown off.

ANDROSKY: Yeah, it was like a pogo stick. Boing!

THE DEADBOLT: Before the snow hit, what were the logistics and preparations for the jump?

ANDROSKY: We were down there testing the bike, setting up the ramp, doing calculations. Robbie is going to come from behind the hotel, jump the volcano, and land on the strip. I’ve been setting this up for six months, getting together with the police, fire department, ambulance – I’ve had to talk to everybody. You know how hard it is to shut down a portion of the strip and provide safety for the event? I had to talk with the fire chief, the police chief…

THE DEADBOLT: So you’re the headache guy?

ANDROSKY: [laughs] Yeah, exactly. The snow is really helping, too.

THE DEADBOLT: So when Robbie successfully pulls off the jump on New Years Eve and he wants to celebrate, what do you guys have planned?

ANDROSKY: After he lands the jump we’ll get to him quick and probably go out and celebrate with everyone in Vegas. You know Robbie, it’s going to be a great time.

— Troy Rogers