Sportsbook, Uncle Kracker in Resorts World’s saloon plans

Dawg House Saloon is a venue you can bet on, and also in, at Resorts World Las Vegas.

We’re confidently informed the rock club, restaurant and nightlife destination will be home to the property’s sportsbook. Righteously, you can bet, drink, eat, and enjoy live music, every night.

Dawg House is based in Nashville, where its website boasts the club is “a music venue with a sports addiction. Our state of the art all digital sound system is big stage capable, with an intimate feel. When it comes to sports, we don’t have a single spot in the bar that you can’t see the game on one of our big screens.”

Sounds like a one-stop, Cool Hang Alert, certainly a home to future Kats! Bureau transmissions. There has been no decision which company will operate the Resorts Worlds’ sport book.

Musically, Uncle Kracker is in line to perform at the venue and hotel’s opening, still listed as “this summer,” meaning before Sept. 22. It needs to open at least by Sept. 16, because J Balvin is hosting the “The Neón Experience” music festival covering Mexican Independence Day on that weekend.

Opening the resort prior to “The Neón Experience” would enhance the prospects for that event, no question.

Kracker, whose legal name of Matthew Shafer, is the one-time turntablist for Kid Rock’s backing group Twisted Brown Trucker. The country rocker most recently played Vegas in January 2020, at The Railhead at Boulder Station.

Darius Rucker’s name is also being spun around as a possible opening-weekend headliner at Dawg House. Rucker’s participation in Resorts World’s opening will stand as a rumor (which is a piece of information not yet confirmed but is a possibility) until further notice.

Rucker is front man of Hootie & The Blowfish, of course, and also a frequent Vegas headliner. He also headlined the private concert at Tiger Woods’ “Tiger Jam” charity event at MGM Grand in 2017. Scott Sibella, now Resorts World’s president, ran MGM Grand in those days.

Hootie & The Blowfish most recently played Vegas at T-Mobile Arena in June 2019, on the 25th anniversary of their “Cracked Rear View” breakout album.

Signed up

Resorts World Las Vegas broadcast an overtly public message to Richard “Boz” Bosworth and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on Thursday. The hotel’s towering, east facing, Las Vegas Strip marquee glowed with, “Congratulations Virgin Hotels Las Vegas” with the now-familiar Virgin logo splashed across the tower. Sibella was among the VIP invitees that night.

Reappearing act

Tracking Shin Lim’s plans for pandemic reopening is a little like following the cups-and-balls bit. But the headlining magician says he plans to reopen at Mirage Theater, despite options elsewhere. As Lim texted Saturday, “My goal is to be at the Mirage when it is safe to open.”

The Strip headliner and two-time “America’s Got Talent” champ was a name brandied about for a temporary move into Park Theater. He and the star comics in the “Aces of Comedy” series have been considered for a return at the larger theater at Park MGM.

Last month, MGM Resorts International President of Entertainment and Sports George Kliavkoff said the theater is available for Mirage headliners. The venue’s flexible, 5,200-seat capacity would safely allow for crowds of between 1,000-2,000. Mirage Theater seats about 1,250. There is no formal word, yet, about how such comics as David Spade, Ray Romano, Gabriel Iglesias and Bill Maher would rotate in the bigger venue.

Maher, for one, has said on his “Real Time” HBO show that he is eager to return to Vegas, specifying the Mirage.

He’s draggin’

Piff the Magic Dragon is making like Brooks & Dunn these days, doing the boot-scootin’ boogie after a jogging mishap with his buddy and mentalist Colin Cloud.

Piff, headlining at Flamingo Las Vegas, and Cloud, who co-stars in Lim’s “Limitless” production, went jogging on March 20. By March 21, Piff was limping from pain in his right foot. By March 22, he couldn’t stand in the middle of his own performance. Showgirl Jade Simone found a wheeled office chair and pushed the costumed dragon around the stage for the rest of the show.

Tuesday, Piff (legal name John van der Put) visited the doctor and was diagnosed with what he describes as “a very inflamed case of plantar fasciitis.”

Docs wanted him casted, at once. No go. “I managed to negotiate down to steroid injection and a boot. So I’m on a scooter for three weeks, and rocking a nicely customized dragon boot.”

Shag, and Houstons

I ran into Mark and Jonnie Houston of On The Record on Thursday night at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Customarily, the nightlife entrepreneurs took up a VIP enclave at The Shag Room. The brothers indicated they do want the club to return soon to Park MGM, but are not interested in coming back unless they can turn a profit while keeping the club’s high standards intact.

“We will reopen; it’s just a matter of when is the right time,” Mark Houston said. “This weekend has shown a promising, quick rebound and has definitely excited us to do so. Crunching numbers and details and getting everything set up for an amazing reopen, where we don’t compromise the experience based on today’s guidelines.”

On The Record opened in December 2018, across the casino floor from Park Theater. We miss the 1963 Bristol Lodekka double-decker bus converted into a DJ booth, and also club anniversary hangs with Flavor Flav.

Locals abound

The Virgin opening party was rife with Vegas entertainers. Veteran singer/songwriter Shawn Eiferman performed in The Shag Room throughout the weekend. Violinists Jennifer Lynn (near the main entrance) and Lydia Ansel (at the Mohegan Sun outdoor VIP party) were featured. That was Lora Kelsey on her famed stilts. That was Cameron Dettman as the hallway guitarist.

We also recognized the esteemed Doc Phineas Kastle, a 60-year entertainment vet who started his career at age 6 as a tap dancer. He led the promenade into the hotel.

The distinction of being the first formal live entertainment in the property falls to “The Voice” finalist Marisa Corvo and Vegas guitarist Patrick Sieben, who launched the Mohegan Sun Casino VIP party.

Your VegasVille Moment

Wayne Newton is eager to tour Allegiant Stadium, where a painting of Mr. Las Vegas in a Las Vegas Raiders jersey is displayed. Saturday night, Newton and his wife, Kathleen, ran into the guy who can make it happen, Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis. Also in the room were Mike Tyson and his wife, Kiki. All of it happened at Piero’s Italian Cuisine, where dreams come true.

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

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