Criss Angel’s Disappearing Act? in Vegas Seven magazine
Vegas Seven

Before Thursday’s issue of Vegas Seven magazine hits newsstands I wanted to mention a story I wrote in the previous issue; a profile of Las Vegas Strip magician Criss Angel and his pending “free agency.”

I attended Angel’s show in July, we spoke backstage, and later in length over the phone, discussing everything from acting advice to his magic merchandise, and side projects. But much of our conversation was spent discussing how Angel took creative control of his show (formerly titled Believe and now Mindfreak Live!) and what he plans to do after his deal is up in 2018.

“All my options are open. If my show wasn’t so successful, then I probably would be in a different situation, but because it has really been incredible and I’ve been very blessed to have the type of success that I’ve been bestowed, I’m in a good position to be a free agent.” — Criss Angel

Unlike some who have come before him, Angel isn’t entirely dependent on Las Vegas. Here’s a guy who has a magic empire of television specials, touring shows, and the aforementioned merchandise – maybe we need him more than he needs us?

Criss Angel’s Disappearing Act? written by Jason R. Latham for Vegas Seven magazine
Vegas Seven

I’m not going to wager on a scenario, but after seeing his show I hope he decides to stick around. I was in the audience on a Thursday night and the theater was packed, and, as I describe in the article, there are some really die hard fans out there. Additionally, Angel enjoys a lot of local support for his chartable efforts, HELP (Heal Every Life Possible), and the Johnny Chrisstopher Children’s Charitable Foundation, an organization named after his son and dedicated to research and treatment for pediatric cancer.

Our conversation lasted much longer than was necessary for the article, so I have a lot of excerpts leftover, and I wanted to share one in this post. At one point I asked Angel when Las Vegas started to feel like home, and this was his response:

“When I moved out of a hotel, because I lived in Planet Hollywood for a couple of years, and I lived at the Luxor for a few years. It was very difficult, because you couldn’t just go downstairs. It was very challenging. But at that point, I was a completely different person than I am today. I was a very, very different person. And with age comes wisdom and change, and I’m just a different human being, and I prefer a much more quiet life. So for me, when I moved away from that I kind of felt a creative sense of balance, because where I live you don’t hear Vegas. You see it, but you don’t hear it. It’s very tranquil, it’s much more soothing, and it’s just a different life.” — Criss Angel

 

 

Funding shortages are threatening one of Las Vegas’ most important resources for women, and some of the city’s most recognized chefs are stepping up to help.

Right now on DTLV.com (one of Vegas Seven magazine’s sister sites) you can read my preview of next month’s “Feast of Friends 2: A Dinner Called Peace,” a benefit dinner to support The Shade Tree. On August 31, the organization is scheduled to close its transitional women’s shelter, a temporary home for women and families escaping abusive situations. As Vegas Seven’s Amber Sampson writes, the closure could lead to a painful uprooting for people currently staying there.

Here’s how the transitional housing program works, from The Shade Tree website:

“The Transitional Shelter program allows single women and families additional time (up to 1 year) to access programs and to achieve goals. Each resident is assigned a case manager who assists her in establishing a case plan that will help her move toward self-sufficiency.  Program goals are designed to aide residents in finding employment that pays a living wage, securing stable housing, saving money and accessing needed services. Each working resident in the Transitional Housing Program is required to save at least 30% of her income each month. 164 beds are also available in this program consisting of 84 beds for families and 80 beds for single women.”

“Feast of Friends 2” will bring together chefs and mixologists from trendy spots such as Sparrow + Wolf, The Venetian’s Yardbird, Delmonico Steakhouse, and Herbs & Rye, among others. Tickets to the September 19 dinner go on sale August 31.

Vegas Chefs Rally for Shade Tree Benefit by Jason R Latham
Screenshot: DTLV.com

The August 24 issue of Vegas Seven magazine
Vegas Seven

Just ahead of the biggest fight weekend (so far) in Las Vegas this year, the new issue of Vegas Seven magazine includes our monster Fall Sports preview. Inside you’ll read about Conor McGregor’s nightclub residency (a first for a professional athlete on the Strip), an interview with University of Nevada, Las Vegas Athletic Director Desiree Reed-Francois, profiles of three UNLV athletes to watch, and two stories I wrote previewing the arrival of the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights, our city’s inaugural pro sports franchise.

“When the Pros Hit the Residential Scene” is a look at southern Nevada’s housing market, why it’s healthier than in years past, and what that means for the professional athletes looking for the right neighborhood to settle down.
“When the Pros Hit the Residential Scene”

“When the Pros Hit the Residential Scene” is a look at southern Nevada’s housing market, why it’s healthier than in years past, and what that means for the professional athletes looking for the right neighborhood to settle down. In conversations with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices president and COO Gordon Miles, and Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors President Dave Tina, I learned which parts of town – and more specifically, which master-planned neighborhoods – would appeal to athletes earning the NHL minimum wage ($650,000 for the 2017-2018 season), as well as those pulling in multi-million dollars salaries. In both interviews, we also talked about the incoming Raiders players, when that team relocates from Oakland to Las Vegas.

“Vegas Golden Knights Finds Its Home Team Spots” is a quick roundup of seven places where fans can watch the new hockey team outside of T-Mobile Arena.
“Vegas Golden Knights Finds Its Home Team Spots”

“Vegas Golden Knights Finds Its Home Team Spots” is a quick roundup of seven places where fans can watch the new hockey team outside of T-Mobile Arena. I didn’t say “outside of their homes” because southern Nevada’s only cable provider doesn’t currently carry the network on which the Golden Knights games will air. That’s a contentious issue right now for fans, and discussions are ongoing. With the puck dropping October 10 at T-Mobile Arena, people are starting to get anxious, but if you feel like watching the team in a fan-friendly atmosphere, this story will give you some options.

The August 24 issue of Vegas Seven is online and on newsstands now.

 

While so many are enthralled with tonight’s Powerball jackpot and dreaming about what they’d do with their riches, I wrote an article for Vegas Seven magazine about a man who’s already living out others’ fantasies.

If you aren’t yet familiar Gianluca Vacchi’s name or reputation, you’ll likely hear of both following his DJ set at Wynn Las Vegas’ Intrigue Nightclub on Saturday, September 26. Yes, the same night as the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

Vacchi, the eccentric multimillionaire known for showcasing his excessive lifestyle – yachts, dancing, fashion, and even stunts – to his massive social media following (11.2 million on Instagram), scored a coveted post-fight slot in one of the city’s most popular nightclubs. At first glance this might appear to be a case of a rich guy getting what he wants: the chance to “play” DJ in Las Vegas. But Vacchi’s DJ skills and just released single, “Viento,” are pretty impressive, as I wrote in the article.

You can read a preview of Vacchi’s upcoming appearance – and see the “Viento” video online, and you’ll also find the story in the August 24 issue of Vegas Seven.

Gianluca Vacchi is coming to Las Vegas
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Vegas Seven

The latest issue of Vegas Magazine is online and on newsstands now, and features my first contributions to the Modern Luxury publication.

In “The View from Here” you’ll see the latest renovations to luxury suites and penthouses at Caesars Palace and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and the ridiculous perks that you’ll get during your stay. Perks such as your own master sushi chef, in-suite sauna, and a private gaming salon with a Strip-wide view. The article points to the games of one-upmanship that are necessary in order to attract high rollers to luxury hotels.

“Botler Service” is a quick read about the newest technology that could take the place of human workers on the Strip. The Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino turned heads this summer with the opening of Tipsy Robot bar inside its Miracle Mile Shops. The bar doesn’t rely on humans to take orders, instead you give your order to a machine and watch as a robot mixes your drink.

And my final contribution is just a quick comment on fall fashion, and the trend I’m looking forward to when the weather finally cools in southern Nevada. You can read the latest issue of Vegas Magazine by clicking on the cover below.

Vegas Magazine 2017 Fall Issue

It’s never too late in the season to put out another dayclub review. In this week’s issue of Vegas Seven magazine, I tour The Venetian’s TAO Beach, one of the original pool parties on the Las Vegas Strip. If you think all pools are the same — a DJ blasting EDM, champagne sprays, assorted beefcakes and bikini models — you’ll see that TAO Beach has found ways to mix it up.

“When you’re together this long, you’ve got to do what you can to keep the relationship fresh. Tao Beach relies on a strategy that’s done well for many couples: role-playing.”

Like other pools I’ve toured this summer (read my stories on Marquee Dayclub, Flamingo’s GO Pool, Daylight Beach Club, and Rehab) I try to highlight the most interesting items on the menu, and the music programming. TAO’s lineup is among the more unique offerings on the Strip, with up-and-comers and local favorites such as Eric D-Lux and CLA on tap alongside vets such as Jermaine Dupri.

Check out the TAO Beach tour in this week’s Vegas Seven online or on newsstands.

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 2.25.05 PM
Photo credit: Louis Van Baar (via Vegas Seven)

On newsstands and online today, my Vegas Seven magazine Q&A with Martin Garrix, the 21-year-old music prodigy who broke through in 2013 with his track “Animals” and has since dropped three EP’s, landed an Ibiza residency, and will be performing at Las Vegas’ Omnia Nightclub on August 18.

“It just seems to get crazier and crazier everywhere I go,” he said. No kidding. Here’s a guy having the time of his life, but as I wrote in the story, he’s not a party-all-the-time 21-year-old. Garrix is constantly working, to the point in which he admits not being able to turn away from music even in those brief moments where he could take a break.

In the story, Garrix also talks about returning to Las Vegas (he first played at Hakkasan back in 2014), which artist he’d love to collaborate with on a new project, and who he’s listening to right now.

You can read the piece, “Martin Garrix Is Never Not Working,” here.