How Bob Dylan Redefined Poetry


Pictured above: Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan accepting his Nobel Prize.

Bob Dylan has added another huge accomplishment to his already impressive catalog of awards: the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. Much of the world had grown up on Dylan’s music since the 1960’s, where he first took the folk music world by storm. For many, hearing his lyrics brings about nostalgia and creates a way to relive fond memories, and for others, his lyrics create inspiration to express their own creativity. Despite having stretched his writing across many talents, including the popular performers Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Ed Sheeran, and beyond, Bob Dylan weaves each song into a poem of its own kind.

Dylan’s writing is timeless, and his influence across many different types of music created a widespread phenomenon. He was first considered for the Nobel prize years ago, but many experts felt that the academy would not want to open its more than a century-old award to the world of music. However, after being likened to the ancient Greek works whose poems were performed to music, Dylan was considered again for the award. And he won.

Despite the unusual circumstances and heavy debate surrounding his achievement, Dylan has been praised highly by writers, musicians, and even heads of state for his success.By winning a Nobel Prize for literature, Bob Dylan has succeeded in opening up the world of literature to the other arts, and gives hope to all those who practice their own form of expression.

The Science of Selling Slots


Pictured above: A still from the Global Gaming Expo 2016, also known as G2E.

Everyone knows that Vegas is big business – everything from its nightclubs, to its showroom shows, to sporting events, and concerts is meticulously planned out for a great user experience. Very little is better planned out than the casinos; floorplans are devised to draw traffic through to the nearby restaurants, sports books, and shopping outlets, windows are pretty scarce so that it’s a bit easier to lose track of time, and clocks are nowhere to be found. All of this is so that each guest can get lost in the ‘True Vegas Experience’ of being a high-roller at a blackjack table.

Despite all these efforts, gambling is shrinking. Casino owners are left scratching their heads about why they’re getting more and more tourism, with less and less gambling. A huge part of it is the other incredible attractions that Vegas has to offer (like the nightclubs, shows, and events can help you with), but another big part is that millennials just don’t seem to want to gamble.

The picture above is of G2E, the largest gaming expo in America. G2E is held yearly at the Sands Expo Center, and provides an amazing glance into the kind of planning that goes on behind the scenes as far as Vegas gambling. Engineers for a variety of slot companies have made slot machines bigger, louder, and brighter. On the casino floor, there’s a lot of competition for who is the most playable, and the 11-foot-tall machine with LED lights and EDM music is most likely going to win. In addition to bringing advancements in design and function to slots, new immersive games such as the awe-inspiring The Brookhaven Experiment, are coming to live. TBE is the first VR gambling game, where you bet on your own physical performance in a virtual reality simulation of a zombie attack.

With these advancements coming to a casino floor near you soon, we can see the new age of gambling in Vegas dawning already. Do you welcome these changes, or would you prefer to stick to the classics?


Backstreet’s Back, Alright!


Pictured above: Promotional art for the new Backstreet Boys residency.

After the end of Mariah Carey’s incredibly successful high-energy show, Vegas found itself a little bit quieter – but not for long. Joining the roster of long-running residencies like Britney Spears‘ top-selling show is one of the icons of the early 2000s: the Backstreet Boys.

The Backstreet Boys (or BSB for short) got their start in Orlando, Florida, back in 1995. Their first self-titled album was an instant success, selling over a million copies shortly after release. The addictive and catchy song “Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)” was featured on the album, and peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard 100. Although the popularity of Backstreet Boys (the album) was incredible, their second and third to prove even more impressive; Backstreet’s Back and Millenium both achieved critical acclaim and record-breaking sales.

The band took a brief hiatus shortly after 2002, but returned strong with their 2005 album, Never Gone. Their band member Kevin Richardson left the band for a brief while, but returned and has stayed with them since. Since 1995, BSB has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling boy band in history.

The Backstreet Boys’ residency proves to already be a success, despite not launching for another six months, with tickets for their first performance on March 1st, 2017 selling quickly. Settling down in the pop queen Britney Spears‘ own theater, the AXIS at Planet Hollywood, the Backstreet Boys may prove to become not just an icon of pop music, but an icon of Vegas as well.

Bringing The Sea To The Desert


Pictured above: The on-site promotional banner for the future SeaQuest in Las Vegas.

With the recent developments on our new NHL team, the Las Vegas valley has been pretty excited for ice in Vegas – but now, they’re getting water, too. The Shark Reef Aquarium has been a popular attraction on the Las Vegas Strip for several years already, but SeaQuest is expanding the market with an aquatic attraction right in the center of the Las Vegas valley.

A family-friendly attraction, the all-new SeaQuest in the Boulevard Mall will be a 31,000 square foot tropical oasis in the middle of the desert. Unlike the Shark Reef, which boasts a wide variety of stunning exhibits ranging from the rare lionfish to a ‘petting zoo’ of stingrays, SeaQuest will be very hands-on. The ‘interactive’ portion of ‘interactive aquarium’ means everything from hand-feeding tropical animals, handling massive jungle pythons, and even snorkeling with the exotic stingrays.

The Boulevard Mall has changed hands a few times within the past few years, but no change is quite so large as bringing the aquarium in. The attraction will take up the square footage of what was previously nine different retail stores, and will bring the mall up to 96% occupation, a vast improvement to it’s previous 70% in 2011. Over 1500 marine creatures will now help fill up the space in this family-friendly Vegas attraction, opening in late November, 2016.

Don’t Believe Him – Just Watch!


Pictured above: Bruno Mars’ last performance in Vegas.

Ever hear that your favorite band or singer is coming to town and rush immediately to to buy tickets, but then find out you’re not going to be able to go to the concert for work/school/vacation? Fear not, the age of the residency has fixed that problem. With multiple massive concerts in custom-built stages in luxurious Las Vegas Strip theaters, performers like Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and Reba with Brooks and Dunn have redefined seeing your favorite star in person.

The latest rumor of concert roster additions is already a fan-favorite in the Las Vegas club scene: Bruno Mars. The singer of the hit ‘Uptown Funk’ has been heard on the radio for years, made multiple club appearances, and even held a few concerts in Las Vegas. Almost every performance Bruno makes sells out, leaving a frustrated taste in many of his fans’ mouth. But with the proposed deal between him and Caesars Palace, it’s looking like everyone might walk away a little bit happier.

For Bruno, this could mean a pretty nice nightly paycheck of an awe-inspriring (rumored) $978,000, and it could mean that hardcore funk fans get to hear their favorite sounds as much as they’d like. No longer will difficult schedules or prior commitments get in the way: Bruno would be here to stay.

The Sound of Music Gets a Makeover

sound of music

Pictured above: a still from the Smith Center’s production of the hit musical, The Sound of Music.

There may not be a person alive in America who hasn’t seen even a part of the 1965 smash musical film, The Sound of Music. The fun, upbeat songs combined with the tumultuous setting of 1938 Austria creates a truly amazing and beloved family movie. But you may not be prepared for the Smith Center’s latest touring production – a more traditional rendition of the true story behind the movie.

The current run of The Sound of Music was brought to life by director Jack O’Brien, who was inspired by seeing the original Rodgers and Hammerstein score performed in a low-income part of Moscow. Despite being in Russian, the darker tale that was woven by the performers struck a chord with O’Brien, and he made it a goal to tell the true story of The Sound of Music in America. By taking the score and story and ‘ripping it apart’, O’Brien creates a story that is magical, enchanting, and significantly deeper than it’s movie counterpart.

This limited run of a beloved family hit will be at the Smith Center from August 2nd  through the 14th. Give us a call at 702-597-1588 for your tickets.

A Week of Fighting Is Actually Good

fight week

Pictured above: Promotional art for UFC’s Fight Week.

Most people wouldn’t usually welcome getting into a fight, but UFC does such a good job of bringing the hype for their fights that every event leaves fans wanting even more. This year, they have certainly delivered on the pleas for bigger and better; they gave Vegas an entire week of action-packed events.

While the fighters come into town for weigh-ins and press conferences prior to the fights, the real action starts July 7th, with Fight Night. Fight Night is headlined by Rafael Dos Anjos, a Brazilian fighter, and Eddie Alvarez from America. These two have a long-standing history in the UFC community and the divide of fans is massive. As if that wasn’t enough, 11 other matches occur during Fight Night, across a variety of weight divisions.

July 8th is the final day before the main event, UFC 200. The popular TV show The Ultimate Fighter, which is UFC’s unique way of recruiting and selecting the best fighters from across the world, will be held live from Las Vegas. Two teams will face off for the chance to be The Ultimate Fighter of 2016, one of the biggest achievements in MMA.

UFC 200 has already pushed through some controversy already, as it was announced just four days prior to the event that the headliner, Jon Jones, has been pulled from the match for a potential fail on his drug test. Because of this, the legendary WWE and UFC performer, Brock Lesnar, has stepped up to the plate and will fight Mark Hunt. Plenty of words have been exchanged already between fans about who they think will walk away a champion from this fight, seeing as how Lesnar has a disadvantage of being out of the ‘game’ so long.

This weekend will certainly be one for the record books, with three different main events over three days. Which one are you most excited for?