Let’s give props to two resorts sticking to their roots. At a time when many hotels are rebranding away from their original themes (think Treasure Island morphing into TI, or Irish-themed Fitzgeralds downtown becoming The D), The Venetian and The Palazzo are embracing who they are. First there was December’s Winter in Venice. Now there’s Carnevale (“On the Continent”), a seasonlong celebration of arts, music and food inspired by the festivals traditionally found throughout Italy during this time of year. The two resorts have always done a good job when it comes to authentic Italian cuisine—Mario Batali’s steakhouse Carnevino and sister Italian restaurant B&B are usually listed among the best in the city—but now the folks who brought gondolas to the Strip are upping the ante on everything Italian. If you’ve been away from either resort for a while, now might be the time to make a return visit. Andiamo!
Sometimes people ask me who my favorite celebrity encounter has been since I’ve moved to Vegas. One of the names that always sticks out is George Martin, whom I had the pleasure to meet during the run-up to the debut of The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil (“Together in Harmony”) at The Mirage. The legendary Beatles producer was in town with his son, Giles, to attend the gala premiere and was doing some Q&As with the media. Although he was newly octogenarian and his hearing had begun to diminish, being in the same room with the man who was in the same room (for eight legendary years!) with the biggest rock band of all time was almost too much.
Now 86, Martin, who created the score for the show with his son, has seen The Beatles LOVE transform into a mainstay on the Strip. If it’s not as iconic yet as Celine is or Wayner was, it should be. The quality of the music is better than you’ve ever heard it. As I’ve noted before, I had to eject Rubber Soul from my car’s CD player after the show because it didn’t compare sonically. Clearly, you’ve got to get LOVE into your life.