Vegas Shooter May Have First Planned to Attack Lorde & Chance the Rapper Concert

 

A report published by The Daily Beast suggests that Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, the terrorist responsible for the mass murder of at least 58 people and critical injury of more than another 500, had first set his sights on attacking the Life is Beautiful festival, which Lorde and Chance the Rapper headlined.

Life if Beautiful took place the previous weekend, September 22-24, along the Las Vegas strip. According to a “senior law enforcement official,” Paddock had rented multiple condos in the Ogden Hotel, overlooking the concerts.

Paddock similarly rented a room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel overlooking the Route 91 Harvest Festival, from where he opened fire during a performance by Jason Aldean on October 1. Law enforcement discovered 23 weapons in his suite, as well as his body, and 19 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and an explosive device in his Mesquite, Nevada home.

A representative for the Ogden told The Daily Beast, “We’re not in a position to confirm or deny anything about Mr. Paddock’s dealings. I suggest you contact Metro [police]. As you know this is an ongoing investigation,”

Celebrities React to the Las Vegas Terror Attack

 

Late Sunday night, a shooter opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a country music festival taking place on the Las Vegas strip, killing 50 and injuring over four hundred. The assassin was found dead in his hotel room in the Mandalay Bay resort. The massacre is the deadliest in modern US history.

Celebrities and world leaders have expressed their support for the victims and their families and the city of Las Vegas following the horrific attack, including Jason Aldean, who’d been performing onstage when shots were fired.

 

 

Cannabis Tourism: Las Vegas Comes to the Party

As Nevada nears the expected July 1st start date for its emergent recreational marijuana program, tourists, 21 years and older, will be able buy pot while visiting Las Vegas and other Nevada cities. Nevada officials are hoping this will make the state even friendlier to tourists, and those in the cannabis industry agree.

Nevada is one of eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana. It already had legal medical pot. Medical dispensaries started opening in 2015. The state now has 55, mostly in Las Vegas or surrounding Clark County.

Attitudes regarding marijuana regulation have also changed as other states (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Alaska) have passed their own laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Even though marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, and state lawmakers are cautious about running afoul of the Justice Department, voters, on the other hand, have forged ahead. The public opinion tipping point may have occurred as 56% of US voters surveyed said they would support legalization.

Colorado and Washington have fully legalized cannabis for recreational use since 2014, so with larger state populations, it would seem logical that those states would be bigger markets for cannabis. But those with knowledge of the marijuana industry believe that Nevada, and Vegas in particular, represents an even greater opportunity. According to a survey by Love Home Swap, the Las Vegas Strip attracted over 39 million tourists annually, making it the most visited tourist attraction in the world over both the Eiffel Tower and Times Square. If even a small percentage of tourists buy cannabis in Vegas, the numbers will be huge. In the not too distant future, we could see annual cannabis market in Vegas growing to anywhere between $500 million to $1 billion.

Despite rules against smoking pot in hotel rooms or outdoors, legal marijuana may provide an extra incentive for tourists. Already known for some of the world’s best hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and entertainment, and now we’ll have hopefully become known for the best cannabis experience as well.

“I think Las Vegas has the potential of being the new cannabis tourists center in the United States, overtaking Colorado, if not in actual sales, but in perception.”

How does the tax revenue help Nevada?

For one, Gov. Brian Sandoval most recently projected that recreational marijuana sales will bring in more than $60 million in state revenue over the next two years. Revenue collected from the cultivation will be funneled toward schools, and revenue from recreational marijuana sales tax will go towards the state’s rainy day fund.
Starting in July, all marijuana — both medical and recreational — will be taxed 15 percent at the cultivation transaction level, but only recreational marijuana have a state excise tax of 10 percent, both medical and recreational will have the applicable local sales tax (8.25% in Clark County) and a 3 percent local gross revenue fee.

Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Program

For fear that the medical marijuana program could be smothered by the new recreational program; lawmakers have made it easier to be a part of the medical program and decreased the tax on medical by 10 percent. The new bill will make the medical program more accessible to Nevada citizens, by streamlining the program, and folding the administrative duties into the Department of Taxation.
“What’s important is that you’re creating that delta between medical and recreational costs – it’s keeping the cost down for medical,” Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, who sponsored the tax bill.
The medical marijuana program already was at risk due to bureaucracy which limited the number of people pursuing medical cards. While medical cards used to cost about $100 for a year’s value, the cards now will cost half the price ($50) because background checks no longer are required. Additionally, the cards will now be good for two years. Because recreational marijuana is now legal and anyone can get product, there is no point in doing the background checks. The Department of Public Health will continue to issue the medical cards.

Facts on Community Impact of Legalization

The marijuana industry has grown significantly since 2000 and federal officials maintain that the legalization of marijuana will contribute to the increase of youth and adolescent use because it will make marijuana easier to obtain, reduce its perceived risks with more adult role models smoking it.
However, studies in Colorado have shown no connection between legalized marijuana and youth marijuana use. In Colorado teen use is lower than the national average; fewer teens report using marijuana than said they did prior to legalization. Surveys conducted in Colorado interviewed over 17,000 students in middle & high school showing that from 2009 to 2015 the rates in which teenagers smoked marijuana has decreased. The state of Colorado has also seen the percentage of teenagers who have smoked marijuana in the past 30 days drop to 21%, from 25%. Colorado believes, underage use will continue to decrease with their implementation of strict age limits, and risk awareness programs.
In 2014, Colorado invested $2 million generated from marijuana sales tax revenue on campaigns aimed at anti-marijuana education of minors and double that amount, $4 million in 2015 (out of a total projected marijuana sales tax revenue of $125 million). The current campaigns provide information on marijuana laws, the impacts of youth use, the dangers of driving under the influence of any drug, and the harmful side effects of using marijuana.

Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali Launch 2016 EAT (RED) Culinary Tour

Mario Batali, Courtesy EAT (RED)

 

If you could eat well and save lives at once, you could hardly say no, could you?

To that end, this year’s edition of the highly anticipated EAT (RED) kicks off June 2 in New York, with the (RED) Supper at Battery Park City’s Brookfield Place, hosted by those ubiquitous, globe-trotting celeb chefs Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain. Other participating a-list culinary talent for the night will include Dominique Ansel, Frank Falcinelli, Nancy Silverton, Tom Douglas, Vinny Dotolo, Angela Dimayuga, Kristen Kish and Kevin Gillespie.

The overall goal? To raise money for the ongoing (RED) #86AIDS effort, by means of 27 days of edible nirvana. Indeed, the “tour” continues through the 28th, with special dinner, lunch, brunch, happy hour or cocktail events and offerings by many of the world’s hottest epicurean gods and goddesses at their exalted, signature restaurants.

Bourdain_CNN1[1] Eat Red

Anthony Bourdain (Courtesy CNN)

To name but a few: Enrique Olivera at Mexico City’s Eno, Stephanie Izard at Chicago’s Little Goat Diner, Jason Wass at London’s Polpetto, April Bloomfield at NYC’s Spotted Pig, Thomas Keller at the Las Vegas and Beverly Hills Bouchon Bakery locations, Alice Waters at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, Jose Andres at DC’s Jaleo, as well as Batali and Lidia Bastianich’s own B&BHG Vegas restaurants at the Venetian/Palazzo, including B&B, OTTO Enoteca & Pizzeria and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse—with scores of delectable options to choose from in two dozen cities across four continents.

“Anyone who has ever worked in a kitchen knows that the sum of our efforts always far exceeds what we can do individually,” says Batali. “EAT (RED) is an opportunity for all of our restaurants to collectively contribute to a tremendously worthy cause while doing what we do best: making delicious food.”

LeftBank_GnocciGnocchi at Left Bank NYC, Courtesy EAT (RED)

The (RED) charity, of course, was founded by Bono in 2006, with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as its primary recipient. EAT (RED) debuted in 2014, and has become one of its most high-profile annual events. N.B. Plan to reserve in advance. It’s a hot ticket.


British Electronic Act Leftfield Will Reunite at Further Future in Las Vegas

Delivering their first U.S. show since Coachella in 2011, British electronic act Leftfield will reunite at Las Vegas’ Further Future. This will mark the second time they’ve performed on American soil in 15 years, bringing their influential progressive house sound to the southwestern desert for this award-winning boutique festival, which runs April 29 to May 1.

“I can’t think of a better way to bring our new album and new show to the U.S.A. than doing it in the desert with Further Future,” said Neil Barnes, one-half of Leftfield. “It’s rare that we play in the U.S. and always special. This is going to be a great event.”

 

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Today, the pair is praised for being a driving force behind ’90s electronic music in the UK, informing the future of EDM alongside peers like The Crystal Method, The Chemical Brothers, Underworld and The Prodigy. Their 1995 debut studio album Leftism is considered one of the most important major full-length works of dance music to date, though Leftfield’s latest album, Alternative Light Source, is an impressive comeback with aims of infiltrating a new generation.

This will be the festival’s second official run, following last year’s highly praised TED meets Coachella experience. Founded by the masterminds behind Robot Heart, Further Future celebrates social change and creative expression by curating a selection of world-class musicians and inviting influential leaders in science, entrepreneurship, innovation and technology. It’s wonderfully fashion forward and driven to foster a community of like-minded individuals.

 

A Photo Diary to Change The Way You See Vegas Forever

It could be said that Vegas is as much about losing as it is about winning. Bugsy Siegal lost his life, I lost my virginity (a story for another time) and millions of people lose their hard earned cash every day in the city of Sin and yet we still go back again and again. The question is why?

When Sophie and I arrived at the Cromwell there was a 100 dollar bill in my pocket… at a certain point I had two hundred dollar bills in my pocket and by the end I had zero bills in my pocket… This kind of luck is typical in Vegas and the up and down nature requires that your accommodations stay consistently pleasant. In this way the Cromwell was incredibly successful. Billed as a boutique hotel in the center of the strip The Cromwell aimed only to be sophisticated instead of a life-size recreation of paris or ancient rome… and thus they delivered on this with a surprising amount of authenticity.

So whether it was the in room backgammon set or the coffee bar in the hallway or the amazing restaurant below the expansive club rooms the truth is I’m not sure… whatever it was it certainly made me forget about all the money I left at the blackjack table… and THAT… is certainly not lost on me.

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Sophie and I decided to go check out the much larger Ceasars Palace pool complex and were so pleasantly surprised to find that all the best seats surrounding the water were available… Fast forward an hour and two 20 dollar drinks and we’re presented with a bill for $150 for cabana seating… whoops!! 

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I never actually got to taste this desert… as we toured the gigantic and incredibly well appointed suites the Cromwell offered we came across this morsel prepared for a photo shoot that had just wrapped up… I still think about whether I should have just taken it back to my room…

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We had an amazing shower with quotes written in mosaics and that was certainly cool… I can’t help but feel a bit jealous that we never got to soak in these amazing oversized tubs… Guess thats what return visits are for…

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In Vegas you either get incredibly generic hotel rooms or something akin to bachelor pads from ‘Blade Runner’… The Cromwell felt like the home of that sophisticated British uncle you (I) wish you (I) had who regaled you with a story for each piece he brought home from around the world…

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Nothing is free… certainly posing Sophie with these lovely ladies was not gonna happen free of charge and of course I’d forgotten my wallet and we only had large bills… and of course just changing that money made no sense so these girls got a five dollar tip and we got a 3 foot tall margarita with enough tequila to kill a small horse… good times…

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Sophie is pretty comfortable on stage… and since we’ve been together she’s sung “Son of a Preacher Man” at no less than four different karaoke nights in three different cities… this was our Vegas addition and it was full of Vegas locals and a charming lesbian couples.

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Beauty Bar and I go way back… I’ve spent great nights in Miami, Los Angeles and New York at this booze franchise and this little visit to the Vegas outpost certainly didn’t disappoint… Also we love taking couple selfies…

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Sophie found her mantra!!

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Walking the strip is certainly an experience everyone should have. The hicks, the tourists and the locals all mingling in a smoke filled alcohol fueled bacchanal they call a city and everyone trying to pretend what they’re looking at is normal. 

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Our favorite street performer… this man was some sort of Reno 911 lookalike but I just like to pretend this is the official uniform for the Las Vegas Police Department…

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“Get them Get them!!” she screamed at me as these two Vegas birds of paradise slowly ambled across the crosswalk… Shooting is not quite as fast on a manual film camera but I did my best and I’m not terribly upset with how it came out… blurry bikini bottoms and all….

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Home sweet home for the two nights we spent in Vegas… a definite respite from the brash thematic behemoths that otherwise make up Las Vegas Blvd.

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Isn’t my girlfriend gorgeous… I certainly think so and it’s my camera so I can take as many pictures of her as I’d like…

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After about ten courses created specially for us by the chefs at NoBu we were pretty much filled to the brim with food amazingness. I’ve always said that regardless of how much food I’ve eaten theres always room for sweets at the end… So when the waitress asked us whether we should also do desert I figured how bad could it be…. I’m not sure if you can tell by the photo how much food they brought but I’m certain the chef was doing his best to disprove my theory. 

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Speaking of boozy franchises the original Brooklyn Bowl is three blocks away from my house and apparently now also exists Las Vegas and London… biggest disco ball I’ve ever seen…

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I think Sophie would be upset if I didn’t mention the fact that this band or singer who was trying to do a sort of Iggy Pop shirtless vibe was actually quite awful and this photo only really exists because I thought it was pretty lighting…

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So apparently Sophie is afraid of heights… I of course was not aware of this until we got about halfway up the High Roller and I realized she was sitting down with her face on her knees…. at the top you’re at the insane height of about 550 ft (taller than everything else in vegas) and I took this photo so she’d have something to remember it by…

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Elevator nook couple selfie… you can’t really see but that mirror is actually a big jumble of different types of mirrors… #cromwelldetails…

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It’s cool when these jumping photos turn out well… it’s even cooler when you shoot them once with film and have no idea they’re gonna turn out until you get the envelope back from the developer… and then you do a similar type of irish leap for joy…

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Twas the lobster that did us in…. both dinners literally pushed us over the edge with their Lobster dishes. Some kind of conspiracy huh… nope… just #highclassproblems

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Soph likes to watch cooking shows… our hope was that Miss Giada puts as much energy into her food as she does the enunciation of the various italian words she likes to use…all we could really say at the end was… Bravissimo!!

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While we waited for our second table (first time around they tried to put us seemingly in the back corner of the kitchen) we entertained ourselves by taking multiple Photo Booth shots…as if there weren’t enough photos being taken…

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First off I know what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in vegas… but the things we did at the Cromwell should really be written about… this time though I’m gonna be PG and just let your imagination do whatever it needs to do…

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Waiting for your room (which isn’t ready yet dammit) can be a real nightmare…. luckily Vegas has plenty of ways to distract you…

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Seems serene right…. well later on that evening there were over a thousand revelers in various stages of undress turning this calm pool deck into one of the best clubs in the city. 

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I only wish it had been warmer… I know everyone keeps talking about global warming but then you come to Vegas in the middle of August and its 85 degrees… Suit yourself global climate but I just don’t understand you…

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I don’t allow so many photos to be taken of me… but when your girlfriend tells you to shut up and pose you just do what you’re told… then you reference the feet photo for the reason why…

Predictions About The Revamped Marquee

I will be attending Marquee on Wednesday to see what I will see. I expect a Vegas-style club geared toward electronic dance music (EDM), with a room to dance and a room for corporate clients to have events. In the early stages, I consulted on the layout, but I’m not involved in the design now. I designed the first incarnation and a couple of reduxes since. The late, great Philip Johnson got involved at the last minute in the original design and added greatness to my humble offerings. It may have been his last project. Over the years, Jason Strauss, a partner, would ask me how I ranked Marquee in the all-time list of great clubs. I usually had it down around number 25, but with the caveat that time will tell. This latest redux says that Marquee’s story has not been fully written. It certainly dominated its decade and it certainly wasn’t all about black cards buying bottles, although that is a great part of its legacy.

Marquee took bottle service to new heights. It was a huge part of the bottle-model, table-service revolution that went global. Yet, there were hipster nights with Wednesday’s so-called “rock night” lasting for 6 or 7 years. I remember feeling great joy while sitting with Paul Sevigny and friends in the mezzanine. Marquee was fun. Celebrities came as often as sparklers on bottles. Over the year, the paint faded and the luster of it all moved to other venues. Many didn’t even realize it was still there. It was always making money, living on reputation and remembrance and professionalism. Tao Group or Strategic Group or whatever the corporate name at the time built other icons like Avenue and Lavo and PH-D and, and, and…and the crowd moved there. And then they built a club in Vegas, and the Marquee brand was reinvented as the highest-grossing joint ever. It even had an outpost way out in Australia.

As the 2000s meant bottle service, the 2010s are all about EDM. Marquee NY will be a hub, a routing point for the organization’s big name and DJ packages. Marquee NY will belie the slogan, “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas.” To some extent, a Vegas production-marketing-big club experience will settle on 27th and 10th. A nightclub pro told me yesterday that he believes it will dominate. He feels it will redefine the whole scene. So I guess in a few years I’ll call up Jason Strauss and utter a single word, a number like “9,” and imagine the smile on his handsome and successful face. Congratulations to Noah and Jason and Mark and Rich and the other Rich and Andrew and Wass and all the players to be named later. To all the players who work so hard and make it look so easy.

Tonight I will scoot down to Mister H at the Mondrian Hotel Soho to visit Louis Mandelbaum on the occasion of his birthday. I know Louis as Louis XIV, his DJ moniker. We teamed up on New Year’s Eve at Marble Lane, also owned by those guys up above. Louis will DJ and host, and a good time is ensured for all.

Tao Team Opens Arlington Club, Hotel Chantelle is Starting Rumors…

Typically, the period between Labor Day and Halloween is slow in the club world. People are paying down credit card debt accumulated in a summer of WHEEE! Things like the Jewish holidays, flu season, back-to-school, and a dearth of tourists add to the red ink. The change of weather and the loss of daylight as we wind down to the Winter Solstice near Christmas are all negative factors. The season theoretically begins in earnest on Halloween. Sandy literally put a damp on those concepts, but building for an inevitable future is happening all around.

On a small renovation job, an electrician told me that getting even the most commonplace electrical supplies is becoming problematic as the post-Sandy rebuild is taking everything. I can only imagine what getting permits and inspections will be like from an over-tasked buildings department. Still, I hear of a Frank Roberts’ "mostly-a-restaurant project down in lower Little Italy.” I hear of a redux of GoldBar. Marquee nightclub, for a decade the "in" spot for the going-out crowd, is in renovations that will bring it up to speed with its Las Vegas incarnation.

Meanwhile, that Tao team is inviting peeps to the Thursday opening of their Arlington Club on Lexington between 73 and 74th Street.  St. Jerome’s has, of course, been sold to The Bowery Electric crew. That has left the St. Jerome’s "crowd" looking for a new home, and Hotel Chantelle grabbing for that gusto. Chantelle started its weekly Tuesday  “Rumors” party last night, going forward with famously ex-ex-St. Jerome’s honcho DJ Luc Carl joining DJ Ian El Dorado.

There’s all sorts of things happening over at Bantam where absolutely nothing to speak of has been happening. A re-thinking is occurring. Construction at EVR on 39th street between 5th and 6th is almost over – or is that ovr? I was there the other day checking out the progress and was very impressed.

On a final note: Friday I will be DJing the late set over at The Hanky Panky Club, up the side entrance of Webster Hall. It is a Sandy-related benefit called “Rock-N-Rebuild.” Acts/bands like Hits, Roma, Wild Yaks, The Netherlands, Outernational, and Kendra Morris will interrupt sets by Djs iDeath, Gavin Russom and, thankfully, Steve Lewis er …me. This shindig starts at 8pm. It’s hosted by man-about-town Terry Casey and the lovely Flutura Bardhi. Please help where you can. While people are ordering $1000 bottles of booze, many are still without basic necessities.