This Week’s NewsMoji—The Mirage Goes Dark and Caesars Wants to Zoom

An emoticon guide to Las Vegas’ top headlines

By Larry Braverman

Are we there yet?


Hoop Dreams


Here’s a fact: If the National Basketball Association decides to expand, Las Vegas will be among the top two or three cities considered for a new team. Here’s another fact: Any expansion team that comes to the desert will play on the Strip, outside of the city limits. Yet that geographical truth won’t stop Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman—last seen advocating for her constituents to become human guinea pigs in some sort of COVID-19 “control group”—from hitting up NBA Commissioner Adam Silver just to say it would be an honor to be nominated. While expansion is likely, it’s not likely under the country’s current economic conditions. The pandemic, which Goodman has downplayed throughout the year, is wreaking havoc on Southern Nevada’s economy, and fewer visitors means fewer fans to support any incoming sports team. The NBA is about to kick off its new season outside of its successful 2020 “bubble” model, so they’ve got their own issues to focus on. Goodman might consider focusing on some issues here at home before she starts campaigning for a sports team that doesn’t need her endorsement anyway. 



Bold In Gold


The NBA would be great someday, but right now its hockey season in Las Vegas. Training camp for the Vegas Golden Knights begins January 3 and the puck drops on the regular season 10 days later. This will be the first season in team history without defenseman Deryk Engelland, who announced his retirement December 22. He’ll be moving into a new role with the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation following an 11-year NHL career. Engelland famously had two stints with the defunct Las Vegas Wranglers ECHL team before he was selected by the Golden Knights in the 2017 Expansion Draft. He’ll be remembered for delivering a powerful, unifying speech during a ceremony honoring the 1 October victims at the first Golden Knights home game. He’s all class, and he should never have to pick up the dinner tab in this town ever again.  



The Mirage Going Dark Midweek


In another sign that Las Vegas is nowhere near a recovery, MGM Resorts International has announced The Mirage will close all operations—restaurants, casino, hotel, everything – Mondays through Wednesdays beginning January 4. The resort, hotel included, will be open to guests Thursdays through Sundays, and there’s no date for a full reopening on the calendar. The closures reiterate the severity of Southern Nevada’s economic crisis. That vaccine can’t make its way around the country fast enough. 


Caesars Goes Virtual with Pool Hiring


Things need to turn around fast, because pool season is coming soon. On Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment announced that it will take its annual pool hiring event online, as the company looks to add hundreds of seasonal positions for 2021. Applicants must apply first at caesars.com/careers ahead of interviews on January 11 and 12. The company says it is hiring for eight hotel pools—Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Rio, The LINQ, Flamingo, Bally’s, Paris Las Vegas, and Planet Hollywood—and the Flamingo’s GO POOL party destination. We can expect virtual hiring to be the norm when the rest of the Strip’s pool parties start hiring, so make sure your web camera does your body good. 


Circa Unveils the Suite Life


Through 2020 has been mostly bad news, Las Vegans can still look to the opening of Downtown’s Circa Resort as a bright spot. This week, owner/unofficial Mayor Derek Stevens took the wraps off Circa’s hotel tower, unveiling its suites, guest rooms, and its Legacy Club rooftop lounge. The latter is already a coveted destination, with a “Sunset Package” that allows you to cozy up next to an outdoor fire pit with your favorite drink while watching the sun set over the Spring Mountains.  



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