March Madness Is Here and J. Balvin’s Going Neon

An emoticon guide to Las Vegas’ top headlines

By Larry Braverman

Get Mad, Vegas

???? ???? ???? Even if you’re no fan of college basketball, you’ve got to love seeing March Madness fans (safely) pour into the city for the annual tournament. This time last year, everything went to hell. Now, room prices are surging as Las Vegas welcomes basketball fans back after a (too long) hiatus. It’s such a refreshing sight and one that you should see for yourself whether you’re a local or visitor.

Some places we recommend include Montecristo Cigar Bar at Caesars Palace (they’ve got a 208-inch video wall); Flamingo’s Go Pool (suns out, guns out); Sahara’s Casbar Lounge ($25 and $30 beer buckets); the legendary Superbook at Westgate; and the always-entertaining Hoops & Hops experience at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

???? ???? ???? UNLV didn’t come close to the tournament this year, but the school keeps making headlines for its coaching carousel. It’s widely expected that—perhaps before this is article is posted—Runnin’ Rebels coach T.J. Otzelberger is going to split for Iowa State. Let that sink in. UNLV sports is in such dire straits that the guy would rather live in Iowa than Las Vegas. T.J., we hardly knew ye. Just like we hardly knew the guy before you, and the one before that, too.

J. Balvin Invites You to Neon Experience

???? ???? ???? Life is Beautiful tickets have sold out, and though you could probably get your hands on one or two in between now and September, you might want to divert that change to another bash. Word on The Strip is “6 AM” superstar J. Balvin is bringing a three-day Neon Experience festival to the soon-to-debut Resorts World. The party will be held throughout the property, including inside Zouk Nightclub and Ayu Dayclub. Neon Experience has a targeted date of Sept. 16-19, which just happens to be Mexican Independence Weekend and the same weekend as Life is Beautiful. Timing.

Spring Is in the Air at Bellagio

???? ???? ???? Spring is awesome in Las Vegas. Pools start to open. People start driving around with their windows down and blasting “WAP” through their speakers. And Bellagio debuts its spring look at its famed Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The resort unveiled this season’s transformation on Monday inspired by springtime celebrations in The Netherlands, England, Thailand and the United States. Because we love numbers, here’s a few about this year’s setup: 30,000 flowers and plants; 11 hanging butterfly sculptures; 12 cherry blossoms; and 9,000 gallons of recirculated water. And it’s free and open 24/7. Go there.

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