Las Vegas promoters of the National Finals Rodeo are working to extend the events’ contract, which is set to expire at the end of next year. The 10-day rodeo generated $60.1 million in nongaming revenue in 2012.
The MTO Cafe, which recently opened in the City of Las Vegas parking garage, has a little bit of a parking problem. While there is plenty of parking inside the parking garage on Main Street across from City Hall, the restaurant has yet to work out a deal to have their customers parking comped. The restaurant says it is still working out an agreement with the city, which we’re thinking should have happened prior to opening. City Manager Betsy Fretwell appeared surprised when she was told of this issue Dec. 5, but added it is up to the business to approach the city (i.e. their landlord). For now, plan to park somewhere else and hike to MTO, or be ready to pay 75 cents per half hour, or a flat rate of $3 after 8 p.m. and weekends.
PEAKING TOO EARLY
A push by a citizens group led by conservative pundit Chuck Muth have apparently been undercut in their drive to have the peak on Frenchman Mountain named “Mount Reagan.” Yes, after the former president. That Reagan. The push to name the unnamed peak was, according to Muth, pretty far along the path with the Nevada Board on Geographic Names - receiving some early approvals - when U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat, submitted a bill to Congress to name the peak “Maude Frazier Mountain,” after the first female lieutenant governor in Nevada, and who helped establish what is now UNLV. Muth claims he’s been pushing the state since 2010, while Titus submitted her proposal in late October. In these cases, federal trumps state like scissors beats paper. Sorry Muth, you can’t claim “dibs.” Then there’s the whole Reagan-isn’t-even-from-here thing.
SUN SCOOPS TIMES
Our friends at the Las Vegas Sun generated national traffic and, doubtless, mucho web-page traffic when some computerized doohicky allegedly went SkyNet over yonder and published a huge New York Times story on homeless kids - before it came out in the Times. The snafu generated much twittering among the chattering classes of the media. The Sun apologized Monday, a day after they scooped the Times on the New York paper’s own story. According to people inside the Sun, a new automated program automatically flows wire stories to their website with out anyone looking at the copy first. So not only did the story go live before it should have, it was complete with a story synopsis and editor’s notes suggesting possible cuts to the 6,700-word story. A nice peak inside the newspaper industry.
LASSOING THE BIG ROUNDUP
It’s that time again, which seemingly happens once every 7-10 years, when the Las Vegas Events folks start us fretting about the possibility of losing the long-running area cash cow (i.e. bull) that is the National Finals Rodeo. The agreement with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association ends next year, and Oklahoma City and Dallas are hot on the trail to secure the event. Last year, the event generated $60.1 million in nongaming revenue, not including people who didn’t attend the rodeo but went to concerts and events surrounding the event. It just wouldn’t be December here without the UNLV campus smelling like manure, 10-gallon hats walking the Strip and Fremont Street, and UNLV basketball being forced on the road for two weeks while the good ole guys and gals take over the Thomas & Mack.
WELL, THIS IS DISTURBING
News Monday that a 45-year-old, now former Clark County School District kindergarten teacher charged with kidnapping a 16-year-old girl here left the Los Angeles School District after being accused of inappropriately touching six fourth- and fifth graders. CCSD said it is reviewing its policies and procedure for vetting teachers, which currently is an FBI background check that would uncover arrests, charges and convictions. The teacher, Melvyn Sprowson, had only been accused in a lawsuit in California, and that is likely how it slipped by the district.The district also confirms previous employment and requires an immediate supervisor to fill out a confidential reference form detailing performance and criminal concerns. While the contents of that form may never be known, here is what is known: somebody, here or in California, messed up and potentially put our most innocent in harm’s way.
Hometown-band-made-good Imagine Dragons landed two Grammy Award nominations for their song “Radioactive,” one for Best Rock Performance and the other in the top category, Record of the Year. With publications like Billboard (which named the band “The Breakthrough Band of 2013”) and Rolling Stone (who called “Radioactive” “the biggest rock hit of the year”) heaping praise, the indie rock band from here is in position to become the talk of the Jan. 26 awards show.
COAL IN YOUR STOCKING
Federal funding for long-term jobless benefits expires a few days after Christmas, and Congress has yet to take action to decide they will be extended. Merry Christmas to the nearly 17,600 Nevadans who would stop receiving checks Dec. 28.