Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 | 6 p.m.
The Kats Report Bureau at the moment is the MGM Grand Business Center. We are running and gunning at MGM Grand for the second weekend in a row for an event of significant grandeur at Grand Garden Arena. Last weekend, it was the Mayweather-Canelo title bout. This weekend, it is the iHeart Radio Music Festival.
But we are as interested at the moment in what is happening downstairs, at the Underground, as anything at Grand Garden Arena. I checked in with Brad Garrett, who is making his recurring run at his club that he says sits “right next to the pretzel stand,” which is both a joke and a fact.
“This is what happens when your ex-wife takes all your ‘Raymond’ money,” he famously said. “She always warned me I’d end up in the basement of a casino, and damned if she wasn’t right.”
The box-office trends for Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club are simple: The place sells out when Garrett is onstage (he his hosting through Tuesday) and is about 75 percent full when he’s not. The ticket prices are $22 higher at all levels when Garrett is onstage than when he cedes the room to full-time comics (tickets start at $68.40 when Garrett’s on, $46.40 when he’s off).
It’s the times when he’s not performing as a comic that determine how Garrett performs as a businessman. As he says, “We fill the place when I’m here, absolutely, but there isn’t a comedy club anywhere that sells out consistently. The idea is when I’m not here to keep it going.”
Away from the Strip, Garrett remains a coveted figure across all entertainment platforms. This week, he booked a recurring role in Robin Williams’ new sitcom on CBS, “The Crazy Ones,” playing Williams’ partner at his ad agency in the series. Garrett debuts in the show during November sweeps.
Garrett also just sold the rights to his upcoming book, “When the Balls Drop,” to Simon & Schuster. Garrett says he is finishing the writing, with no co-author assisting, and the book will be finished and available for purchase by the end of the year. “It’s an honest and cringe-y autobiographical take about middle age and the journey thereof,” he said. The TV rights for “Balls” have been picked up by 20th Century Television, and if there is to be a pilot for this show — and let’s keep the title, OK? — Garrett will co-write.
Saturday at 7 p.m., Garrett puts forth his ever-present charitable spirit as he introduces the “Serenades of Life — Doctors In Concert” fundraising production for Nathan Adelson Hospice’s Bonnie Schreck Memorial Complementary Therapies Program. Garrett’s annual poker tournament to benefit his Maximum Hope Foundation is Oct. 19. The tournament is being held just outside the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, which is upstairs at MGM, so Garrett has two floors of the hotel covered.
• The Stirling Club at Turnberry Place has a value, to be sure. But what that value is, exactly, is being set by the lofty standards of the luxury real-estate market. For a decade, the Stirling Club was one of the swankier hangouts in the city, a favorite lounge and restaurant favored by the well-heeled residents of Turnberry Place, who were granted exclusive membership to the club and accompanying spa, pool, fitness center and tennis courts. But the club became too financially weighty to remain open and was locked up by Turnberry Place owners Jeffrey and Jacqui Soffer and their company, Turnberry Associates, in May 2012.
Upon closing, an offer of about $12 million was reportedly leveled by Stephen Siegel of the Siegel Group, and several interested parties have since submitted Letters of Intent on the property, but no sale has been made. The club and its surrounding property, dubbed the Mansion, was long listed on Sotheby’s International Realty website for $18 million. Now, a property that cost $35 million to $50 million to build is being listed for an opening bid of $4 million at Auction.com and will be up for auction on that site from Oct. 8-10.
But the most important figure in the future of the Stirling Club is not known — the “reserve minimum sale price,” which is essentially the lowest bid the seller will accept in this auction to sign over the property. That figure is higher than $4 million, but the number is not disclosed to the public. As a spokesman for Auction.com said this month, “If that amount is not achieved, the seller is not compelled to sell the assets.”
The Stirling Club/Mansion listing is being managed by Cushman & Wakefield of Las Vegas. Turnberry Associates are reportedly interested in selling to someone who will restore the Stirling Club and its 3.3-acre parcel to an operational health and recreation center and entertainment enclave. Significant issues — including the sorting out of homeowners’ membership fees, parking and access to the site, and a full-scale refreshing of a property that has been latent for more than a year — will need to be sorted out before that can happen.
MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.