Friday, Jan. 1, 2010 | 2:15 a.m.
What's your New Year's resolution?
By almost any measure, 2009 was a rough year for Southern Nevada. And like many others in the Las Vegas Valley, notable residents are hoping to make changes in the new year, whether personally or professionally.
The Sun asked several entertainers, politicians and other well-known residents to share their goals for 2010. Some of them are serious, others are light-hearted, but nearly all of them reflect a hope for improvement in the next 12 months.
Penn Jillette of the comedy/magic team Penn & Teller
Jillette, the larger, louder half of Penn & Teller, may have the most impossible resolution of 2010.
"My resolution for the past few years has been to not die while Teller and I shoot .357 magnums into each others' mouths. That seems to be working," Jillette said. "So this year, I resolve to vanish a cow dressed as an elephant surrounded by audience members live on stage at the Penn & Teller Theater."
Penn said if he can't accomplish that, maybe he'll try to lose a few pounds, exercise more and be nice to people.
Comedian George Wallace
Wallace's resolution isn't about losing weight. It's actually quite the opposite.
"Eat Haagen-Daz ice cream every day. Eat a pound of bacon every day. By this time next year I want to be 465 pounds and the fattest entertainer on the Strip," Wallace joked.
His other resolution is to visit his brother in Pahrump after church on Sunday.
Jerry Tarkanian, former UNLV men's basketball coach
Tarkanian said he has stopped making New Year's resolutions.
"I'm too old for resolutions," he jokingly said.
As for what his plans were for the big night, Tarkanian said he usually prefers to stay close to home.
"I'm to the point now where I am in bed at 10 o'clock watching the news," he said.
Carrot Top, always the comedian, poked fun at New Year's resolutions.
"My resolution is to be a better listener … wait … did you just say something?"
Comedian Frank Caliendo
Caliendo's resolution is to take time to appreciate the little things, spend more time with family and accomplish one very ambitious goal.
"In 2010, I'd like to spend more time appreciating what I'm lucky enough to have and spend less time worrying about things I can't control," he said. "And I'd also like to learn to speak Chinese. Why Chinese? Why not!"
Magician Lance Burton
Burton said his resolution is to continue to stay out of trouble.
"I resolve not to do anything this year that would qualify me to be on 'The Jerry Springer Show,'" he said.
Alton White, Mufasa in 'The Lion King'
White, who performs with "The Lion King" show at Mandalay Bay, said he hopes to find some inner peace while staying physically fit in the new year.
"One of the greatest gifts of 2009 was my discovery of the power of Moksha Yoga, which I take three to five times a week. My hope for 2010 is to continue to strengthen my Yoga practice, hold onto the presence and serenity that it gives me and apply that energy to every aspect of my life," White said.
Palms owner George Maloof
Maloof's first resolution for 2010 is one that many others also make: Workout more. His second is a tad less traditional.
"To try and not get addicted to watching The Situation on MTV's 'Jersey Shore,'" he joked.
Celebrity impersonator Frank Marino
Marino's resolution is a professional one, not a personal one.
"To become so fabulous this year with my new 'Divas Las Vegas' show at the Imperial Palace that next year I won't need to have a New Year's resolution," he said.
Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.)
Titus, who is back in her Southern Nevada district from Washington, D.C., to ring in the new year, said she's focused on helping to improve the region's economy.
"My New Year's resolution is to continue to work hard to create jobs for Southern Nevadans and to further promote our great state to the rest of the country," she said.
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.)
Berkley said she plans to take economic stimulus into her own hands.
"I resolve to continue doing everything I can to improve our economy in Las Vegas," she said. "I am very assertive in urging everyone I talk to when I am in Washington to go to Las Vegas, have a great time, take advantage of Las Vegas being a bargain destination, where you get great value.
"My message is 'spend money in Las Vegas, you'll be glad you did.' Of course, I have to apply that principle to myself, and I resolve to continue to do my share of stimulating the Las Vegas economy in our great retail shops and restaurants. I expect no argument from my husband!"
Anthony Crivello, the Phantom in 'Phantom -- The Las Vegas Spectacular'
Like Penn Jillette, Crivello also has a pretty impossible resolution.
"I resolve to petition the Pope to talk to God and ask 'The Almighty' to add six more hours to each day so I can get more sleep ... as my 3-year-old son wakes me up at 6:30 a.m. every morning," he said.
But Crivello said he'd probably wind up planning another project with the additional hours, so he'll try to be thankful for the 24 hours he already has.
Kristi Holden, Christine Daaé in 'Phantom -- The Las Vegas Spectacular'
Holden said she has a whole slew of New Year's resolutions.
"I hope to be more organized, eliminating clutter in my life," Holden said. "Spend less time on crackbook, I mean Facebook, and drink more herbal tea and less coffee -- all which will be broken in the first two weeks, but there's always next year."
Travis Cloer, Frankie Valli in 'Jersey Boys'
"In 2010 I plan to focus more on the blessings in my life and not stress so much about things I have no control over ... or at least give it my best shot. Here's to another great year Las Vegas."
Magician Nathan Burton
Burton said his resolution is to put his traveling from Las Vegas to Atlantic City to good use. He just signed a deal with Harrah's Atlantic City to perform beginning this month.
"My New Year's resolution is to rack up a million frequent flier miles flying from Vegas to Atlantic City to perform every other week," Burton said. "Then, to use those miles to send my mom and sister on a trip to Fiji."
Entertainer Terry Fator
Fator said his resolution is more than just a promise to himself -- it's something he has to do.
"I am going to lose 15 pounds by my first anniversary at the Mirage, which is March 14," Fator said.
"My goal is to get down to my original weight … 7 pounds, 8 ounces," he joked.
Pete Valle, 'Big Elvis' at Bill's Gamblin' Hall
Valle is looking to set yet another record weight loss goal for himself.
"My New Year's resolution is to lose another 100 pounds in 2010," Valle said.
The Elvis impersonator already has lost more than 500 pounds.
Taylor Barton, NASCAR driver
Barton said he has a few resolutions on his list for the new year.
"To listen more and talk less. Spend more time with my family," Barton said. "Be in the present moment, and go racing."
Entertainer Matt Goss
Goss said his New Year's resolution is to live in the present and only look forward.
Rick Harrison, star of the History Channel's 'Pawn Stars'
Harrison's resolution is to be a little less accident-prone this year.
"Not to get in any more dirt bike accidents," Harrison said of his resolution.
Harrison is suffering through his second torn ACL.
DJ Paul Oakenfold
Oakenfold's resolution is to make others aware of causes that are important to him.
"To buy copies of the film 'Food Inc.' and give it to people everywhere so they can be socially aware of the devastating truths behind the food industry," Oakenfold said.
Clark County District Attorney David Roger
Roger has safety on his mind in 2010.
"My resolution is to continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to provide a safe community for our families, friends and visitors," he said.
Roger, a Bishop Gorman High School and UNLV graduate, was first elected in 2002.
UNLV head basketball coach Lon Kruger
Unless he came up with something at the last minute, it appears Kruger is entering 2010 resolution-less.
"I haven't thought too much about that. Is that coming up soon? It kinda sneaks up, doesn't it? I haven't thought any about that yet," he said. "You'll have to give me a little time on that."
UFC President Dana White
White has a plan to make mixed martial arts the biggest sport in the world in the next 10 years, but he isn't sure what to do for a New Year's resolution.
"That's a good question. I don't have one yet, I have to think about that," he said. "I've been too busy to come up with a resolution. I need one though. I need a few."
Brazilian UFC fighter Thiago Silva
Silva suffered the first loss of his career this year – a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida in January. Apparently, that one loss on his 15-fight record is enough to make Silva want to change his routine so it never happens again.
"For me, my New Year's resolution would be to renew my whole entire style and whole entire training," he said.
'Peepshow' star Holly Madison
This much we know: Madison hosted a New Year's bash at Privé this morning inside Planet Hollywood. But her hopes for 2010 will remain a secret. Madison doesn't make New Year's resolutions, her publicist said.
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman
Goodman said his personal New Year's resolution is to teach his racing horse, "Oscar the Mayor," not to run backward in races.
Boulder City Mayor Roger Tobler
Tobler said his New Year's resolution is to focus on the things that really matter to him.
"I want to pay more attention to things in both my personal and public life," he said.
North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck
Buck said she has several New Year's resolutions pertaining to her city.
"I want to bring more jobs to North Las Vegas and to protect and preserve employees' jobs," Buck said.
But she also has a few personal goals in mind.
"I want to exercise more, read more and laugh more," she said.
Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen
Hafen said his New Year's resolution is to become more connected to the Henderson community so each resident has a chance to be heard. He said he also wants to encourage residents to get to know their neighbors.
Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak
Sisolak doesn't do personal resolutions.
"I never have any because I never keep them," he said. "I have not had the willpower to have any."
He said he hopes to eat better and lose weight, but classified those as lifestyle changes as opposed to official New Year's resolutions. But he did have a resolution for the county.
"The county will do what we can to help us through this economic situation," he said. "Hopefully, 2010 at the end will be better than the end of 2009."
Sun reporters Sarah Feldberg, Ryan Greene, Cara McCoy, Deanna Rilling, Ray Brewer, Brett Okamoto, Tiffany Gibson and Erin Dostal contributed to this report.