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Plans for Wayne Newton attraction in Las Vegas expanded

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Paul Takahashi

Wayne Newton addresses the media Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, after Clark County Commissioners approved an application that would open up his Las Vegas ranch to the public.

Updated Monday, Oct. 3, 2011 | 11:44 a.m.

Wayne Newton's proposed tourist wonderland in Las Vegas is devoting more space to his collection of celebrity keepsakes, including Nat King Cole's watch, a Frank Sinatra champagne glass and a Johnny Cash guitar.

Revised building plans submitted last month show a Las Vegas company turning Newton's home into a sprawling tourist playground is expanding a museum space devoted to the singer's favorite memorabilia. A theater where he is expected to perform is also getting beefed up.

When Newton isn't on stage, the 71,187-square-foot movie house will run a documentary about his life.

A Newton-themed car wash will also be larger than originally planned to accommodate tour buses. The expansions mean the proposed zoo and car museum will be slightly smaller, according to building plans obtained by The Associated Press.

Newton received permission last year to turn his lavish home into a tourist venue after a bruising battle in which his neighbors said they didn't want tour buses invading the largely residential neighborhood where Newton built his 10,000-square-foot home decades ago.

The plans call for opening to the public Newton's Casa de Shenandoah estate, with its South African penguins, sweeping crystal staircases and an antique-filled living room gilded in gold.

The museum, theater, visitors' center and other attractions were being added to the property. The project appeared well under way Sunday, as bits of newly-constructed buildings jutted up behind the 10-foot-tall walls that shield his property from a nearby bustling road.

The 40-acre estate also features Arabian horses, Impressionist paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and 17th-century antiques collected from European castles. An office to the right of his living room houses mementoes collected during his 50-plus years in show business.

Some of the keepsakes were gifts from the mentors and friends who helped make Newton famous, including Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin and Jack Benny.

Newton, his wife and their daughter are expected to move into a smaller house located on the property, ceding the main house to the public.

Newton has said the tourist attraction will be both a showcase for his collections and a tribute to some of the performers that made Las Vegas a celebrity haven. The revamped estate is expected to employ more than 400 people at a time when unemployment in Nevada is above 13 percent, the highest rate in the nation.

Newton's high-pitched voice made him a Las Vegas headliner decades ago. He became internationally known for his hits "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast," "Red Roses for a Blue Lady," and his signature song "Danke Schoen."

A spokesman for CSD LLC, the company building the attraction, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. The project was originally expected to open late this year, but it appeared the grand opening was pushed back.

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  1. It actually seemed interesting until I read "A Newton-themed car wash...". Now I think Newton is a pretty good singer, and his memorabilia collection does indeed sound fascinating. If nothing else I think people would go to see that. I would. But a themed car wash? Never-minding the logistics behind it, specifically how in the world you're supposed to theme something where soap suds & running water obscure your view of anything, let alone you can't turn your radio on since the antenna might go up and get damaged, who seriously thought this was a good idea? It's not like I clicked on this link, saw Wayne Newton, and thought to myself, "Man, I really need to wash my car!". I've never driven by his house and yelled to my wife to pull over at the AutoZone 2 blocks away because I needed Turtle Was ASAP!

  2. @Bertsos:

    Non-English speaking foreign tourists. Especially Asian ones. That way they won't complain.

    Tour companies package together crap-tastic vacation packages and stick these people in 3rd-rate hotels, and give them tickets to bad shows. Any show, no matter how bad in Vegas can ALWAYS pull a crowd and turn a profit, so long as the promotors know which tour agencies they have to grease the palms of.

  3. These comments are great. I needed a laugh today.
    Thank you.

  4. I agree. To me the project lost all credibility as soon as I got to "a Newton-themed car wash...". Really? Newton is approaching 70 and his fan base is aging right along with him (like any entertainer). Who exactly is expected to visit this attraction? What was the business plan? If you need a car wash go to Wayne Newton's?

    Whomever sold Wayne Newton on this idea or didn't stop him if it was his should be ashamed of themselves.

  5. the Palms has a car wash! Yes for X number of points you can get a car wash,, I think this is great, imagine a bus going thru the car wash with that , hmm, not do newton song, ""At the car wash
    Talkin' about the car wash yeah!
    Come on and sing it for me car wash.
    Car wash yeah!"" copyright Rose Royce