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September 30, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Prince Harry, Ryan Lochte hit the pool; da Vinci unveiled

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Darrin Bush / Las Vegas News Bureau

In this photo, the “Da Vinci-The Genius” exhibition at Venetian celebrates the first public display of an extraordinary new discovery from the hands of Leonardo da Vinci, “Horse and Rider” on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012.

Ryan Lochte at Palazzo’s Azure

Ryan Lochte at Azure Luxury Pool in the Palazzo on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Ryan Lochte’s 28th Birthday at Bacio

Ryan Lochte celebrates his belated 28th birthday with fellow Olympians at Bacio in the Tropicana on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Taylor Hicks at Surrender Nightclub in the Encore on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012.

Jennifer Lopez at Mandalay Bay Events Center

Jennifer Lopez performs at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Enrique Iglesias at Mandalay Bay Events Center

Enrique Iglesias performs at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Britain’s Prince Harry lived up to his wild reputation by jumping into XS' pool at the Encore with his jeans still on. It was an unexpected after-hours swimming race against Olympic champion Ryan Lochte, who continued his own nonstop 28th birthday party spree on the Strip.

British tabloids, paparazzi and sneaky video cameras went into overdrive as they finally got the much sought-after stories and photos of the party-loving playboy prince they’d staked out all weekend.

"Extra" got video of the prince in swim shorts and a fedora at MGM Grand’s Wet Republic, where he was checking out some of the beautiful blonde bombshells. Headlines of the “boozy sexy Vegas pool party” dominated today’s London papers: “Even the red-headed royal confessed to full-on partying” when he talked to Wynn guests, according to the Daily Mail, my former newspaper. Other papers described it as an “alcohol-fueled weekend of rest and recreation.”

It was 3 a.m. Monday when His Royal Highness stripped off his shirt, socks and shoes and jumped into the pool, clearing a path for himself and the Olympic hero. They were cheered on by dozens of beauties who joined the hunks in the water! The twosome hugged after Lochte unsurprisingly won the challenge.

DA VINCI'S RARE SCULPTURE UNVEILED: It was more than 500 years ago that genius artist Leonardo da Vinci used a block of beeswax to carve the model of his unfinished sculpture of "Horse and Rider." The once-in-a-lifetime art piece was kept safe after his death in 1519; in the late 1900s, a mold and bronze cast were created from the deteriorating wax.

Now the mold and original bronze casting are on display for the first time today at “The Genius” exhibition in the Venetian. Businessman Richard Lewis acquired the piece, and Las Vegas art broker Rod Maly of Art Encounters arranged its unveiling today. There will be a cocktail party this evening for its unveiling. Click here for our initial tour coverage of the exhibition.

WICKED WHISPERS & RACY RUMORS

Looks like new Bally’s headliner and "American Idol" Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks will be staying on the Strip a lot longer than planned. He’s confirmed that he will be the guest entertainer at the Sept. 20 Las Vegas Hospitality Association’s 2012 Distinction Awards celebrating its 50th anniversary. Bestselling author Jack Sheehan will be the master of ceremonies. Congratulations to Mandalay Bay President Chuck Bowling, who will be honored with the Industry Leader Award.

Are the husband and wife behind the Leor jewels empire, headquartered at the Venetian, involved in a new reality TV show? It seems that the stars and Vegas VIPs who snap up their bling are now filming the pilot around town.

Is Station Casinos going to upgrade, refine and go up-market with new and existing luxury food and beverage concepts? Oliver Wharton is to become Station’s first vice president of hospitality development. He developed Hyde at Bellagio, Steve Wynn’s Society Cafe and Michael Mina’s restaurants at MGM Grand. He'll oversee the company’s 60 restaurants!

The Season 3 premiere party for Showtime’s controversial "Gigolos" filmed here will be at Vince Neil's Girls Girls Girls topless club Aug. 30.

SOCCER TRYOUTS: After Monday night's tryouts for the Las Vegas Legends soccer team, there will be a second session tonight at Las Vegas Indoor Soccer on North Rampart. “There are great soccer players here in Vegas," said Greg Howes, first-year coach of the Professional Arena Soccer League’s local team. "We’re estimating at least 90 players will show up." Players who get the nod of approval will advance to the national tryouts Sept. 2 in Las Vegas. The Legends begin full-time league play in November; the first exhibition game is Oct. 18 at Orleans Arena.

FIRST FALL PROJECT DINNER TABLE: Two Bellagio chefs, hotel executive Edmund Wong and Sensi chef Royden Ellamar, will helm the first of Project Dinner Table’s series of fall dinners. On Sept. 8, the two chefs will present a six-course meal among a country-fair themed event outdoors at Town Square, which will be partially closed to traffic as 175 guests sit at one long family-style table. The project has raised $4,000 for Safe Nest and Shade Tree charities. Two dinners have been set for Oct. 13 and Nov. 11; chefs and locations to be announced later. In other food news, Las Vegas Restaurant Week starts Monday with more than 80 restaurants offering prix-fixe menus to benefit our local food bank Three Square.

STAR SURVEILLANCE

Superstar singer Jennifer Lopez is obviously in no hurry to leave town after her Mandalay Bay weekend concert with Enrique Iglesias. On Monday, we reported spotting her at the Pods by Wolfgang Puck in Crystals. Now we’ve learned that she later set off on a massive shopping spree, hitting the Roberto Cavali, Hermes, Tom Ford, Lanvin, Jimmy Choo and Bottega Veneta boutiques! No wonder she stayed right there for dinner at Social House.

TONIGHT'S TIPS

Squeaky-voiced comedian Gilbert Gottfried headlines at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand with Mike Pace and Noe Gonzales through Sunday night. Eric Johnson performs at Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel. DJ duo Bassjackers are at 1OAK in the Mirage.

Our colleagues at Vegas Inc. celebrate the remarkable people and businesses with the Angel Awards for outstanding charity efforts. Our "Pawn Stars" pals from Gold Silver Pawn are among the honorees being recognized. Congratulations! Rocker Frank DiMino is taking part in "Are You Smarter Than a Rock Star?" at KISS by Monster Mini Golf And comedians Dennis Regan, Brian McKim and his wife Traci Skene are at the Improv in Harrah's through Sunday.

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