Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 | 1:59 p.m.
It’s now official that the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant will be headquartered at Planet Hollywood beginning Dec. 11, and the NBC telecast is set for Dec. 19, confirming our story posted Wednesday. Less than one month will separate the Miss Universe Pageant and the rival Miss America Pageant airing Jan. 12 on ABC.
In fact, it’s such a narrow window that the Miss Universe contestants depart Dec. 20 and the Miss America hopefuls arrive Jan. 3 -- and this all happens in and around the annual PRCA National Finals Rodeo. Talk about chaos and congestion with bull riders vs. beauty queens.
Vegas DeLuxe has learned that the Miss Universe broadcast will air the night after the top-rated “The Voice” finals, so expect great cross-promotion opportunities. Miss Universe from Planet Hollywood’s theater PH Live will be holiday themed to show Christmas around the world. It’s the first time the pageant is being held in December.
When Dominican Republic government officials notified Miss Universe officials this week that they could no longer afford the agreed $6 million in site fees to promote tourism there while providing hotels, transportation, offices and support facilities, it meant dramatic phone calls to our Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority officials and Caesars Entertainment executives.
Thanks to the close working relationship as a result of the continuing Miss USA Pageants here, it took just two phone calls at the midnight hour to lock in a last-minute deal. Still to be announced will be the hosts and celebrity judges, but I’m hearing buzz that chef Gordon Ramsay might play a role since he’s about to open his second restaurant in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace and eventually a third at Planet Hollywood.
Gorgeous Audrey Hepburn look-alike Olivia Culpo, who won the 2012 Miss USA Pageant at Planet Hollywood on June 3, will represent the USA against 84 contestants from as far away as Poland, Russia, Singapore, Lebanon, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Olivia, a 20-year-old cellist from Rhode Island, became the first titleholder from her state to capture Miss USA.
One of five kids, she competed on a whim winning the state title in a $20 “Rent the Runway” dress that was too short and torn in the back. She wowed the judges in Las Vegas, too, and won with her poised response to a tricky Twitter question regarding transgender contestants.
Vegas DeLuxe will have coverage of all the Miss Universe Pageant news in the weeks to come.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.