Wednesday, May 21, 2014 | 6 p.m.
The boys are back in town. Modern-day treasure hunters Jason T. Smith and Bryan Goodman, the Las Vegas stars of Spike TV’s “Thrift Hunters,” started filming a new 10-episode Season 2 of their hit series here today.
This is the unlikely duo who has turned rummaging through rubbish, rifling through rejects, digging through discards and sifting through storage shelves into an art form — and a highly profitable business. It also has won them TV stardom, successful ratings and a busy filming schedule.
In the first three weeks of Season 1, “Thrift Hunters” ratings doubled each time, and as the twosome hit flea markets, garage sales and thrift shops coast-to-coast, they began giving “Pawn Stars” a run for their money.
Finding treasure from somebody else’s trash has paid off big time, and cameras began rolling here to prove once again that they are experts when it comes to “buying low and selling high.” The duo has been professional thrifters for seven years after meeting at an eBay sales event.
WOLF MAKES IT OFFICIAL: Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck confirmed this morning our report in March that he’ll open his first off-Strip restaurant in downtown Summerlin this fall. It was 22 years ago that he took a gamble on Las Vegas with Spago at the Forum Shops of Caesars Palace that started the fine-dining revolution on the Strip.
With five other signature restaurants here, he ventures into the new territory with his casual 200-seat Bar & Grill as his sixth enterprise, a master chef’s contemporary version of the classic American bar and grill.
“I am so fortunate that guests have embraced and welcomed us as part of the Las Vegas community for more than two decades,” said Wolf. “We have such strong loyalty from locals who have been, and continue to be, a driving force behind the success of our Strip restaurants. It’s exciting for us to move off the Strip and become an integral part of the neighborhood.
“It’s important to me and my managing partners, all who have children and young families of our own, to place a strong emphasis on family dining as well as convenience for guests. To do so, the team will create an extensive children’s menu with healthy and enticing options perfect for toddlers to tweens. For guests on the go, an innovative curbside program will offer ease of pick-up and payment to ensure quick in-and-out for customers.”
TATTOOED ‘PIN UP’: Sabina Kelley, international pin-up model, professionally trained dancer and celebrity judge on Oxygen’s “Best Ink,” will join the cast of Stratosphere’s “Pin Up” for six performances from July 24-31 when star and 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair is away at Comic-Con in San Diego.
“Sabina is the perfect guest star for ‘Pin Up,’ ” said Claire in a news release. “With her gorgeous tattoos and striking platinum-blonde hair, she will bring a rockabilly edge to the show that I know all of our fans will adore.”
“I am so grateful to my good friend Claire and the Stratosphere for the opportunity to appear in ‘Pin Up,’ ” said Sabina, who performed as a showgirl in “Jubilee!” at Bally’s for two years. “I absolutely love the sexy, flirty and fun way this talented cast and crew has brought the iconic pin-up girl calendar to life.”
$1M OFFER TO BIEBS: Concerned that Justin Bieber’s recent wild antics have cost him valuable advertising and endorsement deals, the kindly folks at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club here on Dean Martin Drive have sent the pop prince a $1 million offer to become their spokesman.
I reviewed an authentic copy of the letter to Justin’s manager Scooter Braun in which it justifies the offer as “the star transforms from pre-teen idol into a full grownup sex symbol and can set a good, safe example to fans by advocating a legal, safe way to satisfy their sexual desires at the club.
“There is a time-honored tradition of fathers taking their sons to gentlemen’s clubs when they reach 18 to learn what it means to truly be a man, and Mr. Bieber can set a shining example in continuing that unique rite of passage. In that regard in addition to the $1 million, we also will throw in a party for Justin and his father at our Las Vegas Hustler Club when he reaches age 21 on March 1, 2015.”
Red Bull Daredevils
RED BULL DAREDEVILS: Two extraordinary battles are set this fall for the desert outside our city limits, proving once again that we are the world’s greatest entertainment destination.
Although the high-flying performances share energy, speed, endurance, incredible technical skills and artistic expression, they are different, too. It’s the battle of the B-boys of hip-hop vs. the Red Bull Air Race champions that’s never been attempted before.
First up Aug. 15, the best B-boys on the continent head spin, hand whirl, backflip and double-joint dance in Red Bull’s North American Final. Ronnie Abaldonado from the Las Vegas crew Concrete Soul and Cico from Italy will duplicate the overhead aerial skills of Red Bull Air Race champion Kirby Chambliss flying over them, each one trying to top the other.
The best ground guys compete in the World Finals in Paris, France, in November. Then on Oct. 11-12, the world’s best race pilots take to the skies above Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Round 7 of the Red Bull Air Race World Championships.
CHILL DAY: Nothing like a day in the Jacuzzi to chill after two hours of 100-plus-degree heat hosting the red carpet of the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena. That was the treat awaiting singer Lance Bass at Tropicana when he stayed in one of the pool villa suites.
“The perfect way to unwind from the BBMAs,” he tweeted. Later, he attended the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 6 finale viewing party in Tropicana’s Havana Room and Beach Club, where all of the contestants took to the stage for a spectacular show.
DEREK’S DANCING: “Dancing With the Stars” Season 18 runner-up Derek Hough starts the nationwide schedule of his “Move: Live on Tour” show with sister Julianne Hough and a cast of talented ballroom, salsa and hip-hop dancers next Wednesday in Kansas City.
The Las Vegas Academy pros continue to Los Angeles on July 26, and the promoters are trying to line up a Las Vegas date July 21 or July 22 after their stop in Phoenix and before Santa Rosa, Calif.
EXPANSION OFFERS: “Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro was besieged with real estate offers to expand his Buddy V’s Ristorante and Carlo’s Bakery at Palazzo when he visited the RECon shopping center convention Tuesday.
Las Vegas is playing host to 33,000 delegates from around the world at our Las Vegas Convention Center, and they all want Buddy. The global shopping center industry meeting here adds $43 million in nongaming revenue to our city’s coffers.
Guns N’ Roses and frontman Axl Rose return to the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel for a run through June 7.
Chef Sheridan Su of Fat Choy leads the Food Truck Village at the six-hour Downtown Block Party in the Fremont East Entertainment District for the World’s Greatest Happy Hour.
2014 Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez is joined by Stratosphere headliners Frankie Moreno and Claire Sinclair for the 12th Annual Shade Tree Girls Night Out charity event at Hyde Bellagio.
“Once” continues at the Smith Center through Sunday.
Nia departs for the 2014 Miss USA Pageant, the 2014 Epicurean Affair is at Palazzo, and we gear up for a party-packed Memorial Day Weekend.
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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