From Britney to Boston and Beyond

Illustration by Christopher Jones

Illustration by Christopher Jones

If there’s one thing Nevada loves, it’s a good open secret. Things like “Britney Spears will be doing a Strip residency” or “Britney Spears is actually a lizard person in convincing human makeup” were known months in advance of their official announcement. It happens all the time here.

The notion goes back forever. The greatest open secret in American, conspiratorial and X-Files history (other than the fact that lizard people really killed Kennedy) was the existence of Area 51. That “secret” military base 83 miles from Las Vegas has been around since 1955, where it famously played home to super-secret experimental aircraft and so, so many (lizard-like) aliens. It took the CIA until 2013 to admit it existed, 58 years after it was opened and 57½ years after people started wandering up to the gates and snapping pictures of their “Warning: Non-lizard civilians strictly prohibited” signs posted around the perimeter.

In related news, Nevada Republicans aren’t happy with Assembly Minority Floor Leader Pat Hickey after his September bout of foot-in-mouth-itis (after blurting, “We have some real opportunities in 2014. A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a nonpresidential year,” he doubled down by saying he isn’t racist—after all, he said, he has a “yellow wife.”). While Republicans don’t have any immediate timetable to name their leadership for 2015’s 78th session of the Assembly, there have been rumblings that Reno’s Hickey will be ousted from his leadership position in favor of Clark County’s Paul Anderson.

Another long-standing open secret is that Deutsche Bank has been seeking a buyer for the Cosmopolitan practically since the get-go—casino revenue has never been great, and the property posted a $25.2 million loss in its last quarterly report. One name that surfaced in the rumor mill was Aussie Crown casino mogul James Packer, who was seen staying at the property recently.

Did you know that the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority is overprotective of “What Happens Here Stays Here”? Of course you did. Everyone knew that. Except the head of LVCVA’s counterpart in Boston, who came to Vegas to promote Boston as a convention destination (completely unaware of any irony attached to that), with a booth featuring the slogan “What Happens in Boston Changes the World.”

Take a guess how this played out. If you said “big fat cease-and-desist,” you’re already a winner. That’s what they get for inflicting The Town on the rest of us.

A better halloween, Courtesy of Claire
There are some things we just have to do every Halloween: Gorge on fun-size Kit Kats; watch Ghostbusters; listen to Marilyn Manson rap along to Jay-Z. It’s the little things. Fortunately, Manson was at Hyde Bellagio on October 30 for a Halloween party, where, through a wall of pancake makeup, he managed to lay down Hov’s rhymes on “Holy Grail.” … Lauren Conrad, who’s supposed to be a fashion designer, let her little brother, Brandon, dress up like a banana at Tao on November 1 while she only could be bothered to don a pair of bunny ears. … Pin Up’s Claire Sinclair was far more festive on October 31, hosting the Downtown Halloween Parade in a bursting-at-what-little-seams-there-were Cleopatra getup before moving on to host at Crazy Horse III. Maybe it’s time we took up new traditions—like hanging out at strip clubs on Halloween night.

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