By Jarret Keene

Jarret Keene’s books include The Underground Guide to Las Vegas, an unauthorized rock bio of The Killers and Las Vegas Noir. His primitive nuclear doom metal band Dead Neon terrorizes Sin City dive bars. He is a regular contributor to Vegas Seven and Desert Companion magazines, and lives in the heart of downtown with his wife and two young sons. For this issue, he profiled El Cortez executive vice-president and downtown renaissance woman Alexandra Epstein.


Discovery Children’s Museum: Age of Discovery

THIRTY YEARS AGO, philanthropist Barbara Molasky tri-chaired a fundraiser at the then-brand-new Boulevard Mall on Maryland Parkway. Leaders of the community gathered to raise money for an unusual concept at that time. As other cities struggled to nurture civil engagement, Molasky and her friends had an idea. The concept was the construction of a children’s…


Chet Buchanan: Up in the Air with HELP of Southern Nevada

IT’S A HOT AUGUST AFTERNOON at the offices of KLUC 98.5 FM, but local radio personality Chet Buchanan is already thinking about parkas, gloves and heaters. Now is the time the Morning Zoo host starts planning for his annual December ascent 30 feet in the air. He’ll spend 12 days living on a wooden-scaffold platform…


Elaine Wynn: Lessons Lived & Learned

THE “CASINO QUEEN” tag still hangs above the elegant, inspiring figure of The Huffington Post’s 2011 Game Changer (in the Impact and Education category), Elaine Wynn. The offices of the Las Vegas organizations to which she dedicates her energy—Communities In Schools and After-School All-Stars—are located behind Wynn resort in a structure that houses the hotel’s…


Jenna & Michael Morton: Green Thoughts

LIKE A 21ST-CENTURY GRACE KELLY, Las Vegas businesswoman, environmentalist and philanthropist Jenna Morton lights up a room – or in this instance, a cave. The grotto in question is the gorgeously rustic European-style dining establishment and wine bar in Wynn Las Vegas called La Cave. Jenna has just arrived for a photo shoot with her…


Candidly Talking About How diamondcake Came to Be with Shapiro & Sher

SITTING IN THE OFFICES of the top producing Las Vegas real-estate company, I expect Florence Shapiro and Ivan Sher to brag, at least for a moment, about their accomplishments in helping transform the valley into a place where the rich, powerful and elite want to live. The boasting never occurs. Instead, they say, let the…


Sig Rogich: Teachable Moments

THE HALLWAYS OF ROGICH COMMUNICATIONS GROUP in Las Vegas emanate confidence, mastery – not surprising given the political legend whose name the company bears. The furniture is dark wood. Framed poster-sized photographs of U.S. presidents, senators and state governors are everywhere. Bob Dylan’s music playing softly, almost imperceptibly, in the background. Mad Men’s Don Draper…


Serving Up Salvation

BRUTAL SUMMER AFTERNOON IN LAS VEGAS, Sun hammering us on an anvil of heat, forging Brains long bent by alcohol, addiction. Minds that once schemed now searching For a meal behind Salvation Army’s shield, Under the proud red banner, wind-snapped. The red symbolizes the blood of sacrifice. The yellow gold stands for the spirit. And…


Alexandra Epstein Brings a Touch of Cool to El Cortez

IT’S TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND A 400-player slot tournament rages in the Fiesta Room of El Cortez, a hotel and gaming establishment located a block east of Fremont Street Experience and the Strip. In operation since 1941, an ad slogan boasts: “Serving downtown since Bugsy owned the joint.” El Cortez has never been busier and never…


Quenching Thirst Worldwide: Guy Laliberté Makes Philanthropic Waves

THE ONE DROP INITIATIVE OF Cirque du Soleil’s co-founder and current chief executive officer, Guy Laliberté, is saving lives and improving health for children around the world. When Laliberté, 53, launched his ONE DROP nonprofit in 2007—donating $100 million of his own money to the organization’s operation—the idea was to fight poverty by addressing the…


The Producer: Adam Steck Continues to Generate Hit Shows for the Strip

HE’S ALWAYS BEEN BUSY. BUT it’s gotten even harder to ring up or hang out with super-friendly and too-humble Adam Steck to chat about the state of Vegas entertainment. The 42-year-old founder and CEO of SPI Entertainment, Inc., is engrossed in his first Broadway foray. Indeed, his latest production, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth — Live…