Kimo’s Vegas

Former Miss Universe and Miss Universe contestants with The Linq Las Vegas's Jon Gray at the construction site. RD/Kabik/Retna Digital photo from Kimo Akane

WELCOME TO Kimo’s Vegas … the Player’s Edge!

YOU KNOW GOOD fortune is favoring you when the world’s most beautiful women trade their crowns for hard hats and grab your ceremonial shovels. Jon Gray, The Linq vice president-general manager, is the lucky guy, surrounded by nine Miss Universe hopefuls and former Miss Universe (from left) Ji Dan Xu (China), Gabriela Markus (Brazil), Renae Ayris (Australia), Holly Hale (Great Britain), Shilpa Singh (India), Sung-hye Lee (Korea), Ayako Hara (Japan), Leila Lopes (former Miss Universe), Adwoa Yamoah (Canada) and (Karina Gonzalez (Mexico). When it opens late next year, The Linq (a 200,000-square-foot open-air dining and entertainment complex) and The High Roller (the world’s tallest observation wheel) will redefine all Vegas attractions.

ASTUTE PLAYERS HAVE noticed that Megabucks has reset to $10 million and change. The lucky winner is from Las Vegas and wisely chose to remain anonymous. She went to M Resort to use her free play and food vouchers, and didn’t know what happened when she hit the $17,329,817 jackpot. Why are most jackpot winners clueless when they hit it big? Maybe winning that kind of money goes to your head after all.

IF YOU’RE READING MidWeek, the world obviously didn’t run out of time, like the Mayan calendar. However, maybe in a couple of hundred years or sooner they’ll dig up part deux of the Pyramid of Kukulkan in the Vegas desert with our real drop-dead date. It could happen … They just discovered the tooth of an extinct prehistoric species of saber-tooth cat that anthropologists didn’t know used to cruise Las Vegas.

AS MY GREAT-great-great grandfather Confucius Akane used to say, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day … teach him to fish and you feed him forever.” The folks at the Food University at Caesars Palace have taken the proverb to another level by pairing high-profile award-winning chefs with common folks and transforming everyday eaters into competition-ready chefs in 72 hours. The inaugural classes start March 27 and are limited to 80 students. Tuition includes all instruction, food and beverage, and grads get a special “Enlightened Palate” diploma. Tuition is $1,995 per person – a bargain when you consider how easily one can lose several times that amount in the casino. All proceeds go to Keep Memory Alive, dedicated to finding cures for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and ALS.

THE NATIONAL TOUR of The Book of Mormon hits close to home when it opens at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas next summer. The Broadway show has won its creators Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone nine Tony Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, five Drama Desk Awards, the Drama League Award and a Grammy.