Prisoner goes missing from halfway house in Las Vegas

An inmate living in a halfway house in Las Vegas has been reported missing, the Nevada Department of Corrections announced Wednesday.

Roberto Munoz, 51, was missing as of 1 p.m. Tuesday from the Casa Grande Transitional Housing at 3955 W. Russell Road, according to the department.

He was last seen at the bus stop at Russell Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, headed to a Department of Motor Vehicles appointment.

Munoz arrived at the Department of Corrections on Jan. 28. He had been sentenced in Washoe County to between 57 months and 12 years for three counts of grand larceny and one count of possession of a stolen vehicle.

Authorities said he is 5-foot-7 and 200 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. He has several tattoos, including prayer hands, a cross and a rosary on his left arm and several women’s names across his body.

The Department of Corrections asks that anyone with information on his whereabouts call 911.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at [email protected] or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

Top Las Vegas singers on Adele: ‘Nobody can really touch her’

We well remember “Adele Night” at the Playlist monthly music series at the Copa Room at Tuscany Suites. Kenny Davidsen hosted these themed events for about five years, pre-pandemic.

The more popular the songs, of course, the bigger the crowd.

“Adele Night” was packed that evening in February 2016. More than 40 Las Vegas singers, all of them professionals, turned out just after Adele’s “25” was released. The crowd trying to get into the cozy showroom spilled into the casino. Owner Brett Heers turned up to make sure the crush of guests didn’t violate fire code limits.

It might not be Hyde Park, or the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, where “Weekends With Adele” opens Friday night, but there was no denying Adele’s intense popularity among the Vegas entertainment community that night. Only a revival of the Beatles’ “White Album” two years later rivaled “Adele Night.” The experience was a sampling of the energy that Adele generates everywhere.

Some of those who attended, or attempted to, wondered how Adele held sway over so many accomplished entertainers.

‘She is emotional’

Las Vegas singer and vocal coach Lisa Marie Smith hosted that night. The Las Vegas Academy grad co-starred in the production shows “Pin Up” at The Strat and “Baz” at the Palazzo Theater. She is also a swing at Mayfair Supper Club at Bellagio.

“From a technical standpoint, she is accessible, because her range is not out of the question. She is in that female belter range,” Smith says of the 34-year-old British superstar. “From a performance standpoint, she is emotional. She covers relationships. She connects with an audience. Her lyrical content matches her melodic content, so her lyrics and melodies sync in an emotional way.”

Adele has bared her soul throughout her career. The table-setting lyric in “Strangers by Nature,” the opening song on “30”: “I’ll be taking flowers to the cemetery of my heart.” You understand the depth of message when the album starts in a graveyard.

Adele’s latest video, for “I Drink Wine,” shows her sipping vino while gliding along a lake. She casually sings, “We’re in love with the world, but the world just wants to bring us down/By putting ideas in our head that corrupt our hearts somehow.”

Even if you don’t drink the wine, you’re apt to imbibe by the time Adele is finished with this watery trek.

As a student and a teacher, Smith says this emotional quality is uncommon among modern singers.

“In the age of radio pop, where music is very electronically focused, that’s rare,” Smith says. “Even some of the biggest hits today are not very deep. So, when she is singing about relationships, from a female perspective, there is a great emotional connection.”

‘Not cookie-cutter’

Michelle Johnson is Las Vegas’ “First Lady of Jazz” and head of the Desert Angels Choir, which over the years has backed such superstars as Barbra Streisand, The Eagles and Michael Bublé. Johnson separately defines the early career Adele and the more mature performer of today.

“When she started, she was a combination of an unusual voice with a personality and a look that was not cookie-cutter,” Johnson says. “Her initial appeal was, she was not someone who fit in any box. She was heavier, she was white, and had a very soulful voice. She comes out and she’s just killing it with these vulnerable songs.”

The key is the visceral connection, which carries through to Adele’s latest material.

“A lot of times, with these stars, the magic pill is their relatability,” Johnson says. “You look at someone like Jennifer Hudson, amazing singer. But any given Sunday, in any church, you’re going to find someone who sings like Jennifer Hudson. But there’s something about the timing, her look, and being in the right place at the right time that makes these people superstars.”

Johnson is quick to qualify, “I am not taking anything away from these stars, but the vulnerability is so evident. With Adele, you feel she knows what she is singing. She knows what it is like not to fit in, not to be like anybody else, to feel alone, not always being cool.”

‘Writing for my generation’

Janae Longo is one Vegas singer who has actually inhabited the Adele persona. The Buffalo, New York, native performed as Adele in “Legends in Concert: Legendary Divas” at the Tropicana. Longo’s crash course in Adele lasted nine months, as the “Legends” show is now all-Elvis with “Back in the Building.”

Longo had not performed as the “Someone Like You” singer before auditioning for the role in December. But she had absorbed her music since she was a teen.

“She’s really writing for people of my generation,” Longo says. “There are all these newbies, the TikTokkers, but who is writing music for us? So, her sense of wellness, language, the fact that she’s been writing since her teenage years, resonates with us.”

Longo feels she knows Adele, beyond just singing in her voice each night in “Legendary Divas.”

“Her writing changes over time, because life experiences change,” Longo says. “Everything she goes through, she is willing to communicate. The breakup montages, expressing her solitude during COVID, feeling depression and recovery. Her intense divorce, worrying about her son, fixing problems from the past, these are all things that everyone can identify with.”

Longo also says conveying these songs with appropriate power and emotion is not an easy task.

“A good friend of mine who is a music teacher came to see the show, and afterward she said, ‘I don’t know how you do that every night,’ ” Longo says. “I just tried to hit the main points and best represent her, because in terms of performance, nobody can really touch her.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at Contact him at [email protected]. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Pedestrian dies after being struck by vehicle in central Las Vegas

A pedestrian was fatally struck in central Las Vegas Tuesday night.

The crash occurred around 6 p.m. in the 1700 block of East Karen Avenue, near South Maryland Parkway and East Sahara Avenue.

A vehicle was heading west on Karen when it struck a man in his 60s who was walking across the street outside of a marked crosswalk, according to Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Andrew Kelvington.

He was taken to a local hospital and later died, Kelvington said. Impairment was not a factor in the crash.

No further information was available.

Contact David Wilson at [email protected]. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

Las Vegas police investigate homicide

Police are investigating a homicide Tuesday morning in central Las Vegas.

It occurred at an apartment complex on the 1700 block of East Karen Avenue, near East Sahara Avenue and Maryland Parkways, according to a Metropolitan Police Department statement.

No other information was immediately available.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Las Vegas breakthroughs for 2023

January 1

A night of Bacchanalian celebration concludes with the notes of Sinatra’s “Summer Wind” sweeping down the Strip. The crowd grows oddly mellow and walks off into the night, singing along. Hands are touching hands, reaching out, touching oops, wrong song. But suddenly, as if by that old black magic, good times never seemed so good.

February 6

As the state Legislature begins its session in Carson City, leaders of both parties in both houses announce that partisanship has no place when the issue is what’s best for the state, and that they’ll imitate the 1995 session — when the assembly was evenly split — by having co-chairs of each committee. Reporters faint from shock, citizens rejoice, and extremist lobbyists quietly shut their briefcases and stumble weeping into the winter chill.

All hail the Vegas Goat Kings
All hail the Vegas Goat Kings

February 17

The NBA decides to expand for the 2025-26 season with franchises in Las Vegas and Seattle. LeBron James, who heads the Las Vegas ownership group, wants to name the team the G.O.A.T.s, but Hornets owner Michael Jordan fires off a series of sad memes. LeBron’s next proposal, the King Jameses, is shot down by the team in Sacramento. Undeterred, LeBron pledges to play for the Goat Kings in their first season at age 40.

March 11

Senior point guard Jordan McCabe scores 18 points and dishes 17 assists to lead the UNLV men’s basketball team over heavily favored fourth-ranked San Diego State, 92-77, in the Mountain West Tournament championship game. The win secures the Rebels their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2013. McCabe’s improved shooting and solid decision-making had helped an almost completely remade Rebel squad to a 22-win regular season, by the end of which crowds at the Thomas & Mack regularly topped 12,000 fans, one of whom kept showing up in a shark costume, spurring old-time fans to turn to their grandchildren and tell a story: “Once upon a time, there was a man named Tark …”

March 16-18

Led by sophomore shooting guard Keshon Gilbert’s 21 points, the Rebels send their former coach T.J. Otzelberger’s fifth-seeded Iowa State Cyclones home in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In the second round, the Rebels enter the final minute four points ahead of North Carolina, but fall by one on Tar Heel star Caleb Love’s last-second half-court 3-pointer. Seven grumpy old boosters write a letter to the Review-Journal calling for the firing of Rebel Coach Kevin Kruger. Responds Kruger: “We appreciate the passion.”

April 16

The city of Henderson celebrates its 70th anniversary in style. The downtown bar-and-restaurant scene on Water Street is bustling, the Silver Knights are completing a successful first full hockey season at the 5,600-seat Dollar Loan Center, and the city’s population is approaching 350,000. The New York Times, in paragraph 12 of an exposé breathlessly revealing that people live in Southern Nevada, still calls Henderson a bedroom suburb.

April 28

This beautiful spring morning, as I was taking my dog for a walk, something remarkable happened. A neighbor who had ignored my salutations for 10 full years suddenly waved and said “Hi.” Elated, I wished her a good morning. But then she said, with a warm smile: “Welcome to the neighborhood!”

Illustration by Wesley Rand
Illustration by Wesley Rand

June 23

Maybe it started in early January, with the first wisps of hair growing past the back rim of William Karlsson’s helmet. Soon he and his fellow veterans of the the original 2017-18 “Golden Misfits” — Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith — were having career years, and this season’s new young Knights such as Paul Cotter and goaltender Logan Thompson were breaking through to early stardom. Suddenly that old black-and-gold magic was on full display at T-Mobile Arena, culminating tonight when Karlsson netted a slapshot at the 7:17 mark of overtime to give the Knights a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. He immediately threw off the helmet, flashing his old-school regrown blond locks and sprinting across the ice before being mobbed by his teammates, recently deemed “The Golden Retrofits” and now christened with a simpler moniker: NHL Champions.

July 15

It’s hot. But it’s not THAT hot.

July 29

Lightning strikes the Fremont Street Experience, burning the canopy beyond repair before the fire is extinguished. Fortunately, Nickelback was scheduled to play, so nobody came, not even Nickelback, and there are no injuries. After cleanup, the city opens the street to vehicle traffic while redevelopment plans are contemplated. The “new” open look is welcomed by both locals and tourists alike, the change is made permanent, and Vegas Vic reigns once more over Glitter Gulch the way it ought to be — the world’s brightest street under the nighttime sky.

August 8

A thunderstorm of such magnitude consumes the valley that National Weather Service advisories run on a 24/7 loop on every television, radio, and cellphone in the city. At the end of the storm, Lake Mead is, miraculously, full. There is much rejoicing throughout the West, much use of sprinklers on Sundays, and much repeated flushing of toilets in California, which has still not learned how to recycle indoor water. By August 15, the lake is half-empty. Wait. That’s not a breakthrough.

August 16

All of the states and cities and city-states in the Colorado River Compact pledge to take steps to recycle all indoor water. Southern Nevada teaches them how to do it. That’s a breakthrough.

The Flyin’ Rebels
The Flyin’ Rebels

August 31-September 9

Traffic delays the entire UNLV football team for two hours at the I-15 Tropicana offramp, causing the Rebels to forfeit their Allegiant Stadium opener to the Bryant Bulldogs. Ten days later, they take out their frustration on the Michigan Wolverines, defeating them 42-7 before more than 100,000 fans in Ann Arbor. After the game, the Rebels fly back to Las Vegas without needing a plane, walking on air all the way. Michigan immediately fires its coach. UNLV, meanwhile, hires a fleet of helicopters to get to future home games.

September 16

Well, that was weird. The Rebels wake up from a collective dream to realize that, while they beat Bryant, they actually lost to No. 5 Michigan. Back in the realm of reality, the Rebels are undeterred, lifting off early for Allegiant Stadium and defeating Southeastern Conference opponent Vanderbilt, 35-27. Junior quarterback Doug Brumfield throws for three touchdowns and rushes for another in the win. UNLV ultimately finishes the season with a 12-1 record and a Mountain West Conference championship.

Sir Paul and Snoop
Sir Paul and Snoop

October 10

Seeking to capture the cheeky eldercharm of Steve Martin and Martin Short in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, Sir Paul McCartney and Snoop Dogg announce a “joint residency” at Caesars’ Colosseum. “No pun intended,” Snoop insists.

October 22

Leaders of parched but ever-expanding cities of the West defy political expectations and announce a 10-year program to mitigate sprawl. The plan includes pilot implementation of reimagined “dynamic” urban growth boundaries. The idea is not to stop growth, but to ensure its sustainability and preserve natural geographic borders such as hillsides. Growth boundaries have been imperfect where attempted, distorting housing markets in such places as Portland, but the bottom line remains: Less sprawl = fewer buildings in need of far-flung water infrastructure = water savings. Today’s announcement signals that the West is ready to get creative not only with water management, but also with growth management.

October 28

The Fontainebleau Las Vegas opens to great fanfare after looking so forlorn and blue, literally and figuratively, on the Strip for 15 years. Owner Jeffrey Soffer celebrates the occasion by announcing that he’s going to build Fontainebleau Tower 2. Locals make reservations for the new tower’s opening in 2040.

November 2

The last-place Oakland A’s play their top minor league club, the Las Vegas Aviators, in a postseason winner-take-Las Vegas showdown. The Aviators prevail. Dollar beer night survives.

November 9

Two months after leading the Las Vegas Aces to the WNBA championship for the second straight season, coach Becky Hammon is named as the successor to retiring San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich following the 2023-24 season. The announcement makes the 46-year-old Hammon, who worked as a Spurs assistant coach under Popovich for eight seasons before coming to Las Vegas, the first woman to be named head coach of a major men’s professional sports franchise.

November 19

For the 160th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, Penn and Teller announce that they are going to make Abraham Lincoln appear and deliver the speech. Despite their considerable abilities, they can only get Lincoln to say, “Where’s John Wilkes Booth? I have something to talk to him about.” So, Teller ends up giving the speech himself. All concerned agree that while Lincoln’s appearance was interesting, the fact that Teller spoke onstage was far more important.

December 10

Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby sacks Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins four times in a 24-7 victory over Minnesota at Allegiant Stadium. The dominating performance gives Crosby an NFL-leading 15 sacks in 13 games, en route to setting a franchise single-season record with 20 sacks and being named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

December 18

Snow has fallen, not just in the Rockies, but all along the Colorado River Basin, coating desert expanses in fluffy white. Lake Mead, which had been filled by unusually abundant rains earlier in the year — then emptied again when the drought and bad behavior resumed — promises to be replenished once more when the spring thaw arrives. Las Vegas residents are spotted cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the shoreline of Lake Mead. Strip hotels are full of guests who can’t fly home, so they buy homes here. Cocktail waitresses serve hot chocolate in casinos. Uber drivers in tricked-out Teslas offer sleigh rides from the Luxor to Bellagio. A true white Christmas! Somewhere in Sun City Anthem, a grumpy dude with a snowed-in driveway blames Biden.

December 31

Just as Sinatra sang in 2023, he sings it out. “It was,” he croons, “a very good year.” ◆

Contributors: Sean DeFrank, Michael Green, Sveta Lari and Greg Blake Miller

Raiders in must-win situation vs Colts — Vegas Nation Gameday

The Raiders have found themselves in a must-win situation when it comes to facing the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

The Colts will be led by a head coach with no previous NFL coaching experience in six-time Pro Bowler Jeff Saturday.

In this episode of Vegas Nation Gameday, our team looks at current issues involving the Raiders offense as the team has placed some key players on injured reserve.

Residents pay tribute to veterans at Las Vegas parade — PHOTOS

Spectators lined the sidewalks downtown Friday morning and waved American flags as they paid tribute to the Las Vegas Valley’s many veterans at the annual Veterans Day parade.

The parade started on Fourth Street and Gass Avenue and went from the south end of downtown to the northern point with spectators lining the entire route. As the floats passed by, kids on the sidelines would wave their flags and shout “Happy Veterans Day!”

“You’re not forgotten on this day,” said Evelyn Pacheco, a veteran. “But you’re forgotten any other day.”

Tony DelMonico, an 84-year-old Korean War veteran, has a lot of pride in being a veteran and has been coming to the parade the last couple of years after moving from La Jolla, California.

“I think there’s a lot of things that can be done for vets … I think we’d like to see something, a program or something that where we could eliminate a lot of the suicides for veterans.” DelMonico said. “I think the VA can do more.”

But DelMonico said it brings him joy and a sense of hope when he sees the youth at the parade. Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs from across the Las Vegas valley marched in the streets.

Maggie Pezzullo is the mother of a student in the JROTC program at Rancho High School. She cheered on her son and the entire class of students for one block of the parade. Her son, Brennan Pezzullo, 17, just recently signed his contact with the Navy and will be doing his boot camp training after he graduates high school.

In 2003, Pezzullo met her husband in Iraq while in the Army. She was enjoying her last Vegas Veteran’s Day parade as she’s moving in eight months.

A Royal Airman from the United Kingdom, Roger Elliott and his family were watching from the sidewalk. He believes that the way the U.S. looks after and honors its veterans is fantastic and it benefits service members overseas.

“In the U.K. you would never have anyone coming up to you saying ‘Thank you for your service,’ but now that happens all the time,” Elliott said. “And it really shows just how much the veterans and the serving members of the armed forces in this country have given to the United States of America.”

After marching in the parade, 32-year-old Yardell Bass, a National Guardsman, went to the sideline to watch the rest of the show. He marched in the parade when he was in JROTC in high school. Friday he marched in it as a service member.

He said it’s different from when he was in high school. Back then he was mainly showing support but now that he’s serving in the National Guard he realizes, “Oh, this is something for me too.”

“I just want to thank all the veterans who have served,” Bass said. “I’d also like to thank everyone I’m serving with and wish everyone a Happy Veterans Day.”

One of Bass’ fellow service members, Adrianne Lopez, said, “We’re always on the go and it’s great that we’re in this break because we can take a step back, breathe for a second and think about the sacrifices that our veterans have made in the past.”

Nolan London, 74, an Army veteran who has been in the parade for over two decades, said he’s seen attendance grow over the years.

When he first started walking in the parade, there were about 100 veterans participating, London remembered.

“A lot of guys start breaking down crying,” London said. “They’ve never been welcomed home, a lot of the guys got very emotional, big fellas too.”

“We need to recognize and celebrate for all the veterans for all the bravery and courageous hard work that they do,” said Shamish Irving, the daughter of Vietnam veteran Toby Irving Jr. “It is because of them that we are able to be on these sidewalks.”

Contact Jimmy Romo at [email protected] or call 702-383-0350. Follow @jimi_writes on Twitter.

Las Vegas Justice Court race remains close, updated results show

Updated election results from Clark County showed that little had shifted in the judicial races by Thursday evening.

Although all in-person votes cast on Tuesday have been tallied, races could still shift in the coming days as officials count mail ballots postmarked by Election Day. State law requires the county to accept mail-in ballots until Saturday, and to give voters until Monday to have mismatched signatures verified, Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said during a press conference Thursday morning.

Justice of the peace races

The Department 13 race in Las Vegas Justice Court remained close as of Thursday evening. Deputy Public Defender Rebecca Saxe was leading with 50.4 percent of the vote, while incumbent Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum trailed close behind with 49.6 percent, according to the preliminary results.

In a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursday, Baucum said her opponent had “worked very hard in her campaign.”

“If the numbers continue to trend in her favor as they have been and she wins I wish her nothing but the best,” Baucum wrote in the emailed statement, sent before the updated results Thursday evening.

Saxe did not reply to a request for comment.

In Department 10, Deputy District Attorney Noreen DeMonte was leading with 54.6 percent of the vote, while incumbent Cybill Dotson trailed with 45.4 percent.

Dotson was appointed to the bench in October 2021 by the Clark County Commission to replace Justice of the Peace Melanie Tobiasson, who resigned in April 2021 while facing ethics charges.

In Department 6, Jessica Goodey, a personal injury attorney and pro tem justice of the peace, was leading with 58.6 percent of the vote as of Thursday evening. William Gonzalez, a former Family Court judge, had about 41.4 percent of the vote.

The seat was left vacant in January when Justice of the Peace Rebecca Kern resigned.

In Department 7, preliminary results indicated that personal injury attorney Amy Wilson was leading with 56.2 percent of the vote, while Chief Deputy Public Defender Max Berkley had received 43.8 percent.

Justice of the Peace Karen Bennett-Haron occupies the Department 7 seat but did not file for re-election.

Longtime Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure was leading with 56.7 percent of the vote in the Department 9 race. Chief Deputy District Attorney Danielle “Pieper” Chio had 43.3 percent of the vote.

Bonaventure was first elected in 2004, ran unopposed in 2010 and won re-election in the 2016 primary.

District Court races

In Clark County District Court Department 11, attorney Anna Albertson had received 52.3 percent of the vote, while incumbent Ellie Roohani had received 47.7 percent, according to updated results released Thursday evening.

Roohani, a former federal prosecutor, has served on the bench for nearly a year, since Gov. Steve Sisolak appointed her in December after District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez stepped down.

In the race with the widest margin between candidates, appointed incumbent Maria Gall was leading in Department 9 with 62.2 percent of the vote as of Thursday evening. Attorney James Dean Leavitt had received about 37.8 percent of the vote.

Gall was appointed by Sisolak in June to fill the vacant seat after District Judge Cristina Silva was appointed to U.S. District Court.

Three candidates were on the ballot for Department 17, which did not have a primary because District Judge Michael Villani announced his retirement after the June election. Preliminary results showed that Deputy Public Defender Jennifer Schwartz was leading with 36.4 percent of the vote.

Attorney Adam Ganz had about 34.4 percent of the vote, while Chief Deputy District Attorney Lindsey Moors had 29.2 percent.

There were six candidates on the ballot for Family Court Department A, which was subject to a special filing period following June’s primary after Family Court Judge William Voy announced his retirement.

Mari Parladé, the legal and strategic initiatives manager for the Clark County Family Services’ legal division, was leading the race with 24.5 percent of the vote. Attorney Kristine Brewer followed with 20.5 percent.

Court of Appeals

In the statewide race for Court of Appeals’ Department 1, Chief Deputy Public Defender Deborah Westbook was leading with 51.3 percent of the vote as of Thursday evening. Current Family Court Judge Rhonda Forsberg had 24.8 percent of the vote.

The Court of Appeals is a panel of three judges who rule on about a third of cases that are submitted to the Nevada Supreme Court. Judge Jerome Tao, who presides over Department 1, did not file for re-election this year.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at [email protected] or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

Two juveniles shot in North Las Vegas

Two juveniles were hospitalized after being shot in North Las Vegas Wednesday night, police said.

The shooting occurred around 6:30 p.m. near the 900 block of Shades End Avenue, near East Centennial Parkway. Both juveniles were taken to University Medical Center, according to North Las Vegas Police Department spokesperson Alex Cuevas.

He said one juvenile was in critical condition and the other was stable.

No further information was available.

Contact David Wilson at [email protected]. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

Tilman Fertitta starts demolition for Las Vegas Strip hotel-casino project

Tilman Fertitta demolished an old motel on the Strip, as the Houston billionaire pushes ahead with plans for a towering upscale resort.

Works crews recently tore down a former 1960s-era Travelodge on Las Vegas Boulevard just south of Harmon Avenue, leaving piles of concrete, wood and other debris on the site as of Tuesday. Its boarded-up lobby, in a separate building from the motel rooms, was still standing.

Nearby, a cluster of storefronts that Fertitta also purchased had been partially torn down. Tattoo parlor Vegas Ink had been demolished, while the backs of adjacent shops had been ripped down, letting passersby see mounds of demolished real estate through their still-standing storefronts.

The Clark County Commission last month approved Fertitta’s plans for a 43-story, 2,420-room hotel-casino in Las Vegas’ famed resort corridor. The same day, the county issued three demolition permits to let work crews tear down buildings on his 6-acre plot of real estate.

The spread, which Fertitta purchased in June for $270 million, included the Travelodge, the Tex Mex Tequila Bar & Grill building and a cluster of now-closed souvenir shops and other retail space.

The motel, built in 1963, had closed by July. At the time, a sign in the door of the lobby declared, “We had a good run. 59+ years of service. This Travelodge is closed permanently.”

A representative for Fertitta’s namesake company, Fertitta Entertainment, said Wednesday that there were “no updates we can share at this time” on the demolition plans for the remaining buildings.

Fertitta’s project calls for restaurants, convention space, a spa, wedding chapel, auto showroom and a roughly 2,500-seat theater. It would also include suites and villas, VIP salons and a bar and lounge for high-limit gamblers, building plans indicate.

Project representative Rebecca Miltenberger told the County Commission last month that the development would be a “high-end casino resort.”

Miltenberger, an attorney with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, also provided a timeline for the undertaking.

“We are very excited to bring this project to fruition over the next two years,” she told the commission.

Fertitta, 65, oversees a corporate empire that spans dozens of restaurant brands, Golden Nugget casinos in Nevada and other states, the NBA’s Houston Rockets and the upscale Post Oak Hotel in Houston.

He also has a big ownership stake in Wynn Resorts Ltd. According to a recent securities filing, he acquired 6.9 million shares in the Las Vegas-based casino operator, a 6.1 percent stake, making him one of its largest stockholders.

Fertitta’s project site is roughly 1.5 miles south of Wynn’s two luxury hotel towers on Las Vegas Boulevard, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.

Last month a spokesperson for Fertitta Entertainment told the Review-Journal there was no groundbreaking date for the resort yet.

Contact Eli Segall at [email protected] or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.