Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lance Burton's contract is up. What does this mean for the Monte Carlo?

Magician Lance Burton's 13-year contract at the Monte Carlo is up in a week, setting off speculation.

Is he re-signing? Looking elsewhere? Even the "R" word -- retirement -- has been circulating.

Asked through an intermediary to address the latter question, Burton wasn't ready to show his cards.

"He said he doesn't want to comment on it," said his publicist, Wayne Bernath.

Burton, who turns 50 in March, has been a Las Vegas fixture for 27 years, the first nine at Folies Bergere and five at the Hacienda.

The popular entertainer has had lots of time to think about his next move. He's been off his feet for five weeks after breaking a bone in his right foot while fetching "Elvis" the parakeet after it flew into the crowd at Burton's May 7 show. The injury, which occurred as Burton climbed the stage stairs, required surgery.

He was due back June 23, but the Monte Carlo box office on Saturday indicated tickets aren't available until July.

With the giant CityCenter project opening at year's end, creating more foot traffic for its neighbor, the Monte Carlo, there have been rumors that the Monte Carlo is exploring a number of options to capture more business in the hotel and, more specifically, the 1,274-seat theater