(PNS reporting from LAS VEGAS) Soon-to-retire Mexican recording legend Vicente Fernandez is opening a mariachi-themed casino in Las Vegas. Designed to cash in on the immense popularity of such large-scale theme casinos as “New York, New York,” Fernandez said he expects to open his casino “Guadalajara, Guadalajara” by the end of the year.
The casino, which will be shaped like a giant cactus, will feature a miniature Rancho Grande, live charreadas, rooster fights, fandangos and hourly displays of bravado and machismo, according to “Chente,” who announced his plans for retirement yesterday.
A full-scale Plaza Garibaldi buffet room is also planned, where patrons can enjoy such traditional Mexican delicacies as jalapeño poppers, fried chicken strips and tapioca pudding while being serenaded by Pedro Infante, Javier Solis and Miguel Aceves Mejia impersonators.
Live entertainment will be provided by Fernandez himself or one of his many famous sons, and popular television psychic Walter Mercado will also have a regular telepathic floor show, billing himself as the Mariachi Liberace.
According to Fernandez, “Guadalajara, Guadalajara” will be designed to give the large expatriate Mexican population in the United States a chance to revisit old Mexico without jeopardizing the terms of their amnesty. It will also give Anglo-Americans a chance to experience the wonders of their friendly neighbor to the south without actually having to go there. To further expand on the authenticity of the concept, Fernandez says he plans to model the men’s restrooms after poorly lit Tijuana sidestreets.
The hotel rooms will be 3/4 size replicas of rooms in Fernandez’s own lavish haciendas, and the honeymoon suite will feature Fernandez himself showing up at random to sing popular ballads and provide hands-on instruction regarding the Mexican art of deflowering.
To further immerse visitors in the Mexico experience, patrons will be required to exchange their dollars for pesos at brightly-colored casas de cambio before wagering on rooster fights, knife fights or before playing one of the many one-armed bandidos at a game of blackjack. This worries members of the Nevada Gaming Commission, who claim the wildly fluctuating peso exchange rate will cause confusion among even the most skilled gamblers. But Fernandez insists that the decision to use Mexican currency is designed to provide as authentic an experience as possible so that visitors will feel that they are truly south of the border.
“We want Americanos to have a chance of realizing the American dream in Mexico. And we want them to do it in pesos,” says Fernandez. “And when they sit at the loteria tables, they will be using Mexican beans.”
The superstar added that the peso is the ideal currency for a Las Vegas casino, adding “Wherever pesos are involved, it is always a gamble.”
Fernandez hopes “Guadalajara, Guadalajara” will be a hit with Las Vegas’ core visitor demographic group of bitter retired white people. To guarantee that patrons will have an enjoyable visit, all prospective employees will undergo extensive background checks to ensure that they are not former Mexico City police officers, dangerous ear-cutting kidnappers, or relatives of ex- Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
Chente photo by Julio Enriquez.
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