January 2005
Steve's Set To Become Toast Of Las Vegas

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Sunshine Coast Daily 22 January 2005



News Source: Sunshine Coast Daily, Saturday 22nd January, 2005

Steve Irwin brought his crocodile wrestling and taipan taming stage show to Los Angeles yesterday in what could be a test run for a longterm $A66 million extravaganza show in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is desperate for a show-man like the khaki-clad Crocodile Hunter from Beerwah.

A huge void was left on the strip when Roy Horn, of the famous lion taming magicians, Siegfried and Roy, was attacked and critically injured by a 270kg white tiger on stage in 2003 – forcing the show to close.

Irwin will hold two shows in Los Angeles over the next two days as part of the Australia Week festival.

The Croc Hunter said meetings with financial backers, including the big casinos, for a Vegas show were continuing.

“We’re seriously thinking about Vegas,” Irwin said yesterday outside the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Centre, where he staged his first Australia Week show.

“It’s in its infancy at the moment, but we’ll probably do it.”

If Irwin – already a multi-millionaire though his TV documentary shows, zoo and feature film – strikes a deal with a major casino it would easily make him one of Australia’s richest entertainers.

Canadian songstress Celine Dion is mid-way though a three-year concert deal at the Caesar’s Palace casino that will net her $US1000 million ($A132 million).

Elton John also signed a three-year, 75-show deal with Caesar’s Palace worth $US50 million ($A66 million).

“We’ve spoken to a whole stack of different people from all walks of life including casinos,” Irwin said.

“We’re not 100% sure which way we’ll get yet … we want to make a clever decision, rather than a hasty decision.”

A regular on US TV talk shows, the Australia Week concert was his first live performance on stage in the US to paying customers. Tickets sold for $US25 ($A33) each.

It involved snakes, including a taipan, lizards, a crocodile, a camel, kangaroos and wallabies.

The expo featured promotions from Australian travel companies including Qantas. -AAP