Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 10, 2002

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THIS ISSUE: Caesars Magical Empire

LAS VEGAS DEALS – for April / May:

* Palace Station Hotel & Casino from $26.00
* Bally’s Las Vegas from $51.00
* St. Tropez All Suite Hotel from $62.00
* Caesars Palace from $116.00

All of these deals and more available at

LAS VEGAS: Tours, Entertainment, Hotels, Packages, Weddings, Gambling, Golf, Nightlife, Dining, and Weather — get it all at !!!

NEWKIRK’S NOTES – comments on Las Vegas from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

Hello from Las Vegas! Another beautiful week, but it is warming up a bit. My parents are in town and enjoying the 85 degree days after flying in from the cool, rainy Pacific Northwest. They aren’t much for traditional “Vegas” (boozing, gambling, and shows) but there is so much to do and see that this is a great place for everyone now!

WORLD SERIES OF POKER – has cranked back up at Binion’s Horseshoe. One of the top (if not the most prestigious) poker tournament in the country, players pay $10,000 just to buy in! The tournament runs through May 24 so if downtown during next few weeks, feel free to stop in and watch. Seeing top players bet tens of thousands on poker hands is a “Vegas Attraction” if there ever was one.

ROOM RATES – The Review-Journal recently noted that while weekend rates are up, midweek rates are still stagnant. Thankfully, tourism is coming back so if you were thinking about taking advantage of the terrorism induced lower rates you might not want to wait. Especially since airfares are still pretty moderate.

5 STARS AGAIN – Congratulations to Picasso at Bellagio and Renoir at The Mirage for winning Mobil Travel Guide 5 Star honors for the third straight year (each). With only fourteen restaurants in the US qualifying this year, having two in our backyard is indeed an honor.

FRIDAY NIGHT DANCE PARTY – With the weather warming up, The Plaza’s street party (downtown) heats up from 5 – 9 PM on Fridays under their famous lit canopy at the beginning of the Fremont Street Experience. Drinks are only $2 and the party is hosted by the “Naked Angels.”

STEVE ROSSI – The singing half of the world famous comedy team of Marty Allen and Steve Rossi is meeting fans and signing autographs every Monday in the Casino Legends Hall of Fame at the Tropicana from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

GOLF – Golfers, you can now book tee times or complete golf vacation packages on our site! We have course information on courses ranging from inexpensive city courses to “known” courses like Rio Secco (Tiger Wood’s reported “home” course here that he visits regularly). Enjoy our new information at

RUSSIAN FLARE – Our friend Sasha from Guggenheim passed this along:

Spend the afternoon touring the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum with masterpieces from the Solomon R. Guggenheim collection and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Masterpieces and Master Collectors exhibition features works of art from Picasso, Chagall, Kandinsky, van Gogh and more. After visiting this world-class Museum, enjoy authentic Russian cuisine from Eliseevsky, featuring traditional dishes, such as
pelmeni (small, meat-filled ravioli and beef Stroganoff).

End the evening in style, by experiencing the Moscow Grigorovich Ballet: Spartacus at the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. Called a ballet genius, Grigorovich ran the Bolshoi Ballet for three decades. He brings an updated version of his original Bolshoi production of “Spartacus” to Las Vegas for the first time. Packages are $200 per couple and limited. For further questions or reservations call 702-414-2449

BEAUTIFUL HOME – If you have a couple million to invest, or you just enjoy looking at beautiful homes, stop by and take a photo or free streaming video tour of one of the finer homes in Las Vegas. Gail Kessler also handles more moderately priced homes, so this page is worth visiting if you are thinking about relocating. Even if not, the video is fun to watch — pretend you are living large in Vegas!

ITCHING TO GAMBLE – and Vegas is too far but you still want to visit a REAL gaming destination? We offer the same great discounts, guaranteed lower rates, and the $100 Rebate Spectacular for rooms in Atlantic City, Gulfport / Biloxi, and Reno as we do in Las Vegas!

* Reno:
* Atlantic City:
* Gulfport / Biloxi:

* $100 Rebate Spectacular good on above rooms:

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CAESARS MAGICAL EMPIRE – I’ve put this review off forever. First, because the show was always on the verge of closing as Caesars wanted the space for a nightclub. It has been given a permanent reprieve from that (as permanent as anything in Las Vegas ever is) but then got lost in the shuffle of my “to do” list. Well, I’ve finally done it and walked away very impressed.

Caesars Magical Empire isn’t just a dinner show, nor a traditional Las Vegas show. It is an experience that immerses you in a world of mystery and magic with an ensemble cast to lead you on your way, never leaving you without entertainment.

While waiting for your dining group to assemble, you are entertained by close up magic from one of the wizards. Then into an eerie, darkened chamber that transports you down into the Magical Empire. You are guided through medieval cave-like halls to your group’s private dining area and introduced to your host or hostess and their assistants.

After welcoming you, wine is liberally poured as you get aquatinted with your host wizard who tells stories and performs tricks that make the room come alive. It is just enough to be interesting without anything that would give nightmares. A lighthearted mood emphasized, with the host and assistants leaving you to eat then returning between each course for more entertainment and amusement.

I’ve heard many tell me about the Empire (all good), but people get so caught up in the experience they never mention something very important: the food! You are served a three course meal starting with soup or salad, then on to your selection of beef, chicken, or fish, (vegetarian and children’s meals available) and then finishing with desert.

They don’t order out from Dennys. These meals are all artfully prepared, beautifully presented, and a treat for the palate. This is fare you would expect to get in a finer dining establishment and my entire table was raving about how good their selections were.

After dinner, you are led to the Sanctum Secorum, a spacious but mystical area keeping with the theme that has fire, water, two lounges, and roaming wizards performing various magic for those who choose to watch. Unlike some tourist shows or attractions where you feel like you are rushed from one thing to the next, you are allowed to relax as you’d like and do as you please. (When a feature is starting, they do encourage you to go in and see it, but you can continue to wander or sit as long as it isn’t the end of the night.) Some simply enjoyed after dinner cocktails. Others wandered, taking in the sanctum or stopping to view the entertaining wizards perform magic specialties.

You are invited into the Secret Pagoda to view a featured close-up magician who had our small group in disbelief at everything from standard card tricks to spoon bending to mind reading. Then back out to the sanctum for more drinks, chatting with new friends, or taking in more magic from the roaming wizards.

The finale is the Sultan’s Palace, a theater where everyone is directed to enjoy the finale stage magic show. Featured magicians rotate, but I’ve seen a couple of these acts (in other settings) and can assure you these are quality, entertaining stage magic acts.

As mentioned, Caesars Magical Empire is a complete entertainment experience. Allow three hours and that is if you choose not to linger much. You can hurry through or even leave early if you are bored, but that is highly unlikely. The time flew by for us. Magical Empire is comparable in price to many of the stand alone shows in town that only last 80 minutes and don’t feed you. This alone makes it a true entertainment value.

Caesars Magical Empire is open Tuesday – Saturday with dinner seating starting at 4:30 and going through 8:30 PM (every 10 minutes). When booking, please note the approximate time you would like to eat. Pricing and advance reservations available at


Show Review Criteria: We understand that Las Vegas attracts visitors of varied budgets and interests. Shows are reviewed on the basis of value for dollar spent as well as to present the reader enough knowledge of the content to make an informed decision.

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* SHOWS – listings available at
* HEADLINERS – listings available at
* CONCERT – listings available at


Your best hotel deals are the weeks when convention traffic is light. If you are flexible, check our convention calendar at before choosing the dates of your Las Vegas visit!


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MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas opinions! Our boards are new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Ask questions before you go, help others with comments when you return! Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at

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All contents copyright 2002 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
April 10, 2002 ISSN: 1529-2770

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