Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 26, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities:
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities:
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more:

HOTEL MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas hotel opinions.

Read Opinions:
Post Opinions:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This Issue: EFX

Curious about a restaurant, event, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at:


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:WYNN BUYS DESERT INN – If you use as your “start page”, you already know that former Mirage Resorts founder Steve Wynn has purchased the Desert Inn. He apparently is to buy it “out of pocket” from the money he’s making in the sale of Mirage Resorts to MGM, having complete ownership. We have an ongoing poll asking if you have been to the Desert Inn and are you going to go (or return) now that Steve Wynn owns it at at Breaking story at Also, we are giving away a Desert Inn 50’th birthday section from the local paper in our contests section.

NELLIS AIR SHOW – from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 6, will feature the Air Force’s aerial demonstration team from Nellis, the Thunderbirds; a Canadian parachute team, the Skyhawks; and Air Combat Command’s A-10 Warthog demonstration team. Full story at

STREET SMARTS – The syndicated game show set to hit the air has been filming in and around Las Vegas. Contestants in a Southern California studio will try to guess what “everyday Las Vegans” (actually mostly hotel employees) will say. Story at

SPORTS BETTING – We are following and feel strongly about the attempts to ban betting. Dan Woolford of the Toledo Blade wrote an interesting piece on the issue at A related story about how much illegal bookmakers are looking forward to passage of this legislation at

NASCAR CAFE – The Review Journal just did a story on it with an in-depth listing of the food offerings at and you can read our opening weekend review of the restaurant and Cyber Speedway at

VEGAS ON TV – This Saturday evening, TLC (The Learning Channel) will feature 3 straight hours of Las Vegas specials: King of the Strip, Las Vegas Uncovered, and The Secret World of Las Vegas. Check local listings for time and cable channel.

GOT A WEBSITE? – How about a link to so you can help spread the word and access the archives easier. While at it, don’t forget to link to our sister site – your first stop for the latest Las Vegas info!

WINNERS – Barb Hill of Musegon, MI won the entertainer press photos.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Quick Concert and Show Notes:

See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at

MGM – Carrot Top June 22 – July 5, NHL Frozen Fury IV pits the Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche on Sept. 30, and the U.S. Open of Supercross is scheduled for October 14 and 15. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and MGM discount rooms are available at (MGM link).


Note: Rick Springfield now stars in EFXFEATURE STORY: EFX

efx-02.jpg (24808 bytes)EFX is a true “modern day” Las Vegas show, combining elements of film, Broadway, and rock concerts to bring to life a spectacle that tingles almost every physical sense. This $45 million dollar production has 6000 lights and 85,000 watts of sound. Lasers, dragons, magic, and a floor that rumbles under you are just some of what you see and feel.

But, all this would be nothing without a great theme and great performers and EFX delivers on all counts. Broadway legend Tommy Tune was brought in to replace outgoing David Cassidy (now in his own show with Sheena Easton at the Rio) and he brings an unbelievable amount of poise, energy, and showmanship to this event. And an event it is …

Get there early. Drinks are served (not included), funny and physical stand up comedy by one of the “stagehands” keeps the crown entertained, and roving photographers let you capture the moment. I noticed it was a little warm until … the lights went down and a chill fell over the showroom. We were greeted with a stunning filmed sequence by James Earl Jones (“This is CNN”) who’s head was brought to life in 3D as he gave a booming overview of the show and storyline.

The live cast then entered. Not just onstage but from both sides high above the showroom. This is a truly encompassing experience. While much of the action is onstage, you never know from left to right or high above you where events and characters will appear.

efx-01.jpg (7085 bytes)Mr. Tune made his entrance, tophat and tails, as he was elevated to the stage for his first number “In Dreams”. His appearance is striking. At 6’6″, he almost appears to be on stilts because of his unusually long legs (the illusion aided I’m sure by good costume design). What is more amazing is the energy he has, considering his age of 61 years (Source: E! Online). It was a non-factor as he belted out strong vocals and a number specifically showcasing his mesmerizing tap dance skills.

The general theme revolved around Tommy as a child and a child’s dreams. We were treated to Merlin and King Arthur in a fiery sequence pitting humans and dragons against each other in a blaze of fire and lasers and pyro. The Circus sequence was an ode to P.T. Barnum which featured some spectacular aerial stunts by The Flying Kaganovitch.

Things were slowed down for a few minutes as Tommy did a solo question and answer segment with the audience which tonight lengthened the show by about 10 minutes as something very unusual happened (it didn’t at all seem staged).

The only thing we didn’t really like was a stages question and answer segment where a women claiming to be a former student of Tommy’s had a “heartfelt reunion.” We found out that this happens every single show. It’s an otherwise great show that doesn’t need this bit. If you have to use the restroom, the Q & A is a perfect time.

The show then was underway again with a tribute to Houdini and recreations of two of his more famous attempted escapes. Perhaps the most fun segment followed with “A Dream In Time: H.G. Wells” which featured a wide screen 3D segment (glasses and all) which segued us back in time to the caveman days and a battle for a fair maiden. Dark in the mystical woods and hills, a battle featured stunts and fireworks which had the crowd on the edge of it’s seat. Following was a traditional Las Vegas ending featuring the entire cast.

EFX clocks in at 90 minutes. Children 5 and up are welcome. This is not only an all ages show in the lack of offensive language and nudity, but has a Disney-like quality to it that all ages will enjoy.

EFX plays nightly Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 and 10:30 PM in the at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Tickets are $75.00 for preferred seating (booth style), $55 regular, and $40.00 for children 5-12. Discount MGM rooms are available at (MGM link) and you can book EFX tickets online before you even leave for Las Vegas for a small service fee at

Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Scenic Southwest Tours – by plane, bus, or even helicopter! You’ve seen the glossy ads in the tourist brochures. You’ve thought about it. You come all the way to Las Vegas — why not see one of the some of the most famous landmarks in the world! Don’t by tricked by web sites & magazines that offer discount tours. Taxes, park fees, permits can almost double the price. Our prices are inclusive – no hidden charges! Best Las Vegas Tours

Lots of helpful responses to last week’s questions — thanks to all who wrote!LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Judy Brooks of Baltimore MD wrote:

>I just returned from two weeks in Vegas and stayed at the Four queens.
>I can only warn you, if you have another choice DON”T stay at the
>Queens.á The rooms were “ok” but the service was absolutely horrible.
>I have been to Vegas many times and was so shocked that in a town
>where exceptional service is standard, this place falls far short.
>Room service people were rude, restaurant people acted like you were
>invisible, waiting for drinks, well just forget the drinks because we
>never did get one.á When we booked we were told that we got what we
>got no choice of smoking or non and one bed or two.á The only positive
>thing was we enjoyed staying on Fremont street.

Janice wrote:

>To Ray asking about Golden Nugget – there is NO comparison downtown;
>it is a great place to stay – the rooms are very nice (ask for the
>North Tower as it’s closer to the casino and restaurants), the staff
>is friendly, and the food is great in the buffet, Stefano’s(Italian
>with singing waiters), and their coffee shop.á Never had a bad meal in
>any of these places.á We always did very well with comps and found the
>slot hosts to be very accommodating.á Only tables we ever play are
>roulette, so really can’t comment on BJ or otherwise.á We find it hard
>to stay anywhere’s else when we visit.

Dannie Kemp wrote:

>Motel 6 and the Best Western chain generally accept pets.á There are
>restrictions and some of the individual sites are “pet free”, so it is
>a good idea to check before hand.á Las Vegas has kennels if you run
>out of other options.

Steve Fadden wrote:

>Here’s where we’ve played in the past:
>EXCALIBUR: We’ve had great times playing $2-$6 spread limit hold’em
>here.á The dealers and hosts are great people, the players are nice,
>there’s lots of room to walk around and stretch, and the poker rates
>are reasonable for the strip.á Whenever we come to LV, we make the
>Excalibur our home base.á Decent rooms, great rates, and good
>location.á (Yes, there are kids to navigate around, but they’re not in
>the poker room.á 🙂
>MIRAGE: Great atmosphere, good service, and loose play.
>VENETIAN: They have a crazy 1-4-8-8 hold’em game here.á Not the best
>place to play if you’re a serious player, but the poker area is
>mid-casino, with a great view of much of the floor.á Great place to
>take a break from other gaming while still being in the middle of it
>ORLEANS: Local rock garden.á I’ve been told that this place loosens up
>at times, but have never seen it.
>MONTE CARLO: Good 1-4-8-8 game.á The poker room is well-appointed, and
>the dealers are good.á However, it gets cramped when the games are
>BINION’S: Classic poker room, great dealers, and good (but craggy,
>sometimes scary) players.á Got to play here at least once, just to say
>you did it.á Good 4-8 hold’em games.

Tom wrote:

>Lots of great poker rooms.á I travel to play quite often and have
>become especially fond of the games at the Texas Station.á Small room,
>friendly staff.á Good competition to test your skills.á More
>profitable for better players at low limits is the Bellagio.á Better
>mix of tourists to locals.á Somewhat looser play here.á Orleans has
>the best low buy in poker tournaments.á I’ve done well here a couple
>of times.

R Buss wrote:

>My wife and I are taking our second trip to Las Vegas and wondered
>what the best and least expensive means of transportation would be
>from McCarran to the Excalibur?á we’re on a limited budget and don’t
>want to overdo it on transportation costs.á We’ll have suitcases etc.
>Also, is there any truth to the rumor that the Frontier is slated for
>demolition.á We stayed there last trip, and were planning to do that
>again until we heard that the hotel might be gone before we got there.
>We realize that it’s not the classiest place but liked the fact that
>the trolley, which we relied on, stopped next door at the Fashion Show
>Mall going north and south.

The date for the implosion of the Frontier isn’t set yet, but should be set far enough in advance that they won’t be taking reservations for after that point.

If cost is an issue, just catch one of the Bell Trans shuttles. Last I heard, it was about $4 a person from the airport to any Strip hotel. Even though Excalibur is close to the airport, with a shuttle you don’t have to worry about traffic and the meter running.

Don from Winnipeg, Canada wrote:

>I read with disappointment that the Green Shack, a true Las Vegas
>original restaurant is now closed.á Do you have suggestions for a good
>fried chicken dinner similar to the great spread put on at the Green
>Shack?á Thanks.

It was a shame. That place was a classic. I don’t know of any truly outstanding fried chicken dinners. Readers, have you had a really great fried chicken dinner here in town? Let us know at

++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional). Also, guest article submissions are welcome with full credit to you, your website, etc. if accepted.

Rental Cars – Don’t pay top dollar! Enter the dates of your visit and compare prices from virtually every major rental car agency (most US cities). Book the lowest price company or your regular agency. Save the hassle and some money – Car Rental Savings Search. Few regret renting a car. Free shuttles and city bus rides can be slow and smelly. Taxis can cost what a rental car costs. Your vacation time is valuable — make the most out of it!

ONLINE POLL – “Have you been to the Desert Inn and are you going to go (or return) now that Steve Wynn owns it?” Let’s hear your opinions at — results will be published in two weeks!Results from last poll: ” Would you plan an additional trip to Las Vegas each year to watch spring training games?”

I don’t like baseball to begin with 38%
No, but I might take in a game if they play while I am there. 27%
I won’t make an extra trip, but I’ll adjust one of my regular visits. 13%
I’m requesting the vacation time the minute Las Vegas gets it! 23%


Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.

EFX show programs — We have two programs, one each to the 20’th and 21’st entries at (contest closed)

Desert Inn Resort — 50’th anniversary special section in the Review-Journal. Enter at (contest closed)

Las Vegas T-Shirt — one size fits all. Enter at (contest closed)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Have a request for a review? Boggled when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop. If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us at You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

New to the list? Back issues can be found on the web at:

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

You may subscribe to this newsletter by going to: or sending a blank email to below

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
April 26, 2000

No related links found
Posted in Las Vegas Newsletter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .