Access Vegas Insider Vibe April 5, 2020

Newkirk’s Notes

Access Vegas Founder Ted NewkirkHello From Las Vegas – Well… we had a slight seismic movement in the “when will Las Vegas open” question, which we’ll dive into. However, we’ll still be easing back to “business as normal” reporting starting next issue. As, we already know many are booking. And I mean in a number of weeks.

I’m going to be a little more reserved this time. While many were appreciative of me crunching all of the data, working with my “industry” knowledge and such, I was lambasted by some for suggesting that Las Vegas wouldn’t be shut down for months. Like I was going to be personally responsible for killing millions!

So, let’s just get this out there. I’m an industry analyst. I’ve had a front-row seat to this industry for well over 20 years. Through 9/11. Through the financial and housing crisis of the 2000’s. I don’t disseminate “wishful thinking”. I crunch facts and numbers.

For example, when other “experts'” were claiming that the pre-recession hotel boom was going to be the next phase of Vegas, I’m on record as saying that Echelon Place (former Stardust) project just didn’t pan out in my estimation. Not as a hater. Not because I wanted the project to fail. Simply because I didn’t see it working out. It didn’t. A decade later, the initial bones of the project are are now becoming Resorts World.

So, let’s get a couple of things out there:

1. I toss all of my knowledge, sources, data and similar into the blender (my brain), and do the best I can to tell you what things look like moving forward. If I owned a crystal ball, I’d spend all my time at the sports books, cleaning up on sports bets. Even if (for now), those bets were on Korean ping-pong and Russian soccer!

2. If you don’t like what I have to say, talk to somebody that can do something about it. If you feel it is WRONG that Las Vegas will be open in a matter of weeks (barring something completely unforeseen), write our governor. That is his decision.

My J-O-B and obligation to the Supporting (Paid) Members who help myself and my professional, PAID staff with a “cup of coffee” each month (less than $3 a month, paid yearly), is to help them navigate whatever is going on in Vegas. Resort fees to high? Save that money back through our (not found elsewhere on the internet) food/beverage exclusive specials membership section, or through maximizing your comps, or through hitting the best-kept-secrets and avoiding the time-wasters.

For now, that is all about letting people who are considering booking (given the cheap rooms and airfare) the best advice on when things will be open, how much will be open, and what to expect. And, we’re going to jump into that right now!

When Will Vegas Open? – The original optimistic date — and a date many resorts were booking — was April 17. THEN… came a couple of things. 1. The White House gave new suggested guidelines of “stay-at-home” through May 1 and 2. What looks like a pretty good model for the State of Nevada suggested that infections would peak around April 22. The “good” news? We have enough hospital beds to handle the peak. That means for US. Not the rest of you. And, there is obviously no way you should visit during the peak of anything bad.

For now, the hotels are taking reservations starting May 1. Perhaps a bit optimistic, but not 100% out-of-the-question. I’d peg a best guesstimate on Friday May 15th, which will have provided a three week buffer from the peak (numbers are then expected to start to fall pretty good after the peak), this is an extra two weeks from May 1, and it falls on a Friday.

HOWEVER… this will be a very soft opening. I’ll get into how much will be open and how soon:

If Nobody Can Fly, Who Visits? – Very simple: The populations of California, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico is over 50 million people. Virtually all of which are within a 12 hour drive, and for the majority (based on population centers), it is 8 hours of less.

That will get Las Vegas going again. Past that, it will be up to each individual to decide if and when they want to jump on a plane. I’ve heard thoughts that airlines have either started (or are looking to possibly) keep middle seats empty. Once we get over the mask shortage, I’m sure many/most people who are traveling or venturing out and about quite a bit may choose to wear one.

We’re All Going To Die (Social Distancing) – “But, everybody will go to Las Vegas and breath on each other, and get everybody sick, and millions will die, and you are a horrible, irresponsible person”. Because, I’m sure there are a few who skipped right over the first few paragraphs of this missive.

The hotel casinos WILL be practicing social distancing. They already were prior to the mandated shut-down. They have a blueprint from casinos in the Asian gambling capital of Macau, where casinos have reopened.

On top of that, let’s just do some easy math: Las Vegas is built to easily hold 300,000 visitors. That number spikes even higher on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and New Years Eve. Even if we manage 60,000 visitors at any given time during the first few weeks (and, that may be optimistic), that is the very definition of social distancing!

Think about the typical 15,000 seat sports/concert arena most of us have been inside. Then, put only 3000 people in there. It will look nearly empty, and social distancing won’t be a problem.

Let’s get into specifics:

Casino floors will most likely have every other machine turned off. Blackjack tables will be limited to three players, not six or seven. Similar with each end of a craps table.

Buffets will most likely simply remain closed. If and when they open (and, this may be an excuse for some hotels who don’t do a good or profitable buffet business to close theirs), you can expect servers ladling the food to your plate.

Restaurants will stagger seating, keeping parties of people apart from each other. Which, won’t exactly be a problem. See my arena example.

Shows won’t all simply open up ASAP. If you are only going to fill up 20% of the room, and/or if you have to seat people in a way that practices social distancing, that simply may not be profitable.

I’m not suggesting there will be NO shows. Some of the smaller shows, especially like comedy magicians and hypnotists and similar, which have a small cast, and low overhead, may find it feasible to play to 20 or 30 people. And, many of these types of shows are in makeshift venues where they can simply remove chairs and spread out the seating.

It’s not Cirque or David Copperfield, but if one of these guys played most of your home towns, it would be considered a big deal, and they often put on a solid show. If they can last in Las Vegas, they must be pretty decent!

Clubs? Don’t even think about it. Besides the obvious factor that going to a club is all about being part of a crowd, the club scene has been quietly diminishing for a while now. Just because of social distancing, this category could be down for quite a while.

Pools are outdoors, and once again, with 400 people in a pool area meant for 2000 (just to use round numbers), I expect these to be available.

Last Call – We’re still running our “20% Off In 2020” Coupon Code ACCESS2020 to become a Supporting (Paid) Member. (You are currently a free subscriber, and not entitled to all of the private member benefits). This is for a full 365 days of membership, not just membership through the end of this year. If you missed the details, do a search of your inbox/spam/trash folder for for my last email for full info.

HOWEVER, this offer ENDS the day that Nevada’s Governor announced the firm reopening date for the casino industry. Note: I didn’t say until the day things actually reopen. I mean the minute that the governor steps up to the podium to announce the date.

Head on over to www.Join.Vegas to find out more. Scroll down to one of the Make Me An Insider buttons, use Coupon Code ACCESS2020, and don’t be left out. As more people migrate over there (and they are every week, even right now during the shut-down), we’ll actually be looking into ending the Free Subscriber version you are reading now.

Hardship Exception! – IF you are someone getting hit economically right now, and would love to take advantage but simply can’t because you are out-of-work, waiting for your company to get their SBA loan, waiting for your unemployment benefits, waiting the the government check, and similar… Have no fear!  I get it. There is a whole lot of revenue streams of ours which are temporarily interrupted.

Let’s do this (if the above applies to you): Drop my awesome Customer Service helper Jessa an email at
Subject Line: CV Delay

Just a very quick note about how your job or business is shut down (or taking a financial hit). She will

1. Get back to you with a special 20% off promo code which will remain valid just for our friends like you and 

2. In 2-3 months (depending on how soon everything starts to get back to normal), she’ll drop you a quick reminder note. Your email will NOT be used for any other purpose and the list she keeps will be discarded once this is over.

Stay safe, everyone. We’ll be open when you are ready to travel.

Hope you are enjoying this issue!

Ted Newkirk
Founder/Managing Editor

Las Vegas Shows

The Show Must Go Online: Las Vegas Entertainment Takes To Social Media

When Las Vegas Strip headliner Mat Franco performed what he called “Magic Reinvented … At Home” on Facebook Live on Wednesday, it immediately became clear that both he and his fans were getting what they needed.

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Las Vegas Dining

Summerlin Vodka Brand Celebrates Spirit Of Las Vegas

It was about 10 months ago that Jennifer Higgins and Megan Wilkes introduced their baby to the city that inspired it. “May 10 was Vegas Uncork’d,” recalls Higgins who, along with Wilkes, conceived of, created and owns the Summerlin-based Vegas Baby Vodka.

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Las Vegas Hotels

Members Mania

Note From Ted:

Members Mania is a regular feature for our Supporting (Paid) Members. Membership includes our “Your Guy In Vegas” feature, where you can reach out to myself and our paid staff of experts with your specific Vegas questions. We don’t have “canned” answers. We’ll ask you for some details pertaining you your wants and needs. Then, answer accordingly.

Upon further conversation, Keith was asking because he is taking his daughter here for her 21st birthday. Based on our advice to him (which is noted below), he elected to push the “father/daughter” trip out a bit. However, he still may come himself if we’re up-and-running by his original dates!

Imagine that: He tosses us a “cup of coffee per month, and we’re able to help him salvage and make the most of a pending “special trip”! Which is PRICELESS:



I have a trip to Las Vegas planned for May 21-24, 2020. I know we are all in in middle of covid-19 hell right now but that’s still almost two months away.

Anyway, in preparation for my trip I went on Open Table recently and made a reservation for dinner at one of my favorite Las Vegas restaurants – Batista’s Hole In The Wall. Today, I was contacted by Open Table saying that Batista’s canceled my reservation for May 22nd. Did I miss something? How does Batista’s know whats going to be going on in late May? Or is this is temporary thing, a precaution, and they might actually be open come May 22nd?

I just thought it was a little premature to cancel this early. Thanks!

Keith L.
Supporting (Paid) Member


Ted Responds:

Excellent questions!

I’d say the odds of being able to make the trip are in your favor. I’d say the odds of any trip Memorial Day or after are really, really high.

Love Batista’s. Hidden gem at reasonable prices similar to the adjacent (more or less) Stage Door and Ellis Island.

Just a precaution. The hotels can eat the costs of bookings and cancellations and the paperwork (even if it is digital) and similar. For a small restaurant, it can be more trouble than it is worth.

ALSO, Las Vegas will NOT be remotely full by then. Batista’s may or may not even have reopened, even if the hotels are open for business.

As you may know, one of our Special Reports is about using Open Table to snag reservations, even if you are planning to eat somewhere within the hour. Being locked into their system beats showing up and getting put on a list and waiting.

So, kudos for planning ahead! This is actually one time it may not yet be needed.

Thanks for the support!

We have answers to your Vegas questions!

But, you have to ask the questions.

Email us at, and let us know, what YOU want to know!

Las Vegas Tours And Attractions

Vegas Happenings | 2020 (Photo Gallery)

As beacons of hope for the city during this time of uncertainty, Caesars Entertainment illuminates the exteriors of several iconic Las Vegas Strip resorts with light displays nightly through April 5.

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Las Vegas Gambling

Other Las Vegas News

What We’re Watching!
Vegas Videos You’ll Enjoy

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South Point Hotel Las Vegas – Prime Rib Dinner Buffet Review

(Producers Notes) The newly redone South Point buffet includes a prime rib night for $17.95.

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Roaming the Palms Resort & Casino Las Vegas

(Producers Notes) – Today we go to Palms Casino and Resort just about a mile of the strip. It has been over 15 years since I’ve been inside that hotel. I had fun wandering around, especially when I found myself way up on the 52 floor on an outside outlook of the Strip and the Valley. There was a whole lot of construction while I was there but it seems to be wrapping up for some major updates.

Click to watch video
“Pianist to the Presidents” David Osborne Discusses Career

Not long ago, we told our Supporting (Paid) Subscribers about catching pianist David Osborne on the days each week that he plays the lobby bar at Bellagio. Catch a preview.

Click to watch video
The Last GREAT Party at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

(Producers Notes) The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has closed. They will rebrand as The Virgin Hotel & Casino to be open in November 2020. Craig and I wanted to check out the Last Great Party the last weekend they were open.

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April 5, 2020 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us   Privacy Policy
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