Access Vegas Insider Vibe – August 22, 2001

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THIS ISSUE: Le Cabaret

EDITOR’S NOTES: After sending the last issue, I was out the door for a family reunion for a few days. It’s nice to get away, but after a few days I miss Las Vegas just like many of you do when you have to leave … and I live here!

The good news right now is that the decline in business travel has brought airfares down, and the opening of 1000 more rooms at Stratosphere have helped soften up Las Vegas room prices. Use the links above to plan an October getaway to Vegas, especially if the weather where you live turns cold by then. Plus, football season and baseball playoffs are coming up!


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:WYNN AGAIN – Steve Wynn has formally revealed plans for the resort that will mark his return to the Las Vegas Strip — a 45-story, 2,455-room, 514-foot golden glass tower, complete with a four-acre lake, rising above Las Vegas Boulevard. The plans, which depict a resort that makes liberal use of skylights, gardens and water, were filed with the Clark County Planning Commission recently, and that agency will consider Wynn’s proposal tonight. The commission staff has recommended approval of the plans.
THE MONORAIL – Work has begun on the monorail which will run along the East side of The Strip, behind the hotels. The four mile monorail is expected to get 19 million riders each year, and should be a nice alternative to the lousy cab service and gridlock that haunts The Strip even on weekdays now. Story at

ELVIS – Elvis Presley died 24 years ago this month, but the King of Rock and Roll lives on. Presley is now delighting fans with Elvis Live in Las Vegas, a new four-CD box set that chronicles his famous performances in the town he made his own. Full story at You can buy the new box set on sale at

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HORSESHOE – Without fanfare but with a secure place in Las Vegas history, Binion’s Horseshoe celebrates its 50th birthday today. One of the city’s longest-operating casinos, the Horseshoe set trends for many of today’s most successful gambling properties. Founded Aug. 15, 1951, by Benny Binion, a former Dallas bootlegger and illegal casino operator, the privately owned, family-run Horseshoe offered bigger betting limits and more free food and drinks to customers than other casinos. Full story at

SOUVENIR GLASSES – Where else but Las Vegas can one get a 52-ounce margarita in a plastic cup shaped like a sphinx, or a 32-ounce strawberry daiquiri in an Eiffel Tower-shaped glass or even 40 ounces of Passion Punch in what looks like a prop from the television show “I Dream of Jeanie”? Full story at and this week’s poll asks you what your favorite Las Vegas souvenir is. Come vote at

LOVE THE CABBIES – Lately, a week hasn’t gone by without the cab drivers sticking their foot in their mouths. Last week, we noted that they were griping about working shifts to help accommodate the maximum number of arrivals at McCarran.

This week, cab driver Harvey Wiginton said in a Letter to the Editor of the Review-Journal, “The people who cause the traffic problems are the drive-ins from California. They do not park their cars and ride the buses, trolleys and cabs now … The best way to solve the Strip traffic problem would be for all the hotels to charge for parking. I believe that if these people had to pay every time they moved their cars, they would walk and ride taxis, buses and trolleys.” Full text is available at (second letter down).

Maybe ole’ Harvey should try to squeeze himself onto the hot, crowded busses on The Strip in the evening. How he can compare that to a state-of-the-art monorail running on it’s own tracks above the crowds (faster travel), I’ll never know. Maybe more people would take the cabs if the cabbies weren’t running you through the airport tunnel, which adds $5-10 to the ride. (Note: if you aren’t renting a car, use one of the hotel shuttle services available at the airport — a set price regardless of traffic or routing.)

NEXT BIG STAR – Ed McMahon’s “Next Big Star” TV show has started taping at the MGM. It is basically Star Search revisited, and will be airing nationally. Full story at Tickets for Sept. 7-9, 21-23, and 28-30 tapings are free and may be obtained by calling (866) 746-9849, Ext. 639

TRAVEL CHANNEL – is still looking for couples planning a Las Vegas wedding to appear in a TV special:

A new series for the Travel Channel entitled “Two For Las Vegas” is looking for fun and interesting couples to be featured on a national television show. You must already have wedding plans confirmed for July 9th through the end of September 2001. The more unusual, the better, but traditional is fine too! If you are interested please send an email to (click) – and request an application. Selected applicants will be notified approximately a week before their actual wedding date. Best of luck!

HIGHWAY STATIONS – If you make the drive from Southern California, you are familiar with the “Highway Stations” with broadcast along the deserted stretches of I-15 and I-40. A recent article tells their story and has a listing of the stations and frequencies. Story at

CASINO SOFTWARE – The Microsoft Casino trial version takes you into the tropics with access to The Mirage resort. Start with $10,000 and play until you win big ($100,000) or lose it all! Along the way, play and win up to three different comps from featuring Sigfried & Roy, Danny Gans and the buffet. Download at

NOT FOR KIDS – Not only is Las Vegas becoming a less child friendly place for tourists, but the Kid-Friendly Cities Report Card 2001 gave Las Vegas a B- and ranked it 97th compared with 140 other cities of its size.
CBS – continues to draws thousands to its research facility, Television City, in the MGM Grand. Tourists willing to give up an hour of their time can preview upcoming shows, promos, and test pilots and give their input. Full story and details at

VIDEOS – We are continuing to test online video segments. To test server and coding, I took a couple of minutes of Mystere and encoded it for online viewing. You can take a peek at

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out:
2. Book a room online at
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!

WINNERS! – Scott Graton or Brownstown, MI and Yvonne Kistler of Wichita Falls, TX were the winners of the Casino Perks coupons books.

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SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Amazing Jonathan (Golden Nugget)

* Society of Seven (Hilton) –
* Smothers Brothers (Orleans) –


* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Search by date at
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – Grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Search by date, see prices at
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at


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

NECTOR – The new restaurant in Bellagio takes the place of Sam’s American. “Our goal is to offer guests an atmosphere as dynamic and vibrant as the meal” says Bryan O’Shields (Bellagio VP Food and Beverage). Offerings include Fried Green Tomato and BBQ’d Spare Rib Salad, Chili Rubbed “Free Range” Pork Chop, and Buffalo Mahi Mahi. Nectar’s lounge and raw bar serves giant gulf shrimp, oysters, clams, Dungeness crab, split lobster and other iced shellfish.

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Gallagher’s Steakhouse (New York, New York) –
* Royal Star (Venetian) –

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Le Cabaret is the new show at The Plaza downtown. It looks back to the days of variety shows with song, dance, impressions, and magic. This isn’t exactly the Ed Sullivan show, but a funny and sexy show which features three talented, young, up-and-coming performers who have put together a solid hour-plus of entertainment.

Jenny Alexander has been studying magic for eight years, and headlining at Caesars from 1997 – 2000 in the Magical Empire. Fit and attractive with dark hair and sexy, body conscious attire, she performs a variety of solid illusions. With magic on TV often and no one really stretching the limits with new illusions, performance and presentation make or break a live act and Alexander’s show kept the audience spellbound. It also just so happens that she was voted “Sexiest Women In Las Vegas” in the City Life readers poll last year.

“The Exotic Sarafina” is billed as a song and dance seductress, and she doesn’t let down in either department. Although her choice of music was somewhat campy (standard country tunes that I’m sure appeal to a broad range of people), she has a great voice and more importantly a riveting stage presence.

Because the show is new and still working on filling the showroom, she was able to really work the crowd while she sang in an up close and personal way, causing a number of men to blush while their wives laughed at the frivolity (nothing threatening, ladies). She also returned later for an extremely sensual onstage dance routine on a red couch shaped like a pair of lips.

La Cabaret’s star is one Larry G. Jones, a comedic impressionist who may someday be heir to the Danny Gans / Andre-Philippe Gagnon throne. He was buzzing through impressions so full of one-liners and comedic lyrics that you barely stopped laughing at the last one before he hit you with another zinger. He can do over 125 voices, and did at least half of them in his roughly 30 minute segment.

Jones does Julio and Willie, Chubby Checker, Johnny Cash, our last four US Presidents (in an Alice in Wonderland joke that pokes fun at Bill Clinton), an unmerciful stab at Mr. Rogers, a deep Lou Rawls, Cher, a hilarious Michael Jackson, a Wayne Newton that is possibly better than the present Wayne (who’s voice isn’t what it used to be after an illness a few years back), and far more than I could list here.

Le Cabaret is the perfect show to fit into your busy Las Vegas itinerary, packing plenty of entertainment and variety into an hour. I saw it with out-of-town relatives and our “do downtown Vegas” night consisted of seeing a light show, dinner, Le Cabaret, and then another light show and a little gambling.

Le Cabaret plays nightly (dark Monday) at 8 and 10 PM in the historic showroom of the Plaza Hotel downtown. Tickets are a reasonable $23.95 plus tax and include one drink. $5 discount coupons are available near the front desk. Although no nudity and only a couple naughty words, this is probably a show better suited to adults who will appreciate the impressions and comedic references.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:Last week, a reader asked for comments on the CAPS service. For a fee, it allows you to check your bags and obtain your boarding passes for many airlines at locations in many hotels. Full details on CAPS at

Judy C. in Boston wrote:

>Hello Ted, I enjoy both your newsletter. I am writing in response to your
>call for the CAPS service. My friend and I used this service in June
>2000 when we stayed at Mandalay Bay and were flying Delta (I think at
>this time it was only at a few hotels and has since expanded to cover
>many more hotels and airlines). I had read about the service
>and decided it was a great idea and worth a try. The desk was also
>very conveniently located (right around the corner from the MB
>check-in desk) in the lobby. [By contrast, I found out on my last
>trip in May 2001 when we stayed at the Luxor that the CAPS desk was
>all the way downstairs by the West entrance] >
>When I used CAPS, the check-in was very quick. The reservations
>agents checked our ID’s and then assigned boarding passes with seat
>assignments. Our bags were ticketed with our destination with the
>same tags that they issue at the airport check-in counter. We paid
>our $6 and were free of our bags for the rest of the day. Later, we
>had the redeye flight out and just went directly to the airport,
>returned our rental car, and didn’t have to lug the baggage in and out
>of the car trunk or on and off the bus. We just got on the shuttle
>bus, went to the terminal and right to the gate–avoiding any lines at
>the check-in desk or skycap. I checked out our boarding passes at the
>desk at the gate just to make sure everything was okay (I do this
>every time after having an experience where upon boarding the airplane
>I found out that my seat didn’t exist!). No problems with the
>boarding passes–they were the same ones issued by the airline. As
>for our bags, they made it with flying colors–in fact, they were
>among the first few off the airplane! I highly recommend using the
>CAPS service to save yourself some time, aggravation, and strained
>muscles and all for only $6!
>The only caveat–they require check-in a few hours before your flight.
>(I think at least 3 hours but am not 100% sure–I would verify this
>with the CAPS desk.) Also, of course, you won’t have access to your
>bags after you check them with CAPS. The tradeoff is that you don’t
>have to transport them from the hotel to the airport. What I did was
>pack my carryon with everything I thought I would need. I kept it
>with me but I guess you could check it with the bell desk if needed.
>A great service and I highly recommend it.

Leslie wrote:

>I would consider this service to be almost nonexistent as most of the
>major airlines, i.e., United, US Air, etc., do not subscribe to it
>which we found out at the very end of our vacation to Vegas. Staying
>at the Sahara we had to check out of our room by Noon, but our flight
>wasn’t leaving until 11:30 p.m., so we thought the CAPS was the
>perfect solution until we found out that only about ten obscure
>airlines are processed. That totally ruined our last day in Vegas!
>But hey the rest of the trip was a real winner.

CAPS has been expanding the list of participating airlines. List at Unfortunately, they don’t serve some of the carriers that are popular for travel from the East coast yet.

Joe D’Agnese wrote:

>Hi my name is Joe D’Agnese I was in Vegas in May and will be back in
>Sept can’t wait! I used the caps at the Flamingo Hilton on my check
>out for my wife and myself. It was great took our bags to airport
>gave us our tickets then we had more time to enjoy Vegas will do it
>again in Sept. Hope this helps.

Jerold Berman wrote:

>Used CAPS at Sahara Hotel … it is perfect …. check your luggage 6
>hours before departing LV … Took auto back to Alamo and got on plane
>without carrying or worrying about luggage … Worth every
>dollar …. Bought a stuffed animal which was to large for suit
>case … went to U-Haul and bought a box large big enough for stuffed
>animal to fit … taped it up and took it to CAPS with other
>luggage …. No fuss, no mess trying to carry all bags ….. Use CAPS

Good point: If you are like me, you buy more stuff on vacation than you have room to carry back. The above is a great suggestion. If you have a rental car, and are up against your baggage limit, you can also go to Mail Boxes Etc., and ship the stuff back (something I did on my last trip — the fee was worth the packing and shipping).

Bruce Olson wrote:

>We usually carry on bags, but one time we didn’t and
>used CAPS at Sahara. Little bit hesitant. Same feeling
>you have before a cruise. Whereas your bags going to
>end up? But it turned out great! Worth the price. Hope
>it doesn’t go up with popularity though. Hint: make
>sure only one person checks on bags, as it may be cheaper.

Elizabeth Beech wrote:

>I haven’t used the CAPS service, but I have used the similar service
>that was provided by National Airlines and Rio Hotel. I LOVED IT! I
>am one of those who always brings too much baggage, so this service
>was right up my alley. I hadn’t heard of CAPS, but I will be checking
>it out on my next visit.
>Thanks for your wonderful newsletter, Ted! The only problem with it,
>is that it makes me want to get in the car and head off for another
>visit to Vegas! ;-P

If we make you want to get back to Vegas, we’ve done our job. Wait until later this fall when we have all the new photos and video online!

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Your input is welcome. Because of limited space here, we encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) While space doesn’t permit publishing every letter, we do certainly read them all and they help shape our content. Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional).

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CHEAP COST OF LIVING – Las Vegas’ strong economy and low living costs give employers a huge advantage over those in many Western US cities when it comes to paying attractive salaries, according to The Eastridge Group’s 2001-2002 Southern Nevada Salary Survey. Full story at

BUSINESS FRIENDLY – Nevada ranks first in the nation in a new ranking of how friendly states are to small businesses and entrepreneurs. The ranking by the Washington-based Small Business Survival Committee was based on 17 factors it said can harm a state’s business environment, and which state and local governments have influence over. Full story at

LAS VEGAS BOWL – has been moved to Christmas Day and will be televised live on ABC. The additional Las Vegas publicity will be good, but will the tickets sell? Stories at and

HE HATE ME – Las Vegas Outlaw Rod “He Hate Me” Smart has landed a job with the Edmonton Eskimo’s of the CFL. Story at


PERSONAL ENDORSEMENT – Instead of a paid ad here, I (Ted) want to tell you about our web host Virtual Spaces at Every penny I make is online. If my tourism sites go down, I’m out of business and even a couple of hours can be costly. Virtual Spaces are reliable and quick. They don’t overload their servers to save a buck, and yet they are consistently among the least expensive hosts in the business.

Whether you are just starting a site, want to move your site away from unreliable and unprofessional looking free web hosting (with those long addresses and extra banners and links don’t look businesslike), or need a full dedicated server like we have, you will be pleasantly surprised by their rates and service. Click now and go compare


ONLINE POLL – “What is your favorite Las Vegas souvenir?” Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published next week!

Results from our last poll “How long do you usually stay in Las Vegas?”

4 – 5 Days 33%
6 – 7 Days 21%
2 – 3 Days 19%
1 Day 13%
8 – 10 Days 7%
Longer Than 10 Days 5%

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Book these specials at

Las Vegas – Palace Station, the place to be 9/9-11/1 from $39
Las Vegas – The Excalibur, Aug 26 through Oct 4 from $69!
Las Vegas – Treasure Island, Sept 12 through Oct 28 from $129
Las Vegas – The Mirage Hotel/Casino Sept 16-Oct 28 from $169!
Las Vegas – The Sahara Hotel, Sept 9 through Oct 25 from $49
Las Vegas – Flamingo Hilton, Sept 13 through Oct 18 from $105
Las Vegas – The Stratosphere Sept 9 through Oct 31 from $45!
Las Vegas – Spring into Summer with San Remo Magic today!
Las Vegas – Suncoast, Aug 12 through September 6 $49!

Book any above specials at

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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!

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

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
August 22, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

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