Access Vegas Insider Vibe – December 6, 2006

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Newkirk’s Notes – comments on Las Vegas from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

Hello From Las Vegas! All kind of stuff this issue including some very recent photos of construction along The Strip including Palazzo Tower at Venetian, Encore at Wynn, and Trump Tower.

We have listed the Coming Hot Holidays for 2007. Now is a great time to plan your trip and book a room, especially if you want to come when things are really happening! You know the drill: the longer you wait, the more you’ll generally pay. Plus, it is always good to know that a Vegas trip is on the horizon!

Just when I thought we were done with the smoking issue, it lights up again (pun intended). Because the ambiguous wording of the ballot anti-smoking ballot measure passed by voters, McCarran (Las Vegas) Airport is going totally smoke free to error on the side caution and and a couple of hospitality companies have sued to get a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the new laws, citing the lack of fairness. )Here’s a link to the story Legal challenge targets smoking ban).

In a nutshell, here is the situation: Most bars in Nevada are not simply bars, but bar and grill type operations with a full-fledged restaurant serving a complete menu (bigger menu than most sit-down chain restaurants) 24/7. This law now prohibits smoking in these bar and grill operations. However, the law permits smoking in casino gaming floors, which often have restaurants sitting right next to (and in many cases open air to) a smoking permitted gaming floor. Laws can’t unfairly target one business but not another, and that is the basis of the lawsuit.

I was ready to let this issue drop, but have been pelted with email on both sides of the issue, and it has started to lean more to a smoking debate than a “smoking in Las Vegas” debate.

I’m doing this: Down in the Members Mania section, I answer a representative letter, and I give a couple of suggested resources for follow up to those strongly pro or con on this issue and a suggestion about how either side can take further action, as we will not continue to cover this issue outside of the specifics of the specifics on the smoking ban effect on Las Vegas visitors. If you don’t care, don’t worry: This issue is jammed with other great information to keep you up on what is hot and happening in Las Vegas!

Special Note: Last week, we had a coding problem which kept some of our readers from being able to click through to the following offer. The link is working now working and we have extended the offer one more week:

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Enjoy This Issue!

Important Note: During peak times, some of our news and event story links may take extra time to load. We are working on significant upgrades to handle this increased demand. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience during the extra few seconds a story may take to appear when you click on it.

Show Review:Mamma Mia!

Reviewed November 2006
by Nancy Dickinson

Mamma Mia Las Vegas Sophie, an average twenty-year old bride to be, sits under the moon and sings of her dream. Next to the crystal blue Mediterranean, her wedding day anxieties, life’s ideals, along with her desire to discover who her real father is are belted across the showroom in powerful song. When her two friends stumble into the scene, drunk with pre-marital madness, it becomes obvious- this show is no circus act; here’s a story to which everyone can relate.

Mandalay Bay is the proud home of the longest running and most successful full-scale Broadway musical ever to play on the Las Vegas Strip…Mamma Mia! With a total of 11 global productions, the show has managed to attract over 27 million people worldwide. And with good reason- the content of the show holds something special. It’s adventures into real-world family issues and life’s less than perfect idiosyncrasies, for audience members just, well, hits home. Click to Read Complete Review

Sky Villas In Las Vegas – Leyna Nguyen, anchor/reporter for KCBS/KCAL-TV, came up to Las Vegas to report on the Las Vegas HiltonÆs Sky Villa Suites. The story was featured during sweeps week on November 28. Some interesting facts: The Verona Suite opened Dec. 1, 1994. Conrad and Tuscany opened in January 1995. The Elvis suite was where the Tuscany suite is now (and a little of the Verona). Click to watch Hilton Sky Villa’s Streaming Video

World-Class Professional Dancers Prepare for Second Annual World Salsa Championships – With the finale of “Dancing with the Stars” having come to a close, dance enthusiasts won’t have to wait for next season to get their fill of dancing. Professional salsa dancers from around the globe are gearing up to take to the competitive stage at the Second Annual World Salsa Championships in Las Vegas on December 13-16 at the South Point Hotel and Casino. Thanks, in part to the popularity of shows such as “Dancing with the Stars,” which has become a pop culture obsession attracting 27.5 million viewers for the finale, the Championships look to attract professionals and mainstream fans alike. Click to Read The Full Story…

Cher, Bette Ready For Vegas Run – All the pieces of the post-Celine Dion era at Caesars Palace are falling into place: Cher’s deal is done, and Bette is set. Cher will move into the 4,000-seat Colosseum in the spring of 2008, and Bette Midler will follow in the fall. Click to Read The Full Story…

Get Jolly With Mayor Goodman And The Staff of Hogs & Heifers December 14th During Martinis With The Mayor – It’s time to get jolly as Hogs & Heifers Saloon, with partners Joel Jarvis and The Link, host this year’s holiday networking mixer Martinis with the Mayor alongside special guest Mayor Oscar Goodman Thursday, December 14th from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Join the Mayor and his merry elves from City Hall for a drink as he proposes the first official toast of the holiday season. Santa Claus will be on hand to collect new, unwrapped toys for Hogs and Heifer’s Second Annual Toys for Tots motorcycle run benefiting Sunrise Children’s Hospital and the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. Donate a toy and your first drink is on the house! Click to Read The Full Story …

Married With Teppan – Everyone is familiar with Benihana, and the largest Benihana is at the Las Vegas Hilton. How many people actually get married there? One couple did last Saturday: Judy Campaigne married Douglas Malmstrom, right by the bridge in the center of Benihana Village. The nuptials were held among the realistic sounds of gentle rains, thunder and lightning storms surrounded by lush Japanese gardens, flowing ponds, and exotic statuary. Also located within Benihana Village is the Garden of the Dragon, featuring authentic Chinese cuisine, Teru Sushi offering an extensive fresh sushi menu, and the 888 Noodle Bar, featuring fresh Pan Asian noodle dishes prepared with entertaining flair.

“The Vinnie Favorito Comedy Show” Announces The Addition Of Sunday Performance To Weekly Schedule – Hilarious comedian and one of Hollywood’s top roasters Vinnie Favorito has just extended his weekly show schedule by adding one additional performance on Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. With the popularity of “The Vinnie Favorito Show” among both tourists and locals, Favorito decided to meet the demand by adding an additional show. Favorito feeds off his audience with his edgy and cut-throat humor. Whether off the wall or off color, audiences are asked to “Buckle Up” with The Vinnie Favorito Comedy Show as he takes them on a comedic ride, where the crowd will learn all the stories behind their fellow audience members. Click to Read The Full Story …

MGM Grand Spa Caters to Guest Health with Cutting-Edge Treatment – Providing a new level of personal service, MGM Grand Spa recently added a new high-tech treatment to their expansive menu. SpaGen evaluates the physical well-being of guests through customized DNA analysis. The cutting-edge service begins with an in-depth health, diet and lifestyle questionnaire before a simple cotton swab captures DNA from the inside of the cheek. Then a careful, two-week lab examination of the guestÆs DNA reveals nutritional deficiencies.

An extensive summary sent to the guest provides the information needed to achieve wellness and beauty from the inside out. To help balance the body, a personalized package of nutritional supplements can be arranged for an additional fee. A 15-minute service, SpaGen is offered at $299, while supplements range from an additional $30 to $100 a month. Grand Spa is the first and only spa in Las Vegas to offer the new service.

New Aces Bar & Grill Offers High End Healthy Food For Low End Prices – The Famous ‘Randy Burger’ Made Of Two 10-ounce Trans Fat Free Burgers Near Rhodes Ranch – Master Chef Margaret Nugnes vows to make the Aces Bar & Grill a huge success in one of the toughest restaurant cities in the world it’s tucked away just up the road from Rhodes Ranch at El Capitan and Warm Springs. This chef’s resume reads like someone who should be hosting a show on the Food Channel and her cook came over from Rosemary’s Restaurant on Sahara It is just a matter of time before you can’t get a seat. The logo of Four Aces is appropriate because this bar’s food is not bar food and the atmosphere isn’t pleasant and smoke-free. Click to Read The Full Story …

Gambling Talk: Three Card Poker – with Victor H. Royer. Poker made simple. How easy can it get? Well, how about taking five card stud, and seven card stud, and all the hold’em games and reducing the “worry” of what to make out of these cards to just three cards total. Actually, it’s quite brilliant. Of course a few rule alterations need to be made. For example, a “straight” is now higher than a “flush”. And, there’s NO royal flush … just the “straight flush” for the top award. The rest of the card hierarchy remains (somewhat) the same: pair, then the flush, then the straight, then the three-of-a-kind and then the straight flush. Click to Read Complete Article

Vegas Photo Set Of The Week: Grand Canyon – No matter how many times you have come to Las Vegas, you haven’t seen it all until you’ve seen the magnificent natural wonders of the Grand Canyon. For years, we have endorsed and enjoyed Maverick Helicopter Tours and the spectacular views their Grand Canyon Tours provide.

Avoid the bus tours, where you spend your entire day (and then some) traveling over bumpy back roads for only a short time at the canyon. Maverick flies you over directly and quickly and your time is spent viewing the Grand Canyon from above and down inside. Some tours even allow breakfast at the bottom of the Canyon!

Vegas Streaming Video Of The Week – Treasure Island Pirate Show 1997 – Broadcast TV footage of the entire Treasure Island Pirate Show shot on December 31, 1996. This was the original show that performed from the time the resort opened until the new Sirens of TI show replaced it in 2004.

  • Click To View Treasure Island Pirate Show 1997: Broadband (only)

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Readers Write:

We are staying in Vegas for 7 nights commencing 29th Dec and are looking for parties or balls on New Years. We are hoping that the Stratosphere will do something like last year, Tower Party, but would be grateful for any help or advice you can give. There will be four adults in our group


Mrs Carrie Wilkinson

Ted Responds:

As always, we post info in the newsletter as soon as it come in on everything we hear about. Every week, we get people asking about coming events, holidays, implosions, and similar.

The simply truth is that the hotels rarely plan (or release plans of) events more than a few weeks ahead of time. Sometimes we are lucky if they get the information to us with days to spare!

I very much realize that many of you plan your trips months in advance (which is wise), and could use the information earlier. For some reason, casino event planners seem to think that if word of the event makes it to the local newspapers and TV stations with a few days to spare, all is well. In reality, we are reaching far more visitors and reaching them much earlier… while they are still in the early vacation planning stages.

I know we have a huge number of industry people reading this, and maybe they will take heed. Bottom line for us: We don’t keep info from you. If we have it, run it.

Dear Ted,My husband and I will be visiting Las Vegas towards the end of March 2007 and I subscribed really so that I can find out what types of shows will be on then and if there are trips to the desert at that time. I also wanted to know what the climate is at that time as it will be your spring but I know that the desert temperatures are far more severe both in heat and cold. I live in Australia, so I only know about Las Vegas what I have seen in film and read in the media.

Thank you.


Ted Responds:

We have a weather page with the average temps and weather advice that should be helpful.

Per shows and events and stuff, please see above reply.

Bottom line: If you want a headliner entertainer like Elton or Celine or similar, book as early as possible. Use the search box on our shows page: to see what is playing while you are here..

For concerts and similar, just keep watching the newsletter. Some concerts and headliners are only booked a couple of months in advance.

April is about the most perfect month to visit, except a little windy and college spring break here brings more collage age students to town (but not over-run by them).

Thanks for reading!

Dear Ted,The people of Nevada have spoken and I applaud them for their wisdom. You conveniently fail to mention in your editorial that exposure to cigarette smoke has been absolutely proven to be a major health hazard. Banning of smoking in public places except for adults only, gaming areas is a terrific compromise. Why should I be forced to make a decision to expose my children to carcinogens or otherwise decide not to go anywhere in Las Vegas?

I would never take my children through a casino, but must I make the difficult decision to take them shopping where they may be exposed to chemicals that could affect their future health? Parents may choose to do this but they should not be forced to compromise the health of their children in order to enjoy the freedom of public access. Smoking is legal and any smoker should have the right to smoke, but I should equally have the right to a healthy environment in public places.

David and Eileen Hardy

Ted Responds:

Because most of the feedback regarding the smoking issue has gravitated away from smoking in Nevada to the general issues regarding second hand smoking, I’ll make a few notes and then direct you to where you can make a difference (pro or con). Keep in mind that I am a non-smoker who does not hold tobacco company stock, and we have no tobacco-related advertisers.

Much of the anti-smoking arguments either cite the Surgeon General’s report, or talk about “saving the kids” from second hand smoke.

1. No one will refute that smokers put themselves at significant risk for early death. But per second hand smoke, the Surgeon General’s original report was based on significant false (junk) science. A 1993 EPA meta-analysis of 30 studies has since been discredited, and ignores a World Health Organization large single study that showed a reduced association for children of smokers and no association for spouses and co-workers.

The largest single study (British Medical Journal) was a 39-year analysis of over 35,000 Californians published in 2003. It found no connection between passive smoking and mortality. Even in the smokiest of smoke-filled rooms, nonsmokers inhale only a fraction of one cigarette of exposure. Many EPA approved workplaces expose people to more carcinogens on a daily basis than being in a room with a smoker.

2. I’d like to ask those “saving the children” how often their kids eat a fast food? Trans-Fats are devastating, and while I don’t want laws to ban them (like smoking, the market should decide), I no longer touch them.

Want to have some fun? Go to McDonald’s Nutrition web page and look at the amount of fat (let alone trans fat) in their fries and some breakfast sandwiches, things that many parents don’t think twice about feeding their children. How many parents are up-in-arms about a few whiffs of cigarette smoke, yet have children whose arteries are are clogging before they even hit their teen years?

New York City just voted to ban trans-fats. I don’t agree with that. What is next? You may support a ban on smoking, may (or may not) support a ban on trans-fats, but how will you feel when government regulation of your job or legal rights comes under fire? Wait until the shoe is on the other foot.

Keeping kids away from smoke is simple: Don’t patronize establishments that allow smoking. As a non-smoker, there are times when I choose an establishment without smoke, and other times I choose to enter an environment where smokers will be. None of those environments I choose to enter are places that children absolutely have to be.

Whether you agree with me, or you think I am completely out-to-lunch, let me suggest an entertaining and informative recent segment from radio station WFNY 93.7 FM in New York City. Leslie Gold (aka The Radio Chick) did a really interesting segment on this topic, including mention of smoking in casinos: Click To Listen

In the meantime, here’s the smoking situation for visitors to Las Vegas: Smoking is permitted on casino floors, your hotel room (if a smoking room), and anywhere outdoors. It is not permitted in any restaurant or bar that also serves food. It is permitted in nightclubs and other bars and lounges that do not serve food. Smoking is now prohibited in all parts of Mccarran (Las Vegas) International Airport. (Note: This is in absence of the pending lawsuit which might delay enforcement of this law. As we go to press, we don’t yet have word on the outcome).

Finally, if you support or disagree with the new Nevada Smoking rules, I strongly suggest writing a letter to the editor of our main paper, Las Vegas Review-Journal. I’m thrilled with our volume of readership and the many people in the gaming and hospitality industry that read us each week. However, the mainstream politicians, judges, and voters that voted to ban smoking are more likely to read the editorial page of our city paper.

You can email Letters To The Editor of the Review-Journal at

You must put your address (including city, state, zip, and/or country) and a phone number. They reserve the right to edit or shorten letters, so letters under 900 words are suggested.

Let us know if they print your letter (pro or con) and we’ll note it and link to it here! You know that we’ve always been happy to echo our reader feedback whether it agrees with our editorial stance or not.

Have a Vegas comment or question? Post To Our Message Boards!

We love to hear from you, and value your feedback! Here’s how to participate:

  • Post a trip report to our brand new Trip Report Message Board section! (Simply click on the New Thread option. You may be prompted to register if a fist time user. That keeps our boards safe and spam-free)!
  • Post a comment, Vegas suggestion, or question to the appropriate category of our Message Boards.
  • Call our recorded comment line at 702-507-0055. We listen to every call, and use some of them on our Streaming Broadcast! (Don’t worry … we never broadcast your personal information. All calls used are edited to insure caller privacy).
  • Drop us an email at – We read them all!

Readers Rants, Raves, and Questions – Great reader questions and comments from our Access Vegas Message Boards. Help someone out or post your own comment or question!

More Las Vegas News – Concerts – Events

Important Note: During peak times, some of our news and event story links may take extra time to load. We are working on significant upgrades to handle this increased demand. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience during the extra few seconds a story may take to appear when you click on it.

Coming Hot Holidays – The following dates are huge times to be in Las Vegas, and rooms are in high demand. Booking in advance is the best way to save. Visit our friends at Las Vegas Hotel Deals and spend one of the following hot dates having fun in Las Vegas:

  • 2006

  • Christmas December 22-25 (3 day weekend – Christmas on Monday)
  • New Year’s Eve-Day December 29 – January 1 (3 day weekend – New Years on Monday)
  • 2007

  • Martin Luther King Day January 13-15 (3 day weekend)
  • Presidents Day February 17-19 (3 day weekend)
  • Christmas December 22-25 (3 day weekend)
  • St. Patrick’s Day March 17 (Falls on a Saturday)
  • March Madness (NCAA Basketball Playoffs) March 15-18, March 22-25, Final Four March 31-April 2
  • Victoria Day (Canada) May 19-21 (3 day weekend)
  • Memorial Day May 26-28 (3 day weekend)
  • Mothers Day May 13
  • Fathers Day June 17
  • Independence Day July 4
  • Civic Holiday (Canada) August 6 (3 day weekend)
  • Labor Day September 1-3 (3 day weekend)
  • Columbus Day (USA), Thanksgiving Day (Canada) September 6-8 (3 day weekend)
  • Christmas December 25 (4 day weekend – Christmas on Tuesday)
  • New Year’s Eve-Day December 29 – January 1 (4 day weekend – New Years on Tuesday)

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Try Brazilian Slim free for a week! Brazilian Slim is the new way to lose way and look good. This and other Great Free Stuff, Bargains, and More on our Advertiser Deals page. Click there now!

Las Vegas Construction Photos

Venetian Palazzo

Wynn Encore

Trump Tower Las Vegas

Photos by Mark Jacobs, All Rights Reserved

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All contents copyright 2006 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.

December 6, 2006 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us

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