Access Vegas Insider Vibe – February 28, 2001

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This Issue: Mac King

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

EDITORS NOTE: It has been raining for 3 straight days here in Las Vegas (much needed, but I know it dampens a usually sunny Las Vegas vacation). However, that is child’s play compared to the earthquake that shook Seattle Wednesday morning. My brother and his family live in the area, and I fly through Sea-Tac on a regular basis getting a connecting flight to my hometown of Portland, OR.

From my talks with people flying SEA-LAS on my return trips, I know that people in the Seattle area love Las Vegas and assume we have pretty serious readership in that area (all we have are email addresses — except for tracking country domains, I have no clue where anyone who subscribes lives). To our friends in the Pacific Northwest, we are happy to hear that the loss of life and injuries was very minimal, and wish you and those around you the best over the next few weeks of cleanup and recovery.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

SIEGFRIED & ROY – have signed their new “lifetime” contract at The Mirage. The new contract stipulates a 44 week per year schedule, and eight shows a week (down from the 10 they were doing). Stories at and

NEW CAESARS TOWER – Caesars Palace is seeking permission to build a new 30-story, 864-room tower which will include restaurants, shops, meeting rooms, showrooms and underground parking. This would bring the resort’s room total to 3,300 rooms. Full story at

DANCE CLUBS – The Aladdin and Caesars are working to throw their hat into the latest casino trend to build high-end nightclubs. The quest is on to make Las Vegas the “clubbing” capital of the world, and people from all over the world are taking notice and counting the clubs among their reasons for visiting. Stories at and

OUTLAWS – Despite ratings problems on NBC and predictions of sure demise, Las Vegas has embraced their XFL team in a huge way. The home games are selling out, the cheerleaders are turning into local celebrities, and ratings for all XFL games are high in the Las Vegas market. Stories at and

LIBERACE – The Las Vegas estate once belonging to the flamboyant entertainer is now open for corporate gatherings and weddings. Story at and booking info at

VANCOUVER GRIZZLIES – Las Vegas is one of the cities said to be in the running for the relocation of this NBA team. Don’t bet on it: Despite being the 39’th largest media market in the country (larger than NBA cities Indianapolis and Orlando), the NBA wouldn’t agree to bring a team to town unless NBA sports betting was banned. Story at

JUST A REMINDER – Prostitution is illegal in Clark County, Nevada (the New Jersey sized county that contains Las Vegas). A Minnesota man was recently found dead in his Tropicana hotel room, the suspected victim of a robbery by a prostitute. Full story at


SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Kenny Kerr –

SHOWS – 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

SHOWS AND HEADLINERS – listings available at
CONCERT – listings available at

DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Tremezzo (Aladdin) –

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Thursday – 60 ░F / 42 ░F Mostly Cloudy
Friday – 65 ░F / 40 ░F Partly Cloudy
Saturday – 67 ░F / 38 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 70 ░F / 43 ░F Scattered Showers
Monday – 75 ░F / 45 ░F Partly Cloudy

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I’m pretty happy. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a bad show. The odds are in my favor as I tend to review only established shows so we know they will be here when you get here, and if a show has been around a while (with few exceptions) it usually is making its target audience happy.

Mac King has been playing Harrah’s for over a year, shouldn’t need an introduction. He has appeared on television shows ranging from “An Evening At The Improv” to all five of NBC’s “World’s Greatest Magic” specials. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, upon seeing him you will remember him as “the guy who did the funny magic on TV.” And funny, Mac King is!

He takes the stage in a vintage plaid suit (vintage early 1900, not vintage disco era) with a story about a rope trick his grandfather taught him. You’ve seen rope tricks before? Not presented quite this way. From the first moment, you can tell that despite his sometimes silly demeanor, he has the craft of magic down.

King brings out an old fashioned chest containing his props and you never know what he is going to pull out of it next. Unlike Carrot Top, whose props are the joke themselves, Mac uses everything from worms to goldfish to a box of cereal to a stuffed tiger to perform “how did he do that” magic while leaving you laughing in the aisles. The finale is a “tribute” to Siegfried and Roy in which he makes both himself and a stuffed tiger disappear that reappear in a funny but spectacular way.

Eschewing assistants, King interacts with members from the audience using volunteers to help him in a couple of his more impressive illusions in this one-man show. It is pretty clear these aren’t audience plants. In fact, if you see this show the day or two after your wedding, you might end up on stage helping in the “Cloak of Invisibility” trick where Mac puts on a yellow rain coat, tells us to pretend he is invisible, then moves cards from the new wife to the new husband without touching either of them.

This is the best show deal in town. Period. You can’t go wrong paying $14.95 for the hour plus show, and the hour flies by. Plus, it is a perfect way to break up your afternoon gambling or sightseeing (or just recover from that “all-I-did-eat” buffet), give your feet a rest and your mind some refreshment.

Mac King Ticket Info

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Last week, Cindy Hoplamazian asked if there are any good Chinese or Thai restaurants in Las Vegas. We appreciate all who responded. P. F. Changs (with a location in The Aladdin) was suggested by a number of people. Others had the following favorites:

Tom Maher wrote:

>Some of the best Asian food in town is at the China
>Town complex off of Spring Mtn. Rd. It is wonderful
>authentic food, not your Mall variety garbage. Plan to
>spend a couple of hours, the shops are very
>interesting. I buy all of my herbal medications from
>the health food store here. Very inexpensive.

China Town shopping area is on Spring Mountain, about a mile (maybe two) west of Treasure Island.

Rita Hawn-Muldoon wrote:

>One of my favorites is P.F.á Changs.á There is one on the strip near
>Paradise and one on the west side of town.á They are nicely decorated,
>busy and the food is great.
>I also like China Grill at Mandalay Bay.á It is very upscale and
>pricey however, but very hip.

David Feldman wrote:

>That’s easy.á It’s the best Thai restaurant in North America according
>to Gourmet Magazine, and I concur.á Lotus of Siam on 953 E.á Sahara.
>Although they have a luncheon buffet, I strongly urge your readers to
>order a la carte off the extensive menu.

Lotus of Siam is a few blocks east of The Sahara Hotel.

Jim of Madera California wrote:

>We just returned from another “week plus” split between Las Vegas and
>This time we took the tour through the Shark Tank at the Mandalay Bay
>Casino.á For those of you who have not been there, it is well worth
>the modest $14 or so, as well as about an hour plus of your time.á We
>have been through the Monterey Bay Aquarium (CA) several times as well
>as others around the nation.á This live display is one of the best.
>Billed as the largest collection of sea predators, it contains
>numerous varieties of sharks, eels, etc., in their natural habitat and
>lighting.á A “station-to-station” radio player and a complete
>identification chart is provided to each person while you walk through
>and past the tanks.á Yes, THROUGH!á A Plexiglas tunnel is provided at
>one point so that you may walk “inside” the tank and sit on benches
>with the fishes swimming around you.
>For those of you who have already been to the exhibit (and are
>curious!), the brash sounds you hear periodically while visiting the
>last display (the sunken ship) are underwater recordings of what
>”creaking planks” sound like from a sunken wooden ship (bet you didn’t
>know that one!).
>A must see attraction!

Jim included the Shark Reef website at and you can read our review (with photos) at Note: They didn’t have the “radio players” yet when we were there (something we suggested in the review) and I’m sure that adds immensely to the experience now.

Doug and Jaynie Hoerauf wrote:

>We were out in Las Vegas last weekend for a long weekend.á We found
>the Casino Royale very friendly.á Every time we were in there the
>staff was very friendly and the drinks were really cheap.á We played
>video poker for hours with very little cash lost.
>We did a Hoover Dam trip (on our own) and stopped in Boulder City for
>lunch at Toto’s Mexican Restaurant.á The food was really good and
>there was plenty of it.á The service was excellent and the beer ice
>cold.á What more can you ask for?
>We thought that the World buffet at the Rio was overrated.

I’m a big fan of Casino Royale. Their parking garage is a best kept secret (right behind the hotel, gives you quick access to Harrah’s, Venetian, Mirage), and when friends that like to booze come to town, I just tell them “Casino Royale: import beer and a shot of name-brand booze for $4.00 total.” Plus, the staff is very friendly.

The Rio buffet is really hit and miss. It was a novelty as the first “station” buffet in Las Vegas (different ethnic food stations) but pay the extra $3-4 and go to the Aladdin buffet where the food is topnotch and the decor colors don’t scream at you.

Nick Lubrano wrote:

>Dear Ted,I know it was an honest mistake or a typo
>but, in your article referring to Earnhardt you used
>the term “infamous” in describing him .I’m calling
>this to your attention before someone else makes a big
>deal out of it. Really enjoy your news letter.

Thanks for the heads up. One of the definitions of infamous is
notorious. I was attempting to find a word that described the
wide variety of emotions various race fans felt toward him
(he was either adored or despised) and looking back,
I could have used a better choice of words. I know that NASCAR fans are very passionate about their sport and certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone.

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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


RULES: (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest): You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Send 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.

Mac King T-Shirt: We have two Mac King T-shirts (XL, one size fits all) to give away. Both have been autographed by Mac himself and are a fun piece of Las Vegas memorabilia. We’ll give one each away the entries #20 and #40 at (contest closed)

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AIRLINE SPECIALS – Purchase your Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air flight online at or by March 9, 2001 and you’ll save 10% on travel. This discount is valid for travel between now and June 30, 2001. Alaska and Horizon serve Las Vegas from many destinations in the west. Buy at

ONLINE POLL – Who (if anyone) do you come to Las Vegas with? Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published next week!

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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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All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
February 28, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

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