Access Vegas Insider Vibe – January 10, 2001

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This Issue: 01.01.01

EDITORS NOTE: The newsletter is packed, the photos are online (see feature story). The De La Guarda review has been in a holding pattern over the holidays but I’ll have it next week and we’ll be back to a new review every week. In the words of infamous boxing referee Mills Lane, “Let’s Get It On!”

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

SUPER BOWL PARTIES – The Super Bowl brings more testosterone to Las Vegas than any other weekend. Every bar, every lounge, every TV everywhere is tuned to the big game. Many of the hotels throw “all inclusive” parties where the price of admission gets you all you can eat and drink. The R-J has these listed at If you are looking to go crazy betting the game, we suggest the Imperial Palace. They put up a pile of interesting and wacky side bets that must be seen to be believed.

HERE WE GO AGAIN – A group of investors has plans on the drawing board to build a 40 story megaresort across the Strip from Mandalay Bay. Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson is considering throwing his hat into the project, which is having some problems acquiring the remaining few parcels needed to pull off the project. Stories at and

ELVIS – would have turned 66 a few days ago, and AP just did an article on The King’s continuing popularity here in Las Vegas at

TAKE THE TRAIN? – A couple of years ago, Amtrak abandoned service to Las Vegas, which (as part of a longer route) only operated three times a week with a 7.5 hour ride between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. However, they have been hard at work to restart daily LA – Vegas service using faster equipment and special stretches of double track allowing the fast passenger trains to pass slower freight service. The money for the new trains and track improvements are available, and the new trains are reported to be plush and have the latest entertainment and amenities.

The delay? The planned 22 mile long passing siding is in the Mojave National Preserve, home to a tortoise that has been listed as a “threatened” species. Although adding another set of rails beside a present rail line would seem to have minimal additional impact, government environmental red tape threatens to delay the project for many months. Full story at So, our friends from Southern California continued to be hampered by an 8 hour drive on the weekends or crowded air flights to come visit.

WE’RE #1 – Besides having the biggest fireworks display for New Year’s Eve, we are #1 in another category. It came as little surprise that Nevada was the fastest growing state in the nation for the past decade. Our growth of 66% far outpaced neighbors Arizona (#2 with 40%) and Utah (#4 with 29%). Full story at

SLOTS – When you make your way through the slot jungle, have you ever wondered the “what’s” and “why’s” of slot placement and who decides? The R-J recently had an interview with the VP of Slots for Coast Resorts at

LAUNDRY – While you are wondering … what does happen to the linen at a resort with 5000 rooms? Find out at

$25 HOTEL REBATE — you pick the hotel! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you $25 back on any 2+ night stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. 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!

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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

Second City – comedy troupe have confirmed plans to start playing The Flamingo in March, replacing the long-running “Forever Plaid.” Details at

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* David Brenner –

SHOWS AND HEADLINER – listings available at
CONCERT – listings available anytime at

5 Star Awards – Picasso (Bellagio) and Renoir (Mirage) each repeated the honor of receiving the Mobil Travel Guide 2001 Five-Star Award. These are given to a handful of restaurants around the country (17 this year) who exemplify fine dining. Full story at

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Harley-Davidson Cafe (on the Strip) –
* Mortoni’s (Hard Rock) –
* Tommy’s Rib & Steak House (Algiers) –

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

Thursday – 55/43 Showers
Friday – 50/33 Showers
Saturday – 53/30 Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 53/29 Partly Cloudy
Monday – 54/29 Partly Cloudy

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The New Year came in with a big bang, literally. A fireworks show called the “Big Bang” simultaneously went off from the roofs of 14 casinos up and down The Strip. Each of the hotels looked like a Roman candle going off with sparks flying everywhere. This was accompanied by loud and constant “concussion bomb” explosions that literally rocked The Strip.

At a time when much of the US was unfortunately freezing, buried in snow, and many without power, New Year’s Eve dawned beautiful and sunny. Temperatures were in the mid-60’s during the day and remained in the mid-40’s leading up to midnight. The crowds were unprecedented, with estimates ranging from 300-350,000, and Metro (Police) reporting by 10 PM that the entire length of the Strip was completely closed to traffic.

There was no shortage of news coverage, both locally and around the world on networks like CNN. We had our brand new Sony Mavica FD-85 digital camera out on The Strip. (My thanks to those readers who recommended it to me a few months ago when I asked for info on a digital that handles low light well.) Despite the throngs of people and general merriment, we managed to get 30 great photos of the fireworks, the crowds, the crazies, the ladies and The Strip on this unique evening. We also have listed links to other photos and stories:


R-J story “2001: A Vegas Odyssey” (7 photos) –
R-J story “`Big Bang’ not a bust” –
KTNV story (2 photos, video link doesn’t work) –
R-J spectacular photo of hotels ablaze –

The only sour note? An unnamed hotel executive was quoted lamenting the money spent on a celebration which drew heavily on the 20-something crowd. Generally speaking, casinos prefer to fill the town with a crowd that is a little more established and mature (read: has more disposable income). This is probably one of the same morons who a few years ago questioned the need for hotels to have websites or facilitate booking rooms online. (Las Vegas has always been way behind the online curve, and it didn’t dawn on these guys that parts of the rest of the world are using the internet to find information and buy things 4-5 years ago.)

Note to casino executives: Credit card companies advertise all over college campuses, trying to get their cards into the hands of those with no money. Why? Because someday those students will be making the big bucks, and still using that card. Vegas “ain’t no different.” These 20-somethings had a great time, went home and each told 20 friends how cool Vegas is, and will be back year after year with more and more money to enjoy themselves with. (End of rant.)

Did you come here for New Years? If you did, we want to hear from you! What part of The Strip were you on, what did you see, and what did you think? If you had to drive to The Strip (from an off Strip hotel or home), what time did you go and where did you park? As noted last newsletter, I suggested people get down there before 6 PM as the side streets fill up and hotels start to only allow guests to park in the garages.

I can only be in one place at a time so it would be great to hear what things were like all up and down The Strip. Also, if you have any photos you would allow us to put online, please attach them! Write us 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


Kit Lindsay ( ) of Warrensburg, Missouri wrote:

>Denise and I were there for the holiday, and saw the Blue Man group at
>Luxor for the first time.á We have seen almost every show in Vegas and
>I have to say up until last Sunday night I thought that Mystere’ at
>Treasure Island was the best show in town.á Now I think it is a toss
>up between the Blue Men and Mystere’.á We couldn’t decide how we were
>going to describe it to friends that we will recommend it to, finally
>settling on “Fabulous musicians that play very interesting
>instruments, allot of percussion and sound effects and no speaking.
>Lots of laughs and audience participation.Ӈ I hope this accurately
>describes the show and encourages others to see it.á It is GREAT!!
>Before we visit Vegas each time we always consult your newsletter and
>I don’t remember seeing the review for the Blue Men, but I may have
>missed it.á We visit Vegas two to three times a year and usually see
>two shows per visit.á I also have to say that we have yet to see “O”
>and hope to send you a personal opinion on that one after April’s
>Still have to say that the Palace Station is the best place to
>stay/gamble as there are fewer children, and the restaurants serve
>”regular food” like you usually eat at home.á I don’t eat lobster and
>prime rib at home, and don’t want to eat it at every meal on vacation
>either.á I am probably the exception, however.á I do think that Vegas
>is getting overcrowded with folks that should leave the kiddies at
>home until they are adults, but that is another issue to discuss.
>Thanks again for all your hard work on the Vegas News and Reviews.

Blue Man is on the short list. I have been meaning to review it for quite some time as its popularity is soaring. I have their CD and have been addicted to the unique pulsing rhythmical music. I have yet to hear one negative comment about the show, and it is a top seller on our shows page at If anyone wants a free preview of the music, go to the Blue Man Group page at Amazon for free click-and-play song samples: (My fave is song #5 “Rods and Cones”).

This week’s new poll asks everyone which show they would go see if money were no object so don’t forget to go to and vote.

You hit the nail on the head about the kids. I was SHOCKED at how many strollers and mothers holding babies I saw this New Year’s Eve. These people paid a premium for rooms, airfare (or fought traffic heavy traffic flowing in for the weekend), and were exposing their kids to noisy fireworks and 1/3 million tipsy revealers. My advice to parents? Do the family vacation with Walt Disney. Come to Vegas sans the kids for fun and romance.

David and Jennifer Parker from Wales in the UK wrote,

>Hello, My wife and I visited your city from Dec.á 3rd to Dec.á 10th.
>Your e-mail information prior to the trip was excellent and gave us a
>great insight to the area and made getting around much easier.á Las
>Vegas was everything we were told about only better. We hope to be back
>in the near future.

Good to hear you had a great time! I still have a hard time grasping the worldwide readership (this internet thing, what a concept, huh). But, I think info like this is even more imperative to those of you who have to fly 12-18 hours or more and spend serious money to come visit our crazy city.

Dale Jackson wrote:

>Thank you for your wonderful newsletter and web site on my favorite
>vacation spot, Las Vegas!á I know you probably get lots of these kind
>of letters.á I hope you can stand to read one more.á (I’ll keep it
>short!) I just wanted to express my appreciation and gratitude for all
>of your hard work in keeping all of us out here in cyberspace informed
>about the latest goings on in Vegas.á I live in Beaverton, Or.á and
>your newsletters help to warm up cold and rainy nights by temporarily
>transporting me to a warmer and brighter place.á Once again, from the
>bottom of my heart, Thank You!

I always appreciate the kind words, and as a native Oregonian (sorry Notre Dame and Texas fans) who gets up your way frequently, I can appreciate what it is like to come see our Las Vegas sunshine!

Matt Schafer wrote:

>Ted, My wife and I visited Las Vegas for the first time earlier this
>year.á I have a question.á Those people at the hotel that ask you if
>you will be in town the next day (meaning, from what I gather: Will
>you be around that evening to go to a show?) and they want to give you
>information about shows at specific hotels (Bally’s and MGM come to
>mind).á Each time this happened we politely declined thinking that it
>may be some sort of way to “trick” us into something.á What are these
>people trying to “sell” us?á Should they be listened to?á Do they have
>good deals on the shows?á We would like to know for a return trip
>sometime in the future.á Thanks, and keep up the good work.

They want to waste a couple of hours of your valuable time to pitch you on a time-share. When you add up what your time is worth here (airfare, hotel, etc.) you are better off avoiding the hassle. They best way to avoid them is to tell them you are leaving tonight, or split up with your significant other until you get past them (they generally don’t pitch single people).

Lisa wrote:

>á I have seen on TV many times a place the locals call the “casino
>graveyard” where all the old neon signs are.á Where is this place and
>is it open to the public ?á I would love to see it.á Any info you give
>would be helpful.

The signs that have been refurbished and are operating are at the East end of the Fremont St. Experience downtown (by Race Rock, etc.) There is a yard in another part of town where a bunch are stored awaiting restoration (or just collecting dust — nothing rusts in the desert), but to my knowledge it is not open to the public.

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at 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). 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 – If money were no object, which high end show would you go see? Let’s hear your opinions at — results will be published in two weeks!

Results from last weeks poll “If you fly, which airline do you usually fly to Las Vegas?”

Southwest 38%
Other 17%
National 10%
America Trans (ATA) 7%
Delta 7%
Alaska 6%
Northwest 5%
United 5%
TWA 0%
US Airways 0%


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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.
January 10, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

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