Access Vegas Insider Vibe – January 14, 2008 InsideráVibe

Serving Las Vegas Visitors and Residents Since 1999

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

Hello From Las Vegas! – Winter is finally over here in the beautiful Desert Southwest. I just got back from a walk in the 65 degree (F) sun, wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. If winter is in full swing where you are, come on out and visit. Our friends at Las Vegas Hotel Deals have unbelievably low room rates ranging from basic rooms at $25-30 a night to the very top hotels in Las Vegas (and in the world, for that matter) for under $200 a night. And… last I checked, airfare is down a bit.

I’m not surprised. The past few years, many of you have written and said “Las Vegas no longer caters to the middle class” and has gotten too expensive. Time and time again in this newsletter, I simply said: Give it time. All of these posh new hotel rooms are going to have to be filled and the rates will be adjusted to fill them. I said how Las Vegas will again be an incredible bargain with the ability to rent rooms for a fraction of what a similar hotel room would go for in another city. (Check out what $100 a night will get you in New York or San Francisco, then what it will buy you in Las Vegas right now).

Yes, times are tight right now. If you are in a very unfortunate job or financial situation and a trip just isn’t in the cards, by all means stay subscribed and we’ll bring a little bit of Las Vegas to you each week until you can come back and see us again. But if you even have a few bucks to spend, come on out and enjoy a few days. Nothing takes your mind off of things like a visit to Las Vegas.

Largest Hotel In the World Coming To Las Vegas! – Oh please… how many times have I typed (and mocked) this headline. And yet another group is claiming that they are going to do just this:

A 6,745 room, four tower hotel. And… not even on The Strip. Instead next to the Hard Rock Hotel (on the site of George Clooney’s project that never got off the ground… and that was in good economic times). Bottom Line: If this thing actually goes somewhere, I wish the developers well and (as always) we’ll keep you up-to-date on the progress.

las vegas wetlands park
Photo Courtesy Access Clark County (government)

Las Vegas Wetlands Park – Wetlands in Las Vegas? You bet! Now… if you are in town for a few days to see how much drinking and gambling you can accomplish, this might not be for you. However… if a local or a tourist who enjoys renting a car and seeing things like Red Rock Canyon, you may find the Las Vegas Wetlands a fun adventure for a couple of hours.

The Las Vegas Wash (a wash is what we call a creek here in the desert) has been cleaned up over the past few years, with weirs built to slow down the water flow and create lush, green areas teeming with wildlife. Finding the wetlands is simple: Head east on Tropicana (from The Strip) for exactly 7.9 miles and make a left on Wetlands Park Lane. For more info, read Wetlands Park expands with opening of bridge

Lion King Las Vegas To Play Full Show – Many Broadway style shows have (and continue to) enjoy great runs here, but are often a condensed version of the Broadway hit. The standard notion: With so much to do and see, people don’t want to sit through a really long show. (And the notion that the hotels want you back in the casino spending money more quickly).

The Lion King is going to buck the trend and perform the nearly 2 1/2 hour show, with a standard 15 minute intermission. It will be interesting to see how it works out (and how many people get on a hot gambling streak during intermission and simply don’t make it back into the theatre). Ticket sales are expected to be brisk as this show looks to be a major draw. You may wish to reserve now: Click for Lion King Las Vegas Tickets

Is The Club Scene Over? – We’ve received very mixed reader email on the club scene boom here. Some of you enjoy them, others feel priced out by those willing to spend thousands of dollars in just one night in a club. Readers of all ages have bemoaned the loss of many of the hotel lounges, and I’m among you. Hotels wonder why their gaming revenue is dropping. Could one reason be that the excitement of live music playing on (or just off of) the casino floor made the gambling more fun? DUH!

Local columnist Norm Clarke had an interesting article Celebs cut back on making it rain that is worth a read. Truth be told, Las Vegas being a little less of a celeb hot spot may be a good thing. The focus is coming back to our core business of the past many decades: Give you a reasonably priced room, good food, favorable gaming odds and some of the best shows and entertainment you’ll find on the planet, and you’ll keep coming back for more. Which leads me to these comments…

Loose slots

The Eggheads Just Don’t Get It – Nevada gaming revenue is in a free-fall (down around 8% in 2008). You aren’t gambling as much when you visit, and we don’t blame you. We’ve noted how recent years have brought tighter slots and unfavorable table game rules. Casino management blames it on the economy. I blame some of it on the guys running the casinos:

Even after the mob pretty much left town, Las Vegas was run by guys with resort, gaming, and tourism backgrounds. Not that many years ago, signs likeá99% Payback On Slots, Better Odds On Craps/Blackjack and others regarding easy comps were common up and down The Strip.

Now, things are run by a bunch of guys with educations from prestigious eastern universities whose backgrounds are Wall Street, not Las Vegas Boulevard. And it shows (just look at how Wall Street and Banking have been doing). They don’t seem to understand that you’ll come and (probably) lose a pile of cash. And still enjoy it and tell others what a great time you had doing so.

But… only if you are getting some value out of it. Only if the gambling lets you have a few win streaks. Only if you can go home and tell your friends about the incredible meal deal you had. Only if we offer you some real fun, a chance to win, and value in hotel and meal prices.

The word is starting to resonate. Read (from our local paper) Strip’s Salvation Lies In Offering Value

We’re Number Eight? – After being tops 19 out of the past 21 years, Nevada has finally given up the longstanding “fastest growing state” mantle. Neighboring states Utah and Arizona took the top two honors with Nevada falling to the #8 spot.

When people inquire about moving here, I suggest they check out Salt Lake City, Phoenix (and Albuquerque) as well. I love Las Vegas and it is an amazing place to visit, but unless your fortunate enough to be one of the (maybe) 100 people here with a job like mine, living here isn’t all about shows and buffets. It is about the daily grind just like you’d find anywhere else (even for people like me).

Why Salt Lake City, Phoenix or Albuquerque? All are short non-stop flights to your favorite vacation destination (Las Vegas, of course). Salk Lake offers traditional winters (snow and skiing), Phoenix offers a major city atmosphere with big league sports, and Albuquerque is a mid-sized city which has the beautiful desert mountain scenery of Las Vegas without our 110 degree summers.

Finally, let me leave you with an amazing Las Vegas photo blog find I found. A couple who recently married here posted photos ranging from their plane over the desert and on approach to some very cool shots all over The Strip and Downtown Fremont Street. Enjoy LAS VEGAS marriage pics. Picture Heavy!

Enjoy This Issue!

Ted Newkirk
CEO/Managing Editor

Associate Editor: Amy Rayner-Cooley
News Researcher/Editor: Mark Jacobs

Las Vegas Is On Sale!
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Motley Crue To Pass The Joint Into A New Era At The Hard Rock – As the saying goes, “as one door closes, another one opens.” The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will close its legendary concert venue, The Joint, on February 7, 2009 to make way for a brand new expanded and state-of-the-art Joint. As part of their Saints of Los Angeles 2009 Tour, M÷tley Cr³e will help close The Joint doors in true rock ‘n’ roll fashion with two closing weekend performances scheduled for February 6 and 7. (Tickets). Click to Read The Full Story …

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant Celebrates Four Years In Las Vegas – RA Sushi Bar Restaurant will celebrate four years in Las Vegas with a prom-themed anniversary party on Saturday, January 24. The event begins on Saturday, January 24 at 9 p.m. and features live entertainment from Last Pop Nation, Justin Carder and RA’s own DJ G-Raw. Ladies are encouraged to don their most gaudy dresses and men in the craziest tuxes they can find to celebrate the prom-themed event. Click to Read The Full Story …

Celebrate Chinese New Year 2009 AT Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens – Beginning January 14, Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens will celebrate the 2009 Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox, with a unique display filled with hidden meaning. The Conservatory’s design will be guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui û the art of using surroundings to attract harmony, balance and positive life energy. The dramatic centerpiece of this exhibit will be a botanical 15-foot-long ox. Click to Read The Full Story …

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Hello. Love your newsletter!

A group of us just visited Vegas Dec. 7-11, 2008 (we have visited 2 or 3 times a year since 2003). Had a wonderful time as always. In these past years of visiting Vegas right up to our recent trip last week, we have always wondered why a 24/7 city closes most, if not all, of its restaurants at 10 or 11 pm. The fine dining establishments i can understand… but I have always wondered why more casual to fast food places donÆt stay open 24 hours.

Each hotel has ONE restaurant that stays open all nite and the wait is usually unbelievably long, not to mention how long it takes to get waited on and served. It seems a Subway shop or a 24-hour deli would be appropriate for those who want to party until all hours and THEN grab a quick bite to take back to their room.

I stayed at MGM again this trip (which I love, by the way) and they have a Deli that stays open until like 1 am and the line at 12:30 goes on forever. So I canÆt believe that a 24-hour fast food place wouldnÆt make money in the middle of the nite. I was just curious if anyone had any insight as to why all the food courts close at 11’ish and why more casual places donÆt stay open all nite.


Sharla from Columbus OH

Ted Responds:

I’m probably not making any friends in casino management in this issue, and we’ll be returning to our more Las Vegas news in future issues. However, these issues do need to be addressed.

The decision makers at hotel casinos are apt to be tucked into bed and asleep at midnight. They don’t know what is going on in situations like this. They forget that you are partying, boozing and having fun well into the late night and wee hours. And… what does just about everyone want to do after a long night of imbibing? EAT. (Visit any Waffle House or similar restaurant at 3 AM on a weekend. This isn’t just a Las Vegas phenomenon).

The best we can do is highlight the concerns of our readers and let them filter to the decision makers who simply have no clue what is really happening during those late night “Prime Time In Las Vegas” hours.

My wife and I have been coming to Vegas every year since the late 70’s and have seen to many changes. I enjoy playing blackjack, but this year I played maybe twice. The 6-5 payoff on a blackjack in most every casino has taken away the enjoyment of the game. Let’s get the bean counters out of Vegas.

Love your newsletter.

Bill from Orlando

Ted Responds:

For those unfamiliar with what Bill is talking about, the original rules for blackjack (and the rules in Las Vegas for decades) was that you get 3 chips for every 2 chips you bet when you are dealt a blackjack. 15 chips when you bet 10. Now, most Las Vegas casinos only pay you 6 chips for every 5 bet or simply 12 (instead of 15) for every 10 bet.

The El Cortez downtown is still dealing with the original rules and if you really hunt, you may be able to find some others. Bottom Line: If you play a blackjack game where they are only paying you 6 to 5 on a blackjack, you are getting ripped off. Keep walking. How much of a difference does it make? You get dealt blackjack more often than you realize. This can add up to a substantial amount of money per hour that should be in your pocket, but isn’t.

We have been subscribing to your newsletter for several years now and really enjoy it!

We’ve been coming to Vegas for four years for the first weekend of the PBR finals. Your newsletter has been extremely helpful.

We’ve stayed at the Excalibur the last couple of years. The first year the rooms were OK, but this year we stayed in one of the remodeled rooms and were very impressed with it. We got to look out over the pools and the improvements in the rooms were really nice.

This is the first year the finals have been at the Thomas & Mack Center instead of the Mandalay Bay Events Center. We were a little worried about transportation, but were pleasantly surprised by the taxi service we got all three nights. Our taxi cab drivers were very pleasant and we felt like they did a great job getting us there and back.

We are auto enthusiasts and really enjoyed the Auto Collection at the Imperial Palace.

Thank you for your newsletter and keep up the great work!!

Debbie R.

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More Las Vegas News – Concerts – Events

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 I4Vegas Discount Las Vegas Reservations and spend one of the following hot dates having fun in Las Vegas:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, U.S (Observed) January 19-21 (3 day weekend)
  • Chinese/Lunar New Year January 26
  • Lincoln’s Birthday, U.S February 12
  • Valentine’s Day February 14
  • President’s Day, U.S (Observed) February 14-16 (3 day weekend)
  • Washington’s Birthday, U.S February 22
  • St. Patrick’s Day March 17
  • Easter Sunday April 12
  • Cinco de Mayo May 5
  • Mother’s Day May 10
  • Father’s Day June 21
  • Canada Day, Canada July 1
  • Independence Day July 4
  • Civic Holiday, Canada August 1-3 (3 day weekend)
  • Labor Day, U.S September 5-7 (3 day weekend)
  • Labour Day, Canada September 5-7 (3 day weekend)
  • Jewish New Year September 19
  • Halloween October 31
  • Veteran’s Day November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day, U.S November 26-29 (4 day weekend)
  • Hanukkah Dec. 2 – Dec. 9
  • Christmas December 25
  • New Year’s Eve-Day December 31 – January 2 (3 day weekend)

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All contents copyright 2008 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
Hotel Rates Published Accurate At Time Of Publication

January 14, 2009 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us Privacy Policy

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