Access Vegas Insider Vibe – January 22, 2002

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MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas opinions! Our boards are new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at

NEWKIRK’S NOTES – comments on Las Vegas and travel from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

Thanks to those of you who noticed I was missing the past few weeks. It’s been crazy, and I have a couple of VERY exciting things to tell you about.

First, we’ve launched All Vegas TV! Now you can go to and SEE Las Vegas anywhere in the world you can get online. Our February 2002 show features Guggenheim — Art of the Motorcycle (at The Venetian), a Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour video, and the uncut version of Las Vegas New Year’s Eve 2001 fireworks show. Future episodes include a Wolfgang Puck interview, a wedding chapel feature (with a big giveaway … stay tuned for that one), and much more. Enjoy!

New Year’s Eve was incredible! 265,000 people packed the Strip to watch $500,000 worth of fireworks like up the sky non-stop for a full seven minutes. The fireworks were shot off from all four miles of the Strip, so there wasn’t a bad view anywhere! With all due respect to New York City for what they have been through, let’s do a little comparison:

Weather at midnight:

New York City: 24 degrees
Las Vegas: 42 degrees

Waiting factor:

New York City: Reports of people arriving 18 hours early to get a decent spot.
Las Vegas: I parked my car on the street 2 blocks from the Strip at 6 PM. (No … I’m not giving that spot away, LOL). Not one of the 265,000 people had a bad spot for fireworks viewing.

Party Factor:

New York City: Zero alcohol tolerance
Las Vegas: They were selling half gallon buckets (I kid you not) of beer right on the street. As long as it was in plastic, drink up!

Don’t take my word for the above — go view our New Year’s Eve bonus footage at (not part of this month’s regular program). We’ll see you next year here in Las Vegas!

Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year. If you are looking to whisk that special lady away to Las Vegas for the weekend, I’d book ASAP as hotels are filling up quickly. Check our rates at — our hotel partners buy rooms in bulk, in advance and thus can usually offer a better deal than contacting the hotel directly.

Congratulations to Rick Thomas on receiving the Academy of Magical Arts “Magician of the Year” award. Rick’s afternoon show at the Tropicana is value-priced but well worth seeing. My review and ticket info at

“Vegas Showgirls: Nearly Famous” is the new series on E! Entertainment Television (cable network) which follows four showgirls and two males through their daily lives both on and off the stage. Airing Monday night, check local listings for time.

We saw the new show Tease playing at Blue Note Showroom (Aladdin) and it was a lot of fun. It’s a very sexy musical comedy centered on the lives of dancers and other employees at a fictional strip club. There is enough jiggle for the guys (the show is just shy of topless — pasties are used), enough hunky actors for the ladies, and comedy that both will enjoy. Check ticket availability and prices at Well worth seeing!

Driving here from both Southern California and Phoenix is going to get easier over the next couple of years! Interstate 15 is being widened to 3 lanes (each way) all the way to the NV / CA border, and Nevada is working with California to expedite lane expansion on other parts of the route.

Those coming from Phoenix can celebrate: Right now, much of the drive is two lane road plus the long, winding path over Hoover Dam. Over the next two years, 50 miles of US 93 is being widened to 5 lanes, and straightened to accommodate a 65 mile per hour speed. 2005 will see the completion of the Hoover Dam bypass, a 4 lane road and bridge over the Colorado south of the dam.

Citizens Area Transit (CAT) Las Vegas bus system is offering service to from the Las Vegas Strip to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for NASCAR races this year. Full details at (Yes, the info is current — in the first paragraph, they mistakenly noted the dates from last year).

The cab drivers are still screwing you over. Despite a court order not to divert you (hard sell you a destination other than your own, or take you the “long way”), they keep doing it. Why my beef with the cabbies? Twice (out of 4 rides in the resort corridor) in the past two years I have personally been taken a longer way when traffic and the time of day didn’t warrant it. Not even close.

Review-Journal “Road Warrior” Michael Squires did a recent undercover story at As usual, my advice is to rent a car. The price of a few cab rides (especially ones that take the “long way”) will easily cover your rental, and you can go where you want on a whim.

Las Vegas is a hotbed of magic, and prominent local magicians Denny Haney and the husband/wife team Scott and Jenny Alexander have opened Denny and Lee Magic studios. Visit them in Las Vegas at 5115 S. Industrial #104 or online at

A quick tip of the hat to an acquaintance of mine, Larry Ahrens. Much of New Mexico has woken up to him on top-rated KKOB 770 AM for two decades, and he’s tossing his hat into the ring for governor. More info at

Free beach screensaver! It’s my pleasure to tell you about a comprehensive site I just completed for one of my favorite tourism destinations: Florida’s Emerald Coast. If you think of South Beach, Palm Beach, Tampa or other crowded, high-priced areas when someone says Florida, visit and get aquatinted with the Florida that is closer, less expensive, more beautiful, and less crowded. We have information, photos, and streaming videos. The free beach screensaver 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


LAS VEGAS DEALS – for January / February:

* Sahara — from $35.95 until 02/28/02
* Palms Casino Resort — from $59.95 until 02/28/02
* Fiesta Rancho Hotel Casino — from $29.95 until 02/28/02

All of these and more available at

CONDO SPECIALS – Driving in or renting a car, enjoy the luxury of a condo at prices that rival a hotel room:

Westgate Flamingo Bay features over 200 villas in a lush tropical oasis style complex. You’ll be only minutes from the world famous Las Vegas Strip. While on site, you’ll enjoy soaking in the hot tub or taking a swim in the outdoor pool. For your convenience laundry facilities are available on site.

Special Internet pricing and accommodation info for Westgate Flamingo Bay at

LOCAL NEWS – updated daily at

PREFER NOT TO FLY – and Vegas is too far to drive but you still want to visit a REAL gaming destination? We offer the same great discounts, guaranteed lower rates, and the $100 Rebate Spectacular for rooms in Atlantic City, Gulfport / Biloxi, and Reno as we do in Las Vegas!

* Atlantic City:
* Gulfport / Biloxi:
* Reno:

$100 HOTEL COUPON! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you a coupon for up to $100 back on any hotel stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. Full details at

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!


* 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


* SHOW REVIEWS – Read our unbiased, archived show reviews 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 lock up reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at



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


Your best hotel deals are the weeks when convention traffic is light. If you are flexible, check our convention calendar at before choosing the dates of your Las Vegas visit!


McCormick and Schmick’s — We have a $50 gift certificate to give away for this spectacular seafood house, located just a few blocks from the Strip on Restaurant Row (Flamingo and Paradise). Entry information in the February 2002 All Vegas TV show at


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All contents copyright 2002 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
January 22, 2002 ISSN: 1529-2770

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