Access Vegas Insider Vibe – July 18, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 50 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This weekly newsletter is free and only sent to those who request it. If you receive this by mistake or wish off our list, simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this to friends and associates in its entirely. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click)

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms :
* Discount Rental Cars:
* Condos and Vacation Rentals:
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more:
* Airline Tickets, Specials:
* Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Reservation Hotline: 1-800-666-5268

THIS WEEK’S CITY ON SALE: Orlando — rates starting at $65.95! Choose from Best Western Lake Buena Vista, Caribe Royale, Radisson Plaza Hotel, Hyatt Orlando, Doubletree Club, Disney Celebration Hotel and more. For details, click

VEGAS SPECIAL: Las Vegas’ Excalibur rates from $75.95!, Sun-Thurs. – 7/02/01 – 7/31/01:

HOTEL MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas hotel opinions!

(New expanded message board coming in one week.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THIS ISSUE: WB Stage 16 Restaurant

EDITOR NOTES: We’re still publishing biweekly (more or less!) through the end of the summer. The good news is that the new, comprehensive message board so many of you have requested will be up in one week. Meetings this past week regarding the extensive internet video projects have been going well. Spokesmodel Elizabeth Russo is on board and I feel will be a great asset. Las Vegas chef John Guinivere will be providing video profiles of many of the great culinary offerings this town offers, and himself has a great site with informative cooking videos, recipes and more at

There are sites besides ours that have short video clips of the Bellagio Fountains and similar that you have to surf all over the net to find, but we are going to archive substantial video information all in one place with regular updates! For those who have shown interest in getting involved but have not sent me their info (portfolio or voice-over samples), please do so soon as we are moving steadily ahead.

Finally, we want to welcome Casino Perks to our family of advertisers. They have also given us a couple of their great coupon books to give away this week in the contest section. Right now as an introductory offer, we are giving away free ads in the newsletter to those who buy inexpensive paid links in our main directories. Full info on both paid and free links at

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

SHADOW – The new lounge at Caesars Palace tries to capitalize on the new upscale lounge trend in town. The bartenders are unbelievably skilled a la Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail. They don’t just pour a drink. They flip, juggle, shake, behind the back, you name it. The lounge is gaining notoriety because behind the bar, topless female dancers apparently clad in only a bikini or thong bottom dance behind a translucent screen, backlit so that you can only see their shadow. Unfortunately, the lounge misses the mark with an atmosphere that is much too bright and airy. This may attract the regular Caesars patron, but no one is going to be leaving Venetian’s V-Bar in favor of Shadow.

FREE MARGARITA – at Casino Royale (between Harrah’s and The Venetian) to anyone showing out-of-state ID at the main bar. If you drive here or rent a car, also take advantage of their parking garage right behind the small casino. It is steps from The Strip and sits half empty even on weekends — truly a best kept secret!

FLOATING CRAPS GAME – Former Las Vegas News Bureau photographer Don English, shot a floating craps table game recently at the Stratosphere pool. It was a recreation of a photo from the 50’s. The event was part of the Stratosphere’s promotion marking the opening of its new $75 million, 1,000-room tower. Photo at

SHOWGIRLS – “Las Vegas Showgirls: Making It” begins a three-week shoot Wednesday, focusing on six “Jubilee!” dancers, four women and two men, on- and offstage. The six range in age from 19-year-old Laine, a college student who moonlights as a showgirl, to 31-year-old Tammi, who’s engaged to a divorced firefighter with two children. Story at

EXPENSIVE TASTE – So much for Las Vegas as a cheap place to get a meal: The 2001-2002 Zagat Survey of local restaurants reports the average cost of dinner here has risen to $32.42, including one drink, tax and tip. That’s up from $25.70 last year and $20.80 in 1997. Technically, the 2001 survey places Las Vegas eighth in the Zagat universe, behind Tokyo, London, Paris and four areas in and near New York City. Full story at

SHOWS PRICES – Not only does it cost a few more bucks to eat, but ticket prices rise with each year. Ironically, the highest price shows are the toughest tickets in town to get. The Review-Journal just ran three articles about shows, how they are prices, and what goes on behind the scenes to drive these prices:

FOOTBALL – isn’t far off, and now is the time to scope out the weekends you might want to be in town to do some serious sports betting! Howard Schwartz of the Gambler’s Book Club has suggested a number of great football betting books at UNLV games will be on the board for the first time this year, which will make local games more interesting (with fans rooting in droves for them to run up the score, or fans staying at a game that is essentially over hoping to see if a team covers or not). Also, the Imperial Palace is already taking bets on a number of big college games slated for the fall. Full story on both these topics at

BRITNEY SPEARS – wants everyone to know she’s not a little girl anymore. That’s the message in her third album, due out Nov. 6, and her live concert special from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas airing Nov. 18 on HBO. Full story at

DRINKING AND GAMBLING – Dear Mark: What is the best game to play when your main goal is to get free drinks from the casino over an extended period? Is the location of where you play relative to the number of drinks you can get?
— Alex W. Dear Alex: I want to preface my response by first making this extremely important point. Free drinks (chip remover), which have always been part of the casino ambiance, speeds up the process of losing. All bets are off on the quality of your play when influenced by alcoholic beverages. Remainder at

BROTHELS – Although it is banned in Las Vegas and Reno — and 49 states — prostitution is legal in 10 of Nevada’s 17 counties. A remnant of the old West, it is not only tolerated, but often embraced. Full story at In related news, a Pahrump brothel (60 miles west of Las Vegas) wants to turn their brothel into a major resort. Story at

MAKING YOUR BED – The fastest bedmaker in the west wrapped things up during the 22nd annual bedmaking competition at the Las Vegas International Hotel and Restaurant Show last month with a time of 1 minute, 24 seconds. With only four months’ experience as a housekeeper at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Blanca Vasquez, 27, beat out 200 participants from 13 hotels to win a Serta mattress set. Full story at

FIREFIGHTERS WANTED – The cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas are preparing a joint recruitment for the position of Firefighter Trainee in the first quarter of the year 2002. A person who is interested in this type of career must possess an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) certification, valid driver’s license, high school diploma or equivalent, be 18 years or older and must meet current physical condition requirements on the date of appointment. For more information about this recruitment,

FASHION SHOW – The mall just north of Treasure Island is underway with a major expansion which will include a 600-foot-long canopy structure (which also looks to offer some great shade to the area). Story and photo at

YOUR LOST STUFF – Most visitors, at the end of their stay, leave something on the Strip, usually in the form of money. But others take it a step further and leave clothes, luggage, microwave ovens, coffeepots, prosthetic limbs, dentures, house keys and other items. Some are heartbroken over their loss, and try to trace their steps in hopes of finding what they treasure. Full story at

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at ). 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!

WINNERS! – Frank Scimia of Diamond Bar, CA won the autographed Sheena Easton Poster. Judy Reitz of Fulton, NY and Mark Viness of Doraville, GA won the David Darkstone packages including shirt, poster, and show passes.

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

CONCERTS AND SHOWS:CARMEN ELECTRA – Former “Baywatch” star and Playboy model Carmen Electra has signed a two-year deal to star in her own show on the Las Vegas Strip. Story at

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Michael Holly Off-The-Wall Comedy Hour (Sahara)
* Skintight (Harrah’s) –


* SHOW TICKETS – 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
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – BookVegas let’s you grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Click to
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at


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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* House Of Blues Sunday Gospel Brunch (Mandalay Bay) –
* Pamplemousse (near The Sahara) –

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 6 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Sunday – 104 ░F / 75 ░F Sunny
Monday – 104 ░F / 77 ░F Sunny
Tuesday – 105 ░F / 76 ░F Sunny
Wednesday – 104 ░F / 78 ░F Sunny
Thursday – 107 ░F / 80 ░F Sunny

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FEATURE STORIES: WB Stage 16 Restaurant

Warner Brothers may conjure up images of cartoon characters, but the studio has released some of the more noted movies of our time. In particular, Stage 16 on the Warners lot was home to the creation of popular motion pictures like Casablanca, Ocean’s 11, My Fair Lady, and the Batman films. These films and others are the basis for the theme of this upscale eatery in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian hotel.

However, let’s talk about the food first. Unlike most theme restaurants serving up overpriced truck stop fare, the quality and variety of Stage 16 is fantastic. Sure, you pay for it (and for the atmosphere we’ll discuss in a minute), but it’s a dining experience worth the time and money.

Fortunately, those of more moderate hunger (and budgets) aren’t left out. Sandwiches are served with Jalapeno Slaw and Vegetable Chips and include Honey Glazed Turkey and Borgonzola “Santa Barbara” ($11.75), Grilled Portabella and Buffalo Mozzarella Panni ($10.75), Stage 16 Burger ($9.25), Shrimp Caesar Wrap ($11.75), Lemon Pepper Swordfish Sandwich ($12.95), and Tuscan Herb Crusted Chicken Sandwich ($10.75). A variety of Brick Oven Flatbreads including Oak Roasted Chicken and Stuffed Lasagna Pizza run in the $11-13.00 range. Noodles selections include Angel Hair Pomodoro, Linguine Pronto, Vanilla Seared Shrimp and others ranging from $10.95 to $23.95.

Appetizers include Rock Shrimp and Corn Chowder ($6.95), Petaluna Escargot and Wild Mushrooms ($9.75), Avodacado and Brie Bruschetta ($10.75), Wok Fried Duck Spring Rolls ($9.95), Sesame Seared Tuna ($11.95) and Caviar (market price.) Salads are al la cart and include House ($6.95), Roasted Garlic and Herb Hearts of Palm ($8.75), Oriental Chicken Chop Salad ($10.75), Classic Caesar ($8.25), Mediterranean Salad ($12.95), and Candied Pecan, Apple and Watercress Salad ($9.25).

The dinner menu shines with standard dining selections like Prime Rib ($20.95 10 oz. and $32.95 for 14 oz.), Cracked Pepper Filet Mignon ($29.95), Herb and Garlic Crusted Lamb Chops ($28.95), Lemon Herb Barbecued Salmon ($21.95), Ancho Cinnamon Pork Tenderloin ($24.95), Cola Barbecued Half Chicken ($18.95), and Fish and Chips ($19.95). More artistic selections include Grilled Chicken and Apricot Kebobs ($16.95), Turkey and Shitake Mushroom Meatloaf ($15.75), Lobster and Wild Mushroom Strudel ($29.95), and Basalmic Wild Mushroom Studded New York Strip Loin ($28.95).

A children’s section of the menu includes younger diner favorites like Crispy Crunchy Chicken Strips, Sound Stage 16 Burger, Country Style Corn Dogs, Herb Crusted Lemon Sole, and even a full line of Beachnut Baby Products for $7.95 (per selection).

The atmosphere? Hard to put into words, but a key part of the meal. Diners are seated on one of four unique rooms, each themed to a certain film. “Gotham City” is the set that served as the background for the climatic face-off between Batman and The Joker complete with sound and lighting effects (noticeable but not obtrusive enough to undermine a nice dinner). The “We’re in the Money” room is from the film Gold Diggers of 1933 taking diners back to another era of film production. “Las Vegas 60’s Lounge” is straight from Ocean’s 11 and takes you back to the Rat Pack era. My favorite? “Rick’s American Cafe” interior from Casablanca. You truly feel that you walked onto the original movie set 55 years later.

I’ve enjoyed WB Stage 16 alone, with friends, and clients and have yet to have a bad meal or sample a dish that wasn’t up to par. And after dinner (or if you already dined somewhere else), Jacks Velvet Lounge upstairs in the restaurant is a must. It features both enclosed and outdoor areas and provides a front row view of The Strip overlooking The Mirage and the volcano in the distance as well as the canals along the entrance of the Venetian.

WB Stage 16 is upstairs in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, just at the top of the escalators which take you from the main casino floor to the shopping area. They are open for lunch and dinner every day. Reservations are suggested at (702) 414-1699 as the restaurant does occasionally play host to private parties and film screenings.


>Rumor has it that slot machines placed at the end of rows, or in the
>aisles, or placed anywhere where they would be easily seen to players
>pay off better. The reason for this would be so that as people walk
>by, they would be more likely to see a machine pay off. Whereas a
>machine located somewhere like while you’re waiting in line or at the
>airport would not pay off as well, because you are less likely to
>spend any length of time at such a machine.
>I have also heard that this is merely a myth. Casino’s know it so
>they create smaller banks of machines on their floor plan to allow for
>”more aisle” machines.

I have no inside info on this or I’d be down playing slots instead of running my little web “empire” here. I understand it was true at one time, but I’ve also heard that casinos have now played on that myth forever. I will say this: I’ve never seen a people winning on the machines close to the ladies room, where the men are killing time waiting for their significant other!

I would also avoid playing two machines at one time, as I’ve read much on how staggering loose and tight machines causes people to take from one and give to the other. The slots at the airport are tight simply because they aren’t trying to give enough back to encourage return business. You are stuck, you are only there because you have to be, and they know that.

M. Comer wrote:

>I was in LV this past weekend (5th-7th) mainly to do some
>shopping (not a great success) and to see the downtown everyone was
>talking about. I was not disappointed. Except for the rain, I was
>thoroughly impressed by the new design, unobstructed sidewalks,
>mid-street crossing, the safe and welcome feeling. If given the
>chance, I would have pulled up a little table and chair right in the
>middle of the “street” and people-watched. The strip is exciting (as
>it should be), but to enjoy LV at a little more leisurely pace, try
>Fremont Street, downtown. It has its own brand of class. You can
>always go back to the crowd, noise and traffic later (I did – much

Allen Waterman wrote:

>I just wanted to give you an update on the “O” situation I talked
>about in my trip report you printed in your last issue. I sent them
>an e-mail stating my disappointment with the staff and they refunded
>my ticket costs. I was very pleased with the way the Bellagio handled

Elizabeth wrote:

>Hi Ted, Just a note to say how much I enjoy reading your newsletter.
>Since moving to AZ we visit Vegas quite often. I must say that I have
>become very disenchanted with the Strip. I don’t expect to leave a
>big winner (would be nice) but I at least would like to have a little
>more bang for my buck so to speak. I used to be able to play for
>several hours with the money that I now spend in a few. Have you
>heard of any changes in the slot machine payoffs? I do like to play
>Craps but that can get costly at times. On our way to Mammoth Lakes,
>we spent the night in Vegas and stayed at the Texas Station. I had
>more fun there, it reminded me of the Vegas of old. In fact, I hit a
>royal flush something I haven’t done on the strip in probably 10 years
>or more. We think the food is good, it has a very large and player
>friendly casino. I look forward to your issue listing the best
>buffets in Vegas. Looking forward to your input. Thanks again for
>your great newsletter. I look forward to seeing your name in my

I seldom cover anything away from The Strip or downtown because the vast majority of Vegas visitors never leave these tourist areas. However, I have talked to a number of people like yourself who visit often, have a car, and enjoy staying at one of the “local’s” casinos a few miles away from The Strip. Because these properties cater to locals who are very savvy, play regularly, and spread plenty of word-of-mouth among their friends, they have to offer looser slots, great service, and good food deals all the time. We have these casinos and hotel specifically listed at

A O’Neal wrote:

>I read all of your mail about visitor’s to Las Vegas. I have been
>visiting the city several times a year for the past 38 years. Big is
>not always better. Downtown the little corner hotel & casino know as
>”The Las Vegas Club” is a winner. The staff, dealers, (all
>employee’s) go out of their way to make one feel at home. It’s a
>hidden Winner!

I agree — when you put together the low room rates, good downtown location, low limits, and regular food specials the Las Vegas Club gives plenty of bang for the buck. You can read more about Las Vegas Club and check rates at

Tony and Carol in Southampton, England wrote:

>Your newsletter is great
>and keeps us up to date with all the news. We have been to Las Vegas
>twice, last year and the year before staying at the Stratosphere
>hotel. We had a wonderful time, going in and out all the hotels, the
>Fremont Experience and the Liberace Museum. We caught the trolley bus
>one evening that stops at all the hotels, went down as far as he
>Bellagio and slowly walked back up the strip back to the Stratosphere,
>going in and out the hotels on our way. Also calling in at some of
>the Wedding Chapels which were lovely. The view from the top of the
>Stratosphere tower is brilliant, but did not try The Big Shot or the
>Rollercoaster!!! We are looking forward to coming again next year May
>2002, which we have already booked our holiday for.

The only problem with The Strat is that location at the top end of The Strip. You do need to rent a car or relegate yourself to the Strip Trolley or city bus. However, it has great restaurants, good gaming, and I love that tower. I’m up there every couple of months just to enjoy the view. Plus, both American Superstars and Viva Las Vegas (both reviewed at ) offer a great value.

Carol Helmholz of Tucson, Arizona wrote:

>A friend and I just visited Las Vegas for the first time in 30 years.
>You can imagine the changes! We stayed at the Bellagio, which was
>wonderful. The rooms were lovely, and I particularly liked the wide
>walkways through the casino, as opposed to having to wend your way
>around the slot machines in other hotel/casinos. And of course every
>time we went through the lobby, we stared in awe at Dale Chihuly’s
>beautiful glass sculpture ceiling. The absence of the cheapening neon
>in the lobby and casino was especially nice (as opposed to the MGM
>Grand and others).
>I was interested to see with this newsletter the review of the exhibit
>of Steve Martin’s art collection. We were expecting to see Steve
>Wynn’s collection, but were pleasantly surprised at how much we
>enjoyed Martin’s. I am wondering what will appear at the Bellagio
>museum after Martin’s exhibit leaves in September? I noticed in The
>Venetian the signs advertising the coming of the Guggenheim-Hermitage
>Museum. Who would have ever believed there would be quality art
>exhibits in Las Vegas!!
>The greatest change we noticed, besides the wonderful new hotels, is
>the attitude towards food. Thirty years ago, food in Las Vegas was
>sort of secondary — the cheaper the better. Now we can enjoy eating
>in “branches” of some of the finest restaurants in the country. We
>enjoyed dinners at “Circo” in the Bellagio, “Onda” at the Mirage, and
>”Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House” in the MGM Grand. We also
>enjoyed the Bellagio Buffet.
>The show at the Bellagio, Cirque du Soleil’s “O,” was outstanding. I
>would highly recommend it for all ages. Because they are a “Las Vegas
>Institution,” we went to the Siegfried & Roy Show. Some of the
>effects and production numbers were quite “hokey” and even the two
>stars seemed uncomfortable in the settings. The best was when they
>had their animals on stage or were doing traditional magic. We had
>made advance reservations for those two shows, but were delighted to
>find that Tom Jones was performing while we were there, and we were
>able to get tickets. He is amazing at his age (60?). He still looks
>good, and his voice is as strong and good as ever. Enjoyed seeing
>I definitely plan to not wait 30 years for my next visit to Las Vegas!

Thanks for the great report! You have inspired our poll this week at — “When was your last visit to Las Vegas?”

++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) 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.


ONLINE POLL – “When was your last visit to Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published next issue!Results from last poll: “Which Las Vegas hotel has the nicest lobby?”

Bellagio 42%
Mirage 19%
Mandalay Bay 12%
Paris 9%
Luxor 8%
Monte Carlo 4%
New York, New York 2%


CASINO PERKS – We have two Casino Perks coupon books to give away! Each book contains over 1,000
worth of 2 for 1 Show, Dining, Family Fun, Blackjack Matchplay and Car Rentals discounts for Las Vegas. Enter by sending a blank email to (contest closed) One entry per person, you must be a newsletter subscriber to win. Deadline for entries: Tuesday, July 24, 2001. Winners will be chosen in a random drawing from all eligible entries received before deadline and be notified by email.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at:

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
July 18, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

No related links found
Posted in Las Vegas News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .