Access Vegas Insider Vibe – July 5, 2000

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This Issue: Steve Wynn: Running Scared (book review)

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


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

HOTEL POOLS – Summertime is here, and many of the resorts have some magnificent pool areas to take the sting out of the heat. The R-J just did a great story (with 8 photos online) of many of the top resort pools at

VEGAS ON TV – The History Channel has an hour long special called Las Vegas Hotels this Friday evening. Check local listings for time. A couple of new prime-time TV shows set in Las Vegas debut this fall. “C.S.I” on CBS will be a cop show airing Friday nights before Nash Bridges (which had a great 2-part Vegas season finale) and the WB’s “Nikki” will be about an aspiring showgirl whose husband is trying to become a professional wrestler. (It sounds like a fun show, but I personally put the over/under on that one at about 13 weeks.) Other show pilots are being shot here and full story on all is at

ELVIS – RCA is releasing the three-CD Elvis Presley box set “That’s The Way It Is,” which features 66 live and unreleased tracks, including a full Las Vegas concert from August 1970 that was the subject of the documentary film of the same name. Plus, disc three sports tracks taped during rehearsals for that and other Las Vegas appearances. Full story at Even though the release is a few days away, you can order it at discount now from Amazon:

Long Box –
Box Set –

MIRAGE DOLPHIN HABITAT – There is a nice article about marine biologist Julie Wignall from the Mirage Dolphin habitat at It’s a great read for those who want to know about the habitat and it’s background. The habitat is a wonderful place, as well as somewhat of a best kept secret. Our review (with photos) is at

SOUTH CAROLINA – has decided to end all video gambling. Full story at To our friends in South Carolina, we want to extend a warm invitation to come to Las Vegas where we continue to give you great deals on room, food, and drink, and much higher percentage payback video poker than virtually any state-run game anywhere.

TEACHING JOBS – We’ve noted here and there that it’s not easy to move here right away and find a great job. Companies prefer to hire people who have shown a dedication to moving and staying here. However, the Clark County (Las Vegas and surrounding) school district is now the 6’th largest in the nation and every year they hire teachers from all over the country. Job info is at


Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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

JIMMY HOPPER is back in amore intimate setting after his brief run at The Luxor ended. Word is that he was offered an extension, but refused because of the 7:30 PM start time. The great news? He went (prior to that) from one of our favorite lounges in the Voodoo Lounge at The Rio to now playing the Fontana Lounge at Bellagio. Show runs from 10 PM to 2 AM and the price is right with no cover, two drink minimum. Don’t miss him!

SAHARA HOTEL-CASINO officials have announced that the show ôThe Rat Pack is Backö closes August 13th. Story at

Hard Rock – Don Henley on July 10, “Weird Al” Yankovic on July 27, Lenny Kravitz on July 28, No Doubt with Black Eyed Peas on July 31, B-52’s on Aug. 5, K.D. Lang Aug. 11, Jimmy Page plus The Black Crowes on Aug 16, and Culture Club on Nov. 14. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

Las Vegas Hilton – Engelbert Humperdinck July 11-16, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman in their “Together Again” tour July 28-29, Reba McEntire Sept. 14-17, Kenny Rogers Sept. 22-23, Steven Wright Oct. 7-8, and Tim Conway and Harvey Korman in their “Together Again” tour Oct. 19-21 (return engagement) and Jeff Foxworthy Nov. 30 – Dec. 3. Tickets are available at (800) 222-5361 and Las Vegas Hilton discount rooms are available at (Las Vegas Hilton link).

Mandalay Bay – Dan Folgelberg on Jul. 14, Hall and Oats on July 21, The Fixx on July 22, LeAnn Rimes on Jul. 28, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill on July 29, the BB King Blues Festival 2000 on Aug. 1, Kiss with Ted Nugent Aug. 2, Brian Setzer on Aug. 8, Duran Duran Aug. 25-26, Little Feat Sept. 22, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Sept. 29. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at (Mandalay Bay link).

MGM – Diana Ross and the Supremes Aug. 5, Penn and Teller July 27 – Aug. 9, Carrot Top Sept. 7 – 13, and Pearl Jam on Oct. 22. Tickets available at (800) 929-1111 and MGM discount rooms are available at (MGM link).

Riviera – Rich Little on Oct. 6 and 7, Tony Orlando on Oct. 13 and 14, Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling on Oct. 20 and 21. Tickets at (702) 794-9433 and Riviera discount rooms are available at (Riviera link).

The Orleans – The Everly Brothers on July 12, the Little River Band on Sept. 1-3, and The Everly Brothers Oct. 25-29. Tickets at (702) 365-7075 and Orleans discount rooms available at (The Orleans link).

Thomas & Mack – Korn, Powerman 5000 and Papa Roach on Aug. 9, Up In Smoke tour featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, and Eminem on Aug. 11, Red Hot Chili Peppers with Stone Temple Pilots on Sept. 13, AC/DC on Sept. 14, and Phish on Sept. 29. Tickets at (888) 464-2468. The Hard Rock hotel is within walking distance of the Thomas and Mack and Hard Rock discount rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

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

FEATURE STORY: Steve Wynn: Running Scared (book review)

While our newsletter appeals to hard-core Vegas visitors wanting to keep up on the latest, our feedback indicates that a number of you have subscribed in anticipation of your very first trip. You might read each week, going “What is all the fuss over this Steve Wynn guy, and who cares”?

Mr. Wynn is the man many feel responsible for inventing the new, high class Las Vegas. He was the brains and the CEO behind the Golden Nugget downtown, then built The Mirage at a time when Las Vegas was a town of cheap buffets, cheap rooms, smoky casinos with low ceilings — much more “Sin City” than it is today.

He has had his share of ups and downs, the latest being the buyout of Mirage Resorts company he built and his latest venture, the purchase of the Desert Inn. The book doesn’t cover the Bellagio era, nor the recent happenings.

Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith set out to write Running Scared: The life and Treacherous Times of Casino King Steve Wynn in 1994, and two lawsuits have resulted. The interesting thing is that the book in nowhere near as damning as one would think would bother the casino mogul, although it doesn’t paint him as a choirboy.

Alleged are friendships and close business relationships with people who are one step away from the mob and / or have had a history of very serious trouble with the police. His temper is chronicled, as well as purported sexual conquests running into the thousands with women ranging from celebrities to keno runners. It is a keen look at what it’s like to be what many consider (at least had up until recently) “the most powerful man in Nevada.”

The downside is that some there isn’t the in-depth analysis of how he pulled off some of his bigger business deals, but more of a “he knew these people that introduced him to these people who financed him” kind of thing. However, those details were probably kept to a minimum to provide an interesting read, and interesting it is. You get a pretty complete feel for how he grew up, developed his charm and ego, and how he is possibly the greatest salesman ever to step foot inside the state.

For those of you who long for stories on the old mob days, the alleged connections to organized crime figures provides quite a backdrop, dating back to the days of his father who ran bingo halls all over the eastern seaboard. If you love to soak up Las Vegas, especially the flash and dash, and hear about how one man took his “over-the-top” vision and made it a reality in everything he built, you’ll enjoy this. From his revamp of the Golden Nugget to the ostentatious Shadow Creek golf course (which had a membership of 1 — Mr. Wynn himself), it is covered.

If you are familiar with him, this book isn’t going to change your mind. Those that love him see it as a terrible account of the man who made Las Vegas what it is, and those who hate what they feel are his many abuses of power and being “above the law” will find plenty to fuel their fire.

Running Scared; The life and Treacherous Times of Casino King Steve Wynn is 330 pages, hardback and sells for $24 — not cheap, but less than 2 1/2 rolls of quarters (in Las Vegas terms). It’s a riveting read that I had trouble putting down, and I’d suggest it as a great way to get hyped on that next long car ride or plane flight here. It is available immediate shipment (24 hours) from Amazon.Com 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!


Rob writes:

>What is the best way to obtain quantity discounts on hotel packages?
>I have potentially 15-20 people who would like to make their way done
>in October 19th to October 22nd.á It would be great to stay at the
>same hotel.

For discount group hotel rates, call Hotel Reservations Network at 1-800-666-5268. Stay on the phone and talk to an operator — they don’t book group rates online.

>Amber Pelletier wrote:

>Dear Mr. Newkirk
>Every time I try to click on an address in your newsletter I get
>” There is an error in the link”
>Can you help me?
>Thank you in advance.

>Barb wrote:
>I’m a big fan of this email but what happened this week, at least half
>of the articles will not come through and I wanted desperately to
>write you about the coinless slots and instead of access news I get GE
>access.á Post it again so I can tell you opinion.

Unfortunately, I don’t have control over expiring or changing links. This
week there happened to be quite a few (The Sun articles, the jackpot
articles). In the future, I am going to try to just use Review-Journal
links as much as possible as they don’t expire. Also, the link to the online poll about coinless gaming has been corrected and is below in our Polls section.

Louise Fedoruk wrote:

>I thoroughly enjoy your newsletter.á There are 4 of us coming to Las
>Vegas in Oct and it has been really helpful.á Could you please let me
>know if there are any special events the week of Oct 8-12.á Some of
>the hotels are sold out already.á Thank you.

Spring and fall are prime times here with the great weather (often pool weather while the rest of the country is burning heating oil). When you add in events and conventions, the demand drives up the price. We strongly suggest adding to your favorites (AOL / WebTV) or bookmarks so you see which days or weeks have less convention traffic.

Paul Milsom wrote:

>I live in England UK and will be visiting Las Vegas in
>August 2000.
>I know that all cities in the world have areas with
>higher crime rates which people should avoid or take
>extra care in, yet no one volunteers this information
>in case they frighten the visitors off.
>Can you add a piece in your next news sheet to inform
>visitors of the Las Vegas areas to avoid and general
>safety tips.

The tourism areas of Las Vegas (as well as the city in general) are very safe. Casinos have both uniformed and plainclothes security inside and out. Plus, cameras are aimed at virtually every corner of the property, from the front door (including outside) to the back. The general safety precautions you take on any vacation should suit you well here. The only problem I have ever encountered in any tourist areas are the panhandlers downtown, and I just ignore them and keep walking. There is too much security for them to start yelling at you, or get in your face.

I would suggest not walking more than one block from the Fremont St. Experience downtown. Trust me, there is nothing to see outside the very safe casino areas, and once you get a few blocks from the tourist areas, downtown isn’t the most crime free. I also wouldn’t suggest wandering off down side streets on the Strip more than a block or two. While not a high crime area, there is no reason to take chances. The exceptions are generally Convention Center Drive from Stardust to the convention center, Flamingo Rd west to The Rio or east to The Maxim and Ellis Island, and Tropicana east to San Remo and Motel 6.

I’m not saying that everything else is a high crime area, but it’s always safer to stay in the tourist areas where there are lots of people around when in an unfamiliar city.

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at 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 – “If offered, would you prefer coinless slots?” Let’s hear your opinions at — results will be published next week!


Rules (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest): You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner. Just sent 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.

SNAP LAS VEGAS – Trip for 2 to Las Vegas, including two round trip coach class airline transportation from the closest major airport to the winner’s home, 3 days/2 nights accommodations at the Luxor hotel, 2 day rental car and entertainment package, which includes Stratosphere Tower pass, Stratosphere lunch buffet, admission to The American Superstars and admission to Viva Las Vegas. Enter at

RACING – Win a weeks trip for 2 to this years Las Vegas Motor Speedway Trans Am Series Race, Oct. 27-Nov. 3. Prize is 2 first-class, round-trip Delta Airlines tickets, overnight accommodations at AmeriSuites in Las Vegas, 2 tickets to the race (Oct. 29), plus other race giveaways. Enter at

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

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All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
July 5, 2000
ISSN: 1529-2770

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