Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 28, 2001

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This Issue: Blue Man Group

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

EDITORS NOTE: You complained and we listened! Our tours page at was too confusing to use, making you click through three pages to book. Now, click on the booking link for a tour, enter your dates, and immediately see a list of all tours available for your dates with prices and availability posted.LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

THE PALMS – is the name of the new boutique hotel / casino going in across the street from The Rio. With a combination of trendy dance clubs and high end dining, they are looking to challenge The Hard Rock, The Rio, and Mandalay Bay as the “in” spot for the young, trendy crowd with deep pockets. Full story at

STORM – The delays in Mandalay Bay’s new show is attributed to additional building inspections following some design changes during the construction of the set as well as the production not being completely ready yet. Story at

BETTING BAN – Your US Senators and Congressmen are working on legislation to outlaw all betting on college sports (something only legal in the state of Nevada). They are doing this at the urging of the NCAA, who are absolutely positive that once legal college sports betting is killed, all college sports betting will cease to exist.

If you enjoy betting college sports under the safe, controlled atmosphere that Nevada provides, drop your US legislators a quick note letting them know you oppose the federal government telling Nevada what they can offer wagering on. Story at and you can find your representatives email addresses at

WE’VE GOT POWER – Regarding the possibility of The Strip going dark this summer, Mark Shank, Nevada Power Co.Æs director of regional transmission, said the difference between keeping the lights on here and California’s rolling blackouts comes down to paying the bills, something California has been struggling with for months. ôWe’ve already secured our contracts for this summer. We’re well prepared for the peak operating hours facing us in the coming months.ö Full story at

How much juice does a casino use? The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinal had an interesting story on that at

MORE CASINOS – A Las Vegas legislator has proposed a bill that would allow Strip-area time share projects to have casinos, but knowledgeable sources say the bill will likely face opposition from the gaming industry. The hotel/casinos will probably oppose it, not wanting any competition. It would allow places like The Jockey Club and Polo Towers (among others) on The Strip to offer gaming.

The customer usually wins with more casino opportunities. Some of the best blackjack rules and loosest slots in the US are in Nevada because of competition. Story 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:

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CONCERTS AND SHOWS:CATCH A RISING STAR – The comedy club has debuted in Las Vegas at The Excalibur. This version of the popular comedy club promises to continue their tradition of bringing in nationally known comics and seasoned professionals. Shows are twice nightly at 7:30 PM and 10:00 PM and priced at $16.95. Guests must be 21.

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* De La Guarda (Rio) –

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

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DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* P.F. Chang’s (Aladdin) –

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

Thursday – 82 ░F / 53 ░F Partly Cloudy
Friday – 85 ░F / 52 ░F Mostly Sunny
Saturday – 81 ░F / 48 ░F Mostly Sunny
Sunday – 79 ░F / 49 ░F Mostly Sunny
Monday – 84 ░F / 52 ░F Mostly Sunny

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If you are at Luxor in the evening and see people walking around covered in (what looks like) toilet paper, don’t assume they lost a fight in the restroom. They were just at Blue Man Group. While I hate to give away too much about shows like this, the finale is each night is a celebration that must single-handedly keep a paper mill in business.

Blue Man Group is theater, but not the kind you might expect. After success in New York, Boston, and Chicago this troop pulled out all the stops for Las Vegas, where the Luxor gave them twice as many seats to fill.

What is Blue Man Group? Space aliens from Nevada’s notorious Area 51 “secret” military base? Were the sent here to study us or overwhelm us? Perhaps a little of both.

Blue Man Group consists of three men in skullcaps and cobalt blue face (and head) paint which stays wet, giving them an eerie “alive from the inside out” look. They never speak. They do act and react.

The show is artistic and colorful, but in a very abstract way. It opens with them beating on drums as they squirt neon colored water on the other’s drum in amazement at the colorful splash.

From there, a simple game of catch is played across the stage, with one of the members tossing colored food objects at the other two for them to catch with their mouths. One of them paints a pretty canvas using colored fluid projected from his mouth, while the other creates a “sculpture” from the foodstuff and finishes this act with what is insightful commentary on modern art.

This progresses to more entertainment with food, where Cap’n Crunch cereal is consumed and crunched to the beat of the heavily rhythmic music performed by a live band. Not any band, mind you, but one that performs dressed in bright neon outfits far above the stage. The multitude of colors that make up the cereal blend with in with the constant color themes we continue to be exposed to.

The food theme is retained for one more segment that is the most comedic of the show. Imagine how someone who has never seen a twinkie before would get it out of the wrapper, let alone eat it. They seem mystified with each other and what they are doing, but that only serves to set the audience up. We get lulled into a mellow, curious, slightly comedic mindset — then our senses are attacked full force.

Fortunately, they balance this assault with more musical segments that rely on a multitude of instruments which it appears they have created. These are adaptations of age-old percussion instruments except that they are made from PVC pipe. They have become quite adept at playing these, and in conjunction with the live band they produce some great electric music. So much so, that their debut CD (the soundtrack to the Vegas show) was nominated for a Grammy this past year.

There is more drumming, more neon, more interesting interaction with the audience, and more bizarreness (in a good way), but I’ve held back to not ruin the fun. This is not your typical “sit there and watch someone sing and tell jokes show,” but it isn’t as off-the-wall (no pun intended) as De La Guarda.

If you are mildly adventurous, have your finger on the basics of the pop culture of the past couple of decades, and don’t mind being visually and sonically assaulted to a degree, this is a show you will not only tell your friends about, but want to come back and see again. Like a good movie, I can only imagine all I missed the first time around.

It is an all-ages show, but much of it would be lost on preteens and while containing no language or vile acts, the show might overwhelm children. The Grammy nominated soundtrack is available at Click on the Blue Man link to hear free samples — “Rods and Cones” is my personal favorite!

Blue Man Group Ticket Info

EDITORS NOTE: Not since the “Kids in Vegas” (should you bring them or not) has a topic generated as much controversy. While space doesn’t allow me to print every letter, the ones below are a representative sample regarding the strong feelings on this topic. Because of that, I’m leaving the “Smoking in Casinos” poll up an extra week at On another note, a sampling of readers were kind enough to share what activities they do to maximize romance in Las Vegas.LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Regarding Smoking in Casinos:

Ida Koo of San Jose, California wrote:

> Unfortunately, one of the most annoying, disgusting and smelly parts
> of casinos prevents me from going more often. And that’s “smoking.”
> I voted in the poll for “smoking” in casinos. I voted for banning it
> entirely. And I also checked out the results so far. I see that
> requiring casinos to have Nonsmoking areas is up front for the time
> being.
> Requiring Casinos to have nonsmoking areas just doesn’t work.
> Casinos in Reno have tried this before. It means being confined to
> one tiny little area that is allotted for nonsmokers with very little
> variety and frankly, what is perceived as very little prospects of
> winning large jackpots. I like to move around and scope out a slot
> machine and then sit down and settle in. Nonsmoking areas would
> probably work for crap tables because they could have one in the midst
> of all the other tables. It helps but its not great. But there’s
> usually only one and its always packed.
> Thank you for giving me a place to go to voice my opinion.

Kim and Dave Paterson of Concord, Ohio wrote:

> Ted, A friend told us about your newsletter several months ago and
> since that time we have been receiving and enjoying your newsletters.
> Regarding the smoking in the casinos issue, as nonsmokers and Las
> Vegas visitors 2-3 times a year for the last twenty-five years, we
> have encountered many situations where smoking has disrupted our
> pleasure of enjoying our visit to certain casinos. We have noticed
> the emergence of nonsmoking areas in casinos but this is not a
> cure-all because it limits the full scope of a casino. We feel (our
> suggestion) is that casinos provide better ventilation systems so that
> smokers and nonsmokers can enjoy the same areas and not offend each
> other. Keep up the good work.

Olivia Wilkin of Dayton, OH wrote:

> Hi there! I really enjoy the newsletter.
> I just returned from my first visit to Las Vegas and I was THRILLED to
> find one place left in the US that actually values freedom. It was
> wonderful to be able to smoke in almost every area of the city. I was
> a little surprised to see the response to your poll; so many
> indicating that smoking should be banned. I spoke with several
> nonsmokers in Vegas who said that they were surprised that the smoking
> didn’t bother them; that the casinos were well ventilated. I will
> refrain from going into my usual three hour rant about the way that
> nonsmokers feel that they have rights and that smokers do not. I am
> actually considering moving to Vegas partly due to this freedom. I
> can see the higher end strip hotels creating more smoking policies,
> but I think that the smaller and downtown hotels will stay true to
> customers!
> Thank you!

Regarding Romance in Las Vegas:

Linda wrote:

> I would have to say it was room service. Their you are in the morning
> with a great meal delivered to you both practically in bed. We
> happened to enjoy the time at the Imperial Palace due to the fact we
> could open the door and look out over the balcony.

I recently read an article on an airplane magazine noting that women enjoy and are more likely to indulge in room service. I’m not singling out women, and when I am tired and don’t want the hassle I enjoy ordering room service myself. But men take note — your lady might appreciate the pampered privacy of a quiet meal with you in your room!

Maureen Cullen wrote:

> For cocktails, the best romantic spot I’ve been to is The Peppermill,
> on the strip toward downtown. Though it’s pretty well-known, it never
> seems to be that crowded, and the tourist masses don’t seem to know
> about it. The lounge is very quiet, dimly lit, with really cool,
> kitschy “rat pack” era design, cocktail waitresses in evening gowns,
> and fireplaces. There’s a restaurant adjacent, with great food, huge
> portions, cheap prices, but it’s not quite as romantic as the lounge.
> Looking forward to others’ responses too!

Peppermill is across from Stardust (just up the street a couple hundred yards). It is indeed a special spot that is usually frequented by locals even though it has a Strip location.

Down toward the other end of the Strip, Polo Towers (behind and just down from the Harley Cafe) has a 19’th floor lounge open to the public with a great view after dark (otherwise the sun blinds the view). Not quite the atmosphere or Peppermill, but the view makes up for it. It is truly a local’s secret, as the lounge is rarely crowded. Free and worth checking out. Just head through the strip mall in front of the resort, head in, grab an elevator, and punch the top floor button.

Sam Profio wrote:

> I have a few suggestions some of which could be combined:
> 1. Dinner on the balcony at Olives in the Bellagio. Make reservation
> for after dark. You will have an incredible view and sound of their
> spectacular fountains. Since there are something like 6 to 8
> different consecutive fountain shows, you enjoy the fountains during
> your entire meal.
> Making reservations is a little tricky when I did it last May. They
> only take them beginning at 5:00 PM and then only in person. You must
> go to the hostess stand at 5:00 PM and get in line. It was not a long
> wait and we got our reservation for that evening.
> 2. Go to the Stratosphere tower just before dusk. Watch the sunset
> over the desert & mountains. Stunning. And then watch the strip
> lights come alive, as it gets darker. While you are there anyway, you
> could also make a reservation for dinner just after dusk one deck
> lower in the Stratosphere’s revolving restaurant. Great view all
> night. Turns slow. You won’t get sick.
> 3. Later, you might want to
> have an after dinner drink at Rio’s Voodoo Lounge outside on their
> patio. It is 52 floors up and also has a very impressive but totally
> different view of the South end of the strip. Their restaurant on the
> 51st floor is also very good and also has an outdoor patio with
> basically the same great view.
> 4. There’s always the Gondola ride at
> the Venetian before dinner to get things rolling. Make a reservation!
> 5. Women love to shop. Take her through the canal shops at the
> Venetian prior to the Gondola ride. Buy her some jewelry. She can
> admire it and you while you cuddle together in the boat.
> Enjoy!

It sounds like Sam has a happy lady, and I will “second” everything he just said.

Edward N. Brothers wrote:

> My girlfriend at the time (now my fiance) and went to Emeril Lagasse’s
> at the Venetian, and had the best meal of our lives. We had a waiter
> named Troy who was knowledgeable and helpful without being arrogant.
> It really was the perfect evening.

I reviewed Delmonico at and agree wholeheartedly. To sum this all up, I think it’s tough NOT to have a romantic time in Las Vegas with so many fun things to do, elegant restaurants, and various vistas.

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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.

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

ONLINE POLL – How do you feel about smoking in casinos? Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published next issue!* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 28, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

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