Access Vegas Insider Vibe – September 18, 2002

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THIS ISSUE: Reader Feedback and Interactive Information Forums


* SHOWS – listings available at Shows
* HEADLINERS – listings available at Headliners
* CONCERTS – listings available at Concerts

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

Hello from Las Vegas! The weather has been stunning, with high temps failing to hit the 100 degree (F) mark and evenings very comfortable while never getting cold.

As noted, I flew on the anniversary of 9/11 this year from Portland, Oregon back home to Las Vegas. Both airports were very empty, and everyone on my flight got an entire row to themselves (with empty rows left over). More important than the elbow room was the ability to show my respect to those lost by not letting terrorism deter my plans. I got to visit family (including my 95 year old Great Aunt) and support the airlines on a tough day, making it a very personally rewarding trip.

We’ve been working day and night on our new Las Vegas Interactive Information Forums. So much is always happening in Las Vegas, and you guys always send such great feedback. Now we can feature more of both. Let’s get started!

WORLD RECORD JACKPOT – $8.4 million: A Santa Ana, CA man celebrated his 70th birthday on Sept. 4th by winning the world’s largest 25 cent slot jackpot. Manuel Herrera was playing Wheel Of Fortune at the Flamingo Laughlin when he won the $8.4 million jackpot. Herrera is a retired restaurant worker who was visiting Laughlin with his family and hit with $30 invested.

That same evening, and nearby 25 cent Elvis slot machine was hit for $131,000 also at Flamingo Laughlin. Information on Laughlin hotels and casinos is available at If you have hit a jackpot in Las Vegas (it doesn’t have to be a huge one), tell us about it at

VEGAS ON TV – When is Las Vegas not on TV is the question! Seems when traveling I can’t flip the channels without seeing home. However, two shows to mark on your calendar: Tonight “American Idol In Vegas” films at the MGM and will air on FOX network this Monday Sept. 23.

Also, MTV’s Real World shot their latest season at The Palms over spring and summer. The cast stayed in a 28th floor penthouse suite specifically designed for the show, and worked at the casino as cocktail servers and other jobs. The suite has been left intact and is available for rent $5,000 for a weeknight and $7,500 weekend rate. Episodes are now airing Tuesday nights on MTV. Check local listings for time and channel for both shows.

YOUR OPINION COUNTS – You only have a little longer to vote in this month’s AccessVegas.Com “Best Of” Monthly Poll. This month’s questions is: “What is the best Las Vegas “Local’s” Casino? Cast your vote at Also, we are taking nominations to find the your favorite casino lounge (not nightclub) with live music and a great atmosphere. Fire us a quick email about yours to (click)

FREE SMOOTH JAZZ – continues to be popular on Tuesday evenings at The Orleans in Brendan’s Pub. These events kick off around 6 PM and feature free, live music throughout the evening. This Tuesday (Sept. 24) is the CD release party for Las Vegas artist Woody Woods. Woods has performed and recorded with artists like Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Drifters, The Platters, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Preston, and many more. The Orleans is about 1.5 miles west of The Strip on Tropicana Blvd.

NASCAR – Race weekend is February 28th to March 3rd, 2003 and if you are a NASCAR fan you know that it is never too early to grab good seats for coming races. Be the envy of your buddies (or tell them to get their finger out of their nose and join you) here in Las Vegas.

We’ve got a special package including 3 days/2 nights first class accommodation plus weekend ticket packages which include:

– General Admission to Pole Day (Friday)
– Same reserved seat in Section 3, Blue OR White level for both:
– Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series (Saturday), and
– NASCAR Winston Cup Event (Sunday)

This event sells out quickly every year and even if you get tickets, you often have to scramble for a room. Take advantage now at

SNAKE BABE – Comedy magician Roger Lee along with “America’s Sexiest Magician” Snake Babe perform Monday nights at 11:30 PM in the Riviera’s Le Bistro Theatre. You may recognize Lee as the “plumbing guy” in Home Base commercials and is a member of the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. Snake Babe has been displaying her snakes at MGM’s Studio 54 for three years and her magic involves fire eating, comedy, snakes, and other illusions.

CIGARS – We recently stopped by the Las Vegas Cigar Company store in the Boardwalk Hotel (between Bellagio and Monte Carlo). Often, independent cigar shops can be hit and miss in quality but the prices were good so I took a chance. Very pleased, to say the least. Their Churchill goes for under $5.00 and was a fine, mild smoke. Worth checking out.

Quick cigar note: Las Vegas is more cigar friendly than most places, but always ask before lighting up and also take into consideration the people around you. Ask around … most hotels have at least one nice, cigar friendly lounge.

SUBSCRIPTION “DUES” – This newsletter is absolutely free! We enjoy bringing you great Las Vegas information. If you enjoy our newsletter, we ask two small things: Consider booking your hotels, shows, and tours through or the links in this newsletter. We have great rates and fantastic selection in every category. Also, turn your friends on to Las Vegas by forwarding a copy to them and suggesting they subscribe. They’ll thank you and we thank you.

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


Hang tight one more issue and we’ll get back into the reviews. Scroll down for great reader feedback and our new Interactive Information Forums!

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Show Review Criteria: We understand that Las Vegas attracts visitors of varied budgets and interests. Shows are reviewed on the basis of value for dollar spent as well as to present the reader enough knowledge of the content to make an informed decision.

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After months of planning, we are launching our AccessVegas.Com Interactive Information Forums! We really enjoy putting out this newsletter twice monthly, and for a few, that is enough Vegas for them. However, that left us in a bind: So much great information crosses our desk almost daily, and we get some of the best reader feedback and letters but we’ve had no room for them.

Now we do! Our new Interactive Information Forums at allow us to expand as a comprehensive, independent Las Vegas information source. We’ll continue to feature great news and feedback here in the newsletter, but will put additional informative posts in the forum. For example, the forum would have let us immediately note that free tickets for the “American Idol In Vegas” taping became available on short notice last week.

Plus, instead of just reading feedback here, you can go to the forums and put your two cents in so that others can benefit from your thoughts! We’ll also be able to answer more of your questions for the benefit of all.

Now on to reader feedback!

Dear Ted: The proper authorities should also investigate “long hauling” between The Strip and Old Vegas. We visited in May. The trip to Old Vegas via The Strip was only $9.50 with moderate traffic. The trip back to our hotel (The Aladdin) via the freeway was $17.00. I did not tip the return driver. When I asked for my change, he said that he thought that the difference was his tip. I then explained to him that since he decided to show us a panoramic view of The Strip from the freeway, that he had already gotten his tip in the form of an increased fare. Strangely, he quickly found $3. Needless to say, it’s taxi drivers like our second one (and the 4 in front of him) who give taxi drivers in Las Vegas a bad name.

As we continue to report here, cab drivers continue to “long haul” and rip unsuspecting tourist off. We have had it happen to us when mistaken for tourists. We want you to have the best vacation possible, so we are working hard to fight this.

We have posted four important pointers that will keep you from getting “long hauled” by the cabbies, let you know what to do if it happens (believe it or not, calling the cab company is the WRONG thing to do), and let you enjoy a better vacation with more cash in your pocket. Check out our pointers at and feel free to add your experiences.

Lynn Banks from England wrote:

I had always thought Las Vegas was a large Casino where people had tacky weddings – Boy was I wrong!!

We had a wedding booked in One World Trade Center (Windows on the World) on October 27th 2001, the 6th anniversary of when we met. Obviously with the atrocities of September 11th, this was canceled, but we still wanted to go ahead and not let the terrorists spoil our wedding.

We had always joked about a Las Vegas wedding (Elvis or a Limo!!) but didn’t want a tacky wedding. We had designer dresses and suits and had planned for a small, but formal reception (11 people).

When I realized that Las Vegas was probably the only place in the world I could organize a wedding in a couple of weeks, I started to look at the options.

What I found was amazing, I had spent 10 months organizing a wedding in New York, and in Las Vegas everything was at my fingertips. The chapels sort out everything from Limo transport to photographs and videos. They will even convert the video to a British format, so you can watch it when you get back to England.

Lynn’s letter is much longer and has some great information for anybody thinking about getting married in Las Vegas (or who wants to relive their Las Vegas wedding). You can read her great letter and chime in on Las Vegas weddings at

N. Mills wrote:

I have taken about 3 trips to Las Vegas in the last year with my son & his wife. We go to visit my daughter’s family & of course, Grandma watches the children while they go have fun. I’m not complaining, I love the kids & it’s my chance to bond with them! Recently my best friend of 51 years & I took a “girls vacation”!

We used your site & found an excellent deal at Fitzgerald’s. The staff there were all very courteous, even at our favorite nickel machines. Our stay couldn’t have been more wonderful. The Fremont Experience was extremely enjoyable & we didn’t find staying in “old downtown” a bad experience at all. (I had friends at work say “oh, you don’t want to stay in that area”!)

Even on the Greyhound Bus from AZ (my friend flew from Ca) people were saying the same thing, it made me worry. NOT TO WORRY! We would do it again. Not only did we visit almost all of the casino’s, & do a little gambling in each, we found: Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory Tour, the Vitamin Factory Tour, Chinatown (not like S.F. Ca Chinatown, we were disappointed here). We felt like kids sneaking out on the parents, 10 am – 3:30 am daily! Did we do Vegas or what?

We both want to thank you so much for your site. We found an extremely excellent hotel deal, as well as trip planning ideas, through your web site! Keep up the great work. I always tell people about your site & give credit where credit IS DUE. Thanks again & have a great year. Next time we’ll do museums & other sites.

We are always so happy when we help people have a great trip. There is so much to do and see here in Las Vegas that it is almost scary! No matter what your interest, you won’t be bored here.

Readers, we now have a section on our forums for trip reports. Tell us in detail about your last visit and continue this discussion at

Iris wrote:

I recently spent 5 days at Imperial Palace. Rented car from Alamo very cheap, was an internet price, I called my car insurance to see if I was covered, they said yes. When we got the car the people there told us that most insurance won’t cover loss of use while waiting to be fixed, so I paid the $75. to be sure. Since I got home I noticed that my credit card has insurance on rental cars if paid for with the credit card, and it covers loss of use. Thought this might be useful for some other potential Vegas visitors. Love your Newsletter!

Great advice. If you have insurance on your car at home, it may very well cover rental cars as well. Also, many credit cards provide complimentary coverage so you can waive the insurance fees which car rental companies attempt to sell you.

However, no one should assume anything. If you carry insurance on your personal car, call and ask them if it includes rental cars. Also, call your credit card company to assure they offer the coverage and ask them about the depth of it.

Readers, do you rent a car when you come to town? Would you suggest it? Any tips for those thinking about it? Share your thoughts and continue this discussion at

FINAL NOTE: I want to personally thank the many from around the world who submitted feedback related to Sept. 11, 2001. We certainly appreciate the sentiment and the resolve to live your lives normally. This was well represented by Lynn Banks from England who didn’t let it stop her wedding plans and traveled to Las Vegas to make the dreams of her special day possible after they were initially dashed.

We wish New York well in rebuilding, we support actions against terrorism, and we are moving on. Thus, no 9/11 area in our new Interactive Information Forums nor any posted feedback. We thank you for traveling, we thank you for considering Las Vegas as your vacation or getaway destination, and we are going to work harder than every to bring you the fun and excitement this great city offers!

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

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* Travel Packages (Hotel/Air)
* Toll Free Discount Room Hotline: TOLL FREE 1-888-254-0637, USA and Canada. 561-845-8899, International. Give Promo Code 4558 when calling.

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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!

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All contents copyright 2002 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
September 18, 2002 ISSN: 1529-2770

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