Access Vegas Insider Vibe – September 26, 2001

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THIS ISSUE: News and Letters

EDITOR’S NOTES: In the past, I got frequent complaints this time of year from people saying “All the rooms are so expensive.” Fall is “prime time” in Las Vegas: Warm 90 degree days with little humidity and pleasant 60 degree nights of gentle breezes — there are few better places to be.

If you aren’t here this week, you missed numerous hotels for $39, The Hilton for $56, The Rio for $69, Monte Carlo for $69, The Aladdin for $79, and Caesars for $85 a night. The first week of October, we still have Stratosphere or Holiday Inn Boardwalk (prime location) at under $50 a night, Monte Carlo is still running $69, and Caesars $85 at (limited — first come, first served).

In the meantime, things are getting back to normal very quickly in Vegas. McCarran has 90% their normal number of flights. Hotel occupancy was 75% last weekend and climbing hard. While airfare bargains might last a few more weeks, Vegas hotel bargains are looking to dry up pretty quickly. If you were one of those “I’m waiting a few weeks to travel” and were thinking of getting bargains, you can book now or book after rates have finished climbing back up.

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!

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

Las Vegas Getting Rolling Again

McCarran security remains tight as lines diminish: Airport spokeswoman says flight operations at 91 percent of schedule prior to attacks

Airlines quietly offer bargains: Hard-hit carriers are making more seats available at low prices in hope of attracting travelers.

New rules, fear aren’t souring everyone on flying

Be prepared for changes when you fly

Leno offers show to aid ailing Las Vegas tourism economy

Recent Las Vegas Photos:

Impending implosion: Desert Inn’s destruction expected to be low-key event

Vegas welcoming more country acts

‘Next Big Star’ to conclude shooting

Grabbing Attention: Strip hotels use roving performers to create cheerful environment for visitors

Threats to Hoover Dam assessed Experts: Kamikaze attack unlikely to succeed

Palms casino moves up opening date

Australian high roller takes out anger over leak on dealers

MGM Mirage gets Web gaming license

LOCAL NEWS – updated daily 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!


* 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

Spears coming to MGM’s arena for live HBO special

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Don Rickles (Stardust) –
* Society of Seven (Hilton) –


* 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 guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at


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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Drai’s (Barbary Coast) –

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FEATURE STORY: News and Letters

The past couple of weeks have been a bit chaotic. I didn’t want to bug any of the hotels with standard PR requests while they have their hands full, and reviewing a restaurant isn’t an accurate depiction when they are half full.

We have a number of great Letters to the Editor to catch up on this week and we’ll have a new review for you next week.

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Jean H, Waukesha WI wrote:

> Hi Ted!
>It felt good to get a “regular” newsletter from you and Access Vegas!
>As an employee of AA (American Airlines) —
>I just wanted to urge all your readers that air
>travel is still the safest form of travel in the USA and it’s never
>been easier or cheaper to travel! One 1,000,000+ miles-per-year
>passenger told me yesterday that it’s easier for him to fly now — the
>airports are empty (everyone is waiting at the gate, 1 hour ahead of
>time!), security takes a bit longer, but nothing overwhelming, and the
>planes are half full — so you can get almost any seat you want! And
>with fewer flights, the planes even run early! With so many
>industries impacted by this event, the entire travel industry needs
>our support. We’ve heard of massive layoffs at the airlines and now
>they’re hitting Las Vegas and next the car rental companies and hotels
>and sky caps and catering companies and the list goes on and on. I
>guess what I’m saying is — Go to Las Vegas and get your mind off of
>things for a few days! I know that we’re planning a trip there next
>month and I’m looking forward to having my pick of any machine I want
>to play and any room I request at the hotel! We all just need to
>remember that we all need to be a bit more aware at all times! God

Barb Hill wrote:

>We plan on coming to Las Vegas next year anyway! We don’t
>plan to alter our plans. What happen was a terrible tragedy but my
>husband and I look at it this way, if it’s your time to go it don’t
>make a difference where you are!

Karl C. Johnson wrote:

>After trying unsuccessfully to reserve a hotel room in Paris
>in July, I remembered seeing something on your site about hotel
>reservations. To make a long story short, I used the link, got a list
>of Paris hotels with available rooms, selected one, made the
>reservation online, and all at 3 a.m.! The hotel was just fine, and
>my comments on liking the city of Paris, but not liking its residents
>can wait for another time. Your service was great! Thank you.

We are seen as a “Vegas” website and people forget that we have great, discount rooms worldwide with the same ease of booking because of the contracts with have with major hotel brokers. Every month, people use us to book places near and far for both business and pleaseure and we are happy to help!

How we work: People think they get the best rates by wearing their fingers out on the phone, or checking every hotel website but here’s the TRUTH: We (in conjunction with our main travel partner HRN) are able to offer guaranteed low rates plus availability for “sold out” hotels because blocks of rooms are purchased at discount months in advance.

The hotels are willing to sell in bulk to assure the rooms get sold and YOU get the benefit of the wholesale pricing and the availability to type in your date and get a complete list of all our offerings — price and availability for every hotel at

Hugh Martell of Vancouver, B.C. wrote:

>Greetings, I just received word about your newsletter from a friend
>and immediately subscribed. As an independent travel agent booking
>clients to Las Vegas, I find your site most valuable as well as
>interesting reading. It is rare to find info on Vegas which is
>opinionated and telling it like it is; the “Lonely Planet Guide” of
>Las Vegas. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! But my world would be
>even happier if there was a site like this for Hawaii!! Do you know
>of any? Perhaps you could clone yourself……. Best regards.

I wish I could clone myself too — so I could get some rest! I do enjoy the opportunity to “tell it like it is” but also remind readers this: I always have to evaluate the time / profit ratio of all aspects of my tourism business. The newsletter will be here as long as readers are willing to compare our rates and book with us if comparable.

Katie Gallant wrote:

>My husband and I were in Vegas last week and we saw the
>Clint Holmes show and was very pleased with his performance and how he
>related to the audience. He was great. Highly recommend him to

We agree, and you can read our review of Clint at If you are a reader that has seen Clint, please post your comments (good or bad) about him to our Headliners message board at

Cathy Satter wrote:

>I dined at the Stratosphere-Top of World Restaurant last
>week for the second time in less than 8 months. Both times, it has
>been one of the best places to have a nice quiet dinner away from all
>the hub bub of Vegas. The service and food is excellent. All of
>their food is ala carte but we did fine without the salad and split
>the vegetables between 3 of us. The view is the best — even though
>the restaurant is out of the way a little, it is well worth the side

Sandy Morse wrote:

>My husband and I had talked about going to Las Vegas on
>vacation for years. We always ended up going on more tropical
>vacations Hawaii, Cancun, Aruba and Bahamas. Finally this year we
>said what are we waiting for so we made it to Las Vegas and now we
>CAN’T wait to go back. The only way to describe it was fun. The most
>fun we have ever had on a vacation. The atmosphere is just
>incredible. This is a great site. Thank you for making it possible
>for us (who live in New Jersey) to see live webcams of the best place
>in the world!

We’ve updated our webcam page. We don’t run any of the cams so have no control if one is down from time to time, but we have a long list of Las Vegas webcams at

Charmaine Davis from Florida wrote:

>Ted, Love coming to Las Vegas and we go there at least twice a year.
>We were just there in March and had a wonderful time staying at the
>Stratosphere. We were really looking forward to going back in October
>/ November timeframe but are holding off right now on making
>reservations (plane trip from south FL takes over 5 very nervous
>hours). My question concerns the CAPS service. Have you heard if the
>is now “obsolete” due to our Nation’s situation now? We had planned
>on staying this trip at Paris and was hopeful they would have this

CAPS (which we covered pretty extensively in recent issues) is not operating right now, and won’t be until curbside check-in is allowed again.

ESB wrote:

>Hey Ted – Love your newsletter, and always look forward to seeing it.
>Thank you for your wonderful efforts. I have a couple of questions
>that you could possibly address in an upcoming edition. I have been
>planning a trip to Las Vegas since last winter. I am coming down with
>my wife the third week of October (driving from Boise, Idaho). The
>main reason, initially, was to participate in the CART Driving 101
>’experience’ at LVMS, which I am signed-up for and eagerly
>anticipating (9 miles – 6 laps, with the last lap at 145 mph!, in a
>purpose-built champ car). I also signed up for the monthly free tour
>of the Nevada Test Site, and also wanted to take the $25 ‘hard hat’
>tour of Hoover Dam. I understand that the visitor center at Hoover
>Dam is now closed until further notice. I can get no information
>regarding the Nevada Test Site. Could you speculate as to when Hoover
>Dam might be ‘back to normal’? How about the NTS? I still intend on
>coming to Las Vegas, and will be staying at the Suncoast (first time).
>Thanks for any information.

Right now, all tours are still closed. That is very much a shame because the Hard Hat tour is great — we reviewed it at However, the visitors center is open and you are allowed to enjoy the dam during daylight hours only. This is actually a fantastic opportunity because traffic can get backed up pretty bad from all of the trucks negotiating the tight curves approaching the dam. If you rent a car or drive to town, now is a great time to see the dam!

H.P.Kost Sr. wrote:

> Feedback, am disappointed that rates for Vegas in Dec.
>are so inflated. Have been trying to find something
>reasonable for Dec. 27-Jan 2 everything hangs around 550
>to $1800 for 6 days. I understand the expense for New
>Year’s Eve and Christmas, but the other 4 days. I thought a
>printed article you wrote said between Christmas and New
>Years were not the most expensive times.
> Most disappointed

I have noted a number up times that the two weeks leading up to Christmas are some of the cheapest of the year. Because so many are able to get time off between Christmas and New Years, people flock to Las Vegas starting December 26’th.

The travel industry is completely based on supply and demand. Except for the recent exception of the past two weeks, your best bets are to book 3-4 months in advance (the hotels and airlines have all their stock available but not sold) and use hotel booking engines like ours at to play with different travel dates until you find that “sweet spot” where more availability translates into cheaper rates.

Owen from South Shields, England wrote:
>A Feb: 2001 visit to the Harley-Davidson Cafe convinced me this is one of the best
>restaurants not only in Las Vegas but the USA – I sampled the Baby
>Back Ribs and they came quickly served by a guy who almost fell over
>backwards to make me feel at home — + brought me ample warm wet cloth
>towels to wash the sauce from my hands and face. The ribs were
>perfectly cooked and a good full rack. The decor of the place honors
>the great US of A especially with the chain link Stars and Stripes
>dominating one wall. I recommend anyone who loves America to eat

Owen if referring to our review last week of Harley-Davidson Cafe. The review is archived at

Barry and Roz wrote:

>Ted: I think your site is great!!
>My wife and I like the rate the hotel site.
>We are staying at the Trop in Sept (good feedback).
>We were in Vegas in May and the one
>negative thing we noticed were the people
>handing out the coupons for adult
>I thought they put an end to this.
>What happened and why are they
>getting away with this?
>They are very aggressive and even
>hand them to guys with their wife
>and children with him.
>Again keep up the good work.

Thanks for the kind words. A number of efforts have been made to stop what we call the “porn peddlers” here, but they get struck down in court. Part of the right to free speach is the right to hand out literature. I play a little game: they aren’t allowed to touch you so I walk as absolutely close to them as I can while never glancing their way (they bang the pamphlets together to try to get your attention). I’ve also heard of people “accidentally” spilling beer on them as they walk by, but of course we could NEVER OFFICIALLY suggest doing things like that.

Bill & Rona Robertson from Glasgow wrote:

>Thank you for editing the most informative and unbiased site we have
>found on Las Vegas. This trip will be our first to Vegas and your
>site has been of enormous assistance to us in the planning. Main
>reason for the visit is our Son’s wedding. We are a party of seven
>coming over from Scotland and the men intend to wear their kilts that
>day despite the heat. Should you be passing the Venetian around noon
>on Wednesday 26 September, pop in and have a drink with us to
>celebrate. Looking forward to the trip so much. Thanks again.

This letter was going to be published three weeks ago, and I was looking forward to hoping some of our readers were able to spot this group and say hello! We still hope you had a great time.

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Your input is welcome. Because of limited space here, we encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, 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).

ONLINE POLL – “Are you putting off travel plans in light of the WTC Tragedy?” Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published next week!

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Have a request for a review? Confused 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.

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All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
September 26, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

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