Access Vegas Insider Vibe – June 20, 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: Boston — rates starting at $99.95! Choose from Midtown Hotel, Swissotel, Days Hotel, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Radisson Cambridge and more. For details, click

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

Read Opinions:
Post Opinions:

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

THIS ISSUE: Sheena Easton

EDITOR NOTES: For the remainder of the summer, I’m going to publish this newsletter biweekly. I am working on some fantastic new Vegas Internet projects, and although I am gathering some great people to help, this is a hectic summer of expansion. The biweekly newsletters will be longer, but you’ll have a couple of weeks to digest them.

I don’t want to tip my hand too much except to say that this fall, not only will the newsletter be back to weekly, but we’ll have new ways for you to access more Vegas information! To those who have expressed interest in helping, hang tight. I will be getting back to everyone soon.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

4’th OF JULY – Most of the fireworks happen far from the Strip, so it doesn’t hurt to rent a car if visiting this 4’th of July. The only fireworks near the Strip will be at Palace Station and will probably only be visible from the North end of the Strip. Other celebrations happening around town are listed at

TOPLESS SHOWS – Forget the family friendly stuff–the white tigers, the roller coasters, the wave pools. In a town that is constantly redefining itself, what’s old is new again as the entertainment pendulum swings back toward sex appeal. For all the talk about the Disneyfication of Las Vegas as a wholesome, family oriented destination, topless entertainment is making a comeback here in Sin City. Full story at

VACATION IN VEGAS – In light of higher travel prices, the R-J recently ran an article reminding locals off all the fun there is to do and see on The Strip. This may sound crazy, but the truth is that locals rarely leave their neighborhoods to visit the tourist areas and often aren’t that “up” on what is happening (unless they read our newsletter)! This “local’s” look at things like Adventuredome (which we reviewed at ), Star Trek: The Experience ( ), Wet ‘n Wild and other locals attractions is available at

HIGH HEELS – Some older cocktail waitresses are complaining about the medical problems caused by wearing high heel shoes on the job. Full story at

URGENT CARE – It isn’t something any of us likes to think about, but occasionally a vacation is interrupted by illness. If this happens to you in Las Vegas, head for the Imperial Palace where University Medical Center has opened an 8’th floor doctor’s office. Print this one out and stuff it in your suitcase — just in case:

MORE POWER – The energy crunch in the West has hammered California, but could turn into a jackpot for neighboring Nevada. The gambling state is courting energy giants, betting that future power plants based in Nevada will help its economy and provide plenty of electrical power to the region. The power companies are responding, with proposals for Nevada plants that would supply more than 10,000 megawatts of energy by 2004. Full story at and

COINLESS SLOTS – Casino giant Park Place Entertainment (Caesars, Bally’s, Paris, etc.) has signed a deal to add 15,000 coinless-payout slot machines to many of its 29 casinos throughout the world. For years, conventional wisdom dictated that slot gamblers preferred to receive their payouts in loudly clanging coins, the better to dramatize a win of any size. In fact, an earlier incarnation of the technology was rejected by customers at the MGM Grand, shortly after the megaresort’s 1993 opening. Full story at and you have one more week to vote in this week’s poll on whether you like coinless slots at

CLIMBING THE WALLS – Tuesday night is infamous at Studio 54 at the MGM for EDEN, the “Erotically Delicious Entertainers Night.” In addition to the women swinging above the crowd, sporadic confetti blasts, and bungee routines, they have added the Wall Walkers. Costumed in glossy, body shaping suits, the walkers climb two pillars and then gravitate back down doing acrobatic flips and turns. The more wild festivities start about 2 AM. Guests must be 21 and a dress code is enforced.

DESERT PASSAGE – valet parking is now free. When the Aladdin shopping area first opened, we were among the many who were shocked to pay for valet parking at the parking garage entrance to the upscale mall area. This bucked the tradition of hotels and malls offering free valet parking. We applaud mall management for making this change. Valet parking for the hotel has always been free.

LOW TECH VEGAS – Long time readers know that a pet peeve of mine is how unwired this entire city seems to be. Yes, it is getting better but when you meet someone you are still more likely to exchange phone numbers than email addresses. When I tell people what I do for a living, a common comment is “I’m thinking about getting a computer sometime.” Only a very few hotels send out press releases via email. Don’t take my word for it: A recent article details our low tech ranking at

COMDEX – Believe it or not, hotel rooms are already starting to fill up for Comdex. If you or your company are thinking about coming, do your boss a favor and pass our web address along to the person making the travel plans for Comdex or any other convention anywhere in the country. Your boss will appreciate the money you save and you’ll appreciate not staying in some overpriced dive. During Comdex, it is common for fleabag motels on the wrong side of Fremont St. downtown (you know, the ones that are generally overpriced at $99 a week) to charge a nonrefundable $100 a night during Comdex. You can also secure your rental cars early and save through

VACATIONS FROM HELL – The R-J just ran two features on vacation horror stories and how to avoid problems when you travel. Worth a read at and

BINGO – The Plaza Hotel is offering incentives throughout June to welcome Bingo players to the newest downtown Bingo Room in Las Vegas. The new Bingo room holds 8 sessions daily beginning at 9 AM with the final session at 11 PM. There will be super progressive bonanza jackpots every session with a $1,000 bonanza consolation guaranteed at six of the sessions.

NEW MALL – The on-again, off-again shopping mall between Mandalay Bay and Luxor is back on the Mandalay Resort Group’s front burner, company executives said Friday. Construction on the partially built retail structure will resume before the end of the summer, said Mandalay President Glenn Schaeffer, speaking after the firm’s annual shareholders’ meeting at Mandalay Bay. The mall is expected to open by the end of 2002. Full story at

BUSY AIRPORT – Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport is set to overtake Denver as the sixth-busiest airport in the United States, according to data compiled by the Airport Council International. According to information released by McCarran, Southwest Airlines, America West Airlines and National Airlines all recorded significant percentage increases in the numbers of arriving and departing passengers in March over the previous March. Full story at

ADVERTISING – Although rare, last week someone replied to the newsletter with “QUIT SENDING ME YOUR ADVERTISEMENTS.” For those curious, here are a couple of details on our newsletter and what part of it is advertising:

1. We only send this to people who request it by signing up through the forms on our sites. Our newsletter is probably the easiest to unsubscribe out there. You don’t have to go to a website, enter a password, or type something in the subject box. You simply email the unsubscribe address at the bottom and it is done.

2. The commissions from hotels, rental cars, et. al. support this effort. In addition, costs are covered by the four ads per issue, which are bounded by the =========== dividers. That is the only revenue advertising. I spend hours and hours combing news sources to find the best info to present.

While we do accept complimentary tickets to review a show (which is common in media), long time readers know that I shoot from the hip. Bottom line is that I’m not going to cut any deals that restrict what I can say or which sources I can use. You keep booking with us to help us, and I’ll keep getting you the best unbiased info from all sources!

$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!


DAVID DARKSTONE – “Illusions & Beyond” has opened at The Frontier. This new afternoon magic show runs daily (dark Monday) at Noon and 2 PM. Ticket price is $12.95 and includes two drinks. You can get them at the box office (new shows like this rarely sell out) or call ahead to (702) 794-8200

STEVE MARTIN ART COLLECTION – is at Bellagio through Labor Day. Story at

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* La Femme (MGM) –
* Rita Rudner (New York, New York) –
* Storm (Mandalay Bay) –


* 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:

* Circus Circus Steak House –
* Florida Cafe (north of Stratosphere) –
* Le Provencal (Paris) –
* Shadow (lounge: Caesars) –

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

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

Friday – 107 ░F / 80 ░F Sunny
Saturday – 103 ░F / 78 ░F Sunny
Sunday – 105 ░F / 76 ░F Sunny
Monday – 103 ░F / 75 ░F Sunny
Tuesday – 102 ░F / 75 ░F Sunny
Wednesday – 102 ░F / 74 ░F Sunny

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


“My Baby Takes The Morning Train” … “For Your Eyes Only” …

For most, those are the only two songs that come to mind when someone says Sheena Easton. So I admit to being skeptical when I heard that she was booked to play the entire summer at the Las Vegas Hilton with the possibility of extending the run if it went well. She had just finished a year-plus stint in “At The Copa” with David Cassidy but he was admittedly the star and main draw of that show.

If Ms. Easton has a “star” attitude, she certainly didn’t display it in this performance. After hitting the stage with a tight eight piece band, she ran through a number of standards and with a couple of disco songs thrown in for good measure from her latest European CD. In her stunning evening gown, it was pure lounge. Not the tacky, typical Vegas lounge but old-style classy.

She then took a few minutes to bond with the audience, talking about her kids, her career, and what it is like to be an 80’s sex symbol 20 years later. She joked that her rear end from the 80’s is still alive and well — and that Britney Spears is now using it! While she still looks great, the self-depreciating rant went over well with her (mostly) 30 and older audience.

Playing to a general “Vegas” audience, the odds are that people are coming more for the entertainment value than because they are die-hard Easton fans. Keeping that in mind, she was smart to integrate her hits from the 80’s with classic standards. No matter how you cut it (and how much many of us still enjoy it), music from the 80’s can’t help but sound a little dated.

She ran through “Strut” than did a duet with her percussion player on “U Got The Look” and “We’ve Got Tonight” as well as performing other hits from her repertoire. After letting her band shine in a jam that featured a short solo from each member, she emerged from a wardrobe change and whipped into “Fever” before singing the her obligatory hit “Morning Train.”

Then it was back to a duet on “If You Asked Me To” and “Best of My Love” featuring both her percussionist and her female backup singer participating in lead vocals. She had a very strong finish to the night with “For Your Eyes Only” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”

Easton was signed to play the 350 seat Hilton Nightclub but response has been so strong that many of her dates will take place in the main showroom that was once host to Elvis. She does a great job of entertaining and both her fans and those expecting to see a classic Vegas performance won’t be disappointed.

Sheena Easton – For Your Eyes Only Ticket Info

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



Barbara wrote:

> Dear Ted, I just returned from a 5 day stay in Las Vegas. I go there
>on a regular basis, twice a year. I have always enjoyed the seafood
>buffet at the Rio and have recommended it to several. This time was
>different. I was surprised to find the food was not hot (its hard to
>dip cold lobster into cold butter). I had planned on taking my
>parents there and now I am glad that they couldn’t make it. Spending
>$30.00 a person, the food shouldn’t be cold. Also the service was
>poor. I sure hope this was a one time experience because I have, in
>the past enjoyed the Rio.

From what I understand, fish like lobster and crab are served cold at Vegas buffets for food safety reasons. But I agree that the drawn butter should be hot! I shared your opinion of the Rio Seafood Buffet and my full review is archived at

Colleen Kato wrote:

>Here are my thoughts on De La Guarda —
>I love going to Las Vegas shows and have enjoyed everything I’ve ever
>seen during the many years of vacationing there. A few weeks ago we
>decided to finally see DE La Guarda. It sounded like an intriguing
>show and it was one of the few shows we hadn’t seen. De La Guarda was
>absolutely insane, only somewhat entertaining and I’d never recommend
>that anyone see it. There were six in our party (from ages 18-60).
>We tried to keep an open mind, knowing that this show would be
>different. It was different all right, but strangely so. One in our
>party described the experience as being in an insane asylum and
>watching the inmates do crazy things. Things go on forever, perhaps
>too long. For instance in the beginning, people are flying overhead
>on bungee cords for what seems like forever. After a while it gets
>tiring and you’re ready for them to move on to something else, but it
>goes on and on and on and on. I know they’re having fun up there, but
>it’s rather tiring for the audience to continually stand, looking up,
>watching the same thing and wondering when something else is going to
>happen, and hopefully — it will be something more interesting than
>what you’ve bee subjected to so far.
>There were some interesting
>moments. I was somewhat interested in the precise timing of two girls
>swinging from ropes as they ran across an expanse of wall. The water
>and the fog added substance and I liked the balloons, but there were
>many people around us asking their partners, “So what is the purpose
>of all of this?” There were strange cast members, dripping wet,
>mingling through the crowd, trying to stare strangely at individuals
>in the audience. They hunk around, act weirdly, then lie in the
>puddles on the wet floor like someone having a fit or acting how like
>you’d expect an adult with a mind of an infant to act. Out of our
>party of six, two walked out before the end of the show. I didn’t
>mind the loud music and enjoyed the strong percussion, but a friend of
>ours couldn’t stand the insane screaming (more like shrieking). All
>in all it is a show I’d never ever think of seeing again. It absolutely
>was not entertaining at all.

>PS I tried booking show tickets through the BookVegas Itinerary system
>you advocate. Although I’ve only used the system once, we got
>terrific seats. I just booked show tickets for two shows in July and
>am crossing my fingers that the seats we get this time, are just as
>good. It was worth paying the processing fee to get those great

De La Guarda is definitely for people looking for a rave-like, artistic, chaotic experience. I found it interesting, but prefer more traditional Las Vegas entertainment. Most people either love or hate the show: there is little in between.

Thanks for supporting our efforts with your business! For reserved seat shows, you stand a better chance of good seats the earlier you buy your tickets and buying in advance also guarantees that you won’t arrive in town only to find a show sold out. I’m pleasantly surprised both at the number of readers using our BookVegas service at and the continued positive feedback regarding it.

Allen Goenawein wrote:

>I just returned from my latest trip to Vegas. I
>thought that anyone looking for some good cheap meals
>might be interested to know that Ellis Island still
>has prime rib and top sirloin steak dinners for $4.95.
>These are not scaled down dinners but include a salad
>of your choice, potato of your choice, a vegetable and
>bread and butter. They also have a steak breakfast
>special that goes for $1.99. Again, no scaled down
>meal but a good sized portion of steak, two eggs, hash
>browns, and two pieces of toast with jelly and butter.
>For the really hungry at breakfast I would recommend
>the ham and eggs. For only $3.25 you get a slice of
>ham that is so large, it hangs over the edge of the
>plate, plus the eggs, potatoes, toast, butter and
>jelly. You can eat for very little money in Vegas if
>you shop around.

Thanks for the reminder of these great specials. I can vouch for them myself as the steak special has been a long time favorite of mine. Ellis Island is a couple of long blocks east of the Strip just set back from the corner of Koval and Flamingo (down Koval a couple hundred feet south). It just so happens that one of my summer projects will be to chronicle and list all of the great “cheap meals and deals” on The Strip and downtown for inclusion in one of our new websites!

Lysaa Rossi wrote:

>**Great newsletter**! Full of helpful insight, just one suggestion:
>Since there is so much info perhaps HTML format would make it easier
>to scroll through. It’s a bit hard on the eyes. Also, I know this is
>mainly for tourism, but a real estate review of the many
>areas/communities in LV and Henderson would be great to have given
>that so many people decide to relocate there — in fact, we are moving
>there next month!

By HTML, she is referring to newsletters that look like a web page instead of this plain text format. I’d like to go that route because we can present graphics and use a pleasing format. However, AOL 5.0 (and before) as well as some other email programs can’t display HTML newsletters and I want everyone to enjoy the info. Also, I have heard that the next version of Microsoft Outlook Express might be shipped with HTML turned OFF by default. I appreciate your thoughts and we will certainly make the transition when we can rest assured that everybody will still be able to enjoy our content.

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

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 coinless slots?” Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published next issue!


SHEENA EASTON – We have one autographed poster of Grammy award winning artist Sheena Easton. Enter by sending a blank email to (contest closed) The 20’th entry will be chosen winner. No need to include any info — we’ll return email the winner. One entry per person.

VEGAS TRIP – Sign up for Weatherbug and get a free trip to Vegas:

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

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.
June 20, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770