Access Vegas Insider Vibe January 4, 2012 Insider Vibe

Serving Las Vegas Visitors and Residents Since 1999

Welcome to the Insider Vibe! This is the official newsletter of AccessVegas.Com. We talk about the Las Vegas activities you really care about. Quick Info Menu:

Las Vegas Essentials
Featured Shows

Newkirk’s Notes – comments on Las Vegas from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

Hello From Las Vegas! – And a very Happy New Year as we welcome in 2012. 2011 was a turnaround year for Las Vegas tourism. We got The Plaza back, the new Tropicana, and Cosmo completed their first full year. We did lose The Sahara but their owner is swearing up and down that they are getting ready to remodel it.

We fell just short of the all-time visitor volume record of 39.2 million (hitting an even 39 million). We’ll have no problem busting through that this coming year barring anything completely crazy happening.

New Years Eve saw 314,000 people flock to town. Room occupancy hit 98% despite the fact that obnoxiously high rates were the norm. The recovering economy and New Years Eve falling on a Saturday night sure didn’t hurt. Neither did the stretch of warm weather we’ve been happening. Temps at midnight were in the low 40’s with no wind but if you’re in the middle of the crowds, it feels much warmer. This past week saw unusually warm temps near the 70’s.

Blink And You’ll Miss It – Regular readers know that I mock the New York City celebration every year (when compared to ours). I was actually at home under the weather this year (I’ll live… Las Vegas happens 365 days per years) which provided me the opportunity to view the New York City ball drop. Almost. At 9 PM our time, I was switching back and forth between Fox News (ball drop), CNN (ball drop), and ESPN (which was hosting a daredevil jump by a couple of Evel Knievel wannabes). I flipped over to ESPN just for a few seconds to watch the wind-up to the jump and literally missed the ball drop.

So let me get this straight: People come from all over the world to Times Square many, many hours early so they can be put in pens (like cattle) to view a 60 second ball drop. Are you kidding me?!? You wanna talk about a cure for insomnia…

By the way, New York claims that over a million people attend the ball drop. Guess what: Reports I read note that only 17 blocks around Times Square are shut down for the event. Which makes that million number a blatant lie. You simply can’t fit a million people into 17 closed off blocks.

Side Note: Every year I hear from a few unhappy New Yorkers about all of this. Hey, if you want to explain he logistics of getting a million people into 17 blocks worth of street space, I’m all ears. I know what the 250,000 on The Strip look like and they pretty much fill up 3 miles of boulevard.

I digress…

Fortunately, at 10 PM our time, both KLAS and KSNV kicked in to their extensive local coverage. If you read my blog post (last issue) about New Years Eve tips or followed us on Twitter that night, you knew that KLAS actually streamed the entire coverage and both stations put on a network quality show.

I’m in utter shock why the LVCVA (Visitors Authority) here doesn’t partner with one of them and a cable network and broadcast our celebration to the nation. Sure, the time difference would be a factor (we’re three hours behind the East Coast, two hours behind Central Time), but you’d still have a fair amount of people curious enough to watch in many parts of the country.

Don’t take my word for it. Check out the entire 9 minute video at New YearÆs Fireworks Over Las Vegas Strip û Complete Video

Lion King Record – Looks like many of you took our advice to see The Lion King before it closed here in Las Vegas. The show grossed $1,369,460 in the final week at Mandalay Bay, a theatre record. (It didn’t hurt that Las Vegas is getting more busy than ever and the week between Christmas and New Years is a heavy family week here). We want to thank all of you who went to see The Lion King during their run. They were a long-time sponsor and when you support the sponsors we list in this newsletter, you help us keep our lights on and Nevadan’s employed! Speaking of…

Membership Update – We’ve received numerous questions from readers wondering when we are going to our membership model ($23.95 per year). Probably in another 6 weeks or so. We want to make sure it works correctly and has no glitches or problems. Something we’ve decided to do is offering a money-back guarantee. At the end of your first year, if you don’t think the information we provide (plus some of the expanded Las Vegas savings info and features we’ll be able to start providing members with the new revenue) was worth it, we’ll issue a full refund.

Tale Of Two Cities – We’ll hear from a reader who said they visited and Las Vegas was somewhat dead, then hear from one who visited a week later and marveled at how busy it was. Here’s what most people forget: Las Vegas is a very different place depending on time of year, day of the week, and even time of day!

If you usually visit on the weekdays, the weekend Las Vegas will be a bit foreign to you (more crowds, harder partying). If you are a daytime person who is in bed by midnight here, you’d be amazed at how vastly different things are a 1 PM as opposed to 1 AM. Fremont Street can be especially varied as daytimes feature an older crowd who are there to gamble. But once the sun goes down and the free entertainment starts, the party crowd takes over. Especially the nice weather months (March – October).

Why The Hilton Name Change – Both the Atlantic City and Las Vegas Hilton hotels have had to cease using the Hilton name. Evidently, their franchise agreements were not renewed by the Hilton Corporation for reasons that weren’t disclosed. An article in the November issue of Travel and Leisure magazine seemed to point out the reason why: Hilton is working to reinvent the brand with hundreds of new hotels (many of a more boutique nature) and shedding the stodgy image that a property like the Las Vegas Hilton carries.

Don’t Text In Your Car Here – Nevada has joined the list of states not allowing texting while driving. If you get ticketed, you’re out $50 (plus I assume court costs which can run into the hundreds). Hands-free devices are allowed. I don’t even touch my phone when driving in the resort corridor. It takes enough work to watch for other drivers who are sight-seeing and pedestrians who don’t understand “Don’t Walk” signs (like they have to hurry to the next hotel before it closes or something).

No Skyline Change For Now – The condemned (and never opened) Harmon tower — next to Cosmopolitan — won’t be coming down in the near future. The demolition hearing isn’t until March. It will take all that time to get the finger-pointing taken care of, have a judge decide who is at fault, and decide if it really isn’t fixable.

Super Bowl – Right around this time of year, we start to get the “What is happening for Super Bowl?” questions. Information on various events has already started coming in and we’ll list it starting next week. However, don’t hold your breath on info for the hotel parties. For some crazy reason, they get us that info about three days before kickoff which leaves us no time to include it here (although we will get it on Twitter this year). Don’t forget, you can catch the breaking news and deals that don’t make deadline here by joining the nearly 13,000 people that follow us at

Welcome Absinthe – We’d like to welcome a new sponsor to and this newsletter: Absinthe! I honestly can’t remember a show that has opened here to as much acclaim and buzz. The show is simply out-of-control and performed just feet away from the audience. Imagine a Cirque show run by a wealthy, smarmy, profane sideshow barker (The Gazillionaire) and then let your imagination run wild. This show is on the profane side at times, so avoid if you have sensitive ears.

Right now, they are offering $20 off if you book at this special link: Absinthe Las Vegas $20 Off Tickets

Enjoy This Issue!

Associate Editor: Amy Rayner-Cooley
News Researcher/Editor: Rick Ziegler

Skip the airport taxi hassles and arrive at your hotel in style: Check out driver and limo service availability now!

Book A Las Vegas Limo Today!

Bellagio, hotel roomBellagio Completes $70 Million Room Remodel – AAA Five Diamond Resort Enhances Experience With More Than 2,500 Redesigned Deluxe Guest RoomsBellagio (click link to book) has completed the remodel of all 2,568 rooms in its main tower offering guests a fresh, elegant collection of newly redesigned deluxe accommodations. Each of the three distinct color palettes now available at Bellagio further enhances the AAA Five Diamond guest experience at one of the worldÆs most iconic resorts.

Desert, Hard Rock Hotel35 Steaks + Martinis Honors the Birthday of Music Legend, Elvis Presley at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Jan. 8-14 With Special Free Desert – Home to some of the worldÆs most priceless music memorabilia and rock and roll memories, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas honors the King himself, Elvis Presley, who would have celebrated his 77th birthday on January 8, 2012. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino celebrates Elvis with unique taste, sight and sound offerings available at 35 Steaks + Martinis at 5 p.m. nightly Sunday, Jan. 8 through Saturday, Jan. 14. Photo Credit: Erik Kabik/Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Night School For Girls, Valentine's Day, Excalibur, Laura CroftLearn The Art Of Seduction This ValentineÆs Day At Night School 4 Girls – Ladies looking to heat up their love lives this ValentineÆs Day can learn the art of seduction from real Las Vegas showgirls at Excalibur Hotel & CasinoÆs interactive class Night School 4 Girls. With signature burlesque and pole dance moves like the ôhair flip,ö ôMarilyn,ö ôbooty roll upö and ôcowgirl,ö ladies will learn the skills it takes to ensure that all of the luck in Vegas isnÆt only found on the casino floor. In addition to learning new, sexy moves, students will be taught the basics of partying Las Vegas style from the ultimate party girl Laura Croft.

PBR Rock Bar and Grill To Offer Hat Bender Cocktail Special In Honor Of National Hat DayPBR Rock Bar & Grill at Miracle Mile Shops inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino will offer a canÆt miss, one-day deal in honor of National Hat Day on Sunday, Jan. 15. Revelers will be tipping their hats as the popular eatery will offer its Hat Bender signature cocktail for a special price of $10 from 3 to 6 p.m. Originally priced at $12, the Hat Bender is a refreshingly sweet mix of Smirnoff Citrus Vodka shaken with watermelon juice and lemonade. The Hat Bender special joins of slew of other great drink specials part PBR Rock BarÆs daily happy hour including $5 Jack DanielÆs Tennessee Whiskey drinks and Jager Bombs; 2-for-1 well drinks and $3 domestic draft beers.

Fantasy, Showgirl, Janary 2012, Soolin, LuxorFantasy Kicks Off 2012 With Soolin As January ‘Showgirl Of The Month’ – Steaming up the New Year is Soolin, FANTASYÆs January ôShowgirl of the Month.ö The sexy, adult revue at Luxor Hotel and Casino recognizes one of its stars each month in conjunction with its 2012 ôUltimate FANTASYö calendar. When Soolin is not on stage entertaining sold-out audiences, the Northern California beauty loves to keep her life low key. She likes to relax at home and is a dog lover who enjoys taking her Pomeranian- Chihuahua mix, Chip, to the dog park.

Joey Fatone Returns To Host ”The Price Is Right Live” Stage Show At Bally’s Las Vegas Jan. 11 – April 8 – ôThe Price is Right Liveö Stage Show at BallyÆs Las Vegas (click to book) welcomes back special celebrity host, Joey Fatone, for an exclusive engagement Jan. 11 û April 8. The show, from FremantleMedia, producers of ôAmerican Idolö and ôThe Price Is Rightö TV shows, features such fan-favorite games as ôPlinko,ö ôCliff Hanger,ö ôThe Big Wheelö and, of course, ôShowcase Showdown.ö Fatone will enlist audience members to play for a chance to win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes.

RHUMBAR Offers Cigar And Cocktail Pairing In Time For CES And AVN – Signature Cocktail and Mirage Toro Cigar Pairing Available in January – RHUMBAR, the stylish cocktail lounge at The Mirage, is making an offer convention goers canÆt refuse. Throughout the month of January, cocktail lovers and cigar aficionados will enjoy one of RHUMBARÆs signature cocktails paired with a premium Mirage Toro cigar for only $20.

Palazzo, Chinese New YearThe Venetian And The Palazzo Celebrate The Year Of The Dragon In Grand Style – DÚcor, food & beverage offerings and customary dragon dance to celebrate Chinese New Year – In honor of the most celebrated sign of the Chinese Zodiac, The Venetian and The Palazzo are commemorating the prosperous holiday in an over-the-top fashion. Beginning with a ceremonial dragon dance at 1 p.m. on Jan. 23, the Chinese New Year celebrations include lavish feng shui-inspired dÚcor, auspicious dish offerings and festive cocktails.

Wind Dancer Sunset Landing TourWind Dancer Sunset Landing Tour û Landing tour with Hors d’oeuvres on the Canyon Floor. Birds eye view of Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. Get a close look at the extinct volcano Fortification Hill. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way. Descend deep into the Grand Canyon and land on the Hualapai Indian territory on the canyon floor for a champagne toast, beverages and hors d’ oeuvres in the heart of this spectacular wonder of the world.

Click To Book Wind Dancer Sunset Landing Tour Now!

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Hi, we have been going to Las Vegas for over 35 years.

This year, we wanted to go to Las Vegas from Jan 15 to Jan 22, 2012. We were looking at going to see Celine Dion.

We booked the flight, then the Vdara. We later learned the Vdara wanted to charge a resort fee. We are not aware of ever paying any resort fees previously and in many situations we were provided with many extra benefits and sometimes free rooms.

The travel Agent called the Vdara to see if they would waive the resort fee as my wife and I do not make use of any of the facilities and never have with any of the hotels we have stayed in Las Vegas.

They would not waive the fees. Therefore, I canceled the trip and am booking Hawaii. I will not pay for something I do not use or do not believe is fair.

Just thought I would let you know as I have been reading your material for many years and you have helped me out in the past.




Ted Responds:

The following properties do not charge resort fees at last check:

Bally’s, Bills, Caesars, Cosmo, Harrah’s, Flaminigo, Manderin, Paris, IP, Planet Hollywood, and most major downtown hotels.

This isn’t a Vegas issue. Quite a few (upwards of 30, too many to list) Hawaii resorts also charge resort fees. Some to the tune of $25-30 per night. Hopefully, you’ll end up at one that does not, but you might want to check.

I’m no fan of resort fees, but they are becoming par-for-the-course. Your best way to fight back is to only patronize properties which don’t impose them. As you are passionate about this issue, you may also wish to contact your Senator or House Member and ask them to look into whether these fees are misleading or not.

PS Hey, you read our newsletter. I’m sure you know more about Vegas than your travel agent does. Consider booking at instead. We have the best places and rock bottom rates in conjunction with our hotel partners!


Follow Up: Norm just emailed me to let me know they were changing their plans and will indeed be vacationing in Las Vegas!

Regarding the possibility of putting strip clubs in casinos, you said “Let’s keep the strip clubs over in the industrial area behind the hotels where they belong.”

Here’s my idea; Let’s put the ultra clubs over in the industrial area behind the hotels where they belong!!!

I (and a lot of other Vegas visitors I know) are sick of the way the casinos are focusing on the drunken, obnoxious, rude, rowdy, 20 something douche bags who take over the casinos either at night, or by day at the pools. Don’t the casinos want us gamblers anymore???

No comps, no drink service, no decent payouts, no respect!!! Vegas was built by us but we have been forgotten by the corporations who now run their little casino monopolies.

I would much rather have a strip club which only attracts men who will come and go without much notice, than an ultra club that is completely the opposite!

Thanks for letting me rant!!! love your newsletter!

Candace Winters
(Vegas visitor 4 – 6 times a year since 1994)


Ted Responds:

No question that this issue has been coming to a head. When Steve Wynn spent nearly $70 million to build the Encore Beach Club, the complaints about “douchebags” and Jersey Shore (the reality show) types overrunning the property has become a serious issue among those who are there for the upscale gambling experience. One wonders if it played (even a little bit) into the decision to close the five star, five diamond Alex French restaurant at Wynn. The clubbers spend all day at the pool, nap in the evening, spend all night in the clubs, then nap in the morning. They aren’t sitting down to a 2 hour, $200 meal.

The clubbers and pool party goers are extremely lucrative. They pay steep admission fees, drink lots of $14ádrinks (with 30 cents worth of booze in it), and pay many hundreds/thousands of dollars for “bottle service” (where a $30 retail bottle of liquor is purchased for $400 and way up to insure that the guests get a private table). However, is it so lucrative that the properties don’t mind scaring off good gamblers? That seems to still be in question.

Cosmopolitan is proving an interesting study. They opened wanting to attract (in their words) the “curious class”. And to a point they have. Guests love their mixology bars, restaurants, and the club Marquee is a huge hit. The problem? This “curious class” isn’t at all curious about gambling! Which is having a significant impact on their bottom line. So much so, that they just hired an experienced Las Vegas hotel executive away from another property to help turn that situation around.

At the end of the day, you have to vote with your feet and play elsewhere. Which I know can be a very difficult concept if you are a comped gambler somewhere. They know you. They send you all those great offers. Other casinos may not.

My advice for people in those shoes? On your next trip, do half of your gambling at your usual place and do half of it at a “douche free” property that you enjoy (obviously using a players card so your play is tracked). Your normal property is unlikely to decrease your offers based on less play for just one trip, and you may be surprised at the offers you start to get from the new property you tried out.

We love to hear from you, and value your feedback! Here’s how to participate:

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Access Vegas Insider Vibe December 14, 2011 Insider Vibe

Serving Las Vegas Visitors and Residents Since 1999

Welcome to the Insider Vibe! This is the official newsletter of AccessVegas.Com. We talk about the Las Vegas activities you really care about. Quick Info Menu:

Las Vegas Essentials
Featured Shows

Newkirk’s Notes – comments on Las Vegas from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

Hello From Las Vegas! – We’re inching toward Winter Solstice (Dec. 22) and I’m looking forward to the days starting to get longer again. The fact that Las Vegas is sunny just about every day means nothing when the sun goes down so early! As we get toward the end of the year here, the news cycle has slowed down a little bit. The next couple of issues will be “kitchen sink” issues (everything but the kitchen sink). A mish-mash of news and thoughts that haven’t made previous issues, but should be interesting to most nonetheless.

New Years Eve – Next week, we’ll have all the details but expect business as usual with a nearly 9 minute fireworks show going off from The Tropicana to The Stratosphere. (Be warned that no hotels between Venetian and Strat will have displays). Let’s hope for better weather than last year when midnight temps were slightly below freezing. I’m getting too old for that! Tip for locals: One of the best “up close” views of the show is from the top of Palace Station parking garage. They close off the top floor and welcome everyone up for the look-see.

Celebrating All The Holidays – We know that Las Vegas goes “boom” in a big way for New Years Eve. Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving Day also result in big weekends. The LVCVA (Convention and Visitors Authority) is now suggesting turning more special event days into “Vegas Holidays”. As usual, the LVCVA is just sobering up and way behind what is actually already happening. I’ve been screaming about this for years!

Halloween has morphed into a Vegas Holiday with the nightclubs really stoking that fire. Cinco De Mayo has turned into a pretty big celebration. Not because of the LVCVA, but because of various casinos and bars doing events. Check out this video of Harrah’s 2010 Cinco de Mayo outdoor celebration. I’m completely floored that we don’t do Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday here. Are you kidding me?!?!? We could out-do New Orleans (and The Strip doesn’t smell like urine). Better late then never. More events for our visitors!

All Drinks $2 – Once again this year, the South Point is serving all drinks at their casino bars for $2 through December 24. I know that some of you gasp in horror at the thought of leaving The Strip, but this is quite the excuse to see how the locals eat, drink, and play at one of the city’s newer properties. (South Point is known for loose slots and good payback on video poker). They have a shuttle (schedule) for $8 round trip or the 6 mile cab fare will run you about $15 each way.

Tour Helicopter Crash – I like to focus on the good news and fun involving Las Vegas. However, I’d be remiss in mentioning the helicopter crash that took the lives of two couples and the pilot. One of the couples was celebrating their 25’th wedding anniversary, the other were newlyweds, and the pilot himself was a newlywed. Without singling out any particular tour companies (including the one involved in this horrible accident), let me note that when it comes to tours, you often get what you pay for.

We’ve been happily associate with a certain helicopter company (which I won’t name in this instance because this isn’t about capitalizing on tragedy) for well over a decade now. They are pretty much the most expensive. They also fly some of the newest equipment and can afford some of the best pilots. Guess what: They have an amazing safety record.

This extends to other aspects of your visit as well. The 1/2 price ticket booths are very popular. But keep a couple things in mind: At any given time, any show can end up for sale that day. Even the top shows rarely sell out every seat, every night. BUT… some showsáend up there day in and day out, and with good reason. They aren’t great shows. And since you’re the last one to buy tickets, guess where you’ll be sitting? Don’t get me wrong, if you just want to kill 90 minutes (shows are often cheaper than gambling), what the heck. But if you want good seats to the better shows, go ahead and book well in advance.

The Defenders – For those who blinked and missed the Jim Belushi/Jerry O’Connell Vegas-based show called The Defenders, Netflix is streaming all 13 episodes.

Special Christmas Menus – Similar to Thanksgiving, many of the restaurants in the hotels will be featuring a special holiday menu (in addition to their regular menu). If spending Christmas here in town (many families do), you might inquire with the restaurants that catch your eye to check options for Christmas dining, reservations, etc. ASAP upon your arrival.

Like And Tweet – Enjoy our information? Share it with your friends and followers (Click to Like or Tweet, hover over the share button for Email A Friend menu):


Enjoy This Issue!

Associate Editor: Amy Rayner-Cooley
News Researcher/Editor: Rick Ziegler

Skip the airport taxi hassles and arrive at your hotel in style: Check out driver and limo service availability now!

Book A Las Vegas Limo Today!

Winter in Venice, Christmas, Venetian, Palazzo, WinterThe Venetian and the Palazzo Las Vegas First-Ever Winter in Venice Holiday Celebration ContinuesThe Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas are hosting Winter in Venice, the first true celebration of the winter season on the Las Vegas Strip. Winter in Venice is the ultimate destination for an unforgettable holiday experience through Jan. 8. The whimsical festivities features an enchanting ice skating rink above The Venetian’s picturesque outdoor Grand Canal, welcoming skaters to make figure-eights or glide hand-in-hand with loved ones. Surrounded by snowflakes, strung overhead holiday lights and an awe-inspiring 65-foot LED holiday tree sitting atop the Doge’s Palace fountain, guests are entertained by strolling candy cane stilt walkers, puppets, jugglers and magicians.

Odgen, Pool, Downtown, Upscale, kitchen, living room

The Return of Upscale Living in Downtown Las Vegas with The Ogden – Renovations to Streamline Tower Reveal Premium High-Rise – Located in the heart of Las Vegas’ flourishing arts and entertainment district, The Ogden offers an unparalleled experience with front-row seats to the downtown revitalization effort along with an alternative solution for residents that prefer a chic lifestyle paired with a convenient leasing option. The new Ogden will offers contemporary living without the long-term commitment.

Cabo Wabo, Sammy Hagar, I can't drive 55, dollar nachosCabo Wabo Ups The Ante With Sammy Hagar’s ‘I Can’t Drive 55’ Dollar Nachos – Cabo Wabo Introduces its Most Extreme Menu Item – Everyone knows the Red Rocker can’t drive 55, so Cabo Wabo has decided to up the ante with its newest extreme dish, Sammy Hagar’s ‘I Can’t Drive 55’ Dollar Nachos. This colossal appetizer includes Cabo Wabo’s signature tortilla chips piled high with 20 tasty toppings, available for $55. And because the Red Rocker is certain that this dish will take an entire army to finish, he invites guests to take his ‘I Can’t Drive 55’ Dollar Nacho challenge. Cabo Wabo threw just about everything in the kitchen, minus the sink, into this massive mound of nacho goodness.

Ice Skate, The Villiage, Lake Las VegasThe Village Lake Las Vegas Kicks off the Holidays with Skating on The Lake – Bringing back an annual tradition with the world-famous floating ice rink – It wouldn’t be the Holiday season without a spin around one of Las Vegas’ most celebrated attractions. The one-of-a-kind floating ice rink has become a quintessential Vegas winter experience among locals and tourists alike. Guests bundle up and head to this destination attraction to skate on the unique platform that holds up to 75 skaters at one time with the picturesque back drop of The Village Lake Las Vegas.

Yoga, Spa, Mirage, DolphinThe Mirage Nurtures Nature – Offers Yogis One-of-a-Kind Yoga Class With Dolphin Views – The Spa at The Mirage is taking downward-facing dog to the dolphins with a new, one-of-a-kind class, Yoga Among the Dolphins, offered in a serene, underwater viewing area within Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. ”Guests from all over the world cherish the dolphins at The Mirage,” said The Mirage Spa Director Stephanie Doud. ”When I looked at adding yoga to our spa menu, it only made sense to take advantage of the property’s exotic, wondrous dolphin world and the atmosphere of relaxation provided by the animals.”

Maverick Helicopter River Rafting TourMaverick Helicopter Combo Adventure with River Rafting Tour û Our Wind Dancer Flight with an added thrill of rafting the Colorado River through Black Canyon. An adventure of a lifetime! You will begin your day with complimentary hotel pick-up and your jet helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon. Your pilot will bring you back to the Boulder City Airport to be greeted by the river rafter team for a motorized 10-mile float.

Click To Book Maverick Helicopter Combo Adventure with River Rafting Tour Now!

What We’re Watching – Vegas Videos You’ll Enjoy

  • Motley Crue Residency At The Hard Rock – In 2012, the world’s most notorious rock band will take on the world’s most notorious city for the first ever hard rock residency in Las Vegas. Enjoy this ”barely safe for work” preview.
  • Book Tickets Now: Motley Crue
  • Historic Railroad Trail At Lake Mead National Recreation Area – The historic railroad trail was a railroad right of way originally used to haul equipment and materials for the construction of Hoover Dam. The railroad was decommissioned in 1961 after the last power generator was installed in the dam. The trail is 3.7 miles one way and goes from the trailhead near the Lake Mead NRA Alan Bible Visitor Center to the Hoover Dam visitor parking structure.
  • Pahrump Valley Winery – Not far from the strip is Nevada’s most award winning winery, Pahrump Valley Winery. You heard me right, our neighbors out at Pahrump are growing their own grapes and turning them into award winning wines. And if that isn’t enough for you to make an easy hour drive, well, you can also stroll their beautiful grounds and grab a bite to eat at their gourmet restaurant Symphony’s, named after their Gold Medal winning wine of the same name.
  • Las Vegas in Kodachrome c.1962 – 16mm Kodachrome home movies from a group of Chicago Police officers and their wives while they visit Las Vegas in the early 1960s. The opening sequence takes place in a bus with long curved plexiglass windows (which makes for easy viewing of the Nevada / Arizona country) and is perfectly clear and in focus – incredible stuff.

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Note From Ted: This week (only) we’ll be featuring some of the feedback toward our decision to move to a paid subscriber newsletter model. Should you wish to chime in, you can use the contact information at the end of this segment. You know that I’m always transparent in addressing reader thoughts and concerns.

Next week, we return to the normal format for this section with lots of reader reports, tips, and questions answered!

We will be so sorry to lose this e-mail from you. Being retired and on a fixed income, and everything still going up, we cannot pay for anything that is not essential. I do save a bit for vacations, etc., and hope to visit once in a while. Just have to watch our pennies to do so. Perhaps we are two of your oldest subscribers as we have been long time readers. Good articles!!.

We thank you for a great newsletter and appreciate all the news about one of our favorite towns. Good luck in your new venture. Will miss you!!

Kay G


Ted Responds:

Thanks for the note. The bottom line is that we can’t continue to publish with the current scope for free at the expense of properly maintaining and upgrading our website, which is capable of reaching far more people.

Just as you would not want to work for free, I certainly can’t ask my small crew to put in extra hours off the clock to maintain both the site and the newsletter. Nor can I do it all by myself.

I crunched some numbers: Let’s say that the average cost of a Las Vegas vacation is $1000 a couple just for room, air, and food. Let’s say that it is a four day, three night stay which comes to around 60 waking hours here. That right there is $16.67 per waking HOUR while you are here. Just to be here.

If our information just saves you 1.5 hours of otherwise wasted or wandering time (because you know what is going on), it has paid for itself. Add to that deals we scour the web for that you can take advantage of on your trip, and you’ve more than covered the modest fee we’ll be asking.

Add into that the hours and hours that someone would spend trying to look up and find all this info on their own, and a couple of bucks a month to save all those hours turns into something that actually saves you, not something that costs you.

I appreciate that you may not be able to spare $2 per month for what we do. I respect that and thank you for being a long-time reader. Understanding that the economy is bad, I purposely kept the price as low as possible. To put it in perspective, another long time Las Vegas newsletter (which I have immense respect for) only publishes monthly and charges upwards of $40 per year.

But the simple economics are to cut way back on the information in the newsletter (an option I don’t find acceptable), or to ask readers who find it of value to help us out with $1.99 per month.

Thanks for your feedback,

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Your newsletter indicates that you are start charging in a few weeks. I can not find where to sign up. Help!!

On another note, I’ve returned from a trip mid November, stayed at the Aria. Used the $20.00 upgrade move and got a wonderful room. Two suggestion when staying there. One, request a room near the elevators, I need a pack mule for supplies to get from the elevator to my room. Two, be careful in the showers, the floor are polished smooth and of course, get them wet, they get slippery.

I have trouble using the electronic to operate the TV but that was probably my fault.

I agree with one of your readers in that they need to install a moving sidewalk to get the general public into the casino. And also for the guests for the Aria that want to go out and wander the Strip.

Dennis Hall


Ted Responds:

We’re still getting everything prepped. Don’t worry, we’ll provide plenty of advance notice. I’m so excited about the great, new things we’ll be able to do in 2012 once we’re able to better staff our little operation here! I can’t count the number of great ideas we come up with that we just don’t have the manpower to implement.

We have to keep most of them under our hat, but one is video: The internet is flooded with Vegas video, but 95% of it is unprofessionally produced and you have to sift through so many videos to (for example) find a good walk-through of a hotel room or an attraction you may want to know more about. If you find the “official” video for something, it is usually a 60 second advertisement that does not help much.

We’d love to shoot a series of 3-4 minute videos covering much of what Las Vegas has to offer, well produced, no BS. This would be invaluable to our members, as you could take a nice overview of something from the comfort of your home, and then decide whether it is up your alley. As opposed to coming here, trying it, and maybe finding it wasn’t for you (which wastes your time and money). As you can imagine, that takes time my present crew simply does not have.

Another example: Las Vegas is flooded with deals. I don’t mean a couple of ongoing steak specials. I mean happy hours, limited time prix fixe meals, much more. We’ve had endless requests to make a part of the site featuring all of this and we simply don’t have the resources to do so (it requires so much research to stay on top of it all as deals change weekly and even daily). Once we’re able to increase staffing, we’d like to keep this updated information in (what will be) our members area. That alone will save everybody the cost of the yearly subscription!

Thanks for the feedback on Aria. I agree and we’ve suggested in the past that in really big properties like Aria and MGM, the rooms can be quite a hike if you are don’t get put near the elevator banks. You aren’t the first to struggle with the Aria features. Cutting edge, but perhaps they should come with an operations manual!

We’ll keep an eye on what CityCenter does once The Harmon comes down. They’ll have a second chance to make the property more friendly to those walking The Strip.

Love your newsletter and donÆt mind helping out with the paid subscription. This route certainly makes sense. How will it work? Will you send out e-mails to let us know the new newsletter is off and running with the address to which the check should be sent? Just want to know so that I wonÆt be left out or miss the info. Thanks again for this helpful newsletter and your attention to detail.



Ted Responds:

We’ll have numerous payment options including the ability to send in a check. We’re in the process of working it all out.

Thanks in advance for the support. With everyone pitching in just a little bit, we believe that we’ll be able to produce the most amazing resource out there for Las Vegas visitors!

We love to hear from you, and value your feedback! Here’s how to participate:

  • Want to comment on a current reader post? Use the comment box on that particular web page. Many of the stories we post also have comment boxes at the end of the story. Make your voice heard!
  • Drop us an email at – We read them all!
  • Call our recorded comment line at 702-507-0055. We listen to every call.

More Las Vegas News – Shows – Events

Access Vegas Insider Vibe December 7, 2011 Insider Vibe

Serving Las Vegas Visitors and Residents Since 1999

Welcome to the Insider Vibe! This is the official newsletter of AccessVegas.Com. We talk about the Las Vegas activities you really care about. Quick Info Menu:

Las Vegas Essentials
Featured Shows

Newkirk’s Notes – comments on Las Vegas from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

Hello From Las Vegas! – I’d like to personally apologize if you visited over the weekend into the early week. Temperatures struggled to make it to 50 degrees F and we had numerous overnight lows below freezing. If you are a regular reader, you know that I’ve reminded everybody over the past few months that our average Dec. and Jan. low temps are 57 (for both months). Fortunately, we’re pretty much getting back to those numbers. And, that the actual temperature can easily be 10+ degrees of average.

Working Pretty Well – Posting the newsletter online (instead of delivering it in email) is a nice step forward. So many more are enjoy it because it doesn’t get caught in spam filters. Additionally, the look and feel stays intact for ease of reading. Even more importantly, I don’t have to kill myself trying to censor it. We have to use words like strip (as in Las Vegas Strip), casinos, gambling, poker, topless (as in shows) and similar. And those are some of the exact words which spam filters use to keep email from getting to you.

Sahara Officially Renamed – A Bloomberg interview with Sahara owner Sam Nazarian indicates that he will be changing the name of the property to SLS Las Vegas and the property will be remade as a trendy, boutique hotel. Which (as I’ve stated before) won’t work in that location in a million years. In related news…

Fon-Tain-Blu-(Goes-Boom)? – The Fontainebleau (spelled phonetically in the blurb title) is seeing quite a bit of hard hat action lately. As exclusively reported by Scott Whitney on Living in Las Vegas #133, discovery is being done to figure out whether it is cheaper to implode the building or take it apart and sell the steel. However, given the resurgence of the Las Vegas economy and solid projections of visitor growth over the next few years, I have to think that finishing the property is still an option.

I have mixed emotions. The building is very out-of-place for the location, boring looking, and and way too tall. Having said that, demolition would be a black eye on Las Vegas at a time things have really turned around. As always, we’ll keep you posted! Speaking of Las Vegas turning around…

You Don’t Say – Analysts are noting modest revenue increases for Las Vegas tourism in 2012 on the heels of gains in the past few months. We didn’t need analysts to figure this out. How about you walk around downtown or The Strip and look with you own eyes. Las Vegas is jammed again!

Biggest growth for 2012 will be in the affluent traveler segment. For those of you complaining that Las Vegas is becoming just for the rich (completely not true, and we give examples of room and food bargains on a regular basis), certainly the segment catering to the wealthier visitor will increase. Look for every steepening rates at places like Wynn/Encore, Venetian/Palazzo, CityCenter, and even Bellagio.

Regardless of the level of your accommodations, prices are on the rise. If you are even thinking about a 2012 Vegas vacation, I’d strongly suggest clicking over to visit our friends at Las Vegas Hotel Deals and enter some dates looking to lock something up. Waiting will only bring higher prices.

Many of you saw an article titled Is Nevada recovering? Depends on who you ask in your local papers. Considering that the article was written by someone from out-of-state, they actually did a pretty good job of nailing it. If you are on tourism, you’re probably doing fine. The sector is starting to return to normal. For those in construction, forget about it. Years will go by before the foreclosure housing is absorbed (prompting new home construction),áno resorts are on the drawing board, and we have a glut of commercial space.

Thank You Steve Wynn – According to a recent published report, it was Steve Wynn who at a routine meeting with Clark County (Las Vegas) Sheriff Doug Gillespie brought up the issue of how intimidating the pornslappers (adult escort service handbill distributors) were to visitors. Gillespie and the companies who do the “handbilling” have evidently come to an agreement.

Police won’t harass the pornslappers (who are protected under their right to free speech) if the distributors agree to doing things like not slapping the cards (which makes a noise and gets people’s attention), not shoving them in people’s faces, cleaning up after themselves and similar. We’ll see how this is going. As I’ve always noted, the best advice is to literally ignore them. Treat them like they don’t exist.

50/50 – Las Vegas is now attracting just as many female visitors as male. This is a sharp cry from when I first moved here in 1993 and Vegas was a “boys vacation” town. Lots more things for girls to do to get in trouble then there was back then…

Take A Ride On The Wild Side – Motley Crue is slated to do 12 dates at the Hard Rock during the months of February. This is an experiment to see if a hard rock act can make a residency work in Las Vegas a la Celine Dion. This won’t be a typical Motley concert date (which are pretty theatrical to begin with). They promise to use the fact that they’ll be in one spot (they don’t have to break the show down each night) to add all kinds of twists and turns to the show. Tickets are now available: Motley Crue Las Vegas Tickets

Enjoy This Issue!

Associate Editor: Amy Rayner-Cooley
News Researcher/Editor: Rick Ziegler

Skip the airport taxi hassles and arrive at your hotel in style: Check out driver and limo service availability now!

Book A Las Vegas Limo Today!

Holly Madison, Birthday, Chateau Nightclub, PeepshowHolly Madison Celebrated her Birthday at Chateau Nightclub and Gardens – The gorgeous Holly Madison wowed the crowd on the red carpet as she celebrated her 32nd birthday at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens inside Paris Las Vegas, Saturday night. The Las Vegas ”PEEPSHOW” star dazzled in a gold sparkle dress by Versace for H&M collection and red sparkle Christian Louboutin stilettos with gold spikes. Photo Credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage

Railroad Pass, Gingerbread, ChristmasRailroad Pass Hotel and Casino Announces Gingerbread Houses Display – It’s Holiday time at the Historic Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino. And, as part of the year- long 80th birthday celebration, they are bringing back a tradition from the 1800’s with the artistry of Gingerbread Houses.

The Hard Rock Store Supports The Salvation Army – Donate And Win! – ‘Tis the season for giving and The Hard Rock Store inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino supports The Salvation Army of Southern Nevada by encouraging guests to make donations between now and the end of the year. Suitable items include non-perishable food and cold weather attire.

winter cocktailThe Waterfall, Atrium and Gardens Of The Palazzo Transform Into A Majestic Winter Utopia û Guests are invited to enjoy one of the resorts’ festive Winter in Venice cocktails – As part of The Venetian and The PalazzoÆs (click link to book) inaugural Winter in Venice celebration, the resortsÆ horticulture team put the finishing touches on its unique winter displays in the resortÆs Waterfall, Atrium & Gardens this morning. Guests are invited to enjoy one of the resortsÆ festive Winter in Venice cocktails while enjoying the distinctive scenery including the popular Gondolier Blanco served at The Venetian and The PalazzoÆs bars and lounges.

Dream Catcher Sunset Grand Canyon TourDream Catcher Sunset Grand Canyon Tour û Landing tour with beverages, snacks and Extra Flight Time in the Grand Canyon! Experience the journey of a lifetime. Your journey begins with a flight out of Las Vegas to Hidden Valley to see the arches. Continue your journey to the Valley of Fire, were you will see red rock formations and some of the most remote, desolate, and fascinating desert landscape.

Click To Book Dream Catcher Sunset Grand Canyon Tour Now!

What We’re Watching – Vegas Videos You’ll Enjoy

  • Las Vegas Cashes In on Reality Television – Las Vegas is famous for its glitz and glamor. The vibrant city oozes sex appeal. Increasingly, the characters on reality television programs set in Las Vegas provide fascinating scripts not even Hollywood could create. From the young, wild and hot on the E! Channel’s ”Holly’s World”, to big spenders indulging at the Hard Rock’s Rehab pool party, to oddballs getting locked up on Tru TV’s ”Las Vegas Jailhouse”, it all adds up to free promotion for the entertainment capital of the world. Read More…
  • Las VegasÆ Over-the-Top Bathrooms – Any self-respecting traveler knows the importance of finding a clean public bathroom. It’s a place not only to take care of “‘business,” but a place to regroup and take a break from the masses. But in Las Vegas some public bathrooms are giving new meaning to the term royal flush. From over-the-top decor, to wall art that keeps customers lingering (maybe a bit too long) –even free language lessons, a trip to the bathroom can be as exciting as hitting the jack pot. Read more…
  • Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat – Living in Las Vegas certainly has many perksà one being the amazing access you get to activities usually planned for vacation trips. One great example that we’ve come across is the Dolphin Habitat at Mirage. Eight magical Atlantic bottlenose dolphins just waiting for you to join them as a ôtrainer for a dayàö You’ll get to feed the dolphins, learn to train the dolphins, and dine with the dolphins.
  • Red Rock Canyon Time Lapse Scenic Drive – Last week, we presented the Red Rock Casino to Blue Diamond time lapse drive. Now see what happens when you take the ultra-scenic Red Rock Canyon loop. A fast drive though the 12.5 mile narrow road of Red Rock Canyon Park just outside of Las Vegas.

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

I live in South Florida and visit Vegas every year, sometimes twice. If they build a huge casino complex in Miami it would not change my visiting Vegas. I don’t come to Vegas for the gambling but for the shows, restaurants and fun. The gambling in second. Before I moved to FL (2 years ago) I lived in MD and seldom went to Atlantic City. Not a fun place. No matter how many casinos/resorts they build in the country there is still only one Vegas!!!

Doris Osborne


Ted Responds:

A recent pretty lengthy article in our newspaper was examining this, and the consensus agrees with you. The Miami developers are quoting crazy numbers when they refer to the visitors they’ll steal from Las Vegas. The same point as yours was also made: Las Vegas isn’t just about gambling. It is the excitement of the entire destination!

Don’t get me wrong: People from the east will take the shorter flight for a quick Miami vacation that involves gambling. But most likely not as a replacement to their Vegas trips.

Unless or until Miami or Cuba builds their own version of the Las Vegas strip with miles of gaming resorts, single casinos in various locals a round the country just wet people’s appetite for Las Vegas. I hate to sound like a broken record, but we’re on pace to tie the record for visitors this year and pass it next year. That’s not exactly a sign that other gaming destinations are keeping people away!

Just back from a two-night, three-day stay in Vegas, our first trip to Sin City in two years. We stayed at MGM Grand. No room matching our reservation for non-smoking and one king-size bed was ready upon our arrival, and my wife wasn’t feeling well after the flight, so we had to spend an hour in a bar waiting for a room (our paperwork, by the way, guaranteed our room by 3 p.m., but we didn’t get ours until 4 p.m.). After that, though, we had a great trip, with time poolside, a nice first-day hit at video poker, and an outing to Fremont Street.

My wife had never been to Fremont Street; I’d seen the same shows there a few times and would have skipped it myself. However, the new (to me) Fremont Street Experience shows (we saw the “American Pie” and “Tribute to Queen” shows, plus one more) were a pleasant surprise to me, so we both enjoyed the outing.

During our stay, we enjoyed fine meals at the Wolfgang Puck and Diego at MGM, and a nice lunch at an outdoor table at Trader Vic’s at Planet Hollywood. We thought we’d have a nice view of the Bellagio fountains there, but the view is better from the outdoor tables at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris.

We were very impressed by our first visit to Planet Hollywood. I’d never been impressed by the former Aladdin, but very much like what they’ve done with the place. I spent some time at the Planet Hollywood sports book and found it to be comfortable, with a nice variety of big TVs for football.

The only show we saw on this trip was “Zumanity”, which we thought was great. We hadn’t known about the comic relief in this show, and that really added to our enjoyment of the show. Maybe we just got lucky, but the audience members roped into the show were cooperative and funny…I imagine not everyone would be!

One final point about a merchant we’ve come to feel offers unique, beautiful jewelry at reasonable prices and with unmatched service: Bernard Passman’s black coral jewelry store at Venetian. On top of what I’ve just said, I can add that they stand by the quality of their jewelry without hesitation.

I enjoy the newsletter and look forward to each issue; I also look forward to returning to Vegas sooner next time, as our package at MGM included an airfare credit for our next trip!

Scott from Dimondale, MI


Ted Responds:

First of all, I need to note that we just found a bunch of great trip reports from 2008 that got orphaned in our system. This was one of them. Over time, we’ll be running those which are still relevant.

When you have issues with a property, I still highly recommend sending a polite but pointed snail mail to the hotel in question. I realize that complaining on social media is becoming more popular, but the ease of it often makes business more dismissive of it. For a long time I remember Wynn’s Twitter feed getting filled with complaints. And the response to each was “call us”. I mean… they can’t very well fix things over Twitter (or even Facebook). Do one better and write them and you might be surprised at how they’ll work to make it up to you!

Membership Update – We’re a few weeks away from going to a paid subscriber model for the newsletter. Unquestionably, our information and advice improves your Las Vegas vacations. When you know what is happening, where the deals are, how not to get ripped off and similar, you maximize the time you have here (which doesn’t come cheap when you factor in air and hotel costs).áThe price will be less than $2 a month ($23.95 per year). That’s less than the price of a soda and candy bar at your local mini-mart.

Why this change when we’ve been free for so long? Simple: When I started in 1999, there really wasn’t that much Vegas news to sift through (and the newsletter was much shorter). Over the years, the time it takes to read all the papers, magazines, blogs, news feeds, press releases and similar and distill it all for you has grown intense. has suffered because of our attention to the newsletter. (For example, we just finally got a mobile version going, something we should have done two years ago). While we keep the site updated, the look and usability if more 1997 (when we launched) then 2011. We can’t do a really great job at both the site and newsletter with present staffing, and the site is our flagship.

This left me with two options:

1. I could radically reduce the scope of the newsletter and quit writing my parts so I can work on the revitalization of Access Vegas. You can get generic Vegas news from a million places now (if you have a zillion hours of free time on your hands each week to sift through it all). But, your feedback indicates that the key reasons you read are for my sections and because we distill down to all the important info. Or…

2. We can ask everyone to pitch in a couple of lousy dollars per month and not only continue what we do, but expand on it with special “members only” features we’d like to add over the course of the next year. We’d like to better address many of the common questions you have (which takes research time).áWe have a killer idea for a specialized app that will save you tons while you are in town. It will be free to paid subscribers. (If you aren’t an app type of person, you’ll have access to the information online in a members area so you can print it out and bring it along, or surf it on your phone or iPad).

We’ll also promise a personal response when a paid subscriber writes us with a Vegas question, which we don’t have the staff to do now (especially on stuff that has to be researched). We have the connections to get the right answers on stuff we don’t know off the top of our head. But not always the time to do so.

Hence, we’re going with option #2. We love helping you guys out. We just need a little help from you to do it properly.

Thanks in advance for your support!

We love to hear from you, and value your feedback! Here’s how to participate:

  • Want to comment on a current reader post? Use the comment box on that particular web page. Many of the stories we post also have comment boxes at the end of the story. Make your voice heard!
  • Drop us an email at – We read them all!
  • Call our recorded comment line at 702-507-0055. We listen to every call.

More Las Vegas News – Shows – Events