Access Vegas Insider Vibe – May 13, 2009 InsideráVibe

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

Hello From Las Vegas! Sumer is here, temps have already hovered at the 100 (F) and the pools are packed. Hotels are working harder than ever on promotions that should make this one of the best Las Vegas summers in some time.

Reinventing Las Vegas – The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) was looking for ways to “reinvent” Las Vegas and the way they market it (Review-Journal April 13, 2009). Last we heard, the are probably going to bring back the “What Happens Here, Stays Here” motto.

My thoughts? Las Vegas does not need a budget in the hundreds of millions to reinvent itself. Supply and demand reinvents Las Vegas. Right now, we are in a significant “reinvention” without any slogans. The economy has brought back the Las Vegas of the 90’s (minus the “family friendly” attempt of that decade).

The economy has forced cheap room rates, and plenty of specials on food, drink, shows and attractions. People used to go home and tell their friends about the great room (for the money) or cheap late night meal specials which also soothed the gambling losses. Visitors are the best way to sell and promote Las Vegas (word of mouth). But… you have to give them something to talk about!

Casinos in other areas (in competition with Las Vegas) are following the tried-and-true. Reference this ad from a casino outside of Sacramento, CA:

99 cent breakfast

How about we see more of this in Las Vegas and the word-of-mouth (and gambling money) is sure to follow!

Clint Holmes Returns – If you’ve been coming to Las Vegas for a number of years, the odds are that you saw Clint Holmes perform at Harrah’s (or at least remember hearing about the long-running show). Clint is back later this month for a weekend run. Details down in our news section.

Wolfgang Puck Summer Dining – Many of Las Vegas’ nicer restaurants are offering some amazing Pre-Fixe (fixed price, fixed menu) meals right now. Starting June 1 – Sept. 30, 2009 the following Wolfgang Puck restaurants are offering the following:

  • Spago û $29 Pre-Fixe Lunch Menu: Spago presents a three-course, pre-fixe lunch menu created by Executive Chef Eric Klein. Available daily, the menu offers delectable, yet light fare, ideal for lunch and guests on the go. The menu changes weekly and features new dishes which arenÆt featured on the standard lunch menu. The pre-fixe menu is $29 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).
  • Chinois û $39 Three-course pre-fixe menu with wine: Wolfgang PuckÆs Chinois invites guests to savor the flavors of Asia with a three-course pre-fixe menu, paired with a complimentary glass of red or white wine. The pre-fixe menu is priced at $39 per person. (excluding tax and gratuity).
  • Postrio û $49 Three-course pre-fixe menu with wine: Postrio entices guests to experience its exciting new menu and stunning new design. The restaurant is offering a three-course pre-fixe menu priced at $49 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).
  • CUT û $75 Pre-Theatre Menu: CUT by Wolfgang Puck offers guests a new pre-theatre menu available from 5:30 û 7 p.m. nightly. The menu includes three courses, accompanied by three of CUTÆs signature side dishes. For dessert, guests have a choice of Banana Cream Pie, Baked Alaska or a Warm Chocolate SoufflÚ. The pre-theatre menu is available for $75 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).
  • Spago û $135 Six-Course Beer Pairing Menu: Spago has added a special six-course tasting menu paired with exotic beers from around the world including Belgium, Japan, Italy and Germany. The menu changes daily and is priced at $135 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).
  • Summer LocalsÆ Appreciation û 25% Off: Wolfgang Puck is expressing his appreciation to Las Vegas locals this summer by offering guests 25% off their check. Beginning June 1 through Sept. 30, guests may take advantage of this special offer at Spago, Postrio, Chinois and Trattoria del Lupo.

Did You Know – The president of the perennially failing Las Vegas monorail makes $339,000 per year and claims to work a 50 hour week? Let’s see: the line rarely announces new advertisers or promotions. The cars don’t even have drivers. I think we’d all kill for that kind of $1/3ámillion dollars per year, “50 hour week” job!

Ground Has Been Broken – on the downtown performing arts center. The one you are paying for with your rental car taxes and will probably never bother to visit. The one we needed so badly because we have such a lack of entertainment venues here (I’m being sarcastic).

Look… I think downtown will be an amazing city core in the next 5-7 years. We have a photo set of Fremont East coming up soon, and plenty of great development is taking place at Union Park (just west of downtown). Not to mention so many high-rise condos that are built and coming on line. But if a venue is needed downtown (as it eventually will be), one of the downtown casinos will build it when the time is right. Without taking any money out of your pocket (except for the voluntary money you choose to gamble).

Condos For “Cheap” – Just to give an idea of how Strip condo prices have fallen: Earlier this year, and formerly $11.5 million dollar penthouse condo at Panorama Towers was going for $3.1 million or best offer. No word on if it sold or what the final price was. Panorama Towers is just across the I-15 freeway from CityCenter, and now simply has a “panoramic” view of the back of the project.

Where Are You? – I often talk about our worldwide readership and I’m sure many of you have wondered where everybody is (on the face of the globe). I pulled the top ten countries from our statistics by percentage:

  • United States – 73.52 %
  • Canada – 10.02 %
  • United Kingdom – 5.43 %
  • Australia – 1.28 %
  • Ireland – 0.98 %
  • Germany – 0.98 %
  • France – 0.86 %
  • Mexico – 0.54 %
  • Italy – 0.44 %

Because so many people can use web email, the above stats are actually from our traffic. But based on our reader feedback, I’d say this newsletter readership falls into line with those state. Note: We have no way of knowing exactly who you are. When you visit our websites, we’re simply able to determine what country and city that request is coming from (i.e. who your internet provider is).

With over 15% of our readership outside North America, we’re pleased and humbled to be a key source of Las Vegas information. No matter where you live, we know that you expend significant time, effort, and money to come visit our desert paradise. We’ll continue to work very hard to provide you the best Las Vegas information and advice possible.

Enjoy This Issue!

Ted Newkirk
CEO/Managing Editor

Associate Editor: Amy Rayner-Cooley
News Researcher/Editor: Mark Jacobs

Las Vegas Is On Sale!
Get Great Rates At All Hotels:

Bally’s from $49, El Cortez from $33, Fitzgeralds from $33, Hooters from $20, Orleans from $40, Riviera from $54, Sahara from $38, Stratosphere from $44, Tropicana from $30, Tuscany from $38, More Savings At All Vegas Hotels!

The Hit Musical Jersey Boys At The Palazzo Celebrates A Successful Year On The Strip – JERSEY BOYS Las Vegas, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, celebrates its first anniversary on The Las Vegas Strip at the Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino Sunday, May 3. The show has become a staple of entertainment in Las Vegas, being named the number one show of 2008 by the Las Vegas Review-Journal after only six months of performances. In addition, just last month, JERSEY BOYS was named “Best Show” in Las Vegas by the staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in the newspaper’s 28th annual “Best of Las Vegas” poll.

Clint Holmes Brings His Smooth Sounds To The Suncoast Showroom May 22-24 In ‘An Evening With Clint Holmes’ – Singing sensation Clint Holmes brings his powerful voice and magnetic stage presence to the Suncoast Showroom in “An Evening With Clint Holmes With Musical Director Bill Fayne,” May 22, 23 and 24. Holmes’ fans know him as more than just a singer. He’s famous for making every performance an original and captivating audiences with his charisma and signature style.

Legendary Groups Chicago And Earth, Wind & Fire To Co-Headline Show At The New Joint – Music legends Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago have reunited for a 30-city national co-headlining summer concert tour and will be making a stop at The New Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Saturday, July 25. Each band will perform a full set, and the two bands will come together both at the beginning of the night and for a final set that features both bands onstage together. In 2004 and 2005, the two bands teamed up for what is still talked about as one of the great musical spectaculars in recent touring history.

Comedian Artie Lange To Bring The Laughs To The New Joint At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Saturday, June 27 – Incredible comedy & non-stop laughter is coming to The New Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino when Artie Lange brings his live show to Vegas Saturday, June 27. Those are just a few ways to describe this prolific talent who continues his rise in the entertainment industry.

Duran Duran To Perform At The Pearl At The Palms – One of the most popular “British Invasion” bands of the ’80s, Duran Duran, takes the stage at The Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort on Friday, July 10, 2009 as part of limited run dates along the West Coast. Duran Duran was founded in the United Kingdom in 1978 by Nick Rhodes and John Taylor. Over the years Duran Duran underwent several lineup changes however never disbanded entirely. Today’s lineup includes Rhodes and Taylor as well as Simon Le Bon and Roger Taylor.

Original Creed Line-Up Of Scott Stapp, Mark Tremonti, Scott Phillips And Brian Marshall To Play The New Joint – Creed, one of the most successful rock bands of the past decade, has announced all four of the original band members are back together for a summer tour and new album. Since their formation, Creed has sold close to thirty-five million albums and millions of concert tickets. Creed will play The New Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on September 27.

Performers Announced For Reggae In The Desert – The eighth annual Reggae in the Desert concert returns with a collection of well-known reggae acts including Ky-Mani Marley, Gregory Isaacs, Third World, Yellowman, One Pin Short and Jah Fusion. DJ Rhamma will spin tunes throughout the day and in between sets. Steve Edwards is the host for the event. The concert is set for Saturday, June 13 at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater in downtown Las Vegas.

Travel Back In Time To 1969 As Fremont Street Experience Presents “Summer of ’69: Vegas or Bust” – Fremont Street Experience takes Las Vegas back 40 years this summer with the “Summer of ’69: Vegas or Bust” festival and concert series beginning Memorial Day weekend. The celebration offers tourists and residents a summer full of free concerts by major iconic bands from 1969, including The Guess Who, Blood Sweat & Tears, Rare Earth, Janis Joplin’s Original Band Big Brother & The Holding Company, The Grass Roots, Jefferson Starship, The 5th Dimension, Canned Heat and Three Dog Night.

Easy Vegas Deals

These are only a few of the many Easy Vegas Deals we find each and every week. For a complete and constantly updated listing:

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Love your newsletter! My son and I just came back from a four night stay at Sahara. Compared to a number of other casino floors, I found they had a much better selection of slot machines, and they actually paid from time to time. Riviera was OK, but Circus Circus and Stratosphere were lacking in the newest games.

On the other hand, our room at the Sahara was peculiar. I normally stay at Imperial Palace or Circus Circus (low rates), and the rooms are functional. Our Sahara room was larger, had more character and a balcony with a nice view. The plumbing was hardly working, the carpet had burn holes, cleanliness was lacking – it clearly hadn’t been deep cleaned in ages, as evidenced by the dust on the electrical sockets. We chose it because of the Monorail, and were very pleased with the Caravan and Grind food services – both 24 hours and offering good variety and reasonable prices.

I was disappointed with the slot machines and food services at Imperial Palace just before Christmas, so with price, location and convenience factored in, I’d choose Sahara again. But you get what you pay for.

Dave from Canada

p.s. Somebody had written their phone number on our mirror, and it wasn’t cleaned off before we checked in. Didn’t call it, however…

Ted Responds:

You do get what you pay for and unfortunately, hotels are cutting costs (no room improvements and similar) to compensate for how low they have to keep the room rates right now.

I need to check on this, but I understand much of the Riviera’s rooms were upgraded a couple of years ago. We’ll look into that. We are going to start sending our stable of writers on “staycations” at as many local hotels as possible, and we are probably going to institute a “bang for your buck” ratings system. We’ll also ask readers who have stayed at Riv to let us know their thoughts.

Couple of notes:

1. It is a little bit of a pain, but if a room seems not clean in any way (including writing on the mirror), do not hesitate to call the front desk and ask for either a room re-assignment or if they can send a maid up IMMEDIATELY (let them know it appears the room wasn’t cleaned).

2. The Sahara is owned by one guy, not a big corporation. Many other hotels like Riv, Hilton and others are also owned by smaller concerns as are most of the hotels downtown. Absolutely drop the hotel’s general manager a snail mail note on situations like this. Just be clear and to-the-point like you were with me. (When people start exaggerating, it starts to sound like the writer just wants money or a free stay next time).

This is stuff they need to know, and they actually might toss you a couple of free nights or something similar on your next visit.

Lots of rumor floating around that The Sahara is winding down to a temporary closing phase. The properties owner wants to completely remake it into a Palms style hotel. Given the changes going on at the north end of The Strip (Wynn/Encore, Fontainebleau, maybe someday Echelon and Plaza), the north end of The Strip may finally turn into the new hot spot.

Thanks for the report!

My wife and I spent March 19-23 in Las Vegas and had a great time. We travel there from Ohio 1-2 times a year. We enjoyed the excitement of the first weekend of March Madness. The weather was pleasant and a nice switch from the damp gloominess of northwest Ohio in March. We stayed at The Hilton.

What we found disappointing there and along the strip was the poor gambling options, particularly if you are a low limit blackjack and craps player. Almost every blackjack game at the Hilton, during busy hours, were 6-5 (blackjack payoff). There were no $5 craps tables. Same was true along the strip, even at some of the traditionally lower end casinos.

We did manage to find options, but had to go to the Sahara or downtown. We had a great time and I’m not complaining since I came back ahead. It’s just harder and less convenient to find lower limits and favorable conditions. A tip of the hat to the 4 Queens and Binion’s where we spend several hours our last night. My wife and I concluded our blackjack session at the 4 Queens with blackjacks and a successful craps session at Binion’s. We’re already looking forward to our next trip.

Mark from Toledo, Ohio

Ted Responds:

I’ve been very vocal about suggesting people do at least one of their big gambling sessions downtown, and for the very reasons you noted. The lower limits let you play longer, the better odds and looser slots give you a better chance of winning, and if your luck at one hotel isn’t good, you can simply get up and be gambling in another hotel in a matter of a couple of minutes!

First I do enjoy reading your comments on what is going on in Vegas. I thought I would point out to fellow readers and people on a budget that I found some very good deals on Memorial day weekend. My girlfriend and I started going to Vegas a couple of years ago and since have been a couple of times a year.

Right now like a lot of people we have to watch our money but when things get a little better for us. Our first vacation will be in Vegas. I never had any interest in going to Vegas but my girlfriend wanted to see the lights on the strip so she talked me into the trip. I guess I was sold because we have been 8 times in 3 years pretty good considering I never really wanted to go the first time.

I found Vegas not to be what I thought it was. I thought it was all gambling and after over a half dozen visits I can tell you there is so much to do for couples and family that the gambling is actually pretty far down on the list when I think of Vegas.áOh, I’m sure I heard some of the casino owners gasp when I say that. Keep up the good work. love your news letter.

Joseph from Imlay City, MI

I love your newsletter. Reading this is better than the newspaper!

Myetta From Granada Hills

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More Las Vegas News – Concerts – Events

Coming Hot Holidays – The following dates are huge times to be in Las Vegas, and rooms are in high demand. Booking in advance is the best way to save. Visit our friends at Las Vegas Hotel Deals and spend one of the following hot dates having fun in Las Vegas:

  • Memorial Day, U.S May 23-25 (3 day weekend)
  • Father’s Day June 21
  • Canada Day, Canada July 1
  • Independence Day July 4
  • Civic Holiday, Canada August 1-3 (3 day weekend)
  • Labor Day, U.S September 5-7 (3 day weekend)
  • Labour Day, Canada September 5-7 (3 day weekend)
  • Jewish New Year September 19
  • Halloween October 31
  • Veteran’s Day November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day, U.S November 26-29 (4 day weekend)
  • Hanukkah Dec. 2 – Dec. 9
  • Christmas December 25
  • New Year’s Eve-Day December 31 – January 2 (3 day weekend)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, U.S (Observed) January 18-20 (3 day weekend)
  • Lincoln’s Birthday, U.S February 12
  • President’s Day, U.S (Observed) February 13-15 (3 day weekend)
  • Chinese/Lunar New Year February 14
  • Valentine’s Day February 14
  • Mardi Gras February 16
  • Washington’s Birthday, U.S February 22
  • St. Patrick’s Day March 17
  • Easter Sunday April 4
  • Cinco de Mayo May 5
  • Mother’s Day May 9

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All contents copyright 2008 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
Hotel Rates Published Accurate At Time Of Publication

May 13, 2009 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us Privacy Policy