Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 8, 2000

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This Issue: Darren Romeo

Curious about a restaurant, event, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at:

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

NASCAR – the big race last weekend was a victim to a rare rainy Las Vegas day, which was unfortunate for the 120,000-plus tourist who flocked to town to see it. Race fans may find the following stories from the Review-Journal of interest:

The Race –
Photos –
Results –

DANNY GANS – When Danny Gans started at the Rio a little about two years ago, he was somewhat unknown but word spread quick and up went the price. From $40 to $100 in a little more than a year. Gans was upset because the Rio had allegedly told him that price increases would be mutually agreed upon, as Gans wasn’t getting a dime of any raise. Gans bolted to The Mirage when his contract ended, and starts April 4’th. Full story at

MTV – will be shooting their “Total Request Live” show with host Carson Daily this Saturday at the Fremont St. Experience Saturday from 3:30- 5:00 PM. Story at

WAYNE – Has anybody seen Wayne Newton’s show as it’s traveled around the country? What did you think? ( )I’m putting it on my short list of things to review now that he’s signed the long term contract to play The Stardust. There was a pretty good story about him and the new situation at

KEY LARGO – hotel on Flamingo is a little too far from the Strip unless you are renting a car or don’t mind taking cabs or waiting for the bus, but according to the Review-Journal, they have installed a number of full pay video poker machines including 9/7 Jacks or Better, Kings or Better Joker’s Wild, Deuces Wild, and 10/7 Double Bonus. Plus, their club card returns .25 percent. Full story is at That article is also a good read because it talk about the odds bet at craps — very helpful info for the novice craps player on why to take odds.

X-SPOT – The new club cranks up on Saturday night inside the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. It’s advertising itself as the “No attitude, no BS place to hang out, drink cheap beer, and listen to good music”. Advertised are $1.50 drafts and a DJ playing alternative music. Admission is free if listen to 107.5 FM to get the password. Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at (Mandalay Bay link).

STORIES – available right now on : Eight killed in van rollover, Casino Magnate Wynn Weighs Options, Spokane’s America West service takes off, Las Vegas Posts 10.5% Increase in Visitors

WINNERS – Sandra Martin of Nebraska City, NE won the NASCAR race preview. Paul Gurzynski of Milwaukee, WI won the press photos. Debi Jackson of Kenosha, WI won the Star Trek coin.

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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

BLUE MAN GROUP – You can check out an article about this quirky group whose show is running at the Luxor at and Luxor discount rooms are available at (Luxor link).

MANDALAY BAY – B.B. KING on March 15, FLOGGING MOLLY on March 17, THE YOUNG DUBLINERS on March 18, WARREN ZEVON on March 25, INCUBUS on March 29, DIO on April 1, PETER MURPHY on April 2, DR. JOHN on April 6, SEBASTIAN BACH on April 8, LIT on April 9, JOE SATRIANI on April 16, and LYNYRD SKYNYRD on April 25. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at (Mandalay Bay link).

HARD ROCK – JARS OF CLAY with BURLAP TO CASHMERE and DAVID WILCOX March 23, MARGARET CHO on March 25, JOHN LEE HOOKER on April 8, and TRACY CHAPMAN on April 16. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and discount Hard rock rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

SUNSET STATION – BILLY RAY CYRUS on March 24, TAYLOR DAYNE on March 25. Tickets available at (702) 547-7970 and discount Sunset Station rooms available at (Sunset Station link).


You want to go see a magic show. Your wife wants to be entertained by song. Your friend enjoys comedy. It’s early afternoon in Las Vegas, you are still stuffed from lunch buffet and getting creamed at the tables and slots. What do you do? Head on over to the Flamingo Hilton and catch 24 year old Darren Romeo’s show!

This guy can sing. In fact, he can sing so well that during his first number I could have sworn he was lip synching (pretending to sing to a taped background). In his “hello” to the audience, he assured us that all of his vocals would be absolutely live and then jumped right into the classic “Dream Lover” by namesake Bobby Darren as he put together a plexiglass box for his first trick. Not missing a beat (or a breath), he made his “dream lover” (assistant) appear from the clear empty box.

After another magic stunt themed to his vocal performance, he went on a string of singing comedy impressions of vocalists like Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ricky Martin, Elton John, Johnny Mathis, and Tom Jones. The actual impressions were passable, but the highlight was the comedy lyrics and stage moves such as Johnny Mathis crooning his dismay over not being able to attract the women like Tom Jones and Neil Diamand singing about his bald spot. He had everyone rolling in the aisles!

He brought up a female volunteer from the audience to do a touching poetry and musical act about losing a love — asking “have you ever been dumped?” in the middle of tender vocals which brought a laugh. His singing was the perfect accompaniment to a paper rose trick in which he molded a piece of paper into a rose and made it levitate before vanishing in a spectacular ball of fire. I can only imagine the concentration level needed to sing and perform magic together.

The magic was the garden variety that we have all unfortunately been overexposed to on numerous TV specials, but seeing magic in person still gives you that tingling “how did he do that” thrill. We don’t want to spill all the surprises, but he’s got a couple of first-class transformation and teleportation tricks up his sleeve.

He’s such an energetic, fun loving guy that it at times almost detracts from his magic. During a variation of the “pick a card, any card” trick, he was joking along so much that I forgot which pictures we were supposed to be remembering! Perhaps a little more magician’s seriousness would have been in order there, but you can’t be too harsh on a guy who genuinely appears to be having a great time. Despite his extensive resume in theatre and magic that belies his young age, he still comes across with a “pinch me — I can’t believe I’m hear” attitude.

The finale was a piece from Phantom of the Opera that once again showcased both his vocal and theatrical skills and revolved around the levitation of his sleeping assistant. It brought the show to an emotional crest and culminated with a stunning trick.

This show probably isn’t one for the “sports books and craps table” buddies. However, it’s a fun 70 minutes of entertainment for a couple. Also, ladies who are in town for “girls getaway” or who have heard their male companion yell “yo-eleven” for the yo-eleventh too many times at the craps table and need a break will appreciate the show. Besides his talent, Mr. Romeo looks like a slightly younger Ricky Martin and the group of ladies seated in front of me certainly seemed to be enjoying all aspects of the show. Me? I’m more of a yo-eleven kind of guy, but this show even won me over by the end.

Darren Romeo plays in the showroom at The Flamingo Hilton every day but Wednesday at 3:00 PM. Tickets are $14.95 and include one drink. Flamingo Hilton discount rooms are available at (Flamingo Hilton link).


In response to last weeks letter about staying at The Trop and getting married in Las Vegas:

Zira Schiffer wrote:

>My husband and I were married at the Riviera two years ago.á When you
>get in line at the license bureau you’ll think it will take forever,
>but take heart, they are very efficient.á It was actually quite
>interesting watching the different couples there.á The Tropicana is
>definitely not one of the fancy hotels, but I’m sure they do a fine
>ceremony.á The buffet at Rio is very good, but expect to wait on line
>a long time.á Lots of luck.

Note: The regular buffet at the Rio has been going downhill (and up in price) and we no longer suggest it.

Peter from Santa Barbara, CA wrote:

>Diana, I was at the Tropicana two weeks ago and enjoyed it very much.
>The Pool grounds are spectacular and the room was very nice (Nice
>couch, cool bath Tub & mirrors over the bed).á there was only two
>things that I disliked, the Tropicana buffet and the most unpleasant
>”10 mile hike” to our room.á What ever you do not book the rooms in
>the back tower, unless you like a long, long walk.á FYI, they have a
>special $20 for $40 dollar slot area, even if you don’t win cash you
>still get a gift.á We did it for the Follies show, instead of paying
>40 bucks each for just the show, we got a chance to win cash and only
>spent 20 bucks each for the tickets.á Or you can choose two tickets to
>the Magic show among other things as your gift.

Cindy wrote:

>hi there….i am writing in regards to the woman that is getting
>married at the Tropicana in September…i now live in vegas and i also
>married at the little white chapel…my cake came from smith’s grocery
>store which cost $20, it was a round cake with red roses and
>doves…it was beautiful….i called the day before my wedding and
>picked it up myself…i also made my bouquet and the wedding party
>members r flowers by using a few dozen roses and ribbon from the
>grocery store…i spent around $30….i ran to Lee’s discount store
>and picked up 2 bottles of champagne at the cost of $20…cheap
>champagne is just as good in taste as expensive champagne…á and
>brought it with us to the chapel to have when we got out of the
>ceremony as well as to Battista’s whole in the wall behind barbarey
>coast, where we had our wedding dinner…their food is wonderful there
>as well as an enjoyable atmosphere….people were very friendly and
>great…we shared our wedding cake with several unknown guests in the
>restaurant….what ever you do, don’t eat at the buffet at the
>tropicana…it is truly horrible!á as far as wedding pictures, the
>little white chapel requests that no pictures can be taken inside the
>ceremony unless you use their photographers…so of course we had
>to…but my father in law also brought his camera and took several
>pictures after the ceremony and throughout the night…low and behold
>when comparing the differences of pictures when developed, my father
>in laws pictures came out absolutely beautiful which cost $4.95 to
>develop at walmart compared to the photographer’s from the little
>white chapel which cost $200….i ended up having duplicates and
>blow-up done on the $4.95 pictures and none from the little white
>chapel’s….by the way, i went to the hard rock cafe’s diner…its a
>24 hour place inside of the casino….i can’t remember the name of it
>maybe because i never want to go back there….oh my god….it was so
>gross….i couldn’t eat the food and my husband and i left without
>eating….the service was horrible also….i was served food with no
>utensils which took awhile to get a hold of….no offers of refills
>for coffee…and can you believe it…the place was empty…explain
>that one….for the woman getting married in vegas…as a site for her
>to always remember, make a special trip to the top of the stratosphere
>to see all of vegas….i’ve done it a dozen times and still am floored
>by its sight….thanks….cindy

Thanks for all the great advice! Tourist who don’t want to head out to one of the Lee’s Discount Liquor locations might want to hit the discount liquor store at The Gold Coast (the casino right next to The Rio). We have mixed opinions about Mr. Lucky’s, the coffee shop at the Hard Rock. Their $5.95 surf and turf special is great! It’s not on the menu, so ask for it. But, the service is usually lousy.

Sam Profio wrote:

>Ted, on the local (Cleveland) news last night I saw that the Scintas
>are going to be playing the Las Vegas Hilton for the next few months.
>The Scintas are a group from Buffalo that play many cities in NY, OH,
>MI, PA, New England, etc.á They have played on cruise ships as well
>but have never been able to break into Vegas until now.á This is a
>very entertaining group.á They do comedy, sing, and do great
>impersonations of other singers.
>The group mainly consists of an Italian family, two brothers and one
>sister.á The brothers sing impersonations from Billy Joel to Satchmo
>and you would swear its the real deal.á The sister has the power and
>range of Whitney Houston and sounds like her too.á Incredible.á The
>brothers are very funny and pick on their drummer who is not Italian,
>”the white boy”.
>I have seen them three times and they never disappoint.á I highly
>recommend to all of your readers that they check this out!

While time constraints prevent us from getting around to even half of the great events taking place, thanks for alerting our readers who will be staying or playing at the Las Vegas Hilton.

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at 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 – “Do you prefer table games, slots, or both?” Let’s hear your opinions at — results will be published in 2 weeks!

Results from last poll question “How much per night do you usually pay for a room in Las Vegas”?

Under $30áááá 9%
$30 – $50áááá 25%
$50 – $75áááá 32%
$75 – $100áááá 16%
$100 – $200 5%
over $200áááá 1%
If I don’t get a comp, forget it 12%


Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 10’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.


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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!

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All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 8, 2000