Access Vegas Insider Vibe – June 13, 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: The Rat Pack Is Back

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

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

JACKPOT – Major William Tracy had been in Las Vegas for less than a
day when he struck it rich early Wednesday morning, winning $3 million
on a Wheel of Fortune(R) dollars machine at the Flamingo Las Vegas.
“I just sat there staring at the payline, trying to figure out what
was happening when a security guard walked up to tell me that I had
just won $3 million. I’m still in shock,” he said. Tracy, 32, and
his wife, Alicia, are in Las Vegas to attend graduation ceremonies at
the USAF Weapons School at Nellis AFB. Tracy, who flies an F-15C
fighter, is currently stationed in Japan. The Tracys aren’t sure what
they’ll do with their winnings. “Make some investments, help our
families. It’s a lot to figure out. But there is one thing we are
sure of — we don’t want things to change … at least, not too
much,” Tracy said.

MONORAIL – Right now, early construction on the first phase of the Las Vegas monorail is underway. Running from the MGM to the Desert Inn, the line is eventually slated to run downtown. Proposed extensions run both to the airport and along the casinos on the West side of The Strip. Full story with map at

MARINERS -áááá The Seattle baseball team continues to terrorize their opponents, as well as the Vegas sportsbooks. Count the Mirage as one of many Nevada casinos that would welcome some avalanche control. It listed the Mariners at 45-to-1 odds to win the World Series before the season started, a number the team has pared to 7-2, second only to the Yankees’ 5-2. Full story (which includes a little inside peak at how baseball lines are set) at

ENERGY CRUNCH – is continuing to be felt by the hotels here. While Nevada has secured enough energy for the summer, the prices are on the rise. Harrah’s Entertainment, Station Casinos and the Riviera Hotel and Casino have tacked a $3-a-night surcharge on hotel rooms at their Nevada casinos. Whether to charge customers more is especially a dilemma for the more expensive casinos on the Strip, where image is everything and customers could perceive such a move as tacky. Bellagio, for example, now has a system that adjusts air conditioning and turns off lights when offices aren’t used. Full story at

EPICUREAN AFFAIR – The 11th annual Epicurean Affair, featuring signature dishes from local restaurants, wine, a silent auction and live entertainment, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. June 20 at The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South. More than 50 restaurants plan to participate in the event, dubbed “The Rhythm of Flavor” and carrying a Latin American theme. Details at

NO KIDDING – In light of the recent “Kids In Vegas” debate, I was informed about No Kidding. This is a group of people who are child-free by choice. They are adamant that they don’t hate children nor are trying to pass anti-child laws. It is just a social group for people who have no kids and enjoy social events with others in the same position. The national page is at and the Las Vegas chapter can be contacted at (click)

VEGAS FOR KIDS – If you are bringing your kids to Las Vegas, “101 Things for Kids in Las Vegas” by Carol Stout is a must have. Instead of dragging them through the hot sun or locking them in the room while you gamble, make the trip fun for them. This excellent book is available online from Amazon.Com at

LIFE OF A DEALER – CNN profiles people in various careers, asking them questions about the job and their life. They just profiled a Vegas blackjack dealer at

THE ECONOMY – For all the reasons Californians come here, there’s a growing list of reasons why, this summer, they may not. Higher gas prices. Hesitancy to leave homes untended during rolling blackouts. A softening economy. The lure of Vegas-style Indian casinos closer to home. But Las Vegas can spin an economic threat like a roulette wheel, and executives here say they expect this summer to be as strong as last year’s — especially as travelers reexamine their more exotic vacation plans. Full story at

STEVE WYNN HAS BURPED – It’s an inside joke — I’ve told friends that some people are so into Vegas that they would like an update every time Steve Wynn burps. (Wynn is former Mirage Resorts founder / CEO and that man who bought the Desert Inn to put a new resort there.) The most recent courtesy of R-J columnist Norm! is a massive makeover of the famed golf course, a large lake with lakefront condos, and a Cirque de Soleil-type show. Read full details at

WIRELESS CHECK-IN – The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas plans to launch a pilot program this summer that’s aimed at using wireless devices to ensure that rooms are ready for arriving guests. Guests will meet hotel clerks at any of several entrances, including the car drop-off area, and be able to show a credit card to check reservations via a wireless LAN connection to a server in real time. Once the reservation has been confirmed, the clerk will be able to encode a room-key card for the guest. Full story at,1902,26682,00.html

KIDS QUEST – The new Palms Hotel Casino (under construction near The Rio) is going to have a child care center. These centers are already popular at some “local’s” casinos around town. Story at

SOUTH STRIP – Recently, a continuing series on urban hikes in Las Vegas focuses on the Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and Four Seasons hotels. Included are good synopses of the attractions at each and worth printing out before you next trip. Story at

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out:
2. Book a room online at
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!


35TH ANNUAL VICTOR AWARDS – The Las Vegas Hilton will host the 35th Annual Victor Awards June 23, honoring the world’s greatest athletes and coaches, with event proceeds going to City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute. The event will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net from the Hilton Theater starting at 5:00 p.m. PST/8:00 p.m. EST. Tickets are available through the City of Hope for $50 and black tie is required. To purchase tickets, call City of Hope at 800-544-3541, extension 26206.

Each year, the Academy of Victor Sports Awards recognizes star athletes from baseball, basketball, football, track and field, boxing, tennis and more. This year’s nominees include Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Marion Jones, Venus Williams, Eddie George, Mario Lemieux, Cynthia Cooper and Tiger Woods.

NUDE CABARET – MGM is launching “La Femme” in partnership with the infamous Crazy Horse of Paris, France on June 14. The name was changed for Vegas to avoid any legal trouble with the local strip club of the same name. While promising to show a lot of skin in a theatrical fashion, Clark County liquor laws prohibit total nudity anywhere booze is served so the producers of the new show are being slightly creative with their “all nude” presentation. Full story at

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Earl Turner (Rio) –
* Liberace Museum –


* 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:

* Onda (Mirage) –
* Seasons (Bally’s) –

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

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

Thursday – 91 ░F / 70 ░F Sunny
Friday – 98 ░F / 76 ░F Sunny
Saturday – 102 ░F / 80 ░F Sunny
Sunday – 103 ░F / 79 ░F Partly Cloudy
Monday – 103 ░F / 79 ░F Partly Cloudy
Tuesday – 103 ░F / 80 ░F Partly Cloudy

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


Sometimes I really look forward to reviewing the shows, and other times it’s just another day at the office. Granted, I’m not complaining — there are worse offices than a Las Vegas showroom and since 90% of my time is spent in front of the computer, it is always pleasant to get out in the “real world.”

The Rat Pack Is Back is a show I was truly looking forward to seeing. Up until recently, the show had been on a month-to-month engagement at the Sahara which didn’t make it a good review candidate. I don’t want to tell you about something that might be closed by the time you get to town! However, with a new one-year contract (and possible extensions), this show is here to stay.

I was looking forward to it because although not yet born in the heyday of the Rat Pack, I’ve always been curious about the vibe they brought to Las Vegas. I have a poster of them in my office. I’ve seen all the specials on the cable TV channels chronicling their time here. But would this show be a reasonably true recreation that brings back that vibe, or would I be seeing some second rate impersonators limping their way through a show as some of the budget Elvis’ seem to do?

Thankfully, it was the former. While not the Copa Room (where the originals played often at The Sands), the Congo room at the Sahara was festively decorated and very comfortable. “Joey” (played by comedian Mark Cohen — legalities prevent the performers from using the full names of the people they impersonate in the show) came out and told us that it was a very special night: December 12, 1961 … which just happened to be “Frank’s” birthday. He warmed the crowd up with some truly funny comedy.

He then introduced “Frank,” played by famed Sinatra impressionist Steve Lippia who sung a collection of hits from the era including “Luck Be A Lady” while he worked the stage with a confident manner. His vocal comparison to Sinatra’s is uncanny, and the 20 piece orchestra backing all of the performers added to the realism of the period.

Rick Michel came out as “Dean,” in character with a huge martini glass. He was perhaps was the most dead-on in the looks department (although all had good resemblance to their original characters) and had an amazingly strong voice to boot. He ran through Dean Martin favorites such as Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes and Find Yourself Somebody To Love.

Doug Starks is “Sammy,” and I mean he IS Sammy. An actual friend of the late entertainer he pays tribute to, he had the style, vocal quality, moves, and inflections down pat. Sailing through songs like That Old Black Magic and What Kind of Fool Am I, he took liberty to sing Mr. Bojangles, noting that it wouldn’t be released until 1968 … but “You are here, I am here, so let’s do it”!

From there, the show was filled with the kind of fun and frolic that these performers made legendary. They joked, sang duets, made little jabs at each other, and mixed drinks on stage. Celebrities in the audience were introduced (this night they included Robin Leach and Nevada Lt. Governor Lorraine Hunt). Although the original performers had a great camaraderie, even more credit to this group for being able to naturally recreate that night after night.

If you are old enough to remember and appreciate The Rat Pack, or were born a little after their Vegas heyday but are curious about what it must have been like and love that “old Vegas” vibe, this is a show well worth seeing.

The Rat Pack Is Back plays The Sahara hotel. Check times, costs, and availability at

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



Joyce Mitchell wrote:

> Hi, Ted!
> Thank you for your great newsletter. I really enjoy it. We
> returned from a four night visit to Vegas and are looking forward to
> the next visit — we go at least once or twice a year. Vacations in
> Vegas are real vacations — you can rest, relax, or be as frantic as
> you might be inclined, and all your old worries and troubles are far
> away in a different world. If you tire of noisy casinos, you can
> visit desert, canyons, or mountains. I recommend it! (People
> watching is high on the list of diversions!)
> I would like to comment on the new slots. People with a limited amount
> of cash to blow — like me and my husband — enjoy the
> sensation of putting in coins. We don’t even use the option of
> spinning on credit; we cash out the coins first. Besides, it seems to
> make your money last longer(!). While I understand the casinos’
> appreciation of paper slots, from my point of view — yuck! Washing
> your hands often makes a lot of sense anyway when you are messing
> around with machines that lots of people handle. And on a slightly
> different note — we don’t care for the “computer games” either. Give
> us an old fashioned one-game slot any day. (I guess we must be “old
> fashioned” people; FYI, we are both over 65.)
> We like to stay downtown, especially at the Golden Nugget.
> It is convenient and you get more casinos for the same amount of steps.
> Plus, the Strip is just a few minutes away.
> Keep up the good work, and thank you again.

We did a poll on this about a year ago, but with so many new readers, I’ll do another one. How do you feel about coinless slots? Vote today at á!

Gloria Davis wrote:

> Unfortunately I allowed myself to be persuaded to stay at the Riviera
> Hotel while attending a conference in Las Vegas. I will never do that
> again. First there were the long lines at registration. After
> standing there for 45 minutes, I was given a room whose carpet was so
> soiled, I promptly returned to the desk for a reassignment. Guess
> what, another 40 minute wait. The people at the desk were very
> pleasant about the room reassignment and I was given a smoking room,
> had requested nonsmoking, which I did not realize was smoking until I
> reached the room. You guessed right again, I returned to the desk and
> waited in line 45 minutes again. By the time I reached the desk, I
> was not very composed. I know I felt like crying and evidently that
> was noticed. The manager assigned the next room. It was barely
> adequate.
> My next fiasco was following through with a recommendation to try the
> buffet at the Stardust. I was very disappointed in the food. It was
> attractively displayed, but lacked flavor.
> I like Las Vegas and will return but guess where I will not be staying
> or eating. You guessed it.

Unfortunately, with the volume of people Las Vegas hotels handle, sometimes one has a bad experience. If you don’t get satisfaction at the time, be sure to write the general manager of the hotel when you return home. If you are polite but firm and give solid detail, they will often send you freebies ranging from food to free nights on your next visit.

A couple of years ago, I gave the Stardust daily brunch buffet a nice review here, but they have since discontinued the daily buffet format and the quality has waned. Although are archives at and our new show reviews archive at can be a big help, note the date and remember that sometimes things change. Our weekly reviews here are always fresh!

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

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.

ONLINE POLL – “How do you feel about coinless slots?” Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published next issue!

Results from last poll: “Should people bring their kids to Las Vegas?”

No way, no how … it’s a playground for adults. 57%
Only if the kids are teenagers and can enjoy the chaos and 24/7 excitement. 19%
If they are old enough to remember it, bring them. 7%
Las Vegas is a fine place for any family vacation regardless of child age. 15%

FREE CONTEST: 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 13, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – August 2, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews, the official newsletter of This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Las Vegas Rooms :
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities:
* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities:
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more:

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

Read Opinions:
Post Opinions:

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

This Issue: Pasta Pirate

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:

BLUE SUEDE SHOES – The Elvis-A-Rama Museum is displaying Elvis’ blue suede shoes, which he wore July 1, 1956 during his appearance on the Steve Allan show. The shoes alone are valued at almost 1 million dollars! Our review with photos of the Elvis-A-Rama museum is at

DECLINE OF THE RIO? – The Rio is laying off 100 people, and I’m hearing more complaints from regular Rio visitors who feel that ever since Harrah’s bought the upscale off-strip property, service and quality have gone downhill. Full story at If you are a regular Rio visitor and want to comment, drop us a note at and let us know your experiences.

DEALER JOBS – seem to be plentiful if you don’t mind breaking in off the Strip. The growth of casino gaming nationwide as well as the tight job market are leaving many casinos scrambling for help in all areas. Story at

WINERY – in the desert? The Pahrump Valley Vineyards has been growing grapes and making wine 60 miles west of Las Vegas for a number of years now, and tours are available. Full story at

FREE SHOWS – The R-J just reviewed 4 free shows: Excalibur Dragon Moat, Bellagio Fountains, Lost City of Atlantis, and Battling Buccaneers. Great details on each show at — print this out for your next trip!

TOMCATS – The big-screen romantic comedy has been filming around town. It involves a group of single guys who have each invested in a fund that goes to the last one of them to stay single. The movie is slated for release next summer and full story at

CONDOS ON THE STRIP – A complex that will include a 52-story tower, hotel rooms and condominium units, four restaurants and 400 thousand square feet of retail space is headed to the Strip. The twist? No gambling is proposed for this development. full story at

SEXIEST BACHELOR – in America will be broadcast from the MGM on Oct. 2 by the Fox Network. 50 men from each state will be competing, but not to marry someone a la the ill-fated “Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire.” Full story at

$25 HOTEL REBATE – Extended to any reservation made in August (for travel any time)! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you $25 back on any 2+ night stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve! Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Go to and print out that page
2. Book a room online at by Aug. 31
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!

WINNERS! – Roberta Isaacs of Jamul, CA and Nora Corrin of Hamilton, Ontario Canada won the Jubilee! programs.


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

Melinda – First Lady of Magic is back in town. I enjoyed her show at the Lady Luck a few years ago, and she now has a new home at The Venetian! You can read about her new show at and purchase tickets their as well.

Aladdin – Enrique Inglesias on Aug. 19. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Aladdin discount rooms are available at (Aladdin link).

Hard Rock Hotel – B-52’s on Aug. 5, K.D. Lang Aug. 11, Deftones on Aug. 13, Jimmy Page plus The Black Crowes on Aug 16, Mary J. Blige on Aug. 26, Robert Cray Band on Sept. 3, and Culture Club on Nov. 14. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

Las Vegas Hilton – Def Comedy Jam on Aug. 4-5, “The Dream King” Elvis tribute starring famed impersonator Trent Carlini on Aug. 15-19, Reba McEntire Sept. 14-17, Kenny Rogers Sept. 22-23, Face To Face Sept. 30, Steven Wright Oct. 7-8, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman in their “Together Again” tour Oct. 19-21 (return engagement), Sinbad Nov. 2-4, Jeff Foxworthy Nov. 30 – Dec. 3, and Brooks & Dunn Dec. 4-6. Tickets are available at (800) 222-5361 and Las Vegas Hilton discount rooms are available at (Las Vegas Hilton link).

Mandalay Bay – Psychedelic Furs Aug. 5, D’ Angelo Aug. 7, Brian Setzer on Aug. 8, Paula Cole Band Aug. 9, Rollins Band Aug. 11, Unwritten Law Aug. 12, Earth, Wind, and Fire on Aug. 16-19, Ziggy Marley Aug. 19, Duran Duran Aug. 25-26, Isaac Hayes Aug. 25-26, Jethro Tull Aug. 27, Godsmack on Aug. 31, Static X Sept. 1, Third Eye Blond on Sept. 2, George Clinton on Sept. 6, Joan Osbourne on Sept. 8, Savage Garden Sept. 10, Bangles on Sept. 15, Steve Miller Band Sept. 17, Luther Vandros with Boyz II Men Sept. 22, Little Feat Sept. 22, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Sept. 29, and Kenny G on Sept. 30. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at (Mandalay Bay link).

MGM – Penn and Teller now – Aug. 9, Sting on Aug. 19, Carrot Top Sept. 7 – 13, Frozen Fury 4 pits the L.A. Kings against the Colorado Avalanche on Sept. 30, Pearl Jam on Oct. 22, and Tina Turner with Joe Cocker Nov. 18. Tickets available at (800) 929-1111 and MGM discount rooms are available at (MGM link).

Paris – Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz on Aug. 12. Tickets available at (702) 946-4567 and Paris discount rooms are available at (Paris link).

Riviera – Rich Little on Oct. 6 and 7, Tony Orlando on Oct. 13 and 14, Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling on Oct. 20 and 21. Tickets at (702) 794-9433 and Riviera discount rooms are available at (Riviera link).

The Orleans – All-4-One Aug. 4-6, Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell now through Aug. 7 (Fri. – Mon. nightly): one drink min., The Little River Band on Sept. 1-3, and The Everly Brothers Oct. 25-29. Tickets at (702) 365-7075 and Orleans discount rooms available at (The Orleans link).

Thomas & Mack – Triple Crown of Freestyle Motorcross Aug. 5, Korn, Powerman 5000 and Papa Roach on Aug. 9, Up In Smoke tour featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, and Eminem on Aug. 11, Red Hot Chili Peppers with Stone Temple Pilots on Sept. 13, AC/DC on Sept. 14, and Phish on Sept. 29. Tickets at (888) 464-2468. The Hard Rock hotel is within walking distance of the Thomas and Mack and Hard Rock discount rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

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


I’ve received an unusually high number of requests to review this out-of-the-way restaurant in the California Hotel downtown, and I’m glad I did! While “The Cal” is a decent place with some good full-pay video poker machines, I can count on one hand the times I’ve set foot in the place. It is owned by the Boyd Gaming Group (Main St. Station, Fremont, Stardust, Sam’s Town, etc.) and is a favorite of Hawaiians coming over to escape a little “island fever” and enjoy some gambling (which we understand is completely illegal in our 50’th state).

Pasta Pirate takes on the decor on an old warehouse what has been remodeled into an eatery, much the same as the brew pub at Monte Carlo. However, the Pasta Pirate is much more subdued and intimate. I’d be surprised if it seats 100. The high ceiling brings comfort, but does not all detract from the cozy feel of the room. I won’t think twice about taking a date there. What’s more, the room is comfortably trendy without making any age group feel out of place.

What’s more, the prices are very reasonable considering the quality of the service and surroundings. Appetizers lean toward the sea, with varieties of oysters, shrimp, escargot, clams, and crabs ranging from $5.95 to $6.95.

Pasta dishes are $7.95 or $8.95, and you have a choice of Fettuccine Alfredo, Spaghetti and Meat Balls, Penne Diana, Linguine Di Vongole, Tortellini Bolognese, Angel Hair Pomodoro, and Rigatoni Romano. The exception is the Pasta of the Day — a special pasta prepared by the chef — for $12.95.

They really go all out on the entrees with Mixed Seafood grilled in Lemon Basil with Linguine ($13.75), Shrimp Scampi ($13.95), Swordfish Chop al Fresco ($12.95), Lobster fra Diavolo (market price), Cioppino over Linguine ($13.75), Catch of the Day (varies), Sausage and Pepper Bianco ($10.95), Ribeye Steak ($12.95), and Mesquite Broiled Rosemary Pork Loin ($11.95).

Other dishes include Filet Mignon with Prawns ($13.95), Filet with Baby Lobster Tail ($15.75), Alaskan King Crab Legs ($23.95), and Live Maine Lobster (market price).

All dinners come with Seafood Soup or “Pirate” Salad and a fresh bread basket. Pasta dinners also come with a glass of house wine. The bread was an excellent sourdough accompanied by some of the best herb garlic butter I’ve ever enjoyed.

Pasta Pirate is in the California Hotel downtown. Hours are daily from 5 PM to 10:30 PM. Reservations are recommended at 385-1222.



Amy Logsdon wrote:

>I meant to write last time you mentioned this, but forgot. á I saw De
>La Guarda in NYC in December and prepped by reading their web site
>( ).á I am sure it is a separate
>production from C d S.á They have had De La Guarda stagings in NYC,
>London, France, Argentina, and Brazil as well as in Las Vegas.á It is
>a bit like Cirque (other- worldly non plot driven, with amazing feats
>of athleticism, and live music) but on a smaller budget, with LOTS
>more audience participation, and a mega-dose of pheromones or
>testosterone or something.á I enjoyed the show in New York immensely
>and look forward to the new production at the Rio.á Thanks for letting
>people know about it.á I hope it will be a success.

We dropped the ball on that one. The show is Cirque-like, but not a Cirque production. Thanks for all who pointed out my error!

David Bochert wrote:

>We just completed a five week RV trip from Pennsylvania to Vegas, Los
>Angeles, Sequoia, Yosemite, San Francisco, the Central Coast and back
>to Pennsylvania.á Our five day stay in Vegas was GREAT!
>For those reader who RV, I highly recommend the Circus Circus RV Park.
>It has easy in and out from I-15 since the entrance is a block behind
>the Strip and you avoid all the heavy traffic.á And once parked, you
>are on the Strip! á Yes, is it like a large concrete parking lot with
>electric, water, and sewer hookups, but you also have a 24 hour
>convenience store, clean restrooms, a pool, and a free shuttle to the
>main entrance of the Circus Circus casino.á (Though it is just a short
>walk to the rear entrance of Circus Circus, then an escalator and a
>moving sidewalk takes you right into the upper casino and shops.) With
>AAA discount, it was only $16 a night and I repeat .á .á .á you are
>right on the Strip! á The shuttle from the campground will drop you at
>the buffet, or the main entrance to Circus Circus.á From there you can
>catch a trolley to anywhere on the Strip.á Or walk!
>Shows: We saw 6 ticket shows in our five day stay.á None were “bad.”
>I enjoyed all of them, but, or course, some were better then others.
>Of the big three late night “topless” shows, we enjoyed the best –
>”Jubilee” at Bally’s, then “Splash” at the Riviera, then “Folies
>Bergere” at the Tropicana.á We thought “The Rick Thomas Magic Show”
>was great, and enjoyed both “Viva Las Vegas” and “American Superstars”
>at the Stratosphere.á As for the theaters: I would give thumbs-up to
>Bally’s and thumbs-down to the Tropicana.
>I am not a big gambler, though I did enjoy playing the slots.á But we
>never ran out of things to do! á We would return to our RV about 2 AM
>and be at a breakfast buffet by 10 AM.á – for 5 straight days.á We had
>a GREAT time!

Emmie wrote:

>My husband and I are going to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve.á I was
>wondering other than headliners and shows, if they have any
>entertainment on the strip.á I heard that last year there were
>fireworks and entertainment on the street.á I was wondering if that is
>every year or that was just for the millennium celebration?

For those new to the newsletter (and we welcome the 300+ of you that are signing up every week)!, there are going to be fireworks this year. Past that, the 300,000 people that line the 3.5 miles of the Strip (which is closed to traffic) are quite the show in and of itself. Here is a repeat of our story:

FIREWORKS – LVCVA has authorized a half-million dollars for New Year’s Eve fireworks this year. We’ve been sitting on this one for a few weeks, as we didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, but it’s now a done deal! Full story at New Year’s Eve discount rates already available at and prices have already risen since we published the story a few weeks ago so now is a great time to think about locking your room up.

Andrew Tarascio wrote:

>I will be in Vegas the last week of August.á Where can I go Swing
>dancing?á Thanks.

Colin wrote:

>Just wondered if you could tell me if any of the major hotels on the
>strip offer rooms with balconies ?

Readers help us out with either of the above at

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

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.

ONLINE POLL – “Do you visit Downtown and the Fremont St. Experience when in Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinions at — results will be published next week!


Rules (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest): 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 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner. 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.

MARY J. BILGE – Enter to win tickets for her August 26 at the Hard Rock by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Mary J. Blige Tickets, P.O. Box 230040, Las Vegas, NV 89123. One registration per person, winner notified by mail.

FREE VEGAS TRIP – Las Vegas Total Experience Pass Vacation Package from Southwest Air includes Roundtrip air for two to Las Vegas via Southwest Airlines, 2 nights hotel accommodations at the Luxor Las Vegas, and more. Enter at

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

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,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
August 2, 2000
ISSN: 1529-2770