Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 26, 2008 Insider Vibe

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

Hello From Las Vegas! You have to figure when the boss does something, he’s going to screw it up. Last week was the first newsletter I completely prepped myself in quite some time and…

Corrected Show Review Links – Last week, I mis-linked the full show reviews for Phantom and Rita Rudner. Here are the corrected, working links to both complete show reviews:

Patio Dining and Drinks On The Las Vegas Strip – When I moved here 15 years ago, no dining or other entertainment venues existed right on the Las Vegas Strip. Back then, the philosophy was to keep the patrons inside gambling. I applauded Harrah’s Las Vegas when they broke away from that with the wildly successful Harrah’s Carnival Court (pictures) and other venues have followed suit over the years including a number of nightclubs with outdoor Strip views.

Three of the most recent are Trader Vic’s and Hawaiian Tropic Zone (both at Planet Hollywood) and Diablo’s at the Monte Carlo. We covered the grand opening of Hawaiian Tropic Zone a number of weeks ago (pictures). This past week, it was time for Trader Vic’s and Diablo’s.

Trader Vic’s patio is simply a great experience. The staff is fun and friendly, the views are awesome, and the afternoon we visited had Tommy Rocker (Las Vegas’ Jimmy Buffett) cranking out Buffett and other beach tunes. Drinks aren’t cheap, but they don’t hold back on the pour and the experience is a great way to take a breather from hoofing it casino-to-casino and enjoy some people watching.

Around sunset, we headed down the street to Diablo’s Mexican Cantina at Monte Carlo. Our take:

  • DO go upstairs and have a drink on the second floor patio overlooking The Strip. Great view, relaxed atmosphere.
  • DON’T eat there. Food was understandably expensive because you are partially paying for the view and atmosphere. However, I expected better food for the money. Their carnitas burrito doesn’t hold a candle to Chipotle (a U.S. restaurant chain famous for their awesome $6.00 burritos).Service was poor. Our food arrived and we still didn’t have place settings. We literally had to chase the server down to get utensils to eat with! Things didn’t get any better from there. Go pay $20 at any of the hotel buffets, load up on Mexican food (or anything else you are in the mood for), then go to Diablo’s for a drink if you can find room upstairs.

MGM Project CityCenter Continues To Explode Upwards – Even we who live here are amazed at how fast this thing is going up. It is literally going to dwarf everything around it.

Rio Sky Show Revamp – April 8 is the final day for the current incarnation of the Rio’s long-running sky show (pictures). The Rio is being tight-lipped about the changes. They say the show will continue, but not it its present form.

Enjoy This Issue!

Ted Newkirk
CEO/Managing Editor

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

Featured Review:
Master Magician Lance Burton’s Best Magic Is Done With The Audienceà In So Many Ways

by D.W. Grant

It’s true what the ads say, “You’ll never forget Lance Burton, Master Magician.” And you’ll never forget this marvelous evening, either, if you take full advantage of the Monte Carlo experience and make it a magical night for your entire party, date, or family.

In a flash you’ll be walking past the “Super Lotto” machine and into the $30 million dollar Lance Burton Theater, a classically designed red velveteen palace built to elevate your appetite for getting “amazed.”

Lance Burton is a world champion hall of fame magician who does amazing things in surprising ways. You’ll be applauding from the first bird suddenly appearing from a burning candle stick to the last act when he flies away in his “Back to the Future-ish” Corvette. During this magical journey you’ll experience classic magic moments, thrilling contemporary illusions, laugh a lot, and even learn a little about the history of magic. Click to Read Entire Master Magician Lance Burton Review…

Featured Review:
Lucky Cheng’s Drag Cabaret

by Denise Almas

Enter the world of Lucky Cheng’s Drag Queen Capital for dinner, drinks, banter and “all that drags”. This dinner theater offers a vibrant and unique dance, dining, and service experience. Though what happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, Miss Conception, the show’s master of ceremonies, and her lovely ladies will give you an experience worthy of writing home about.

As you enter the small dinner theater, you will find a very relaxed, casual atmosphere with a stage, tables and small booths complete with red pillows. The servers will greet you with either a smile or a snort depending on their mood and bring your drinks as soon as possible. Though the show has not formally started, the queens are already performing as you arrive. Click to Read Entire Lucky Cheng’s Drag Cabaret Review…

Kenny Chesney To Bring His 2008 Poets & Pirates Tour To MGM Grand Garden Arena Friday, June 6 – Country music star Kenny Chesney will heat up the summer with his 2008 Poets & Pirates Tour. (Tickets) The tour stops at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Friday, June 6 at 8 p.m. Country sensation LeAnn Rimes is scheduled to open the show. Chesney, the three-time and reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, and two-time and current Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, sold more tickets in North America than anyone last year. Click to Read The Full Story …

Rod Stewart 2008 North American Summer Tour MGM Grand Garden Arena – Concert To Feature Special Guest Bryan Adams – Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame artist Rod Stewart will hit the road on an 18-city North American summer tour which will wind its way through the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, Aug. 2. (Tickets) Fans will enjoy hits from Stewart’s extraordinary four-decade career. The concert is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. with special guest Bryan Adams. Stewart, a true icon of rock, has sold more than 148 million records, including 19 million in the last 5 years alone, with his record breaking Great American Songbook series. Click to Read The Full Story …

Leap Into Spring With Twin Creeks’ Grasshopper MartiniTwin Creeks, located inside Silverton Casino Lodge, hops into spring with the Grasshopper Martini. A deliciously creamy blend of Van Gogh Vanilla Vodka, Godiva White Chocolate and Green CrÞme de Menthe, the Grasshopper Martini reflects the fun and sophisticated atmosphere of the newly restyled Twin Creeks. Developed by Twin Creeks’ Master Mixologist, John DuPont, the Grasshopper Martini is the perfect liquid concoction for a breezy spring day. Twin Creeks’ Grasshopper Martini comes garnished with a delectable layer of shaved dark chocolate, making it a sweet treat impossible to resist this spring. Click to Read The Full Story …

Kanye West Kicks Off Summer Concert Series At Red Rock Resort – Show to feature special guests N.E.R.D. and Lupe Fiasco to commence a season of top-rated acts spanning multiple genres. Grammy award-winning artist Kanye West is set to perform his “Glow in the Dark Tour” at Red Rock Resort as it launches its 2008 summer outdoor concert series on Friday, April 25, 2008, at 7:30 p.m. (Tickets) Opening the show for West will be rapper Lupe Fiasco as well as funk/rock group N.E.R.D. consisting of Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and Shay Haley. Click to Read The Full Story …

With A Nod To The Past And An Eye On The Future, Las Vegas-Based Gaming Company Takes Control Of Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel – TLC Casino Enterprises has expanded its operations by assuming ownership of one of the most storied Las Vegas casinos, Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel. The purchase of Binion’s marks the second time in five years that TLC Casino Enterprises has bought a Las Vegas casino. The company purchased The Four Queens Hotel & Casino in 2003. “We have been looking at downtown Las Vegas in terms of long-term investment opportunities. The purchase of Binion’s was a logical step within our strategy, and we were attracted by the wide reaching name recognition,” said Terry Caudill, president of TLC Casino Enterprises. Click to Read The Full Story …

Epicurean Charitable Foundation Las Vegas Provides Scholarship Dollars To UNLV Men’s Basketball – $24,000 donated to men’s basketball over course of 2007-2008 season. The Epicurean Charitable Foundation of Las Vegas presented a $24,000 check to UNLV men’s basketball on Saturday, March 8. Over the course of the season, the Foundation has awarded a $1,000 per game scholarship contribution to the UNLV men’s basketball program in the name of the Runnin’ Rebel student-athlete who best exemplified the competitive spirit and determination in giving UNLV its best chance for victory. The donations have assisted the men’s basketball program with scholarships and academic assistance support. Click to Read The Full Story …

Gambling Talk: Video Keno – Part Nine – with Victor H. Royer. Video Keno Strategy – The word “strategy” û as this applies to Keno and Video Keno û will surely sound odd to people whose understanding of casino games is vested purely and only in mathematics. To those readers, I wish to categorically restate that I understand that Video Keno games are negative-expectation games, meaning they are games whose inherent programming does not allow them to mathematically perform at a higher payback level than that which the program dictates. Click to Read Complete Article…

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Hi Ted,

I am visiting Vegas in May for my birthday, this will be my tenth visit in 8 years from sunny Scotland, anyway can you recommend any good Chinese restaurants? Over the years I have been to PF Changs and also there was a really nice one in the Flamingo which is no longer there. As it is my birthday we wanted to go to a really nice one but there are so many!!!

Keep up the great work guys your newsletter is brilliant.

Many thanks,

Miss Lorna Ballantine

Ted Responds:

My Asian dining is pretty much limited to Panda Express (a fast food chain). We do have a basic list of Chinese restaurants at however this is just the basics.

Readers… help us out! Where on the Las Vegas Strip or downtown have you had great Chinese meal? Drop us a line at

Is it possible to purchase 4X6 photos of the Vegas hotels shown on your website (AccessVegas)? We are annual visitors to Vegas and I would like to make a photo album of several of our favorites. Since I am no good at photography, I thought I would try your website – the photos are great!! Please let me know one way or another – I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

Lori Schaffner

Ted Responds:

We have most of our higher quality (of quality to make prints from) available in our Access Vegas Webshots Gallery. (We’ll soon have our own gallery enabled for full size photos).

Go to the Album (in the link above) which you want and click on the photo you desire. When that photo page comes up, look for the little magnifying glass with the plus-sign under the photo.

Click the plus-sign icon to get the full size version of the photo.

Once the big, original size photo comes up in your browser, right-click on the photo and use the “Save Photo As” option in the menu box that appears. Save as many photos as you wish to your computer. From there, you can print out prints on your home printer.

OR, you may take and burn them to disk or thumb (USB) drive and take them to your local major drug store chain. They can take and create prints for about 40 cents each. Side Note: Most photos do have our site name on them. We only offer unbranded photos for commercial use at commercial terms.

Also, Webshots provides code which allows anyone to put our photos on their website, MySpace, or blog. Either as individual photos or as a photo slideshow. See our Access Vegas Myspace page for examples of what the slideshows look like.

Hope this helps!

Just have a question, I know last year they were putting a Smoking Ban in to effect in 2008. Did the Ban pass? I’m a smoker and just wanted to know if there is smoking allowed inside the Casino’s because I will be returning to Vegas in May. Is there still smoking in your Hotel rooms?

Thank You,

Linda Strouth

Ted Responds:

We covered this extensively at the time, but we always have so many great new readers so let’s do a recap:

The smoking ban was passed by the voting public. Smoking is allowed in casino gaming areas and stand-alone bars which don’t serve food. Smoking is no longer allowed in restaurants (including bar and grills).

The fine for smoking in an improper place is $100. No one has been fined yet as no one really cares about enforcing this in a libertarian-leaning state such as Nevada.

Bottom line: In a non-casino bar, simply ask the bartender and those around you if smoking is going to be an issue. If other patrons object, abstain. If they don’t, the bartender will probably put out an ashtray (or ashtray substitute).

For those who want a more broad re-cap, you can visit our Smoking Ban Archives listing every issue we talked about this subject in.

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

  • Call our recorded comment line at 702-507-0055. We listen to every call.
  • Drop us an email at – We read them all!

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:

  • Cinco de Mayo May 5
  • Mother’s Day May 11
  • Victoria Day, Canada May 17-19 (3 day weekend)
  • Memorial Day May 24-26 (3 day weekend)
  • Father’s Day June 15
  • Canada Day, Canada July 1
  • Independence Day July 4-6 (3 day weekend)
  • Civic Holiday, Canada August 2-4 (3 day weekend)
  • Labor Day, U.S August 30-September 1 (3 day weekend)
  • Labour Day, Canada August 30-September 1 (3 day weekend)
  • Grandparent’s Day September 7
  • Jewish New Year September 30
  • Yom Kippur October 9
  • Columbus Day October 11-13 (3 day weekend)
  • Thanksgiving Day, Canada October 11-13 (3 day weekend)
  • Halloween October 31
  • Veteran’s Day November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day November 27-30 (4 day weekend)
  • Hanukkah Dec. 22 – Dec. 29
  • Christmas December 25
  • New Year’s Eve-Day December 31 – January 1
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, U.S (Observed) January 19-21 (3 day weekend)
  • Chinese/Lunar New Year January 26
  • Lincoln’s Birthday, U.S February 12
  • Valentine’s Day February 14
  • President’s Day, U.S (Observed) February 14-16 (3 day weekend)
  • Washington’s Birthday, U.S February 22
  • St. Patrick’s Day March 17
  • Easter Sunday April 12

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March 26, 2008 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us Privacy Policy

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