Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 16, 2008 Insider Vibe

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

Hello From Las Vegas! Hopefully everyone’s mood is rebounding from tax day (US) on April 15. For those of you getting a refund, it is still a pain to file. For those like me who cut quarterly checks… let’s just say that an overhaul of the tax system sounds good to me. But on to Las Vegas…

Media Queen Rachael Ray of Food Network fame was in town this past week filming for her Rachael’s Vacation show. Food Network hit Las Vegas at OriginIndia Restaurant and Bar on Paradise Road. Rachael Ray stopped by to film her new show “Rachael’s Vacation”. Owners Raja Majid and Alena Olevic were pleasantly surprised to meet the hostess and were greeted by Mrs. Ray with huge smiles and hand shakes.

Every few minutes there were bursts of laughter as Mrs. Ray charmed the staff. Rachael talked about Origin India’s prominence as a local favorite and the beautiful presentation of the food. Mrs. Olevic and Mr. Majid were thrilled that she enjoyed the OriginIndia experience. Click to read more and see extra event photos…

From left to right: Gopi (Tandoori Chef), Vivek (Sou Chef), Rachael Ray and Bhuwan Bhatt (Executive Chef) posed for a photo after the shoot in the OriginIndia kitchen

One of the more common questions we get is “When will a movie or TV show be filming in Las Vegas… I want to see it. We probably answer this here in the newsletter a couple times each year and the answer is always the same: Rarely will a production let the public know about a shoot, and only when it is a scene or event that actually needs a crowd scene. For the most part, they don’t want the crowds and security hassles.

The best way to see a celeb while in town? Simply keep your eyes open! I saw Flavor Flav playing craps at the South Point a couple of weeks ago. I’ve previously noted playing craps next to Matt Sorum of Guns n’ Roses at Hard Rock. I happened to be getting something to eat at The Klondike and they started shooting Vegas Vacation.

I’ve seen more than a few movies and music videos (not to mention car commercials and similar) being shot downtown over the years. All of this just at random. Nothing I had been tipped off to or had any kind of VIP invite.

A few huge-name star use the back hallways and stay out of sight. However, plenty of pretty well-known names will just be gambling or eating or doing all the normal activities you do here with just a couple of friends. Looking and acting like normal people. So much that you might walk right by them and not recognize them unless you are keeping your eyes open!

National radio hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin are teaming up with country music legend Lee Greenwood for the 2008 Freedom Concert at the Orleans Arena on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 8 p.m. This show benefits the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund which provides additional support to the children of America’s military heroes who have been killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Tickets are $35 and $25 and can be purchased at 702-284-7777.

P.S. If you dislike these radio hosts, hold the hate mail. We tell people about Las Vegas events and always put charitable events front and center regardless of cause (and including gay-friendly HIV/AIDS benefits in the past). In my nine years of doing this, you’d be hard pressed to guess my politics. This is about Vegas!

Binion’s new owners are bringing back the right, proper, and real rules for table games! The new owner TLC Casino Enterprises has changed the house rules for blackjack and craps. Blackjack now pays 3 to 2 on double deck and shoe games, and bettors can wager 10 times odds on craps with a $5.00 minimum bet. Limits also have been raised for most of the blackjack games.

Funny… a few years ago these rules were the norm. However, most casinos figured you were all stupid and reduced pay on a blackjack and lowered odds on craps. Now we just need to see the return of the famous Binion’s $2 (or $3 or $4 depending on the year) full steak dinner special and all will be right with the world!

After either years at The Mirage, Danny Gans will follow Steve Wynn up the street and be the new headliner at Wynn Las Vegas’ Encore. You can’t argue with the long-running success of a show like that. Danny Gans Tickets

Spamalot prepares to end the show’s Las Vegas run in mid-July. If this was one of your “we should see that… it sounds like fun” shows, waste no more time in getting your tickets: Monty Python’s Spamalot Las Vegas Tickets. You can also read our review of Spamalot.

Oh… speaking of Binion’s… Make sure to scroll down and read gaming writer Victor H. Royer’s article “Poker’s Big Gun”s. What a great look at some of the history of Las Vegas’ (and poker’s) biggest and most famous names.

Enjoy This Issue!

Ted Newkirk
CEO/Managing Editor

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

On Saturday, April 26, the “Oprah” show travels to Las Vegas for an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime visit with legendary superstars Cher and Tina Turner. The episode will tape at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace and feature interviews and exclusive performances as these legends come together to pull out all the stops for a true Vegas spectacular. “The Oprah Winfrey Show: Oprah, Cher and Tina in Vegas” is scheduled to premiere Thursday, May 8, 2008 (check local listings). Select tickets are available to the general public by visiting and clicking on “Be on the Show.”

Valentina Comes From Russia With Love For ‘Crazy Girls’ – Valentina Smirnova’s nickname is “Valusha” and hails from the Baltic Sea. “Valusha” moved to Las Vegas via San Francisco as a performer in “Crazy Girls” (Tickets) at the Riviera. She has been performing in “Las Vegas’ Sexiest Topless Revue” for a year-and-a-half now. The 5′ 8″ tall dark-haired beauty is a native of Kaliningrad, Russia where her parents still live. She models and does commercials. She said, “I bought my first car after winning $5,000 in the 2003 Miss Russia California Pageant. My first love is to dance but I also like to travel, socialize, sing and I enjoy all four seasons of the year. I love change, adventure, enthusiasm, interacting in large groups as opposed to one-on-one situations and I am a chameleon who can transform my appearance and nature to suit the environment.” Click to Read The Full Story …

Vegas Gifts to Remember for Mom and Dad – Spend the special day by bringing your parents to Las Vegas! This Mother’s Day, why not go beyond flowers? For Father’s Day, does dad really need another tie? Instead, surprise them with these indulgent spa experiences:

  • Show dad how much he’s appreciated with a Father’s Refresher at Spa Bellagio, a rejuvenating service featuring a custom massage and men’s facial. At Spa Monte Carlo, the Men’s Warrior Facial is packed with vitamins to reduce wrinkles while The Art of Shaving at Mandalay Place offers a Barber Spa for the ideal shave.
  • Treat mom to a relaxing Mother’s Makeover at Spa Bellagio, which includes an aromatherapy massage, full-body exfoliation, nourishing wrap and custom facial. At WET — The Spa and Salon at TI, the Youth Renewal Stone Facial uses warm and cool stones to ease tension and produce a youthful glow while the Sweet Red Rose Facial at The Spa at The Mirage uses hand-picked rose petals to leave skin velvety soft.

“Sugar” Shane Mosley & Zab “Super” Judah Go To War In Intriguing Welterweight Showdown Saturday, May 31 At Mandalay Bay Live On HBO Pay-Per-View – With everything riding on the line, the stakes will be high when “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Zab “Super” Judah square off in a welterweight showdown Saturday, May 31 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. (Tickets) Mosley vs. Judah: “High Stakes,” headlines a night of world-class professional boxing presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink, Tecate Beer, Affliction Clothing and Southwest Airlines. The 12-round bout will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST. Click to Read The Full Story …

Fun in the Sun, Las Vegas Style – The heat of summer is almost here, but the pools of MGM MIRAGE are a sure bet for a cool escape. Dip into these latest ways to make a splash in Las Vegas:

  • Daylife is born this April as MGM Grand unveils WET REPUBLIC, an alluring 53,000-square-foot ultra pool combining an exclusive nightlife vibe with poolside pampering and relaxation. An adults-only mecca for discerning partygoers, the glitterati and celebrities, WET REPUBLIC will feature distinct experiences within a series of intimate spaces and will redefine poolside entertainment as the first ultra pool in the world’s sexiest city. Elite VIP service, high-end amenities and renowned entertainers will be the standard at WET REPUBLIC.
  • Already a crowd favorite, Mandalay Bay Beach at Mandalay Bay now features the only climate-controlled poolside gaming on The Strip. Nearby, Moorea Beach Club continues to draw sunseekers by providing high-energy music in a luxurious setting.
  • A paradise fit for royalty, The Excalibur pool has doubled its size — adding two luxurious pools and 17 cabanas stocked with all the essentials to keep cool. Just steps away, Drenched offers the latest in causal poolside dining.
  • In just a year, Bare at The Mirage has made a big splash. The adult pool, known best for its European-style sun bathing and exclusive VIP service, has quickly become a must visit for celebrities ranging from Fergie to Leonardo DiCaprio. New for 2008, Bare features a delectable menu by California Pizza Kitchen.

Gambling Talk: Poker’s Big Guns – with Victor H. Royer. It was a Tuesday in October 1974. The place was the Horseshoe Club in downtown Las Vegas, in its heyday. The Horseshoe Club’s founder and owner, Benny Binion, was playing World Poker Champion Johnny Moss heads up in a pot limit five-card stud game. Benny Binion was one of the now legendary “Texas Bad Men of Poker.” He had run gambling games in Texas for some time, and had gotten into some hot water after, reportedly, killing some men with whom he had had dealings and who didn’t live up to Benny’s expectations (to put it mildly).

So, Benny headed west for Las Vegas, where gambling was legal and there were no such bothersome things like extradition treaties between the states for insignificant little things, like killin’ a weasely gamblin’ cheater. Click to Read Complete Article…

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Note from Ted: This was a great personal story sent in by our readers. I’ve been looking for the time and place to run it. Spring is in the air and we actually have a “slow news week” (very rare). Enjoy this great retrospective!

We realize this won’t serve as a review for those looking to book a wedding, but its a story for those of us, who love the “new” Vegas, but enjoy remembering the “old” Vegas.

…Remembering our wedding and the Stardust

Here’s my Vegas wedding story…My fiance and I had been together for 8 years and were talking marriage. I had recently received a small settlement and decided after paying bills I would put a little aside for a vacation getaway. I woke up in the middle of the night, and it hit me…”What the hell, lets go to Vegas and get married.” The very next day I called my sister (she’s a Vegas NUT and has been going to Vegas for years) and needless to say she was ecstatic and we immediately started internet shopping for the perfect chapel for us. I needed inexpensive, simple, and quaint.

After an exhaustive search, we decided on the beloved Starlight Chapel at the Stardust Hotel and Casino. Because I’m 50 years old I was feeling a bit nostalgic with my choice. And what a wonderful choice it was. We booked the chapel that day and the very next day, a sweet young lady named Heather called me with all of the information and any extras we wanted. We booked a limousine for the 6 of us (myself and my fiance, my sister and her girlfriend, and my brother-in-law and his wife) to take us from Excalibur where we stayed to the Stardust to get married. Had I known that a year later, the Stardust would no longer be there…I would have booked our rooms there as well.

Before I go any further, I should tell you it was NOW that I told my boyfriend that we were going to Vegas to get married. It was my sister and I who had made all of the arrangements; but he was very happy.

We arrived for my first trip to Vegas on January 29, 2006 and on January 30, 2006, at 10 am we were married by John A. Williams at the Stardust. He was a wonderful minister (originally from our state, Ohio) and I certainly hope another chapel discovered him after the Stardust closed. Everything at the Starlight Chapel was adorable, the ceremony was wonderful, and everyone had a great time. I felt a lot of love in the chapel that day. Of course, then it was back to the Limo and off to party!!

To close, I’ll say this. I know change is a good thing but there are times when you just wish things could stay the same. Las Vegas should have built a glass box around the Stardust and preserved that landmark forever. I can only pray that our cherished memories of our special day at the Stardust lasts as long as the Las Vegas strip was blessed with the existence of the Stardust. It certainly made my first trip to Vegas my best vacation ever!

Just a footnote to this story… I’ve been back to Vegas 4 times and heading back for my fifth visit in April 2008. For anyone who has yet to visit your wonderful city, I leave you with this warning! Las Vegas gets in your blood so be prepared…and enjoy it. It’s a wonderful place!!


Sheila and Troy Adelsberger
West Jefferson, Ohio

Hi — we are hosting a government conference at the Embassy Suites (near the convention center) the week of 2 June. We would really like to use some of the pictures from your web site in our free attendee handout. May we have your permission to use the pictures? Thank you.

Don Houpt

Ted Responds:

Happy to help! As you can imagine, we have a little bit of fine print but nothing out-of-the-ordinary. (Note — This applies to everyone, not just Don):

We own a great many photos on our site, but not all of them. (Some are PR photos). Here is our policy:

1. Visit our Webshots gallery at

We own almost all photos from all albums with the EXCEPTION of:
Tony n Tina’s Wedding
Las Vegas Computer Wallpaper
Maverick Helicopter Tours

2. Send us the URL’s of photo(s) you wish to use.

3. We will confirm our ownership and send you the clean copy along with the required photo credit text required to accompany the photos.

So… whether you just need a photo for your Myspace, hobby site, or need some of our great photos for a major venture, please do ask first so we can affirm details. Contact us at the email listed below!

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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April 16, 2008 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us Privacy Policy

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