Access Vegas Insider Vibe January 23, 2013 Insider Vibe

Serving Las Vegas Visitors and Residents Since 1999

Welcome to the Insider Vibe! This is the official newsletter of AccessVegas.Com. We talk about the Las Vegas activities you really care about.

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Las Vegas Essentials
Featured Shows
Las Vegas Events

Las Vegas Shows, Headliners, And Concerts

Legendary Vocal Group Boyz II Men Announces Extended Engagement At Mirage – Beginning March 1, 2013, Boyz II Men will continue its singing engagement at The Mirage Hotel & Casino with 78 shows on select weekend dates until December 29, 2013. Catch the performance of baritone Nathan Morris with tenors Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris at the Terry Fator Theatre as the four-time GRAMMY Award-winning R&B vocal group serenades the guests with their classic music.

Donny & Marie Osmond Extend Their Flamingo Las Vegas ShowsDonny & Marie will continue their performances at Flamingo Las Vegas until 2013 giving entertainment for their sold-out audiences. The duo was recently voted by Las Vegas Review-JournalÆs readers which includes ôBest Show,ö ôBest All-Around Performersö and ôBest Singers.ö

Donny explains, ôWhen we first wanted to return to Vegas and were looking for showrooms, I saw the one at the Flamingo and immediately knew that this was it, this was the one. It was traditional Vegas, and it was intimate enough yet big enough to support a larger production show. It was a perfect fit.ö

Academy Of Country Music Announces 2-Night Outdoor Music Festival – The Academy of Country Music is announcing the addition of a 2-night outdoor music festival as part of the THE ACM EXPERIENCE, the country music lifestyle event created for fans during The Week Vegas Goes Country«. The ACM Experience is a fan-focused three-day event including the ACM EXPO, outdoor music festival and much more, to be held April 5-April 7, 2013 at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The events will culminate in the already-announced ACM Fan Jam, a ticketed event headlined by Brad Paisley, on Sunday, April 7, 2013.

Las Vegas Attractions

BellagioÆs Botanical Gardens Chinese New Year Theme Welcomes Year Of The SnakeBellagioÆs Conservatory & Botanical Gardens welcomes the Year of the Snake with vibrant and alluring floral designs created rich in Chinese tradition. Guests are invited to celebrate now until March 3.

The Conservatory uses the early practice of Feng Shui in designing its tranquil temple. Feng Shui is an art that uses surroundings to invite balance and harmony as well as positive life energy. Every garden in the Chinese New Year display includes water which ensures a positive flow of energy. Pine, plum and bamboo û three friends of winter, are also visible in the display which symbolizes perseverance, modesty, and integrity, respectively.

Las Vegas Restaurants And Dining

Public House Las Vegas at Luxor Toasts Wine Down Wednesdays With Half-Priced Wine And Prix Fixe MealsPublic House Las Vegas at Luxor Hotel and Casino has launched Wine Down Wednesdays with specially priced wine and prix-fixe menus every Wednesday night from 7 to 10 p.m.

Super Bowl Las Vegas 2013

Rhumbar Hosts Tailgate Parties And Drink Specials Leading Up To The Big Game – RHUMBAR at The Mirage Hotel & Casino will transform into a lush outdoor tailgate celebration with a series of postseason football parties on the stylish patio during all playoff games, culminating with the Big Game Tailgate Party on Sunday, Feb. 3. During each playoff game, football fans can watch their favorite teams play on multiple flat-screen televisions throughout the patio.

Rockhouse Tackles Open Bar Specials For The Big GameRockhouse located inside The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino invites Super Sunday partygoers to enjoy an open bar special for ‘The Big Game Sunday, Feb. 3.

The hot spot will offer fans an all-access premium open bar from kick-off until the final whistle blows, starting at $100.

Mardi Gras Las Vegas 2013

PBR Rock Bar Brings ôBourbon, Beads, And Bullsö Mardi Gras Party To The StripPBR Rock Bar & Grill inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino will bring a taste of New Orleans to the Strip with its ôBourbon, Beads and Bullsö Mardi Gras celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

In honor of the famed Bourbon Street party, the Strip-side hot spot will offer Fat Tuesday partygoers a bourbon drink, colorful beads and bull rides for $10 all day.

Valentine’s Day Las Vegas 2013

Tacos & Tequila Heats Up ValentineÆs Day With Romantic Menu For Two – In celebration of ValentineÆs Day, Executive Chef Saul Ortiz has created an irresistible prix fixe menu at Tacos & Tequila (T&T) inside Luxor Hotel and Casino. Guests will fall in love with the flavorful menu priced at $58 per couple available exclusively on Thursday, Feb. 14.

Las Vegas Economy And Real Estate

More Las Vegas News

Maverick Indian Territory Grand Canyon TourMaverick Indian Territory Grand Canyon Tour û This exciting tour begins by flying over the beautiful Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, the world famous Hoover dam and Fortification Hill, an extinct volcano. View the breathtaking scenery and wildlife of the southwest along the way. Maverick Helicopters will descend and land in the Hualapai Indian Territorym 3,500 feet into the Grand Canyon.

Click To Book Maverick Indian Territory Grand Canyon Tour Now!

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

Hello From Las Vegas! – Where did January go? It seems like New Year’s Eve was just last week, and now we’re already about to stare February squarely in the face. The year’s shortest month brings average high temps in the low 60’s and an average annual rainfall of nearly an inch (our wettest month of the year). I wouldn’t bother packing the umbrella. Your odds of being here when it rains are always slim-to-none. But, I wouldn’t bother with the swimsuit either. Not just quite yet.

Bill’s Gambling Hall – You only have a little over a week to take your last peek into the Barbary Coast (aka Bill’s Gambling Hall for the past few years). February 4, 2013 will see property owner, Caesars Entertainment, closing it, and giving the three-decade old hotel a top-to-bottom makeover including a rooftop pool club that will be thumping all day and all night (from what we understand).

How many more clubs (both dayclubs and nightclubs) can Las Vegas withstand? Well nightclubs is one of the few Vegas subjects I’m not really up on. However, with the game-changing, mega-club Hakkasan opening this year at the MGM Grand, some people knowledgeable about the nightclub industry here claim that the market will reach such saturation that you might actually see a club (or two) close.

Is it just me, or does the name Hakkasan sound like a noise one makes when they get food caught in the wrong tube while they eat?

Interesting Perspective – The U.S. Federal Government borrows about the same amount every single day that it cost to build all of CityCenter. Ouch!

Classroom Gaming Edumacation – A recent article Casino U: A look inside UNLVÆs gaming lab told all about how tomorrow’s gaming (gambling) managers are getting trained for the business. In the past, you’d work on a casino floor, learn the games, learn your people skills, and get some up close and personal experience with your customers. The next generation is learning in classrooms, which includes learning how some of the basic games are played.

Look… if you want to get into casino management, how about you read a “How To Play Craps” book, and go hit the tables a few times?!? Is that too much to ask? I just continue to worry about this ever-growing disconnect between management and the actual business they are running. You can only learn so much in a classroom.

When Golden Gate and (then) Fitzgerald’s owner Derek Stevens decided to sink a pile of cash into remodeling both those properties, he did it because he was downtown on-site on a very regular basis and saw the demand. Not because a bunch of clueless consultants who never get out of a classroom told him to. And, he continues to be on-site making sure the guest experience is a good one. Without ever learning how to in a classroom. Oh my!

Revel A Smoke-Free Failure? – Probably going back nearly a couple of years, we noted that for those of you who prefer smoke-free casinos, you’d want to keep your eye on Atlantic City’s new Revel. They had planned to open and stay completely smoke-free. Oooops.

The property has seriously struggled since opening and while the soft economy and Pennsylvania gaming didn’t help (this was pre-Hurricane Sandy, the storm which hit Atlantic City hard), even pundits who despise smoking are citing the no-smoking property policy as hindering business. It appears that smoke and casino gaming will be intertwined for some time to come.

They’ll Never Learn – An investment firm recently purchased 427 condos at Veer (the two buildings at CityCenter which look like they are about to tip over). They got a nice recession-era bulk price and plan to rent them out for a few years before selling them when the market is better. Sounds like a plan, right? Not quite so fast.

I said something back in 2000 when a condo tower was proposed for the site of the Harley-Davidson Cafe and I’m sticking to it. 1. People don’t want to live on the Las Vegas Strip and 2. For the price of a Strip condo, you could stay in an upscale hotel suite every single night for 2-3 straight years.

Strip condos (excepting Turnberry, which technically isn’t right on The Strip) have simply never been great investments and for some reason people believe that it is just the current market conditions. When things get good again, we’re going to find out that it has been a bad idea for over a decade, will continue to be a bad idea, and I’d be shocked if we see any new condo construction in the next decade.

New Years Resolutions – I’ve made some “minor” resolutions to get more organized, lose some weight, and get on the treadmill. However, unlike in years past, I’m taking a much more sensible approach to it all. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

I’m spending perhaps 15-20 minutes per day simply organizing my life (ranging from all the mess of computer files strewn all over my hard drive to my paper document filing system to projects around the house) and the results are starting to show. Give it a try for yourself. 15 minutes a day goes by before you know it, but do it every day for a month and you see progress.

I also did some math. Did you know that if you reduce your caloric intake just 500 calories per day (provided that your present eating habits have you keeping a stable weight), you’ll lose a pound every week? Believe it or not, 500 calories is pretty easy to ditch. That’s about the amount in a personal bag of potato chips, normal dish of ice cream, or some brands of candy bars. A one-time small sacrifice once a day should add up over the year. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Associate Editor / News Researcher: Rick Ziegler

Concerts and Headliners: Amy Rayner-Cooley

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

I am frequent traveler to one of the ôfunnestö cities in the world – Las Vegas (3-4 times a year for quite a while) and find very useful your Access Vegas website û Thank you for the good work.

One of my regular visits has been during the opening week of the college basketball tournament now referred to as March Madness opening week. In the past the casinos rolled out a bit of the red carpet with low cost rooms and free expanded sports books to view/bet the games as an extra enticement. It has created a great atmosphere to relieve the glory days of your alma mader and spend some money with your friends from those days.

Last year I noticed for the first time the “money makers” started to think of ways to increase revenue from the event. For example Planet Hollywood started to charge for their extended viewing area on the casino second floor (Mezzanine next to Peepshow). It was something like $68.00/day but included all you could eat and drink from their portable bar/grill.

Imperial Palace (The Quad) removed its free, over-flow, viewing area that used to contain free appetizers. To find a free, extended-viewing area in a Ballroom type setting we had to move off strip to Gold Coast.

Now – This year before even arriving I have noticed room rates tripling during this years time. For example, Flamingo, where we have stayed several times and have enjoyed its location, is above $300.00 a night on a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday combinations. Harrah’s – Total Rewards has blacked out all room promotions during this time period. I have never seen rates this high ever during a peak period/event.

I would love to hear your insights on if the casinos are truly selling out two months prior to the event or are the “money makers” simply getting greedier.


Jeff Carpenter


Ted Responds:

Part of this is simply due to the increasing popularity of March Madness here in Las Vegas. Add on to that the many colleges which have spring break around that time and you’ve got some seriously rising demand for our city’s 150,000 hotel rooms. Rooms have really always been about supply and demand. It just so happens that the demand has really started to skyrocket.

Las Vegas has become THE place to be for events like March Madness and the Super Bowl. So, the people partially to blame for the room rates are your fellow visitors. Hotel rooms are no different than airline tickets: The prices swing completely based on demand. The demand is high.

Now, let’s toss in that both major gaming companies (Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts) under extremely heavy debt, and have little incentive to toss out any favors at a time when they aren’t exactly begging for customers. Mandalay Bay’s sportsbook has even been offering bottle service — getting a reserved table for buying a high-priced, complete bottle of liquor — during football games. (We’re unsure if this practice will catch on around the industry).

Now, obviously, we have nothing to do with this. We’re observers, and we generally refuse to shell out unnecessary premiums. But at the end of the day, refusing to pay, and looking for a better deal is the real way to drive the prices down. Which brings me to…

You Can Still Get Reasonable Rooms Even During March Madness – All of the properties you mentioned plus the rewards club were all Caesars Entertainment (formerly Harrah’s company). Pssssst… I’ve got a little secret for you: They aren’t the only game in town! You are not married to them! Just because you are part of any “loyalty program” doesn’t make it a one-way street.

I did a search for March 21-24 through our booking box in this newsletter and found the Flamingo at $261 a night. Still spendy, but certainly not the $300+ they wanted to charge you! (So much for loyalty).

Also, I found some pretty reasonable rates considering it is the opening weekend of March Madness:

  • Under $60: El Cortez, Palace Station, Clarion (just a few steps off The Strip, aáblock north of Encore)
  • Under $90: Stratosphere (all new rooms), Riviera, Plaza (all new rooms), Circus Circus, more…
  • Under $120: The D (all new rooms), Four Queens, Tuscany (all-suite, 1/2 mile from Strip), more
  • Under $150: Golden Nugget (pride of downtown), Tropicana (all new rooms), Luxor, LVH, plenty more…
  • Under $180: Trump (nice), Westin (nice), MGM, Monte Carlo, plenty more…

While these certainly aren’t like the mid-week rates you’ll find in the middle of summer, they aren’t bad for a super-peak time.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but if all of our readers would be kind enough take 10 seconds out of your life to use our booking box toward the top of this page (or at and see if our hotel partner can do better than your “loyalty program” (or the site you usually book at), we’d both perhaps be better off for it.

There is nothing “loyal” about $300+ a night rates at The Flamingo, and booking through our site helps support this newsletter. Win-win for everybody!

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

  • Want to comment on a current reader post? Use the comment box on that particular web page. Many of the stories we post also have comment boxes at the end of the story. Make your voice heard!
  • Drop us an email at – We read them all!
  • Call our recorded comment line at 702-507-0055. We listen to every call.

Access Vegas Insider Vibe January 16, 2013 Insider Vibe

Serving Las Vegas Visitors and Residents Since 1999

Welcome to the Insider Vibe! This is the official newsletter of AccessVegas.Com. We talk about the Las Vegas activities you really care about.

Need to contact us? Send feedback to

Missed an issue? Click to Read Back Issues Online. Quick Info Menu:

Las Vegas Essentials
Featured Shows
Las Vegas Events

Las Vegas Shows, Headliners, And Concerts

Don Rickles Headlines Las Vegas For Record-Smashing 54th Straight Year – One of the most established names in Hollywood and Las Vegas û internationally renowned comedian, actor and entertainer Don Rickles û has signed for a sixth consecutive year at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Rickles will make two weekend appearances at The Orleans in 2013: April 13-14 and September 28-29.

Rickles will be headlining in the Entertainment Capital of the World for the 54th consecutive year, an all-time Las Vegas record.

Pawn Stars

Pawn Stars Experts Featuring Autograph Sessions At Gold & Silver Pawn In 2013Pawn Stars along with the Gold & Silver Pawn team announced the autograph sessions of the star of the show as well as the experts that will be held this 2013 as filming allows.

Owner of Gold & Silver Pawn and star of Pawn Stars Rick Harrison said, “It took some serious planning and trial runs but we think we now have a system that works to allow more fans to meet us and the experts on the show. That was the one piece missing to a great experience when visiting Gold & Silver Pawn.” Located at 713 South Las Vegas Blvd., the small store is visited with over 4,000 people every day and film taking also takes place starting at 7 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. every weekday year-round. The busy schedule and space are the challenges that one team at Gold & Silver Pawn have overcome.

Las Vegas Attractions

2012 – Las Vegas – 2013

Valentine’s Day Las Vegas 2013

Romance Fills The Forum Shops Las Vegas With TreviÆs æThatÆs AmoreÆ – To celebrate the day of romance, Chef Peter Scaturro has created a special æThatÆs AmoreÆ couples menu for lovers to enjoy on Thursday, Feb. 14, at Trevi inside The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

Priced at $70 per couple, the prix fixe menu will feature a light starter, the option to choose between three classic Italian entrÚes and a delectable dessert to share. Guests will have the choice of pairing their meal with TreviÆs signature ValentineÆs Day cocktail, Lotion Potion Number 9, priced at $9. Other pairing options include a bottle of 14 Hands Chardonnay or 14 Hands Cabernet, priced at $30 per bottle.

Las Vegas Restaurants And Dining

Castle Walk Food Court At Excalibur Hotel & Casino Celebrates Grand Opening With Former Mayor, Oscar GoodmanCastle Walk Food Court at Excalibur Hotel & Casino kicked off its grand opening in style with Former Mayor, Oscar Goodman, and dozens of Strip entertainers on Tuesday morning. Accompanied by two stunning showgirls, Goodman congratulated his long-time friend, Lincoln Spoor, CEO of Feel Good Brands, LLC, for developing the innovative new food court which brings the first Cinnabon, Hot Dog on a Stick, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Pick Up Stix and SchlotzskyÆs to the Las Vegas Strip.

Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill At Caesars Palace And Gordon Ramsay BurGR At Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Now Open For Lunch And Dinner – Chef Gordon Ramsay makes history in Las Vegas opening two different restaurants in two different locations within a week of each other on the famed Las Vegas Strip û the celebrated chef has opened three different restaurants in three locations all in one year.

Following the highly successful opening of Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas in May, the Dec. 18 opening of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace and Dec. 22 opening of Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino marks three Gordon Ramsay restaurants to open in Las Vegas in less than a year, expanding the relationship with Caesars Entertainment Corp. Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, the neighborhood restaurant at Caesars Palace conceptualized by the award-winning chef offers a lively English pub experience, while Gordon Ramsay BurGR brings Planet Hollywood the first gourmet burger concept from the celebrated chef.

Las Vegas Hotels

Las Vegas Sports, Sportsbook, And The Superbowl

Las Vegas Economy And Real Estate

More Las Vegas News

Take The Aria ôIndoor Hikeö With Steve ôRocketö Rosen, Fitness Guru – With health and wellness being an important topic for many in 2013, Rocket offers some insight on the Indoor Hike at The Spa at ARIA and how to stay committed to your New Year’s resolutions, even while on vacation:

What can guests expect during the Indoor Hike at ARIA? Once weÆve done some light stretching, we carry our yoga mats over the shoulder and begin to tour the beautiful ARIA resort. At various points of interest, including the Fine Art Collection, we conduct a brief orientation of the location followed by a few exercises. For example, at Jenny HolzerÆs ôVegas,ö weÆll do lunges, squats and step-ups on the nearby benches. The Hike then makes its way through the resort including a stop outside to learn about the amazing architecture and to climb stairs, of course. The entire experience consists of a great overall workout and can be modified for any fitness level.

New Year, New You! – Just because youÆre in Las Vegas on vacation doesnÆt mean you canÆt keep your New YearsÆ resolution of getting fit and staying in shape. Maintain personal goals while easing the guilt from that late-night cocktail by experiencing a unique workout guaranteed to help you break a sweat.

  • The Spa at The Mirage offers a one-of-a-kind experience, Yoga Among the Dolphins, taking place in a serene, underwater viewing area within Siegfried & RoyÆs Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The underwater location features multiple windows, providing an intimate opportunity to view the resortÆs family of bottlenose dolphins while flowing from pose to pose. The instructor-led class is open to the public and can be customized to accommodate all skill levels. Cost: $50 Time Length: 60 minutes; Friday û Sunday at 8:30 a.m. Reservations/Information: (702) 791-7472
  • Spa & Salon Bellagio offers its very own version of Boot Camp that is sure to leave you sweating. Using FitDeck exercise cards, instructors of Bellagio Boot Camp take you through an exercise circuit that is different with every class. Combining cardiovascular and resistance training methods, your entire body will be challenged. DonÆt worry; you can recuperate and restore within the award-winning Spa Bellagio afterwards. Cost: $40 per person Time Length: 50 minutes; daily at 9 a.m. Reservations/Information: (702) 693-7472
  • Take part in an insightful tour of CityCenterÆs Fine Art Collection with The Spa & Salon at ARIAÆs Indoor Hike (featured elsewhere in this issue), which takes participants through some of the most scenic and heart-rate-raising areas of the expansive CityCenter campus. This heart-pumping workout focuses on the whole body as guests perform yoga and various exercises along the way. Cost: $50 Time Length: 60 minutes; as reserved Reservations/Information: (702) 590-9600


Maverick Grand Canyon Western Territory Tour By PlaneMaverick Grand Canyon Western Territory Tour By Plane û Experience the thrill of the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, on a flight with Maverick Airlines. Fly in Maverick style on a Beechcraft 1900D aircraft to Grand Canyon West as you enjoy spectacular views along Eagle Point.

At the Indian Village you will receive a brief introduction to the Hualapai Indian legends and culture, and then proceed to Guano Point, where you’ll observe a breathtaking view of the canyon. Optional Activity: Don’t miss out on the Grand Canyon Skywalk, the new glass bridge attraction suspended more than 4,000 feet above the Colorado River on the very edge of the Grand Canyon’s West Rim. A meal will be served while you sit back and admire the awe-inspiring beauty of the Grand Canyon as you conclude your journey. Operator Maverick Airlines a division of the Maverick Aviation Group.

Click To Book Maverick Grand Canyon Western Territory Tour By Plane Now!

Las Vegas Show Reviews

Frankie Moreno by Terri DÆRichards

Entertainer Frankie Moreno – A Steady Momentum Of Talent – Welcome to FrankieÆs house! Kick back, relax, have a drink and rock the experience where old Vegas Rat Pack retro collides with modern swagger style. Voted Best Strip Headliner by Las Vegas Weekly and Best All Around Performer by the Las Vegas Review Journal, this singer-songwriter earns his titles nightly, demonstrating all-around musical virtuosity in an accessible personality package — one moment busting a Jerry Lee Lewis like move on the piano, the next moment busting out a bottle of Crown Royal to pour shots for any audience members who approach the stage with an empty glass.

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

Hello From Las Vegas! – Well, we just went through probably the worst/coldest 5 days in a row that I’ve ever experienced here in my nearly 20 years. Freezing temps would hit early evening and not let up until mid-morning. Pipes were bursting all over the valley because we do not know what a “Hard Freeze Warming” is. I left my water dripping and ran space heaters in the more vulnerable parts of my place. (Fortunately, my few outdoor pipes are already permanently wrapped).

When it gets this cold, locals stay home. A 1:00 a.m. grocery run on Sunday night found the streets unusually deserted. Staring over at The Strip on my way home — all lit up in its usual glorious glow — it was deceptively warm looking. But hey, at least for once I didn’t have to worry about all my food melting before I got it home.

The good news is, that little weather glitch is in the rearview mirror and the 10 day forecast is showing seasonal temperatures in the 60’s as far as the eye can see! Speaking of…

2012 Hottest On Record – Las Vegas set a new record for hottest year, but that factoid is a little bit deceiving. We didn’t have any days over 114 F and only a smattering of days above 110. Averages are determined by temperature readings 24 hours a day, seven days a week and Las Vegas’ true “average” temperature is just slightly above 70 degrees. Simply put, our overnight lows have continued to climb slowly but surely as more and more of the area has been developed, covering the rocky desert soil with heat-trapping asphalt and concrete.

I can’t say that I view this as such a terrible thing. Summer nights are a bit toasty, but the post-sundown temperatures during the rest of the year stay in a more comfortable range. Interestingly enough, the daytime highs haven’t really been increasing at all. Hot days and warm nights (or what we call spring and fall)… I’m in!

MGM Resorts To Spruce Up Rooms At Las Vegas Hotels – Hot on the heels of the rooms renovation at MGM Grand, the parent company MGM Resorts has announced that they plane to refurbish the rooms at the rest of their Las Vegas properties including Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, Monte Carlo, and even Circus Circus. Yes, even the “lowly” Circus Circus!

For those of you who keep thinking you hear rumors of the demise or closure of Circus… probably never going to happen. From what we understand, the venerable hotel (we can’t really call it a resort) consistently earns money year after year. Every time we poke our head in, it seems like the parking garage is pretty full and the property is filled with foot-traffic. In related news…

Just Not The Rooms – Lost in the renaming and remodeling of the Imperial Palace (now officially The Quad) is the news that the hotel rooms apparently aren’t part of this facelift. Property owner Caesars Entertainment President Gary Loveman did note last year that room remodels to various properties will be on tap, but which ones and when were not specified. Looks like MGM Resorts is eager to beat them to the punch.

This Isn’t The Movie Version – Rock Of Ages has roared back into Las Vegas with a planned long-term residency at The Venetian. Yes, I say “back” into town as the show which spawned the Tom Cruise movie was tested here for a couple weeks some six years ago before heading to New York.

As the movie was an adaption of the stage show, it is very important to note that they are not identical. The show version contains some alternate music and is geared to be an audience-participation party. For those of us who lived the 80’s (high school and college for me), the music obviously has a close tie to our youth. But the good time vibe is ageless! Rock Of Ages tickets are available directly by clicking the graphic near the top of our our left sidebar.

Restaurant Week(s) In 2013! – We’ll have more info as it gets closer, but Restaurant Week will return twice this year. Taking part in Las Vegas Restaurant Week is simple. Diners can visit any participating restaurant during the specified dates and enjoy a multi-course, prix fixe menu. Each restaurant will create their own delicious menu offering at price points ranging from $20.13 to $50.13, with a fixed portion of the proceeds benefiting Three Square and the fight against hunger in Southern Nevada. Last year, you helped raise more than $610,000!

Hope you are enjoying this issue!

Associate Editor / News Researcher: Rick Ziegler

Concerts and Headliners: Amy Rayner-Cooley

What We’re Watching – Vegas Videos You’ll Enjoy

  • Hoover Dam Inside Out – The chief whiz of human invention around here was built long before anybody had even imagined the fabled Strip and was named for a sober President who probably never shook hands with a one-armed bandit. Herbert Hoover was President when construction began on the legendary dam that now bears his name. Note: Shot before the current drought when the lake was quite full.
  • Rock Candy Sticky Sweet performs at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas – Get your dose of downtown! Clips from two performances of Rock Candy Sticky Sweet on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Includes “I Love Rock n Roll”, We’re Not Gonna Take It”, “Just Like Paradise”, “Nuthin’ But a Good Time”, “Cult of Personality”, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Wanted Dead or Alive”.
  • Las Vegas Strip street drive from 1988 – Taped from a car window in real time on January 11, 1988. Starting from the Landmark casino on Convention Center drive, turning unto Paradise going north to Sahara avenue, then heading south on the Las Vegas Strip, u-turn at the Hacienda casino then going north on the Strip to just past Sahara. See numerous hotels which are no longer with us.

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Love your newsletter! I noted your comments regarding the Themed Hotels making the city popular. My sentiments exactly! Been visiting Vegas since 1996 (from the U.K.) often more than once a year (next visit in April).

We have seen Vegas change over the years, some great improvements (The Venetian, Paris, Bellagio, Caesar’s expansion to name a few); others not so. The City Center (for us) has not only spoiled the Vegas skyline but looks out of place on the strip and as previously mentioned, is too far off the strip to entice us inside (we will go and see the new Cirque show though).

With Imperial Palace changing to Quad and the planned project where Bill’s Gambling Hall is now, in the pipeline, we hope they don’t change Vegas too much. The ‘special’ hotels are what make Vegas what it is and make us yearn to visit year after year.

Greetings to you and your staff!



Ted Responds:

I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve kept pretty mum on it as some people adore CityCenter (especially those who stay there, they just love it). However, in a skyline etched with so many desert-friendly colors ranging from the chocolate brown of Wynn and Encore to the gleaming gold of Mandalay Bay with plenty of other warm-looking structures up and down The Strip, CityCenter is the icy blue monolith that just feels out-of-place.

Fortunately, the Imperial Place and Bill’s makeovers aren’t bringing severe changes to the structures. We’ve featured some of the renderings in past issues, and they appear to be staying with a pretty neutral pallate.

The de-theming of hotels is going too far. What comes next? Do the bean counters take out the famed Bellagio fountains so they can put a strip-side shopping mall in? (I shouldn’t even mutter those words. I can see them right now sitting there and going “call our architects…”).

We’re obviously a few years away from any new hotel construction (and still hoping that the Fontainebleau eyesore gets torn down, although highly unlikely because it is probably 70% finished). Having said that, the next time someone gets the bright idea to build a grand new property on our famed Las Vegas Strip, I hope they embrace the kinds of themes and colors which made our little slice of mountain-framed desert world-famous.

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

  • Want to comment on a current reader post? Use the comment box on that particular web page. Many of the stories we post also have comment boxes at the end of the story. Make your voice heard!
  • Drop us an email at – We read them all!
  • Call our recorded comment line at 702-507-0055. We listen to every call.

Access Vegas Insider Vibe January 09, 2013 Insider Vibe

Serving Las Vegas Visitors and Residents Since 1999

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Las Vegas Essentials
Featured Shows
Las Vegas Events

Las Vegas Shows, Headliners, And Concerts

Vegas’ Best Party Rock Of Ages Celebrates Opening Night At The Venetian – January 5, 2013, the high-octane musical Rock Of Ages opened at The Venetian Las Vegas to an enthusiastic, full house at the Rock of Ages Theatre. The production is a hilarious, feel-good love story that celebrates the great rock songs of the ‘80s including “Here I Go Again,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “We Built This City,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” and more.

The high-energy performance had the crowd rockin’ out all night long with the audience waving hundreds of LED lighters in the air during the heartfelt ballads and singing and dancing on their feet during the finale. Director Kristin Hanggi and Choreographer Kelly Devine were also in the theater supporting the cast and at curtain call they joined the cast on stage to celebrate opening night. The talented cast includes Kyle Lowder as Stacee Jaxx, Carrie St. Louis as Sherrie, Justin Mortelliti as Drew, Mark Shunock as Lonny, Troy Burgess as Dennis, and Robert Torti as Hertz.

Celebrating The Holidays and 2012 In Las Vegas

Las Vegas Restaurants And Dining

Rice & Company Debuts Thunder Roll In Honor Of Australia DayRice & Company at Luxor Hotel and Casino celebrates Australia Day on Saturday, Jan. 26 with the debut of the Thunder Roll, a sushi roll created in honor of the handsome blokes of Australia’s Thunder From Down Under at Excalibur Hotel & Casino.

Available throughout the month of January, the tantalizing Thunder Roll, priced at $18, is made with a delicious blend of soft shell crab, tuna, avocado and cucumber, wrapped in seaweed and topped with spicy mayo and kabayaki sauce. In honor of Australia Day, the restaurant will offer the celebratory roll half-off at the special price of $9 on Saturday, Jan. 26.

Inglenook And Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten Kick Off Bellagio’s 2013 Epicurean Epicenter Series – Heralded as the home of a wide range of award-winning dining experiences including two AAA Five Diamond restaurants, Julian Serrano’s Picasso and Le Cirque from the renowned Maccioni family, Bellagio’s 2013 Epicurean Epicenter series continues its tradition of innovative and immersive experiences. On Saturday, Jan. 26, guests can taste five wines from the legendary Inglenook estate, paired with the critically acclaimed cuisine of James Beard award-winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Bellagio’s Prime Steakhouse.

Las Vegas Sports And Sportsbook

Se±or Frog’s Kicks Off Football Specials For Playoffs And The Big GameSe±or Frog’s Las Vegas at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino will host a football fiesta for playoffs from Saturday, Jan. 5 through Sunday, Jan. 20 and for Super Sunday on Feb. 3.

Football fanatics will touch down at the famous party bar with big game eats and drinks while the big games play on all of the restaurant’s high-definition televisions and huge projection screens. Sports fans will have guaranteed seating by purchasing any of the restaurant’s signature football packages: The Rookie, The Veteran or The MVP.

Drinking, Gambling, And Partying in Las Vegas

Las Vegas’ Ultra Dive Bar Rockhouse Moves From Imperial Palace To Venetian – This late January, the Sin City’s iconic party bar will bring back the same let-loose attitude at The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino. The new 9,000-square-foot location can be directly accessed from Las Vegas Boulevard providing convenience for hotels guests nearby and for those passing by. The original Rockhouse becomes the most famous party spots in the Las Vegas Strip.

Valentine’s Day Las Vegas 2013

Cabo Wabo Cantina Hosts ‘Love Stinks, Let’s Drink’ Anti-Valentine’s Party – Amor is a bore, so the drinks will pour at Cabo Wabo Cantina at Miracle Mile Shops inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino with a “Love Stinks, Let’s Drink” party on Thursday, Feb. 14.

The hard-rockin’ cantina will celebrate the independent and fabulous life with Sangarita, a combination of margarita and sangria, for $10 a glass and $30 per pitcher. Partygoers may toast to lovers past with $5 anti-Valentine’s shots including the Ex-Boyfriend, a stout blend of Patr¾n XO CafÚ and Bailey’s Irish Cream; and the Ex-Girlfriend, a hard-hitting mix of tequila and Tabasco.

Las Vegas Economy And Real Estate

Las Vegas Attractions

Downtown / Fremont Street Experience

Miss America

More Las Vegas News

Maverick Helicopter Combo Adventure with River Rafting TourMaverick Helicopter Combo Adventure with River Rafting Tour – One of the most amazing ways to experience the Grand Canyon is with a landing tour and the added bonus of river rafting through the scenic Black Canyon on the Colorado River. You will enjoy a helicopter adventure through the Grand Canyon and see awe-inspiring scenery at one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Following the helicopter tour through the Grand Canyon, you will land at the Boulder City Airport and meet up with the rafting crew. Your fully motorized and narrated river rafting voyage will depart from the base of Hoover Dam and float 12 miles down the grand Colorado River. The Colorado River rafting tour includes several stops along the river and lunch served upon reaching Willow Beach, Arizona. The rafting crew will transport you to your hotel at the conclusion of the tour.

Click To Book Maverick Helicopter Combo Adventure with River Rafting Tour Now!

Las Vegas Show Reviews

Anthony Cools by Sarah Jane Woodall

Anthony Cools – Good, clean dirty fun like nothing you’ve ever seen – Hypnotism – it’s not just for quitting smoking anymore! Long recognized as an effective way to tap into the human subconscious for practical reasons, the art of hypnotism has lately been co-opted by pranksters. Some devilish genius figured out that it’s just as easy (and much more fun) to hypnotize people for impractical reasons – and the next thing you know, a cottage industry was born. These days, there are several comedy hypnotists playing their trade on the Vegas Strip…the best-known of which is Anthony Cools.

What sets Cools apart from the competition? His rakishly smarmy charm, of course! Other comedy hypnotists might be more family-friendly or wholesome in appearance, but…come on! Did you really come to Vegas to see family friendly?! I didn’t think so!

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

Hello From Las Vegas! – Happy New Year to all, and we hope that 2013 turns out to be a great (and lucky) year for each and all. It is turning out to be a colder-than-usual immersion for us. Midnight temps on New Years Eve were just above freezing, and we’re looking at below-freezing overnight temps now through Tuesday night. Not funny.

What A Bang! – New Years Eve was still more spectacular than ever. This year’s show featured over 8 minutes of fireworks and revelers enjoyed roaming over four miles of The Strip (it was closed to traffic) from around 6 PM until well past midnight.

To give you a comparison of the enormity of our celebration, we’ve created a Google Map of New York City with the length of The Strip superimposed on New York with Times Square in the middle. Those of you who took our advice and tuned into we’re able to see their entire 2.5 hours show streaming live and culminating with the fireworks. For those who missed it, the fireworks-only portion of the broadcast is available online: Las Vegas New Years 2013 Fireworks

A New Record! – As we’ve told you all year, we’ve been staying pretty close to being on track to break the 40 million mark in visitors this year. What we know is that we’re going to beak the 2007 “boom era” record of 39.2 million. Estimates have us brushing up against the 40 million mark, but we won’t officially know until a couple months into the year once all the numbers are finally crunched. Having said that…

A Soft 2013 – Airline capacity into McCarran is going to be off a couple of percentage points in 2013, which means no relief on the airfare front. This will obviously affect some of you more than others. It will keep hotel rates pretty steady, which means those spending longer stretches of time here can amortize the airfare over more days. However, if you are the average 3 day visitor, you’ll be dinged harder as the cost to get here for those 3 days is likely to rise.

We continue to suggest visiting a little less often and staying longer. You won’t feel as rushed (trying to cram so much into so little time), you can take that tour or day trip and see some of our spectacular high desert and grand parks, and have time to get out of the “things we do every visit” rut.

Return Of The $8 Dinner Buffet – About a year before it closed, The Sahara shut down their buffet. It wasn’t anything special, but for $8 (if memory serves me correct), it was OK grub. That was the end of the cheap Las Vegas dinner buffet. Until now.

One mile west of The Sahara, Palace Station has brought back the $8 (actually $7.99 plus tax with players card) all-you-can-eat dinner buffet. We’ve had it and while certainly not that new fancy spread at Caesars, it is WELL worth the money. Heads above Circus Circus (located in the same general neighborhood and pretty much twice the price). 

Fresh salads and fruits, carving station, hamburgers and pasta (including seafood pasta) prepped to order, grilled and fried fish, decent deserts, all-you-can-drink non-alcoholic drinks. You know, the standard Vegas buffet drill.

So, if you have some wheels while you are in town and you like bargains, check it out. If you are cabbing it downtown and back for a night, it is a very quick detour to grab dinner and then catch another cab for the rest of your ride to Fremont Street.

Stadium Updates – Every few months, we keep you up on the various stadium/arena proposals which keep floating around. Here’s the latest:

  • UNLV – This one has turned into the front-runner and is garnering a lot of community support. An approximately 60,000 seat stadium would host UNLV football, major sporting events which we’re not currently in the running for (no venue that size in town), and additionally concerts and similar.
  • South Strip – The proposal to build a stadium south of the M Resort seems dead. Long story and lots of finger pointing and really not worth going into.
  • Downtown – No new news although some of the long time movers-and-shakers still would like to place a basketball/hockey arena downtown.

    I’m really dubious of having a Las Vegas NBA team. Most people living here come from elsewhere and already have strong ties to their “home” team. The Los Angeles Lakers have always had a very strong following in Las Vegas. Sure, the arena would fill up with people from out-of-town visiting here to root for their team (which would be good for tourism), but how well is a team going to do that has to play in front of a mixed-allegiance crowd every single home game? Especially in the NBA where home court advantage is huge.

Free Wi-Fi At Most MGM Properties! – Well… someone woke up and figured it is 2013 and more and more of us are connected everywhere we go. Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage have rolled out free wi-fi in their public areas (casino, restaurants, pool, etc.) Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Luxor and Excalibur will be on-board around the time of Spring Break/March Madness. 

Springtime is set to also bring free wi-fi to all the rooms at these resorts. They aren’t promising blazing fast speed for free, but if you really want to sit by the pool or in your room and watch Netflix on your tablet, you’ll be able to purchase more speed as an add-on. Prices were not yet available.

Help Us Help You – One of the ways that we’ve been able to keep this newsletter complimentary despite the tremendous amount of research to put it together is because our hotel partner i4Vegas has been a consistent partner. When you book through the hotel links or booking box in this newsletter or at, we get the credit.

Unfortunately, despite our ever increasing readership, the number of readers booking with us has started to decline. To those that have and continue to do so, we thank you. You are the ones responsible for assuring we have the revenue to do what we do and can keep this newsletter significantly more ad-free than most online travel information.

For those of you that don’t, we’re asking that you take just a few seconds out of your life next time you book a Vegas room and plug in your dates and see what our partner can do for you.

“But Ted, XYZ hotel sends me really good deals”. Unless that deal is FREE (and more power to you if it is), you might be surprised just how good their deal ISN’T. And… how much more flexibility you have in your price range by seeing a quick comparison of everything that is available.

Our hotel partner is Vegas-centric and you’re not going to find them on the major comparison websites. Vegas is what they’ve been doing for years and years, and they’ve developed a special relationship with our hotels, buying rooms in volume and passing the savings on to you. (The hotels are happy because they don’t have to market or sell the room). 

If every single reader (that means YOU… not the next guy) would be kind enough to just take a few seconds to compare our rates and book with our hotel partner (through our booking box or links so we get credit) if we’re comparable, we’ll be able to keep the information flowing in its present form. And, you just might find some hotel deals you didn’t know about!

Members Mania Ooops – We’re not exactly sure how we pulled this one off, but last issue I did a full, special, year-end section of reader feedback and well-wishes. Which still appears in my copy on my computer, but for some reason vanished as the file was passed along to be placed online. If at first, you don’t succeed… We’re reposting it all in its entirety this week. (I can see it now: Sherlock Holmes in the case of the Missing Letters).

Hope that you are enjoying this issue!

Associate Editor / News Researcher: Rick Ziegler

Concerts and Headliners: Amy Rayner-Cooley

What We’re Watching – Vegas Videos You’ll Enjoy

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

As the year ends, I wanted to post a sampling of the great thoughts and wishes that were sent our way. We appreciate it, they mean much to us, and it is always exciting to think that we have so many amazing readers from around the globe!

Having been to Las Vegas 10 times in previous years, I have always purchased a calendar. However we did not go this year and have been unable to obtain one.

Could you let me know how I can obtain a calendar for 2013?

Thank you!

Lorna Richards


Ted Responds:

For our friends in the United States, you can get this one direct from Amazon. (Hint: Order two and you get the free shipping option). For our friends from other countries, you can perhaps do a search on your own area’s Amazon site for similar. Hope this helps!

Hi from South Texas. The changes to the site are awesome well done sir. All this information you and your staff put out is priceless and very very much appreciated.

God bless you and have a great day.

Noe Alaniz

I enjoy getting all the Vegas updates from your newsletter. I will be back in February for my 36th birthday & I cannot wait! This will be the 3rd time in 10 months that I’m returning to Vegas. Keep those newsletter coming!


Mandy from Nazareth, PA

Thanks again for a wonderful newsletter year. They are so helpful for every visit to LV since I have subscribed.

Greetings from Germany and Frohe Weihnachten (Season Greetings) to you and your family.

Ollie and Diana

Just a letter of thanks for all the info you have provided over the last few years. My wife and I have loved our annual visits to LV for the last 16 years but regrettably due to our age and the escalating air fares from the UK we are reconsidering “annual”.

Hopefully we may make it again some time but meantime thanks and we hope you all have a great holiday and 2013.

Best wishes

Pam and Geoff Smithson

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year TO you and your staff. I love hearing about the city I love to visit.

Thanks for doing what you do!

The Kinloch’s in Philadelphia

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