Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 21, 2001

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This Issue: Imperial Palace

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


EDITORS NOTE: I’m doing some traveling this week, so I’m happy to present a guest review submitted by readers Russell and Gail Howard. Next week, the long awaited review of Blue Man Group. After that, WB Stage 16 Restaurant (if they ever get me their press kit — I like the place) and Excalibur Tournament of Kings. As always noted at the end of the “Letter’s To The Editor” section, guest reviews are gladly considered.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

V-BAR – at The Venetian continues to be a “best kept secret” hot spot, although it won’t be a secret for long. I am often asked where to go to spot celebrities, and with all of the upscale hotels and activities in town, I’d generally say “don’t waste your vacation time searching.” However, the V-Bar has probably become your best bet. Their staff notes recent visits by Julio Iglesias Jr., Charles Barkley, A.J. of the Backstreet Boys, and various actors in the past couple of months.

V-Bar is open from 4 PM to 4 AM daily. It is a somewhat intimate, upscale bar. The action doesn’t pick up until later in the evening, and a relaxed dress code is enforced (look nice). Even if you aren’t celeb hunting, it is a nice spot to take a date or just relax away from the tables for a while.

STORM – The delays in Mandalay Bay’s new show Storm is attributed to additional building inspections following some design changes during the construction of the set. Story at In the wake of the 1980 fire at Bally’s (then called the MGM Grand, not to be confused with the huge green hotel now at Trop and The Strip), not only are building standards tighter but inspections are very comprehensive. Similar inspections delayed the openings of both The Venetian and The Aladdin.

BON JOVI WEDDING – Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea are going to renew their vows in Las Vegas at the same wedding chapel they married at 11 years ago. This time, they are turning it into a promotion with 75 couples in tow who won various radio station and other contests taking the plunge for the first time. The wedding will take place at the Graceland Wedding Chapel after Bon Jovi’s April 21 concert here. Full story at

LANCE BURTON’S – new special “Master Magician On The Road” airs March 31, 2001 on the Fox Family Channel. Check local listings for channel and time.

OSCAR ODDS – The “Vegas Line” on the Academy Award winners is up. You can’t actually bet on them, because Nevada law prohibits betting one anything where the outcome is known but they make a fun read at

CONVENTIONS – Chicago has long been the convention capital of the world, but Las Vegas and Orlando are after their business. The Las Vegas Convention Center is almost finished with construction that will double its size and both cities are touting themselves to convention planners as warm weather, resort alternatives to Chicago’s cold winters. Story at

CULT VEGAS – is the new book by Review-Journal entertainment writer Mike Weatherford. It combines his odd fascination with both Las Vegas and American pop culture. It includes both the standard icons like Sinatra and Elvis and the more offbeat and unusual. Story at and the book is available from Amazon at

SMOKING – Nevada has the highest death rate from smoking-related diseases in the country and some of the weakest tobacco laws in the United States, allowing smoking just about everywhere except public elevators and school buses. Hearings are underway to tighten those laws on a statewide level, but many are wary of the harsh restrictions of neighboring California, where smoking is even prohibited in bars. Story at In relation to that, this week’s poll at asks you “How do you feel about smoking in casinos”?

NO GRIZZLIES – As conjectured here a couple weeks ago, Las Vegas’ bid to land the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies was stymied because we refuse to give up legal sports betting. Story at

OFFICIAL? – You may have seen these “official” Las Vegas tourist info centers along the Strip, but many are just fronts for time-share pitches that prey on people overwhelmed with wondering what to do or see. Story at

$25 HOTEL REBATE — you pick the hotel! 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:

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SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Legends of Comedy (Frontier) –

SHOWS – 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

SHOWS AND HEADLINERS – listings available at
CONCERT – listings available at

DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at

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

Friday – 84 ░F / 58 ░F Partly Cloudy
Saturday – 85 ░F / 54 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 85 ░F / 52 ░F Partly Cloudy
Monday – 86 ░F / 51 ░F Mostly Sunny
Tuesday – 84 ░F / 51 ░F Partly Cloudy

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FEATURE STORY: Imperial Palace

by Russell and Gail Howard

We just returned from our third Vegas trip in three years, in fact our
second since last July, and were once again very, very pleased by the
Imperial Palace.

I know that opinions range widely on this older denizen of The Strip,
but our experiences have been quite fine there. Let me break down

First, the rooms themselves. We have stayed in the standard rooms
(nothing to complain about at all, and a killer price), as well as the
mini-suite (“luv tub” rooms), which are oversized rooms with ENORMOUS
bathtubs, mirror canopy beds, balconies, and what feels like a lot of
extra room, also a great price at about 60 bucks a night. Our room is
mostly our headquarters for crashing when we’re in Vegas, and these
work great.

Second, the Casino. My wife is a slot player, and has done well. I
am a video poker player, and I vastly prefer 9/6 machines, which are
getting harder and harder to find for under a buck, but IP comes
through with several quarter machines. I can play for a long, long
time for ten bucks on a 9/6 quarter machine!

Third, one need not be a “high roller,” which I clearly am not, in
order to feel welcome / well treated at IP. For example, I perceive
that I get as many free cherry cokes (the teetotaler thing, again)
when I’m playing nickel video poker as I do when I decide to go hog
wild (for me) and play dollar video poker.

Fourth, the staff. I get to know a lot of the change booth folks and
the waitresses. Never, once, in three stays at IP have I had anything
less than a great experience with an employee. They actually seem to
enjoy what they are doing. I don’t know how you train folks for
friendliness, but something is working here. I seek to be polite, of
course, and try to tip enough that I am acknowledging people’s
efforts, though not exorbitantly, but I have found the team to be
first rate.

Fifth, the show. The most significant show at IP, in the winter when
the Luau thing is not happening, is “Legends in Concert,” which we
caught for the first time this past Wednesday night. I really don’t
like maitre’d seating, preferring reserved theatre seats, so I viewed
the seating setup as a minus. However, the show itself, which varies
from time to time, included dead-on “tributes” to Tina Turner,
Madonna, Rod Stewart, The Temptations (easily the crowd’s favorite),
Liza Minnelli, and Elvis. All the musicians do their own singing. The
dancers were attractive and well choreographed. We really enjoyed
this show. We would repeat it, though we would repeat it all the more
enthusiastically if the seating were theatre-style.

Sixth, the location. Absolutely unbeatable. Within three blocks of
Venetian, Treasure Island, Mirage, Harrah’s, Caesar’s, Bally’s, Paris,
and Bellagio. All are easy walking distance, if you like to
casino-hop. And if you catch the tram from Bally’s, you’re at MGM
with Monte Carlo, New York New York, Excalibur, Luxor, and the
Tropicana all with easy walking distance. You will not top IP’s

We are a married couple, upper thirties. On this trip, we took my Mom
and dad along, upper sixties. We plan to take some other relatives
out to LV this fall, and look forward to another fun stay at the
Imperial Palace. We have become loyalists.

We just returned from our third Vegas trip in three years, in fact our
second since last July, and were once again very, very pleased by the
Imperial Palace.

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Russell and Gail Howard hail from Lexington, Kentucky and enjoy visiting Las Vegas on a regular basis. You can contact them at (click) Legends In Concert is reviewed at and more info on the Imperial Palace is available at (Imperial Palace link).

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


David Humphrey wrote:

> My wife and I will be in Las Vegas at the end of March. I would like
> to get your opinion and the opinions of your readers of how they
> spent their most romantic evening in Las Vegas (i.e., what shows did
> they see, what restaurants did they go to, what night clubs did they
> visit, any special attractions ….)

I’ll skip my opinion for now because I don’t want to influence what you readers might say. Take a minute and jot down where you take that someone special here in Las Vegas and email it to (click) (David: I don’t have your email address my laptop here. If you are headed to town before next week’s issue, email me again and I will forward the responses to you before publishing them).

Lynette from Palmyra, WI wrote:

> It is really unbelievable how un-objective the readers are in regards
> to your review of EFX. I liked Rick Springfield when I was younger too, but for
> cryin’ out loud, we all have a right to our own opinion. I thoroughly
> enjoy your newsletter and greatly appreciate your honesty, and
> furthermore, he is 20 years older now, so I’m sure your review is
> accurate. I wasn’t planning to go to EFX anyway, but I’m glad you
> saved me the time of even debating about it. We are coming to Vegas
> in July and are going to see BMG at the Luxor. We can’t wait; have
> you seen the show? How is it? I don’t recall seeing a review. Keep
> up the excellent work, this is very enjoyable reading. Love the
> reviews!!

Blue Man Group review is next week. I enjoyed it, but it is very stimulating to all the senses.

Bob and Barb wrote:

> I appreciate your review of the show (EFX Alive), since we already received
> tickets through the mail. Now I know exactly what to expect, and I
> can go into the show with the right attitude, and not be disappointed.
> P.S. I really enjoy your website, and the Rick Springfield fans —-
> get over it.

The show is still reasonably impressive overall, with the effects and involved cast. With any good fortune, Mr. Springfield will be in better health and settling more comfortably into the show.

Steve wrote:

> Hi Ted, I subscribe to your newsletter & find it well written and
> informative. Having just read the EFX letters you received, I find it
> a little disappointing that you received so many negative letters.
> You call ’em like you see ’em, & we are all entitled to our opinions.
> Sometimes I think people lose sight of that. I think looking at
> several sources of info is the best way to be informed and I count
> your newsletter as one of them when it comes to Las Vegas. Thanks
> again for all your time & effort.

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at 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 smoking in casinos? Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published next!

Results from our last poll “Who (if anyone) do you come to Las Vegas with?”* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Have a request for a review? Boggled when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop. If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us at You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 21, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770