Access Vegas Insider Vibe – January 26, 2000

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This Issue: Rio Masquerade Village Show

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

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

Note: Last week’s newsletter about Adventuredome is now archived online WITH PHOTOS at The Bellagio Buffet review is archived online with Bellagio photos atáLAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

MEGAGUCKS – got hit Wednesday night at the Deserted Inn (yes, that is what we call it locally because it’s usually pretty empty). 37 year old Cynthia Jay, a (now former) cocktail waitress at the Monte Carlo, was catching a show that night at the Desert Inn. She had invested $27. The $34,955,489 (paid over 25 years) is the largest slot jackpot ever hit in history. Newspaper story at and you can catch a video of the KVBC story at

SUPER BOWL – Las Vegas throws quite a few parties during the year, but this is one of the biggest. Some come to drink and let loose, some come to root on the home team because Super Bowl tickets are unobtainable, and other want to recoup everything they lost betting football during the entire year! The excitement is building and you can read about it at and you can find a full list of Super Bowl parties at

NO MORE MILLION – Binion’s Horseshoe has undergone many changes since Binion sister Becky Behnen took over, but none compared to the sale of the infamous display of 100 $10,000 bills (a cool million) that her father Benny put together. An estimated 5 million plus people have had their photo taken with it over the years. If you have one, save it — it was your last. There was nothing like enjoying the $3 late night steak special (now no longer available on weekends) and then trooping back up the stairs and spending a few quiet minutes just looking at all that cash. Story at

HARD ROCK – Many questioned the off-strip location when it opened, but the Hard Rock has quietly expanded and become one of the top casinos in town. They may cater to the trendy high rollers from out of town, but we personally enjoy the 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker (slot points allowed for play) and the $5.95 surf and turf special in the coffee shop (not on the menu — ask for it). Story at and you can book discount Hard Rock rooms at (Hard Rock link).

SHOPPING GALORE – Recent reports note that visitors spent more in Las Vegas ($22.5 billion) in 1999 than in New York City and San Francisco combined, and that doesn’t include gaming. Not only are their more gaming opportunities on the Las Vegas Strip than anywhere in the world, but now more shopping opportunities. More than 50,000 people a day walk through The Forum Shops at Caesars alone. Story at

WB STAGE 16 – We mentioned the opening of this new eatery at The Venetian a couple of weeks ago. The Review-Journal has reviewed it at

LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY – is holding it’s annual open house on Feb. 19. from 9 AM to 4 PM. Race fans will be treated to free tours of the entire facility, discounts from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, discounted concessions and merchandise, special ticket deals and go-kart rides courtesy of Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix. There also will be several big-screen televisions set up during the morning hours for fans to watch the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division race from Daytona International Speedway. The go-kart rides will begin immediately following the conclusion of the race from Daytona Beach, FL.

Winner: Keith B. Stolz of Houston TX is this weeks winner of the millennium t-shirt.

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at

FREMONT ST. EXPERIENCE – free all-weekend Super Bowl party features free concerts including NEON CHAMELEONS and THE CLASSIC ROCK ALL STARS on Jan. 28, THE OHIO PLAYERS and ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION on Jan. 29, and will be showing the action on two gigantic screens starting at noon on Sunday.

REVIEWS – Recent reviews in the paper:


Rental Cars – Don’t pay top dollar! Enter the dates of your visit and compare prices from virtually every major rental car agency (most US cities). Book the lowest price company or your regular agency. Save the hassle and some money – Car Rental Savings Search. Few regret renting a car. Free shuttles and city bus rides can be slow and smelly. Taxis can cost what a rental car costs. Your vacation time is valuable — make the most out of it!

FEATURE STORY: Rio Masquerade Village ShowAlthough it’s been playing for the better part of two years, I’ve always seemed to miss the Masquerade Sky show when I visit the Rio. A visit to The Rio for me usually involves a trip straight up to the Voodoo Lounge with friends or to meet a client and just enjoy the spectacular sights from 51 floors up, which is generally regarded as one of the best free view of the city.

So, I braved the 58 degree cloudy, windy day Tuesday and set out to truly experience a little of The Rio. I arrived at 4 PM just in time to see the beach-themed show featuring music from the 50’s and 60’s. After that, it was on to their infamous seafood buffet (review next week) and then up to the Voodoo Lounge to watch the sunset. Then back down at before 6 PM to catch another Masquerade show.

This is a production and a half for free! The multi-level stage at one end of the Masquerade casino area features live musicians as well as a number of dancers, but the entertainment extends the length of the casino with large two-level floats that ride high above the gaming area on rails. The sound is great, the dancers superb, and the floats are ablaze in light and color. In true Mardi Gras fashion, dancers on the various floats tossed out beads to the crowds both below and lined along the second floor.

We enjoyed the first show from the ground in front of the stage, but the best place to really enjoy the floats and dancers on them is from the second floor esplanade which surrounds the casino (it has restaurants and shopping off of it). People start lining up a half hour prior to each show upstairs, but we lucked out and found the perfect viewing area: from downstairs, look across and over from the stage until you find the big Watch Zone sign. Unlike the balcony area just to it’s right (as seen from downstairs), you aren’t fighting for a view or fighting for beads with a throng of other people, but you still have a fantastic view of the stage. Get under the Watch Zone sign upstairs and you are set!

The show runs every two hours from 2 PM to Midnight (dark Wednesdays) and lasts for about 15 minutes. You can purchase a ticket to ride in one of the floats for $9.95 and become part of the show. They dress you in a costume fitting that show’s theme (there are 4 shows altogether). Might be fun, but it looks like you are pretty much belted in and I’m not sure how much you can see.

The Voodoo Lounge is a must see. It occupies one full side of the top of the hotel with about a 270 degree view of the city, including the entire Strip, airport, downtown, and more. It opens at 5 PM and I strongly suggest going early enough to be up there during sunset (which is generally early enough that you won’t fight a line). The view actually faces away from the sunset, but watching the Strip light up as dusk approaches is stunning. The trip to the top is free except for a weekend cover charge later in the evening. Noted local musician Jimmy Hopper and his band play their unique (and very impressive) versions of popular songs Wed. – Sun. nights starting at 9:00 PM. A “dress to impress” code is enforced. No suit and tie required, but wear something besides tennis shoes and have a shirt with a collar at minimum. The more busy it is, the more they appreciate nice dress.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:Last week, Jim from Alaska wrote about his unpleasant New Year’s Eve experience and asked for suggestions how to make it up to his wife. You can find that letter archived at , and our thanks to the readers who wrote in with their suggestions:

Anonymous wrote:

>I’m a life-time local and very sorry to hear about the bad time you
>For dining I’d suggest “Keefers on top of the Carriage House”, the
>food is top-notch and the prices aren’t.á Their specialty is
>orange-roughy and if you ask you can get a window seat with a great
>view of the strip from the Excalibur to the Bellagio.á Try reserving
>at sunset.á Drinks in the lounge are a little on the high side.á The
>phone # is (702) 739-8000 and they’re on the strip and Harmon.
>For a reasonable room try the San Remo, very clean and nice.á My
>best-friends brother-in-law stayed there a while back and he was very
>pleased.á He’s also very frugal.á (CHEAP!) The phone # is (702) 739-9000.
>They are at Tropicana and the strip within walking distance from
>Keefer’s.á Good luck!!!

Note: We tend to prefer signed letters, but will consider unsigned letters with helpful information.

Sam Profio wrote

>Dear Ted: To the guy from Alaska looking for a better experience for
>him and his wife: For a romantic dinner try Olives at Bellagio and get
>a table on the balcony.á What a great view of the fountains during
>dinner and the music!á Bellagio does not take normal reservations for
>the balcony.á You must get in line at 5:00 PM to make a reservation
>for that evening.á I suggest you arrive a bit before 5:00 but it was
>not difficult to get a reservation.á It’s well worth it albeit a bit
>expensive.á The food, service and view is excellent!!!
>Regarding a good pool experience & not knowing the couple’s age or
>budget I would go with the Flamingo.á Great pool for all ages, great
>location on the strip and a very comfortable property.á Mandalay Bay
>has a great Caribbean themed pool, world class restaurants, the hot
>Rum Jungle night club and one of the best looking hotels on the strip.
>The Tropicana also has a great pool and a little younger crowd as does
>the Hard Rock’s Beach Club.
>Also, you can’t beat the top of the Stratosphere right before sundown
>for a romantic view of the sun going down over the desert and
>mountains and then watching the strip “come alive” when its lights
>become visible.
>One last thing that always works for me; take her shopping!á I know, I
>know, but most women love it.á The canal shops at the Venetian are a
>shopper’s dream and while you are there, take her on a gondola ride
>for more romance.á Other good shopping; the Forum Shops in Ceasars,
>Mandalay Bay, etc.á Most of the new properties have shopping.

Tedd Adamek wrote:

>áá Sorry to hear about your troubles on your stay on
>New Year’s. Don’t blame it on Vegas for the problems
>on one hotel. It was unfortunate that you picked the
>only hotel to go bankrupt but you do need to shop
>around a little more then you do. Anyone that would pay
>that price to stay at that hotel (very low grade
>place) didn’t do much looking around. Try some of the
>offers in this newsletter and call around next time.
>I’m sure you could do better.

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THIS WEEKS POLL – “What is your favorite nightclub in Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinions at — results will be published in next weeks issue!

What is your most favorite thing to do in Las Vegas besides gambling?

There are other things to do besides gambling? 21%
Fine dining and upscale shopping 19%
Sun and fun: the pool, golf, hiking, etc. 17%
I enjoy taking in a show or two 33%
Sightseeing tours to Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, etc. 10%


Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 10’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.

LAS VEGAS 2000 – t-shirt. One size fits all. Enter at (contest closed)

RIO MARDI GRAS BEADS – enter at (contest closed)

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All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
January 26, 2000