Access Vegas Insider Vibe – October 1, 2003

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the official newsletter of AccessVegas.Com. We talk about the Las Vegas activities you really care about.

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Featured Story:
Desert Lake Escape

Also In This Issue – Oct. 1, 2003: Newkirk’s Notes, Behind The Tables, Monday Night Football, more.

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

Hello from Las Vegas! The Weather Channel is talking frost and freeze warnings for the Midwest US. Weekend forecast for Las Vegas? 90 F for a high, and 65 F for a low.

Travelocity just emailed us an incredible deal to offer our readers: Last Minute Travel Deals at steep discounts plus a $50 rebate! You must book through our link here and type in the promotional code BEFREE50 on the billing page. Can’t travel this week? Check on Monday’s for future weekends!

Cheeseburger In … Las Vegas? – This December, you can have a Cheeseburger In Paradise when Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville opens at The Flamingo. Can’t wait? You don’t have to:

Buffet played Las Vegas recently and the MGM Grand held a “Parrot’s Paradise” pre-concert party. We were there having a great time and got some cool photos and steaming video for you:

Behind The TablesLast issue, I noted some great authors with great books I met at a recent gaming writers event. But I left out Barney Vinson, who was the author of the first Las Vegas book I ever read: Las Vegas Behind the Tables. He’s a great guy and his more recent work Ask Barney: An Insider’s Guide to Las Vegas is a must have for the new or occasional Las Vegas visitor.

Sixtiesmania Showband – has revived their successful Las Vegas run, and moved from a local’s casino to the Greek Isles Hotel Casino just across from the Stardust. Click for Sixtiesmania info!

á See the Grand Canyon in a Jet Helicopter! For years Maverick Helicopters has been providing a true VIP Helicopter experience of the Grand Canyon. We do things a little different than any other helicopter Company. We give you an adventure of a lifetime and not just another tour of the Grand Canyon. Las Vegas Strip tours plus Helicopter Weddings also available!

Las Vegas News: Of Interest To Tourists

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Travel Agents – We have a special offer of you. Please read it at the end of this newsletter.

Take $50 off any Travelocity Last Minute Deal!
To redeem your $50 discount, simply type BEFREE50 into the Promotional Code field on the billing page during check out and $50 will automatically be deducted from your final price.

Featured Story:
Desert Lake Escape

Editor’s Note: We usually cover shows and entertainment, but with our warm Las Vegas fall weather this is a perfect time to enjoy the beautiful desert mountains and Lake Mead.
Guest columnist Jean Strickland’s Las Vegas Day Trips offers easy to follow maps & information on great sightseeing for tourists & great escapes for locals. We present her Desert Lake Escape.

Don’t be a Loser!! No one wants to be a loser in Las Vegas. Let me show you some great places where you’ll always be a winner!

We’ll start by traveling east along Lake Mead Blvd. – – past houses, stores, and apartments until – suddenly – civilization ends! Nothing but bare mountain looms over us! Through the mountain pass, like a door into another room, we’ll go. Now, in the distance of just a few hundred feet, we have left the city behind and entered the open desert! Within this narrow pass is a large stone plaque explaining a geological wonder – “The Great Unconformity.” A sign explains how the mountain in front of us was once hundreds of miles away! Along our journey we’ll discover beauty, tranquility and — the other side of Vegas!

Let’s start at one of my favorite spots, the fascinating desert oasis of Rogers Springs. Mother Nature’s handiwork provides this lovely fresh water spring which bubbles up happily from the base of a small mountain. The spring keeps a little pond alive with clear water and quenches the thirst of desert animals. We watch a father with his two young boys wading in the knee deep pool and chasing after tiny fish with cupped hands. The speeding fish outwit the young visitors who are delighted just to enjoy the chase! Another family indulges in a shady picnic under a cluster of palms.

We’ll cross the little bridge, stroll along a trail, and follow, with our eyes, the path the flowing water takes as it leaves the sparkling pool and wanders it’s way down, down, down to join the cool waters of Lake Mead, visible in the distance. Ah, an authentic oasis, created by Mother Nature to care for her creations. Man often imitates these beautiful spots, but never does them full justice. Aren’t you happy you’re here! Why not come back with someone you love. Treat yourself to a picnic or just wander a path or two. Escape the ringing phones and stresses of the city. Mother Nature is waiting here to make you a winner!

There’s a little fish hatchery along the shore of Lake Mead. Let’s make a short stop. We’ll walk down the stairs and out back to the fish runs and watch the fish dart around in the water. I’m glad we arrived at feeding time! Staff members toss fish food pellets into the water, which churns and bubbles as the hungry fish compete for their share. Doesn’t it look just like a Jacuzzi! The fish are used to stock the lake, maybe we’ll come back for a little fishing trip someday. Ah, Mother Nature provides for us, her creations.

I’m in the mood for a hike, how about you? Let’s follow the marked trail down into the Las Vegas Wash. Our trail begins on flat, hard, dry terrain and seems to disappear off the edge of nowhere. As we get closer, see how it takes us down into the canyon that has been fashioned by the rushing waters of the wash. I love the contrasts of nature! As far as we can see the desert appears parched and barren. But, along the waters edge, trees and plants flourish. Birds and animals hunt and play in their unique, lush home. There are so many hikes to choose from, this is only one!

Let me show you one of the breathtaking lake overlooks. I brought some sandwiches and we’ll have an impromptu picnic! To stand above the waters of the lake and overlook its stark, barren shores is an exhilarating experience! I wish we could see in every direction at the same time! Don’t you feel like your eyes are straining to take in as large a view as humanly possible? I love the brilliant blue of the desert sky, the colors of the land – red, gold, black and tan, the ability to breathe in deeply and know the air is clean!

And at night the view is no less fantastic! All the stars we usually miss, blocked out by the city lights, sparkle above our heads. Look, can you see the big dipper right there? We miss the stars in the city! Wonder if there will be a meteor shower tonight? Ah, Mother Nature made this all for you. See what a winner you are!

Well, the time has come to return to our responsibilities. Did you enjoy our Desert Lake Escape? Why not go back! Do some of the things we missed. Enjoy the uninterrupted companionship of your family or friends as you rent a boat, take a dinner cruise or visit the beach! Get away from exhaust, noise, crowds and daily stress — take a Desert Lake Escape! Visit our website and you will discover where you can find – great sightseeing for tourists – and great escapes for locals! You’ll always be a winner when you do!

Vegas Questions? Post to our message boards and get great advice from people who have been here and done it.

For comments or questions regarding Las Vegas, our content, or this newsletter write us a “letter to the editor” at Include your city — we have readers worldwide!

Live From Las Vegas,

Ted Newkirk

Senior Content Editor

New to the list? Click Here for back issues and subscription info. Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000! Click Here To Win

Attention Travel Agents: Tired of fighting the airlines and internet travel eroding your business? Let us help! What if you were guaranteed respectable commissions on not just hotels, but shows, tours, golf, dining and more? Not just in Vegas, but resorts across the US including Hawaii!No starting costs, maintenance fees, or minimums. Oh, and we won’t steal your customers. Our “customer for life” policy guarantees you get paid even if they book direct, time after time. Email us now: (subject line Travel Agent). We’ll get the details right to you.

All contents copyright 2003 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
October 1, 2003 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – May 3, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

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This Issue: Paradise Garden Seafood Buffet

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:

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

SPEED – The new roller coaster at the Sahara is open for business! It’s linear-induction motors bring it to a speed of 70 mph as it goes through a loop and straight up the Sahara marquee. Full story at

MICHAEL JORDAN – is coming to the big screen. The really big screen! The Luxor is showing “Michael Jordan to the Max” in it’s IMAX theatre. They have also added a new IMAX 3-D film called Galapagos: The Enchanted Voyage”, a voyage to the archipelago of Ecuador. Full story at

SO YOU WANNA BE A GAMBLER – It takes more than watching a couple of old John Patrick tapes to beat the house. I should know — like many, I moved here dreaming of making the casinos pay. And they did. The first two years here, I was well in the black sports betting and counting cards at blackjack. I also realized that I would never have the kind of bankroll to make a full time living at it (especially considering the stress of trying to play blackjack without getting caught and the long hours required to handicap even football).

If you have the self-discipline to do well at either of the above, you have what it takes to do even better in just about any other field. Still, we all want to beat the house and Las Vegas Weekly has a great article on the nitty gritty of professional gambling at

WORLD SERIES OF POKER – The infamous yearly tournament held at Binion’s horseshoe is underway. Friday evening on The Discovery Channel (11:00 PM Pacific — check your local listings) is an hour long special on this one-of-a-kind Las Vegas event. Well worth checking out even if you have no interest in poker.

AIRPORT CHECK-IN – The MGM has set up a check in desk right at the airport! You can get your room, have them take your bags, and arrange a ride to the hotel on their shuttle ($10 with luggage, $7 without). Early reports tout this as being quite the timesaver. Full story at and MGM discount rooms are available at (MGM link).

RESTAURANTS – Aqua, the beautiful restaurant at Bellagio is reviewed at Z’Tejas is a local’s fave a short cab ride from the Strip on Paradise. Z’Tejas review at

I LOVE YOU – virus hit today, affecting those who use Microsoft email programs. For the record, there is no chance of catching a virus because you are on this mailing list. Viruses like “Melissa” and “I Love You” spread by sending themselves to everybody in your address book once they infect your computer.

Your email addresses are kept securely on file at, the company we employ to handle our mailings. This is also the reason why you need to follow the instructions at the bottom of the newsletter to subscribe, unsubscribe, or change addresses.

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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

Hard Rock – Don Henley on July 10. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

Las Vegas Hilton – Dwight Yokam and Keith Urban on June 9-10, and Engelbert Humperdinck July 11-16 and Pearl Jam on Oct. 22. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

Mandalay Bay – Toto on May 26, Cheap Trick on July 3, and Hall and Oats on July 21. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at (Mandalay Bay link).

MGM – Marc Anthony on June 16, and Blink 182 with Bad Religion on June 24. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and MGM discount rooms are available at (MGM link).

FEATURE STORY: Paradise Garden Seafood Buffet

We’ve had an unusually high number of requests for info on this buffet, as well as hearing some great things about it. So, tonight we got over there to check it out. After a 25 minute wait in line around 8:00 PM, we were in and quite impressed from the get-go.

My biggest complaints about Las Vegas buffets are the atmosphere. Even the $27 Rio Seafood buffet is noisy, very little to look at, and background music that is too loud (archived at ). Not the case here! Almost every seat has a view out into the wildlife habitat, home to a flock of live Chilean Flamingos as well as African penguins, swans, ducks, Koi, goldfish and turtles plus exotic vegetation viewed from the dining room through 2 stories of glass.

The lighting (after dark) is subdued, with background music almost unnoticed. Service was very prompt, with our coffee cups never getting below half empty and plates removed by the time we were back from the buffet line.

Being exceptionally bright and professional, I managed to misplace the menu that a chef was kind enough to get for me after my meal, but this buffet had everything you should expect from a seafood buffet and then some. Two types of fresh green salad as well as a host of other cold salads shared a large center island with the other side filled with crab, shrimp, two types of oysters, lobster, and more — all you care to eat.

At one end of the buffet were rolls, bread, chips and salsa, at the other 3 varieties of fresh sliced melons. The serving line had the more traditional salmon, fried shrimp, and even a fish lasagna. (I’d love to tell you what kind — I’m going from memory here — I’m sure the menu specifically noted it). Also featured were a healthy variety of both the usual and less common fish delights.

Yes, you can bring that one guy who “hates fish” because the traditional buffet fare was present and accounted for. Garlic mashed potatoes, carved turkey and roast beef, and Chinese and Mexican dishes help round out the fare.

Desert was self-service, which I prefer. I hate waiting in line for the best part of the meal! As you know, I judge a desert area by it’s cheesecake. Three varieties and it wasn’t the cheap stuff! They also had a vast assortment of cakes and pies of virtually every variety. For those on a sugar restricted diet, they had one of the better “no sugar added” selection I have seen at any buffet.

Despite the modest price, nothing was second rate. This is the traditional casino loss leader, giving you value far beyond what you pay in both food and atmosphere. I’ll be going back! The Paradise Garden Buffet is located in the Flamingo Hilton and is open from 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM 7 days a week. Cost is $15, which includes tax. I’m sure that lost menu will show up first thing tomorrow …

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


Micki from Huntington, NY wrote:

>Hi!á Love your newsletter…á I’m so glad I subscribed to it.á My
>husband and I are coming to Vegas the end of May.á We usually do nice
>dinner & show at night and were wondering if anyone knows how the
>restaurants are at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.á We are seeing Notre
>Dame de Paris (Hunchback of Notre Dame musical) and were interested in
>eating there as well.á We are particularly interested in the very nice
>restaurant located in the Eiffel Tower (French rest.).á Would
>appreciate any response.á Many thanks.

We have not seen Notre Dame nor dined at the Eiffel Tower restaurant yet. Reviews on Notre Dame are mixed. Reviews on the Eiffel tower restaurant all have one theme — nice but OVERPRICED (even from what it offers). Since you want an upscale dinner, make your way across the street to Bellagio. The walk is just a few minutes, and beautiful as you trace the edge of the lake. Picasso is one of only 19 Five Star restaurants in the U.S., although virtually any dining selection at Bellagio won’t let you down.

Satnick in NJ wrote:

>My husband and I just returned from our first trip to
>Vegas and loved it. We stayed at the Luxor and treated
>ourselves to a jacuzzi room in the pyramid. It was
>lovely and we enjoyed it. We toured most of the hotels
>although we could not squeeze everything into 4 days.
>We ate at Emeril’s New Orleans Seafood and enjoyed it
>but thought it was a little overrated. The food was
>good and the staff excellent but felt more like a
>chain restaurant and banking on his name than we had
>anticipated. I wouldn’t go back again but don’t regret
>the experience as we are Emeril fans.
>We saw a real Vegas style show at Bally’s called
>Jubilee. It was quite entertaining and we both enjoyed
>it more than we thought we would.
>We also went downtown and had fun. Be prepared that
>this a different element than the strip and more of a
>party atmosphere. I was not thrilled with the Fremont
>Experience light show and wouldn’t have cared if we
>missed it. I did enjoy the “boardwalk” kind of feel
>that was there.
>The best experience was a helicopter ride to the Grand
>Canyon. We had a beautiful day and felt incredibly
>lucky to land in the Canyon and see all that we saw.
>Although it is pricey, it was well worth it!
>All in all, it was GREAT trip. If I return (I hope), I
>would like to stay more centrally located on the
>strip. We stayed at the south end and didn’t get to
>some of the northerly hotels. Thanks for all the tips
>and information before our trip!

H. Hollis of Denver, Co. wrote:

>I visited Vegas about a month ago and I will never stay at the
>Stratosphere ever again!á We have stayed twice and this past one was
>very disappointing and I even wrote the Hotel with a list of 9
>complaints and have yet got any reply from them.
>Whatever you do don’t use the phones in your room to make a long
>distance calls unless you have a card; we were charged over $5.00 A
>MINUTE!á All of the employees were so rude, they were not friendly at
>all.á We never felt welcome there.á The Dealers were the worst!á The
>only thing that has improved was the buffet.

We are sorry to hear that. It does bring up the subject of what to do if you have a bad stay and here are some general rules to follow:

1. Don’t be scared to talk to someone in charge (restaurant manager, pit boss, etc). Sometimes they will do something then and there to make it right.

2. Write the hotel and complain! If it is legitimate, they have been known to send you vouchers for free rooms, or at least free food to get you back in the door (hoping your next experience will be better).

3. Constructive, concise criticism is always appreciated. If you can remember the name of the person and date you got the bad service, they take you more seriously that some guy who’s mad because he lost all his money, upset his wife, drank too much, fell asleep in the sun …

We hope your next stay is better!

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at 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.


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 20’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.

Hard Rock Hotel “Slot Player” souvenir key chain — Enter at (contest closed)

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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.
May 3, 2000