Access Vegas Insider Vibe – November 26, 2008 InsideráVibe

Serving Las Vegas Visitors and Residents Since 1999

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

Hello From Las Vegas! A cloudy Las Vegas with scattered rain showers, that is. I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving weekend. Even if you live outside the U.S. or Canada and aren’t having a Thanksgiving celebration sometime during this month, take a little time to count your blessings. Life isn’t perfect, but if we dig down and look around, we can all find something to be thankful for.

Fortunately, our current weather isn’t miserable and the rain is infrequent enough that it shouldn’t be interrupting anyone’s vacation. Nice change of pace for we locals and what the heck… much warmer than most of the rest of the United States this weekend.

As I just looked out my window (literally as I type), I saw the Virgin Air 747 coming out of the clouds with a plane full of our European friends (probably some readers among them) getting ready to touch down. I’m continually thankful and appreciative of the time, cost and effort you exhibit to make the Las Vegas visit whether you are a few hours away by car or spending half a day on an airplane to visit from the other side of the world.

Phantom û The Las Vegas Spectacular continues the amazing run at Venetian Las Vegas.

A couple of months ago, Phantom passedá1,000 performances which included:

  • “The Phantom,” has spent 1,000 hours in the make-up chair, equating to over 41 days
  • The delicate ingenue “Christine Daae” has had a total of 11,000 costume changes to date
  • Mr. Ubaldo Piangi has belted out 2,000 high Cs, the ultimate note for any tenor
  • More than 3,802 hours have been spent maintaining the other star of the show, the one-ton, 15-foot tall, 16-foot wide chandelier
  • The crew has executed 14,000 elaborate set changes, creating 13 separate locations on stage each night
  • Nightly, “Christine Daae” shares two kisses with “The Phantom” and three with the charming “Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny,” amounting to 5,000 kisses since opening night

From the moment you enter the magnificent custom-built theatre you are immersed in the storied Paris Opera House and become part of The Phantom’s world. Featuring every beloved Andrew Lloyd Webber song from the original, spectacular sets, new effects, and a breathtaking chandelier experience, Phantom is an only-in-Vegas experience.áClick for Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular Tickets

Historic Las Vegas Hotels and Showgirls – I found this great YouTube video with a montage of vintage Vegas stuff. Well worth a look especially if you have some extra time off this holiday weekend:

hilton grand vacation club las vegas

hilton grand vacation club las vegas

Hilton Grand Vacations Photos – If you are like me, you’ve seen this place up (more or less) across from The Sahara but never given any thought to walking inside the place. After all, it really isn’t a casino or entertainment venue. When we sent Mark to shoot some current photos of The Sahara (see previous issue), I had him snap a few of the Hilton Grand Vacations. Nice place… click on any of the above photos for a quick virtual tour.

Screeching To A Halt – For the first time in 40 years, Clark County (Las Vegas area) has LOST residents. An estimated 10,000 people have left town this year. That in stark contrast to the usual 4000-5000 per month who move here each month. In addition, Nevada unemployment is at 7.6%, the highest in 23 years and headed for the 10% mark.

What does that mean to you, the visitor? Perhaps something good: Las Vegas got “hot” starting about 2002. Reality shows, non-stop coverage on travel networks and celeb-gossip programs. This brought way too many carpetbaggers to town. People who didn’t care about Las Vegas, the history, the live-and-let-live tradition which attracts visitors, and who only saw visitors basically as people with wallets to be drained. Unfortunately, Las Vegas’ reputation took a bit of a beating as customer service went downhill while prices went way up. This is starting to change!

Those of us who have been here many, many years and love our town and love helping and serving (and are gratefuláá for) our visitors will be here long after the present economy has flushed out those who never belonged here in the first place.

Enjoy This Issue!

Ted Newkirk
CEO/Managing Editor

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

Las Vegas Is On Sale!
Get Great Rates At All Hotels:

Boulder Stn from $30, Fiesta H from $29, Green Valley from $90, Red Rock from $90, Santa Fe Stn from $50, Sunset Stn from $50, Texas Stn from $25, More Savings At All Vegas Hotels!

Nevada Ballet Theatre Dazzles Audiences With Its Cherished Holiday Favorite, The Nutcracker! – The most famous cast of holiday characters, including Clara, Fritz, the Mouse King and the Sugar Plum Fairy, reunite for Las Vegas’ most cherished and beloved annual event û The Nutcracker! Staged by Ballet Mistress Clarice Geissel-Rathers, with original choreography by Bruce Steivel, this annual tradition will be presented on Wednesday, December 17 through Sunday, December 28, 2008 at UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre, 4505 Maryland Parkway. Perhaps the most famous fairytale ballet of all time, The Nutcracker premiered over 100 years ago in St. Petersburg, Russia. Click to Read The Full Story …

mandalay bay shark reef las vegas

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Fun at Shark Reef Aquarium – This holiday season, Santa will be making his list and checking it twice at Mandalay BayÆs Shark Reef Aquarium. Children are invited to share last minute holiday wishes with “Santa in the Shipwreck” December 21-24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With each paid admission, children under the age of 12 also will receive a complimentary candy cane and photograph with jolly St. Nick to remember this unique holiday experience. Entry to Shark Reef Aquarium is $16.95 for adults and $10.95 for children ages five through 12. Children four and younger receive complimentary access. Click to view Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Pictures

New Treasure Island (TI) Las Vegas Room Design

Rest Easy With the New Room Designs of TI and Circus Circus – This fall, Las Vegas visitors are invited to indulge in the new contemporary comforts of Treasure Island and Circus Circus. At Treasure Island, tempting new room designs pair plush luxuries with modern conveniences. Framed by soothing neutrals and draped in crisp white sheeting, each roomÆs dreamy focal point is the TI Elite Sensational Pillow-Top Bed. Specially designed to provide uniform shape, true back support and soothing comfort, the bed is so sensational, itÆs available for purchase. To keep visitors plugged in, TI also made must-have technologies standard û from 26-inch LCD flat-screen televisions to MP3/iPod-compatible clock-radios. High-speed Internet access also is available.

At Circus Circus, guests are invited to be among the first to experience a modern new room decor that combines a calming neutral palette with fun pops of vibrant color. Located in the propertyÆs West Tower, each standard accommodation features a pillow-top mattress, sleek marble-topped workstation and comfortable sitting area. Hi-tech amenities include 32-inch plasma televisions and wireless Internet access.

Fall Into Relaxation At The Spas Of MGM MIRAGE – From a revitalizing coffee pedicure to an aromatherapy massage designed to melt away the stress and strain caused by long summer days, these fall-inspired treatments leave spa-goers relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated.

  • Hot Cafe y Horchata Pedicure, MGM Grand Spa û Enliven your day with this energizing foot treatment. The stimulating 50-minute pedicure includes a hot coffee foot mask and a sweet milk foot soak. ($95, Monday-Thursday; $105, Friday-Sunday)
  • Moroccan Jasmine Tea Manicure and Pedicure, Kim Vo Salon at The Mirage û This intoxicating 90-minute service begins with a gentle sugar scrub infused with exotic jasmine oil. Next, guests enjoy a calming manicure and pedicure before a nourishing jasmine- and green tea-infused creme leaves hands and feet silky smooth. ($155)
  • Relaxation Massage, The Spa at New York-New York û During each indulgent 50- or 75-minute session, a citrus aromatherapy oil awakens the senses while a gentle scalp massage melts away tensions. The latter treatment also includes an exfoliating peppermint foot scrub and massage. As a special treat, guests are invited to enjoy a delicious orange and chocolate bar after their service. ($125, 50 minutes; $185, 75 minutes)

Gambling Talk: Introduction To Poker Tournaments – with Victor H. Royer. Join our own “Vegas Vic” in the tenth of a series of poker instruction brought to you via streaming video! This week: Introduction To Poker Tournaments (broadband)

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

This will be our first trip to Vegas. We will be staying at the MGM Grand. I was actually in Vegas many years ago when I was like 13 so I don’t count that. We will be in town for an expo but will have the late afternoons and evenings free. What would you say would be the things not to miss?

We are in our early 40’s and still like to be on the go not couch potato kind of people. What would you say is the best place to get a great Prime Rib dinner as my fiance is a prime rib lover. Any advice you could give would be helpful as we would like to make the most of our time in Vegas.


Colleen from New Jersey

Ted Responds:

With so much to do and see, I try to steer clear of suggesting “must see” things to those who have never visited or have not been here in years. Also… you’ll be back (trust me on that one) so don’t kill yourself trying to do everything. Especially when here for a convention. Some tips:

1. DO go read the back issues of our newsletter (archive links are listed by month on the right sidebar… scroll down the site when you click to it) You’ll be far better informed than most other visitors and thus be able to make the most of your time.

2. Primarily Prime Rib in the Orleans gets raves both for food and atmosphere. A quick two mile cab ride from your hotel, The Orleans is a nice, big, full-size casino with a mix of locals and tourists:áOrleans Hotel Casino Las Vegas Photo Set

3. Voodoo Lounge on top of the Rio won’t scare off those over 30. Call ahead to verify but usually no cover until sometime in the evening. Moderate dress code enforced (don’t show up in a t-shirt and old tennis shoes). If possible, get there 45 minutes before sunset and watch The Strip light up in front of your eyes outdoors while you enjoy a cocktail.

Many of the photos in this set were taken there at sunset (the others were taken from Stratosphere): Las Vegas At Dusk Photo Set

I know there are free shuttles to off strip casinos/hotels such as the Rio, Sam’s Town……….but is there any free shuttles to the new Cannery or Silverton? Is there still a free one to Gold Coast? A lot of the sites are not updated on free shuttles……….. IF I am going to spend money, I would rather do it IN the hotels/casinos……….not on getting there.



Ted Responds:

I absolutely agree that you’ll have a better chance of winning at a “local’s” casino. No guarantees… you can have a bad run of luck anywhere. But state revenue statistics seem to show that year in and year out, local’s casinos pay out the best.

We stopped posting a free shuttle list some time ago because that information is subject to constant change. If you print it out and then it isn’t accurate when you arrive, we get the blame!

Many off-strip hotels do have a free shuttle. Some (like South Point last time we checked) are only for guests going to and from the strip. Others are happy to take visitors from the strip to their casino and back.

My advice? Call the various hotels you wish to visit upon your arrival. Tell them you are staying on The Strip (or downtown if the case) and ask if they have a free shuttle there and back, from where, and what hours it runs.

Enjoy your visit and let us know how it went when you get back!

We love coming to Las Vegas. Try to come 2 times a year but the cost of a flight from Ohio is getting way out of our price. Any tips on how to save money on a flight and still have money left to gamble with?

Jeanne from Lorain, OH

Ted Responds:

You can always check your local paper travel sections for package deals (sometimes a regular charter flight deal may be available that you wouldn’t find online). For example, Allegient Air has non-stopsáfrom Toledo (not too far from you) and usually has really reasonable pricing.

Also, keep in mind that airfares may be up, but hotel prices are down. If you have to spend more for air, make up the difference with your choice of hotel. Let’s face it, most of the time in Las Vegas you just need a place to put your luggage and get some shut-eye. Our friends at I4Vegas continue to really have some great deals: Las Vegas Hotel Deals

As a long time recipient of your excellent newsletter I thought it was about time I made a small contribution. My wife and I have just returned to the UK after our latest visit to Las Vegas, (about our 12th trip in the last 10 years or so), once again we had a wonderful time.

Even though we are not big gamblers, we only play the low stake slots, we still enjoy the atmosphere and feel of the place. Our main vices are the restaurants and the shops so here are a few recommendations your readers might like to try.

  • Carnevino Located in the Palazzo Hotel – This is one of the best in Las Vegas, food, service, atmosphere all top class, itÆs a little pricey but well worth a visit.
  • The Steakhouse at Circus Circus – Best steakhouse in Las Vegas. They also have a Champagne Brunch, (Sunday 9:30, 11:30 and 1:30), itÆs the best in Las Vegas and only $35.95, don’t miss it.
  • 9 Fine Irishmen at New York New York – Great Irish bar, Saturday night live Irish Band, Magners, Guinness and a bloody good sing song not to be missed.(The foods pretty good as well).
  • Memphis Championship Barbecue. 2250 E.Warm Springs Road, Las Vegas, NV 8911 (702) 260-6909. – The ribs are the best you will ever taste anywhere and also the service and food are great and the prices are as good as the food.
  • Montana Meat Co. Durango, (9135 S. Durango Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89113. (702) 407-0362 – Excellent food, great service and above all very reasonably priced.

If anyone fancies a little road trip away from the bright lights of the strip take a trip to see the Pioneer Saloon 30 miles south of Vegas at Goodsprings you may even see the ghost. ThatÆs all, hope this is of use to someone keep up the good work and see you in Vegas come Superbowl Weekend.

John & Sheila from Leeds, England

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

  • Drop us an email at – We read them all!
  • Call our recorded comment line at 702-507-0055. We listen to every call.

More Las Vegas News – Concerts – Events

Coming Hot Holidays – The following dates are huge times to be in Las Vegas, and rooms are in high demand. Booking in advance is the best way to save. Visit our friends at Las Vegas Hotel Deals and spend one of the following hot dates having fun in Las Vegas:

  • Hanukkah Dec. 22 – Dec. 29
  • Christmas December 25
  • New Year’s Eve-Day December 31 – January 1
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, U.S (Observed) January 19-21 (3 day weekend)
  • Chinese/Lunar New Year January 26
  • Lincoln’s Birthday, U.S February 12
  • Valentine’s Day February 14
  • President’s Day, U.S (Observed) February 14-16 (3 day weekend)
  • Washington’s Birthday, U.S February 22
  • St. Patrick’s Day March 17
  • Easter Sunday April 12
  • Cinco de Mayo May 5
  • Mother’s Day May 10
  • Father’s Day June 21
  • Canada Day, Canada July 1
  • Independence Day July 4
  • Civic Holiday, Canada August 1-3 (3 day weekend)
  • Labor Day, U.S September 5-7 (3 day weekend)
  • Labour Day, Canada September 5-7 (3 day weekend)
  • Jewish New Year September 19
  • Halloween October 31
  • Veteran’s Day November 11

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All contents copyright 2008 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
Hotel Rates Published Accurate At Time Of Publication

November 26, 2008 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us Privacy Policy

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – September 26, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 60 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This weekly newsletter is free and only sent to those who request it. If you receive this by mistake or wish off our list, please note the simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. We encourage you to pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is sent in its entirety. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click)

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Travel Packages (Hotel/Air):
* Discount Hotel Rooms:
* Discount Rental Cars:
* Low Airfare:
* Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Reservation Hotline: 1-800-666-5268 (for those who can’t book online)

MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas opinions! Our boards are new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at

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THIS ISSUE: News and Letters

EDITOR’S NOTES: In the past, I got frequent complaints this time of year from people saying “All the rooms are so expensive.” Fall is “prime time” in Las Vegas: Warm 90 degree days with little humidity and pleasant 60 degree nights of gentle breezes — there are few better places to be.

If you aren’t here this week, you missed numerous hotels for $39, The Hilton for $56, The Rio for $69, Monte Carlo for $69, The Aladdin for $79, and Caesars for $85 a night. The first week of October, we still have Stratosphere or Holiday Inn Boardwalk (prime location) at under $50 a night, Monte Carlo is still running $69, and Caesars $85 at (limited — first come, first served).

In the meantime, things are getting back to normal very quickly in Vegas. McCarran has 90% their normal number of flights. Hotel occupancy was 75% last weekend and climbing hard. While airfare bargains might last a few more weeks, Vegas hotel bargains are looking to dry up pretty quickly. If you were one of those “I’m waiting a few weeks to travel” and were thinking of getting bargains, you can book now or book after rates have finished climbing back up.

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!

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

Las Vegas Getting Rolling Again

McCarran security remains tight as lines diminish: Airport spokeswoman says flight operations at 91 percent of schedule prior to attacks

Airlines quietly offer bargains: Hard-hit carriers are making more seats available at low prices in hope of attracting travelers.

New rules, fear aren’t souring everyone on flying

Be prepared for changes when you fly

Leno offers show to aid ailing Las Vegas tourism economy

Recent Las Vegas Photos:

Impending implosion: Desert Inn’s destruction expected to be low-key event

Vegas welcoming more country acts

‘Next Big Star’ to conclude shooting

Grabbing Attention: Strip hotels use roving performers to create cheerful environment for visitors

Threats to Hoover Dam assessed Experts: Kamikaze attack unlikely to succeed

Palms casino moves up opening date

Australian high roller takes out anger over leak on dealers

MGM Mirage gets Web gaming license

LOCAL NEWS – updated daily at

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out:
2. Book a room online at
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!


* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Search by date at

Spears coming to MGM’s arena for live HBO special

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Don Rickles (Stardust) –
* Society of Seven (Hilton) –


* SHOW REVIEWS – Read our unbiased, archived show reviews at
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – Grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Search by date, see prices at
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at


* SHOWS – listings available at
* HEADLINERS – listings available at
* CONCERT – listings available at

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Drai’s (Barbary Coast) –

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FEATURE STORY: News and Letters

The past couple of weeks have been a bit chaotic. I didn’t want to bug any of the hotels with standard PR requests while they have their hands full, and reviewing a restaurant isn’t an accurate depiction when they are half full.

We have a number of great Letters to the Editor to catch up on this week and we’ll have a new review for you next week.

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Jean H, Waukesha WI wrote:

> Hi Ted!
>It felt good to get a “regular” newsletter from you and Access Vegas!
>As an employee of AA (American Airlines) —
>I just wanted to urge all your readers that air
>travel is still the safest form of travel in the USA and it’s never
>been easier or cheaper to travel! One 1,000,000+ miles-per-year
>passenger told me yesterday that it’s easier for him to fly now — the
>airports are empty (everyone is waiting at the gate, 1 hour ahead of
>time!), security takes a bit longer, but nothing overwhelming, and the
>planes are half full — so you can get almost any seat you want! And
>with fewer flights, the planes even run early! With so many
>industries impacted by this event, the entire travel industry needs
>our support. We’ve heard of massive layoffs at the airlines and now
>they’re hitting Las Vegas and next the car rental companies and hotels
>and sky caps and catering companies and the list goes on and on. I
>guess what I’m saying is — Go to Las Vegas and get your mind off of
>things for a few days! I know that we’re planning a trip there next
>month and I’m looking forward to having my pick of any machine I want
>to play and any room I request at the hotel! We all just need to
>remember that we all need to be a bit more aware at all times! God

Barb Hill wrote:

>We plan on coming to Las Vegas next year anyway! We don’t
>plan to alter our plans. What happen was a terrible tragedy but my
>husband and I look at it this way, if it’s your time to go it don’t
>make a difference where you are!

Karl C. Johnson wrote:

>After trying unsuccessfully to reserve a hotel room in Paris
>in July, I remembered seeing something on your site about hotel
>reservations. To make a long story short, I used the link, got a list
>of Paris hotels with available rooms, selected one, made the
>reservation online, and all at 3 a.m.! The hotel was just fine, and
>my comments on liking the city of Paris, but not liking its residents
>can wait for another time. Your service was great! Thank you.

We are seen as a “Vegas” website and people forget that we have great, discount rooms worldwide with the same ease of booking because of the contracts with have with major hotel brokers. Every month, people use us to book places near and far for both business and pleaseure and we are happy to help!

How we work: People think they get the best rates by wearing their fingers out on the phone, or checking every hotel website but here’s the TRUTH: We (in conjunction with our main travel partner HRN) are able to offer guaranteed low rates plus availability for “sold out” hotels because blocks of rooms are purchased at discount months in advance.

The hotels are willing to sell in bulk to assure the rooms get sold and YOU get the benefit of the wholesale pricing and the availability to type in your date and get a complete list of all our offerings — price and availability for every hotel at

Hugh Martell of Vancouver, B.C. wrote:

>Greetings, I just received word about your newsletter from a friend
>and immediately subscribed. As an independent travel agent booking
>clients to Las Vegas, I find your site most valuable as well as
>interesting reading. It is rare to find info on Vegas which is
>opinionated and telling it like it is; the “Lonely Planet Guide” of
>Las Vegas. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! But my world would be
>even happier if there was a site like this for Hawaii!! Do you know
>of any? Perhaps you could clone yourself……. Best regards.

I wish I could clone myself too — so I could get some rest! I do enjoy the opportunity to “tell it like it is” but also remind readers this: I always have to evaluate the time / profit ratio of all aspects of my tourism business. The newsletter will be here as long as readers are willing to compare our rates and book with us if comparable.

Katie Gallant wrote:

>My husband and I were in Vegas last week and we saw the
>Clint Holmes show and was very pleased with his performance and how he
>related to the audience. He was great. Highly recommend him to

We agree, and you can read our review of Clint at If you are a reader that has seen Clint, please post your comments (good or bad) about him to our Headliners message board at

Cathy Satter wrote:

>I dined at the Stratosphere-Top of World Restaurant last
>week for the second time in less than 8 months. Both times, it has
>been one of the best places to have a nice quiet dinner away from all
>the hub bub of Vegas. The service and food is excellent. All of
>their food is ala carte but we did fine without the salad and split
>the vegetables between 3 of us. The view is the best — even though
>the restaurant is out of the way a little, it is well worth the side

Sandy Morse wrote:

>My husband and I had talked about going to Las Vegas on
>vacation for years. We always ended up going on more tropical
>vacations Hawaii, Cancun, Aruba and Bahamas. Finally this year we
>said what are we waiting for so we made it to Las Vegas and now we
>CAN’T wait to go back. The only way to describe it was fun. The most
>fun we have ever had on a vacation. The atmosphere is just
>incredible. This is a great site. Thank you for making it possible
>for us (who live in New Jersey) to see live webcams of the best place
>in the world!

We’ve updated our webcam page. We don’t run any of the cams so have no control if one is down from time to time, but we have a long list of Las Vegas webcams at

Charmaine Davis from Florida wrote:

>Ted, Love coming to Las Vegas and we go there at least twice a year.
>We were just there in March and had a wonderful time staying at the
>Stratosphere. We were really looking forward to going back in October
>/ November timeframe but are holding off right now on making
>reservations (plane trip from south FL takes over 5 very nervous
>hours). My question concerns the CAPS service. Have you heard if the
>is now “obsolete” due to our Nation’s situation now? We had planned
>on staying this trip at Paris and was hopeful they would have this

CAPS (which we covered pretty extensively in recent issues) is not operating right now, and won’t be until curbside check-in is allowed again.

ESB wrote:

>Hey Ted – Love your newsletter, and always look forward to seeing it.
>Thank you for your wonderful efforts. I have a couple of questions
>that you could possibly address in an upcoming edition. I have been
>planning a trip to Las Vegas since last winter. I am coming down with
>my wife the third week of October (driving from Boise, Idaho). The
>main reason, initially, was to participate in the CART Driving 101
>’experience’ at LVMS, which I am signed-up for and eagerly
>anticipating (9 miles – 6 laps, with the last lap at 145 mph!, in a
>purpose-built champ car). I also signed up for the monthly free tour
>of the Nevada Test Site, and also wanted to take the $25 ‘hard hat’
>tour of Hoover Dam. I understand that the visitor center at Hoover
>Dam is now closed until further notice. I can get no information
>regarding the Nevada Test Site. Could you speculate as to when Hoover
>Dam might be ‘back to normal’? How about the NTS? I still intend on
>coming to Las Vegas, and will be staying at the Suncoast (first time).
>Thanks for any information.

Right now, all tours are still closed. That is very much a shame because the Hard Hat tour is great — we reviewed it at However, the visitors center is open and you are allowed to enjoy the dam during daylight hours only. This is actually a fantastic opportunity because traffic can get backed up pretty bad from all of the trucks negotiating the tight curves approaching the dam. If you rent a car or drive to town, now is a great time to see the dam!

H.P.Kost Sr. wrote:

> Feedback, am disappointed that rates for Vegas in Dec.
>are so inflated. Have been trying to find something
>reasonable for Dec. 27-Jan 2 everything hangs around 550
>to $1800 for 6 days. I understand the expense for New
>Year’s Eve and Christmas, but the other 4 days. I thought a
>printed article you wrote said between Christmas and New
>Years were not the most expensive times.
> Most disappointed

I have noted a number up times that the two weeks leading up to Christmas are some of the cheapest of the year. Because so many are able to get time off between Christmas and New Years, people flock to Las Vegas starting December 26’th.

The travel industry is completely based on supply and demand. Except for the recent exception of the past two weeks, your best bets are to book 3-4 months in advance (the hotels and airlines have all their stock available but not sold) and use hotel booking engines like ours at to play with different travel dates until you find that “sweet spot” where more availability translates into cheaper rates.

Owen from South Shields, England wrote:
>A Feb: 2001 visit to the Harley-Davidson Cafe convinced me this is one of the best
>restaurants not only in Las Vegas but the USA – I sampled the Baby
>Back Ribs and they came quickly served by a guy who almost fell over
>backwards to make me feel at home — + brought me ample warm wet cloth
>towels to wash the sauce from my hands and face. The ribs were
>perfectly cooked and a good full rack. The decor of the place honors
>the great US of A especially with the chain link Stars and Stripes
>dominating one wall. I recommend anyone who loves America to eat

Owen if referring to our review last week of Harley-Davidson Cafe. The review is archived at

Barry and Roz wrote:

>Ted: I think your site is great!!
>My wife and I like the rate the hotel site.
>We are staying at the Trop in Sept (good feedback).
>We were in Vegas in May and the one
>negative thing we noticed were the people
>handing out the coupons for adult
>I thought they put an end to this.
>What happened and why are they
>getting away with this?
>They are very aggressive and even
>hand them to guys with their wife
>and children with him.
>Again keep up the good work.

Thanks for the kind words. A number of efforts have been made to stop what we call the “porn peddlers” here, but they get struck down in court. Part of the right to free speach is the right to hand out literature. I play a little game: they aren’t allowed to touch you so I walk as absolutely close to them as I can while never glancing their way (they bang the pamphlets together to try to get your attention). I’ve also heard of people “accidentally” spilling beer on them as they walk by, but of course we could NEVER OFFICIALLY suggest doing things like that.

Bill & Rona Robertson from Glasgow wrote:

>Thank you for editing the most informative and unbiased site we have
>found on Las Vegas. This trip will be our first to Vegas and your
>site has been of enormous assistance to us in the planning. Main
>reason for the visit is our Son’s wedding. We are a party of seven
>coming over from Scotland and the men intend to wear their kilts that
>day despite the heat. Should you be passing the Venetian around noon
>on Wednesday 26 September, pop in and have a drink with us to
>celebrate. Looking forward to the trip so much. Thanks again.

This letter was going to be published three weeks ago, and I was looking forward to hoping some of our readers were able to spot this group and say hello! We still hope you had a great time.

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All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
September 26, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770