Access Vegas Insider Vibe – December 12, 2007 Insider Vibe

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

Hello From Las Vegas! Some of you may notice the absence of my photo from this column. As we continue to grow, this newsletter is becoming a collaboration of so many great people, and we have even more writers coming on board in January. I’m the boss and have decided that removing my mug is a great way to reflect the efforts of many and free up more space. Co’mon… looking at Vegas photos is a lot more fun than looking at me!

Christmas is in the air, and next week we’ll be publishing photos of the current holiday display at the Bellagio. For those staying downtown, huge Christmas tree down there should be lit by the time you get this, and all of the hotels are decked out for the season. If you are going to be here on Christmas Day, you’ll find most all of the restaurants and buffets with a special holiday menu.

Our MySpace Is Up… Get Locked In As Our Friend! – We grabbed a long time ago. But let’s face it… MySpace used to be mostly full of people under 21. We market only to people who can enjoy all that is Las Vegas.

Times have changed, everyone is using MySpace, and we’ve cranked up our MySpace page. This isn’t just about being our Friend. We’ll be doing special giveaways and bulletins just to our MySpace friends, plus more frequent updates about all that is

Not into MySpace? Have no fear. We are going to continue to publish this newsletter. In fact, we have recently increased publication from 3 times a month to weekly! But if you want to hook up with us on MySpace, don’t delay. Put in an invite request right now at

More Vegas Photos, More Often! – Regular readers know we have increased the number of photos we are posting just for our loyal readers! We know that many of you visit on a regular basis. Sometimes a few times a year, for others once every year or two. Las Vegas changes so fast, that we continue to bring you looks at everything new plus many of the tried and true scenes. New to our photo gallery:

Evel Knievel’s Last Ride – Unfortunately, this column has read like the obituary section the past few weeks with the passing of legendary Las Vegas locals Robert Goulet and Kevin Dubrow. We unfortunately add Evel Knievel to that list. Most will associate him to Las Vegas with his jump over the fountains of Caesars Palace. What few remember is that he lived in the Maxim hotel (now Westin Casuarina) here in Las Vegas for a number of years in the early 90’s around the time I first moved to town. He did TV commercials and public appearances for them.

This past Monday, Caesars Palace had the actual Triumph motorcycle used in the jump on display:

I had a happenstance meeting with him in my hometown of Portland, Oregon in the mid-80’s. I was working my way through college at Greyhound Bus Lines and he came in to pick up a package from Butte, Montana. Unfortunately, we had no cell phone cameras back then. That would have been a photo nice to have about now. When I was a kid, we all wanted to be Evel Knievel.

Enjoy This Issue!

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

Simon At Palms Place Debuts At New Palms Place Hotel, Condo & Spa – Culinary genius and famed restaurateur Kerry Simon has announced that he will open his latest epicurean paradise, Simon at Palms Place at the new Palms Place Hotel, Condo & Spa. The Rock & Roll chef, who has catered to the stars for almost two decades, will bring his style of cutting-edge, globally inspired fare to the eagerly anticipated new property. Specializing in sushi, steak and seafood with more than 8,400 square feet of dining space, Simon at Palms Place will be a hip, edgy and delectable new dining destination unlike any other in Las Vegas. Click to Read The Full Story …

Click Photo To See All Shark Reef Photos

Go Deep Behind-the-Scenes at Shark Reef Aquarium – In addition to more than 2,000 exhibits, Shark Reef Aquarium now offers a 30-minute, behind-the-scenes guided tour. Guests 13 years of age and older are invited to learn about the facility’s chilling predators and the place they call home. This in-depth, fully guided tour explores the wonderful worlds of water filtration, saltwater-making, food preparation, SCUBA diving and animal care. Visitors will see what it takes to operate a 1.6 million gallon aquarium in the middle of the desert. Tours are available every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 with the purchase of an admission.

Spa for the Holidays – Fall into a luxurious spa experience this season with treatments designed to evoke the warmth of the holidays. Don’t delay — these indulgent services are available for a limited time.

  • Warm yourself from the outside in with a Hot Spiced Rum Stone Massage at BATHHOUSE inside THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. This cozy treatment combines traditional stone massage with essential oils of cinnamon, clove and arnica.
  • Guests of WET — The Spa & Salon at TI are invited to indulge in a Tea Party or enjoy a Double Shot of two salon favorites — a manicure and pedicure. Tea Party features the soothing elements of green tea while Double Shot offers the stimulating effects of coffee. During the service, guests enjoy complimentary tea cookies, coffee cake and a beverage befitting the experience.
  • At Spa Bellagio, guests are invited to purify with pumpkin or relax with cranberry. A Purifying Pumpkin Facial energizes the skin with a delectable blend of botanicals, while cranberry lovers can choose between an exfoliating Cranberry Vichy Shower, Cranberry Hydrotherapy Bath or Cranberry Relaxation Massage.
  • Visitors of MGM Grand Spa can enjoy a luxurious Cocoa Mud Massage — a sinful cocoa mud body wrap followed by a heavenly massage with creamy Swiss chocolate body butter.

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Reader Submitted Photos: – Scott Misener submitted this beautiful photo of Las Vegas at night:

Everyone I show this picture to, cannot believe it yet they want one. It is a sliced brisket sandwich from the Carnegie Deli located at the Mirage. I was there in December 2006. This is a great sandwich, and its almost impossible to eat it all. Almost. Everything in Vegas is Great!John Hewitt
Dallas, TXá

Here is a pic we took of the rotating statue (taken in May ’07) inside Harrah’s casino. We thought it was a hidden gem of kitsch.Betty Suydamá

Excuse me but what is the problem with a cabbie making a referral fee for recommending a particular business? or as you call them “fat kickbacks”? Seems rather hypocritical for a website owner who recommends specific businesses for affiliate referrals to be whining about a cabbie recommending some strip club who will pay him a single referral fee. BTW, would it be better to take a customer to a dead club where the girls are not since the girls follow the guys and that is where the cabbies drop off? It would be the ultimate rip-off to take a customer to places that do not pay referrals. Taking a customer to a dead club is allowing them to be ripped off. There is not a damn thing wrong with a cabbie making a referral, nothing. They pay because our advertising makes them tons more money, simple.

As to this business about longhauling, again, way overblown and little more than another attempt to blame a cabbie for every rip-off a typical visitor is exposed to when staying here. Cabbies are not responsible for $200 to $800 rooms, $100 to $200 show tickets, $35 buffets, $8 beers, $5 waters, $65 limo fees, $5 monorail rides, $2 bag handling charges by airlines, $10 fees to clean a shirt or $25 bottles of $10 wine. Stop blaming the cab driver for a town designed to screw every visitor who exits a plane at McCarran. Do some cabbies longhaul, sure but if you understood how a cabbie is paid you would see how silly and overblown that issue is. The ongoing road construction in this town alone makes longhauling a must or we sit and the meters run, which is cheaper? the longer route 9 out of 10 times. We get paid to move butts not take one butt for a tour.

Next time you want to spout off about the evil cabbie do some research. Understand who owns the cabs and sets the rates. Understand cabbies do not get overtime (most work 60 hours a week) or any other Labor perk most Americans take for granted. We are exempt commissioned sales people according to Federal and State Laws. What the hell do you care if I make an extra $40 to take some guys to a kickass club on a Friday night? A club which will RIP them OFF for an average of 4 bills each. This club cannot pay me a marketing fee of 10%?

Las Vegas cabbies do not own their own cabs. We cannot even lease a cab. We have absolutely no equity stake in the business. Most have no retirement and most work all the Holidays with absolutely no extra compensation.

Las Vegas cabbies move this town. We do over 20 million trips per month, 250 million trips a year. We move 45 million tourists around. We do it because we are hands down the best value even if the rates were double what they are now.

Columns like yours are nothing more than arrogant racially based assaults on working people. You have not a clue about what you are even speaking about.

BTW per State law it against the law to stage a Limo at a Hotel. There is no such thing as un unsolicitated Limo hire. Next time you are at WYNN for example, see if you can see limos staged. Bet you do and guess what, Wynn rents Executive Limo the space. That is completely illegal but does Taxicab Authority do anything about it? Guess who then gets to cherry pick a cabline for those “strip club rides”. Hint, the doorman and limo drivers who already make a killing steal our rides and spilt the “fat kickbacks”. Course most of them are white so no biggy to people like you I guess. Instead bag-on those losers driving cab.

Stephen Brown
Taxidriver Las Vegas, NV

I certainly welcome the opportunity to respond to this letter publicly:


Dear Mr. Brown,

  • A significant number of the advertisements we run are paid placement. Others are for commission. This keeps our newsletter free. However, I am proud to say that we have never steered someone toward a show or attraction based on advertising or commission. In fact, when I send someone to do a show review, I have but one set of instructions: Review the show in such a manner that people who may enjoy it will understand what they may like about it, and those who wouldn’t be as interested are so informed as well.In cases where sales are commission-based, we make the same small commission whether you buy a ticket to Jubilee or Folies Bergere. Whether you book a room at Bellagio or Venetian. In this issue, we are running photos of Shark Reef taken at our expense for something we get no advertising fee or commission. We are about covering Las Vegas, and simply hope that our readers will patronize our advertisers and use our booking links if they appreciate our information.Cab drivers have been well known over the years to practice strong diversion tactics. This practice has been well documented. Yes, I am well aware that limo drivers also get fees from various venues for delivering passengers. Here’s the difference: The doorman and limo drivers are asking people ahead of time if they want to go to such and such club.

    Side Note: I have no problem with commissions or fees for generating business. This is a free market economy. I do have issues with a hard-sell to a captive audience.

  • I’m not sure what $100 show tickets have to do with cab drivers long-hauling tourists. If this is such a rare practice, why was it highlighted at the top of a USA Today travel chat article about Las Vegas in addition to many numerous local articles.People choose to pay $200 for a hotel room or $25 for a bottle of wine. People do not choose to be long-hauled. Even if someone is staying in a $300 a night room, that is no justification bilking them illegally on their cab ride.
  • I’d take up your work hours, pay and conditions with your employer. Or, find other work. You do not have the right to divert or long-haul passengers just because you feel you are underpaid.
  • Moving 45 million people around each year doesn’t make you the best value. In fact, Las Vegas has some of the very highest cab fares in the nation! Reference:

    You claimed that cabs would be a value at double the rates. Co’mon… you can’t be serious!

  • I’m at a complete loss how questioning the ethics of cab drivers is a “racially based assault.” I didn’t realize that all cab drivers were of one color or race. Once you figure out what race all local cab drivers are, I’d go picket the Review-Journal for their “racist” articles about local cab service. Their circulation is still a bit larger than this newsletter.


So, there you have it. Las Vegas cabdrivers who think that the fares they charge are a bargain, and how feel it is OK to bilk you on the assumption you are spending a few extra bucks for an upscale room or a nice bottle of wine during your stay.

Kind of makes you want to take an airport shuttle to your hotel next time, doesn’t it? Many of them are owned by the same companies that put cabs on the street, but at least a shuttle is flat-rate.

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:

  • Christmas December 25 (4 day weekend – Christmas on Tuesday)
  • New Year’s Eve-Day December 29 – January 1 (4 day weekend – New Years on Tuesday)

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December 12, 2007 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us Privacy Policy

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