Access Vegas Insider Vibe – May 30, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 50 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, simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this to friends and associates in its entirely. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click)

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

* Discount Hotel Rooms :
* Discount Rental Cars:
* Condos and Vacation Rentals:
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more:
* Airline Tickets, Specials:
* Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Reservation Hotline: 1-800-666-5268

THIS WEEK’S CITY ON SALE: Las Vegas: Stratosphere from $59.95, Aladdin from $109.95, Hilton Grand Vacations from $69.95, The Hilton from $59.95, and The Orleans $59.95 Click to

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THIS ISSUE: Andre-Philippe Gagnon


I was expecting a bigger negative response to last week’s “tell it like it is” articles on the pitfalls of playing for comps and gambling with slot club cards (which focus you on points, not how much more you are losing to “earn” points).

Out of 16,000+ subscribers, only two (2) wrote in and said that they use their club card and break even or end up ahead every year when they factor in the freebies. I thought that number would be just a little higher, but further shows that playing to “earn” comps isn’t a way to beat Las Vegas.

Yes, our city on sale (above) for the third straight week is Las Vegas. Our hotel partner HRN decides each week’s city, and for some reason they have left Las Vegas specials running for three weeks now. If you were debating, I’d take advantage of the specials now. I can’t guarantee we will have Las Vegas specials another week.

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

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

HOTEL FIRE – This just in: The Gold Spike Hotel Casino downtown (a cheap, rundown place downtown near Lady Luck) caught fire about 11 AM this morning. Seventeen were hurt attempting to get out, but none of the injuries were serious. The damage was confined to one room where a man and woman first reported their mattress on fire. Because of the 1980 fire at Bally’s (then the MGM Grand), Clark County (Las Vegas) now has some of the most stringent hotel fire safety codes in the world.

NEW LOUNGES – Caesars Palace and Paris Las Vegas have both jumped into the fray created by the success of V-Bar at Venetian (which we reported on a few weeks ago). Can anyone say “Bond … James Bond”? That seems to be the feel and era they are both working to recreate. Paris Las Vegas has opened Vamp from 10 PM – 4 AM on weekend nights. Vamp promises visually stimulating fashion, pulsating laser light spectrum and stylish, vogue lounge dancers with a cover of $15.

Caesars has Shadow, featuring contemporary designs with eclectic furnishings. What will stand out is the constant presence of provocative Shadow concierges. Visible only through a sheer scim screen, these multiple silhouette dancers will perform choreographed dance routines to original music and the mingle with the guests acting as lounge hostesses when not dancing. Shadow will be open 24/7 with the dancers in attendance evenings. Cover (if any) was not disclosed.

WORLD SERIES OF POKER – has been over for a couple of weeks now, but I found a good article giving a firsthand rundown of the yearly Las Vegas spectacle at

PORN HANDBILLS – The Nevada Supreme Court ruled in a mixed opinion Thursday that The Mirage and Treasure Island are entitled to restrict the distribution of sexually oriented handbills on their sidewalks though they are used by the public. This is another step in the long fight between the resorts and the companies who pass out the handbills. The handbill companies claim free speech while the resorts suggest they have certain rights to the areas that front their properties. Full story at

SUMMER IS HERE – With the temperatures generally climbing, we can’t stress enough the importance of drinking plenty of water while out there. Because of the very low humidity, you perspire greatly but don’t realize it because it evaporates off of your body immediately. Drinking booze dehydrates you further. Either way, we suggest stopping by the hotel bars on a regular basis and grabbing a bottled water. Your body will thank you, your stamina will by higher, and you’ll enjoy your vacation a lot more.

KIDS QUEST – The new Palms Hotel Casino (under construction near The Rio) is going to have a child care center. These centers are already popular at some “local’s” casinos around town. Story at

SOUTH STRIP – Recently, a continuing series on urban hikes in Las Vegas focuses on the Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and Four Seasons hotels. Included are good synopses of the attractions at each and worth printing out before you next trip. Story at

HARRAH’S – scored a number of wins in the recent “Best of Las Vegas” put out by the Review-Journal. Clint Holmes (read our archived review at ) was voted “Best Singer,” “Best All-around Las Vegas Performer,” and “Favorite Male Las Vegan.” He has also been inducted into the Casino Legends Hall of Fame at the Tropicana (Hall of Fame review at ).

Additionally, The Improv was voted “Best Comedy Club” and the Carnival Court was voted “Best Lounge.” The Carnival Court is definitely one of the more fun stops to party on the Strip, especially on weekend evenings when they have live blackjack outdoors to compliment the festive surroundings and live music. Discount Harrah’s rooms at h (Harrah’s link).

$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!

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!


PURPLE REIGN – The Prince tribute band plays Wed. – Sat. 10:30 PM to 1:00 AM in the Lighthouse Lounge of the Boardwalk Casino (across from Aladdin). One drink minimum

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Michael Holly (Sahara) –


* SHOW TICKETS – 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
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – BookVegas let’s you grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Click to
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at


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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Marrakech (on Paradise Rd. close to Strip) –

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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

Thursday – 104 ░F / 78 ░F Sunny
Friday – 105 ░F / 79 ░F Sunny
Saturday – 102 ░F / 75 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 99 ░F / 73 ░F Sunny
Monday – 100 ░F / 76 ░F Sunny
Tuesday – 101 ░F / 75 ░F Sunny

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FEATURE STORIES: Andre-Philippe Gagnon

The lights went down, and Mick Jagger hit the stage. Almost. Andre-Philippe Gagnon, “the man of a thousand voices” hit the stage backed by a tight four piece band and did a dead-on impression (both physically and vocally) of the Stones lead singer.

Gagnon is part impressionist and all comedian. With a repertoire of hundreds of voices from Sinatra to Axl Rose, from Sting to Barry White, he shows extreme versatility during the 75 minute show. After Jagger, he establishes his talent by rolling through Lou Rawls, Julio and Willie (in duet), and Tom Jones among others.

Then comes “Bill: The Musical” which is a hilarious multi-act “play” based on the Clinton / Lewinsky saga. Songs by Sting, Louis Prima, Barry White, and Marvin Gaye are twisted lyrically to make a nonpartisan comedic set that had the audience breaking out in laughter a number of times.

Taking a swing at pop culture, he noted the Beatles songs now used in commercials and proceeded to give us other “what if” examples in a medley of Beatles songs turned to commercials. He then proceeded to do the same with varied artists such as James Brown, Joe Cocker, REM, Alice Cooper, The Oakridge Boys, and Dire Straits.

A Gagnon show is like being hit with rapid fire bullets. He weaves together verses of different songs, seldom even doing half a song by any one artist. What makes it work is his talent, blending flawlessly from both the voice and mannerisms of one performer to another. His band must receive serious credit themselves for the ability to jump from style to style to style and sound great.

He pulled out the big guns toward the close of the show. Lest one think that his talent is based strictly on working to mimic famous talents, he picked a random man out of the audience and had this man sing a few bars of a song. Gagnon then replicated the man dead-on … with not just the vocal quality (or lack thereof in this case) but the cadence. He then did a duet of the song with them man, moving the microphone back and forth between himself and this audience member every few words. With eyes closed, you couldn’t have told the difference.

He opened for Celine Dion in 1998 for her world tour, and she has a part in his show. Appearing via video screen, he sings a duet with her using not his own voice but Sinatra’s. The result was very impressive. There is one more surprise involving audience participation, but I’ll leave this impressive and hilarious bit a surprise. (No one in the audience is embarrassed or anything — have no fear).

Andre-Philippe Gagnon Ticket Info

EDITOR NOTES: This will be the last week I publish “Kids In Vegas” letters. The letters are a representative sample of responses. It’s been a great debate, but we need to move on to other topics. We’ll perhaps revive it in a few months, but if you have not had a chance to put in your two cents, we still have the poll “Should people bring their kids to Las Vegas?” running at Also, PLEASE remember that if you don’t sign your letter (we like to have your city also), we can’t publish it.


Mark Reesor wrote:

>Your May 24th issue was absolutely fascinating – I really enjoyed the
>articles about comps and your comments about kids and Vegas.

Zig wrote:

>Dear Ted,
>I wish to start off by saying, “I hate children.” Obviously your
>readers will know where THIS letter is going. I took my first trip to
>Vegas in February 2001. One of the many things I enjoyed about Vegas
>was the “lack” of children. I have read the letters in your last
>issue from parents talking about how much they enjoyed Vegas with
>their children. Oh sure, THEY enjoyed Vegas, but what about the
>people around them? Parents all to often are so self-absorbed in
>their little darlings that they fail to consider other people. I’ve
>been to Disney World, and the most frustrating and annoying part of
>the experience is the children. I don’t know, should we start
>allowing children into bars, nightclubs, and adult bookstores too? It
>was YOUR decision to have children, don’t punish the rest of us. Keep
>the brats at home.

R and J Schill wrote:

>We’re one of the old peoples who have gone to Vegas since the children
>were 14 and 16 that being since 1980. At that time Vegas was very
>rude to children. They weren’t even allowed to peek in the front
>window of a casino. But it is so nice to see the change in policy.
>It’s not the children the casino’s should complain about but the
>adults that bring the children. If the child is brought up to respect
>his or her self plus those around them there is no problem. We’ve
>been run into and pushed aside by adults pushing strollers as if the
>side walk belonged to them only. With this attitude why should we
>blame the children. They only learn what they see.
>There is room in Vegas for everyone. But it is the adult that must
>determine the behavior of the children before the planned trip.
>Parents, children and grandparents have no problems so why should
>there be a problem in Vegas. Just as it is in the town you live in
>should it be in Vegas. It’s just a little commonsense. And Vegas has
>entertainment for everyone and all ages.

Yolanda Alter of Eastpointe, MI wrote:

>Hello Ted,
>Do kids belong in casinos. NO WAY! This is parenting 101….children
>do not belong in or near casinos. Certainly there are venues in Las
>Vegas where it is appropriate to take children but casinos and hotels
>with casinos are not the appropriate places.
>The root of the problem is not the children themselves. They go where
>they are taken, as they are their parent’s prisoners. The problem is
>irresponsible parents who subject their children to this atmosphere.
>I have been going to LV at least twice a year for the past 20 years.
>I can’t tell you the amount of times I have seen parents dragging
>children down the strip or through Casinos after 10 p.m. These
>children are tired and cranky. Children should be in bed!! Casinos
>are full of smoke, liquor, gambling, swearing and lewd people. This
>is not Disney World nor a proper environment for children.
>I overheard someone at the Mirage who was sitting in the Lagoon Saloon
>with an infant. They were complaining about people smoking in a bar!
>”Imagine people smoking in a bar!” The women loudly said she doesn’t
>allow smoking in her home as “it’s not good for the baby.” The smoke
>must have been bad for her brain, because common sense would tell you
>that you don’t take an infant to a bar. But it was convenient for the
>parent to blame the smokers. Now I don’t smoke, I don’t like smoke,
>but I know when I should be tolerant of it and where to expect it.
>Parents in general feel that it is there right to impose their
>”sweethearts” on everyone. I have had many dinners spoiled in LV and
>at home due to crying children. Many of these restaurants are not the
>family type and its after nine o’clock. Being a parent is a privilege
>and a sacrifice. You either get someone to watch your children, or
>I enjoying going to Disney World, do I complain about children
>everywhere, NO WAY. I’m in their world.
>I know I won’t change the way parents see (their right) to do as they
>please with their children. Since you are imposing your children on
>lone adults I just wanted to give you MY opinion. (It’s my right!)

Bob wrote:

>I have enjoyed reading the newsletters
>but when you tell people to check out Rob
>Singers site you have done a terrible disservice to your readers.
>People might believe what he says. He is an idiot when it comes to
>gambling. Please check your sources more carefully.

It is not my job to get in the middle of the “video poker pro”
debates. (Right now, there is great controversy among “professional”
video poker players about which pro’s method for beating the machines
is better.) I assume people are smart enough to check his stuff out
and decide for themselves, and I’ve had links to a number of other VP
resources listed for years on my gambling page at

I merely used Mr. Singers comment as well as an article by a noted gaming writer to back up my point and I gave credit to both sources. I firmly believe that slot cards are a downfall to 99% of the players who use them. They get people focused on points, not their bankroll.

For every video pro out there who tells people how they can break even
or make a few bucks playing video poker (putting tens of thousands of
dollars a month through the machines, and factoring in their comps to
say they ended up ahead), there are hundreds of thousands of people
who get trapped into playing more than they planned.

The average visitor is here to party and have fun, and if I can help
them from going beyond their gambling budget I feel as though I’ve
done a good thing.

++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) 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 – “Should people bring their kids to Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published next issue!

FREE CONTEST – Sign up with Weatherbug to track your local weather and win a free trip to Las Vegas:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at:

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
May 30, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770