Access Vegas Insider Vibe – October 2, 2002

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is
á the official newsletter of AccessVegas.Com. We
á talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that 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! Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. We’ve done a little face lift on the newsletter. Don’t worry … no drastic changes. We moved hotel specials back to the top to give you easy access to them and added the “What’s New” section to highlight the great stuff we add all the time.As usual, we were out all over the place last week. We ran into a reader at Tequila Joe’s (Imperial Palace) which we always enjoy. When at a resort area bar or lounge, I never tell anybody who I am or what I do so I can get people’s honest views of Las Vegas. It is always fun when I find out the person is a reader.Steve and his wife Maria from Windsor (Ontario, Canada) had noted his frustration with cocktail service at some slots. I shared some tips with him and he wrote me a couple of days ago to say hello and thank me. The letter is in feedback along with my tips. We enjoy being able to help!

Las Vegas News: Of Interest To Tourists

Calendar For Charity – Now is the time to get a 2003 Las Vegas calendar and help a good cause. These are the same high quality Las Vegas calendars you find in hotels and gift shops at or below the gift shop price with all proceeds going to charity. See the beautiful photos and purchase info atá 2003 Las Vegas Calendar.

Best “Local’s” Casino – You voted and the results are in! Here are the top Las Vegas local’s casinos (casinos away from the tourist areas usually frequented by residents):

  1. Sam’s Town – Newly remodeled, Sam’s Town appeals not only to the country music fans, but those who want a comfortable place where the rules are good, the food is better, and Mystic Falls indoor park is one of the nicest faux outdoor places to enjoy a cocktail.
  2. The Orleans – Just a mile east of The Strip on Tropicana, The Orleans boasts a comfortable atmosphere, good buffet, great specialty restaurants, regular headliners and concerts, and one of the hottest cocktail waitress outfits in town.
  3. Sunset Station and Gold Coast (tie). You can’t go wrong with either. If you haven’t been in the Gold Coast the past year, you have not been. Remodeled and upgraded to compete with The Palms (across the street), they continue to have great gaming, cheap rooms, and a new buffet that is the best in town for the money.Sunset Station was the top-of-the-line of the Station Casino group until Green Valley Ranch opened. However, few must have made it up to Green Valley Ranch (a favorite of ours) and Sunset gets the win.

This goes to show that we don’t rig our polls! You readers and other site visitors visit AccessVegas.Com and cast your votes, and our double-redundant system insures that nobody can stuff the ballet box. This month, we want to know “What is the best Las Vegas magic show”? Vote now on the main page of AccessVegas.Com

Sahara Korean Barbecue – Chef John recently enjoyed his visit and noted “The Kun-Mandu are beef pot stickers served with an excellent dipping sauce and our other main entree was Kalbee a.k.a. barbecued pork” andá “a Korean restaurant would also be a very good stop for a vegetarian looking for something beyond a tofu burger.” This restaurant is close to The Strip. Read the review with photos.

Larry G. Jones – continues his great, free show at the Fitzgerald’s downtown. So successful has he been, that the hotel has expanded and upgraded the showroom to meet demand! Jones is the “Man of 1,002 Voices.” Go see him now before the hotel figures out it should be charging much more than the one drink minimum to see him. For more info including show times, click to Larry G. Jones – Man of 1,002 Voices.

Readers Are Winning! – Message board members “kimimurad” and “kay” separately reported on recent jackpots here in Las Vegas. “kimimurad” hit at the Luxor for $1600 and $1200 and “kay” played Roaring 20’s slots at the Stardust for 8 hours on a $20 bill and walked away $750 ahead. Tell us about the big jackpot or the nice run you had at the slots in our Gambling / Jackpots forum!

Ladies Day Out – Treat Yourself to Something Special! Spend a fun-filled day doing what we love to do most and are great at…shopping, dining, and relaxing. More details at Ladies Day Out

Nellis Air Show – Nellis Air Force Base will host a two-day air show called Aviation Nation Oct. 5-6. The objective of this event is to give our friends and neighbors throughout Southern Nevada and visitors from throughout the world a behind the scenes look at AmericaÆs Air Force.

The air show will also depict the history of American aviation through numerous additional military and civilian air demonstrations and ground displays. Nearly 100 aircraft from a replica of the original Wright Flyer to some of the nationÆs newest military aircraft will be on display. Details at Nellis Air Show.

Legal Pot – You may have heard that Nevada will legalize marijuana. Maybe, but it won’t be this year. A measure on the ballot would basically legalize 3 oz. or less. It is trailing in the polls, but conjecture is that people don’t answer poll questions of this nature honestly. The bottom line: Nevada law requires constitutional measures to be passed twice to become law. So if it passes this time, another two year wait is ahead.

Subscription “Dues” – This newsletter is absolutely free! We enjoy bringing you great Las Vegas information. If you enjoy our newsletter, we ask two small things: Consider booking your hotels, showstours, and golf through AccessVegas.Com or the links in this newsletter. We have great rates and fantastic selection in every category. Also, turn your friends on to Las Vegas by forwarding a copy to them and suggesting they subscribe. They’ll thank you and we thank you.

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!

Show Review: V The Ultimate Variety Show

Las Vegas is home to some of the greatest entertainment on earth, and because of that many great entertainers and entertainment groups make their home here. Many work in the shows, but what do the rest of them do all the time? Many do well performing private corporate events or home base out of here while spending time on the road.

Producer David Saxe found himself in an interesting situation lately. He had produced Melinda – The First Lady of Magic at The Venetian for the past few years and Melinda recently retired to start a family after a long successful career. Having been a successful Las Vegas show producer, he was familiar with all of the great acts around town and a light bulb went off: Why not bring Las Vegas a show full of cream of the crop acts for an entire show?

Click to read the rest of our review

Show Review Criteria: We understand that Las Vegas attracts visitors of varied budgets and interests. Shows are reviewed on the basis of value for dollar spent as well as to present the reader enough knowledge of the content to make an informed decision.

Featured Golf Course:

Rio Secco Golf Club – Set among the rolling foothills of the Black Mountain Range in Las Vegas, Rio Secco Golf Club provides a world-class golf experience unlike any other. á Designed by Rees Jones, Golf World Magazine’s 1995 “Golf Architect of the Year” and mastermind behind over 100 of the world’s most fabulous courses, the Rio Secco provides both stunning scenery and challenging play.

Additional Las Vegas Golf Courses and Golf Vacations

Featured Tour:

Hoover Dam Express – If you’re short on time, we offer a Hoover Dam Express Tour. You’ll have two full hours at the dam, and your step-on guide will be available to assist you throughout your trip.Our specially designed tour gives you comfort in a customized vehicle where you’ll view a complimentary movie on the construction of the Dam on your way.

Additional Tours Including Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, City, Scenic, National Parks, and Adventure

Reader Feedback

Steve from Windsor, Ontario wrote;

I took your advice and sat down on quarters slot machines to see if the drink service was any better than when I sat down on a nickel machine. I tried this at the Palms and knowing my luck it was no better so I went to the Rio and the service was excellent. I couldn’t even drink the first one fast enough and she was back with another one. I tipped her a dollar every time she came around and after the third one she didn’t even bother to ask me if I wanted one she just brought me one and kept doing so until I told her I was leaving.Why was I leaving a place where I was in my glory you might ask, because the Red, White, and Blue two coin machine I was playing hit on the Double, Red 7, Red 7 so I cashed out. I only had put 20 dollars into the machine and had been playing it for quite some time. Then I went to the Strat to try my luck. I sat at a nickel machine right near the bar and the service was excellent. At the Sahara I played one dollar craps and service was excellent. Actually at Slots Of Fun and Casino Royale where they also had dollar craps the service was good, so I think from my experience your advice worked on where to go to get good drink service.Looking forward on returning to Vegas in January. Keep up the good work on the newsletter as I look forward to seeing it.It was great to meet Steve and his wife. He was telling me how bad cocktail service had been in the nickel areas of various casinos. Turns out that he was often playing the nickel games “loaded” (full coins in — couldn’t get good enough cocktail service to get loaded the other way). Some of those nickel machines take 45 coins ($2.25) a pull and nickel machines are generally the tightest in the casino (letting you win the least).

I noted the simple fact that nickel areas often get the worst cocktail service because nickel players have the reputation for being the worst tippers. Don’t blame the messenger here. That is the perception of cocktail waitresses who work the casino floor day in and day out. I suggested that instead he move up to quarter or even dollar machines.

You can play many quarter machines loaded for 3-5 quarters, and some dollar machines are loaded at $2. This gives you a much better shot at great cocktail service, you are actually playing less per pull than nickels loaded, and the higher denomination machines are usually looser! Of course, tipping the waitress $1 each time doesn’t hurt (which he had already been doing). Speaking of, check out our new In-Depth Tipping Guide.

Gulf Coast Question – Message board member “GulfCoast” is headed here with his wife this fall from the Panama City, Florida area and is wondering if he should fly out of there, Pensacola, or even Atlanta. I know we have readers in the great Southeast and Gulf Coast regions (and we are hoping many of you aren’t harmed by the approaching Lili). Help a neighbor out by letting them know which city you fly here out of in our Travel Questions/Trip Suggestions forum.

Watching The Fireworks – Message board member “me me” asked us about a good place to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks. Read our suggestions or tell us where you watched them from in years past at our New Year’s Eve forum. Check out our Las Vegas New Year’s Eve page to see what all the fuss is about New Year’s here with photos and free streaming video.

Buffets – The buffet discussion is getting hot and heavy in the forums. If you are a new visitor, stop by and get some great opinions. And if you have been here … co’mon … you know you hit a couple of buffets. Good or bad, go for it in our Interactive Information Forums (message boards). Get on board!

Live From Las Vegas,

Ted Newkirk

Senior Content Editor

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For comments or questions regarding Las Vegas, our content, or this newsletter please post to our message boards or write us a “letter to the editor” at We do certainly read them all and they help shape our content.

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All contents copyright 2002 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
October 2, 2002 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 21, 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):

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HOTEL MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas hotel opinions!

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This Issue: Imperial Palace

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


EDITORS NOTE: I’m doing some traveling this week, so I’m happy to present a guest review submitted by readers Russell and Gail Howard. Next week, the long awaited review of Blue Man Group. After that, WB Stage 16 Restaurant (if they ever get me their press kit — I like the place) and Excalibur Tournament of Kings. As always noted at the end of the “Letter’s To The Editor” section, guest reviews are gladly considered.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

V-BAR – at The Venetian continues to be a “best kept secret” hot spot, although it won’t be a secret for long. I am often asked where to go to spot celebrities, and with all of the upscale hotels and activities in town, I’d generally say “don’t waste your vacation time searching.” However, the V-Bar has probably become your best bet. Their staff notes recent visits by Julio Iglesias Jr., Charles Barkley, A.J. of the Backstreet Boys, and various actors in the past couple of months.

V-Bar is open from 4 PM to 4 AM daily. It is a somewhat intimate, upscale bar. The action doesn’t pick up until later in the evening, and a relaxed dress code is enforced (look nice). Even if you aren’t celeb hunting, it is a nice spot to take a date or just relax away from the tables for a while.

STORM – The delays in Mandalay Bay’s new show Storm is attributed to additional building inspections following some design changes during the construction of the set. Story at In the wake of the 1980 fire at Bally’s (then called the MGM Grand, not to be confused with the huge green hotel now at Trop and The Strip), not only are building standards tighter but inspections are very comprehensive. Similar inspections delayed the openings of both The Venetian and The Aladdin.

BON JOVI WEDDING – Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea are going to renew their vows in Las Vegas at the same wedding chapel they married at 11 years ago. This time, they are turning it into a promotion with 75 couples in tow who won various radio station and other contests taking the plunge for the first time. The wedding will take place at the Graceland Wedding Chapel after Bon Jovi’s April 21 concert here. Full story at

LANCE BURTON’S – new special “Master Magician On The Road” airs March 31, 2001 on the Fox Family Channel. Check local listings for channel and time.

OSCAR ODDS – The “Vegas Line” on the Academy Award winners is up. You can’t actually bet on them, because Nevada law prohibits betting one anything where the outcome is known but they make a fun read at

CONVENTIONS – Chicago has long been the convention capital of the world, but Las Vegas and Orlando are after their business. The Las Vegas Convention Center is almost finished with construction that will double its size and both cities are touting themselves to convention planners as warm weather, resort alternatives to Chicago’s cold winters. Story at

CULT VEGAS – is the new book by Review-Journal entertainment writer Mike Weatherford. It combines his odd fascination with both Las Vegas and American pop culture. It includes both the standard icons like Sinatra and Elvis and the more offbeat and unusual. Story at and the book is available from Amazon at

SMOKING – Nevada has the highest death rate from smoking-related diseases in the country and some of the weakest tobacco laws in the United States, allowing smoking just about everywhere except public elevators and school buses. Hearings are underway to tighten those laws on a statewide level, but many are wary of the harsh restrictions of neighboring California, where smoking is even prohibited in bars. Story at In relation to that, this week’s poll at asks you “How do you feel about smoking in casinos”?

NO GRIZZLIES – As conjectured here a couple weeks ago, Las Vegas’ bid to land the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies was stymied because we refuse to give up legal sports betting. Story at

OFFICIAL? – You may have seen these “official” Las Vegas tourist info centers along the Strip, but many are just fronts for time-share pitches that prey on people overwhelmed with wondering what to do or see. Story at

$25 HOTEL REBATE — you pick the hotel! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you $25 back on any 2+ night stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. 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 REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Legends of Comedy (Frontier) –

SHOWS – 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

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

DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at

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

Friday – 84 ░F / 58 ░F Partly Cloudy
Saturday – 85 ░F / 54 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 85 ░F / 52 ░F Partly Cloudy
Monday – 86 ░F / 51 ░F Mostly Sunny
Tuesday – 84 ░F / 51 ░F Partly Cloudy

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FEATURE STORY: Imperial Palace

by Russell and Gail Howard

We just returned from our third Vegas trip in three years, in fact our
second since last July, and were once again very, very pleased by the
Imperial Palace.

I know that opinions range widely on this older denizen of The Strip,
but our experiences have been quite fine there. Let me break down

First, the rooms themselves. We have stayed in the standard rooms
(nothing to complain about at all, and a killer price), as well as the
mini-suite (“luv tub” rooms), which are oversized rooms with ENORMOUS
bathtubs, mirror canopy beds, balconies, and what feels like a lot of
extra room, also a great price at about 60 bucks a night. Our room is
mostly our headquarters for crashing when we’re in Vegas, and these
work great.

Second, the Casino. My wife is a slot player, and has done well. I
am a video poker player, and I vastly prefer 9/6 machines, which are
getting harder and harder to find for under a buck, but IP comes
through with several quarter machines. I can play for a long, long
time for ten bucks on a 9/6 quarter machine!

Third, one need not be a “high roller,” which I clearly am not, in
order to feel welcome / well treated at IP. For example, I perceive
that I get as many free cherry cokes (the teetotaler thing, again)
when I’m playing nickel video poker as I do when I decide to go hog
wild (for me) and play dollar video poker.

Fourth, the staff. I get to know a lot of the change booth folks and
the waitresses. Never, once, in three stays at IP have I had anything
less than a great experience with an employee. They actually seem to
enjoy what they are doing. I don’t know how you train folks for
friendliness, but something is working here. I seek to be polite, of
course, and try to tip enough that I am acknowledging people’s
efforts, though not exorbitantly, but I have found the team to be
first rate.

Fifth, the show. The most significant show at IP, in the winter when
the Luau thing is not happening, is “Legends in Concert,” which we
caught for the first time this past Wednesday night. I really don’t
like maitre’d seating, preferring reserved theatre seats, so I viewed
the seating setup as a minus. However, the show itself, which varies
from time to time, included dead-on “tributes” to Tina Turner,
Madonna, Rod Stewart, The Temptations (easily the crowd’s favorite),
Liza Minnelli, and Elvis. All the musicians do their own singing. The
dancers were attractive and well choreographed. We really enjoyed
this show. We would repeat it, though we would repeat it all the more
enthusiastically if the seating were theatre-style.

Sixth, the location. Absolutely unbeatable. Within three blocks of
Venetian, Treasure Island, Mirage, Harrah’s, Caesar’s, Bally’s, Paris,
and Bellagio. All are easy walking distance, if you like to
casino-hop. And if you catch the tram from Bally’s, you’re at MGM
with Monte Carlo, New York New York, Excalibur, Luxor, and the
Tropicana all with easy walking distance. You will not top IP’s

We are a married couple, upper thirties. On this trip, we took my Mom
and dad along, upper sixties. We plan to take some other relatives
out to LV this fall, and look forward to another fun stay at the
Imperial Palace. We have become loyalists.

We just returned from our third Vegas trip in three years, in fact our
second since last July, and were once again very, very pleased by the
Imperial Palace.

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Russell and Gail Howard hail from Lexington, Kentucky and enjoy visiting Las Vegas on a regular basis. You can contact them at (click) Legends In Concert is reviewed at and more info on the Imperial Palace is available at (Imperial Palace link).

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


David Humphrey wrote:

> My wife and I will be in Las Vegas at the end of March. I would like
> to get your opinion and the opinions of your readers of how they
> spent their most romantic evening in Las Vegas (i.e., what shows did
> they see, what restaurants did they go to, what night clubs did they
> visit, any special attractions ….)

I’ll skip my opinion for now because I don’t want to influence what you readers might say. Take a minute and jot down where you take that someone special here in Las Vegas and email it to (click) (David: I don’t have your email address my laptop here. If you are headed to town before next week’s issue, email me again and I will forward the responses to you before publishing them).

Lynette from Palmyra, WI wrote:

> It is really unbelievable how un-objective the readers are in regards
> to your review of EFX. I liked Rick Springfield when I was younger too, but for
> cryin’ out loud, we all have a right to our own opinion. I thoroughly
> enjoy your newsletter and greatly appreciate your honesty, and
> furthermore, he is 20 years older now, so I’m sure your review is
> accurate. I wasn’t planning to go to EFX anyway, but I’m glad you
> saved me the time of even debating about it. We are coming to Vegas
> in July and are going to see BMG at the Luxor. We can’t wait; have
> you seen the show? How is it? I don’t recall seeing a review. Keep
> up the excellent work, this is very enjoyable reading. Love the
> reviews!!

Blue Man Group review is next week. I enjoyed it, but it is very stimulating to all the senses.

Bob and Barb wrote:

> I appreciate your review of the show (EFX Alive), since we already received
> tickets through the mail. Now I know exactly what to expect, and I
> can go into the show with the right attitude, and not be disappointed.
> P.S. I really enjoy your website, and the Rick Springfield fans —-
> get over it.

The show is still reasonably impressive overall, with the effects and involved cast. With any good fortune, Mr. Springfield will be in better health and settling more comfortably into the show.

Steve wrote:

> Hi Ted, I subscribe to your newsletter & find it well written and
> informative. Having just read the EFX letters you received, I find it
> a little disappointing that you received so many negative letters.
> You call ’em like you see ’em, & we are all entitled to our opinions.
> Sometimes I think people lose sight of that. I think looking at
> several sources of info is the best way to be informed and I count
> your newsletter as one of them when it comes to Las Vegas. Thanks
> again for all your time & effort.

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at 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 – How do you feel about smoking in casinos? Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published next!

Results from our last poll “Who (if anyone) do you come to Las Vegas with?”* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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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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 MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 21, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770