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Hello From Las Vegas! Winter in Las Vegas is over. Finally! This past weekend brought us 70 degrees (F) and it looks like the chilly months have ended. Certainly, the temperature is bound to fluctuate. But it looks like shirt-sleeve weather from now until sometime in October.
Trivia Question Winner – Sheena Foster won our Superbowl trivia contest for a grab bag of stuff from our prize closet (see last week’s issue for details). We were swamped with answers. I wrote back to the first few, but had to give up from there because so many. Thanks to all who entered! Here were the questions (with answers noted):
- What famous (infamous) casino owner put a million dollar bet on the Super Bowl at a small, dive casino on The Strip? Bob Stupak, although we also accepted Gene Maday, the owner of Little Ceasers casino as he personally took Stupak’s bet. Everbody but two entries had Stupak correct. Only 17 people had all three answers correct.
- What was the name of that casino? Here is where most went wrong. Almost everybody put Vegas World. Yes, Stupak owned Vegas World. Which is exactly why he did not place the bet there. (You really can’t place a bet with yourself). Stupak took the money to Gene Maday’s Little Caesars.This place was a dive casino in a strip mall. A few $1 blackjack tables, a bunch of penny slots (the old kind… that actually took pennies and you had to pull on the handle) and a couple of crapsless craps tables. Oh… and probably the most infamous sports book in town. If you wanted to hear what the wise money was thinking and doing, this is where to be.
- What sits now where that casino used to be? Little Caesars sits where Paris Las Vegas now resides (although we accepted Bally’s/Paris for an answer). In a run-of-the-mill strip mall with a great parking lot in back. What made the parking lot so great? No one remembered it was there! Even on Friday night, you could pull in and find a spot.
We featured a “must read” recap of that very story way back in this very newsletter… on October 27, 1999 (read archived issue here). Also, I highly suggest visiting Bob Stupak’s website where he has a video archive of the news surrounding his winning bet. Head to http://www.bobstupak.com/gambler.html and click on the both Superbowl Bet and Million Dollar Man links in the video area.
Celebrate Leap Year – For those of you using the extra day we get this month to visit your favorite city (Las Vegas, of course), Sushi Roku and sister restaurant BOA Steakhouse in The Forum Shops are offering sinful specialty shots for $2.29 all day long on February 29. We aren’t talking the rot gut stuff. Specialty drinks include the PAMA Shade (Malibu Rum and other liquors), Tokyo Cooler (Skyy Vodka, lemon, lime and more), Very Sexy (Belvedere Cytrus Vodka based) and others. Plus, these are two very cool places to hang out. You don’t want to miss this one.
Very Vintage Vegas – The big real estate news last week was that most of the top 10 forclosure zip codes were in Las Vegas. What struck me was that these zip codes were all in brand new areas of town. Far too many people foolishly bought overpriced (and in many cases poorly built) crackerboxes with no yard, located on the edge of town, far from all the things that make Las Vegas great. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
If you are going to buy a home here, buy in an established neighborhood. You can (and should) read more about this on a blog post I responded to at Foreclosures: 100 worst hit zip codes – But They’re NOT In Vintage Las Vegas
Finally… since we are talking so much about old school Las Vegas, Mark dug up this very cool video featuring footage of The Strip from the past. This is what Las Vegas looked like when I first moved here those many years ago: 35mm Stock Fooage Las Vegas Sights
Enjoy This Issue!
Associate Editor: Amy Rayner-Cooley
News Researcher/Editor: Mark Jacobs
Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular Welcomes Two Veteran Performers To Broadway Caliber Cast – Phantom û The Las Vegas Spectacular, at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, is thrilled to announce the addition of two new lead cast members to its talented line up. (Tickets) Noted Las Vegas actress Tina Walsh and experienced musical theatre performer Andrew Ragone join the show on February 11, 2008. Playing the role of “Madame Giry” is Tina Walsh, a talented Las Vegas fixture known for her roles in the original company of Mamma Mia! Las Vegas, long-running Strip production EFX!, Hugh Jackman in Time, Jerry Springer The Opera and Closer than Ever. Click to Read The Full Story …
After breaking every rule on the Las Vegas Strip, MAMMA MIA! (Tickets) raised the bar again last night as it welcomed its 2 millionth guests, Jack Elliot, Ph.D. and Stacey Rich, at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Based on the songs of ABBA, MAMMA MIA! continues to be the longest-running and most successful full-scale Broadway musical to ever hit Las Vegas. Currently in its fifth year, MAMMA MIA! sets the precedent for Broadway musicals in Las Vegas. Since premiering on February 13, 2003, this beloved show has remained an absolute sensation and a locals’ favorite that keeps the audiences dancing in the aisles night after night.
The Strip’s Hottest Show Teams Up With Las Vegas’ Most Popular Athletic Club To Introduce New Class Hip, Hoppin’ And Stompin’ – STOMP OUT LOUD and Las Vegas Athletic Club Debut New Class to Get Your Heart Pumping. (Stomp Out Loud Tickets) Hip, Hoppin’ and Stompin,’ is the exciting new class on the LVAC roster. Set to today’s hottest music and live drum accompaniment provided by STOMP OUT LOUD cast members, this class fuses hip-hop, dance and body percussion creating an exhilarating workout. Click to Read The Full Story …
David Spade Performance Dates Begin February 15-16 – Comedy superstar David Spade brings his stand up to Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. (Tickets) The Saturday Night Live alum and long-time Las Vegas headliner will bring his hysterical comedy show to The Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, for a series of dates in 2008. Known for his sarcastic and witty humor, David Spade has been entertaining audiences for over 20 years. David Spade performs at the Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the following dates: February 15-16, March 14-15, April 11-12, July 25-26, August 30-31, October 10-11, October 24-25 and November 28-29. All shows begin at 10 p.m.
First American Auditions For MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris March 3 û 6 – MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris will hold the first American auditions in the Crazy Horse Group’s history March 3 – March 6. (Crazy Horse Tickets) A well-known celebrity guest judge, who will be named at a later date, will help determine which three lucky winners will be chosen to join the prestigious dance troupe. For the first time, the legendary cabaret will hold auditions in the United States to cast three girls in the Parisian dance troupe. Click to Read The Full Story …
Escape Cold Weather Blues, Plan Summertime Fun Now – Chilly temperatures have you dreaming of fun in the sun? Winter may have just begun, but the time to start planning a summer getaway is now. Here are some sizzling ways to heat up your next vacation:
- Get Bare at The Mirage Bare at The Mirage provides an exclusive adult alternative to the typical pool experience. Offering luxury dipping pools, chaise lounges and private daybeds, guests of Bare enjoy European-style sunbathing under the warm Las Vegas sun. Standard VIP service includes chilled cucumbers for the eyes, exotic frozen fruit skewers and mini-fruit smoothies.
- Recharge at Luxor’s Restore Pool Restore Pool at Luxor offers guests 21 years of age and older a spa-like sanctuary. Sleek chaises, cabanas and daybeds provide a plush lounging environment. Complimentary amenities ranging from iced towels to frozen fruit slices ensure an upscale experience.
- Monte Carlo Offers Fun in the Sun Monte Carlo’s pool complex offers a serene escape from life’s demands. Guests can grab a raft and float on the Easy River Ride or body surf in the city’s first-ever Wave Pool. Private cabanas include a flat-screen television, phone, safe and wireless Internet access as well as a refrigerator stocked with complimentary bottled water, sodas and fruit platter.
- Mandalay Bay Beach Ups the Ante Featuring 11 acres of tropical-inspired poolside bliss including 2,700 tons of sand and an exciting wave pool, Mandalay Bay Beach redefines summertime fun. The world-famous pool destination also features a new three-story Beachside Casino. On the first level, the Beach Bar & Grill provides tasty fare to sunbathers. One floor up, guests can enjoy a climate-controlled casino overlooking Mandalay Bay Beach. On the third level, the exclusive Villas Soleil each offer cozy seating, a day bed, wet bar, 50-inch flat-screen television, MP3 player, safe and a private deck.
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Just wanted to comment on my trip to Vegas last weekend. My boyfriend and I tried to get in to see the Pussycat Dolls at Caesars, waited 1 1/2 hours in line, and by 11:30 pm we still weren’t guaranteed to get in. What do you have to do to get in a club? That was on a Friday night. Sat. night, luckily, we were staying at the Venetian and I requested VIP passes to get into TAO nightclub. So we got in the VIP line around 8:30 pm. We were told by the bouncers that there were going to be thousands of people there that night since it was the 2nd Anniversary of their opening.
Also, after about a 1/2 hour waiting in line, one of the bouncers told my boyfriend that he wouldn’t be able to entered the club without a collar shirt. We had to get out of line and go in the mall and purchase a shirt. The Venetian employees that we spoke to never told us about that! So we got back in line and we were able to get right in. OK, we got in, but there is no where to sit! All seating was reserved from $5,000 to $15,000 each section. So we stood until about 11:30 pm and then we just couldn’t stand anymore and left.
Thank you very much!
Unfortunately, you had every factor working against you on the same night.
- Virtually every club has a dress code for men which often requires things like a shirt with a collar, no tennis shoes (even dress casual sneakers), no baseball caps, you get the picture. Women can get away with almost anything (or almost nothing) if it is sexy and they look good in it.
- Nightclubs are “standing room only” unless you purchase table/bottle service which can range from a few hundred dollars on a normal night into the tens of thousands on an “event” night. It is a custom imported from Europe and a huge profit center for the clubs.
- Don’t bother hitting a club (even with VIP passes) on a huge night like their anniversary of some kind of similar big celebration or celeb event. You’ll have trouble getting in because every industry insider and club regular (plus tons of celebs from out-of-town) are given priority. And no, you won’t get close to the celebs even if you get in.
- DO buy a VIP pass for any other (more regular) night. This can be the difference between waiting 20-30 minutes in line (a club can only hold so many people, no matter what) and waiting upwards of two hours. We strongly suggest Travelnice for nightclub passes. They are a quality company and have been around for quite some time with no complaints.
The great thing about Las Vegas? If these kind of clubs aren’t particularly for you, plenty of other options exist. Almost every casino has a lounge area with some great live music where you don’t have to pay to sit down nor have to dress a certain way. My favorite 1-2 punch for non-club action? Harrahs where the dueling piano bar sits just inside from Carnival Court and the live bands.
As a former NY cab driver I can honestly say many of your cab drivers try to intentionally rip you off. My last Vegas trip the driver took the tunnel to the Rio. Not a good idea. I didn’t pay him the meter but what the trip should have been.On another trip we took a cab from the Stratosphere to Harrahs. We didn’t realize for a few minutes that the cab driver was drunk, especially when he drove the wrong way down a one way street. Weve met quit a few great drivers, but the few bad ones spoil the whole barrel. Thanks for your article.Carl Katz
It is the “neighborhood casino” for a couple of people on our staff. Nice, new, very similar to Suncoast. Good for the money, free shuttle to The Strip until late evening but better to have a car. A brand new freeway onramp behind the property puts you right on I-15 down to The Strip.
Michaels from the old Barbary Coast is a “must try” once in your life, rest of the restaurants are good with a huge variety (close to 10 restaurants if I count right). Movie theaters and huge bowling alley on-site.
It’s certainly not Green Valley Ranch or Red Rock, but provided you understand the situation of staying at an off-Strip property, I’d stay there over most of the other off-strip hotels around town. Comfortable and friendly.
Hint: If you need groceries, drug store, 7-11 or similar, head EAST on Silverado Ranch about a mile. South Point is still located in an area that has very little around it. Second Hint: Cajun BBQ Shack is in the mini-mall across the street (to the north). Good stuff. Couple doors from the BBQ is Templar Cigars, hand rolled by a exiled Cuban gentleman. Must try for cigar lovers.
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:
- President’s Day February 16-18 (3 day weekend)
- Washington’s Birthday February 22
- St. Patrick’s Day March 17
- Easter Sunday March 23
- Cinco de Mayo May 5
- Mother’s Day May 11
- Victoria Day, Canada May 17-19 (3 day weekend)
- Memorial Day May 24-26 (3 day weekend)
- Father’s Day June 15
- Canada Day, Canada July 1
- Independence Day July 4-6 (3 day weekend)
- Civic Holiday, Canada August 2-4 (3 day weekend)
- Labor Day, U.S August 30-September 1 (3 day weekend)
- Labour Day, Canada August 30-September 1 (3 day weekend)
- Grandparent’s Day September 7
- Jewish New Year September 30
- Yom Kippur October 9
- Columbus Day October 11-13 (3 day weekend)
- Thanksgiving Day, Canada October 11-13 (3 day weekend)
- Halloween October 31
- Veteran’s Day November 11
- Thanksgiving Day November 27-30 (4 day weekend)
- 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
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