AccessVegas.com Insider Vibe
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I’m somewhat on my own this week putting the newsletter out so have mercy! Amy and her family went to Southern California for a well-deserved spring break family vacation. Mark was last seen monitoring beer pong tournaments on The Strip (but sobered up long enough to produce the news section). However, our new writers are really kicking up some dust with brand new show reviews! So…
Extra show reviews this issue, extra Members Mania where readers comment and tell us about their Las Vegas experiences, and extra answers from me. Lets dive right in…
Hooters Hotel Casino Swan Song – Regular readers saw the link to the story about how Hooters Las Vegas may cease to be in the next couple of years. I say “cease to be” because the new owners are pulling that “boutique hotel” thing that has yet to gain significant traction here in Las Vegas.
Many visitors never headed over to check the place out. And… it has only been a couple of years since the property was changed over from the established San Remo to the Hooters brand. If you missed it (or won’t be back to check it out), enjoy our full photo set of Hooters Hotel Casino Las Vegas.
Mirage Volcano Repairs – Wet Design, the company responsible for The Fountains of Bellagio, is leading the design team to revamp the volcano so we are expecting something pretty spectacular. (They owe that much to us after ripping out the tiger display at the entrance to The Mirage). Details and the date of re-opening have yet to be released but we’ll keep you posted!
March Madness is in full swing and The sports books are jammed. Every TV in every resort, restaurant, and bar is tuned to the games from morning until night. Although Las Vegas is a great place to be this time of year, nothing beats seeing these games in person. If your team is on the move or you just want to enjoy this spectacle live and in person, we have NCAA Sweet 16 Basketball Tickets available. Just click the link.
No-Fee ATM’s – A few months ago, I gave some advice on how to get cash from your debit card at various Las Vegas Strip locations without paying any service or ATM fee. (Click to Read AccessVegas.com Insider Vibe Dec. 26, 2007). Numerous readers wrote to tell their appreciation including Mimi from Canada who said “I have been coming to Vegas since 1976 from Canada and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this tip. And believe me, I use my bank card often. Thanks a million!”
We also solicited some advice from readers about no-fee ATM’s they had discovered:
- A hidden gem – in the middle of the strip – is the Wells Fargo ATM located at Carnival Court at Harrah’s. Located between the Starbucks and Ghirardelli Chocolates, it is a standard bank ATM and has no more fees than any other Wells Fargo ATM. And if you’re a Wells Fargo customer, no fees!
- Bank of America has a regular ATM in the new part of The Forum Shops at Caesars on the second floor next to the patio of Casa Fuente . It is almost hidden back in the corner. This is a regular B of A machine (no fees if you are a B of A customer).
We know very few non-fee ATM’s exist on The Strip. If you run into one (or have any other feedback on Las Vegas or our newsletter), you can always drop us a line at email@example.com
Associate Editor: Amy Rayner-Cooley
News Researcher/Editor: Mark Jacobs
Take A Journey Into Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular
By Erin Guernsey
Your journey into the world of Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular (Phantom Of The Opera) begins as you make your way into the impressive Phantom Theatre, which has been modeled after the Opera Garnier in Paris. Once inside you are met by a chandelier hanging in pieces just above the seats and gray curtains covering the walls. This dilapidated look does not last for long. Shortly after the opening of the show you are transported back in time to see the magnificent opera house in all of its former glory.
Phantom û The Las Vegas Spectacular at The Venetian beautifully unfolds the story of Christine Daae and The Phantom of the Opera. During this classic tale of love and heartbreak the audience watches as Christine struggles to move past the loss of her father while becoming entranced by The Phantom, whom she calls “the angel of music.” The Phantom begins terrorizing members of the cast and crew when he realizes that Christine has fallen in love with another man. His revenge is taken in the form of murder and a shattered chandelier.
Rita Rudner Comedy at Harrah’s Las Vegas
by Mara M. Mannella
Tucked inside a casino whose name is synonymous with glitz and glamour is a comedian who has paid her dues here in Las Vegas and her experience shows. Rita Rudner represents classic Vegas in a way that is both entertaining and unpretentious. An intimate theater is the setting for Ms. Rudner’s one woman show that keeps audiences laughing every night.
A woman comedian in a sea of male headliners is an eye-catching marquee on the Strip, where Rita Rudner makes her home at Harrah’s. The audience is welcomed to share in Rita’s life experiences, from the trials and tribulations of married life to the harrowing but hysterical journey of getting older. The unique delivery of Rita’s humor makes it so the audience isn’t sure what the next zinger will be. Poking fun at herself, her husband, and select audience members, you never know who the next victim will be.
Click to Read Entire Rita Rudner Review…
Wayne Brady: Making %@It Up!
By Devon Brooke Clasen
A true Vegas variety show incorporating singing, dancing, acting, comedy and even that most perplexing of art forms: mime, Wayne Brady’s Making %@It Up takes the theatrical task to the next level, with fully improvised performance vignettes interspersed among prepared musical tribute performances.
Dialing the pressure up even higher, show business virtuoso Wayne Brady has to not only make everything up on the spot, but also make it consistently funny. Fortunately, Brady delivers with heavy doses of witty, sharp, topical humor, keeping even a Monday night audience in complete hysterics.
Housed in an intimate theatre, there really isn’t a bad seat in the venue, unless stage-shy attendees are seated just off the stage. This “danger zone” provides Brady, as well as his improv partner Jonathan Mangum, a proficient performer in his own right, the pick of the litter when summoning audience members to the stage to take part in an act.
Banned for Decades, Forbidden Cocktail Now Available at Luxor – Nicknamed the “Green Fairy” for its occasionally milky green color and mythical hallucinogenic effects, absinthe is legal in the U.S. after a 95-year ban. Patrons of Luxor’s new center bar, Liquidity, now can experience the once-forbidden liqueur for themselves. Available for $300, “Absinthe Envy” is served in an elaborate tableside presentation that offers a modern take on the tradition of serving the illicit concoction with a sugar cube and chilled water.
Indulgence of the Most Sensual Kind – With tax day right around the corner, why not use your refund to spice up your nights? Take your significant other to a provocative show sure to send sparks flying û MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris, Fantasy at Luxor, Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce at Mandalay Bay or Zumanity, The Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil at New York-New York.
- MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris (Tickets) elegantly balances sensuous choreography with a combination of light effects and projections to create a moving canvas, where reflections and images meet in a kaleidoscope of colors. The show combines the best of cabaret with the best of Parisian fashion, art and women in an elegant, surprising and innovative manner. The result is a unique show that engages the mind as much as the eye. Performances are nightly at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., dark Tuesdays.
- Fantasy at Luxor (Tickets) ushers in a new era of seductive dance on the Las Vegas Strip. Choreographed by Cris Judd and Tiger Martina, FANTASY features sultry costumes and delicious dance numbers which offer just the right amount of seduction. Performances are Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 10:30 p.m.; Tuesday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and Saturday at 11 p.m.
- Zumanity at New York-New York (Tickets) is a provocative cabaret-style production offering a seductive twist on reality. Audiences are encouraged to leave inhibitions at the door and let loose at this adult-themed, 90-minute show filled with sensational acrobatics and naughty fun. Performances are nightly at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., dark Mondays and Thursdays.
Celebrity Colorist Kim Vo Lists Hot New Trends for Summer and Beyond – Make your summer sizzle with a hot new ‘do.’ According to celebrity colorist Kim Vo of his eponymous salon at The Mirage, the “it” look for hair is full, shiny and cascading, perfectly highlighted from root to tip. Extensions are a hot new way to create this total concept. Vo says strategically placed extensions can add volume and create effortless, multi-dimensional highlights and lowlights while protecting natural hair. For the “it” cut, Vo says to look no further than Academy Award-winning actress Hillary Swank’s sweeping, layered bob.
Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!
I’m going to be coming out to Las Vegas in April for a bachelorette party. I will be arriving one night earlier than the other women, and I would like some suggestions on solo-dining-friendly locations.
I don’t want to feel the need to order room service, or go to a buffet, simply because I am by myself. Thank you for your help!
Fortunately, solo dining for both men and women in Las Vegas is more common than in other places. More and more visit for business, conventions, just-passing-through, and your situation where someone is in town longer than their group.
Don’t discount one of the nicer buffets like the ones at Planet Hollywood, Bellagio, Wynn Las Vegas or Cravings at The Mirage. While not cheap, all of these have an amazing variety of top-notch food and it can be more fun to sample and enjoy when alone. If you want low-key and less expensive, you’ll be quite comfortable dining solo in any hotel coffee shop. This can also be a great time to try one of the celeb chef restaurants without the pressure of how to split the check!
I’d avoid a theme restaurant or a place that will have more of a party atmosphere as they tend to draw groups having fun and you may feel slightly self-conscious or alone. If you feel slightly self-conscious asking for a table for one, just tell the hostess “It’s just me this evening… my friends are flying in later.” If comfortable with it, most restaurants serve their full menu at the bar, no reservation necessary.
Bottom Line: Go eat and have fun. This is your one chance to do what you want without it having to be a group decision!
Ted:Many thanks for your news letter! We had a great time over Christmas, but the weather was COLD! Will not come in winter again, since we’re from Maine. Also many shows were dark for various reasons. We decided to visit Laughlin and some friends there. GREAT!
Every fall, I do try to remind everyone that we are not a balmy winter destination (yes sunny, but not warm) as I did in our November 30, 2007 issue. Winter average is 57 F but our highs can be 15 degrees on either side of the average at any given time. Our desert has a mind of its own!
Because mid-December is the lightest visitor volume of the year, many of the shows take a week or two off and give everybody a well-deserved rest. Most shows perform 6 nights a week just about all year long. The upside of mid-December is some of the cheapest room prices of the year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Just wanted to thank you for your informative newsletter. It really helps keep me up to date on what’s happening in my FAVORITE city! I also appreciate your reliability in sending it out on a regular basis. Keep up the GREAT work!
We will be coming to Las Vegas Oct. 31 for the Professional Bull Riding Finals at the Thomas & Mack Center. There are several off-strip motels within walking distance and I was wondering if the area is safe to walk in at night.Thanks!
I assume you are talking about the various hotels in the Harmon/Paradise (and Swenson) area. That area isn’t a problem area. Plus, there will be plenty of other PBR fans most likely walking to and from the T and M around the same time.
You may want to use Google or Yahoo maps to track the actual distance from the hotel of your choice to the T and M arena and measure the comfort of the distance you want to walk.
I was in Vegas a couple of years ago and am coming back in late March an we were at a casino, went to a food court and shopping stores and it started raining in the court! What is the Hotel/Casino was that? I can’t remember right off the top of my head! We love your news letter and podcast! Keep up the wonderful work!Keith
That was the Aladdin when you visited, now Planet Hollywood in the Miracle Mile shops behind the casino. They make it “rain” in an area of the mall every hour (more often on weekends). Check for the times when you get there.
The podcast would have been back earlier this week, but I got hit with a head/chest cold including a mild fever. 78 degrees everyday recently and I have a cold! All the equipment is dusted off and ready to go. Stack of topics in a big pile. As soon as this thing clears, I’m finally “back on the air.” Thanks for the interest!
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:
- 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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