Access Vegas Insider Vibe – August 2, 2000

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This Issue: Pasta Pirate

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


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

BLUE SUEDE SHOES – The Elvis-A-Rama Museum is displaying Elvis’ blue suede shoes, which he wore July 1, 1956 during his appearance on the Steve Allan show. The shoes alone are valued at almost 1 million dollars! Our review with photos of the Elvis-A-Rama museum is at

DECLINE OF THE RIO? – The Rio is laying off 100 people, and I’m hearing more complaints from regular Rio visitors who feel that ever since Harrah’s bought the upscale off-strip property, service and quality have gone downhill. Full story at If you are a regular Rio visitor and want to comment, drop us a note at and let us know your experiences.

DEALER JOBS – seem to be plentiful if you don’t mind breaking in off the Strip. The growth of casino gaming nationwide as well as the tight job market are leaving many casinos scrambling for help in all areas. Story at

WINERY – in the desert? The Pahrump Valley Vineyards has been growing grapes and making wine 60 miles west of Las Vegas for a number of years now, and tours are available. Full story at

FREE SHOWS – The R-J just reviewed 4 free shows: Excalibur Dragon Moat, Bellagio Fountains, Lost City of Atlantis, and Battling Buccaneers. Great details on each show at — print this out for your next trip!

TOMCATS – The big-screen romantic comedy has been filming around town. It involves a group of single guys who have each invested in a fund that goes to the last one of them to stay single. The movie is slated for release next summer and full story at

CONDOS ON THE STRIP – A complex that will include a 52-story tower, hotel rooms and condominium units, four restaurants and 400 thousand square feet of retail space is headed to the Strip. The twist? No gambling is proposed for this development. full story at

SEXIEST BACHELOR – in America will be broadcast from the MGM on Oct. 2 by the Fox Network. 50 men from each state will be competing, but not to marry someone a la the ill-fated “Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire.” Full story at

$25 HOTEL REBATE – Extended to any reservation made in August (for travel any time)! 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. Go to and print out that page
2. Book a room online at by Aug. 31
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!

WINNERS! – Roberta Isaacs of Jamul, CA and Nora Corrin of Hamilton, Ontario Canada won the Jubilee! programs.


Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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

Melinda – First Lady of Magic is back in town. I enjoyed her show at the Lady Luck a few years ago, and she now has a new home at The Venetian! You can read about her new show at and purchase tickets their as well.

Aladdin – Enrique Inglesias on Aug. 19. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Aladdin discount rooms are available at (Aladdin link).

Hard Rock Hotel – B-52’s on Aug. 5, K.D. Lang Aug. 11, Deftones on Aug. 13, Jimmy Page plus The Black Crowes on Aug 16, Mary J. Blige on Aug. 26, Robert Cray Band on Sept. 3, and Culture Club on Nov. 14. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

Las Vegas Hilton – Def Comedy Jam on Aug. 4-5, “The Dream King” Elvis tribute starring famed impersonator Trent Carlini on Aug. 15-19, Reba McEntire Sept. 14-17, Kenny Rogers Sept. 22-23, Face To Face Sept. 30, Steven Wright Oct. 7-8, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman in their “Together Again” tour Oct. 19-21 (return engagement), Sinbad Nov. 2-4, Jeff Foxworthy Nov. 30 – Dec. 3, and Brooks & Dunn Dec. 4-6. Tickets are available at (800) 222-5361 and Las Vegas Hilton discount rooms are available at (Las Vegas Hilton link).

Mandalay Bay – Psychedelic Furs Aug. 5, D’ Angelo Aug. 7, Brian Setzer on Aug. 8, Paula Cole Band Aug. 9, Rollins Band Aug. 11, Unwritten Law Aug. 12, Earth, Wind, and Fire on Aug. 16-19, Ziggy Marley Aug. 19, Duran Duran Aug. 25-26, Isaac Hayes Aug. 25-26, Jethro Tull Aug. 27, Godsmack on Aug. 31, Static X Sept. 1, Third Eye Blond on Sept. 2, George Clinton on Sept. 6, Joan Osbourne on Sept. 8, Savage Garden Sept. 10, Bangles on Sept. 15, Steve Miller Band Sept. 17, Luther Vandros with Boyz II Men Sept. 22, Little Feat Sept. 22, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Sept. 29, and Kenny G on Sept. 30. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at (Mandalay Bay link).

MGM – Penn and Teller now – Aug. 9, Sting on Aug. 19, Carrot Top Sept. 7 – 13, Frozen Fury 4 pits the L.A. Kings against the Colorado Avalanche on Sept. 30, Pearl Jam on Oct. 22, and Tina Turner with Joe Cocker Nov. 18. Tickets available at (800) 929-1111 and MGM discount rooms are available at (MGM link).

Paris – Evander Holyfield vs. John Ruiz on Aug. 12. Tickets available at (702) 946-4567 and Paris discount rooms are available at (Paris link).

Riviera – Rich Little on Oct. 6 and 7, Tony Orlando on Oct. 13 and 14, Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling on Oct. 20 and 21. Tickets at (702) 794-9433 and Riviera discount rooms are available at (Riviera link).

The Orleans – All-4-One Aug. 4-6, Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell now through Aug. 7 (Fri. – Mon. nightly): one drink min., The Little River Band on Sept. 1-3, and The Everly Brothers Oct. 25-29. Tickets at (702) 365-7075 and Orleans discount rooms available at (The Orleans link).

Thomas & Mack – Triple Crown of Freestyle Motorcross Aug. 5, Korn, Powerman 5000 and Papa Roach on Aug. 9, Up In Smoke tour featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, and Eminem on Aug. 11, Red Hot Chili Peppers with Stone Temple Pilots on Sept. 13, AC/DC on Sept. 14, and Phish on Sept. 29. Tickets at (888) 464-2468. The Hard Rock hotel is within walking distance of the Thomas and Mack and Hard Rock discount rooms available at (Hard Rock link).

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I’ve received an unusually high number of requests to review this out-of-the-way restaurant in the California Hotel downtown, and I’m glad I did! While “The Cal” is a decent place with some good full-pay video poker machines, I can count on one hand the times I’ve set foot in the place. It is owned by the Boyd Gaming Group (Main St. Station, Fremont, Stardust, Sam’s Town, etc.) and is a favorite of Hawaiians coming over to escape a little “island fever” and enjoy some gambling (which we understand is completely illegal in our 50’th state).

Pasta Pirate takes on the decor on an old warehouse what has been remodeled into an eatery, much the same as the brew pub at Monte Carlo. However, the Pasta Pirate is much more subdued and intimate. I’d be surprised if it seats 100. The high ceiling brings comfort, but does not all detract from the cozy feel of the room. I won’t think twice about taking a date there. What’s more, the room is comfortably trendy without making any age group feel out of place.

What’s more, the prices are very reasonable considering the quality of the service and surroundings. Appetizers lean toward the sea, with varieties of oysters, shrimp, escargot, clams, and crabs ranging from $5.95 to $6.95.

Pasta dishes are $7.95 or $8.95, and you have a choice of Fettuccine Alfredo, Spaghetti and Meat Balls, Penne Diana, Linguine Di Vongole, Tortellini Bolognese, Angel Hair Pomodoro, and Rigatoni Romano. The exception is the Pasta of the Day — a special pasta prepared by the chef — for $12.95.

They really go all out on the entrees with Mixed Seafood grilled in Lemon Basil with Linguine ($13.75), Shrimp Scampi ($13.95), Swordfish Chop al Fresco ($12.95), Lobster fra Diavolo (market price), Cioppino over Linguine ($13.75), Catch of the Day (varies), Sausage and Pepper Bianco ($10.95), Ribeye Steak ($12.95), and Mesquite Broiled Rosemary Pork Loin ($11.95).

Other dishes include Filet Mignon with Prawns ($13.95), Filet with Baby Lobster Tail ($15.75), Alaskan King Crab Legs ($23.95), and Live Maine Lobster (market price).

All dinners come with Seafood Soup or “Pirate” Salad and a fresh bread basket. Pasta dinners also come with a glass of house wine. The bread was an excellent sourdough accompanied by some of the best herb garlic butter I’ve ever enjoyed.

Pasta Pirate is in the California Hotel downtown. Hours are daily from 5 PM to 10:30 PM. Reservations are recommended at 385-1222.



Amy Logsdon wrote:

>I meant to write last time you mentioned this, but forgot. á I saw De
>La Guarda in NYC in December and prepped by reading their web site
>( ).á I am sure it is a separate
>production from C d S.á They have had De La Guarda stagings in NYC,
>London, France, Argentina, and Brazil as well as in Las Vegas.á It is
>a bit like Cirque (other- worldly non plot driven, with amazing feats
>of athleticism, and live music) but on a smaller budget, with LOTS
>more audience participation, and a mega-dose of pheromones or
>testosterone or something.á I enjoyed the show in New York immensely
>and look forward to the new production at the Rio.á Thanks for letting
>people know about it.á I hope it will be a success.

We dropped the ball on that one. The show is Cirque-like, but not a Cirque production. Thanks for all who pointed out my error!

David Bochert wrote:

>We just completed a five week RV trip from Pennsylvania to Vegas, Los
>Angeles, Sequoia, Yosemite, San Francisco, the Central Coast and back
>to Pennsylvania.á Our five day stay in Vegas was GREAT!
>For those reader who RV, I highly recommend the Circus Circus RV Park.
>It has easy in and out from I-15 since the entrance is a block behind
>the Strip and you avoid all the heavy traffic.á And once parked, you
>are on the Strip! á Yes, is it like a large concrete parking lot with
>electric, water, and sewer hookups, but you also have a 24 hour
>convenience store, clean restrooms, a pool, and a free shuttle to the
>main entrance of the Circus Circus casino.á (Though it is just a short
>walk to the rear entrance of Circus Circus, then an escalator and a
>moving sidewalk takes you right into the upper casino and shops.) With
>AAA discount, it was only $16 a night and I repeat .á .á .á you are
>right on the Strip! á The shuttle from the campground will drop you at
>the buffet, or the main entrance to Circus Circus.á From there you can
>catch a trolley to anywhere on the Strip.á Or walk!
>Shows: We saw 6 ticket shows in our five day stay.á None were “bad.”
>I enjoyed all of them, but, or course, some were better then others.
>Of the big three late night “topless” shows, we enjoyed the best –
>”Jubilee” at Bally’s, then “Splash” at the Riviera, then “Folies
>Bergere” at the Tropicana.á We thought “The Rick Thomas Magic Show”
>was great, and enjoyed both “Viva Las Vegas” and “American Superstars”
>at the Stratosphere.á As for the theaters: I would give thumbs-up to
>Bally’s and thumbs-down to the Tropicana.
>I am not a big gambler, though I did enjoy playing the slots.á But we
>never ran out of things to do! á We would return to our RV about 2 AM
>and be at a breakfast buffet by 10 AM.á – for 5 straight days.á We had
>a GREAT time!

Emmie wrote:

>My husband and I are going to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve.á I was
>wondering other than headliners and shows, if they have any
>entertainment on the strip.á I heard that last year there were
>fireworks and entertainment on the street.á I was wondering if that is
>every year or that was just for the millennium celebration?

For those new to the newsletter (and we welcome the 300+ of you that are signing up every week)!, there are going to be fireworks this year. Past that, the 300,000 people that line the 3.5 miles of the Strip (which is closed to traffic) are quite the show in and of itself. Here is a repeat of our story:

FIREWORKS – LVCVA has authorized a half-million dollars for New Year’s Eve fireworks this year. We’ve been sitting on this one for a few weeks, as we didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, but it’s now a done deal! Full story at New Year’s Eve discount rates already available at and prices have already risen since we published the story a few weeks ago so now is a great time to think about locking your room up.

Andrew Tarascio wrote:

>I will be in Vegas the last week of August.á Where can I go Swing
>dancing?á Thanks.

Colin wrote:

>Just wondered if you could tell me if any of the major hotels on the
>strip offer rooms with balconies ?

Readers help us out with either of the above at

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at 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 – “Do you visit Downtown and the Fremont St. Experience when in Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinions at — results will be published next week!


Rules (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest): You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner. Just sent a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.

MARY J. BILGE – Enter to win tickets for her August 26 at the Hard Rock by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Mary J. Blige Tickets, P.O. Box 230040, Las Vegas, NV 89123. One registration per person, winner notified by mail.

FREE VEGAS TRIP – Las Vegas Total Experience Pass Vacation Package from Southwest Air includes Roundtrip air for two to Las Vegas via Southwest Airlines, 2 nights hotel accommodations at the Luxor Las Vegas, and more. Enter at

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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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All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
August 2, 2000
ISSN: 1529-2770