Hello From Las Vegas! – Where we’re finally starting to pull out of what was a very windy, cold, not-so-pleasant month of February. Except for this weekend, I’m happy to report that the first couple weeks of March are looking pretty good! Highs in the 60’s with only modest desert breezes and we’re saying goodbye to overnight lows in the 30’s.
The Hits Keep On Coming – MGM Resorts has decided to raise resort fees at many of their properties this week. In a world where resort fees (plus the taxes on them) are pushing $40, the properties are playing a cute shell game here. For those who get comped rooms (but not resort fee comps), it isn’t as much of a comp. You are not only giving them your money in the casino, but you are essentially “paying” for the room.
To those at higher levels of play who get room, resort fee, and parking comped: Just a few years ago, there was either none (or a very, very modest) resort fee and parking was free. So, they are giving you some “comped” stuff that didn’t used to cost anything. Pretty shifty!
The backlash is starting to boil over. I recently had an op-ed published in the Review-Journal (Nevada’s largest newspaper):
A couple days later, gaming business writer Rick Velotta cited my thoughts, and piled on with his own concerns:
We’re going to make some noise, and we’ll keep you posted.
Lame Names Keep Coming – I don’t know what is in the air, but the lack of imagination the past few years in hotel names is getting tiresome. The Imperial Palace (which conjured up visions af Asia) became The Linq, Barbary Coast (after a short stint as Bill’s Gambling Hall) became The Cromwell, Monte Carlo is currently under massive construction and being de-themed and renamed Park MGM.
Now, the unfinished Fontainebleau (the 60+ story tall blue building on the North Strip with the unfinished interior) has been given the ear-catching name of…. The Drew. Huh? Of interest is that the property will be a Marriott (Marriott has an actual modest ownership stake). Positioned right next door to the $1.4 billion convention center expansion, both will come online at about the same time.
My prediction for you? During lulls in convention periods, The Drew will have to be very careful with their room pricing due to their location. If you don’t mind grabbing a bus pass to ferry you the mile between The Drew and the Wynn/Venetian area of The Strip, you may be able to grab a nice, new room for a reasonable price.
More Good News For You – In my members-only audio column from last week, I noted that 15,000 rooms are coming online in about 3 years. Then, I backed that number off to 12,000 as I couldn’t remember one of the properties. The number is indeed around 15,000. Between Resorts World (former Stardust), Wynn Paradise Park, Wynn West, Fontainebleau, and the (yet to be named) former Las Vegas Club, we’ll see a 10% increase in available rooms.
Given that visitor volume is likely to remain stagnant, and the fact that I’m dubious about a rise in convention visitation to make up for the difference, we could see a serious case of supply and demand driving room rates down. If the economy is soft to boot, Las Vegas could turn into the bargain it was during the last recession.
Big Musical Ball – Venetian/Palazzo is moving full speed ahead in their partnership with Madison Square Garden (the company) to build an 18,000 seat, music-in-the-round concert facility behind their property. The building will be a sphere covered with (essentially) a TV screen which can broadcast video of the concert live! (I have to imagine it will also broadcast plenty of advertising during other times).
Flying The Friendly Skies – The old, dingy Terminal 1 at McCarran Las Vegas Airport has received a $30 million make-over. About time. I’m sure there was smoke coloration on that ceiling dating back to the days when smoking was allowed everywhere!
Won’t You Be Celine’s Neighbor – After really getting hit hard during the recession, Lake Las Vegas is springing back to life. Home to the famous Caesars headliner, a number of new developments are kicking in, and custom lots are available as well. If you take a drive to Hoover Dam and the weather is pleasant, take a detour to Lake Las Vegas and MonteLago Village on your way home.
Peaceful and rarely crowded, you literally won’t believe what sits 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip.
Hope you are enjoying this issue!
Ted Newkirk, Publisher
Editor, News Researcher, Concerts and Headliners: Amy Rayner-Cooley
Distributor, Member Services: Rick “VegasZiggy” Ziegler
I’m a blackjack novice. Do you have any advice to have a better chance at winning?
When I moved here in the 90’s, I counted cards, and did so successfully. However, that is TONS of practice and work. And, many modern rules have made it difficult to suceed at itthese days.
For the novice or casual player, the answers are pretty simple:
1. Only play 3-2 payout of blackjack. You are getting ripped off if a blackjack pays 6-5. If the table doesn’t say what the payout is, you can ask the dealer.
Play downtown on Fremont Street. You’ll find more 3-2 payout blackjack, and lower limits perfect for learning, or just having fun.
2. Try not to play against a continuous shuffle machine. The game goes faster, so you lose faster. Plus, there is some evidence that the cards seem to come out in the house’s favor more often because of the way the machine shuffles and clumps them.
3. Buy one of those strategy cards in the gift shop (or on Ebay) and USE IT no matter what your gut says. Look, there are lousy hands. Some hands will be lost most of the time no matter what. But, if you make the proper plays the card tells you to, you will lose less often.
If you are sitting on a horrible hand, do you want to follow the strategy card and lose 68% of that match-up, or do you want to go the other way and lose 77% of that particular match-up?
The card won’t beat the house edge. But, it will cut down on it.
Also, keep in mind that you can always have a lucky session or a horrible one. Even if you are playing perfectly. Don’t assume the card is wrong because you followed it and lost 6 hands in a row. Get up and change tables. You are having bad luck.
4. If you are worried about what others think, and the card tells you to do something that may not be popular with the other players (which usually means you have a bad hand), offer to let another player buy it off of you, and you will play it the way they want. Otherwise, tell them here is how you are playing it.
If you get lucky, some smart-ass will buy off your bad hand. If not, they can’t bitch because you gave them the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is.
The odds are that the other players don’t know any more about the game than you do!
We have answers to your Vegas questions!
But, you have to ask the questions.
Email us at [email protected], and let us know, what YOU want to know!
“INFERNO: The Fire Spectacular” at Paris Las Vegas is truly unlike any other show on the Strip. It’s definitely a whole lot hotter and that’s not just because of the copious amounts of fire. The Fuel Girls are the new breed of Vegas showgirl and their sultry allure is one of a kind.
- Backstreet Boys On Why Their Las Vegas Residency Isn’t The End – Click For Backstreet Boys Tickets
- 2 Of Elton John’s Final Las Vegas Residency Shows Rescheduled – Click For Elton John Tickets
- EDC Las Vegas 2018 Lineup Features More Than 25 Stellar Back-To-Backs – Click For Electric Daisy Carnival Tickets
- Las Vegas’ Best Kept Entertainment Secret Is 5 Minutes From The Strip, And Benefits Charity
A warm desert night spent watching the silhouette of a crowd gathered to take in the dancing Bellagio Fountains creates one of the most authentic moments in Las Vegas. Rivulets of water sway back and forth, Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” plays and for a moment everyone on the Strip becomes transfixed by the same magical sight – no easy feat in Las Vegas.
The Grand Canyon is undoubtedly one of the natural wonders of the world. A vast, raw testament to the power of Mother Nature, it draws tourists, walkers, explorers, river rafters, naturists, photographers and extreme athletes from every corner to gawp in awe at its majesty.
- Las Vegas Business Lets You Smash Glass Bottles, TVs – VIDEO
- Historic Vegas Neon Signs Shine Bright For 1st Time In Years
- The Best (And Worst) Times To Visit The Grand Canyon
- Venturing Beyond The Las Vegas Strip
- The Neon Museum’s Brilliant! Brings New Life To Old Lights
- If You Want To Raft The Grand Canyon, Prepare To Sign Up Far In Advance
A local woman won the largest Dual Daub bingo jackpot in Las Vegas history at a west Valley casino. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, walked away with a jackpot totaling $110,726 from Summerlin’s Rampart Casino, according to a release.
Eleven Las Vegas resorts made U.S. News &World Report’s list of the world’s top hotels, the Washington-based organization reported Monday. The 11 “gold badge” winners, the top 10 percent of the list, out of 46 ranked hotels in Southern Nevada place Las Vegas in a tie for second with Los Angeles for the most gold properties in the United States.
- Report: Caesars Entertainment Resort Fees Increasing At Las Vegas Strip Properties
- Las Vegas Hotels Have Raised Resort Fees. On Some Nights, Expect To Pay More In Fees Than The Cost Of The Room.
- MGM Raises Parking Fees For Visitors And Hotel Guests At Las Vegas Properties
- Unfinished For Years, Vegas Casino Is Back In Play
- Las Vegas Strip’s Only Movie Theater Closes
- You Can Get Married At A Las Vegas Denny’s For $99 This Valentine’s Day
- Las Vegas Homebuilders Notch Big Jump In Sales
- Las Vegas Home Values Have More Than Doubled Since 2011
- Las Vegas Welcome Sign Goes Red For Heart Disease, Stroke Awareness
- Study: Las Vegas One Of Best Places To Get Married
- You Can Get Married At A Las Vegas Denny’s For $99 This Valentine’s Day
- MGM Resorts Raising Parking Fees Again At Strip Resorts
- Robots Could Kill Many Las Vegas Jobs
- Las Vegas Among Leaders In US Home Prices
Vegas Videos You’ll Enjoy
SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas serves up an edible gold bar.
Check out the home known as Dragon Rock in MacDonald Highlands.
Enjoy a walk through The Linq Hotel Casino, down The Linq shopping area, and through the reincarnated O’Sheas Casino.
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There is no better place to see your favorite acts then in Las Vegas! You’re relaxed, can enjoy a fine meal, have some cocktails without the worry of driving, and no alarm is going to jar you awake all too early the next morning.
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