Hello From Las Vegas! – What I call Summer Part I (what most of you call springtime) is upon us. The next two weeks call for highs in the high 70’s and 80’s, although (as is typical of April), you can expect some wind here and there.
Attention Outlet Mall Shoppers – The North Outlet mall near Fremont Street in downtown has announced they will start charging for parking. They are citing congestion in their lots and garages, and will now be asking $5 to park. The reports we read didn’t give any indication that parking fees would be waived with purchase validation. I guess this is one way to clear out the congestion: Clear out the customers!
Obviously, we have suggestions and work-arounds: The absolutely free Downtown Loop shuttle serves the Outlet Mall, Fremont Street (both ends), Mob Museum, Container Park, and Pawn Stars. If you are staying downtown and rent a car, keep it in the garage and use the free shuttle to get to the mall. The shuttle also serves the Transit Center. So, those of you who bus it to/from The Strip/Downtown can use that free connection.
Otherwise, the South Outlet Mall looks to be retaining the free parking (even though they are part of the same company). I used to live just a few minutes from it, and it is my preference because it is 100% indoors and climate controlled. Obviously, where you are staying will play into your choice. The $5 fee is cheaper than driving farther and taking tons of time. Or, you can simply skip doing the Outlet Mall thing on your visit. We don’t have the only outlet malls in the nation!
Best Value Eats Between Strip and Downtown – Looks like we’re on the topic of frugal travel, and here’s one for those of you who take The Duece or rent a car. About halfway between The Strip and Fremont Street, right on Las Vegas Blvd. and all pretty close to each other, are some locals restaurants we have no problem suggesting (and enjoy on a somewhat regular basis). Alert: These are not high end restaurants!!! Turn back around and find Emeril, Bobby Flay, Giada, Gordon Ramsey, and similar. These are locals places with decent-to-good food at some seriously local prices.
And, they are all within a very short walk of each other. If you are taking the bus, hop off at Las Vegas Blvd. and Oakey. Although I must caution that while not a scary part of town, I’d hit it around normal eating hours (breakfast and dinner). Not after 9 PM. If you are driving, don’t worry about it. We’ll go South to North, and I’m not putting hours because they are subject to change. Call ahead!
– Vickie’s Diner – Formerly the famous Tiffany’s Cafe, they specialize in old-school diner food in an authentic old-school diner (which used to be attached to a drug store at that location). Call ahead. They close somewhat early on weekdays.
Parking in their lot. 700 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas NV 89104. 702-444-4459
– Viva Las Arepas – This is a Venezuelan restaurant, but don’t let that scare you away. Arepas are pocket breads made with ground maize dough and filled just like a sandwich or burger. Beef, chicken, cheese, beans, shrimp, avocado, vegetarian and other selection. Plus a grill with chicken, ribs, beef, and more. Plenty of sides, including fries for those lacking global adventure!
They are in a mini-mall with free parking for customers. 1616 S Las Vegas Blvd #120, Las Vegas, NV 89104. (702) 366-9696
Super Burrito and BajaMar Seafood and Tacos – Super Burrito is filling, inexpensive, basic Mexican Food. Hits the spot. Website is dated and missing info. I have not tried BajaMar yet, but I need to. Highly touted and good Yelp reviews.
These sit next to each other and share a parking lot at 1601 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104. Super Burrito (702) 818-4771, BajaMar (702) 331-4266.
Albo Pizza – Albo’s is a mainstay for delivery for me. They have an extensive pizza/wings/sandwiches/appetizers/soups/salads/calzones/pasta and tons of lunch specials at very reasonable prices. They’re a mom-and-pop, and while some things are better than others, I’ve never had a bad meal. Their pizza runs circles around the chains.
Parking is next door at Dino’s Lounge (an infamous Las Vegas dive bar famous for their karaoke). 1510 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104. (702) 333-2526.
Don’t Skip Dessert – The legendary Luv-It Frozen Custard sits behind the AM/PM station at 505 E Oakey Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104. (702) 384-6452. Art Of Flavors is next door to Viva Las Arepas and specializes in gourmet gelato plus other treats. 1616 S Las Vegas Blvd #130, Las Vegas, NV 89104. (702) 457-5522.
New SLS (Sahara) Owner Gets Licensed – While not unexpected, this is continuing good news (since a few months ago, the sale was in jeopardy). The people who destroyed The Sahara had no clue what they were doing in the casino resort business. They assumed that because they were important in the Los Angeles hotel and club scene, they could destroy The Sahara with a rebranding and mint gold.
The new owner is the guy who owns the Grand Regency in Reno. Like the SLS(ahara), it sits a bit away from the core of downtown Reno properties and he was able to overcome that and turn things around.. So, that won’t be new to him.
I’m betting that he’ll strongly target locals. SLS made a huge mistake in not doing so. I’m 3.5 miles from Palms and get mailers from them every couple of months even though I’m not on their players card. I’m 2 miles from SLS and have never seen a mailer. This would be great news for visitors. Imagine a casino on The Strip with locals gaming limits, game rules, loose slots, and reasonably-priced food offerings if he follows his Reno model.
I’m not suggesting he’s going to make it an automatic draw for visitors. Getting on the monorail to hit the North Strip to check out one hotel usually isn’t high on anyone’s to-do list. However, he’s going to bring some sharp, independent competition to The Strip. As will Resorts World and Drew (when they open, which we’ve discussed in previous issues). And, the fact that these hotels will be in proximity to compete with each other will be a bonus. Anything to break up the current duopoly is welcome.
If you think about how far you can make it on foot (or even in an Uber) on The Strip in 15 minutes, and then consider that the SLS is at most 15 minutes from any area of The Strip (often less),
Hope you are enjoying this issue!
Ted Newkirk, Publisher
Editor, News Researcher, Concerts and Headliners: Amy Rayner-Cooley
Distributor, Member Services: Rick “VegasZiggy” Ziegler
Las Vegas native and NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Spencer Gallagher, and Camping World Truck Series drivers Justin Haley and Dalton Sargeant were spotted attending the hit show ABSINTHE at Caesars Palace on Wednesday, February 28. Enjoying a night off ahead of race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the GMS Racing teammates were seen taking in ABSINTHE’s outlandish acts and hilarious antics during the 10 p.m. performance.
As the young Zinfandel blooms on your tongue, Ryan Duncan will tell you about the grape’s unpronounceable relative in Croatia, and that his beloved Sancerre’s minerality lands like lime licked off granite. From malolactic fermentation to diurnal shifts, his sommelier muscle will just keep twitching.
The Mob Museum celebrated its sixth anniversary on February 14. As part of the celebration, they’re adding several new exhibits to the museum, continuing the organization’s focus on interactive attractions that allow visitors to have a hands-on experience.
MGM Resorts International and New York-based Sydell Group have debuted the new pool oasis at the much-anticipated Park MGM. Channeling the sundrenched South of France, the vibrant outdoor escape features three pools, an oversized heated spa, 12 cabanas, lounge areas and multiple bars serving up delicious bites and beverages.
I’m a bit confused; in Classic Vegas Tip Review you say to go East on Flamingo from the strip and in Best Kept Secret View in Vegas you say to go West on Flamingo form the strip.
Not knowing Vegas that well, would like a little clarification please.
PS Plan on taking Canadian friends there in April
Sorry and thanks for pointing this out. One was a typo!
To start to get to that direction, you go East on Flamingo.
If you are handy with Google Maps or similar, you want to get to the intersection of E. Vegas Valley Drive and Tree Line Drive.
You’ll pretty much be at the edge of civilization (although not the middle of nowhere by any stretch).
Keep going east on Vegas Valley past the CVS and the school. You’ll hit an old stretch of paved, but slightly rough road. Drive a couple more blocks until you get to a small building and the road starts veering left. Stop. (Don’t go any further. That is the old dump and even if the gate is open, you don’t want to be around up there).
Do a U-Turn.
Be amazed. The entire Las Vegas Valley looks like a miniature model. You can see from Henderson to Summerlin. Especially at night, you can see the planes as they line up for the airport. You can (of course) see the entire Strip and Downtown.
Hope this helps!
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