Hello From Las Vegas! – This is the time of year here in Las Vegas where we’ve had enough of the 110F heat, and we’re super excited about fall. Or, as I call it “Summer Part 2”. September through November are pleasant with cooler evenings and we generally don’t have the wind which can plague us in the Spring.
As I noted/predicted last issue, you have more of an incentive than ever before to book for the fall. MGM Resorts are dumping rooms plus throwing in hefty resort credits. Other properties are having to follow suit. (Granted, they aren’t reducing the resort fees). However, this is a great time to check your comps. Or, shop around and book if you aren’t a comped player.
Las Vegas Food Prices – A recent report came out suggesting that Las Vegas food (dining) prices are as high as New York City now. In fact, I was just interviewed by a local journalist asking if this is a topic among visitors, and how it affects visitation. If it turns into an article, I’ll link to it and comment on it. If it doesn’t, I’ll let you know what I told him in a future issue.
Obviously, we’ve been doing our part for our members to combat that with our dining deals spreadsheet (available in the members area for those of you on the new system, and via a link to those of you on the old system. Everyone gets upgraded to the new system this year upon their renewal time). As a reminder: Although Alicia spends hours each week on the phone tracking and updating these deals, they are subject to change at the whim of the bar or restaurant. ALWAYS call ahead to confirm the deal.
Now that we have inexpensive ride-sharing services, keep in mind that even if you are staying on The Strip, your dining options are no longer limited to The Strip! In the past, we’ve mentioned Ellis Island (a number of solid dining options that won’t begin to break the budget, plus inexpensive heavy pours and their own beer which is good an dirt cheap), Tuscany (an Italian gourmet room, a locals priced coffee shop, and a pub with a mind-bending selection of beer), Gold Coast (Ping Pang Pong is a must for those who crave authentic Asian food), and Herbs and Rye (50% off steaks and selected menu items, plus drink specials both from 5-8 PM and again from 12-3 AM) as spots to hit.
However, don’t be scared to take it to the next level with technology. From wherever you are on The Strip, you can pull up Google Maps and search out restaurants in general, or a specific cuisine you are looking for. From there, check both the menu and the Yelp reviews. Seriously, especially if you have 2-3 people, it may be cheaper to take a short 5-7 minute Uber ride and dine like a local (at local’s prices) than to dine on The Strip.
This can especially be true during a big convention time or other busy period. Did you know that many Strip eateries are now varying their pricing? Charging more when they can get away with it? This isn’t happening at the locals restaurants. We wouldn’t stand for it.
Plus, let’s talk about variety. I live close-in off of West Sahara. I’m hard-pressed to name an ethnic food selection (usually mom and pop) that I CAN’T find within a few minutes of my house. Which iswithin a few minutes of The Strip. There is this hole-in-the-wall Hawaiian/Asian joint across from Palace Station called Maui Rose that I just love.
Bellagio Gallery Of Fine Art – Everyone visits Bellagio to see the gardens in the conservatory. As you should. They never fail to impress me. However, it seems that everyone forgets about the Bellagio Gallery Of Fine Art. Which, for a $14 admission fee (locals, seniors, and other discounts are available) always offers a great exhibit. “Primal Water” is the theme until October 21. I mean, what else can you do for $14 on The Strip? A gourmet burger or a craft cocktail is going to cost you more!
Skip This Restaurant For Romance – Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen (in front of Caesars where Serendipity 3 used to be), is super-popular. However, skip it if a quiet romantic meal is the agenda. The restaurant is basically a big box, leading to lots of noise and echo.
Hope you are enjoying this issue!
Ted Newkirk, Publisher
Editor, News Researcher, Concerts and Headliners: Amy Rayner-Cooley
Distributor, Member Services: Rick “VegasZiggy” Ziegler
Joe Perry is well-known for his soaring solos. This has been true on and off the stage. The legendary lead guitarist for venerable rock band Aerosmith has struck again. Perry returned to the band’s long-anticipated Vegas residency during a live appearance Wednesday night on The Beatles Channel on Sirius XM.
Not for nothing is local bar owner P Moss’ book about tiki culture called “Liquid Vacation.” There’s something about a tall, cold, sweet tiki beverage that somehow turns this blistering heat into an asset. Las Vegas now boasts a variety of bars serving up island-style cocktails.
A man won a million dollar jackpot at Harrah’s Las Vegas Friday morning. According to Harrah’s Twitter account, Michael won $1,180,846.77 on a Wheel of Fortune machine.
The Mojave Desert’s technicolor rock formations, canyons and cliffs are even more mesmerizing than the non-stop glitz and glitter of the Las Vegas Strip. It’s the best of both worlds: An adventurous vacation with beautiful scenery mixed with the convenient, affordable flights that serve Sin City.
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My friend won a $3000 jackpot in the Linq on a 1c Slot M/C, when I wanted someone to payout the winnings I had to walk around the floor until I was helped by a Security Guard who got a Floor Manager for me, who then called a slot m/c attendant. This was O.K. My friend was then taken to a cashier office where they were asked to produce a Passport (we are from Ireland) for ID purposes, as it happens we were staying at The Linq, but what about if we had been staying in The Excalibur or another hotel would we have had to get a taxi there and back to collect our passport? Eventually after showing the Passport we had to fill out a form regarding the Winnings.
We were then given $2100 after they had stopped tax on the $3000. My main question is why did they stop the tax at source? We probably would have spent the $900 on a Meal and gambling, but instead we just quit. We come to Vegas every year since 2002, we usually spend about $2000 each with No return, we will be returning again in 3 weeks, so is there any procedure regarding winnings (we might get lucky again) we can take ? I have won a couple of $1000 jackpots with no problem.
– If the machine locked up for a “hand pay”, the casino knew about it and would be getting someone to you as soon as possible. If a machine does not lock up, you can hit the ticket out button and claim the winnings at the cage.
If you had been waiting a while, it does make sense to try to flag someone down who works for the property.
– Nevada gaming regulations specify that you must have a valid ID with you any time you are on the casino floor. In this case, they don’t mean your state/federal ID from your country. They mean your passport. I know it seems like a pain, and you certainly want to be careful not to lose your passport. However, you really are supposed to have it with you when gambling.
– The tax withholdings are part of treaties/agreements between certain countries. The casino has no choice. I’m no expert in international tax law. However, I do know that in the US, if you can prove that you lost more than you won in a given year, you essentially get any taxable winnings which were withheld back. IE, it was like they were never reported.
You may wish to discuss this issue with the person who prepares your taxes, look up the info online, or pay a tax accountant for a few minutes of their time to help you out if the savings is worth it.
– The limit you can win without it being reported is $1199. Which ironically has been the limit since before I moved here in 1993! (They really need to adjust it for inflation). Technically, you are legally required (at least here in the US) to report any gambling winnings. However, the IRS isn’t going to come beat down someone’s door because they left Las Vegas $800 up.
Interestingly enough, this is why I suggest people NOT play 50 cent video poker ($2.50 per hand). If you play quarter video poker ($1.25 per hand) and hit a royal flush, you win a non-taxable $1000. If you hit a royal on a 50 cent machine, all of a sudden, you are dealing with the tax form. Which cuts into the ROI you were trying to see by betting higher.
I’m also SUPER careful about playing video poker machines that are progressive. I want to find one that is as close to $1199, but not over.
Hope this helps!
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!
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Vegas Videos You’ll Enjoy
(Producers Notes) In today’s video, we go up the Eiffel Tower Experience at Paris Las Vegas. This was our first time going up the tower and we had a really great experience. After that, we walked across the street to watch the Bellagio Fountains and check out their summer display in the atrium.
(Producers Notes) I attended the Media opening for the new Barry Manilow show at the Westgate Hotel and Casino. What can I say other than AMAZING! This man is 75 years old and ran around the stage, danced, played the piano and sang like a 30-year-old. ALL NIGHT!!!
(Producers Notes) What’s the best time to go to the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace? When’s the best price? It’s best to be prepared for the best buffet in Las Vegas.
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