January 22, 2019 AccessVegas.com Insider Vibe

Newkirk’s Notes

Hello From Las Vegas! – I’m slowly but surely getting back in the saddle. Between the shoulder replacement with it’s lengthy rehab and physical limitations (I’m still using my computer mouse left-handed), and continued tests on a serious health issue which was deferred when I got hurt, I’m collecting frequent flier miles in the medical community, and still under much more bed rest and other restrictions than I’d prefer at this time.

However, I am back up to speed on all things Las Vegas, including the insight and tips you won’t find anywhere else! You can find out WHAT is happening in Las Vegas in any number of places. The WHYS and what it means to you? That’s what I’m here for. Knowledge is power. Especially in the Las Vegas of the last few years.

Missing Response – Just a note that an entire lengthy Members Mania answer by myself was inadvertently left out of our last issue for a couple of days until we noticed the error. The information in question was about visiting Bryce and Zion national parks, staying and playing in Mesquite (80 miles north of here), and more. Even if you aren’t sure you’ll ever take a day or two so you can check out these stunning parks, the information is a good read to have in your back pocket.

You can access the previous issue here in our members area and read the full reply.

Circa 2020 – Derek Stevens, owner of the Golden Gate and The D downtown Las Vegas, has announced the name and major plans for the hotel which will replace the Las Vegas Club. (Currently a big, empty hole in the ground). The hotel will be called Circa. The story is that it pays homage to the dates and people who made Las Vegas what it is today. IE, Steve Wynn opened The Mirage Circa 1989.

Here’s the 5 minute video overview of the new property, which explains that concept a bit better:

This is going to be a radical departure for Fremont Street. Except for the Golden Nugget, nobody has a pool you are going to write home about. (Plaza and Downtown Grand have decent pool areas to hang out, lounge, and drink at). Circa will have multiple pools on an upstairs pool deck with the area holding up to 4000 for an event, including televised sports to be shown on a 125 foot television. (Not a typo).

Like The D, the casino will have two full levels of gaming. No word if each will be themed differently, or cater to a different clientele.

Stevens is doubling-down on sports betting. With more and more states adopting legalized sports wagers, he wants Circa to be the “must see” sportsbook when someone visits Las Vegas. Hence, his sportsbook is going to be over-the-top. Three floors, stadium seating, and a three-story high video screen to show multiple games on.

Anytime news like this happens, I see a chorus of online comments noting that Las Vegas is doomed, and Fremont Street will turn into The Strip, and everything down there is going to go high-priced, and similar. Which is the most crazy nonsense I’ve heard in a long time.

Do you really think that The Fremont hotel owners (Boyd Gaming) are simply going to blow their place up and build a new zillion dollar resort? When hotels on Fremont Street are basically printing cash in the wake of increased downtown visitorship? Remodel and upgrade? Yes. Like they did with The Cal. (Which is really nice and worth the look if it has been a while).

Make no mistake: This new property will be top-of-the-market for downtown (along with the Golden Nugget). For those of you who want more of a Vegas Strip feel but want to spend a couple of nights downtown, this will fit the bill. 

However, Fremont Street knows where its bread is buttered. And, one look at The Strip struggles this year (look at Caesars and MGM stock prices in 2018) and only a moron (or a Murren) to think following that trajectory is a good idea. Derek Stevens is no moron. And, he has about 20 times the vision of MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren.

This 777 room, billion-dollar property will be something awesome to check out in a couple of years. If it turns out to not be your thing, the rest of Fremont Street will still be there for you!

Looking Into The Crystal Ball – Our friend Scott Roeben runs the blog Vital Vegas. It is THE industry insiders blog of record, rumors, and more. In his Our Most Popular Tweets of 2018 Month-By-Month blog post at the end of 2018, he kindly mentioned and linked to my Op-Ed Some warning signs in Las Vegas tourism numbers. Yes, I do own a “crystal ball” when it comes to Las Vegas. People did vote with their feet (read the article). Visitation was flat. Gaming stocks took a huge hit. Hey MGM and Caesars: I told you so!

Coming Issues – We have great advice coming up about how to stay safe if you win a big cash jackpot (and take the cash on your person), what denomination of video poker you shouldn’t be playing, and (ironically) advice from a well-known Las Vegas attorney (hint: you may have seen him on national TV) about what to do if you are hurt in a “slip and fall” in a hotel casino. Stay subscribed!

Hope you are enjoying this issue!

Founder
AccessVegas.com

Editor, News Researcher, Concerts and Headliners: Amy Rayner-Cooley

Distributor, Member Services: Rick “VegasZiggy” Ziegler



Las Vegas Shows

Lady Gaga’s Las Vegas concert residency is out of this world! On Saturday, the 32-year-old pop star and Golden Globe-nominated A Star Is Born actress launched her Lady Gaga Enigma show at the Park Theater at the new Park MGM resort.

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Book Now! Lady Gaga Tickets!



Las Vegas Dining

The rowdy Mexican restaurant that used to sit at the front of the former Monte Carlo, now Park MGM has a new home in Las Vegas. Diablo’s Cantina rises from the dead today to take over the Tacos & Tequila T&T space at the Luxor. Executive chef Saul Ortiz remains from the T&T days to bring his Mexico City fare to the resort.

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Members: Read Ted’s Take on this story, and add your own comment or question for us



Las Vegas Tours And Attractions

People vacation annually at spots like Lake Tahoe. My go-to-place is Death Valley. Logging 23 trips covering 122 days over the course of 31 years, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the 5,270 square mile national park. It is the largest national park outside of Alaska and the fifth in the continental United States.

Full Story/Details/Info/Video
Check out our Tours!




Members Mania

Not sure if it is imagination or paranoia, but Strip hotels payouts seem even tighter on weekends.

Barbara A Marshall

 

Ted Responds:

Paranoia. Even 25 years ago, there was a thought going around that casinos tightened up their slots for the weekend.

Slots are very highly regulated. There is no “button to push” (with rare exception on server based gaming, which is still pretty rare, and which still requires that the machine go down for 15 minutes, and a player be notified what the downtime is about if they are playing the machine).

Some people assume that because of your players card data and all the cameras and such, they can actually “crush” players who are winning at slots. They can’t. Nevada Gaming Commission rules are the most strict in the United States.

The reality is that if they want to change how tight a slot machine is, they actually have to open up the machine, and change out the part of the computer that calculates the hold (IE, how tight the slot is). I’m speaking in layman’s terms here.

Oh, and, they have to report that they are doing it.

I’ve seen people boast of great runs gambling at casinos which I know have lousy paybacks. I’ve had people note that they can’t win a thing at casinos downtown. Which are looser than The Strip.

(The state reports factual information on the gaming win percentage of slots for various parts of not only Las Vegas, but Nevada).

If you do well weekdays, and get killed on the weekends, it is happenstance. One player is a microscopic part of the overall trends. You can have a 20 against a 6 in blackjack. The odds are with you. That doesn’t mean that some people don’t lose the hand.

That is why they call it gambling or games of chance!

Hope that 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!



Las Vegas Gambling

If you have played Blackjack for any length of time, I am certain you have heard table mates scolding other players with, “Why did you hit? You ruined it for the table.” Or perhaps you heard, “The book says, you have to stand or you will take the dealers break card.”

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Members: Read Ted’s Take on this story, and add your own comment or question for us


Las Vegas Sports

Here are some of the Big Game parties that are happening around the valley for this year’s big football game in Atlanta:

Full Story/Details/Info/Video


Other Las Vegas News


What We’re Watching!
Vegas Videos You’ll Enjoy

Click to watch video
Eataly Las Vegas at Park MGM – Italian Food Paradise!

Eat everything Italian at the new Eataly Las Vegas at Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip.

Click to watch video
Red Rock Resort & Casino Las Vegas | A Local Favorite

(Producers Notes) Today we stop by Red Rock Resort, Casino, and Spa in Las Vegas. This place is a favorite spot among locals and myself. It’s a beautiful and relaxing resort with plenty to do inside and outside of the hotel. Here is a quick look at what it has to offer. Plus we stopped by the Winter Village in the pool area. Eddie got to skate on an ice rink with REAL ice.

Click to watch video
TSA Precheck: How & Why to Apply (it’s easy)

Want to get through the security lines faster? Want to keep your shoes on and your belt on when you go through security? Want to leave your laptop in your bag? Well TSA Precheck lets you do that! It is quick and easy to apply. Hope this video helps.

Apply for your TSA Precheck (US Citizens, US Nationals, and US Legal Residents) at http://www.tsa.gov/precheck

Click to watch video
Downtown Grand Las Vegas 4K Walk Through


Premium Insider Advantage Benefits Menu:

Thank you so much for being a AccessVegas.com Premium Insiders Advantage member. We really appreciate the support and we’re here for you!

How To Access What:

  • Vegas Super Secret Specials Spreadsheet is available here:

    Spreadsheet Version

    Either click to view or right-click to download. It is growing each week, so always check out the latest edition!

    Keep in mind that specials are always subject to change. That is why we list the phone number for each restaurant or bar. Please DO call ahead to confirm the offer continues to be valid. Players Card May Be Required For Some Specials. If you find an offer that has ended, alert us at [email protected] and we’ll give you 50% off your membership dues next year for the help if you are the first to report it!

  • Our “Your Guy In Vegas” Feature – Got a Vegas question? Instead of spending too much time looking up information you might not be certain about, fire it to us! We live here, we know Las Vegas, and we’ll give you a professional answer! (Some restrictions apply). Email [email protected] and put Paid Subscriber in the subject line. That is also where to send us trip reports, Vegas feedback (good and bad) and more.
  • Members Mania! – We share the answers to great Vegas questions with all of our Premium Members, helping everyone who pitches in with a premium membership. Plus great visitor feedback that you can learn from. This will be right here in almost every issue.
  • The True Inside ScoopAccessVegas.com CEO Ted Newkirk has been writing “Newkirk’s Notes” for upwards of two decades, giving members the true inside guide to everything that is going on in Las Vegas. Valuable information from someone in the know to save you time and money!  This will be right here in almost every issue.



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Drop us an email at [email protected] – We read them all!

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For comments or questions regarding our content or this newsletter write us at [email protected].

January 22, 2019 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us   Privacy Policy
Physical Address: 3565 Las Vegas Blvd. South #411, Las Vegas, NV 89109

January 1, 2019 AccessVegas.com Insider Vibe

Newkirk’s Notes

Hello From Las Vegas! – As Amy noted last issue, I’m mostly sidelined due to a very serious injury. I’ll fill in the details down the road. The bottom line is that I took a horrible, accidental fall which completely destroyed my right shoulder. It was so shattered that plates and screws were not going to be able to put it back together.

Hence, I had to have complete shoulder replacement surgery. Unlike hips and knees, where the parts fit together and range of motion is limited, your shoulder is a complex area which exists on it’s own. (It isn’t a simple hinge) and relies on much muscle control to do what it does for us.

I am currently able to do light computer work, doing things like using my mouse left-handed and placing my right hand/arm into place at the keyboard. However, past that, I’m still virtually without use of my right arm/shoulder as we rehab to regain my range of motion post-surgery.

So, here’s what we’re going to do. This issue is technically the second issue for December 2018. I have some Members Mania on file which we’ll run to give you helpful content to enjoy. In a couple of weeks, I should be able to be back in the saddle more and we’ll get back to all the news and tips and insights you enjoy from my column. Ironically, because I’m able to talk, I’ve been interviewed twice for news articles in the 3 weeks I’ve been out of the hospital!

As I get back into the swing of things (I have been making weekly progress with my rehab and the future looks promising), we’ll make up any lost issues and be back to normal.

I hope that all of you have as great a New Years as possible! I won’t lie: Outside of losing 34 pounds in 2018 (by design), I’m not too sorry to see last year fade into the past.

A heartfelt thanks to the many who sent me emails of recovery and well-wishes. I will respond with thanks as my health permits more activity. For now, I’m pleased that I can type as much as I’m able!

Finally, for those of you who were not streaming our New Years Eve celebration at your house, here’s a look at the fireworks this year:

Hope you are enjoying this issue!

Founder
AccessVegas.com


Ted Newkirk, Publisher

Editor, News Researcher, Concerts and Headliners: Amy Rayner-Cooley

Distributor, Member Services: Rick “VegasZiggy” Ziegler



Las Vegas Shows
Gwen Stefani Adds 21 Dates To Las Vegas Residency

Gwen Stefani has drawn to a 21 in her updated “Just A Girl” Zappos Theater residency at Planet Hollywood. She’s added that number of dates to her 2019 schedule, covering select dates July through Nov. 1-2. Stefani has already filled her schedule from December through mid-March.


Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Book Now! Gwen Stefani: Just A Girl Tickets!



Las Vegas Dining
9 Of The Best Bars In Las Vegas, From Secret Speakeasies To Decadent Spots On The Strip


Drinking is hardly a novelty in Vegas: you can drink pretty much anywhere, anytime. Choose between lavish lounges at casino-resorts on the Strip, hipster-friendly dive bars, Prohibition-style speakeasies, and vintage Tiki bars. In comparison to the city’s world-famous nightclub circuit, Vegas’ bar scene is relatively low-key, especially if you’re bar-hopping downtown.


Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Members: Read Ted’s Take on this story, and add your own comment or question for us



Las Vegas Hotels
Flamingo Las Vegas Unveils New Bunk Bed Suites As Part Of $156 Million Renovation


Caesars Entertainment unveiled renderings of its new bunk bed rooms at Flamingo Las Vegas on Tuesday. Caesars claims they’re among the largest of their kind in the United States. A total of 976 rooms were redesigned as part of a recent $156 million room renovation. There are 14 new bunk bed rooms and 3 bunk bed suites.


Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Book Now! Rooms from $35 at Flamingo!

Members: Read Ted’s Take on this story, and add your own comment or question for us



Members Mania

Here’s a fun story for ya:
I needed to get my $1 bills changed into a $20 bill. So, I went to the cashier in the casino I was at (can’t remember which one) and counted out the money to the nice older lady in the booth. I counted $19, but the cashier counted $20. Upon completing the count, and out of habit, she pulled the $20 bill out of the drawer to pay me. It was at this same moment that I questioned her count, as I had just counted $19. She counted it again, and sure enough it was $20.

While she was counting it again, however, I started counting out some change that I needed changed in to bills. Because our discussion was friendly and lively, she began to help me count the change out to $1. She then handed me a $1 bill and wished me good luck.

Realizing I didn’t have the $20 bill I originally came for, I said, “Do you have my $20?”
“Didn’t I give it to you?” she replied.
I frantically and quickly checked all my pockets to double check. Empty.
“Nope. No $20.”
“I could have sworn I gave it to you.” she said.
“I thought you did, too. But I guess not.”
To that she calmly said, “Well, we are going to have to have security check the video.”

Now, I knew reviewing video is something that happens at the tables when a play or payment is in question. But, I didn’t really realize that they did this at the cashier’s cage, too. However, it totally makes sense, and I’m grateful this procedure in place.

The cashier turns to the bald burly man behind the computer screen behind her, tells him the situation, and has him ring up security to review the video. He looks over the top of his computer screen and watches me while he picks up the phone and makes the call. While we wait, the cashier and I have a friendly conversation about her late shift and the casino, all the while I’m feeling like ALL the eyes in the sky are watching me.

After about 3-4 minutes, security calls down and tells the guy in the back what they found. It turns out that when I had asked her if she was sure it was $20, she put the $20 bill back in the drawer to count out my money again, and then got distracted with helping me count out my change, never taking the $20 bill back out to pay me, all the while thinking she had. It was a simple, and honest mistake. But, one where both she and I were grateful there were cameras to catch everything so that innocent parties didn’t get blamed for something they didn’t do.

Moral of the story:
ALWAYS ask them (pit boss or cashier) to check the video when your play or payment is in question. The cameras are there not only to protect the casinos from cheaters and scammers, but to protect YOU from unscrupulous casino employees, or the occasional honest mistake.

And, YES, I got my $20 bill!

Heather-John Nielsen

 

Ted Responds:

Great story, thanks so much! Also, keep in mind that if you have a gambling dispute of any kind, and you and the casino simply don’t end up seeing eye-to-eye on it, you can call the Nevada Gaming Control Board 24/7 at (702) 486-2260 and they will send an agent to investigate and mediate. No matter how large or small the dispute.

 

Love your newsletter.

We love doing day trips when we come to Vegas.

Recently (March) we did a day trip to Death Valley. Artist’s Way is a fun drive and walking on the salt flats is a must do. The ride is about 2 hours each way.

Also Valley of Fire is a beautiful and interesting place to go for the day.

Of course Zion is amazing but slightly long for a day trip unless you leave early and come back late. We stayed over one night in Mesquite. It was a great side trip during our trip to Vegas. You do lose 1 hour when you go there.

I look forward to reading your information for my future visits to Vegas.

Enbarresi

 

Ted Responds:

Many enjoy the day trip to Death Valley, and we heartily suggest it during the cooler months. Even so, gas up every chance you get (options are very few in the region, so do your homework in advance) and pack plenty of food, water, and warm clothes in case you get stranded and have to spend the night. Keep in mind that cell service is spotty at best as well.

At only about an hour north of town, the Valley Of Fire is beyond stunning and a 1/2 day trip that every regular Las Vegas visitor should experience. Also, Valley Of Fire is a state park, so facilities are not closed due to the current government shut-down!

You did Zion right! Mesquite is a small town about 80 miles north of Las Vegas with some great golf courses, three hotel casinos. If you stay on The Strip, The Casablanca will be more your speed. If you like the feel of downtown properties, Virgin River Resort might be more your cup of tea.

If you hit Valley Of Fire on the way up, overnight in Mesquite, spend the next day in Zion, overnight in Mesquite again, and then back to Las Vegas, you’ll have given yourself an amazing scenic adventure while basically only taking two nights and one day away from Las Vegas. As a bonus, the drive north of Mesquite goes through the stunning Virgin River Gorge on your way to Zion.

Finally, for those who have been thinking about moving to Las Vegas, but perhaps don’t want to live so much among the “big city” Las Vegas has turned into, Mequite is worth a look. You have Las Vegas weather, tax structure, similar desert scenery, a hospital, Walmart, major grocery, new home developments, vintage homes, and everything else you would expect in a well-appointed smaller city. (Did we mention absolutely tons of golf?) Without the traffic and crime issues Las Vegas is dealing with. In fact, a surprising number of people make the daily 80 mile commute to Las Vegas to work. Although to be honest, that wouldn’t be for me. But, if you live in Southern California and already are used to that kind of commute, knock yourself out.

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!


Las Vegas Tours And Attractions
See The Vegas Valley – And Beyond – As You Skydive From High Above


A view of the Strip, Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Valley of Fire, Red Rock and Mount Charleston, among other local landmarks, can be combined into a one-minute adrenaline-pumping experience. Skydiving that features free falls of up to 120 miles per hour from planes as high as 15,000 feet can be found within 30 minutes of Las Vegas.


Full Story/Details/Info/Video


Las Vegas Gambling
Bettor Turns $20 Into $50K Payout At Las Vegas Sports Book

A lucky sports bettor turned a $20 investment into a $50,000 payout at a Las Vegas sports book during NFL week 15. Monday, William Hill Sports Book inside the Alamo Casino, located near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, released a customer’s winning 12-leg parlay ticket.


Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Members: Read Ted’s Take on this story, and add your own comment or question for us



Other Las Vegas News

What We’re Watching!
Vegas Videos You’ll Enjoy
Click to watch video
MGM Grand Las Vegas Food Tour – Where to Eat

(Producers Notes) Here’s everything you need to know about where to eat at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, from Joel Robuchon to Losers Bar.


Click to watch video
California Hotel & Casino 2018 Walk Thru

(Producers Notes) Colin & I took a tour of The California Hotel & Casino. With a walk before and after of Fremont Street. Hope you enjoy the video! The California is a smaller casino but it did smell really nice.


Click to watch video
How to Access the Rideshare Pickup Area at Las Vegas Airport | Uber/Lyft at McCarran

(Producers Notes) How to access the Rideshare Pickup at Las Vegas Airport. The common assumption for rideshare users would be to grab your bag from baggage claim, request your ride, then go outside and wait for your drive to arrive. At McCarran, there’s actually a designated area for rideshare users, but it’s in the parking garage. Here’s how to access the Rideshare pickup area:

1. Grab your bags
2. Head outside to the taxi area past carousel 7
3. Take the crosswalk all the way across to the parking garage elevators
4. Head up to level 2M (not level 2)
5. Wait for your driver to arrive, and tell you which row they’re at


Click to watch video
Sams Town Casino Mystic Falls Christmas Scene

Not sure whether to do Christmas in Las Vegas? This look back will show you one of the great attractions.

(Producers Notes) – It’s Christmas at Sams Town an off the strip casino. Very family oriented. Clean and with plenty of security. Mystic Falls has a Christmas theme so we checked it out. We seen Santa Clause there! Enjoy!



Premium Insider Advantage Benefits Menu:

Thank you so much for being a AccessVegas.com Premium Insiders Advantage member. We really appreciate the support and we’re here for you!

How To Access What:

  • Vegas Super Secret Specials Spreadsheet is available here:


    Spreadsheet Version

    Either click to view or right-click to download. It is growing each week, so always check out the latest edition!

    Keep in mind that specials are always subject to change. That is why we list the phone number for each restaurant or bar. Please DO call ahead to confirm the offer continues to be valid. Players Card May Be Required For Some Specials. If you find an offer that has ended, alert us at [email protected] and we’ll give you 50% off your membership dues next year for the help if you are the first to report it!

  • Our “Your Guy In Vegas” Feature – Got a Vegas question? Instead of spending too much time looking up information you might not be certain about, fire it to us! We live here, we know Las Vegas, and we’ll give you a professional answer! (Some restrictions apply). Email [email protected] and put Paid Subscriber in the subject line. That is also where to send us trip reports, Vegas feedback (good and bad) and more.

  • Members Mania! – We share the answers to great Vegas questions with all of our Premium Members, helping everyone who pitches in with a premium membership. Plus great visitor feedback that you can learn from. This will be right here in almost every issue.

  • The True Inside ScoopAccessVegas.com CEO Ted Newkirk has been writing “Newkirk’s Notes” for upwards of two decades, giving members the true inside guide to everything that is going on in Las Vegas. Valuable information from someone in the know to save you time and money!  This will be right here in almost every issue.



We love to hear from you!
Here’s how to participate:

Drop us an email at [email protected] – We read them all!


Link To Us! – Have a home page, web page, or blog? Link to us, and give yourself and your friends a quick link to find us from your site. Simply link to http://www.accessvegas.com and name the link Access Vegas!


For comments or questions regarding our content or this newsletter write us at [email protected].


January 1, 2019 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us   Privacy Policy
Physical Address: 3565 Las Vegas Blvd. South #411, Las Vegas, NV 89109