Hello From Las Vegas! – A very, very chilly (and sometimes snowy) Las Vegas. Year after year, we smugly sit here and watch “winter” hit other parts of the US. This year, we finally got our comeuppance. February has brought us numerous nights with freezing temps, and a handful of snow showers.
According to the long range forecast, it appears things will be righting themselves just in time for pool season. If visiting, check with your resort. Many/most are looking to open pools in early March with some of the pool parties (at least originally) slated to begin the second week of March. Which will still be quite chilly by local standards.
Want To Have Las Vegas To Yourself? – Savvy visitors know that the slowest time in Las Vegas is the stretch from when the National Finals Rodeo ends to December 23rd. (More and more people have been doing Christmas in Las Vegas because it is a convenient place to have far-flung family fly into and/or because it often creates a multi-day weekend).
There is another weekend which will assure you having (nearly) The Strip and Downtown less crowded: The weekend of Electric Daisy Carnival, which is May 17-May 19 this year. Will many tens of thousands of attendees be in town? Yes, they will. However, the festival is a nightly (all night) event with attendees making their way out to the event in the evening, and sleeping through the day. They have little interest in gambling, and won’t be crowding the better restaurant lines in the evening.
Add to that, weather that will (generally) be around 90F for a high, and 60F for a low, which is great weather to visit in. Just be prepared to see many of the attendees wearing some very colorful (and sometimes skimpy) garb! Note: I didn’t say that they wouldn’t be around at all. I’m saying that they won’t be getting in the way of more traditional Las Vegas activities.
The downside? Higher room rates due to the demand. Which may be worth it. Also, those of you who have a casino host or get partial/full comps even during busier times may want to check what the players club is offering when you login online to view rates.
Don’t Feel Guilty – Many of you have stayed in Las Vegas rooms where they leave a note in the bathroom suggesting that you “Save The Desert” by using less water and such. And/or visited (or seen photos of) Hoover Dam and thought “Wow, Las Vegas is draining all of the water from the desert!”
Both thoughts are popular but misguided:
– Water used indoors in Las Vegas goes down the drain, is treated, and returned to Lake Mead (where it comes from). If you take a two hour shower, or fill the jacuzzi tub up twice a day for a soak, your impact on the drought and lake level is non-existent. Why the fuss? The hotel has to pay the water district for the water. (Which does have to be pumped up from the lake and treated before reaching you). Given the resort fees most hotels are charging, and the low cost of our “city water”, I wouldn’t suggest losing any sleep over it.
– The entire Las Vegas area (including you when you visit) use a thimbleful of the lake’s water. And, we use less than we’re allotted. (We’ve completed extensive conservation efforts that have resulted in less use despite a growing population). To put things in perspective, California uses 14.6 times more Colorado River water than Nevada. None of which is returned to the Colorado River as we do. (Lake Mead is on the Colorado River).
In addition, the use at resorts is actually quite prudent. The pools serve countless guests and the lush landscapes are enjoyed by the masses as well. The Bellagio Fountains? Fed from groundwater rights that previously were used to water The Dunes golf course which used to occupy part of that property.
Bottom Line: If Las Vegas, the only major city along the river, was the only entity using the river for its water source, Lake Mead would be full and running over. Even during the drought.
People come to Las Vegas to forget about the day-to-day demand of society to be socially and environmentally conscious. Don’t let a false guilt intrude on your fun!
RIP Bob Massi – It is with great dismay that I have to report Attorney Bob Massi’s passing earlier this month from a cancer battle. Massi did the video we recently added to our members area regarding what you need to know if you (or someone you know) has a “slip and fall” accident here in Las Vegas. The video was originally scheduled to run three months ago, but was one of the many features delayed by the time lost to my initial rehabbing from my accident.
Although Las Vegas has grown to be a big city, those of us who have been here a long time and know who’s who know who the good guys are, and who the jerks are. Bob was a genuine good guy. His son Robert continues the law practice they were partners in the past 6 years.
Programming Note – Now that we’ve integrated all members into the new (to some) online members area, you’ll see us slowly but surely branching out into a wider variety of Las Vegas information for you. We’re not stopping nor changing anything that we’ve done over the years. We’ll continue to have my column, Members Mania, links to new stories of interest to our visitors, and much more.
We will be adding in video here and there from partners, and other bonus and expanded content as we move through 2019. So, if you like how things have been, you’ll see no impact. We have no plans to discontinue present features. However, in the future, a video report may take the place of a written section when appropriate (or when an expert or partner prefers that medium of communication).
Hope you are enjoying this issue!
One of Las Vegas’ iconic shows will continue its run in 2019 at a new venue. Legends in Concert will begin an all-new residency at Tropicana Las Vegas in February.
It used to be that gambling made up the vast majority of revenue at Las Vegas’ resorts and casinos. Now, it represents less than half of the money that’s brought in. That’s thanks in large part to visitors spending more time at the dining table.
- Acclaimed Chefs Bring New Flavors To The Palms
- Morimoto To Bring Ramen Concept To Las Vegas Strip This Month
- A New Taco Shop Opens In Downtown Las Vegas
- 5 Killer Cocktail Bars To Visit In Las Vegas
What’s it like staying in a hotel room that costs $30,000 a night? Marcus Lemonis, a self-made millionaire and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” recently visited Las Vegas to stay at Caesars Palace, one of the oldest hotel-casinos on the Vegas strip, having first opened its doors in 1966.
- Binion’s Announces Upgrades To The Classic Casino
- Owners Of ‘The Strat’ Shelled Out $140M In Renovations And Rebranding
- The 5 Most Luxurious And Expensive Suites In Las Vegas
I am thinking about doing the Hoover Dam tour when I return in April. Is it worth it? I hear the water is so low it is not that interesting and eats up a whole day.
Many will enjoy visiting Hoover Dam. However, since it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I’ll run down the interesting reasons to see it and you can decide if it is of interest. Plus, some “must know” tips that you won’t readily find (which is what we’re here for)!
– The water level of Lake Mead shouldn’t detract one from visiting. It is a dam. Over the years, the water level has varied widely. There is still plenty of lake. If one wasn’t told that the water level was down, one probably wouldn’t think anything of it.
– If you are driving yourself, you really don’t need anymore than a 4 hour window. And, I’m including from the time you leave your hotel until the time you return. The dam is less than 40 miles from The Strip, and most of it is Interestate highway. Tours from the tour companies are 1/2 day affairs as well.
– The scope and size is stunning. It may look like a toy from your airplane seat, but standing on top of it and looking down over the edge and down the river canyon is an experience you’ll be hard-pressed to replicate elsewhere. You are completely free to roam the entire top of the dam as you wish. Also, you really don’t get up close and personal with the grandeur that is the desert and Colorado River strolling The Strip.
– Even if you aren’t an art or engineering major, you’ll not only be captivated by the man-made accomplishment of the dam itself, but of the art-deco motif both on top of the dam, and inside as well. Good luck on finding anything like this in any of your other travels. You’ll be telling your friends back home all about it.
The bottom line is that it is hard to walk away without a sense of wonderment and awe. You’ve now seen one of the wonders of the world.
– If it is operating and you are so inclined to the “how stuff works” or “what is behind the scenes”), shell out the $30 for the complete 1-hour Hoover Dam Tour. This tour takes you all over the dam, including the insides and inner workings. Among the fun features is the ability to look out a vent on the face of the upper dam from the inside. Hallways, passageways, the stairs which actually lead from the very bottom to the very top inside the dam (don’t worry, you use the elevators, no climbing requires), intake pipes, mechanical areas, and more.
However, don’t do this tour (or the 30 minute, more brief interior Powerplant Tour) if you are a bit claustrophobic. While the pedestrian tunnels inside the dam are wide enough to hold a car, and tall enough for a basketball team, you are still inside a tunnel in the middle of a very large concrete structure.
– Go in the morning in the summer and afternoon in the winter. You don’t want the discomfort of weather limiting the time you have to walk the top of the dam. The Visitors Center ($10) and interior dam tours are climate controlled.
Also, depending on which tour company you use (or if you drive yourself and choose to), it is well worth the time to walk up to the new bridge which spans the canyon just above the dam. The bridge has its own free parking area, well away from the dam. (IE, don’t figure on walking it).
– Parking is $10 on the Nevada side, and $10 on the first Arizona side lot. (High-clearance vehicles must park on the Arizona side). What few realize is that if you continue to drive past the Arizona lot, you’ll encounter three more modest parking areas. All of which are FREE. If space is available, and if you feel like the walk is worth the savings, they are first-come, first,served. Speaking of…
– As with most anything Las Vegas, Monday – Thursday will be less crowded. Only so many tour tickets are sold each day. Only so many free parking spots are available. (The walk from the free parking to the dam is quite scenic). And, nothing wrong with having more elbow room in general. Finally…
– WATCH the Las Vegas Day Trip – Valley Of Fire video in this issue if you are planning to drive yourself. It may convince you to drive yourself. Our tour expert Mark Anthony, who is a top tour guide for not only Las Vegas, but everything in our region of the US, shows you how to do a day trip that will let you enjoy the Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Boulder City, and still have you comfortably back to your hotel for dinner!
Not sure if it is for you? Watch the video.
Note From Ted: We recently posted a promotional video in our Facebook gourp for the “new” (Pay To) Park MGM, which many of you know is the former Monte Carlo. Not to promote the hotel (we don’t “promote” stuff to members unless it is something we really feel you should check out), but to get members comments and thoughts. You can check out the video and chime in at Park MGM Promotional Video.
If you don’t use Facebook, you can check out the video above and send your thoughts directly to me for possible future use or just to voice your opinion (hit reply on your “new issue” email notification).
Barbara A Marshall: Looks more like a promotion for a dating app, no casino or room shots, is this a casino resort?
Candace Winters: I agree with Barbara. Typical MGM, they haven’t catered to gamblers in years. I guess women are the new focus, spas, shopping, eating? As a woman I am not enticed. I can do that here.
People still gamble. Indian casinos are always packed. Why? I got 23 handpays last year. Vegas? 2. Why does Vegas push one segment away and only focus on another? Why not all of us?
I chimed in on that post, but I’d like to expand on it. This has been a main topic of conversation among my colleagues and myself:
1. The people running the casinos don’t understand gamblers or gambling. Over the past decade, they have been hired because they have a background in financials or a background in entertainment. Things like Disneyland and similar. Not craps. They truly have no clue how gambling works, how to cater to a gambler, and how it involves taking some short-term losses for some longer term wins.
Las Vegas has been making a push for more events and conventions because MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment failed to understand that when they tightened the slots and instituted poorer (for the player) table game rules (blackjack which pays $12 instead of $15 on a $10 bet), you chase away the players. It is completely lost on them that you don’t mind losing $100 (OK, at least it hurts less) if you were able to play quite a while and had a few good, promising win streaks along the way.
Oh, and if you had a good run but eventually lost, you are more likely to pull out some more money and keep going.
Given that they don’t remotely understand this, their typical business philosophy is to get your money as quickly as possible. Which is great if you are selling cars. Not if you are selling gambling!
We’re really keeping our eyes on the next couple of years. Downtown Las Vegas (generally speaking) understands the gambler much better. However, the catch is that your comps are downtown. We’ll see if the new Circa continues with downtowns player-friendly gaming while offering a more Strip-like experience.
On the North Strip, we’ll look at the opening of Resorts World and the new ownership of (SLS)ahara and see what tact they take. Both are in a position to be much more friendly to the gambler. SLS because they are owned by one guy who doesn’t have to answer to shareholders about his quarterly bottom line, and Resorts World as they are an established worldwide gaming presence. IE, they are in the gambling business.
2. For the Indian Casinos, gambling is a mainstay. They may have concerts and similar, and the nicer ones have a spa and a steakhouse, but their bottom line revolves around gambling. Hence, they must make gambling work well enough to keep drawing in their regional crowd. Not unlike our locals casinos here in Las Vegas. If they clean you out and you never return, they are out of business!
It wasn’t lost on me that the video didn’t show any gambling. Yet, because Las Vegas gets a couple of regional channels out of Southern California, I see commercials for their Indian casinos. While these feature young, attractive people enjoying cocktails and steaks and spas, they also show them enjoying gambling.
At this point, we’re just giving it time. While the “new” Las Vegas may be drawing people who otherwise wouldn’t visit, we’re not giving them much more than they could find in other destination cities if they are not gamblers. Many won’t be back. Also, the convention business is changing. Sure, some people MUST travel to press the flesh on the convention floor. However, countless more can now sit at home and watch the keynotes and view the latest industry offerings via streaming video.
A dirty little secret of the past year was that both MGM and Caesars had to dip WAY into their player card lists to offer comps to keep their occupancy numbers up.
If and when the current plan does not work as well as projected, they may have no alternative but to re-emphasize gaming.
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!
The newest seasonal display at the Bellagio Conservatory is up and this time it celebrates The Year of the Pig in honor of Chinese New Year. Or, as Chinese New Year is known in Las Vegas, “The season of kissing up to Asian gamblers.”
- Downtown Container Park Celebrates Five Years
- As Grand Canyon National Park Turns 100, It Collaborates With Tribes – Experience It For Yourself
- Road Trip Scenes: Highlights On The Drive From Los Angeles To Las Vegas
- The Best Places To Take A Photo Of The Las Vegas Strip
Once a common sight on casino floors across Las Vegas and beyond, Sigma Derby has become a symbol of Sin City’s fading past and a beloved cult icon in its own right. Low rollers and fans of vintage Vegas, kitsch.
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(Producers Notes, Feb. 10, 2019)This week marks the start of the Lunar New Year in the Chinese calendar and Las Vegas celebrates in many ways. We head to the Las Vegas Strip to check out some of the displays and shows across the Blvd, all of which was free to enjoy. We stopped at the Bellagio, Form Shops at Caesars Palace, The Venetian, The Palazzo, and The Linq Promenade. I had a lot of fun learning about the Lunar New Year and seeing some traditional dancing. Thanks for coming along!
(Producers Notes) The best breakfast buffet in Vegas may just be the $21 weekend brunch at the Westgate Las Vegas (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton).
(Producers Notes) Looking for a nice day trip outside of Las Vegas? Try this one. I call it the Valley of Fire Loop. About a three-hour loop.
See what this “best kept locals secret” less than an hour from Las Vegas up on Mount Charleston has to offer. They often have snow in the winter, and are 30 degrees cooler than Las Vegas in the summer!
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