Hello From Las Vegas! – Hope our sports fan readers have been enjoying March Madness. More people come see us to enjoy the games than actually go to the games. The premier party continues to be at the South Point. The massive ballrooms, specials and general atmosphere make it the hot spot for those “in the know”.
Even if you and your buddies come and stay on The Strip, it is worth everyone pitching in for the Uber to get down there. Add in that it continues to be the home of Brent Musburger’s VSIN.com network (focused around sports betting), and you can’t go wrong. Brent himself has recently done a couple of “have a beer with Brent” seminars from the property. (Brent is known for enjoying a cold beer).
Technical Difficulties – We’re running late this week due to a technical issue. For some crazy reason, our membership area can’t be accessed with an iPad. This is a very strange problem, and we’ve been working as hard as we can to re-create and troubleshoot it.
Other Apple devices? No problem. Other devices, computers, desktops and similar? No problem. We are working hard with all involved to find out why, and fix it.
2007 All Over Again – Big, bold plans for Las Vegas have started popping up. Let me emphasize the word “plans”. Before the Great Recession, it seems like a huge new plan for something was being announced every month. Anyone remember The Plaza (former Frontier hotel site, not to be confused with the one downtown). Or George Cloony and partners talking about a hotel casino on Harmon?
Currently, the big talk is of Elon Musk (of Tesla automobile fame) announcing that he’ll be building an underground transportation system connecting the airport, The Strip, and the convention center. I wish him well, and I’d love to see it. For ALL of our sakes! However, the budget and timeline suggested for the project simply don’t pan out.
Las Vegas sits on layers of caliche. Which is rock that has the consistency of cement. To dig down for The Raiders stadium, they literally had to blast their way down. When you build a swimming pool in Las Vegas, exactly how deep the caliche is can play into the price of the pool. IE, how tough will it be to dig the hole for it! This also explains the lack of basements in most homes.
Possibly more likely is an Israeli hotel operator who has purchased the Motel 8 across from Mandalay Bay and turn it into a 620 room hotel-casino. That side of The Strip (that far south) was home to all kinds of hotel/casino plans pre-recession and development has been mostly dormant. Although, Harley-Davidson built a big store/showroom on one of the plots, and the Pinball Hall Of Fame Museum is slated to move that way as well.
The worse loss was the old Klondike motel/casino! A true dive (it was the site where all of the crazy casino games were filmed for Vegas Vacation), it had very low limits, super-cheap drinks, and a decent coffee shop that just about anyone could afford. It would have been nice to still see that ticking along for now.
Best Of Las Vegas – As promised, I’m going to start going through some of the Review-Journal’s Best Of Las Vegas picks (as voted by readers) and doing some critiquing as to better either help you decide if something is for you, or simply fill you in on something you may not be aware of!
I won’t be running through the Top 3 in each category. Instead, I’ll take the liberty of highlighting and commenting on the picks which most pertain to our visitors.
Best BBQ – You can’t go wrong with Ellis Island. The prices are very reasonable, and the location (just behind Bally’s on Koval) is Strip-convenient. First place Jessy Rae’s is worth the short drive if you have a car. However, not worth an Uber. Ellis Island is also home to the Village Pub coffee shop, which won best “Cheap Eats” for good reason.
Beer Selection – If you get yourself a couple more blocks (east on Flamingo) past Koval, Pub 365 at Tuscany rotates 365 beer selections, with a mind-boggling number of them available at any time. Bonus: Just like Ellis Island, you get locals pricing!
Gold Coast – Just on the other side of The Rio, you can knock off two worthy and notable “Best Of’s”. Ping Pang Pong is a stalwart when it comes to Chinese food, and the bar inside the Cornerstone Steakhouse has a huge selection of brown spirits while offering craft cocktails and martinis in the $10-$12 range. Take that, Las Vegas Strip!
We’ll have more in upcoming issues. I’m going to work to keep the focus on or near The Strip and Fremont Street. While a number of you do rent a car during your visit, most people don’t. And, there comes a tipping point where the destination doesn’t justify a long Uber ride.
Hence, I’ll be highlighting the best spots that you can fit into your vacation.
Hope you are enjoying this issue!
The hair is red. The act is blue. The leading lady (“That’s no lady!”) has it covered in an impressively uncovered production, “Ester Goldberg’s Totally Outrageous Brunch,” at The Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas. The show’s open-ended run debuts this weekend, playing Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Several New Shows Headed To Las Vegas In 2019 – Click for Tickets (Flash Sale Up to 50% Off until April 1)
- Despite Backlash, Michael Jackson ONE At Mandalay Bay Goes On With Continued Support – Click for Tickets
While it hasn’t been officially announced, word is celebrity chef Bobby Flay will bring at new dining concept to Flamingo Las Vegas. Flay’s rumored new restaurant will take up residence in the space currently occupied by Center Cut Steakhouse.
Mandalay Bay is turning 20 years old Saturday. The property first opened March, 2, 1999. Mandalay Bay has withstood the test of time adding new features to the properly through its history on the Las Vegas Strip. But it has seen its share of good and bad days over the last two decades.
As more of you give staying downtown on Fremont Street a try, we’re getting questions about how to deal with the noise. Most of you know that Fremont Street has free live music from multiple stages. Usually until 1 AM on weeknights and 2 AM on weekends.
The hotels do provide earplugs, but those only work so well. (For example, they are pretty lousy at reducing lower frequencies).
The first thing you want to do when checking in is to let the front desk know that you would prefer a more quiet room over any other location preferences. (IE, it might be a longer walk back to a part of the property which is more quiet, but quiet is your preference, not how long the walk to your room is).
If they are able, they will put you on a higher floor, or farther away from The Street. For example, the South Tower at The Plaza will put you farther from one of the Fremont Street stages.
Another option is to stay at The California, Main Street Station, or El Cortez. Which are far enough away from the action to get you out of the noise zone. Except… Main Street Station does back a very busy freeway interchange, and the railroad tracks. (Fortunately, no railroad crossings in the area mean no train horns. Something that unfortunately plagues the Trump building here).
Granted, if you stay up late when in Las Vegas and party with the rest of the crowd, none of this will be an issue. However, if you tend to be an early riser who tucks in early as well, or perhaps are here for a convention or other activity which requires setting your alarm the next morning, you’ll be thrilled that you took the above into account!
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Sure, the casinos and shows in Las Vegasthis link opens in a new tab are all inside, but if you’re visiting, you probably also hoped to do outdoor things like see the Bellagio water show or lay by the pool. Rainy days might dampen those plans. (Although they are rare: Las Vegas averages 320 days of sunshine and less than five inches of rain a year.)
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Vegas Videos You’ll Enjoy
(Producers Notes) Colin & I took a tour of Fremont Hotel & Casino. We did get busted by security but went back in to finish for you!
(Producers Notes) Las Vegas is super expensive these days, but you can still eat well on a budget if you know where to go.
(Producers Notes) Stations Casinos has spent millions updating the Palms Casino/Resort/Spa in Las Vegas. This video takes a trip through the almost-finished renovation.
(Producers Notes) In today’s video, we take a look around The Signature at MGM Grand. This hotel is an all-suite, casino-free resort. I get to take you guys into a one bedroom balcony suite room. We also stop at the Lazy River at MGM Grand.
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