December 19, 2019 AccessVegas.com Insider Vibe

Newkirk’s Notes

Access Vegas Founder Ted NewkirkHello From Las Vegas! – National Finals Rodeo ended this past weekend, and if you looked to book in early January and noticed sky-high rates, that is when the massive Consumer Electronics Show takes over most of the convention space in town from Jan. 7-10, 2020. Try some other dates (unless you gamble a TON and have a host who can still get you somewhere to crash)!

Why Las Vegas Will Need You More Than Ever – The pimple is finally popping (to put it bluntly) on Las Vegas’ attempt to draw high-spending jet-setters (who think nothing of a $300 per person meal) and convention visitors (who they think have deep pockets, but don’t realize that many attendees are on fairly tight budgets).

I’m not the only one who feels that this “bet everything on conventions” attitude might not fare so well. Tilman Fertitta (owner of a number of restaurant chains, Golden Nugget casinos, CNBC star) has indicated that he thinks Las Vegas is over-betting on conventions.

This is great news for you! When conventions don’t fill rooms, especially considering that well over 10,000 hotel rooms are coming into service in the next couple of years, those rooms will be priced to fill and/or comps for them will be much looser.

Do New Years Eve The Right Way! – Over the years, we’ve heard from people who had a simply amazing experience enjoying our New Years Eve celebration, and for others, not so much. As veterans of many New Years Eve celebrations on the Las Vegas Strip, here aresome tips:

The Wrong Way: Stay in our hotel until about 11:20 PM, and then try to actually get onto The Strip. Get crushed in a wall of people, get a so-so view of the fireworks, and then scurry back into your hotel (good luck with that, as everyone else will be doing the same) and wonder why on earth you paid a premium to come here for our celebration.

The Right Way: If possible (and it is probably too late to change for this year), stay on the South Strip. The most intense crowds are Center Strip. In fact, don’t shy way from the Motel 6, OYO (Hooters), Howard Johnson’s, Desert Rose or Travelodge that are just east of The Strip on Tropicana. Especially if the price works for you.

Hint: Pre-game in your room with beverages from Liquor World at Trop and Koval, or at the Red Dragon bar across the street past Koval.

The fireworks are set off from MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, and Aria (plus more hotels to the north). AND… the same set of fireworks shoot off every single hotel hosting the display. There is absolutely NO reason to get to the center of The Strip and deal with the crowds when you can see the same fireworks all around you between Tropicana and Aria!

In fact, you can fine-tune your level of comfort. Want to be around more people and more partiers and larger groups? Keep heading north on The Strip (which is closed to traffic) until it gets crowded enough for you. Want elbow room, stay South Strip and that won’t be an issue. Farther south = more elbow room.

Keep in mind that the ONLY hotel which will let you in their doors is the hotel you are staying at. Scout out the porta-potties, remember that you can have beer and liquor BUT it must be in plastic, and you may even want to keep that in mind when you book a room. Making the trip back to your South Strip room when you are already South Strip (for the said elbow room) will let you get back to your room to pottie, refill your liquor, etc.

Me? I’ve been known to get the biggest big-gulp I can get from a convenience store, and pair that with a PLASTIC pint of vodka. Hit ABC or CVS stores the day before and keep all of that in mind. Happy New Years and here’s the fireworks from years gone by:

Click Here to view or subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Buffet Pecking Order – There is no question that you can get more bang-for-your-buck in buffets, even if you just barely get off The Strip. Station Casinos has been making waves with their A.Y.C.E. (All You Can Eat) buffet at The Palms, and with their remodeled and upgraded buffet at Palace.

However, all Station buffets are not created equal. Here is their own “pecking order””

– Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, and Palms

– Palace Station

– Boulder, Texas, Sunset, Santa Fe

– Fiestas (Rancho and Henderson)

Our take? A.Y.C.E is worth hopping on the free Gold Coast shuttle and walking across the street. (Please make sure you stop in Gold Coast at at least put $5 in a machine and play a few hands, and $1 per person is a nice tip for the driver).

Both Palms and Palace are worth the reasonably short Uber ride from The Strip if you plan to both buffet and play (looser slots, lower limits).

For the truly frugal? The city bus runs along Flamingo from The Strip to Palms 24/7. You can take the monorail up to The Sahara and catch a similar-service bus along Sahara over to Palace. Or, if you feel good and the weather is nice, both are walk-able. Kind-of. Walking from The Sahara to Palace involves staying on the north side of Sahara and still playing a tiny bit of “frogger” at a couple intersections that don’t have stop lights!

Circus Circus Updates (Mandalay Bay North?) – New owner Phil Ruffin has made his plans clear. They involve: 1. A magic show in a new theatre he’ll be building in front of the property (probably in the lot next to Slots Of Fun). He’s saying that he’d like the popular (in other cities) Cirque show The Illusionists. However, even though he has a working arrangement with Cirque (Mystere is at his Treasure Island property), Cirque seemed kind of surprised by the “announcement”.

I still look for him to bring in some kind of magic show. Circus caters fairly heavily to Hispanics from Southern California, whose “spoken at home” language may still be Spanish. Magic is pretty universal. Even if you have little clue what the guy on stage is saying, you know how to go “Wow” when you see something jaw-dropping.

Additionally, he’s old school enough to get back to when a hotel cared less about how much a show cost, and a whole lot more about the fact that it gives him piles of good comps to hand out to players, tickets to package with rooms (a popular promotion at Treasure Island with Mystere) and similar. The guy is like 84 years old. He remembers “old Vegas”!

2. The shuttered RV park north of the property is looking to be turned into a Mandalay Bay (the hotel) style pool and beach area. Another good call, both because of the appeal to the drive-in visitors who want to party in the sun during the day, the families the property continues to attract, and this (if used properly) could be solid bait to get locals on the property. Circus sits (pretty much) across the street from the old Wet ‘n’ Wild. Which has a new incarnation, but is WAY out in the southwest corner of the valley.

89158 – Did you know that CityCenter, on the Las Vegas Strip, actually has its own zip code? (This also included T-Mobile arena, but does not seem to include Park MGM). We’re not sure how or why they pulled this off. Outside of some full-time residences at the “Leaning Tower Of Condos” (Veer Towers) and a handful of other condos on the property — which are most likely rental units — you don’t have much in the way of addresses to deliver to!

Sahara Waives Resort Fee Through April 17, 2020 – If you book a room at The “all new” (and very refurbished) Sahara before Christmas, 2019, and the stay is prior to April 17th, 2020, you will pay ZERO resort fee for your stay. HUGE savings.

And, don’t forget, the monorail makes The Sahara a quick, super-cheap, and easy ride from the rest of The Strip. Plus, a very short bus ride to Fremont Street.

Hope you are enjoying this issue!

Founder
AccessVegas.com



Las Vegas Shows

Need an excuse to visit Las Vegas in 2020? Probably not, but just in case, Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn have extended their Sin City residency—Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas—with 24 new dates at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in 2020.

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Book Now! Reba, Brooks & Dunn Tickets!



Las Vegas Dining

It’s taken a minute, but Front Yard at Ellis Island is ready for its debut. The new restaurant and bar opens Dec. 6, 2019. Here’s a first look inside. Although, if you follow us on Twitter, it’s a second look inside, but let’s not get bogged down by details.

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

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



Las Vegas Holidays

There isn’t a wrong or right way to celebrate this time of year — even if you go all out for Boxing Day. For some of you, there’s no place like a concert or a skating rink for the holidays, and that’s great.

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

A significant chunk of the economy around Mt. Charleston might be based on snow, but the arrival of a big storm on Thanksgiving eve is being greeted with mixed feelings. Mt. Charleston Lodge General Manager, Thomas Schneekloth says his employees have been working on serving Thanksgiving..

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

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



Members Mania

My husband and I are coming out to Vegas again for my birthday, which always coincides with Thanksgiving weekend!

We want to book a nice restaurant for the 28th which will be our last night before returning home. We’ve been to any number of favourites in our 20+ years of visiting, but want somewhere smaller and more intimate, perhaps also less formal, on this occasion and are keen to experience a traditional thanksgiving dinner. Any suggestions?

We always book Sinatra’s and Charlie Palmer Steak for our formal dining experiences, which we really enjoy, but I’m keen to go somewhere the locals might go. We enjoy the Thai restaurant opposite El Cortez for lunch because it’s small and friendly. We haven’t explored further afield from the Strip or Freemont but a short Uber ride away is certainly a possibility. It’s about time we left the comfort zone of the Strip. We definitely don’t want a buffet. Hope this helps steer your answer.

Many thanks again.

Pauline

 

Ted Responds:

I put out a number of feelers plus some of my own thoughts. Keep in mind I’m going for restaurants that are nice, but not bank-breaking, that locals enjoy, and have something unique going on. IE, not a cookie-cutter place

So, a few suggestions with the understanding that you should jump right online and look at Yelp or the restaurant website and even Google Maps to help see where it is.

IE, I can toss you some suggestions, but you need to really look at what you feel is a great fit for you:

– Lola’s Kitchen (Arts District, downtown, Cajun/Louisiana).

– Esther’s Kitchen (Arts District, downtown, Italian).

– Triple George (next to Downtown Grand, downtown, classic dining and cocktails).

– Lotus of Siam (two locations, each about 1.5 miles from The Strip, thai, legendary locals fave).

– Cathay House (1.5 miles from Strip in Chinatown, Chinese)

– Binion’s Ranch Steakhouse (Top of Binion’s, view for miles, traditional old-school Vegas steakhouse).

All of them are NOT at the top of the price range for the cuisine, but nice enough for a birthday dinner.

 


 

Are there any old school lounges left in Vegas? Somewhere we can get an Old Fashioned while listening to lounge music.

 

Ted Responds:

We used to suggest Le Cagaret Bar at Paris Las Vegas. However, it appears they have moved away from live music to having a DJ. Napoleon’s Lounge has entertainment every evening, usually in the form of dueling pianos. However, it is another spot to get a lounge atmosphere with great cocktails.

Stratosphere (aka STRAT) has live 80’s and 90’s music from 9pm-1am every Friday and Saturday night.

Mandalay Bay’s “Rhythm & Riffs Lounge” (I didn’t know it actually had a name!) features live music many nights, which varies. Friday nights are unplugged country nights, so keep that in mind. Rock is usually on Thursdays and Saturdays as I write, but it never hurts to call ahead (702-632-7777) since they don’t seem to feel the need to post a schedule.


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

A visitor from Hawaii turned her stay at Fremont Hotel and Casino into a $1,098,478 payday when she hit a jackpot on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine on Nov. 23. A $5 spin was parlayed into the jackpot.

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

How about a tour? “…Those are all suites, private casinos, beautiful lounge at the top,” said Scott Sibella, pointing at his resort-under-construction. I met him on the top floor of what will be, in a couple of years, a busy parking deck.

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


Other Las Vegas News


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

Click to watch video

#Friends25 Debuts on the Fountains of Bellagio

(Producers Notes) Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beloved TV series, ‘Friends,’ as it comes to life on the Fountains of Bellagio.

Click to watch video
Red Rock Casino, A BILLION Dollar Casino For Locals

(Producers Notes) Hope you enjoy our walk through of the Red Rock Casino, one of the premier casinos in Summerlin. This casino is beautiful inside and out with an outdoor shopping mall next door. Downtown Summerlin is a fun place to shop, have drinks and be entertained.

Click to watch video
Guy Fieri Restaurant Las Vegas – Trash Can Nachos!

(Producers Notes) Buy a ticket to Flavortown at Guy Fieri’s restaurant and bar on the Las Vegas Strip.

Click to watch video
Take a Deep Dive into the Underwater Fantasy of Le Rêve – The Dream

(Producers Notes) The minute you enter Le Rêve – The Dream’s aquatic theater inside of Wynn Las Vegas, you’ll be instantly captivated by the sparkling pool and vibrant ceiling curtain.

Click here to book Le Rêve Tickets


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!

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

December 19, 2019 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us   Privacy Policy
Physical Address: 3565 Las Vegas Blvd. South #411, Las Vegas, NV 89109

December 3, 2019 AccessVegas.com Insider Vibe

Newkirk’s Notes

Hi From Amy In Vegas! – I’m newsletter Assistant Editor Amy Rayner-Cooley.

We hope that all of our US readers had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend with lots of family, food, football, or perhaps some down-time. (And, a special hello to those of you who froze to death — literally — if you were here visting us in Las Vegas).

Ted, myself, and the rest of our staff took some well deserved time off as well.

However, we’ve still been busy since our last issue and have the full compliment of news, specials, What We’re Watching videos that Ted specially picks out each issue for you, Members Mania, and more!

Ted will be back in full force next issue. Thanks again for all of your support.

Hope you are enjoying this issue!



Las Vegas Shows

Paula Abdul wants you to remember she’s “Forever Your Girl” — and she’ll officially launch her Las Vegas residency of that name on Tuesday night at the Flamingo hotel.

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Book Now! Paula Abdul Tickets!



Las Vegas Dining

Wolfgang Puck started it all when he opened Spago at The Forum Shops at Caesars in 1992 (his restaurant moved to Bellagio in 2018); since then, the parade shows no signs of ending.

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

Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal says the company is committed to price transparency, and therefore opposes the practice of adding on resort fees to advertised rates at the end of the booking process.

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

Going at the busiest time of year is just one of the mistakes travelers typically make when visiting Arizona’s natural wonder. Everyone should see America’s second-most-visited (and first-most-awesome) national park.

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

Book Now! You can do the Grand Canyon RIGHT by booking one of our great, approved tours!



Members Mania

Do you know if/when I will be able to link my Total Rewards (Caesar’s) account with my El Dorado account? This is very exciting to me since I live in Columbus, OH and ever since the Horseshoe in both Cincinnati and Cleveland were converted to Jack casinos I have had no way to earn Total Rewards points for my annual trip to Las Vegas every year.

And with an El Dorado property right here in Columbus (Scioto Downs) I no longer have that problem. So, just curious as to when this merger of accounts will take place.

Thank you!

Keith L. from Ohio

 

Ted Responds:

Thanks for your support and happy we’re able to help you with all of our info. As you can imagine, the more people I upset, the less advertising we get. So, we need our members!

They have not released an actual date for what you are looking for. I imagine they don’t want to as integrating two huge computer databases is often not a completely smooth event.

All of the approval and business side is completed. The companies will “integrate” starting early this year. Basically, Eldorado will be running everything, but calling the entire company Caesars.

And yes, this is very exciting for those of you who will now have a better chance (or for some, a first chance) at playing at a “Caesars” property. Eldorado has been pretty open about noting how they want you to play locally, rack up your rewards, then use them to visit their properties here.

What is highly likely is that if you hold cards for both companies, they will be merged. This has been fairly common in casino mergers and acquisitions.

I’d feel fairly confident that you can start playing at Scioto Downs and your play will be folded in. However, I’d very much double-check with the rewards card booth and put that question directly to them.

Eldorado has hinted at quite a few player-friendly initiatives. However, they are being extremely coy about specifics. With good reason. It appears their company brass — sitting up there in Reno and having the benefit of being outside of the Las Vegas group-think — has looked at the major mistakes hurting MGM Resorts over the past years and are prepping to run the opposite direction.

Moves they definitely do NOT want to telegraph to MGM!

 


 

Note From Ted:

Our friends at TravelZork recently posted an article on Facebook specifically talking about the frustration many feel when a “bad” blackjack player makes decisions which seem to cause the entire table to lose: The Truth about Other Players Decisions in Blackjack

I felt, and with their permission, the need to reprint selected conversation in response to that post (which you should quickly click and read first if you are a blackjack player):

Michael C:

I’ll remember this next time I plan on playing 1 billion hands. In a night playing 50 or so hands a bad player can absolutely ruin your night

Michael Trager

A bad player could just as easily cause you to win. So what happens then? The math is the math. But nobody should play in an environment or at a game where they are annoyed by other players. You only remember the players that “messed up” your next hand; one tends to quickly forget when it also helps you.

Jonathan B.

The bad player will help you as much as hurt you.

You just pay attention when it doesn’t go your way.

Ted Newkirk

Here is my thought: For every time a player takes the dealers bust car, they leave the card that will bust the dealer. I absolutely have NEVER lost sleep over what other players are doing.

On the flip side, since I play by the book, and I’m going to make a decision that might not be popular with the table, I’ll actually say what I’m going to do and tell anyone who wishes that they can buy the bet off of me if they want!

(Not a bad deal, and it is usually a lousy hand).

If nobody does, they have no room to grumble.

Having said that: If ANYTHING at a table is bugging you, WALK.

This could be the guy blowing cig smoke in your face. It could be a dealer who can’t lose, and/or is smug about it. It could be a player playing in ANY way that bothers you. It could be because you just lost 5 hands in a row or the drink service is too slow.

As I’ve famously said over the years: There are no seat-belts on the chairs in a casino! The only one keeping your butt in that chair is yourself!


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 Sports

The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas celebrated its Third Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony hosted by Vegas Golden Knights’ Marc-AndrC) Fleury and Max Pacioretty on Nov. 22

Full Story/Details/Info/Video


Las Vegas Gambling

A William Hill bettor in Las Vegas hit a $1,548 five-team college football parlay for $367,594 on Saturday after placing the wager on the sportsbook’s mobile app. The gambler picked three money line underdogs in Illinois (+500), Minnesota (+220) and California (+245)

Full Story/Details/Info/Video

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



Las Vegas Holidays

Las Vegas isn’t just a city of sin. It’s a city of celebration. As the temperatures drop and we take bets on if it will snow again this year, the holiday season heats up with events, dinners, and activities all around town. From now until the end of the year, we’ve got everything covered in Vegas.

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

Don’t Miss These Stories:

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

Click to watch video

Taste of the Las Vegas: Extreme Eats (Steak)

(Producers Notes) In this installment of Taste of the Town, the Review-Journal’s Al Mancini shows us one of the best bargains on a steak available in the valley, as well as one of the most luxurious cuts of beef you can buy, as long as money is no object.

Click to watch video
Westgate Las Vegas aka Hilton Las Vegas – The Vegas Home of Elvis

(Producers Notes) Today, we walk around Westgate Las Vegas, aka Hilton Las Vegas, aka The International. There wasn’t too much to film but A LOT to talk about.

Click to watch video
T-Mobile Arena Is Larger Than Life

(Producers Notes) Imagine cheering for your favorite team during the day and attending a big-name concert in the evening … at the same venue. Located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, T-Mobile Arena is like no other place in the country and is built to host events of all kinds and sizes.

Click to watch video
Circus Circus Las Vegas Buffet – Big Top Bites!

(Producers Notes) The proof is in the pudding at the Circus Buffet at Circus Circus Las Vegas.


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].

December 3, 2019 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us   Privacy Policy
Physical Address: 3565 Las Vegas Blvd. South #411, Las Vegas, NV 89109