Access Vegas Insider Vibe – December 18, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 60 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This monthly newsletter is free and supported by commissions from sales of hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel services we offer. Your bookings using the following links support this effort.

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms: http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Low Airfare: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Travel Packages (Hotel/Air): http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Toll Free 24 Hour Discount Room Hotline: 1-800-666-5268

If you receive this by mistake, please note the simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this newsletter to others in its entirety. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected]

MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas opinions! Our boards are new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at http://boards.accessvegas.com


Rental Cars – Don’t pay top dollar! Enter the dates of your visit and compare prices from virtually every major rental car agency (most US cities). Book the lowest price company or your regular agency. Save the hassle and some money – Car Rental Savings Search. Few regret renting a car. Free shuttles and city bus rides can be slow and smelly. Taxis can cost what a rental car costs. Your vacation time is valuable — make the most out of it!


LAS VEGAS NEWS, INFO, and SPECIALS:

Wheel of Fortune has been very, very lucky. The Harrah’s win was in November, and the December win just happened a few days ago. You could be next!

ARIZONA MAN WINS BIG AT HARRAH’S:

Bryan Sundblom says that the first thing he’s going to do with the $2.5 million he won Sunday evening at Harrah’s Las Vegas playing Wheel of Fortune(R) quarters is buy his wife a new car. The Arizona microbiologist said the jackpot came as such a surprise, he had to be told several times that he had hit the progressive.

In Las Vegas on business, Sundblom said he had invested $22.00 in the
machine when the Wheel of Fortune(R) logos lined up. In addition to the new
car, he says he’ll pay off bills and looks forward to enjoying his millionaire
status.

HAWAIIAN GUEST HITS $2.5 MILLION JACKPOT AT THE CALIFORNIA HOTEL:

Honolulu resident David Tokunaga is the latest of Las Vegas’ big winners, grabbing a stunning $2.5 million jackpot at the California Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Mr. Tokunaga was playing the “Wheel of Fortune” slot machine.

BELLAGIO HONORED WITH AAA FIVE DIAMOND AWARD:

Association Five Diamond Award, the first Las Vegas hotel and casino and the largest resort in AAA history to receive this honor. The AAA Five Diamond Award, presented to fewer than one-half percent of the approximately 40,000 lodgings and restaurants in the AAA TourBook guides, has been the most coveted symbol of excellence in the travel industry since its inception in 1977.

“The Five Diamond Award is only given to establishments that exemplify an impeccable standard of excellence,” said AAA spokesman Atle Eriingsson. “What makes Bellagio even more impressive is its ability to achieve such a standard with over 3,000 rooms, far more than any other Five Diamond winner, which until now have included properties with 10 to 896 guestrooms.”

To be considered for AAA approval and rating, lodgings and restaurants must undergo a thorough, unannounced, inspection by one of AAA’s s 60 full-time professional evaluators. Five Diamond establishments go through the most extensive reviews.

Inspired by the beautiful villages of Europe, Bellagio overlooks a Mediterranean-blue eight-acre lake in which fountains perform a magnificent aquatic ballet choreographed to music and lights. Bellagio offers 3,005 deluxe guest rooms and suites featuring sweeping vistas of the resort’s lake, surrounding mountains and Las Vegas skyline. Each room is elegantly appointed with custom European-style furnishings, fine art and conveniences such as computer and fax accessible data ports and multiple telephone lines.

Within Bellagio are award-winning dining experiences including the world-renowned Picasso, a year-round botanical conservatory, a world-class art gallery, Cirque du Soleil’s stunning performance of “O”,” luxurious spa services and an elegant casino. The resort’s shopping promenade, Via Bellagio, features upscale shops including Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Prada, Fred Leighton, Hermes, Moschino and Yves Saint Laurent.

With Las Vegas room rates still down a bit, this is the perfect time to indulge on your next trip and be one of the few that can say “I stayed at a 5 Diamond Resort”! Link to Bellagio information and rates / availability at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-strip-hotels.htm

THE STEAK HOUSE – CIRCUS CIRCUS: This special guest review by reader Jenny Wyatt

This was our 5’th visit to Las Vegas but our first visit to The Steak House which is situated in Circus Circus. This restaurant isn’t exactly what you’d expect inside a hotel which is aimed at children and circuses but I was pleasantly surprised!

When you enter you are faced with slabs of meat and lobster behind glass and it struck me as looking very English (I say very English as being from the UK I felt like I was walking into a Steak House back home). The bar come waiting area is very comfortable with settees to sink into while you wait for your table. This bar area is quite dark and has a very Victorian feel to it.

The restaurant is very well set out and is very reminiscent of Victorian England. They say on their menu that they “offer exquisite dining in a warm atmosphere of casual elegance” and this is quite true it does have a warm atmosphere and the decor is very tasteful.

There is a “cooking area” where you can actually see the steaks being cooked which is always a good thing as you then know that they have nothing to hide in their kitchens!

There is plenty of choice on the menu and for appetizers we tried the Shrimp Cocktail, the Mushrooms and the Crab Cocktail. The Shrimp Cocktail was nothing like we get in the UK. A crock shell was put in front of me filled with ice and jumbo prawns were placed on top together with lemon and a cocktail sauce (why they called it a shrimp cocktail when you were served giant prawns I don’t know!!). The mushrooms were very tasty and so was the crab. The appetizers started at a price of $4.95 up to $18.95.

When you order your main course you are also given the choice of Black Bean Soup or Salad. We all plumped for the salad of which there was mountains, but not wanting to spoil the main course I don’t think it was all eaten.

The steaks were delicious. This is one of the only steak houses I have got what I asked for — “how would you like yours cooked?” asked the waiter — “VERY well done” was my reply and yes, it was VERY well done — I’m one of these people who does NOT like ANY red showing in the meat and it came to the table in exactly the way I liked, delicious it was too.

If, like my friend, you’re not into steaks then the chicken breasts were very nice and the selection of Garlic Mashed Potato, Rice Pilaf or Baked Potato was a good choice. The steaks range from $17.95 up to $27.95, the chicken was $16.95 but they also offer Salmon and Halibut at $18.95. The Lobster and Crab legs were market price, so it’s worth asking before ordering. Lamb Chops are also on offer at $27.95.

There are deserts on offer but after an appetizer, salad and a main course there was not room left for a pudding!! They offer freshly baked goods — which if you have room looked delicious.

I will definitely be visiting the Steak House on my next visit to Las Vegas as it has a very relaxing atmosphere to all the hustle and bustle of the casinos and you can take your time over a delicious meal. Although the cost is slightly higher than your average restaurant (if you are on a budget) but I would recommend saving those pennies and have a nice quiet evening in a relaxed and very nice Steak House.

LOCAL NEWS – updated daily at http://www.accessvegas.com

LAS VEGAS DEALS – for December / January:

* Luxor From $55.95 until 01/31/02
* Monte Carlo From $55.95 until 01/31/02
* Sahara From $35.95 until 01/31/02

All of these and more available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

SECURE ORDERING – We frequently get asked how safe giving your credit card over the internet is. When you buy on the internet, the information is scrambled in a way that is virtually impossible to unscramble except by the receiving computer. That computer then checks with a computer to confirm product availability and then gets credit card approval from another computer.

No humans involved, and your reservation is confirmed in seconds. Compare that to giving your credit card to a waiter at a restaurant (where they vanish for 5 minutes with it) or a live reservations clerk that obtains tons of info about you. Who is more likely to commit fraud with your card, 3 computers or a live human making a possibly low wage?

CONDO SPECIALS – Driving in or renting a car, enjoy the luxury of a condo at prices that rival a hotel room:

Westgate Flamingo Bay features over 200 villas in a lush tropical oasis style complex. You’ll be only minutes from the world famous Las Vegas Strip. While on site, you’ll enjoy soaking in the hot tub or taking a swim in the outdoor pool. For your convenience laundry facilities are available on site.

Special Internet pricing and accommodation info for Westgate Flamingo Bay at http://www.accessvegas.com/condo-specials.htm

PREFER NOT TO FLY – and Vegas is too far to drive but you still want to visit a REAL gaming destination? We offer the same great discounts, guaranteed lower rates, and the $100 Rebate Spectacular for rooms in Atlantic City, Gulfport / Biloxi, and Reno as we do in Las Vegas!

Atlantic City: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickinput?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC&TRK=H1-citylistMore&Dest=ACY
Gulfport / Biloxi: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickinput?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC&TRK=H1-citylistMore&Dest=BIL
Reno: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickinput?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC&Dest=RNO

WINNERS! – The winners of the Calvin Brooks CD’s (smooth jazz artist appearing regularly in Harrah’s Range Steakhouse lounge) are: Diane McDonald – Bradenton, FL, Jimmy Salyers – Lexington, KY, and Ying Mah – Wichita, KS.


 


CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Search by date at http://www.accessvegas.com/show-tickets.htm

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING, WEATHER:

* SHOW REVIEWS – Read our unbiased, archived show reviews at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com

* GOLF RESERVATIONS – Grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Search by date, see prices at http://www.accessvegas.com/golf-reservations.htm

* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now lock up reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.accessvegas.com/dinner-reservations.htm

* LAS VEGAS WEATHER – http://www.wunderground.com/US/NV/Las_Vegas.html

EVENT LISTINGS:

* SHOWS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-shows.htm
* HEADLINERS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm
* CONCERT – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm

CONVENTION CALENDAR:

Your best hotel deals are the weeks when convention traffic is light. If you are flexible, check our convention calendar at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-conventions-hotels.htm before choosing the dates of your Las Vegas visit!

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SPECIAL BULLETIN:

ALL VEGAS TV: Is our new, long awaited monthly online TV show. We got a bit behind schedule with the Sept. 11 fallout, but the official premiere will be the February episode, launching mid-January. It’s already in the can and we are thrilled with it. We have a great interview with Wolfgang Puck, we show you the inside of the Guggenheim Museum, and more.

Now that we are rolling, we are looking for the following people who would like to be involved. See if you fit the bill and contact info will be at the end. Aspiring talent is welcome — this is great exposure. We will direct you to our media preview (already online) so you can get a better understanding of what All Vegas TV is.

ACTOR AND ACTRESS: For parts in two commercial spots which will be used to promote booking travel at AccessVegas.Comááá Hundreds of thousands will view (over time) and we will post your contact info if desired.

SWIMWEAR / BIKINI MODELS: It is a little brisk in Las Vegas right now but fun and pool weather is right around the corner. Still and motion photography will be used as “bumpers” (short segments between major stories) promoting Las Vegas fun and sun. Hundreds of thousands will view (over time) and we will post your contact info if desired.

CAMERA OPERATOR: If you enjoy playing around with your video camera, have some real fun shooting Las Vegas with us. A couple times a month (and with advance notice) we need someone behind the camera while I’m in front covering the “party” side of Las Vegas. Clubs, New Year’s Eve, Spring Break and the like. If you aren’t energetic, or balk at the thought of getting a little beer spilled on you, this one isn’t for you.

If interested, drop me a line at (click) mailto:[email protected]ááá I’ll get back to you with detail after Christmas as well as the location of our online media preview so you can see the full scope of this project.


 


NEWKIRK’S NOTES – comments on Las Vegas and travel from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

We’ve gotta talk about New Year’s Eve! I especially want to talk to those of you on the West coast who are within driving distance. You have a golden opportunity this year that I’ve never seen before, and we probably won’t see again. Because a fair number of people from the East coast are too concerned about long-haul flights to come out, rooms are not only still available for New Year’s Eve, but cheaper than in years past.

Plus, those of you that drive in really have the advantage because you can stay off The Strip. There are thousands of rooms (some in casinos, some not) within a few blocks of The Strip as well the “local’s” casinos. What’s it going to be this year, another year of watching Dick Clark and people in New York City freeze to death on tape delay (it’s 9 PM here when midnight strikes there) or being in the middle of this party:

At midnight on December 31, the city will celebrate with a spectacular fireworks show billed as “America’s Party: Las Vegas New Year 2002.” A five-mile stretch of sky above the Las Vegas Strip will be transformed into the canvas for a feat of pyrotechnic mastery. Fireworks with names like Comets, Plumes and Oscillating Flares will illuminate the sky above the Las Vegas Strip, for seven minutes and 11 seconds.

Don’t take my word for it. Our photos from last year are at http://www.las-vegas-new-years-eve.com and we have booking info there as well. One note: most hotels are requiring that you stay at least Dec. 28 – Jan. 1 (4 nights or more) so remember to enter those dates for maximum availability. If last year was any indication, you don’t want to miss this one!

New casinos are opening — the party doesn’t stop in Las Vegas! The Palms recently opened, and must be seen to be believed. Upscale with the feel suited to South Florida, this new resort is kitty-corner from The Rio just off The Strip. Of particular note is the Ghostbar lounge, one of the most amazing views of The Strip in town. Green Valley Ranch opens in a matter of hours (as I write this), so we’ll size it up in the future. We have links to info on both hotels at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm

Speaking of, we were at the grand reopening of Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in The Forum Shops (Caesars Palace) a couple of weeks ago. The food is superb, the atmosphere fantastic, and Puck and his staff (as always) the gracious hosts.

I’d tell you more about it, but instead we are going to show it to you in the premiere episode of All Vegas TV in January. Including an interview with Mr. Puck conducted by our very own Elizabeth Rizzo. We are still looking for great additional people who want to get involved with All Vegas TV.

Puck is offering a free bottle of wine at his Las Vegas restaurants Spago (702-369-6300), Lupo (702-740-5522), Postrio (702-796-1110), and Chinois (702-737-9700) with every meal in December. Simply inform the hostess when making reservations or upon arrival.

Cheval (mentioned last issue, archived at http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com/01-11-07.htm ) is drawing great reviews all around. If you like Cirque du Soleil style entertainment, enjoy horses, or appreciate a good show this is one to see before the run ends!

Attendance at Comdex was reported to be way off — as little as 1/2 of the usual 250,000 people due to terrorism fears and the bottom falling out on all those crazy Dot Com companies. (Funny, here in the internet travel business, we did business the old fashioned way. We sold a good, real product at a great price. We’re still here and growing). Anyway, I digress!

I have mixed thoughts on this. Yes, it is good to expose Las Vegas to as many people as possible with conventions. But hotels have to charge top dollar for hotels during Comdex to make up for the fact that computer industry people are least likely to gamble. This ties up rooms, and drives up rates during a November week we usually have flawless weather (highs around 75-80) and depriving the regular visitors of the ability to get a room that week.

Sheena Easton is returning to the Las Vegas Hilton, where she had a great run this summer. My review and ticket information are at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/sheena-easton-las-vegas-hilton.htm

Tours have resumed at Hoover Dam, but unfortunately the $25, one hour “hard hat” tour was a casualty of the new security precautions. Having the pleasure of taking the hard hat tour last year, I can understand why. They took you into the bowels of the dam and quite a bit of the operation. Hoover Dam is still a marvel that must be seen in real life. Visitors are allowed (and tours conducted) during daylight hours. Go earlier in the day to avoid crowds.

Nevada’s jobless rate was the highest in the nation last month. Quit moving here (unless you are retired or independently wealthy) until things get better. As you can imagine, longtime residents with a work history here are going to be hired back before someone new and Las Vegas is no fun when you are struggling with cash.

The Bootlegger Restaurant continues to be a local secret, but obviously not for long. Nevada Lt. Governor Lorraine Hunt and her husband “Blackie” run the family owned Italian eatery and are joined by “Sonny” King every Friday and Saturday evening at 10 PM for a true, free-form, old style Las Vegas lounge show. Lorraine and Sonny sing while Blackie plays the piano. Although not of that era (I’m 36), it is a fun, relaxing time to enjoy quality entertainment that brings Las Vegas’ past to the present.

Word is getting around. Last Friday, John Ratzenberger (Cliff Clavin on Cheers) was enjoying the show. A few weeks ago, Hugh Hefner and his seven girlfriends (Mandi, Brandi, Candi, Sandi … or something like that) stopped by for dinner. The Bootlegger is easy to find. Simply drive south on the Strip past Vacation Village and go a couple more miles The Bootlegger sits just south of the Belz Factory Outlet Mall on your left. Lorraine, Blackie, and Sonny start the show around 10 PM and perform 3-4 hours.

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FEEDBACK:

We encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) mailto:[email protected] We do certainly read them all. They help shape our content and we do personally answer specific Las Vegas related questions!


Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Scenic Southwest Tours – by plane, bus, or even helicopter! You’ve seen the glossy ads in the tourist brochures. You’ve thought about it. You come all the way to Las Vegas — why not see one of the some of the most famous landmarks in the world! Don’t by tricked by web sites & magazines that offer discount tours. Taxes, park fees, permits can almost double the price. Our prices are inclusive – no hidden charges! Best Las Vegas Tours


Have a request for a review? Confused when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where the “articles” are tied in with paid ads, our sites give you the honest scoop.

If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us using the travel links listed at the top of each issue. You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at: http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: http://www.recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=826126 to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
December 18, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – November 7, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 60 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This monthly newsletter is free and supported by commissions from sales of hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel services we offer. Your bookings using the following links support this effort.

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms: http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Low Airfare: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Travel Packages (Hotel/Air): http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Toll Free 24 Hour Discount Room Hotline: 1-800-666-5268

If you receive this by mistake, please note the simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this newsletter to others in its entirety. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected]

MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas opinions! Our boards are new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at http://boards.accessvegas.com




LAS VEGAS NEWS, INFO, and SPECIALS:

LOCAL NEWS – updated daily at http://www.accessvegas.com

THE PALMS – opens November 15’th!

The much anticipated Palms casino opens soon. The 265 million dollar property with its 42-story tower offers unparalleled views of the Strip. This hotel offers an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars, a spa, salon, magnificent pool area, a 1200 seat entertainment venue, movie theaters, banquet and conference facilities and 95,000 square feet of casino action.

On Friday, Nov. 16, join Rain in the Desert at the Palms Casino Resort for a very special music showcase-an evening with Macy Gray. This evening combines the best in Vegas nightlife-lights, sounds, special effects and magical moments-and begins at 7 p.m. with a cocktail reception and an 8:30 p.m. show time. And as with all of the live shows at Rain in the Desert, the party continues long after the live entertainment with inspired deejays, dancing and creative cocktails. Tickets are $100 each and are on sale at 702-474-4000.

We have more info and Special Internet Rates to this great new property at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm#off-strip (Palms link).

LAS VEGAS DEALS – for November:

* Harrah’s Las Vegas From $49.00 until 11/30/01
* Paris Las Vegas From $75.00 until 11/30/01
* Suncoast Hotel & Casino From $59.00 until 11/30/01

All of these and more available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

NEW YEAR’S EVE:

Fremont Street Experience New Year’s Eve Celebration features Classic Rock All Stars, Rare Earth, The Bangles, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Tickets go on sale Monday, November 26. Order by calling 1-800-249-3559 — tickets are $30 per person.

The real “event” (for those who want something less structured) is 500,000 people on The Strip (which is completely closed to traffic that night). You can view photos from last year at http://www.las-vegas-new-years-eve.com We still have Special Internet Pricing for New Year’s Eve rooms: Details front and center at http://www.accessvegas.comáá Don’t let another year go by without experiencing a Las Vegas New Year’s Eve!

GUGGENHEIM LAS VEGAS – now open at The Venetian:

The inaugural exhibition of the Guggenheim Las Vegas is The Art of the Motorcycle, which was first presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1998. With more than 130 motorcycles on display, the exhibition chronicles the most compelling moments in motorcycle design and technology-from its humble beginnings as a steam-powered vehicle to the sophisticated state of motorcycle production today.

The exhibition both explores and celebrates the motorcycle as a quintessential symbol of the Modern age. The installation, designed by architect Frank Gehry, responds both to the scale of Koolhaas’s Guggenheim Las Vegas and to the materials of the motorcycles themselves. Gehry’s building-within-a-building features enormous, curved polished stainless steel walls, towering chain-link curtains, glass floors and partitions, large-scale graphics, and a sophisticated interpretation of the curators’ narrative.

Museum Admission:ááá $15 adults, $11 students, $7 children ages 6-12, free children under 6 and museum members.
Museum Hours: 9 am – 11 PM daily
Tickets:ááá Timed tickets are required for admission. Advanced tickets may be purchased toll free at (1) 866-GUGG TIX

CHEVAL – Cirque du Soleil Co-Founder Brings Dazzling Equestrian Production to Las Vegas:

From the Director of Creation of Cirque du Soleil’s “O” and MystÞre comes CHEVALÖ, a magical entertainment experience where 30 extraordinary horses lead an international cast of acrobats, actors, dancers and musicians to create a celebration of equestrian and human potential. CHEVAL (French for horse) will be performed from Nov. 21 to Jan. 6, 2002, under the hand-painted big top on Harmon between Bellagio and Monte Carlo.

CHEVAL features 17 different breeds of horses and a cast of 27 in an enchanting and uplifting performance. Horses and humans perform together inside the intimate 46-foot center ring as the captivating music of live musicians and singers provide the original score.

“This show presents the combination of the strength and grace of the horse with the acrobatic artistry of humans,” said Ste-Croix. “Imagine a space where horses and humans respect each other, interact and create magical moments. Its an homage to the relationship between humans and horses.”

Tickets are $56 and $49 (adults), $35 and $30 (children 12 and under) and $51 and $44 for seniors (55 years and older) and students (with valid identification). Tickets may be purchased at any Bellagio, Golden Nugget, NY-NY, Mirage or Treasure Island ticketing outlet or by calling (702) 693-7722 or (888) 488-7111.

CALVIN BROOKS – at Harrah’s Range Lounge:

If Harrah’s Range Steakhouse isn’t one of your favorite places, it should be. You don’t have to be in the mood for a meal — just go up and enjoy the restaurant’s lounge which overlooks The Strip. The view and nice atmosphere are complimented by the smooth jazz stylings of guitarist Calvin Brooks and keyboardist Michael Helm. More about Calvin on his site at http://www.calvinbrooks.com and we have two of his CD’s to give away later in the newsletter.

CONDO SPECIALS – Driving in or renting a car? Enjoy the luxury of a condo at prices that rival a hotel room:

Westgate Flamingo Bay features over 200 villas in a lush tropical oasis style complex. You’ll be only minutes from the world famous Las Vegas Strip. While on site, you’ll enjoy soaking in the hot tub or taking a swim in the outdoor pool. For your convenience laundry facilities are available on site.

Special Internet pricing and accommodations info for Westgate Flamingo Bay at http://www.accessvegas.com/condo-specials.htm

HOOTERS LAS VEGAS – Don’t bother:

Really, don’t waste your time. After visiting locations in Florida (many of which overlook the ocean, gulf, or bay), this was a double disappointment. Located on West Sahara, it is just another overpriced themed suburban eatery but without the view and “beach” atmosphere of the originals. Yes, the waitresses are hotties, but this is Vegas: head on over to The Rio, Mandalay Bay, Venetian, or Hard Rock (to name a few) and beautiful women in even more revealing outfits will serve you a free drink while you play.

Note to casino execs (especially Mandalay Bay): Many of you have beautiful pool areas, and a Hooters franchise (or knockoff) indoor / outdoor beach-themed restaurant of that type would overlook your pool areas beautifully! I continue to wonder why more Las Vegas resorts don’t take advantage of our weather with beach-style pool view dining open to the public.

PREFER NOT TO FLY – and Vegas is too far to drive but you still want to visit a REAL gaming destination? We offer the same great discounts, guaranteed lower rates, and the $100 Hotel Coupon (see below) for rooms in Atlantic City, Gulfport / Biloxi, and Reno as we do in Las Vegas!

Atlantic City: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickinput?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC&TRK=H1-citylistMore&Dest=ACY
Gulfport / Biloxi: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickinput?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC&TRK=H1-citylistMore&Dest=BIL
Reno: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickinput?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC&Dest=RNO

$100 HOTEL COUPON! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you a coupon for up to $100 back on any hotel stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. Full details at http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm




CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

CUSTOMER COMMENTS – from a satisfied customer who booked through our service:

“My husband and I recently traveled to Las Vegas and we used your service. I am writing to you because we wanted to let you know that we were extremely satisfied with your service. Our seats for both shows that we booked on line were wonderful and we had no problems when we went to pick up our tickets.

I wanted to thank you for your great service and let you know that we have already and will continue to recommend you to any of our family or friends that will be traveling to Las Vegas. Thanks again and when we return to Las Vegas in a couple of years, we will be using your service again.” – Susan B.

* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Search by date at http://www.accessvegas.com/show-tickets.htm

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING, WEATHER:

* SHOW REVIEWS – Read our unbiased, archived show reviews at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com

* GOLF RESERVATIONS – Grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Search by date, see prices at http://www.accessvegas.com/golf-reservations.htm

* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now lock up reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.accessvegas.com/dinner-reservations.htm

* LAS VEGAS WEATHER – http://www.wunderground.com/US/NV/Las_Vegas.html

EVENT LISTINGS:

* SHOWS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-shows.htm
* HEADLINERS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm
* CONCERT – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm

CONVENTION CALENDAR:

Your best hotel deals are the weeks when convention traffic is light. If you are flexible, check our convention calendar at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-conventions-hotels.htm before choosing the dates of your Las Vegas visit!

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NEWKIRK’S NOTES – comments on Las Vegas and travel from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

Las Vegas weather has continued to be stunning. October saw highs in the mid-80 and daytime temps have been pushing 80 since November started. With the sun setting just after 5 PM, the night cools down and the action heats up in a hurry.

If you read all the articles about how tourism is hurting, you may still be shocked at the notion that hotel occupancy is back to normal here. But, for every person concerned to fly in, someone else is grabbing that room. Fear is a very personal thing, so we certainly aren’t going to judge those not flying, and there are other great gaming destination to check out.

However, I continue to get feedback from people asking if it is safe to come to Las Vegas. Having just having returned for a trip and getting ready to depart for another one later this week (both by air), I thought I’d share my notes on flying in and out of Las Vegas.

Let me say upfront that I enjoy flying in general. So, I’m not approaching this as someone who was looking for added reasons not to fly, but as a regular and comfortable flyer who is weighing the new inconveniences.

My Oct. 24 afternoon departure on Alaska Air went unbelievable smooth. Check in lines were a little long, but I bypassed them with electronic check-in. If your airline offers it, USE IT. Even if you don’t fly often, the screen makes it easy for even a first time user.

At security, measures are tighter. They examine laptops, sometimes run bags through multiple times, search more bags, ask people to remove jackets and other items for a run through the x-ray machine, and ask you to empty your pockets upfront (I assume because the metal detectors are set to their most sensitive setting).

The midday security wait on Oct. 24 (a Wednesday) was almost nonexistent and I had plenty of time to kill before my flight. However, don’t be to complacent regarding getting to the airport. The return trip from Portland (Oregon) to Las Vegas had long security lines at both airports because of the peak travel day.

Fights both ways were full, routine, and nobody seemed tense or any different. Just another day in the air. I depart for a vacation in Florida later this week, and safety is the last thing on my mind. The only two added inconveniences to air travel now are the earlier airport arrival and the security lines during peak times. A small price to pay for the connivance of air travel.

Do I feel more or less safe? More safe, but not for the reasons you may think. The new security measures are mostly for show. Anybody who has military or law enforcement knowledge will tell you that plastic weapons are easily concealed. What makes us safer are the new cockpit doors and the new attitude both commercial pilots and passengers have towards trouble.

Pilots were always told to obey hijackers, which usually just wanted to divert the plane. Now pilot can safely put a plane into dives and climbs that will violently throw everyone not belted in around the plane. (You are routinely asked to stay belted in on flights because “clear air turbulence” routinely does just that on rare occasion).

Passengers, with nothing to lose and knowing that a perpetrator can’t get into the cockpit, are much more likely to gang up on troublemakers pound them senseless. In August 2000 a (possibly) drug-induced passenger got violently out-of-hand on a Southwest flight and injuries he suffered from passengers restraining him caused his death. Both of the above should help detour troublemakers.

Bottom line: If you are concerned, stay away from airplanes, tall buildings, bridges, don’t open your mail … do what you need to do. We all handle things in the way we feel is best. For those curious about how safe things feel, or if anyone is traveling, tens of thousands are visiting Las Vegas every single day without incident and I’m not giving my journeys a second thought.

Next month, we’ll get back to news and views about Las Vegas!

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FEEDBACK:

We encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) mailto:[email protected] We do certainly read them all. They help shape our content and we do personally answer specific Las Vegas related questions!

GIVEAWAY:

We have three Calvin Brooks CD’s to give away to three lucky winners! Enter by sending a blank email to (contest closed). One entry per person. Deadline for entries: Sunday, November 10, 2001. Winners will be chosen in a random drawing from all eligible entries received before deadline and be notified by email.


Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Scenic Southwest Tours – by plane, bus, or even helicopter! You’ve seen the glossy ads in the tourist brochures. You’ve thought about it. You come all the way to Las Vegas — why not see one of the some of the most famous landmarks in the world! Don’t by tricked by web sites & magazines that offer discount tours. Taxes, park fees, permits can almost double the price. Our prices are inclusive – no hidden charges! Best Las Vegas Tours


Have a request for a review? Confused when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where the “articles” are tied in with paid ads, our sites give you the honest scoop.

If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us using the travel links listed at the top of each issue. You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at: http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: http://www.recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=826126 to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
November 7, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – October 24, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 60 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This monthly newsletter is free and supported by commissions from sales of hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel services we offer. Your bookings using the following links support this effort.

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms: http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Low Airfare: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Travel Packages (Hotel/Air): http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Toll Free 24 Hour Discount Room Hotline: 1-800-666-5268

If you receive this by mistake, please note the simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this newsletter to others in its entirety. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected]

MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas opinions! Our boards are new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at http://boards.accessvegas.com

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THIS ISSUE: The State of Las Vegas Tourism

EDITOR’S NOTES: Fall is the season for change, and we are changing this newsletter from a comprehensive weekly to a monthly digest version starting next issue. This isn’t due to the temporary slump in tourism or any failure. Quite the contrary: Las Vegas visitor numbers are already back to normal. We personally took a hit last month but it wasn’t bad. (We’ll discuss the layoffs, rumors, cheap room prices and such in this week’s feature article).

The simple fact is that I’m a “victim” of my own success! When I started this in May of 1999, I just had the http://www.accessvegas.com site and the weekly newsletter was my main outlet for news and reviews. Now that I have expanded to publishing a number of sites, pretty much all the information published here is available on one of them. I can’t continue my responsibilities of building, updating, and expanding them and also find the 15-20 hours a week this has been taking unless I continue working 7 day weeks (which has taken a toll).

Let me outline where your favorite parts of this newsletter are available online:

Las Vegas News: Every single day, http://www.accessvegas.com is updated with the latest Las Vegas news. Make it your start page or at least bookmark it (add it to favorites).

Editors Notes: I’m renaming these “Newkirk’s Notes” and they will continue to be a part of the newsletter. In fact, I’ll be able to spend a little more time than before commenting on the latest Las Vegas news, rumor, taking more stabs at our lousy cab drivers, and giving you my outspoken commentary that you won’t read in those glossy tourism magazines.

Concerts, Shows, Events: We have already moved most of these listings online as linked from the newsletter. To fill in any gaps, we will soon start a “Press Pass” page where we’ll be posting many of the weekly press releases get. This page will be free. The newsletter space was limited, forcing me to pick and choose what to include. We want to make more info available to those interested.

Reviews: We have a comprehensive selection of reviews at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com now, and we’ll continue to add to them on a monthly basis. We’ll note the additions each month’s newsletter, but if you can’t wait you can scroll down toward the bottom of that page, enter your email address, and be sent a note every time we add a new review!

Feedback: I never had enough room to print all of the great feedback, which was a shame because your comments when you return from Las Vegas are a huge help to those getting ready to visit. That prompted me to build the Comment Las Vegas site at http://boards.accessvegas.com

It is a great place to share your thoughts and (providing you stay on topic and don’t post anything in bad taste) you are guaranteed that tens of thousands will enjoy your comments over time. I’ll still be here via email to answer specific questions — just hit reply anytime you have a question that needs a personal reply. Unless out of town, I should be able to get back to you promptly.

So what will be in the monthly newsletter? We’ll let you know about the big coming events, highlight the new content we put online, have specials, giveaways, and a lot of fun. In fact, the very grind of getting this out weekly in the past took away the time I needed to make the phone calls and cut the deals so I could offer better specials and giveaways. I’ll be on the horn the next few weeks setting stuff up!

Speaking of …

VEGAS SPECIAL: Las Vegas MGM Grand from $75.95, Sun. – Thurs., Now – 10/31/01: http://www.accessvegas.com/vegas-special.htm

One more very important note: If you have installed About.Com Bar, NetZero, or Kazaa, you very may have unknowingly installed a virus-like spyware program that overwrites web pages with extra links that webmasters like myself did not place and have no control over (and are certainly not endorsed by us). If you have, details about this virus-like program and info on getting rid of it are at http://www.scumware.com




LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

LOCAL NEWS – updated daily at http://www.accessvegas.com

PREFER NOT TO FLY – and Vegas is too far to drive but you still want to visit a REAL casino (not one of these cheesy Indian operations)? We offer the same great discounts, guaranteed lower rates, and the $100 Rebate Spectacular for rooms in both Atlantic City and Gulfport / Biloxi as we do in Las Vegas! Neither is quite having our beautiful 85 degree weather (although Biloxi is close) but both have the seaside to enjoy. Click to enter your dates and check the rates:

Atlantic City: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickinput?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC&TRK=H1-citylistMore&Dest=ACY
Gulfport / Biloxi: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickinput?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC&TRK=H1-citylistMore&Dest=BIL

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out: http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm
2. Book a room online at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!


Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Scenic Southwest Tours – by plane, bus, or even helicopter! You’ve seen the glossy ads in the tourist brochures. You’ve thought about it. You come all the way to Las Vegas — why not see one of the some of the most famous landmarks in the world! Don’t by tricked by web sites & magazines that offer discount tours. Taxes, park fees, permits can almost double the price. Our prices are inclusive – no hidden charges! Best Las Vegas Tours


CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

Las Vegas Commercials — Unless you live in Los Angeles or a few other selected markets, you may never get to see the exciting television commercials that many of the casinos produce. These commercials do a fantastic job of highlighting the excitement of Las Vegas and we’ve been able to put a number of them online at http://tv.accessvegas.com/videos/commercials/ Go enjoy!

Desert Inn Implosion — is still set for 2 a.m. Oct. 23. In light of the WTC, they aren’t making any kind of big deal about it, but if you are in town you might want to head over and watch.

Las Vegas Salutes the Spirit of America — This one-time benefit for the USO will be 2 PM Sunday Nov. 11, 2001 at Mandalay Bay. Scheduled to appear are a variety of both national and Las Vegas performers including Lance Burton, Tony Curtis, Robert Goulet, Clint Holmes, Jimmy Hopper, cast of Jubilee, Mac King, Rich Little, McGuire Sisters, Melinda, Wayne Newton, Siegfried and Roy, Jessica Simpson, Rick Springfield, and many more.

Tickets are $25 and available by dialing (702) 632-7580. Wayne Newton is active in the USO and is putting together a cast of national celebrities to take on a USO tours (similar to what Bob Hope did for years). Thus, the benefit for this cause. With the 2 PM start, many of you can attend and still have time to drive home or get to the airport if you have an evening flight. Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Mandalay Bay link).

* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Search by date at http://www.accessvegas.com/show-tickets.htm

Spears coming to MGM’s arena for live HBO special
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-21-Fri-2001/weekly/16986375.html

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Mac King (Harrah’s) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-24-Fri-2001/weekly/16798387.html

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING, WEATHER:

* SHOW REVIEWS – Read our unbiased, archived show reviews at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – Grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Search by date, see prices at http://www.accessvegas.com/golf-reservations.htm
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now lock up reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.accessvegas.com/dinner-reservations.htm
* LAS VEGAS WEATHER – http://www.wunderground.com/US/NV/Las_Vegas.html

EVENT LISTINGS:

* SHOWS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-shows.htm
* HEADLINERS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm
* CONCERT – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Nectar (Bellagio) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-12-Wed-2001/living/16950264.html

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NEWKIRK’S NOTES: The State of Las Vegas Tourism

Las Vegas is just about back to normal. N-O-R-M-A-L. Hotel occupancy rates are normal. The amount of air traffic in and out of town is just a hair off, but normal for all intents and purposes. The only “abnormal” thing are lower than usual room rates. With sunny weather in the 80’s, hotels often get top dollar for rooms during the fall. Those in town the past few weeks can attest to enjoying our beautiful fall weather at summer prices (the “low” season because of the heat).

I can already read your mind. You are thinking “This guy is a PR idiot who is full of crap — I keep reading about how hard Vegas has been hit, about the hotel layoffs, and how nobody is traveling.” Longtime readers know I base my reputation on the facts, but I’ll still be happy to defend my statements.

Things were indeed rough for a short period of time. The first week after the attacks was bad. The only other time the Strip is that empty is the week before Christmas. The second week was still rough, but the slashed rates started to attract people and business climbed quite a bit. By the third week, things were getting pretty close to normal and now are back to normal.

Remember, 1/5 of the population of the United States lives within a long days drive of Las Vegas, and most of those are in Southern California or Arizona, just a few hours away. We saw the same thing happen that we experience during a recession: People from other parts of the country (and the world) who opt to vacation closer to home (or skip a vacation) are replaced by drive-ins who had to skip the trip to Hawaii or Mexican Cruise due to cost, and jumped in the car for Las Vegas instead.

Yes, The hotels are hurting a bit. They are filling their rooms but the cut rates are attracting the bargain travelers who gamble much less, don’t go to shows, and don’t eat at the high end restaurants. If you enjoyed the “old” Las Vegas where you could get a $50 room on the Strip and see low limits even on the weekends, the past month was the time to be here. If you enjoy the fine dining and higher-end shows, you will find much shorter lines and more ticket availability.

So what about the layoffs? Just clearing out the dead wood. The hotels have always supposedly had a great relationship with the main union that most of the employees at the major hotels are affiliated with. I say supposedly because let’s face it … when management has a gun to their head to pay $18 an hour to somebody they could otherwise hire for $15, they can’t be truly happy. On the other hand, they don’t want to risk a huge labor problem. Shutting down much of Las Vegas’ tourism would be more damaging (in the long run) than the Sept. 11 events.

After business plummeted, the hotels went to the union and said “We can either work everyone 32 hours a week, or we can do layoffs.” The union contract dictates that full time workers must get 40 hours a week and the union didn’t budge. Hence, the layoffs. Two weeks later, the union came back to the table and said “We’ll go for the 32 hour weeks to get everybody back to work” and the hotels said “Too late — we offered that and you said no — we already did the layoffs and reorganized.”

Does it sound like I’m siding a bit with management? Perhaps. Why? Because I am very upset about the rising complaints of poor service that I get from you and the visitors to my websites. Too many hotel employees are taking you for granted. I have personally overheard hotel employees chat in local watering holes about customers.

An example: a slot floor attendant (the guy who brings machine fills and pays jackpots) was complaining that a lady didn’t tip him very much when she hit a jackpot. I politely asked him why someone should be required to tip when hitting a jackpot in a situation the odds are against them and they have probably lost more than that jackpot on her visit. He said “I only make $12 an hour (plus benefits) and so I need the tips, and besides … if a customer wants to make sure we are quick with the machine fills and the jackpot payoffs, we remember who the tippers are and aren’t.”

On another occasion, I heard a bartender complaining that someone hit a Royal Flush at his bar ($1000) and only tipped him $20. Granted, $12 an hour isn’t an executive wage, but we are talking a job requiring very little skill. And yet this is how all too many people look at you visitors — punishing you if you don’t cough up a gratuity that meets their expectations.

Let me interject that I believe in tipping in the appropriate situations and I am a generous tipper. In the case of bartenders, it is customary to tip per round whether you are paying for a drink or getting it “comped” (free) because you are playing.

But many slot attendants and bartenders (I kid you not) believe and expect that they should get a 10% tip on any hand pay jackpot and anything less than that, they sniff at. Do they remember that you may be down hundreds or thousands of dollars for the trip and this win doesn’t even bring you even? That $20 was more than he bad before!

It is unfortunate that the layoffs were arbitrary (done on seniority instead of merit in most cases), but in the long run I believe this will be good for you, the Las Vegas visitor. The workers have had a harsh reminder that their jobs are only there because YOU come to town. No visitors = no jobs.

Too many people have moved to town hearing about the good wages for regular jobs with no attachment or commitment to the community or understanding that their great new job is 100% dependent on you visitors. If you are a local who fits that category, I have a message for you: The rest of us are living here because we love Las Vegas, and those of us who are selling the rooms so you have people to service (and thus a job) are tired of you taking our customers for granted.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

We encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) mailto:[email protected] We do certainly read them all. They help shape our content and we do personally answer specific Las Vegas related questions!




Have a request for a review? Confused when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where the “articles” are tied in with paid ads, our sites give you the honest scoop.

If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us using the travel links listed at the top of each issue. You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at: http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: http://www.recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=826126 to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
October 24, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – September 26, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 60 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This weekly newsletter is free and only sent to those who request it. If you receive this by mistake or wish off our list, please note the simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. We encourage you to pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is sent in its entirety. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected]

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Travel Packages (Hotel/Air): http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Discount Hotel Rooms: http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Low Airfare: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Reservation Hotline: 1-800-666-5268 (for those who can’t book online)

MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas opinions! Our boards are new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at http://boards.accessvegas.com

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THIS ISSUE: News and Letters

EDITOR’S NOTES: In the past, I got frequent complaints this time of year from people saying “All the rooms are so expensive.” Fall is “prime time” in Las Vegas: Warm 90 degree days with little humidity and pleasant 60 degree nights of gentle breezes — there are few better places to be.

If you aren’t here this week, you missed numerous hotels for $39, The Hilton for $56, The Rio for $69, Monte Carlo for $69, The Aladdin for $79, and Caesars for $85 a night. The first week of October, we still have Stratosphere or Holiday Inn Boardwalk (prime location) at under $50 a night, Monte Carlo is still running $69, and Caesars $85 at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm (limited — first come, first served).

In the meantime, things are getting back to normal very quickly in Vegas. McCarran has 90% their normal number of flights. Hotel occupancy was 75% last weekend and climbing hard. While airfare bargains might last a few more weeks, Vegas hotel bargains are looking to dry up pretty quickly. If you were one of those “I’m waiting a few weeks to travel” and were thinking of getting bargains, you can book now or book after rates have finished climbing back up.


Rental Cars – Don’t pay top dollar! Enter the dates of your visit and compare prices from virtually every major rental car agency (most US cities). Book the lowest price company or your regular agency. Save the hassle and some money – Car Rental Savings Search. Few regret renting a car. Free shuttles and city bus rides can be slow and smelly. Taxis can cost what a rental car costs. Your vacation time is valuable — make the most out of it!


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

Las Vegas Getting Rolling Again
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-092301vegas.story

McCarran security remains tight as lines diminish: Airport spokeswoman says flight operations at 91 percent of schedule prior to attacks
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-21-Fri-2001/news/17051189.html

Airlines quietly offer bargains: Hard-hit carriers are making more seats available at low prices in hope of attracting travelers.
http://www.sacbee.com/ib/news/ib_news01_20010926.html

New rules, fear aren’t souring everyone on flying
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-25-Tue-2001/business/17078243.html

Be prepared for changes when you fly
http://www0.mercurycenter.com/premium/business/docs/airqa21.htm

Leno offers show to aid ailing Las Vegas tourism economy
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-26-Wed-2001/news/17087530.html
http://www.canoe.ca/Television/sep26_leno-ap.html

Recent Las Vegas Photos:
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-19-Wed-2001/photos/marquee.jpg
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-22-Sat-2001/news/17060973.html

Impending implosion: Desert Inn’s destruction expected to be low-key event
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-20-Thu-2001/business/17039707.html

Vegas welcoming more country acts
http://www.accessvegas.com/story-1.htm

‘Next Big Star’ to conclude shooting
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-24-Mon-2001/living/17056158.html

Grabbing Attention: Strip hotels use roving performers to create cheerful environment for visitors
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-16-Sun-2001/living/16926366.html

Threats to Hoover Dam assessed Experts: Kamikaze attack unlikely to succeed
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-16-Sun-2001/news/17003279.html

Palms casino moves up opening date
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-07-Fri-2001/business/16944952.html

Australian high roller takes out anger over leak on dealers
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-21-Fri-2001/news/17057853.html

MGM Mirage gets Web gaming license
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-21-Fri-2001/business/17049553.html

LOCAL NEWS – updated daily at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-news.htm

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out: http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm
2. Book a room online at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!




CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Search by date at http://www.accessvegas.com/show-tickets.htm

Spears coming to MGM’s arena for live HBO special
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-21-Fri-2001/weekly/16986375.html

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Don Rickles (Stardust) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-14-Fri-2001/weekly/16975650.html
* Society of Seven (Hilton) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-21-Fri-2001/weekly/17028664.html

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING, WEATHER:

* SHOW REVIEWS – Read our unbiased, archived show reviews at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – Grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Search by date, see prices at http://www.accessvegas.com/golf-reservations.htm
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.accessvegas.com/dinner-reservations.htm
* LAS VEGAS WEATHER – http://www.wunderground.com/US/NV/Las_Vegas.html

EVENT LISTINGS:

* SHOWS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-shows.htm
* HEADLINERS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm
* CONCERT – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Drai’s (Barbary Coast) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-31-Fri-2001/weekly/16867645.html

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FEATURE STORY: News and Letters

The past couple of weeks have been a bit chaotic. I didn’t want to bug any of the hotels with standard PR requests while they have their hands full, and reviewing a restaurant isn’t an accurate depiction when they are half full.

We have a number of great Letters to the Editor to catch up on this week and we’ll have a new review for you next week.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Jean H, Waukesha WI wrote:

> Hi Ted!
>
>It felt good to get a “regular” newsletter from you and Access Vegas!
>As an employee of AA (American Airlines) —
>I just wanted to urge all your readers that air
>travel is still the safest form of travel in the USA and it’s never
>been easier or cheaper to travel! One 1,000,000+ miles-per-year
>passenger told me yesterday that it’s easier for him to fly now — the
>airports are empty (everyone is waiting at the gate, 1 hour ahead of
>time!), security takes a bit longer, but nothing overwhelming, and the
>planes are half full — so you can get almost any seat you want! And
>with fewer flights, the planes even run early! With so many
>industries impacted by this event, the entire travel industry needs
>our support. We’ve heard of massive layoffs at the airlines and now
>they’re hitting Las Vegas and next the car rental companies and hotels
>and sky caps and catering companies and the list goes on and on. I
>guess what I’m saying is — Go to Las Vegas and get your mind off of
>things for a few days! I know that we’re planning a trip there next
>month and I’m looking forward to having my pick of any machine I want
>to play and any room I request at the hotel! We all just need to
>remember that we all need to be a bit more aware at all times! God
>bless.

Barb Hill wrote:

>We plan on coming to Las Vegas next year anyway! We don’t
>plan to alter our plans. What happen was a terrible tragedy but my
>husband and I look at it this way, if it’s your time to go it don’t
>make a difference where you are!

Karl C. Johnson wrote:

>After trying unsuccessfully to reserve a hotel room in Paris
>in July, I remembered seeing something on your site about hotel
>reservations. To make a long story short, I used the link, got a list
>of Paris hotels with available rooms, selected one, made the
>reservation online, and all at 3 a.m.! The hotel was just fine, and
>my comments on liking the city of Paris, but not liking its residents
>can wait for another time. Your service was great! Thank you.

We are seen as a “Vegas” website and people forget that we have great, discount rooms worldwide with the same ease of booking because of the contracts with have with major hotel brokers. Every month, people use us to book places near and far for both business and pleaseure and we are happy to help!

How we work: People think they get the best rates by wearing their fingers out on the phone, or checking every hotel website but here’s the TRUTH: We (in conjunction with our main travel partner HRN) are able to offer guaranteed low rates plus availability for “sold out” hotels because blocks of rooms are purchased at discount months in advance.

The hotels are willing to sell in bulk to assure the rooms get sold and YOU get the benefit of the wholesale pricing and the availability to type in your date and get a complete list of all our offerings — price and availability for every hotel at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

Hugh Martell of Vancouver, B.C. wrote:

>Greetings, I just received word about your newsletter from a friend
>and immediately subscribed. As an independent travel agent booking
>clients to Las Vegas, I find your site most valuable as well as
>interesting reading. It is rare to find info on Vegas which is
>opinionated and telling it like it is; the “Lonely Planet Guide” of
>Las Vegas. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! But my world would be
>even happier if there was a site like this for Hawaii!! Do you know
>of any? Perhaps you could clone yourself……. Best regards.

I wish I could clone myself too — so I could get some rest! I do enjoy the opportunity to “tell it like it is” but also remind readers this: I always have to evaluate the time / profit ratio of all aspects of my tourism business. The newsletter will be here as long as readers are willing to compare our rates and book with us if comparable.

Katie Gallant wrote:

>My husband and I were in Vegas last week and we saw the
>Clint Holmes show and was very pleased with his performance and how he
>related to the audience. He was great. Highly recommend him to
>anyone.

We agree, and you can read our review of Clint at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/clint-holmes-las-vegas-shows.htm If you are a reader that has seen Clint, please post your comments (good or bad) about him to our Headliners message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com/headliners_toc.htm

Cathy Satter wrote:

>I dined at the Stratosphere-Top of World Restaurant last
>week for the second time in less than 8 months. Both times, it has
>been one of the best places to have a nice quiet dinner away from all
>the hub bub of Vegas. The service and food is excellent. All of
>their food is ala carte but we did fine without the salad and split
>the vegetables between 3 of us. The view is the best — even though
>the restaurant is out of the way a little, it is well worth the side
>trip.

Sandy Morse wrote:

>My husband and I had talked about going to Las Vegas on
>vacation for years. We always ended up going on more tropical
>vacations Hawaii, Cancun, Aruba and Bahamas. Finally this year we
>said what are we waiting for so we made it to Las Vegas and now we
>CAN’T wait to go back. The only way to describe it was fun. The most
>fun we have ever had on a vacation. The atmosphere is just
>incredible. This is a great site. Thank you for making it possible
>for us (who live in New Jersey) to see live webcams of the best place
>in the world!

We’ve updated our webcam page. We don’t run any of the cams so have no control if one is down from time to time, but we have a long list of Las Vegas webcams at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-webcams.htm

Charmaine Davis from Florida wrote:

>Ted, Love coming to Las Vegas and we go there at least twice a year.
>We were just there in March and had a wonderful time staying at the
>Stratosphere. We were really looking forward to going back in October
>/ November timeframe but are holding off right now on making
>reservations (plane trip from south FL takes over 5 very nervous
>hours). My question concerns the CAPS service. Have you heard if the
>is now “obsolete” due to our Nation’s situation now? We had planned
>on staying this trip at Paris and was hopeful they would have this
>service.

CAPS (which we covered pretty extensively in recent issues) is not operating right now, and won’t be until curbside check-in is allowed again.

ESB wrote:

>Hey Ted – Love your newsletter, and always look forward to seeing it.
>Thank you for your wonderful efforts. I have a couple of questions
>that you could possibly address in an upcoming edition. I have been
>planning a trip to Las Vegas since last winter. I am coming down with
>my wife the third week of October (driving from Boise, Idaho). The
>main reason, initially, was to participate in the CART Driving 101
>’experience’ at LVMS, which I am signed-up for and eagerly
>anticipating (9 miles – 6 laps, with the last lap at 145 mph!, in a
>purpose-built champ car). I also signed up for the monthly free tour
>of the Nevada Test Site, and also wanted to take the $25 ‘hard hat’
>tour of Hoover Dam. I understand that the visitor center at Hoover
>Dam is now closed until further notice. I can get no information
>regarding the Nevada Test Site. Could you speculate as to when Hoover
>Dam might be ‘back to normal’? How about the NTS? I still intend on
>coming to Las Vegas, and will be staying at the Suncoast (first time).
>Thanks for any information.

Right now, all tours are still closed. That is very much a shame because the Hard Hat tour is great — we reviewed it at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/hoover-dam.htm However, the visitors center is open and you are allowed to enjoy the dam during daylight hours only. This is actually a fantastic opportunity because traffic can get backed up pretty bad from all of the trucks negotiating the tight curves approaching the dam. If you rent a car or drive to town, now is a great time to see the dam!

H.P.Kost Sr. wrote:

> Feedback, am disappointed that rates for Vegas in Dec.
>are so inflated. Have been trying to find something
>reasonable for Dec. 27-Jan 2 everything hangs around 550
>to $1800 for 6 days. I understand the expense for New
>Year’s Eve and Christmas, but the other 4 days. I thought a
>printed article you wrote said between Christmas and New
>Years were not the most expensive times.
> Most disappointed

I have noted a number up times that the two weeks leading up to Christmas are some of the cheapest of the year. Because so many are able to get time off between Christmas and New Years, people flock to Las Vegas starting December 26’th.

The travel industry is completely based on supply and demand. Except for the recent exception of the past two weeks, your best bets are to book 3-4 months in advance (the hotels and airlines have all their stock available but not sold) and use hotel booking engines like ours at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm to play with different travel dates until you find that “sweet spot” where more availability translates into cheaper rates.

Owen from South Shields, England wrote:
>
>A Feb: 2001 visit to the Harley-Davidson Cafe convinced me this is one of the best
>restaurants not only in Las Vegas but the USA – I sampled the Baby
>Back Ribs and they came quickly served by a guy who almost fell over
>backwards to make me feel at home — + brought me ample warm wet cloth
>towels to wash the sauce from my hands and face. The ribs were
>perfectly cooked and a good full rack. The decor of the place honors
>the great US of A especially with the chain link Stars and Stripes
>dominating one wall. I recommend anyone who loves America to eat
>there.

Owen if referring to our review last week of Harley-Davidson Cafe. The review is archived at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/harley-davidson-cafe-las-vegas.htm

Barry and Roz wrote:

>Ted: I think your site is great!!
>
>My wife and I like the rate the hotel site.
>We are staying at the Trop in Sept (good feedback).
>
>We were in Vegas in May and the one
>negative thing we noticed were the people
>handing out the coupons for adult
>entertainment!!
>
>I thought they put an end to this.
>What happened and why are they
>getting away with this?
>
>They are very aggressive and even
>hand them to guys with their wife
>and children with him.
>
>Again keep up the good work.

Thanks for the kind words. A number of efforts have been made to stop what we call the “porn peddlers” here, but they get struck down in court. Part of the right to free speach is the right to hand out literature. I play a little game: they aren’t allowed to touch you so I walk as absolutely close to them as I can while never glancing their way (they bang the pamphlets together to try to get your attention). I’ve also heard of people “accidentally” spilling beer on them as they walk by, but of course we could NEVER OFFICIALLY suggest doing things like that.

Bill & Rona Robertson from Glasgow wrote:

>Ted,
>
>Thank you for editing the most informative and unbiased site we have
>found on Las Vegas. This trip will be our first to Vegas and your
>site has been of enormous assistance to us in the planning. Main
>reason for the visit is our Son’s wedding. We are a party of seven
>coming over from Scotland and the men intend to wear their kilts that
>day despite the heat. Should you be passing the Venetian around noon
>on Wednesday 26 September, pop in and have a drink with us to
>celebrate. Looking forward to the trip so much. Thanks again.

This letter was going to be published three weeks ago, and I was looking forward to hoping some of our readers were able to spot this group and say hello! We still hope you had a great time.

++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

Your input is welcome. Because of limited space here, we encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) mailto:[email protected] While space doesn’t permit publishing every letter, we do certainly read them all and they help shape our content. Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional).



ONLINE POLL – “Are you putting off travel plans in light of the WTC Tragedy?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next week!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Have a request for a review? Confused when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop.

If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us using the travel links listed at the top of each issue. You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at: http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: http://www.recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=826126 to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
September 26, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – September 19, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 60 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This weekly newsletter is free and only sent to those who request it. If you receive this by mistake or wish off our list, simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. We encourage you to pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is sent in its entirety. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected]

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Travel Packages (Hotel/Air): http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Discount Hotel Rooms: http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Low Airfare: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Reservation Hotline: 1-800-666-5268 (for those who can’t book online)

MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas opinions! Our boards are new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at http://boards.accessvegas.com

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THIS ISSUE: Harley-Davidson Cafe

EDITOR’S NOTES: We’ll be somewhat back to “normal” this week, although the letters section will feature notes I received regarding the tragedy. I want to encourage you to take advantage of the lower hotel rates and the opportunity to go about your business and show that we won’t be put in fear of our way of life.

Hotel rates are down. The lines at vacation destinations are shorter, the traffic isn’t bad. In fact, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is: We are going to give $1 to the Red Cross for every room night you readers book now through Sept. 26, 2001. No catch, you still get to take advantage of our rebate spectacular, and the guaranteed low rates! Full details at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

It doesn’t even have to be Las Vegas. It can be any one of the 150+ cities we book. Worried about getting a flight (or don’t want to fly)? Drive to Atlantic City, Biloxi, Charleston, Florida (Space Coast, West Palm, Lauderdale, Miami, The Keys, Ft. Myers, or Panama City Beach), Gatlinburg, Hilton Head, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Williamsburg, or Yellowstone (just to mention a few).

Why are we doing this? We feel terrible for the thousands of lives lost in the World Trade Center tragedy. We also feel for the tens of thousands in the hospitality and travel industry who have been laid off. These are hard working people just like you and I, many with families to feed. If you need to get away for the weekend, week, or were thinking about booking a trip for later this year, this is the time to get great rates and show you support at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm




LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

Room prices slashed in LV
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-19-Wed-2001/news/17031349.html

MCCARRAN INTERNATIONAL: Airport at 93 percent
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-19-Wed-2001/news/17031558.html

Acosta’s `Lasting Impressions’ no more at Flamingo
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-19-Wed-2001/news/17019960.html

Park Place Entertainment postpones Caesars Palace hotel tower project
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-18-Tue-2001/business/17021616.html

LV casinos look at layoffs
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/sun/2001/sep/17/512362301.html

Mandalay says it anticipates some layoffs
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-18-Tue-2001/business/17023201.html

Wynn’s Plans for Desert Inn Revealed
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-000069591aug28.story

Trinidad, Hopkins to fight Sept. 29
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-18-Tue-2001/sports/17022356.html

City has ‘fabulous’ license plate
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-18-Tue-2001/news/17019647.html

Las Vegas dealers scrutinized for effects of second-hand smoke
http://www.enn.com/news/enn-stories/2001/09/09132001/s_44914.asp

LOCAL NEWS – updated daily at http://www.accessvegas.com

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out: http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm
2. Book a room online at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!




CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

ALEXANDER CALDER: THE ART OF INVENTION – includes pieces rarely seen publicly and will be on display at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art Oct. 6, 2001 to Feb. 3, 2002. Organized in collaboration with The Calder Foundation, this exhibit consists of work from 1926 to 1976 including mobiles, stabiles, toys, jewelry and household objects. It will be open from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Reservations are recommended at (888) 488-7111. Admission is $12 and an audio tour is included with admission price.

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* David Darkstone – http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/leisure/2001/aug/17/512229893.html
* I Love LaFong (Bourbon Street) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-07-Fri-2001/weekly/16927462.html
* Society of Seven (Hilton) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-07-Fri-2001/weekly/16925224.html

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING, WEATHER:

* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Search by date at http://www.accessvegas.com/show-tickets.htm
* SHOW REVIEWS – Read our unbiased, archived show reviews at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – Grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Search by date, see prices at http://www.accessvegas.com/golf-reservations.htm
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.accessvegas.com/dinner-reservations.htm
* LAS VEGAS WEATHER – http://www.wunderground.com/US/NV/Las_Vegas.html

EVENT LISTINGS:

NOTE: Do to staffing problems, we are a little behind in updating the Headliners and Concerts sections listed below. We hope to have everything up-to-date by the end of the month. Thank you for your patience. For Shows, you can enter your dates of travel and get accurate, updated show dates and prices right now at http://www.accessvegas.com/show-tickets.htm

* SHOWS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-shows.htm
* HEADLINERS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm
* CONCERT – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* 3950 (Mandalay Bay) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-29-Wed-2001/living/16833638.html

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FEATURE STORY: Harley-Davidson Cafe

While coincidence, it seem fitting to be talking about a restaurant which commemorates a legendary American product and has a decidedly patriotic theme and red, white, and blue decor.

This is one of the more successful theme eateries in Las Vegas. Country Star Cafe, Dive!, Race Rock and All Star Cafe have bit the dust (although Race Rock might be temporarily closed), and word is still out on the new ESPN Zone but the huge 28 foot high, $500,000 Harley replica above the door as well as the prime lower-Strip location make them hard to miss.

Whether the restaurant lasts 100 years like the famous motorcycles have remain to be seen, but if you are a biker, weekend biker, or just have a “good ole’ boy” love of the US or things related to it, pop your head in the door for a spell.

Memorabilia includes seven Harley-Davidson Motorcycles displayed hanging from a conveyor belt winding its way through every area of the Cafe. On one wall is a 40′ x 40 American Flag, made from 44,000 chain links and weighing over 7 tons. A theme restaurant must have that celebrity connection, and the Cafe has famous bikes on display which include “Captain America” from the movie Easy Rider as well as Harley motorcycles and memorabilia from celebrities such as Elvis, Ann-Margret, and Billy Joel.

This is a themed restaurant which means the emphasis is more on memoribilia and surroundings (read: the food isn’t bargain-priced but has really cutsy names). However, the quality was good and they don’t skimp on the portions. My only complaint was that everything seemed a little on the salty side, but not terribly so.

They have a very complete menu, and house specialties include:

The Harley Hog Sandwich: Carolina pulled pork sandwich with French fries and Coleslaw $10.25

Chicken Pot Pie: Chicken and vegetables topped with a pastry crust $13.50

Homestyle Meatloaf: With broccoli, mashed potatoes and brown gravy $11.25

Kellogg’s CornFlake Coated Chicken Fingers: Chicken tenders served with your choice of Original, Honey-BBQ or Buffalo Style sauce $7.50

BBQ Baby Back Ribs: House-smoked ribs with baked beans and cole slaw $19.95

Vegetarian Wrap Sandwich: Grilled and roasted carrots, zucchini and yellow squash, with a basil pesto, wrapped in a spinach tortilla. Served with seasonal fruit $8.75

Georgia House Salad: Assorted lettuces with bacon, chunks of blue cheese and candied pecans with a vinaigrette dressing $8.95

Warm Chocolate Chip Toll House Cookie Pie: With vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate syrup $5.95

Tank full of Sundae: served with three scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, a whole banana, lotsa fixins’ and your choice of hot chocolate or butterscotch $7.95

The Harley-Davidson Cafe is located between The Aladdin and MGM, across from Holiday Inn Boardwalk on the lower Strip. They open at 11:00 AM daily, closing at 11:00 PM on weeknights and midnight on Sunday. Their number is (702) 740-4555 and they accept all major credit cards.

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EDITORS NOTE: I was swamped with letters this past week. Although not able to respond to every letter I always read them all and appreciate them. I’m going to post a representative sample here. They all have to do with my last newsletter and the events of last week. Next week, we’ll get back to the “We liked this, but had a problem with that” letters that I trust many find helpful in planning their Vegas vacation.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Melissa Crumly of Springfield, IL wrote:

>Dear Ted,
>
>My mother, brother, and I have been planning a trip to Vegas for
>months. Even though the recent terrorist attacks have left so many of
>us reeling, I agree with you wholeheartedly that we should not let
>such attacks make us live in fear. If we do that, the terrorists have
>won and accomplished what they set out to do.
>
>Our trip is about 3 weeks away — so some of the sorrow will have worn
>off — and we plan to have as much fun as possible. After all, none
>of us knows how much time we have . . . so, we should spend it
>enjoying ourselves, our families, and our friends and not waste it by
>worrying where and when the next tragedy is going to happen.
>
>We are strong people, and we deserve enjoying the wonderful places and
>people our country has to offer.

I hope most US citizens share your view and show their support for our economy by getting out and traveling again. Even if scared to fly, there are plenty of great destinations a days drive from just about anywhere. We are looking forward to making donations to the Red Cross this week for everyone who takes advantage of our offer at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

Sandy Abramovich wrote:

>Thanks so much for posting the pictures of the strip on the night of
>remembrance — this whole tragic experience is so soul rending. We’re
>90 miles away from WTC, everyone around here has a story of someone
>they know/are related to that worked there. It’s very unifying to
>know that a city almost 3,000 miles away is mourning as we are.
>Thanks again!

Last Friday night, a number of hotels turned off all nonessential exterior lighting in remembrance of the victims. Sandy is referring to the photos at http://www.accessvegas.com/never-again.htm which I took that evening from the hills above Las Vegas.

Phyllis DeJong wrote:

>I don’t think anyone could have said this better. I think the music
>is so soothing and it does allow us to let our minds relax for a short
>time. I miss Las Vegas and was about to buy tickets and am holding
>off until I see how things go. It will be hard to fly again. Yes, we
>had someone in the Pentagon, but they managed to get out. Enjoy your
>newsletter so much.

Phyllis is referring to the Mirage Waterfalls video I posted last week at http://tv.accessvegas.com/videos/sights/index.htm The short clip was produced a few weeks ago, but seemed appropriate for the mood.

Wendy & Peter Emond wrote:

>Comments: Hi I am from Ontario Canada (Callander) and my husband and I
>truck drive all across the US I feel so sick for a couple of days
>now on what happened in New York. My husband and I have a lot of
>people in the US that we know relatives and fellow drivers. My heart
>totally goes out to all the Americans and Canadians that have been
>effected by this terrible tragedy. God Bless. Your friends from Canada.

Angela Madden wrote:

>Thanks for the email. I love getting these regularly, as they always
>remind me of the superb holidays I’ve had in your wonderful city.
>
>We have all been shocked by the horror of Tuesday’s attack,
>particularly here in Northern Ireland. We know the full horror of
>terrorism, and the unspeakable grief it causes. We also know that the
>sprit of America and the will of its people will carry your country
>through this terrible time.

Carol wrote:

>Thanks for the great email about what’s happening in our country. It
>was a nice welcome home letter. I went (to Las Vegas) Sept 8 to the 15th. I thought
>the show of support by draping the American flag outside the casinos
>was fantastic. Please send more info as you get it I am very
>interested in the articles. Once again thanks for the info.

Sandy F. wrote:

>I would like to extend my appreciation to the people of Las Vegas.
>While my husband and I were in Las Vegas when this Attack on America
>happened, we were frantic to get out of Las Vegas. We ran out of
>critical medicine while there but for the patience of the Walgreens
>staff we were able to get our prescriptions within 24 hours. The
>courtesy extended by the staff while waiting in line for the
>prescriptions was overwhelming. They served everyone with free water
>and snacks. We finally were able to get confirmation with our agent
>from Albany, NY with Southwest Airline. While waiting in line for 4
>hours in the sun outside and finally inside, the airline served free
>water, also the Salvation Army came by with sandwich’s for the people
>waiting. In these trying times it is a pleasure to see people come
>together to help others wherever possible.

Maureen Smithson wrote:

>Just a short line from the Brits in the Canary Isles to say that our
>hearts and prayers are with the wonderful people of America we grieve
>with you.

++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

Your input is welcome. Because of limited space here, we encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) mailto:[email protected] While space doesn’t permit publishing every letter, we do certainly read them all and they help shape our content. Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional).


Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Scenic Southwest Tours – by plane, bus, or even helicopter! You’ve seen the glossy ads in the tourist brochures. You’ve thought about it. You come all the way to Las Vegas — why not see one of the some of the most famous landmarks in the world! Don’t by tricked by web sites & magazines that offer discount tours. Taxes, park fees, permits can almost double the price. Our prices are inclusive – no hidden charges! Best Las Vegas Tours


EDITORS NOTE: I never got a chance to really publicize our poll that has been up the past couple of weeks, so I’m going to shelve that question for later.

ONLINE POLL – “Are you putting off travel plans in light of the WTC Tragedy?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in two weeks!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Have a request for a review? Confused when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop.

If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us using the travel links listed at the top of each issue. You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at: http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: http://www.recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=826126 to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
September 19, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – September 5, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 50 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This weekly newsletter is free and only sent to those who request it. If you receive this by mistake or wish off our list, simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this to friends and associates in its entirely. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected]

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms : http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Condos and Vacation Rentals: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickcondo?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Reservation Hotline: 1-800-666-5268

MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas opinions! Our boards are new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at http://boards.accessvegas.com

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THIS ISSUE: Guinness World of Records Museum

EDITOR’S NOTES: I’m making a slight format change. Instead of providing a short summery of each story then linking to the full text, I’ll make a few comments on the more interesting happenings of the past week then have headlines with links to full stories.

I spoke with Vanna Lace (Penthouse, Miss Nude World) last weekend about her upcoming role in Skintight at Harrah’s. She will be replacing former Playboy Playmate Cynthia Brimhall and tells me the show is being revamped for her role.

Our video tests continue to go well. I found three short Las Vegas tourism commercials from a few years ago which I put back-to-back at http://tv.accessvegas.com/commercials just for fun. Word of warning: these will give you that “Vegas Vibe” and you’ll be booking your next trip here after watching them!

Finally, my apologies to the new Nectar restaurant at Bellagio for last week’s typo, where a typo noted the Dungeness Crab as “Dungeness Crap.” A number of you caught that error — at least you had a good laugh! If you try Nectar, please post your comments of the dining area of our message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com


Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Scenic Southwest Tours – by plane, bus, or even helicopter! You’ve seen the glossy ads in the tourist brochures. You’ve thought about it. You come all the way to Las Vegas — why not see one of the some of the most famous landmarks in the world! Don’t by tricked by web sites & magazines that offer discount tours. Taxes, park fees, permits can almost double the price. Our prices are inclusive – no hidden charges! Best Las Vegas Tours


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

McCarran airport is noting flight operations at 90% of normal and the delays are dwindling.

* STRATOSPHERE TOWER: Resort proposes 120 mph ride – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-28-Tue-2001/news/16869573.html
* Stratosphere: Amusement device will be quiet, tasteful – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-01-Sat-2001/news/16904942.html
* Powerball winner heading for (where else?) Las Vegas – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-29-Wed-2001/news/16866604.html
* Valley sales boom: LV housing market setting record pace – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-25-Sat-2001/business/16852074.html
* Golden opportunity: Disgruntled Californians set sights on different horizons, in Nevada and elsewhere – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-27-Mon-2001/business/16823316.html
* Yuma first, Vegas second on list of nation’s best weather – http://www.uniontrib.com/news/state/20010828-0732-az-bestweath.html
* Locals hail plan for golf course: Desert Inn layout long on tradition, quality, they say – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-23-Thu-2001/news/16836406.html
* Stage set for mall: Fashion Show adds elevated runway – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-28-Tue-2001/business/16867492.html
* Madonna concert love-hate affair – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-03-Mon-2001/news/16913611.html
* Madonna stuck to the script for her weekend in LV – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-05-Wed-2001/news/16928706.html
* Iskoe’s College Football Angle Analysis: NFL Record/Fact Book Super – http://www.casinogaming.com/columnists/shelf/082901.html

LOCAL NEWS – updated daily at http://www.accessvegas.com

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out: http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm
2. Book a room online at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!

WINNER! – Brian Deeley of Philadelphia, PA won the relocation guide.




CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

SECOND CITY – alum and Emmy-Award winner Joe Flaherty will join the Las Vegas Second City ensemble for a special series of performances at Bugsy’s Celebrity Theatre in The Flamingo Sept. 14 – Sept. 16. Shows are at 8 and 10 PM Tickets are still available and can be obtained online at http://www.accessvegas.com/show-tickets.htm (Show is listed as “The Second City”)

CONGRATS – goes to both Clint Holmes and Mac King for their (separate) new five year contracts are Harrah’s. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-04-Tue-2001/living/16902136.html Both shows are worth seeing and you can read our archived reviews:

Clint Holmes: http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/clint-holmes-las-vegas-shows.htm
Mac King: http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/mac-king-comedy-magic.htm

RAHMAN vs. LEWIS – billed as “Judgment Day”, these two fighters meet November 17 in their WBC and IBF rematch at Mandalay Bay. Tickets available at (702) 632-7580

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Elvis Shows (Various) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-17-Fri-2001/weekly/16766157.html
* Rodney Dangerfield (MGM) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-31-Fri-2001/weekly/16876159.html

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING, WEATHER:

* SHOW REVIEWS – Read our unbiased, archived show reviews at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com
* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Search by date at http://www.accessvegas.com/show-tickets.htm
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – Grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Search by date, see prices at http://www.accessvegas.com/golf-reservations.htm
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.accessvegas.com/dinner-reservations.htm
* LAS VEGAS WEATHER – http://www.wunderground.com/US/NV/Las_Vegas.html

EVENT LISTINGS:

* SHOWS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-shows.htm
* HEADLINERS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm
* CONCERT – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Ortanique (Paris) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Sep-05-Wed-2001/living/16896642.html
* Steak House (Circus Circus) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-10-Fri-2001/weekly/16712348.html

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FEATURE STORY: Guinness World of Records Museum

You have to go out of your way to find the Las Vegas version of this world famous Museum. And unlike the Liberace Museum or others that have loads of authentic items, this museum leans more on displays, facts, and videos. However, if you (or your kids) are curious about the world we live in, this is a reasonably fun and inexpensive stop on your Vegas itinerary.

You enter to a replica of the world’s tallest man, and move on to the world’s heaviest as well as the shortest twins. Then to food and drink: the largest shot glass collection in the world (seems appropriate for Vegas), replicas of the biggest fruits and vegetables in the world in a giant fruit basket, and information on a variety of food eating records. Although in a different area, that might tie in with the world’s largest “air sickness bags” gathered from airlines all over the world!

Other sections of the museum include graphical or interactive displays for tallest structures, highest mountains, entertainment and music, and space achievements. Of special interest were displays with videos of the world’s largest domino fall records that were fascinating to watch as well as a video of the worlds longest rope slide (two guys strung a rope almost a mile up a mountain and slid all the way down together on a pulley).

A special Las Vegas section notes the records set by the Luxor Beam (strongest light — can be seen from space), Stratosphere Tower (highest thrill rides), Fremont St. Experience light show, Hoover Dam, and others.

For sports buffs, they have an interactive sports record database where you can look up just about any record every set in any sport. This is part of a good-sized sports record display.

Las Vegas Guinness World of Records is located at 2780 Las Vegas Blvd. South (The Strip — halfway between Circus Circus and The Sahara across from Wet N’ Wild). Open daily, admission is $6.00 for adults, $5 for students, seniors, and military, and $4 for children under 12.




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Bob Larson wrote:

>Ellis Island is the best food deal in town if you don’t mind
>being off strip and in a place populated by the locals. We were there
>21-25 July and the $1.99 steak and eggs and the $4.95 24/7 steak
>dinner are great. Also they brew 7 kinds of their own beer. A round
>of a tall weiss beir and a bloody mary was only $3.

Ellis Island is on Koval behind Bally’s. Not only do they have great food specials (the ($4.95 steak is an “off menu special” last I checked — ask for it) and microbrews, but they are famous for the nightly Karaoke.

Denise Brewer wrote:

>Taxi’s are expensive, the bus and shuttles are usually
>crowded and stop frequently which makes a short hop down the strip
>take much longer. Our solution? We rent a car. The hotels offer
>free parking but if you park the car yourself, you usually have to
>walk a long way from the garage. Use valet parking instead! It’s
>free! And, the valet lane is always next to a main hotel/casino
>entrance — very convenient. We always tip the driver who brings our
>car to us a buck or two. We don’t tip when dropping it off. It’s
>wonderful knowing we have our own transportation any time you want it
>and the money we spend on the rental is always less than what we would
>have spent on taxi’s.

Graham Steel wrote:

>I have returned home today to England after a wonderful week at the
>Luxor, and found the CAPS service to be invaluable. It meant that our
>last day in Vegas could be a proper ‘vacation’ day, instead of sitting
>around after the compulsory checkout time with luggage just waiting
>for that time when you have to leave. It worked superbly; checked in
>our suitcases at am, left our hand baggage at the hotel safety deposit
>room, and fully enjoyed our last day in Vegas.
>
>The only thing to remember, though, is this; when checking in as
>normal at the Airport, a passenger can request an ’emergency exit’
>seat, to give more leg room on a long flight. This is done on a
>’first come, first served’ basis. However, CAPS does not have this
>option; it is left to airline staff at the departure gate to
>distribute these highly sought-after seats. So, you have virtually no
>chance of getting one if you use the CAPS service!

Nikki wrote:

>I wanted to know why they changed the name of Grand Slam Canyon and
>why the tram the park or whatever it was closed I want to know the
>truth about it. I have been told that the car’s on it smashed together
>causing a very bad accident is that true? I know the park has it’s
>problems my mother was hurt and the water ride when the park opened
>some years ago it went of the track and hit the wall instead of the
>water.

The name change to Adventuredome was just a marketing decision. I’ve lived here almost a decade and have not heard of serious injury at the park. You didn’t include anymore details or outcome. Both the park and the tram are operating normally and you can read our review of Adventuredome (with photos) at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/circus-circus-adventuredome.htm

Dan & Deanne wrote:

>We recently spent a week in Las Vegas and had a good time, except for
>the phone call we made home to our son. We made a collect call from
>the Gold Strike and we talked seven (7) minutes. When we returned
>home and received our phone bill it cost $19.30!! That is absurd!! I
>called to inquire as to why we had received this ridiculous charge and
>was told that it was because of the carrier that picked it up. I feel
>we should have been warned that they were charging an outrageous fee
>and we would have made the call from somewhere else. You can be sure
>we’ll NEVER make another phone call from a casino. Actually the best
>part of our trip was our tour of the Las Vegas Speedway and Red Rock
>Canyon.

Much of the charge is based on the carrier the hotel uses, and you will find yourself getting zapped the same way if you make a collect call from a pay phone (hence, the success of those TV ads encouraging you to save money using their service for collect calls). We strongly suggest buying a phone card before your trip like the one we advertise at http://www.accessvegas.com/cogni-talk.htm and use it at pay phones.

Joanne of Ithaca, NY wrote:

>I am visiting Vegas in early October and interested in see some of the
>nearby sites. Is there a review, recommendation or warning for the
>trips available to Red Rock, Grand Canyon, etc.? Also, is the Fremont
>Street area as safe as the Strip area?

Despite the recent helicopter accident, we suggest air (plane or helicopter) trips to the Grand Canyon. It is hours from Las Vegas by bus. You spend far more time on the bus than seeing the Canyon. We are going to be taking a ‘copter trip this fall and will have first hand reports and info then. I just haven’t had the time to take the tours yet! Red Rock Canyon is about 30 minutes from The Strip — worth the car rental for the day as it is well worth seeing. Info at http://www.redrock.org

Fremont Street Experience is a very safe provided you stay within a block or two of the canopy light show area.

Shelli Wolis wrote:

>For your information, I’m spending two weeks in LV from August 25th
>through September 8th and will be taking a copy of your newsletter
>with me. Your information is more than helpful in some of my planning
>and I forward it to friends as they travel.
>
>Thank you for the wonderful work you do!

++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

Your input is welcome. Because of limited space here, we encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) mailto:[email protected] While space doesn’t permit publishing every letter, we do certainly read them all and they help shape our content. Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional).




ONLINE POLL – “How long do you usually stay in Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in two weeks!

Results from our last poll “What is your favorite Las Vegas souvenir?”

Gaming Chips 33%
Drink Glasses 20%
Coin Cups 19%
T-Shirts, Clothes 18%
Gift Shop Misc. (Dice Clock, Postcards, Etc) 8%

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

LAS VEGAS TRAVEL PACKAGES: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm

LAS VEGAS TRAVEL SPECIALS:

VEGAS HOTELS ON SALE:
Imperial Palace from $69
Caesars from $189

VEGAS VACATIONS ON SALE:
Luxor from $283
Monte Carlo from $329

Book any above specials at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Have a request for a review? Boggled when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop. If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us at http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at: http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: http://www.recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=826126 to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
Sept. 5, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – August 22, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 50 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This weekly newsletter is free and only sent to those who request it. If you receive this by mistake or wish off our list, simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this to friends and associates in its entirely. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected]

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms : http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Condos and Vacation Rentals: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickcondo?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Reservation Hotline: 1-800-666-5268

MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas opinions! Our boards are new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at http://boards.accessvegas.com

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THIS ISSUE: Le Cabaret

EDITOR’S NOTES: After sending the last issue, I was out the door for a family reunion for a few days. It’s nice to get away, but after a few days I miss Las Vegas just like many of you do when you have to leave … and I live here!

The good news right now is that the decline in business travel has brought airfares down, and the opening of 1000 more rooms at Stratosphere have helped soften up Las Vegas room prices. Use the links above to plan an October getaway to Vegas, especially if the weather where you live turns cold by then. Plus, football season and baseball playoffs are coming up!



á


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:WYNN AGAIN – Steve Wynn has formally revealed plans for the resort that will mark his return to the Las Vegas Strip — a 45-story, 2,455-room, 514-foot golden glass tower, complete with a four-acre lake, rising above Las Vegas Boulevard. The plans, which depict a resort that makes liberal use of skylights, gardens and water, were filed with the Clark County Planning Commission recently, and that agency will consider Wynn’s proposal tonight. The commission staff has recommended approval of the plans.
THE MONORAIL – Work has begun on the monorail which will run along the East side of The Strip, behind the hotels. The four mile monorail is expected to get 19 million riders each year, and should be a nice alternative to the lousy cab service and gridlock that haunts The Strip even on weekdays now. Story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-3.htm

ELVIS – Elvis Presley died 24 years ago this month, but the King of Rock and Roll lives on. Presley is now delighting fans with Elvis Live in Las Vegas, a new four-CD box set that chronicles his famous performances in the town he made his own. Full story at http://www.sptimes.com/News/081601/Floridian/Elvis_and_Vegas__toge.shtml You can buy the new box set on sale at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005LN70/invegascom

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HORSESHOE – Without fanfare but with a secure place in Las Vegas history, Binion’s Horseshoe celebrates its 50th birthday today. One of the city’s longest-operating casinos, the Horseshoe set trends for many of today’s most successful gambling properties. Founded Aug. 15, 1951, by Benny Binion, a former Dallas bootlegger and illegal casino operator, the privately owned, family-run Horseshoe offered bigger betting limits and more free food and drinks to customers than other casinos. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-15-Wed-2001/business/16775905.html

SOUVENIR GLASSES – Where else but Las Vegas can one get a 52-ounce margarita in a plastic cup shaped like a sphinx, or a 32-ounce strawberry daiquiri in an Eiffel Tower-shaped glass or even 40 ounces of Passion Punch in what looks like a prop from the television show “I Dream of Jeanie”? Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-21-Tue-2001/living/16783796.html and this week’s poll asks you what your favorite Las Vegas souvenir is. Come vote at http://www.accessvegas.com

LOVE THE CABBIES – Lately, a week hasn’t gone by without the cab drivers sticking their foot in their mouths. Last week, we noted that they were griping about working shifts to help accommodate the maximum number of arrivals at McCarran.

This week, cab driver Harvey Wiginton said in a Letter to the Editor of the Review-Journal, “The people who cause the traffic problems are the drive-ins from California. They do not park their cars and ride the buses, trolleys and cabs now … The best way to solve the Strip traffic problem would be for all the hotels to charge for parking. I believe that if these people had to pay every time they moved their cars, they would walk and ride taxis, buses and trolleys.” Full text is available at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-22-Wed-2001/opinion/16814259.html (second letter down).

Maybe ole’ Harvey should try to squeeze himself onto the hot, crowded busses on The Strip in the evening. How he can compare that to a state-of-the-art monorail running on it’s own tracks above the crowds (faster travel), I’ll never know. Maybe more people would take the cabs if the cabbies weren’t running you through the airport tunnel, which adds $5-10 to the ride. (Note: if you aren’t renting a car, use one of the hotel shuttle services available at the airport — a set price regardless of traffic or routing.)

NEXT BIG STAR – Ed McMahon’s “Next Big Star” TV show has started taping at the MGM. It is basically Star Search revisited, and will be airing nationally. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-13-Mon-2001/living/16743982.html Tickets for Sept. 7-9, 21-23, and 28-30 tapings are free and may be obtained by calling (866) 746-9849, Ext. 639

TRAVEL CHANNEL – is still looking for couples planning a Las Vegas wedding to appear in a TV special:

HAVE YOUR LAS VEGAS WEDDING ON TV!
A new series for the Travel Channel entitled “Two For Las Vegas” is looking for fun and interesting couples to be featured on a national television show. You must already have wedding plans confirmed for July 9th through the end of September 2001. The more unusual, the better, but traditional is fine too! If you are interested please send an email to (click) mailto:[email protected] – and request an application. Selected applicants will be notified approximately a week before their actual wedding date. Best of luck!

HIGHWAY STATIONS – If you make the drive from Southern California, you are familiar with the “Highway Stations” with broadcast along the deserted stretches of I-15 and I-40. A recent article tells their story and has a listing of the stations and frequencies. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-19-Sun-2001/business/16623246.html

CASINO SOFTWARE – The Microsoft Casino trial version takes you into the tropics with access to The Mirage resort. Start with $10,000 and play until you win big ($100,000) or lose it all! Along the way, play and win up to three different comps from featuring Sigfried & Roy, Danny Gans and the buffet. Download at http://www.microsoft.com/insider/pf/CasinoTrial.htm

NOT FOR KIDS – Not only is Las Vegas becoming a less child friendly place for tourists, but the Kid-Friendly Cities Report Card 2001 gave Las Vegas a B- and ranked it 97th compared with 140 other cities of its size.
CBS – continues to draws thousands to its research facility, Television City, in the MGM Grand. Tourists willing to give up an hour of their time can preview upcoming shows, promos, and test pilots and give their input. Full story and details at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-2.htm

VIDEOS – We are continuing to test online video segments. To test server and coding, I took a couple of minutes of Mystere and encoded it for online viewing. You can take a peek at http://tv.accessvegas.com/mystere.htm

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out: http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm
2. Book a room online at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!

WINNERS! – Scott Graton or Brownstown, MI and Yvonne Kistler of Wichita Falls, TX were the winners of the Casino Perks coupons books.

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CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Amazing Jonathan (Golden Nugget)

* Society of Seven (Hilton) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-07-Tue-2001/living/16695996.html
* Smothers Brothers (Orleans) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-10-Fri-2001/weekly/16727726.html

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING, WEATHER:

* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Search by date at http://www.accessvegas.com/show-tickets.htm
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – Grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Search by date, see prices at http://www.accessvegas.com/golf-reservations.htm
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.accessvegas.com/dinner-reservations.htm
* LAS VEGAS WEATHER – http://www.wunderground.com/US/NV/Las_Vegas.html

EVENT LISTINGS:

* SHOWS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-shows.htm
* HEADLINERS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm
* CONCERT – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm

NECTOR – The new restaurant in Bellagio takes the place of Sam’s American. “Our goal is to offer guests an atmosphere as dynamic and vibrant as the meal” says Bryan O’Shields (Bellagio VP Food and Beverage). Offerings include Fried Green Tomato and BBQ’d Spare Rib Salad, Chili Rubbed “Free Range” Pork Chop, and Buffalo Mahi Mahi. Nectar’s lounge and raw bar serves giant gulf shrimp, oysters, clams, Dungeness crab, split lobster and other iced shellfish.

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Gallagher’s Steakhouse (New York, New York) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-15-Wed-2001/living/16724513.html
* Royal Star (Venetian) – http://www.accessvegas.com/story-4.htm

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FEATURE STORY: Le Cabaret

Le Cabaret is the new show at The Plaza downtown. It looks back to the days of variety shows with song, dance, impressions, and magic. This isn’t exactly the Ed Sullivan show, but a funny and sexy show which features three talented, young, up-and-coming performers who have put together a solid hour-plus of entertainment.

Jenny Alexander has been studying magic for eight years, and headlining at Caesars from 1997 – 2000 in the Magical Empire. Fit and attractive with dark hair and sexy, body conscious attire, she performs a variety of solid illusions. With magic on TV often and no one really stretching the limits with new illusions, performance and presentation make or break a live act and Alexander’s show kept the audience spellbound. It also just so happens that she was voted “Sexiest Women In Las Vegas” in the City Life readers poll last year.

“The Exotic Sarafina” is billed as a song and dance seductress, and she doesn’t let down in either department. Although her choice of music was somewhat campy (standard country tunes that I’m sure appeal to a broad range of people), she has a great voice and more importantly a riveting stage presence.

Because the show is new and still working on filling the showroom, she was able to really work the crowd while she sang in an up close and personal way, causing a number of men to blush while their wives laughed at the frivolity (nothing threatening, ladies). She also returned later for an extremely sensual onstage dance routine on a red couch shaped like a pair of lips.

La Cabaret’s star is one Larry G. Jones, a comedic impressionist who may someday be heir to the Danny Gans / Andre-Philippe Gagnon throne. He was buzzing through impressions so full of one-liners and comedic lyrics that you barely stopped laughing at the last one before he hit you with another zinger. He can do over 125 voices, and did at least half of them in his roughly 30 minute segment.

Jones does Julio and Willie, Chubby Checker, Johnny Cash, our last four US Presidents (in an Alice in Wonderland joke that pokes fun at Bill Clinton), an unmerciful stab at Mr. Rogers, a deep Lou Rawls, Cher, a hilarious Michael Jackson, a Wayne Newton that is possibly better than the present Wayne (who’s voice isn’t what it used to be after an illness a few years back), and far more than I could list here.

Le Cabaret is the perfect show to fit into your busy Las Vegas itinerary, packing plenty of entertainment and variety into an hour. I saw it with out-of-town relatives and our “do downtown Vegas” night consisted of seeing a light show, dinner, Le Cabaret, and then another light show and a little gambling.

Le Cabaret plays nightly (dark Monday) at 8 and 10 PM in the historic showroom of the Plaza Hotel downtown. Tickets are a reasonable $23.95 plus tax and include one drink. $5 discount coupons are available near the front desk. Although no nudity and only a couple naughty words, this is probably a show better suited to adults who will appreciate the impressions and comedic references.



á


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:Last week, a reader asked for comments on the CAPS service. For a fee, it allows you to check your bags and obtain your boarding passes for many airlines at locations in many hotels. Full details on CAPS at http://www.capstravel.com

Judy C. in Boston wrote:

>Hello Ted, I enjoy both your newsletter. I am writing in response to your
>call for the CAPS service. My friend and I used this service in June
>2000 when we stayed at Mandalay Bay and were flying Delta (I think at
>this time it was only at a few hotels and has since expanded to cover
>many more hotels and airlines). I had read about the service
>and decided it was a great idea and worth a try. The desk was also
>very conveniently located (right around the corner from the MB
>check-in desk) in the lobby. [By contrast, I found out on my last
>trip in May 2001 when we stayed at the Luxor that the CAPS desk was
>all the way downstairs by the West entrance] >
>When I used CAPS, the check-in was very quick. The reservations
>agents checked our ID’s and then assigned boarding passes with seat
>assignments. Our bags were ticketed with our destination with the
>same tags that they issue at the airport check-in counter. We paid
>our $6 and were free of our bags for the rest of the day. Later, we
>had the redeye flight out and just went directly to the airport,
>returned our rental car, and didn’t have to lug the baggage in and out
>of the car trunk or on and off the bus. We just got on the shuttle
>bus, went to the terminal and right to the gate–avoiding any lines at
>the check-in desk or skycap. I checked out our boarding passes at the
>desk at the gate just to make sure everything was okay (I do this
>every time after having an experience where upon boarding the airplane
>I found out that my seat didn’t exist!). No problems with the
>boarding passes–they were the same ones issued by the airline. As
>for our bags, they made it with flying colors–in fact, they were
>among the first few off the airplane! I highly recommend using the
>CAPS service to save yourself some time, aggravation, and strained
>muscles and all for only $6!
>
>The only caveat–they require check-in a few hours before your flight.
>(I think at least 3 hours but am not 100% sure–I would verify this
>with the CAPS desk.) Also, of course, you won’t have access to your
>bags after you check them with CAPS. The tradeoff is that you don’t
>have to transport them from the hotel to the airport. What I did was
>pack my carryon with everything I thought I would need. I kept it
>with me but I guess you could check it with the bell desk if needed.
>A great service and I highly recommend it.

Leslie wrote:

>I would consider this service to be almost nonexistent as most of the
>major airlines, i.e., United, US Air, etc., do not subscribe to it
>which we found out at the very end of our vacation to Vegas. Staying
>at the Sahara we had to check out of our room by Noon, but our flight
>wasn’t leaving until 11:30 p.m., so we thought the CAPS was the
>perfect solution until we found out that only about ten obscure
>airlines are processed. That totally ruined our last day in Vegas!
>But hey the rest of the trip was a real winner.

CAPS has been expanding the list of participating airlines. List at http://www.capstravel.com/sub.cfm?page=airlines Unfortunately, they don’t serve some of the carriers that are popular for travel from the East coast yet.

Joe D’Agnese wrote:

>Hi my name is Joe D’Agnese I was in Vegas in May and will be back in
>Sept can’t wait! I used the caps at the Flamingo Hilton on my check
>out for my wife and myself. It was great took our bags to airport
>gave us our tickets then we had more time to enjoy Vegas will do it
>again in Sept. Hope this helps.

Jerold Berman wrote:

>Used CAPS at Sahara Hotel … it is perfect …. check your luggage 6
>hours before departing LV … Took auto back to Alamo and got on plane
>without carrying or worrying about luggage … Worth every
>dollar …. Bought a stuffed animal which was to large for suit
>case … went to U-Haul and bought a box large big enough for stuffed
>animal to fit … taped it up and took it to CAPS with other
>luggage …. No fuss, no mess trying to carry all bags ….. Use CAPS
>always…..

Good point: If you are like me, you buy more stuff on vacation than you have room to carry back. The above is a great suggestion. If you have a rental car, and are up against your baggage limit, you can also go to Mail Boxes Etc., and ship the stuff back (something I did on my last trip — the fee was worth the packing and shipping).

Bruce Olson wrote:

>We usually carry on bags, but one time we didn’t and
>used CAPS at Sahara. Little bit hesitant. Same feeling
>you have before a cruise. Whereas your bags going to
>end up? But it turned out great! Worth the price. Hope
>it doesn’t go up with popularity though. Hint: make
>sure only one person checks on bags, as it may be cheaper.

Elizabeth Beech wrote:

>I haven’t used the CAPS service, but I have used the similar service
>that was provided by National Airlines and Rio Hotel. I LOVED IT! I
>am one of those who always brings too much baggage, so this service
>was right up my alley. I hadn’t heard of CAPS, but I will be checking
>it out on my next visit.
>
>Thanks for your wonderful newsletter, Ted! The only problem with it,
>is that it makes me want to get in the car and head off for another
>visit to Vegas! ;-P

If we make you want to get back to Vegas, we’ve done our job. Wait until later this fall when we have all the new photos and video online!

++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

Your input is welcome. Because of limited space here, we encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) mailto:[email protected] While space doesn’t permit publishing every letter, we do certainly read them all and they help shape our content. Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional).

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LOCAL NOTES:

CHEAP COST OF LIVING – Las Vegas’ strong economy and low living costs give employers a huge advantage over those in many Western US cities when it comes to paying attractive salaries, according to The Eastridge Group’s 2001-2002 Southern Nevada Salary Survey. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-15-Wed-2001/business/16766044.html

BUSINESS FRIENDLY – Nevada ranks first in the nation in a new ranking of how friendly states are to small businesses and entrepreneurs. The ranking by the Washington-based Small Business Survival Committee was based on 17 factors it said can harm a state’s business environment, and which state and local governments have influence over. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-14-Tue-2001/business/16767433.html

LAS VEGAS BOWL – has been moved to Christmas Day and will be televised live on ABC. The additional Las Vegas publicity will be good, but will the tickets sell? Stories at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-21-Tue-2001/sports/16817347.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-21-Tue-2001/sports/16815373.html

HE HATE ME – Las Vegas Outlaw Rod “He Hate Me” Smart has landed a job with the Edmonton Eskimo’s of the CFL. Story at http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports1/stories/010815/647574.html

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PERSONAL ENDORSEMENT – Instead of a paid ad here, I (Ted) want to tell you about our web host Virtual Spaces at http://www.virtual-spaces.com Every penny I make is online. If my tourism sites go down, I’m out of business and even a couple of hours can be costly. Virtual Spaces are reliable and quick. They don’t overload their servers to save a buck, and yet they are consistently among the least expensive hosts in the business.

Whether you are just starting a site, want to move your site away from unreliable and unprofessional looking free web hosting (with those long addresses and extra banners and links don’t look businesslike), or need a full dedicated server like we have, you will be pleasantly surprised by their rates and service. Click now and go compare http://www.virtual-spaces.com

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ONLINE POLL – “What is your favorite Las Vegas souvenir?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next week!

Results from our last poll “How long do you usually stay in Las Vegas?”

4 – 5 Days 33%
6 – 7 Days 21%
2 – 3 Days 19%
1 Day 13%
8 – 10 Days 7%
Longer Than 10 Days 5%

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LAS VEGAS TRAVEL PACKAGES: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm

LAS VEGAS TRAVEL SPECIALS:

Book these specials at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

Las Vegas – Palace Station, the place to be 9/9-11/1 from $39
Las Vegas – The Excalibur, Aug 26 through Oct 4 from $69!
Las Vegas – Treasure Island, Sept 12 through Oct 28 from $129
Las Vegas – The Mirage Hotel/Casino Sept 16-Oct 28 from $169!
Las Vegas – The Sahara Hotel, Sept 9 through Oct 25 from $49
Las Vegas – Flamingo Hilton, Sept 13 through Oct 18 from $105
Las Vegas – The Stratosphere Sept 9 through Oct 31 from $45!
Las Vegas – Spring into Summer with San Remo Magic today!
Las Vegas – Suncoast, Aug 12 through September 6 $49!

Book any above specials at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

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Have a request for a review? Boggled when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop. If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us at http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at: http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: http://www.recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=826126 to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
August 22, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – August 15, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 50 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This weekly newsletter is free and only sent to those who request it. If you receive this by mistake or wish off our list, simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this to friends and associates in its entirely. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected]

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms : http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Condos and Vacation Rentals: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickcondo?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Reservation Hotline: 1-800-666-5268

HOTEL MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas hotel opinions! Our boards are brand new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at http://boards.accessvegas.com

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THIS ISSUE: Letters and Complaints

EDITOR NOTES: I am calling this our “complaint” issue. Although rare, sometimes things don’t go perfectly in Las Vegas. Thus we are devoting this issue to “How To Complain and Be Heard.” We are also publishing a backlog of reader feedback.

You might note a common “rent a car” theme in this issue. Yes, we make $1-2 a day when you rent a car through us. Yes, we feel we have the best service because we let you compare all major companies for the best deal, and let you use your rental club card number (if applicable). However, we want your business long term, and giving you bad advice to make a few dollars isn’t worth it. In the situations I recommend it, I truly feel car rental it is your smartest move.


Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Scenic Southwest Tours – by plane, bus, or even helicopter! You’ve seen the glossy ads in the tourist brochures. You’ve thought about it. You come all the way to Las Vegas — why not see one of the some of the most famous landmarks in the world! Don’t by tricked by web sites & magazines that offer discount tours. Taxes, park fees, permits can almost double the price. Our prices are inclusive – no hidden charges! Best Las Vegas Tours


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:FLAMINGO POOL PARTY – The Flamingo Hotel is hosting a free pool party with live music from 5-9 PM every evening. Specials include 2-1 drinks, as well as live barbecue cooking. As a bonus, you get to walk through a “best kept secret”: The Flamingo’s gardens which include live penguins and flamingos. Just head toward the back by the buffet and head out the doors that lead outside (between the casino and buffet).

NOT JUST GAMBLING – Studies by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) show that most potential visitors perceive Vegas as an entertainment destination rather than a gambling venue. That’s a very significant development, said Rob Powers of the LVCVA, a Las Vegan for 24 years. We’re more of a complete resort destination, and we’re able to go after every prospective leisure traveler. Story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-2.htm

CAB DRIVERS – If you think the cab drivers in this city don’t care about servicing the tourists, this will add more fuel to your fire. The Taxicab Authority recently changed the shifts serving McCarran airport to put more cabs at the airport later in the evening for tourists. The cab companies have balked in a big way, citing the inconvenience to their employees. (Guess they forgot who they are serving — the casinos don’t balk at having employees on around the clock to service their customers.) Full story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-3.htm Spend the cab fares on a rental car so you don’t have to be at the mercy of these guys.

NY VS. LV – Las Vegas Weekly writer Max Jacobson took a recent visit to New York, and dined at many of the New York City counterparts to some of the newer Las Vegas restaurants at http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/2001_2/08_9/food_taste.html

SUPERCONTEST – If you think you know football, The Hilton is again running their SuperContest. $1,500 secures your spot and allows you to pick five games against the spread each week during the regular NFL season. A $10,000 aggregate bonus will be awarded to anyone who selects over 67 percent winners and a $10,000 early sign up bonus contest will be offered to those who enter before 5:00 p.m. on August 26. Sign up begins August 3 and ends at 1:00 p.m. on September 7. First place will win up to $150,000 based on 250 entries.

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out: http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm
2. Book a room online at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!

================================================

PERSONAL ENDORSEMENT – Instead of a paid ad here, I (Ted) want to tell you about our web host Virtual Spaces at http://www.virtual-spaces.com Every penny I make is online. If my tourism sites go down, I’m out of business and even a couple of hours can be costly. Virtual Spaces are reliable and quick. They don’t overload their servers to save a buck, and yet they are consistently among the least expensive hosts in the business.

Whether you are just starting a site, want to move your site away from unreliable and unprofessional looking free web hosting (with those long addresses and extra banners and links don’t look businesslike), or need a full dedicated server like we have, you will be pleasantly surprised by their rates and service. Click now and go compare http://www.virtual-spaces.com

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CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Rat Pack is Back (Sahara)
SHOWS, GOLF, DINING, WEATHER:

* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Search by date at http://www.accessvegas.com/show-tickets.htm
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – Grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Search by date, see prices at http://www.accessvegas.com/golf-reservations.htm
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.accessvegas.com/dinner-reservations.htm
* LAS VEGAS WEATHER – http://www.wunderground.com/US/NV/Las_Vegas.html

EVENT LISTINGS:

* SHOWS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-shows.htm
* HEADLINERS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm
* CONCERT – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/entertainment/index.htm

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Les Artistes Steakhouse (Paris) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-11-Wed-2001/living/16453766.html

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FEATURE STORY: Hotel Complaints

HOTEL COMPLAINTS – Unfortunately, unpleasant experiences sometimes happen on vacation. To compound matters, the person in charge often doesn’t care and you aren’t in a position to spend vacation time hunting down top management. Every month we get email from people frustrated by poor service and lack of attention to complaints by hotel or restaurant personnel.

Let me suggest the following course of action: Post a note about your unpleasant experience on our new Comment Las Vegas board at http://boards.accessvegas.com This way, you will help warn others. Then, print out your post and include it with a letter to the hotel manager, noting the problems. (Hotel addresses can be found at http://yp.yahoo.com ).

It helps to note the exact time, place, and employee name or description(s) if possible. By including a copy of a post to a well-read message board, they now know you are not only serious about your problem, but telling others as well.

One note of caution: Do make sure the complaint is reasonable. They can sniff out someone who came to town, drank too much, got a bad sunburn, lost all of their money, and is just looking for someone to yell at. Honest, specific complaints with surrounding facts get you a much better chance at not only an apology but possibly compensation ranging from a free dinner to free rooms next time you visit.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Jack Singiser wrote:

>We spent three days at MGM grand this week, Mom, Dad, a girl
>11 and a boy 7. I heard MGM had an amusement park for children but at
>arrival found it was closed. The pool & river was fun. The front
>desk was polite but not friendly or helpful. With their amusement
>park being closed, they had no other ideas for us. With the heat
>being in the three digits they had no idea of what busses ran through
>the area. I had to pry details of the check in & out. There are no
>brochures of the strip area in the lobby but there is a magazine in
>the hotel room. Be sure to research out the area and transportation
>before going, using the internet. The MGM front desk does not offer
>up much information; like the amusement park will be closed during
>your 3 day stay. The people at NY NY were just across the street and
>much friendlier & open. We spent a lot of time there.

As someone who enjoys travel myself (besides selling it online), I always strongly suggest doing research before you travel somewhere. As reported here, The MGM closed the theme park well over a year ago. For those newer to the list, we have all our back issues (through May 2001) archived at http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

The entire goal of a hotel / casino is to keep you on their property. That is why every hotel has a steakhouse, Italian restaurant, Asian restaurant, shops, shows, and the rest. In fact, the MGM has a child care center ($6 an hour last I checked, child must be 3-12 in age and potty trained) where parents may leave their children for up to five hours, and you don’t have to be a hotel guest to use it. This is to get you to stay there and gamble.

I’m not defending the practice, but letting you know why they do what they do. Next time, you certainly have the option of doing your homework and staying at a more child friendly hotel like Circus Circus. With a family or any smaller group, you might think about renting a car. When you add up the bus or cab fare, and the convenience, it might turn out to be one of your better vacation investments.

Robert Brinin wrote:

>The Good: Aladdin Buffet – Lunch – $12.99 +tax Well worth the money.
>To us, Aladdin and Bellagio were the 2 best buffets that we’ve tried.
>
>Mystere – expensive but Spectacular!
>
>Tropicana Comedy Stop – We saw 3 terrific comedians on 7/19/01. Cheap
>- using a 2/1.
>
>Sahara Hotel afternoon comedy show. I think his name was Halley –
>comedy/magic — free — must buy 1 drink. $6.95 for a diet Coke kinda
>rich — but the show was terrific. We’re returning in December.
>
>The Bad: The New Frontier. David Darkstone Non-magic non-show.
>TERRIBLE – AMATEURISH – A DISGRACE. Don’t go even if free — with
>drinks and buffet thrown in! The juggler wasn’t good enough to work
>in a mall — maybe sweeping or mopping.
>
>New Frontier Buffet – What a dump!!! So bad it makes Lady Luck look
>good. The Orleans is 10X better!
>
>Traffic or no traffic – Las Vegas is still the best!

Thanks for the input. We gave Darkstone kind words, which are archived at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/david-darkstone-frontier-las-vegas-hotels.htm However, this is a perfect time to note how we review shows. None of this A – F grade or “2.5 stars.” Why? Everybody has different tastes and a different budget. We judge a show based on value: Is it worth the money? Then we also note who is more or less inclined to enjoy the show.

Do we think Darkstone is worth the $12.99 (one drink included with price)? Yes. Also good to bring kids to, especially since a family budget can usually handle that price. Does the intimate setting put you close to the action, letting you see it up close and not seeing any “funny business” that a big stage can hide? Absolutely. Is it one of the huge magic shows with large sets, tons of assistants, and larger than life illusions? Not at all.

Please keep in mind, most Las Vegas shows are priced in line with what you can expect (the basic price … not some VIP package that puts you so close you are craning your neck). If we tell you that an inexpensive show is a good value, good for people on a budget, or affordable for a family, you can’t expect the bang that a $75 show is going to give you. We enjoy catering to a wide variety of readers!

Mark E. Leslein of Warner Robins, GA wrote:

>Dear Editor, I was reading in your latest newsletter about an upcoming
>article on the Vegas Buffets. My family and I spent our vacation in
>Vegas last week and I want to thank you for the information in your
>last several newsletters. It played a key part in our vacation
>strategy planning we laid out before we arrived. This is the second
>year in a row we spent our vacation in Vegas. While we enjoy the
>activities and entertainment Vegas offers, the restaurant selection
>continues to be the downside of our stay.
>
>A serious insider’s guide
>to dining in Vegas would be a plus. On our first night we dined at
>the Rain Forest Cafe at the MGM. The food was fine and the service
>was acceptable, but the $100+ bill for food, drink (nonalcoholic) and
>tip was very disappointing for a family of four. We tried the
>luncheon buffet at Circus Circus on Thursday and while the price was
>right, the food was straight out of the can. I thought these Casino’s
>had chefs on staff. No self respecting chef would have even
>considered serving that garbage. The “oriental like” food was barely
>edible and the only decent item on the hot-food bar was the fried
>chicken, which traditionally is difficult to screw-up.
>
>On Tuesday
>morning we did the breakfast buffet at the MGM and found the price to
>be reasonable considering we had two for one coupons. The food was
>very good. The coffee and juice were fresh and the dessert bar was
>filled with a wide selection of delectable goodies that even a gourmet
>would appreciate. The service could use some improvements, but
>overall our experience at the MGM buffet was enjoyable. The highlight
>of our trip was the California Pizza Kitchen at the Mirage. The food
>was great. The service was excellent and the price was acceptable.
>
>I would also recommend that family’s looking for a dinner show
>appropriate for kids and adults, try the Tournament of Kings show at
>the Excalibur. The food was good, the service was efficient, the
>drinks were very reasonable, and the show was most enjoyable. It was
>one of the few times last week I felt like there was not a money
>vacuum sucking my billfold clean.

Zagat publishes a very serious guide to Las Vegas dining. It is under $10 and available at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1570062862/invegascom

Most restaurants have a menu posted out front. If they don’t, the hostess will always be happy to let you look at one. We strongly suggest doing so to avoid any surprises when the bill comes. Even if you sit down and find the prices beyond what you are prepared to pay for the surroundings, you can always excuse yourself. Anything from “I’m sorry but it turns out this isn’t want we had in mind” to “One of our group members doesn’t feel well and we need to cut our visit short” will do.

I’m not sure how you ended up at Circus Circus buffet, but every few months we note that it and Holiday Inn Boardwalk are the two worst in town. For lunch or dinner, we strongly suggest the buffets at Bellagio, Aladdin, Mirage, Harrah’s and the evening seafood buffet at Flamingo (every night for $14.95).

We have archived reviews on some of these at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/las-vegas-buffets.htm (I just realize we have not actually reviewed the Aladdin dinner buffet even though I probably talk it up once every two months. Do yourself a favor and enjoy it). On the flip side, the buffets I just listed run 2-3 times the price of Circus buffet. You tend to get what you pay for.

We agree with our assessment of Tournament of Kings. We reviewed it here about four months ago, and you can read our archived review at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/tournament-of-kings-las-vegas-shows.htm

Keith and Sandra Crider of Medford, OR wrote:

>We’d like to recommend the dinner buffet at the Hotel San Remo. Pat
>Hine, the food/beverage/catering manager, does a great job with this
>excellent mid-priced buffet. The foods are fresh, the wait staff
>quick and polite and they have great desserts, like chocolate eclairs
>with chocolate, not cream, filling. You really get your money’s
>worth.

I have not had the buffet there, but the $5.99 Prime Rib special served 24/7 in the coffee shop is a good value! For those unfamiliar with San Remo, it is just east of The Tropicana hotel on Tropicana Ave. and is a good place for those looking for a nice, but more intimate and friendly casino.

Linda & John Ward wrote:

>We are musicians and live in Northampton, England. Every time we read
>about Vegas we suffer withdrawal symptoms. How we love it! We were
>there during June this year having visited last November. Although we
>are not gamblers, we love the atmosphere and the entertainment – Earl
>Turner at the Rio is the “tops.” Also, there are so many wonderful
>places to visit outside Vegas – Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Red Rock
>Canyon, Lake Mohave, Cottonwood and a wonderful unspoiled little place
>called Nipton! This time we stayed at Harrah’s, Laughlin for part of
>our holiday where we met up with some lovely American friends from
>Flagstaff. The jet boat ride to Lake Havasu and London Bridge is easy
>to spot (I remember it in London and it looks a lot better now!)- we
>had a wonderful day.
>
>Thank you for your newsletter, we look forward to receiving the latest
>news from one of our favorite places in the world (and we have been to
>many)!

You certainly traveled around this entire region, and I’m very glad to hear you enjoy it. I was talking about this newsletter with a friend recently, noting what a wonder the internet is. I can publish this to readers in any country with internet access with a punch of a button. I know that many of you from other parts of the world have to spend some serious money to get here, saving up, getting significant time off work, flying 10, 15, 20 hours … and I’m happy that we help you make the most out of your Las Vegas trips!

Patti wrote:

>Hi Ted Love your newsletter. I am coming to Las Vegas in August and
>on some of the hotel web sites they now have links to a service called
>CAPS ( http://www.capstravel.com/caps.cfm ). I searched through your archives
>but could not find any information on it. I was wondering if you have
>had much feedback on the service since it sounds too good to be true
>(i.e., check in to your flight at the hotel and not have to sit around
>the airport for hours).

We’ve mentioned it — I’ll check why our newsletter archive search engine isn’t picking it up. For those who have not heard of CAPS, many hotels let you check in to your airline and check your bags directly at your hotel. All you do is head to the airport, take your boarding pass to the gate, and get on the plane! The charge is $6 a person, but not a bad price for peace of mind and buying yourself more time having fun in Las Vegas.

Has anyone used it? What did you think? Help everyone out by writing us at (click) mailto:[email protected] Also, we have a transportation section on our Comment Las Vegas boards. Please also post your experience with CAPS to the “Flying To Vegas” board at http://boards.accessvegas.com/flying_toc.htm

Ruby Stout wrote:

>I visited Vegas on July 6-10 with my daughter.. Was pleased to find
>the Elvis Museum. I don’t know if many people are aware of it but it
>has a very nice collection. We were treated to a private concert by a
>very good Elvis impersonator (there weren’t any other people in museum
>at the time). I think his name was Justin and he also appears at The
>New Frontier. Although we were the only ones in the audience, he
>performed as if the room was full. As one who saw Elvis as a Teen
>when he had just started, I can say Justin is a ringer, I asked him if
>he was Elvis’ illegitimate son but since he is only 17 that is not
>possible unless the rumors that Elvis is alive are true.

If you like Elvis, the Elvis Museum is a “must see.” We reviewed it here a little more than a year ago, and you can read that review archived (with photos) at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/ekvis-a-rama-museum-las-vegas.htm

Tom Bain wrote:

>Found your service really useful in planning our visit to Las Vegas
>and identifying the resorts, activities and restaurants to take in
>during our stay with our eleven year old daughter.
>
>As a first visitor, it would have been useful to have had a directory
>purely for traveling around the Strip showing the tram/trolley/bus
>routes and stops, and the resorts that interconnect by monorail, as
>walking the street in temperatures of over 100F is tiring, and in some
>of the resorts, car park areas for free parking require a long hike
>from the back to the front of the resort. Your latest review with
>information about car parking at the Casino Royale has come too late
>for us to benefit, but we will pass it to a nephew who is visiting in
>September.

Long time readers might remember that I was going to put together a list of good parking spots and the like a LONG time ago. It got shoved to the bottom of the “to do” pile, but I will make it a point to get on it. As most of our readers (based on feedback) rent a car to maximize the ability to get around and see everything, I’m sure it will be of value. For you who have yet to visit town, the Las Vegas Strip is 4 miles long, and the Fremont Street Experience (downtown) is another two miles past the North end of The Strip. Thus, the interest in transportation.

I will also include the monorails / trams. For those curious, free monorails / trams run between:

1. Excalibur, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay
2. Monte Carlo and Bellagio
2. Bally’s and MGM
4. Mirage and Treasure Island

As far as the city bus and “Strip Trolley” (a private run bus that looks like a trolley car), I get more complaints about those than almost anything else. People come to town, wanting to save a couple bucks, and they ride the bus ($2 per person) or the Trolley (about the same fare … have not checked lately) up and down The Strip.

Often, especially at peak times, these are crowded beyond belief. The city buses that run The Strip get so full they will blow by stops with people waiting because they have no room on board. As it is, they not only wind their way through Strip traffic, but make stops every couple blocks which can make a 10 minute car ride take 30 minutes.

Unless you really booze it up, or have a fear of driving on roads you aren’t used to, rent a car. We hope you compare our rates, but regardless of where you rent, consider this: Your vacation time is valuable when you look at the cost of airfare, food, and hotel. The time you save between destinations and the convenience of not standing in the weather only to have bus after bus pass you up makes the car well worth it.

Walter Nehls wrote:

>Every year my wife and I purchase airline tickets and a room at
>Bally’s 8 months in advance. We take cash with us for the gambling
>and one credit card for our meals and extras. This is the second year
>we have had problems with Bally’s putting a large hold on our credit
>card when no money is due them. The rooms were paid in advance.

Walter went on to note the rest of the major inconveniences related to having a hold put on his credit card. It is getting more common for hotels to ask you if you want a hold put on your card for incidentals. If you have plenty of room left on your credit limit, no big deal. But if not, it can really cause problems because the hold eats up your available credit.

However, policies are NOT standard between hotels so this is a great thing to be aware of. Some will put no hold on, but you can’t even make local calls until you OK the hold. Others will put it on without asking you. Word to the wise: When you check in, ask “Is there a hold being put on my credit card for incidentals, and if so, how much”?

If your credit limit is an issue, and you plan to use your credit card to charge expenses during your vacation, make sure they don’t put a hold on it. You might forfeit your right to make phone calls from your room, but it beats the alternative.

Speaking of phone calls, with most hotels charging $1 or more for local calls, and dollars per minute for long distance, bring your cell phone if it has roaming or buy a calling card and make your calls from a pay phone. Our advertiser Cognigen has a great 8.9 cents a minute, no surcharge card available at http://www.accessvegas.com/cogni-talk.htm

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Your input is welcome. Because of limited space here, we encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) mailto:[email protected] While space doesn’t permit publishing every letter, we do certainly read them all and they help shape our content. Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional).

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LOCAL NOTES:

FREE UNLV TICKETS – Fans 12 years old and younger can receive a free ticket to UNLV football’s home opener vs. Big 10 Conference favorite Northwestern, the school announced Monday. As part of the NCAA’s national Take a Kid to the Game Program, children 12 and under will receive a complimentary ticket for every adult ticket purchased for the Sept. 7 game between the Rebels and Wildcats. The tickets must be acquired in person and the specially marked free kids tickets are available only at the time the adult ticket is purchased and are subject to availability. Info at http://sports.excite.com/ncaaf/news/010813/fo-smyk-kids-can-get

RADIO UPDATE — As speculated here last week, KBYE 105.7 FM has indeed launched as a smooth jazz station. 100.1 FM is now “K-Hits” (general Top 40 from the past couple decades). 89.1 FM is Christian Hit Radio “Air 1.” An updated list of Las Vegas radio and TV stations is available at http://www.accessvegas.com/tvradio.htm


Rental Cars – Don’t pay top dollar! Enter the dates of your visit and compare prices from virtually every major rental car agency (most US cities). Book the lowest price company or your regular agency. Save the hassle and some money – Car Rental Savings Search. Few regret renting a car. Free shuttles and city bus rides can be slow and smelly. Taxis can cost what a rental car costs. Your vacation time is valuable — make the most out of it!


ONLINE POLL – “How long do you usually stay in Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next week!FREE CONTEST:

GUIDE TO LAS VEGAS 2001 – We have one copy of this comprehensive guide perfect for those looking to move to Las Vegas, or are already on their way to making the move. Enter by sending a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected] One entry per person, you must be a newsletter subscriber to win. Deadline for entries: Sunday, August 19, 2001. Winner will be chosen in a random drawing from all eligible entries received before deadline and be notified by email.

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LAS VEGAS TRAVEL PACKAGES: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm

LAS VEGAS TRAVEL SPECIALS:

Book these specials at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

Las Vegas – The Excalibur, Aug 19 through Oct 4 from $69!
Las Vegas – Treasure Island, Aug 19 through Sept 6 from $105
Las Vegas – Nefertiti’s Dream Package is now at the Luxor!
Las Vegas – The Sahara Hotel, Aug 19 through Sept 13 from $42
Las Vegas – Stay at the MGM Aug 19 through Sept 6 from $79!
Las Vegas – The Flamingo Hilton Aug 19 through Sept 6 from $75
Las Vegas – Rendezvous in the Monte Carlo Aug 12 – Sept 6!
Las Vegas – Bellagio Hotel and Casino Sept 9 – 27 from $195
Las Vegas – Spring into Summer with San Remo Magic today!
Las Vegas – Suncoast, Aug 12 through September 6 $49!

Book any above specials at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

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Have a request for a review? Confused when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop.

If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us using the travel links listed at the top of each issue. You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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Have a request for a review? Boggled when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop. If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us at http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at: http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: http://www.recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=826126 to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
August 15, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – August 8, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 50 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This weekly newsletter is free and only sent to those who request it. If you receive this by mistake or wish off our list, simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this to friends and associates in its entirely. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected]

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms : http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Condos and Vacation Rentals: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickcondo?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Reservation Hotline: 1-800-666-5268

HOTEL MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas hotel opinions! Our boards are brand new so let’s fill them up with the good, bad, and just general comments on your last visit. Plus, we now have a section for trip reports. New boards at http://boards.accessvegas.com

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THIS ISSUE: Steve Wyrick: World Class Magician

EDITOR NOTES: Where have we been? I blew off publishing last week to take care of pressing obligations in other areas, but (knock on wood) we are back to weekly starting this week! I hope everyone is surviving the heat around the US. It is too bad we can’t export our dry air to you.

A few new format changes: The hotel specials have been been expanded moved to the end of the newsletter. When warranted, I’ll have tidbits of interest to local’s in a new area called “Local Notes.” No more weather listings. We have a link instead so you can punch up the most up-to-date forecast before your visit.

In order to keep the length of this newsletter under control, I’m encouraging people with feedback regarding specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to post them to our Comment Las Vegas message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com The upside of that is far more people will read your comments over time. We still welcome general letters to the editor.

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LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

BIKINI CONTEST – Mandalay Bay pool will be the site of the World’s Largest Exotic Bikini Contest on Friday, Aug. 31, with over 200 women competing. Full details and photos at http://www.accessvegas.com/bikini-contest-las-vegas-photos.htm

BELLAGIO #4 – The Bellagio hotel-casino has been ranked the fourth-best hotel in the world by readers of Travel & Leisure, a major travel magazine. The $1.6 billion Bellagio was surpassed only by the Four Seasons Resort Bali and Jimbara Bay, the Ritz-Carlton Chicago and the Ritz-Carlton Naples (Fla.) in this year’s rankings, set for release in this week’s issue. The rankings are derived from surveys sent in by the readers of the magazine, which has a circulation of more than 1 million. Full story at http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/gaming/2001/jul/16/512086342.html

NORTH STRIP – now should be known as the fun end of The Strip. The Strat Tower features two thrill rides over 1000 feet above the earth as well as probably the most spectacular view in the city. The Sahara features Speed: The Ride, the NASCAR Cafe, and $1 blackjack all the time. Kitty corner from that is Bonanza Gift shop, billed as the world’s largest and a fun place to poke around for an hour. On the same corner is Holy Cow, Las Vegas’ first brewpub. Story with photos at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-05-Sun-2001/living/16582798.html

RED DRAGON CASINO – Many in town over the past few months asked about the making over of one side and the facade of the Desert Inn. It was painted red and the marquee said “Red Dragon.” As reported here, this was for the Jackie Chan movie Rush Hour 2. A review of this movie (of which a fair amount was shot in Las Vegas) at http://inq.philly.com/content/inquirer/2001/08/03/weekend/RUSH03.htm

DINING OUT – The economy’s unevenness has caused some restaurant companies to say diners have lost their taste for meals out. But in Las Vegas, many eateries say business now is as good as it’s ever been. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-29-Sun-2001/business/16574207.html

CANYON RANCH SPA – Today, practically all new upscale resorts include at least a small spa, says Walker, and many of the new spas are downright huge, from 10,000 to 100,000 square feet. In opening the spa, The Venetian, a 2-year-old posh hotel with more than 3,000 guest rooms, wasn’t really taking that big a risk. Like swimming pools in the ’50s, hot tubs and saunas in the ’70s, and golf courses in the ’80s, the spa has become the must-have accouterment of the luxury hotel. Full story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-5.htm

NORDSTROM – Nordstrom also announced yesterday that construction will begin this week on a store in Las Vegas, its first full-line store in Nevada. The 180,000-square-foot store ù being built at the Fashion Show mall ù is scheduled to open Nov. 1, 2002. Full story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-1.htm

VEGAS TV – taping for upcoming Travel Channel broadcast include “Vegas Cops,” “Stickmen of Las Vegas,” and “Vegas Challenge,” “Las Vegas Showgirls: Making It,” “Two for Las Vegas.” Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-23-Mon-2001/living/16587239.html and you may remember that we posted info here a few weeks ago for those looking to participate in “Two For Vegas.” Pays to read!

THEMED WEDDINGS – The owner of Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, 1205 Las Vegas Blvd. South, DeCar recently remodeled a portion of an old hotel into a themed bed and breakfast with 32 rooms, including a Gothic room complete with headstone headboards and a coffin bathtub; an intergalactic room with galaxy murals and a spaceship bed; and a Blue Hawaii room, modeled after the Elvis Presley movie of the same name. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-22-Sun-2001/living/16401273.html

BINION’S POKER ROOM – New Binion’s Horseshoe poker room manager Tom McEvoy plans major changes for the casino’s card room and the World Series of Poker. He plans several big changes to the poker room, which has been hurt by competition for high-stakes players from Bellagio and The Mirage, and for lower-stakes players from locals casinos closer to the homes of Las Vegas residents. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-20-Fri-2001/business/16570352.html

COFFEEMANIA – We have not had time to check out this new Internet Cafe yet, but it looks promising. The only negative for tourists is the location: halfway between The Sahara and The Stratosphere. The serve gourmet coffee drinks plus tea, smoothies, pastries and other food items from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. High speed Internet access is $6 per half-hour, and access is quick for those with a car (just use the Holy Cow parking garage right behind the place). Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Aug-01-Wed-2001/living/16572965.html

JUBILEE TURNS 20 – Linda Green anchors her long legs under a piece of scenery and starts her nightly sit-ups. Torso rocking up, then back effortlessly, she strikes up a conversation. After 20 years and more than 12,000 performances as a principal dancer in “Jubilee!” she is a familiar part of the topless revue, nearly as much a fixture as the stage. Full story and behind the scenes look at the show at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-29-Sun-2001/news/16649192.html

2002 OLYMPICS – Las Vegas is hoping to benefit from the numbers of world travelers coming to the 2002 games in Salt Lake City, UT (one hour by air and under 6 hours by car). Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-22-Sun-2001/news/16527603.html

ZAGAT – The famous food guide has nothing but good to say about the variety of fine dining options in Las Vegas. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-24-Tue-2001/living/16570195.html

WINE E-BOOK – People strolling through the Mandalay Bay resort often stop to gaze at the wine tower in the midst of Aureole. Forty-two feet tall, it is more than a conversation piece. It is the heart of Charlie Palmer’s restaurant, a symbol of the role wine plays in the restaurant. The real buzz is coming from the eWine Book, the first electronic wine list that lets diners browse through the restaurant’s catalog of more than 3,500 wines with just the tap of a stylus. Story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-4.htm

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/coupon?SID=IVC&Dest=LAS&LKF=IVC&PROD=HOTEL ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/coupon?SID=IVC&Dest=LAS&LKF=IVC&PROD=HOTEL
2. Book a room online at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!




CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

FROZEN FURY 5 – pits the LA Kings against the San Jose Sharks in this NHL preseason matchup Saturday, Sept. 22 at the MGM Garden. Tickets range from $20 – $60 and available by calling (702) 474-4000. Infamous LA Kings hockey fan and syndicated radio talk show host Tom Leykis will be doing his show from the MGM the Friday before the game.

DAYTIME SOAP STAR – Michael Swan, star of the ever-popular daytime soaps As the World Turns and The Bold and the Beautiful is performing in the NightClub at the Las Vegas Hilton through August 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. There is no cover charge or admission.

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Ba-Da-Bing (Alexis Park) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-27-Fri-2001/weekly/16582649.html
* Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Platters, Coasters – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-06-Fri-2001/weekly/16453604.html
* Midnight Fantasy (Luxor) – http://www.accessvegas.com/story-3.htm
* Thunder from Down Under (Frontier) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-20-Fri-2001/weekly/16559039.html

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING, WEATHER:

* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?amid=143&cscheme=1
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – BookVegas let’s you grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Click to http://www.bookvegasteetimes.com/gvpricing.cfm?amid=143&cscheme=5
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.bookvegasdining.com/dvpricing.cfml?amid=143&cscheme=5
* LAS VEGAS WEATHER – http://www.wunderground.com/US/NV/Las_Vegas.html

EVENT LISTINGS:

* SHOWS AND HEADLINERS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-shows.htm
* CONCERT – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/concerts.htm

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* ESPN Zone (New York, New York) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-19-Thu-2001/living/16465082.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-21-Sat-2001/business/16573042.html

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FEATURE STORIES: Steve Wyrick: World Class Magician

Up at the North end of The Strip in The Sahara hotel, sits a mysterious airplane hanger. Area 51? A deserted air strip? Close — it is the 900 seat showroom for Steve Wyrick: World Class Magician.

While diverse, many of the main illusions follow an aviation theme. The show prelude video shows Wyrick running late and taking a helicopter to the showroom, where he is “lowered through the ceiling” via helicopter to arrive just in time for the show. Another illusion involves him standing in and walking through a huge 747 turbine jet fan. Obviously, a real 747 get engine revved up would suck Wyrick and half the audience into it, but the engine was true to size and made for an enormous and compelling illusion.

The show is huge, not all of the illusions are dependent on gigantic props and staging. He brought a couple of audience members onstage, sat them at a table, and did the 654 club card trick, where despite shuffling and letting the spectators cut the deck, he presents card combinations (4 jacks, etc.) and lays them on the table while he tells the tale of a group of men at a nightclub. What made this work is a live camera operator onstage with the video displayed on a huge screen for the crowd to comfortably see.

However, the majority of the show relies on the huge, Broadway quality sets including one where Wyrick is on a “big city street” set, on a running Harley Davidson (you could smell the exhaust) only to be lifted in the air, vaporized, and appearing at the back of the theater with motorcycle in a flash.

The finale keeps with the aviation theme, as a full size twin engine airplane is made to vanish from the stage in a matter or seconds.

I was left with mixed feelings about the show. Part of that stems from the fact that attendance is on the sparse side. No fault of the show quality, but probably because The Sahara doesn’t have the foot traffic by the front door that other resorts do and 900 seats are hard to fill for any production show.

Having said that, he’s only charging about half of Lance Burton and 1/3 of Siegfried and Roy and you are getting a full scale Vegas magic show with the huge props, the attractive dancers / assistants — “the whole nine yards.” You get plenty of bang for the buck at $34.95 (plus tax). If you are a budget conscious traveler, or taking family and want to see a full Vegas magic show without going broke, this is the show. The upside of the light crowd counts is that you are probably going to get a pretty good seat, even if you are a “walk up ” (no reservations) customer before showtime.

Steve Wyrick – Magic to the Extreme Ticket Info




LOCAL NOTES:

The Regent Friday pool party is an overwhelming success. $5 admission includes a beer and a hot dog and the pool grounds are large and beautiful. Party starts at 6 PM but picks up around 8 PM. Bikini contest at 9 PM.

“Smooth Jazz” musician Rocky Gordon had a successful CD release party for his new Perfect World CD last Wednesday at Gordon Bierch. He and his talented band play a nice variety of enjoyable modern jazz. Audio samples and CD purchase info are available at http://www.rockygordon.com

Radio station V108 (107.9 FM) has launched a full advertising blitz to promote the new urban contemporary station. 97.5 FM KBJG just came on the air is the first hip-hop and rap station for the area. KBYE 105.7 FM also just came on the air. They are still testing, and playing middle-of-the-road top 40 from the past and present. Rumor has it that they will turn to smooth jazz when ready for official launch. KSFN 1140 AM continues with the Hot Talk format.

Nordstrom and more variety on the air. Our town is growing up!

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Because of the amount of news in this issue, we are holding letter until next week. Instead of a story, we will devote much of the issue to readers responses.

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Your input is welcome. Because of limited space here, we encourage you to post comments about specific Las Vegas hotels, shows, attractions, and general trip reports to our Comment Las Vegas message board at http://boards.accessvegas.com

For comments or questions regarding topics in the newsletter, write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) mailto:[email protected] While space doesn’t permit publishing every letter, we do certainly read them all and they help shape our content. Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional).

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ONLINE POLL – “How long do you usually stay in Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in two weeks!

Results from last poll: “When was your last visit to Las Vegas?”

In the last 3 months 22%
I’ve never been 21%
6 – 12 months ago 21%
3 – 6 months ago 20%
1 – 2 years ago 6%
3 – 5 years ago 5%
Longer than 5 years 2%

FREE CONTEST:

MAGIC FACTORY DELUXE SET – Courtesy of the Steve Wyrick Magic Shop and Show, this kit ($59.95 value) good for ages 8 and up contains tricks like “Cut and Restored Rope,” “Unlinking Rubber Bands,” and more. Enter by sending a blank email to (contest closed) One entry per person, you must be a newsletter subscriber to win. Deadline for entries: Sunday August 12, 2001. Winner will be chosen in a random drawing from all eligible entries received before deadline and be notified by email.

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LAS VEGAS TRAVEL SPECIALS:

Book these specials at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

Las Vegas – Las Vegas Hilton, Aug 7 through Sept 6 from $49!
Las Vegas – The Excalibur, Aug 19 through Oct 4 from $79!
Las Vegas – Treasure Island, Aug 19 through Sept 6 from $105
Las Vegas – Nefertiti’s Dream Package is now at the Luxor!
Las Vegas – The Sahara Hotel, Aug 19 through Sept 13 from $42
Las Vegas – The Flamingo Hilton Aug 19 through Sept 6 from $75
Las Vegas – Stay at the MGM Aug 19 through Sept 6 from $79!
Las Vegas – Imperial Palace August 12 through 29 from $55!
Las Vegas – Rendezvous in the Monte Carlo Aug 12 – Sept 6!
Las Vegas – Bellagio Hotel and Casino Sept 9 – 27 from $195
Las Vegas – Spring into Summer with San Remo Magic today!
Las Vegas – Suncoast, Aug 12 through September 6 $49!

Book any above special at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm

LAS VEGAS TRAVEL PACKAGES: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm

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Have a request for a review? Boggled when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop. If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us at http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at: http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: http://www.recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=826126 to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
August 8, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – July 18, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in over 50 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This weekly newsletter is free and only sent to those who request it. If you receive this by mistake or wish off our list, simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this to friends and associates in its entirely. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to (click) mailto:[email protected]

QUICK TRAVEL LINKS: Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms : http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Condos and Vacation Rentals: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickcondo?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Reservation Hotline: 1-800-666-5268

THIS WEEK’S CITY ON SALE: Orlando — rates starting at $65.95! Choose from Best Western Lake Buena Vista, Caribe Royale, Radisson Plaza Hotel, Hyatt Orlando, Doubletree Club, Disney Celebration Hotel and more. For details, click http://www.accessvegas.com/city-on-sale.htm

VEGAS SPECIAL: Las Vegas’ Excalibur rates from $75.95!, Sun-Thurs. – 7/02/01 – 7/31/01:
http://www.accessvegas.com/vegas-special.htm

HOTEL MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas hotel opinions!

(New expanded message board coming in one week.)

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THIS ISSUE: WB Stage 16 Restaurant

EDITOR NOTES: We’re still publishing biweekly (more or less!) through the end of the summer. The good news is that the new, comprehensive message board so many of you have requested will be up in one week. Meetings this past week regarding the extensive internet video projects have been going well. Spokesmodel Elizabeth Russo is on board and I feel will be a great asset. Las Vegas chef John Guinivere will be providing video profiles of many of the great culinary offerings this town offers, and himself has a great site with informative cooking videos, recipes and more at http://www.cheflive.com

There are sites besides ours that have short video clips of the Bellagio Fountains and similar that you have to surf all over the net to find, but we are going to archive substantial video information all in one place with regular updates! For those who have shown interest in getting involved but have not sent me their info (portfolio or voice-over samples), please do so soon as we are moving steadily ahead.

Finally, we want to welcome Casino Perks to our family of advertisers. They have also given us a couple of their great coupon books to give away this week in the contest section. Right now as an introductory offer, we are giving away free ads in the newsletter to those who buy inexpensive paid links in our main directories. Full info on both paid and free links at http://www.accessvegas.com/add-your-link.htm

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LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

SHADOW – The new lounge at Caesars Palace tries to capitalize on the new upscale lounge trend in town. The bartenders are unbelievably skilled a la Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail. They don’t just pour a drink. They flip, juggle, shake, behind the back, you name it. The lounge is gaining notoriety because behind the bar, topless female dancers apparently clad in only a bikini or thong bottom dance behind a translucent screen, backlit so that you can only see their shadow. Unfortunately, the lounge misses the mark with an atmosphere that is much too bright and airy. This may attract the regular Caesars patron, but no one is going to be leaving Venetian’s V-Bar in favor of Shadow.

FREE MARGARITA – at Casino Royale (between Harrah’s and The Venetian) to anyone showing out-of-state ID at the main bar. If you drive here or rent a car, also take advantage of their parking garage right behind the small casino. It is steps from The Strip and sits half empty even on weekends — truly a best kept secret!

FLOATING CRAPS GAME – Former Las Vegas News Bureau photographer Don English, shot a floating craps table game recently at the Stratosphere pool. It was a recreation of a photo from the 50’s. The event was part of the Stratosphere’s promotion marking the opening of its new $75 million, 1,000-room tower. Photo at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-05-Thu-2001/business/16472633.html

SHOWGIRLS – “Las Vegas Showgirls: Making It” begins a three-week shoot Wednesday, focusing on six “Jubilee!” dancers, four women and two men, on- and offstage. The six range in age from 19-year-old Laine, a college student who moonlights as a showgirl, to 31-year-old Tammi, who’s engaged to a divorced firefighter with two children. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-16-Mon-2001/living/16535544.html

EXPENSIVE TASTE – So much for Las Vegas as a cheap place to get a meal: The 2001-2002 Zagat Survey of local restaurants reports the average cost of dinner here has risen to $32.42, including one drink, tax and tip. That’s up from $25.70 last year and $20.80 in 1997. Technically, the 2001 survey places Las Vegas eighth in the Zagat universe, behind Tokyo, London, Paris and four areas in and near New York City. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-18-Wed-2001/news/16565103.html

SHOWS PRICES – Not only does it cost a few more bucks to eat, but ticket prices rise with each year. Ironically, the highest price shows are the toughest tickets in town to get. The Review-Journal just ran three articles about shows, how they are prices, and what goes on behind the scenes to drive these prices:
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-15-Sun-2001/news/16544020.html
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-15-Sun-2001/news/16370960.html
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-15-Sun-2001/news/16362859.html

FOOTBALL – isn’t far off, and now is the time to scope out the weekends you might want to be in town to do some serious sports betting! Howard Schwartz of the Gambler’s Book Club has suggested a number of great football betting books at http://www.casinogaming.com/columnists/shelf/062701.html UNLV games will be on the board for the first time this year, which will make local games more interesting (with fans rooting in droves for them to run up the score, or fans staying at a game that is essentially over hoping to see if a team covers or not). Also, the Imperial Palace is already taking bets on a number of big college games slated for the fall. Full story on both these topics at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-16-Mon-2001/sports/16545895.html

BRITNEY SPEARS – wants everyone to know she’s not a little girl anymore. That’s the message in her third album, due out Nov. 6, and her live concert special from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas airing Nov. 18 on HBO. Full story at http://www.canoe.ca/JamMusic/jul14_spears_britney-ap.html

DRINKING AND GAMBLING – Dear Mark: What is the best game to play when your main goal is to get free drinks from the casino over an extended period? Is the location of where you play relative to the number of drinks you can get?
— Alex W. Dear Alex: I want to preface my response by first making this extremely important point. Free drinks (chip remover), which have always been part of the casino ambiance, speeds up the process of losing. All bets are off on the quality of your play when influenced by alcoholic beverages. Remainder at http://detnews.com/2001/entertainment/0107/13/e07-246743.htm

BROTHELS – Although it is banned in Las Vegas and Reno — and 49 states — prostitution is legal in 10 of Nevada’s 17 counties. A remnant of the old West, it is not only tolerated, but often embraced. Full story at http://www.courierpress.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi?200107/15+oldest071501_news.html+20010715 In related news, a Pahrump brothel (60 miles west of Las Vegas) wants to turn their brothel into a major resort. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-16-Mon-2001/news/16519550.html

MAKING YOUR BED – The fastest bedmaker in the west wrapped things up during the 22nd annual bedmaking competition at the Las Vegas International Hotel and Restaurant Show last month with a time of 1 minute, 24 seconds. With only four months’ experience as a housekeeper at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Blanca Vasquez, 27, beat out 200 participants from 13 hotels to win a Serta mattress set. Full story at http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47449-2001Jul11.html

FIREFIGHTERS WANTED – The cities of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas are preparing a joint recruitment for the position of Firefighter Trainee in the first quarter of the year 2002. A person who is interested in this type of career must possess an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) certification, valid driver’s license, high school diploma or equivalent, be 18 years or older and must meet current physical condition requirements on the date of appointment. For more information about this recruitment, http://www.ci.las-vegas.nv.us/FirefightersWanted.htm

FASHION SHOW – The mall just north of Treasure Island is underway with a major expansion which will include a 600-foot-long canopy structure (which also looks to offer some great shade to the area). Story and photo at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-17-Tue-2001/business/16553770.html

YOUR LOST STUFF – Most visitors, at the end of their stay, leave something on the Strip, usually in the form of money. But others take it a step further and leave clothes, luggage, microwave ovens, coffeepots, prosthetic limbs, dentures, house keys and other items. Some are heartbroken over their loss, and try to trace their steps in hopes of finding what they treasure. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-08-Sun-2001/living/16401021.html

$100 REBATE SPECTACULAR! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you up to $100 back on any stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/coupon?SID=IVC&Dest=LAS&LKF=IVC&PROD=HOTEL ). Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out: http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/coupon?SID=IVC&Dest=LAS&LKF=IVC&PROD=HOTEL
2. Book a room online at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
3. Send in for your rebate when you get home.

It doesn’t get any easier than that, and you get their low price guarantee
to boot!

WINNERS! – Frank Scimia of Diamond Bar, CA won the autographed Sheena Easton Poster. Judy Reitz of Fulton, NY and Mark Viness of Doraville, GA won the David Darkstone packages including shirt, poster, and show passes.


Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Scenic Southwest Tours – by plane, bus, or even helicopter! You’ve seen the glossy ads in the tourist brochures. You’ve thought about it. You come all the way to Las Vegas — why not see one of the some of the most famous landmarks in the world! Don’t by tricked by web sites & magazines that offer discount tours. Taxes, park fees, permits can almost double the price. Our prices are inclusive – no hidden charges! Best Las Vegas Tours


CONCERTS AND SHOWS:CARMEN ELECTRA – Former “Baywatch” star and Playboy model Carmen Electra has signed a two-year deal to star in her own show on the Las Vegas Strip. Story at http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/0713electravegas-ON.html

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Michael Holly Off-The-Wall Comedy Hour (Sahara)
* Skintight (Harrah’s) – http://www.accessvegas.com/story-1.htm

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING:

* SHOW TICKETS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?amid=143&cscheme=1
* GOLF RESERVATIONS – BookVegas let’s you grab that tee time GUARANTEED before you get to town! Click to http://www.bookvegasteetimes.com/gvpricing.cfm?amid=143&cscheme=5
* DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.bookvegasdining.com/dvpricing.cfml?amid=143&cscheme=5

EVENT LISTINGS:

* SHOWS AND HEADLINERS – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-shows.htm
* CONCERT – listings available at http://www.accessvegas.com/concerts.htm

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* House Of Blues Sunday Gospel Brunch (Mandalay Bay) – http://www.accessvegas.com/story-2.htm
* Pamplemousse (near The Sahara) – http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/2001/departments/2001_07_12/dining_taste.html

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 6 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Sunday – 104 ░F / 75 ░F Sunny
Monday – 104 ░F / 77 ░F Sunny
Tuesday – 105 ░F / 76 ░F Sunny
Wednesday – 104 ░F / 78 ░F Sunny
Thursday – 107 ░F / 80 ░F Sunny

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FEATURE STORIES: WB Stage 16 Restaurant

Warner Brothers may conjure up images of cartoon characters, but the studio has released some of the more noted movies of our time. In particular, Stage 16 on the Warners lot was home to the creation of popular motion pictures like Casablanca, Ocean’s 11, My Fair Lady, and the Batman films. These films and others are the basis for the theme of this upscale eatery in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian hotel.

However, let’s talk about the food first. Unlike most theme restaurants serving up overpriced truck stop fare, the quality and variety of Stage 16 is fantastic. Sure, you pay for it (and for the atmosphere we’ll discuss in a minute), but it’s a dining experience worth the time and money.

Fortunately, those of more moderate hunger (and budgets) aren’t left out. Sandwiches are served with Jalapeno Slaw and Vegetable Chips and include Honey Glazed Turkey and Borgonzola “Santa Barbara” ($11.75), Grilled Portabella and Buffalo Mozzarella Panni ($10.75), Stage 16 Burger ($9.25), Shrimp Caesar Wrap ($11.75), Lemon Pepper Swordfish Sandwich ($12.95), and Tuscan Herb Crusted Chicken Sandwich ($10.75). A variety of Brick Oven Flatbreads including Oak Roasted Chicken and Stuffed Lasagna Pizza run in the $11-13.00 range. Noodles selections include Angel Hair Pomodoro, Linguine Pronto, Vanilla Seared Shrimp and others ranging from $10.95 to $23.95.

Appetizers include Rock Shrimp and Corn Chowder ($6.95), Petaluna Escargot and Wild Mushrooms ($9.75), Avodacado and Brie Bruschetta ($10.75), Wok Fried Duck Spring Rolls ($9.95), Sesame Seared Tuna ($11.95) and Caviar (market price.) Salads are al la cart and include House ($6.95), Roasted Garlic and Herb Hearts of Palm ($8.75), Oriental Chicken Chop Salad ($10.75), Classic Caesar ($8.25), Mediterranean Salad ($12.95), and Candied Pecan, Apple and Watercress Salad ($9.25).

The dinner menu shines with standard dining selections like Prime Rib ($20.95 10 oz. and $32.95 for 14 oz.), Cracked Pepper Filet Mignon ($29.95), Herb and Garlic Crusted Lamb Chops ($28.95), Lemon Herb Barbecued Salmon ($21.95), Ancho Cinnamon Pork Tenderloin ($24.95), Cola Barbecued Half Chicken ($18.95), and Fish and Chips ($19.95). More artistic selections include Grilled Chicken and Apricot Kebobs ($16.95), Turkey and Shitake Mushroom Meatloaf ($15.75), Lobster and Wild Mushroom Strudel ($29.95), and Basalmic Wild Mushroom Studded New York Strip Loin ($28.95).

A children’s section of the menu includes younger diner favorites like Crispy Crunchy Chicken Strips, Sound Stage 16 Burger, Country Style Corn Dogs, Herb Crusted Lemon Sole, and even a full line of Beachnut Baby Products for $7.95 (per selection).

The atmosphere? Hard to put into words, but a key part of the meal. Diners are seated on one of four unique rooms, each themed to a certain film. “Gotham City” is the set that served as the background for the climatic face-off between Batman and The Joker complete with sound and lighting effects (noticeable but not obtrusive enough to undermine a nice dinner). The “We’re in the Money” room is from the film Gold Diggers of 1933 taking diners back to another era of film production. “Las Vegas 60’s Lounge” is straight from Ocean’s 11 and takes you back to the Rat Pack era. My favorite? “Rick’s American Cafe” interior from Casablanca. You truly feel that you walked onto the original movie set 55 years later.

I’ve enjoyed WB Stage 16 alone, with friends, and clients and have yet to have a bad meal or sample a dish that wasn’t up to par. And after dinner (or if you already dined somewhere else), Jacks Velvet Lounge upstairs in the restaurant is a must. It features both enclosed and outdoor areas and provides a front row view of The Strip overlooking The Mirage and the volcano in the distance as well as the canals along the entrance of the Venetian.

WB Stage 16 is upstairs in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, just at the top of the escalators which take you from the main casino floor to the shopping area. They are open for lunch and dinner every day. Reservations are suggested at (702) 414-1699 as the restaurant does occasionally play host to private parties and film screenings.



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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:>Dear Ted,
>
>Rumor has it that slot machines placed at the end of rows, or in the
>aisles, or placed anywhere where they would be easily seen to players
>pay off better. The reason for this would be so that as people walk
>by, they would be more likely to see a machine pay off. Whereas a
>machine located somewhere like while you’re waiting in line or at the
>airport would not pay off as well, because you are less likely to
>spend any length of time at such a machine.
>
>I have also heard that this is merely a myth. Casino’s know it so
>they create smaller banks of machines on their floor plan to allow for
>”more aisle” machines.

I have no inside info on this or I’d be down playing slots instead of running my little web “empire” here. I understand it was true at one time, but I’ve also heard that casinos have now played on that myth forever. I will say this: I’ve never seen a people winning on the machines close to the ladies room, where the men are killing time waiting for their significant other!

I would also avoid playing two machines at one time, as I’ve read much on how staggering loose and tight machines causes people to take from one and give to the other. The slots at the airport are tight simply because they aren’t trying to give enough back to encourage return business. You are stuck, you are only there because you have to be, and they know that.

M. Comer wrote:

>I was in LV this past weekend (5th-7th) mainly to do some
>shopping (not a great success) and to see the downtown everyone was
>talking about. I was not disappointed. Except for the rain, I was
>thoroughly impressed by the new design, unobstructed sidewalks,
>mid-street crossing, the safe and welcome feeling. If given the
>chance, I would have pulled up a little table and chair right in the
>middle of the “street” and people-watched. The strip is exciting (as
>it should be), but to enjoy LV at a little more leisurely pace, try
>Fremont Street, downtown. It has its own brand of class. You can
>always go back to the crowd, noise and traffic later (I did – much
>later)

Allen Waterman wrote:

>I just wanted to give you an update on the “O” situation I talked
>about in my trip report you printed in your last issue. I sent them
>an e-mail stating my disappointment with the staff and they refunded
>my ticket costs. I was very pleased with the way the Bellagio handled
>this.

Elizabeth wrote:

>Hi Ted, Just a note to say how much I enjoy reading your newsletter.
>Since moving to AZ we visit Vegas quite often. I must say that I have
>become very disenchanted with the Strip. I don’t expect to leave a
>big winner (would be nice) but I at least would like to have a little
>more bang for my buck so to speak. I used to be able to play for
>several hours with the money that I now spend in a few. Have you
>heard of any changes in the slot machine payoffs? I do like to play
>Craps but that can get costly at times. On our way to Mammoth Lakes,
>we spent the night in Vegas and stayed at the Texas Station. I had
>more fun there, it reminded me of the Vegas of old. In fact, I hit a
>royal flush something I haven’t done on the strip in probably 10 years
>or more. We think the food is good, it has a very large and player
>friendly casino. I look forward to your issue listing the best
>buffets in Vegas. Looking forward to your input. Thanks again for
>your great newsletter. I look forward to seeing your name in my
>inbox.

I seldom cover anything away from The Strip or downtown because the vast majority of Vegas visitors never leave these tourist areas. However, I have talked to a number of people like yourself who visit often, have a car, and enjoy staying at one of the “local’s” casinos a few miles away from The Strip. Because these properties cater to locals who are very savvy, play regularly, and spread plenty of word-of-mouth among their friends, they have to offer looser slots, great service, and good food deals all the time. We have these casinos and hotel specifically listed at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-hotels-other.htm

A O’Neal wrote:

>I read all of your mail about visitor’s to Las Vegas. I have been
>visiting the city several times a year for the past 38 years. Big is
>not always better. Downtown the little corner hotel & casino know as
>”The Las Vegas Club” is a winner. The staff, dealers, (all
>employee’s) go out of their way to make one feel at home. It’s a
>hidden Winner!

I agree — when you put together the low room rates, good downtown location, low limits, and regular food specials the Las Vegas Club gives plenty of bang for the buck. You can read more about Las Vegas Club and check rates at http://www.accessvegas.com/hotels/lv-club-hotel-las-vegas-room-reservations.htm

Tony and Carol in Southampton, England wrote:

>Your newsletter is great
>and keeps us up to date with all the news. We have been to Las Vegas
>twice, last year and the year before staying at the Stratosphere
>hotel. We had a wonderful time, going in and out all the hotels, the
>Fremont Experience and the Liberace Museum. We caught the trolley bus
>one evening that stops at all the hotels, went down as far as he
>Bellagio and slowly walked back up the strip back to the Stratosphere,
>going in and out the hotels on our way. Also calling in at some of
>the Wedding Chapels which were lovely. The view from the top of the
>Stratosphere tower is brilliant, but did not try The Big Shot or the
>Rollercoaster!!! We are looking forward to coming again next year May
>2002, which we have already booked our holiday for.

The only problem with The Strat is that location at the top end of The Strip. You do need to rent a car or relegate yourself to the Strip Trolley or city bus. However, it has great restaurants, good gaming, and I love that tower. I’m up there every couple of months just to enjoy the view. Plus, both American Superstars and Viva Las Vegas (both reviewed at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com ) offer a great value.

Carol Helmholz of Tucson, Arizona wrote:

>A friend and I just visited Las Vegas for the first time in 30 years.
>You can imagine the changes! We stayed at the Bellagio, which was
>wonderful. The rooms were lovely, and I particularly liked the wide
>walkways through the casino, as opposed to having to wend your way
>around the slot machines in other hotel/casinos. And of course every
>time we went through the lobby, we stared in awe at Dale Chihuly’s
>beautiful glass sculpture ceiling. The absence of the cheapening neon
>in the lobby and casino was especially nice (as opposed to the MGM
>Grand and others).
>
>I was interested to see with this newsletter the review of the exhibit
>of Steve Martin’s art collection. We were expecting to see Steve
>Wynn’s collection, but were pleasantly surprised at how much we
>enjoyed Martin’s. I am wondering what will appear at the Bellagio
>museum after Martin’s exhibit leaves in September? I noticed in The
>Venetian the signs advertising the coming of the Guggenheim-Hermitage
>Museum. Who would have ever believed there would be quality art
>exhibits in Las Vegas!!
>
>The greatest change we noticed, besides the wonderful new hotels, is
>the attitude towards food. Thirty years ago, food in Las Vegas was
>sort of secondary — the cheaper the better. Now we can enjoy eating
>in “branches” of some of the finest restaurants in the country. We
>enjoyed dinners at “Circo” in the Bellagio, “Onda” at the Mirage, and
>”Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House” in the MGM Grand. We also
>enjoyed the Bellagio Buffet.
>
>The show at the Bellagio, Cirque du Soleil’s “O,” was outstanding. I
>would highly recommend it for all ages. Because they are a “Las Vegas
>Institution,” we went to the Siegfried & Roy Show. Some of the
>effects and production numbers were quite “hokey” and even the two
>stars seemed uncomfortable in the settings. The best was when they
>had their animals on stage or were doing traditional magic. We had
>made advance reservations for those two shows, but were delighted to
>find that Tom Jones was performing while we were there, and we were
>able to get tickets. He is amazing at his age (60?). He still looks
>good, and his voice is as strong and good as ever. Enjoyed seeing
>him.
>
>I definitely plan to not wait 30 years for my next visit to Las Vegas!

Thanks for the great report! You have inspired our poll this week at http://www.accessvegas.com — “When was your last visit to Las Vegas?”

++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at (click) mailto:[email protected] While space doesn’t permit publishing every letter, we do certainly read them all and they help shape our content. Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional). Also, guest article submissions are welcome with full credit to you, your website, etc., if accepted.



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ONLINE POLL – “When was your last visit to Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next issue!Results from last poll: “Which Las Vegas hotel has the nicest lobby?”

Bellagio 42%
Mirage 19%
Mandalay Bay 12%
Paris 9%
Luxor 8%
Monte Carlo 4%
New York, New York 2%

FREE CONTEST:

CASINO PERKS – We have two Casino Perks coupon books to give away! Each book contains over 1,000
worth of 2 for 1 Show, Dining, Family Fun, Blackjack Matchplay and Car Rentals discounts for Las Vegas. Enter by sending a blank email to (contest closed) One entry per person, you must be a newsletter subscriber to win. Deadline for entries: Tuesday, July 24, 2001. Winners will be chosen in a random drawing from all eligible entries received before deadline and be notified by email.

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Have a request for a review? Boggled when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop. If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us at http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at: http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates, or better yet click here: http://www.recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=826126 to recommend it to friends with a chance to win $10,000!

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
July 18, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

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