Access Vegas Insider Vibe – July 4, 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.

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VEGAS SPECIAL: Las Vegas’ Excalibur from $75.95, Sun-Thurs., 6/25/01-7/26/01:
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 three weeks.)

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THIS ISSUE: David Darkstone – Illusions and Beyond

EDITOR NOTES: What a week so far: rolling blackouts, a Greyhound Bus wreck north of town … this isn’t quite the news we like to bring you but that slot machine doesn’t always come up double diamonds. We were baking under 114 degree heat on Monday … I love it! Granted, I don’t work outside but I’ve been out and about and there is something very cleansing feeling about it. Summer separates those of us who truly love Southern Nevada from those who thought it would be a cute idea to move here.

Don’t bother asking me how we deal with it … we don’t shovel snow, have 7-8 months of pool weather, low taxes, and well over 300 days of sun a year! The good news? Expected thunderstorms over the 4’th calmed just in time for fireworks. One note: Stratosphere got their fireworks info to me too late to include last issue. Next year if I have not heard anything, I’ll get on the phone and check with them myself.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

BUS CRASH – Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. 37 people were injured early Tuesday morning when a Greyhound Bus went off the road and rolled when it failed to negotiate the off ramp. This happened in Glendale, NV (basically a highway offramp 30 miles north of town). Early word is that the driver may have been falling asleep more than once in the middle of the night. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-04-Wed-2001/news/16466814.html

BLACKOUTS – We are doing our California imitation. Nevada Power thought they had purchased the rights to enough power this summer, but record temperatures hit across the West. Only 10,000 customers lost power for 45 minutes (not bad for a metro area of 1.3 million people). For those of you prone to worry, the tourist areas won’t go dark in any future events. In fact, the Strip casinos helped out by running off their backup generators which helped keep the lights on for more residents that otherwise would have happened. Full stories at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-03-Tue-2001/news/16458159.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-04-Wed-2001/news/16466351.html

NEW YEAR’S EVE – What am I talking about this in July when many of you are having pool parties? Because if you want to attend the singular party of the year without paying 5 times the going weekend rate for a room (or not getting one at all — some hotels already showing “sold out”), you need to think about booking now. You are still going to pay 3 times the normal, but save your pennies: this party is worth it. Don’t take my word for it — check out our complete photo archive from last year at http://www.las-vegas-new-years-eve.com featuring the buildup, the aftermath, the happy couples, the crazies, and (of course) the pretty girls.

BETTING BAN DEAD! – Sen. Harry Reid has stopped worrying about a ban on college sports betting being passed by Congress this year. “The bill won’t pass out of Congress,” Reid, D-Nev., said Monday. “We’ll kill it. I am confident. I wasn’t confident last year but I am now. It has lost support.” Nevada allows wagering on professional and college sports but not on high school and Olympic Games. No other state allows wagering on college sports. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-03-Tue-2001/news/16456031.html Start thinking about those college football games you are going to be betting on when you visit this fall!

HAVE YOUR LAS VEGAS WEDDING ON TV! – I just talked to the producers of new series for the Travel Channel entitled “Two For Las Vegas.” They are 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!

CAESARS OVERHAUL – Caesars Palace has a new tower, new facade, new “hip” lounge, and more. The 1/2 billion dollar renovation is an attempt to restore Caesars to the prominence it had on The Strip two decades ago. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-24-Sun-2001/business/16373504.html

SHOPPING IN VEGAS – Casinos no longer are the only place to drop a bundle in Las Vegas. The megaresorts that dominate the city’s neon-splashed Strip are locked in an escalating competition to land retailing’s most exclusive names and show them off in extravagant environments that re-create ancient Rome, Marrakech or the canals of Venice. Story at http://www.sltrib.com/07012001/business/109958.htm

3 MILLION WEDDINGS – Only the ministers were authentic at Tuesday’s celebration commemorating the 3 millionth Las Vegas wedding. Everything else, including the hoards of celebrity look-alikes and even the weddings themselves, were in typical Vegas style: gaudy beyond belief. Three couples, the 3 millionth wedding registered and the ones before and after, were invited back to Las Vegas to re-create their ceremonies, flanked by eight Las Vegas showgirls in full garb. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-04-Wed-2001/news/16467469.html

HOTEL LOBBIES – Twenty years ago would Strip hotel lobbies have been part of their trip? “It didn’t even enter my mind,” said Scardina, who visited Las Vegas years prior. “We were strictly here to gamble.” But Las Vegas has changed. And along with excessively European-themed resorts came the evolution of the hotel lobbies, which in many ways have become destinations themselves.

TEACHER SHORTAGE – Las Vegas has a tremendous shortage of teachers, which makes it a good place to move if you are a teacher, and a lousy place to send kids to public school. Full teacher shortage story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-01-Sun-2001/news/16447647.html

MCCARRAN AIRPORT – If you have to deal with a flight delay, McCarran isn’t a bad place to have it happen. You can work out at 24 Hour Fitness, rent and watch a movie, and more. Full stories at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-01-Sun-2001/living/16336109.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jul-01-Sun-2001/living/16410446.html On a related note, McCarran’s radar control room was just named the best in the nation. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-25-Mon-2001/news/16387960.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!


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!


CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

TIM CONWAY & HARVEY KORMAN – Play the Las Vegas Hilton this weekend, Call (702) 732-5755 for tickets.

CLINT HOLMES – is on Pay-Per-View Saturday, July 7’th featuring his full show from Harrah’s. The 90 minute show is only $14.95 so this sounds like a great way to scratch that “Vegas itch” of enjoy one of the better shows in town from your easy chair. Call your local cable operator or DirecTV channel 120.

DARUDE – performs in a live electronic stage performance at Studio 54 (MGM) on Friday, July 6, 2001. Doors open at 10 p.m. and show time approximately 1 a.m. Darude is currently No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music chart with “Feel the Beat” and No. 12 on Hot Dance Music singles sales with “Sandstorm” according to recent US Billboard charts. $20 cover charge for men. Tickets sold at the door only. Complimentary cover for ladies. No advance ticket sales.

FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE PRESENTS GROOVE POWER – Get your groove on at the Fremont Street Experience Groove Power event Friday and Saturday, July 13th and 14th, 2001. This two-day celebration includes five city blocks groovin’ all weekend long with free entertainment on two stages, food and drink specials, and one-of-a-kind Fremont Street Experience Light and Sound Shows.

The entertainment lineup includes Otis Day and The Knights at 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. & 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Big Fat Elmo at 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. on Friday, July 13th. Saturday, July 14th features Otis Day and The Knights at 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. & 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. and The Spinners at 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. & 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Free performances are presented on two stages all weekend long.

STEVE MARTIN ART COLLECTION – is at Bellagio through Labor Day. Story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-3.htm

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Buck Rams “Platters”, Cornell Gunther’s “Coasters” and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas (New York, New York) – http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/coasters-platters-reeves.htm
* Clint Holmes (Harrah’s) – http://www.accessvegas.com/story-1.htm
* La Femme (MGM) – http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/2001/departments/2001_06_28/stage.html

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:

* Andre’s French Restaurant (Downtown) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-22-Fri-2001/weekly/16352786.html
* Cili (mile south of Mandalay Bay) – http://www.accessvegas.com/story-5.htm
* Le Village Buffet (Paris) – http://www.accessvegas.com/story-2.htm

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

Friday – 99 ░F / 84 ░F Sunny
Saturday – 96 ░F / 74 ░F Sunny
Sunday – 101 ░F / 79 ░F Sunny
Monday – 106 ░F / 79 ░F Sunny
Tuesday – 109 ░F / 81 ░F Sunny
Wednesday – 107 ░F / 82 ░F Sunny

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FEATURE STORIES: David Darkstone – Illusions and Beyond

Magic in the afternoon is alive and well in Las Vegas, but can The Strip support four afternoon magic shows? After seeing all four, my answer is … Yes! 24 year old magician David Darkstone and his business partner 23 year old Will Roya are doing something that most magicians only dream of, and that is starring on the Las Vegas Strip in a self-produced show.

They are smart: The Las Vegas Strip is four miles long. The Tropicana at the south end of The Strip already has Rick Thomas, a general magic show that includes a white tiger and comes in at about $20. Mac King plays mid-Strip Harrah’s and will tickle your funny bone with magic at Harrah’s for $15. Dixie Dooley is all the way downtown. Toward the northern end of The Strip, the accommodations are more budget conscious, and include the more family oriented Circus Circus. Darkstone puts on a show that fits those demands like a glove.

You have seen these tricks before, both on TV and perhaps in other Las Vegas magic shows. Darkstone isn’t yet at a place in his career to attempt to break new ground like David Copperfield. However, the amazement from seeing them up close is a real treat. The showroom at the Frontier only seats about 280. I usually sit in the back when I review a show to take in the entire spectrum of performer and audience and I still felt like I was in the middle of the action.

A great example was his performance of Houdini’s Metamorphosis. (Tie the magician up in a bag, put him in a wooden box, lock it shut, raise a curtain, and in a split second his assistant is tied up in the locked box and magician is free.) Houdini used to perform this one before his shows, outside the theater and among the people, as a “come-on” to help persuade people to buy tickets, and Darkstone performs the illusion in similar fashion with plenty of audience participation.

Four men from the audience are chosen to completely inspect the box, test the padlocks, and everyone in the audience who wanted to is invited to inspect the bag used to tie Darkstone up to insure no velcro, etc. One of the volunteers ties the bag tight. In the box Darkstone goes, and volunteers put on the locks. His assistant lift up a curtain, and in the blink of an eye she is in the locked box tied in the bag and he is free. All so relatively close to the audience that you are truly left scratching your head with that “Did you see that … how’d he do that” (which is what you are paying for in the first place).

Juggler Will Roya provides both the talent and comedic relief to balance the serious side of Darkstone. This guy is funny! Instead of a plain, old juggling act, he incorporates a James Bond style skit into the first act, then moves on to juggling glowing balls in the completely darkened room in a manner which creates quite a light spectacle. He finishes off with the prerequisite fire juggling and them multiple hoops, both of which he adds his lighthearted musical and acting touches to.

If anything is working against these guys, it is their age. Darkstone probably has another couple years to go before he can truly pull off the “mystical magician” look strictly because of his good (young looking) genetics, but that doesn’t stop him from being a riveting performer. Roya still has a little bit of that “Wow, I’m playing on the Vegas Strip” in him but channels it in a positive way with his onstage goofball persona.

However, both men have years of performing under their belt and not only put on a talented show, but are up on all the latest advantages of show technology. For a smaller venue, the room has great computer-controlled lighting which is put to good effect as the audience is seated. The music soundtrack is top notch. It was apparent that much time and care were taken in selecting exactly the right music for each illusion and segment, and it is extremely well edited and blended to enhance the show.

The show is very suitable for children, but with plenty of punch for adults. At the inexpensive asking price, these guys are worth seeing now. They could very well end up like another magic team which once performed regularly at The Frontier. Who? Siegfried and Roy.

“David Darkstone – Illusions and Beyond” runs daily (dark Monday) at Noon and 2 PM. Tickets are $12.95 and include two drinks. You can get them at the box office or call ahead to (702) 794-8200 for reservations. Note: As of this time, the showroom doesn’t have cocktail service. Redeem your drink coupons at the bar (you can get pop, juice, or water for the kids) and bring them in with you. We have two David Darkstone packages to give away in the contests section that include two free tickets, a T-shirt, and an autographed poster.




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

E.L. Mikel wrote:

>We were in Las Vegas in March and one of the employees at the Venetian
>said that there were plans underway to build a Titanic-themed
>Casino/Resort. When I got back, I asked my travel agent and she had
>not heard this. Do you know anything about it?

We reported on this proposed project way back on June 17, 1999. For the benefit of later subscribers … here is the original story:

Las Vegas legend Bob Stupak’s plans to build a casino with the theme of the Titanic were sunk by the Las Vegas city council because of objections by neighbors backing the area. He was planning to build in on the site of his Thunderbird Hotel which is located halfway between Fremont St. Experience and the Stratosphere on LV Blvd. (the Strip). The area isn’t designated as a casino development district. (End of story.)

You just hit the nail on the head why I started this newsletter. Resort employees are the second least informed people in town, next to cab drivers (who are pretty much only interested in steering you to a strip club that pays them a $10 per person kickback). Once these people get off work, they get as far away from The Strip as they can, and they aren’t exactly home pouring over the newspapers and press releases. On the other hand, I guess that is good: as long as old and misinformation about Vegas continues to abound, there will be room for this newsletter!

John Krogh wrote:

>Hi Ted…
>
>Just a quick observation with respect to your “free contest” section.
>As you claim this newsletter hits 50 some odd countries, announcing
>the 20th response will win, would seem to be
>slightly biased <G>. Cool newsletter!

Just as Superman sometimes forgets his own power, I too truly feel like I am writing this newsletter to one person and forget we are pushing 20,000 subscribers. I woke up to that when the 20’th entry for the last contest took little time to come in. From now on, we will use a random number generator to pick a winner from all entries received by the contest deadline. As for the country count claim, all we have are subscribers email addresses to go by. We have subscribers with email addresses that originate in over 60 countries now.

Donna wrote:

>I was just curious about what Las Vegas is like around
>the Christmas season. My husband and I are planning
>on taking a four day getaway to Vegas sometime around
>the 15th of December. We’d like to know whether this
>is a good or bad time of year to visit Vegas.

The town is crowded until Dec. 16’th when the National Finals Rodeo is done. Between then and Dec. 25’th, you can practically shoot a cannon down the Strip and not hit anybody. If you dream of coming to Vegas when the rooms are going to be about the cheapest of the year and the lines will be small or nonexistent (plenty of elbow room at the games and slots also), the week before Christmas is your time. Especially if you can come on weekdays and not a weekend.

Rodney & Kathy Baker wrote:

>Just returned from a 4 day stay at Treasure Island, the hotel was a
>great room with slightly stingy slots…didn’t hear many bells
>ringing … before we left your newsletter asked for reviews on high
>end restaurants. Didn’t really expect to do this for you but just
>happened in at the MGM … and went to “OLIO,” looking forward to a
>nice meal before the 10:30 EFX show. We were not dressed for either
>the show or the meal but decided while we were at that end of the
>strip we would do the “as you are” thing. It worked perfect for the
>show…they took our money….gave us great seats and we were
>fine…the dinner was another ordeal. When we arrived the hostess was
>very sweet and smiling…after being instructed on where to seat us by
>a not so friendly sounding French(?) speaking man dressed in a
>suit…we were ushered to the back of the room…WHERE WE SAT FOR OVER
>15 MINUTES….no water…just stares from other waiters roaming back

The Bakers went on to note a total terrible experience. I have one word of advice: stay away from any hotel, show, or attraction for the first couple of months after it opens. While unpleasant experiences are the exception, they are going to happen more during the stages while the kinks are still being worked out. It never hurts to write the management with your concerns when you return home. You just might find yourself a free chance to sample it again on your next trip.

>Andrew Simpson of Glasgow UK wrote:

>Ted, Firstly thanks for the newsletter, it’s great. Currently there
>is a programme on UK TV which is portraying Vegas as a clubbing city
>and the “new Ibiza” For those who don’t know what Ibiza is, it is a
>Spanish Island famous in Europe for it’s clubs — unfortunately also
>famous for it’s related drunkenness, violence and drugs. Do you or
>your readers feel that Vegas may be heading in the same direction,
>because frankly it would put me off returning to the place that I
>love.

Las Vegas is no stranger to drunkenness, and I assume one can find drugs in the clubs just like anywhere else. But it is true: with clubs like Studio 45, Rum Jungle, and others as well as all the new posh “old school” lounges opening up, the new reputation as a clubbing city is well deserved. Violence doesn’t seem to accompany this here, as most of these are attached to casinos which are VERY concerned about security.

Allen wrote:

>Thank-you for all the ideas on what to do with only a short time in
>Vegas. I surprised her with a Suite that faced the strip. It was
>great at night when the strip was bright with lights. We had 2 days
>to fit everything in so here is what we did.
>
>We started off Thursday evening with dinner at the Steakhouse at
>Circus Circus. The meal was, well “WOW.” About 15 minutes into the
>meal (gaming executive) Bill Boyd and some friends sat in the booth next to us. It was
>fun to watch the attention he received. From there, we headed to
>Fremont Street. She shopped and we watched two light shows. She
>enjoyed it, but was less than impressed. In between the shows, we
>played craps at the Four Queens. My wife is a beginner gambler but
>the dealers were very nice and very patient and made her time winning
>$12 very enjoyable. We headed back to the room and watched the lights
>on the strip from our balcony.
>
>Friday was our big day, we had tickets to “O.” This was the one thing
>I planned months in advance. We spent the morning shopping at the
>Bellagio and viewing the Atrium. My wife fell in love. She again,
>found time to keep me amused with some gambling. She played Sic Bo.
>The dealer again was great with a beginner gambler. We ate dinner at
>the Mirage Buffet. Absolutely the best buffet in Vegas. Then it was
>off to “o.” Without getting into the gory details let me say that “O”
>was the worst experience of the trip. The staff was rude and the $200
>front row balcony seats purchase 2 months in advance were very bad.
>In fact, if any of your readers plan to go to “O,” the entire balcony
>has no view of the front of the stage and a lot of the show takes
>place there. When we got back from the show, she hit the slots and I
>hit the tables. She visited me 3 times taking what I had won and
>putting it in the slots.
>
>The last day we went to Caesars Palace to the shops. My wife was less
>than impressed. We ate lunch at the Paris and went up the tower.
>Again, she was very disappointed with the atmosphere. My wife
>actually enjoyed the Desert Passage shops at the Aladdin the most.
>She liked all the art galleries and spent over an hour in the
>Build-a-Bear shop spending everything I had won. From there, we
>headed to the Stratosphere. We were planning to eat at the restaurant
>but were not dressed appropriately for it. They don’t allow shorts
>for dinner. So were enjoyed the view headed to the Italian Restaurant
>at the Riviera. The food was great. My wife loved the accents of the
>waiters. Two thumbs up. We ended the evening on the balcony again.
>
>In the morning we used the CAPS service for our bags. This gets a big
>plug. For $6 you can check your bags at the hotel and get your
>boarding pass. Then it was a private limo to the airport and back to
>reality.

D.S. wrote:

>While visiting Las Vegas in May of this year, we used the Bell Trans
>Limousines & Buses for our transportation from the airport to downtown
>Las Vegas (California Hotel). We always use this transportation
>service to and from the airport. Only this time we happen to notice
>there was a price for a round trip, so we purchase a round trip
>ticket. When we tried call the day before our departure we could not
>reach this company and tried through the night, until I spoke to the
>bellman at the hotel and he said that they would not recommend this
>company because they found them unreliable. Other guest complained
>about shuttle not showing up and if they do they late. The bellman
>had to call another company to take us to the airport. I’ve learned
>not to purchase around trip shuttle service again. (Bell Trans
>Limousines & Buses 702-739-7990) Mahalo

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

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.




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

Results from last poll: “How do you feel about coinless slots?”

They are great — no muss, no fuss! 45%
I came to Vegas to play a ROLL of quarters, not paper credits. 33%
I like the ones that give you a ticket on a big win, but let you cash out coins otherwise. 20%

FREE CONTEST:

DAVID DARKSTONE – We have two David Darkstone packages to give away! Each package contains two FREE passes to the show, one David Darkstone T-shirt, and a personally autographed poster. Enter by sending a blank email to (contest closed) One entry per person. Deadline for entries: Sunday July 8, 2001. Winners will be chosen in a random drawing from all eligible entries received before deadline and be notified by email.

CORRECTION: Past issues noted that you could sign up for Weatherbug and get a free trip to Las Vegas. More accurately, you sign up and can possibly win a Las Vegas trip, keeping in line with the fact it is featured in the contest section. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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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 4, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – June 20, 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: Boston — rates starting at $99.95! Choose from Midtown Hotel, Swissotel, Days Hotel, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Radisson Cambridge and more. For details, click http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/hotdeals?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC

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

Read Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com
Post Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com

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THIS ISSUE: Sheena Easton

EDITOR NOTES: For the remainder of the summer, I’m going to publish this newsletter biweekly. I am working on some fantastic new Vegas Internet projects, and although I am gathering some great people to help, this is a hectic summer of expansion. The biweekly newsletters will be longer, but you’ll have a couple of weeks to digest them.

I don’t want to tip my hand too much except to say that this fall, not only will the newsletter be back to weekly, but we’ll have new ways for you to access more Vegas information! To those who have expressed interest in helping, hang tight. I will be getting back to everyone soon.




LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

4’th OF JULY – Most of the fireworks happen far from the Strip, so it doesn’t hurt to rent a car if visiting this 4’th of July. The only fireworks near the Strip will be at Palace Station and will probably only be visible from the North end of the Strip. Other celebrations happening around town are listed at http://www.lasvegas.com/events/4thofjuly/

TOPLESS SHOWS – Forget the family friendly stuff–the white tigers, the roller coasters, the wave pools. In a town that is constantly redefining itself, what’s old is new again as the entertainment pendulum swings back toward sex appeal. For all the talk about the Disneyfication of Las Vegas as a wholesome, family oriented destination, topless entertainment is making a comeback here in Sin City. Full story at http://www.latimes.com/travel/vegas/lat_vegas010617.htm

VACATION IN VEGAS – In light of higher travel prices, the R-J recently ran an article reminding locals off all the fun there is to do and see on The Strip. This may sound crazy, but the truth is that locals rarely leave their neighborhoods to visit the tourist areas and often aren’t that “up” on what is happening (unless they read our newsletter)! This “local’s” look at things like Adventuredome (which we reviewed at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/circus-circus-adventuredome.htm ), Star Trek: The Experience ( http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/star-trek-experience-las-vegas.htm ), Wet ‘n Wild and other locals attractions is available at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-29-Tue-2001/living/16170350.html

HIGH HEELS – Some older cocktail waitresses are complaining about the medical problems caused by wearing high heel shoes on the job. Full story at http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/nation/states/nv/A7985-2001Jun15.html

URGENT CARE – It isn’t something any of us likes to think about, but occasionally a vacation is interrupted by illness. If this happens to you in Las Vegas, head for the Imperial Palace where University Medical Center has opened an 8’th floor doctor’s office. Print this one out and stuff it in your suitcase — just in case: http://www.viewnews.com/2001/VIEW-Jun-20-Wed-2001/East/16318464.html

MORE POWER – The energy crunch in the West has hammered California, but could turn into a jackpot for neighboring Nevada. The gambling state is courting energy giants, betting that future power plants based in Nevada will help its economy and provide plenty of electrical power to the region. The power companies are responding, with proposals for Nevada plants that would supply more than 10,000 megawatts of energy by 2004. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-29-Tue-2001/business/16152320.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-06-Wed-2001/business/16260034.html

COINLESS SLOTS – Casino giant Park Place Entertainment (Caesars, Bally’s, Paris, etc.) has signed a deal to add 15,000 coinless-payout slot machines to many of its 29 casinos throughout the world. For years, conventional wisdom dictated that slot gamblers preferred to receive their payouts in loudly clanging coins, the better to dramatize a win of any size. In fact, an earlier incarnation of the technology was rejected by customers at the MGM Grand, shortly after the megaresort’s 1993 opening. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-20-Wed-2001/business/16358878.html and you have one more week to vote in this week’s poll on whether you like coinless slots at http://www.accessvegas.com

CLIMBING THE WALLS – Tuesday night is infamous at Studio 54 at the MGM for EDEN, the “Erotically Delicious Entertainers Night.” In addition to the women swinging above the crowd, sporadic confetti blasts, and bungee routines, they have added the Wall Walkers. Costumed in glossy, body shaping suits, the walkers climb two pillars and then gravitate back down doing acrobatic flips and turns. The more wild festivities start about 2 AM. Guests must be 21 and a dress code is enforced.

DESERT PASSAGE – valet parking is now free. When the Aladdin shopping area first opened, we were among the many who were shocked to pay for valet parking at the parking garage entrance to the upscale mall area. This bucked the tradition of hotels and malls offering free valet parking. We applaud mall management for making this change. Valet parking for the hotel has always been free.

LOW TECH VEGAS – Long time readers know that a pet peeve of mine is how unwired this entire city seems to be. Yes, it is getting better but when you meet someone you are still more likely to exchange phone numbers than email addresses. When I tell people what I do for a living, a common comment is “I’m thinking about getting a computer sometime.” Only a very few hotels send out press releases via email. Don’t take my word for it: A recent article details our low tech ranking at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-28-Mon-2001/business/15922839.html

COMDEX – Believe it or not, hotel rooms are already starting to fill up for Comdex. If you or your company are thinking about coming, do your boss a favor and pass our http://www.accessvegas.com web address along to the person making the travel plans for Comdex or any other convention anywhere in the country. Your boss will appreciate the money you save and you’ll appreciate not staying in some overpriced dive. During Comdex, it is common for fleabag motels on the wrong side of Fremont St. downtown (you know, the ones that are generally overpriced at $99 a week) to charge a nonrefundable $100 a night during Comdex. You can also secure your rental cars early and save through http://www.accessvegas.com

VACATIONS FROM HELL – The R-J just ran two features on vacation horror stories and how to avoid problems when you travel. Worth a read at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-05-Tue-2001/living/16216900.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-05-Tue-2001/living/16204806.html

BINGO – The Plaza Hotel is offering incentives throughout June to welcome Bingo players to the newest downtown Bingo Room in Las Vegas. The new Bingo room holds 8 sessions daily beginning at 9 AM with the final session at 11 PM. There will be super progressive bonanza jackpots every session with a $1,000 bonanza consolation guaranteed at six of the sessions.

NEW MALL – The on-again, off-again shopping mall between Mandalay Bay and Luxor is back on the Mandalay Resort Group’s front burner, company executives said Friday. Construction on the partially built retail structure will resume before the end of the summer, said Mandalay President Glenn Schaeffer, speaking after the firm’s annual shareholders’ meeting at Mandalay Bay. The mall is expected to open by the end of 2002. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-16-Sat-2001/business/16335998.html

BUSY AIRPORT – Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport is set to overtake Denver as the sixth-busiest airport in the United States, according to data compiled by the Airport Council International. According to information released by McCarran, Southwest Airlines, America West Airlines and National Airlines all recorded significant percentage increases in the numbers of arriving and departing passengers in March over the previous March. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-11-Fri-2001/business/16072617.html

ADVERTISING – Although rare, last week someone replied to the newsletter with “QUIT SENDING ME YOUR ADVERTISEMENTS.” For those curious, here are a couple of details on our newsletter and what part of it is advertising:

1. We only send this to people who request it by signing up through the forms on our sites. Our newsletter is probably the easiest to unsubscribe out there. You don’t have to go to a website, enter a password, or type something in the subject box. You simply email the unsubscribe address at the bottom and it is done.

2. The commissions from hotels, rental cars, et. al. support this effort. In addition, costs are covered by the four ads per issue, which are bounded by the =========== dividers. That is the only revenue advertising. I spend hours and hours combing news sources to find the best info to present.

While we do accept complimentary tickets to review a show (which is common in media), long time readers know that I shoot from the hip. Bottom line is that I’m not going to cut any deals that restrict what I can say or which sources I can use. You keep booking with us to help us, and I’ll keep getting you the best unbiased info from all sources!

$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:

DAVID DARKSTONE – “Illusions & Beyond” has opened at The Frontier. This new afternoon magic show runs daily (dark Monday) at Noon and 2 PM. Ticket price is $12.95 and includes two drinks. You can get them at the box office (new shows like this rarely sell out) or call ahead to (702) 794-8200

STEVE MARTIN ART COLLECTION – is at Bellagio through Labor Day. Story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-3.htm

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* La Femme (MGM) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-15-Fri-2001/weekly/16309715.html
* Rita Rudner (New York, New York) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-11-Fri-2001/weekly/16026622.html
* Storm (Mandalay Bay) – http://www.accessvegas.com/story-4.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:

* Circus Circus Steak House – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-23-Wed-2001/living/16115745.html
* Florida Cafe (north of Stratosphere) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-15-Fri-2001/weekly/16297880.html
* Le Provencal (Paris) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-13-Wed-2001/living/16282040.html
* Shadow (lounge: Caesars) – http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/2001/departments/2001_06_14/bar_fly.html

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Friday – 107 ░F / 80 ░F Sunny
Saturday – 103 ░F / 78 ░F Sunny
Sunday – 105 ░F / 76 ░F Sunny
Monday – 103 ░F / 75 ░F Sunny
Tuesday – 102 ░F / 75 ░F Sunny
Wednesday – 102 ░F / 74 ░F Sunny

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FEATURE STORIES: Sheena Easton

“My Baby Takes The Morning Train” … “For Your Eyes Only” …

For most, those are the only two songs that come to mind when someone says Sheena Easton. So I admit to being skeptical when I heard that she was booked to play the entire summer at the Las Vegas Hilton with the possibility of extending the run if it went well. She had just finished a year-plus stint in “At The Copa” with David Cassidy but he was admittedly the star and main draw of that show.

If Ms. Easton has a “star” attitude, she certainly didn’t display it in this performance. After hitting the stage with a tight eight piece band, she ran through a number of standards and with a couple of disco songs thrown in for good measure from her latest European CD. In her stunning evening gown, it was pure lounge. Not the tacky, typical Vegas lounge but old-style classy.

She then took a few minutes to bond with the audience, talking about her kids, her career, and what it is like to be an 80’s sex symbol 20 years later. She joked that her rear end from the 80’s is still alive and well — and that Britney Spears is now using it! While she still looks great, the self-depreciating rant went over well with her (mostly) 30 and older audience.

Playing to a general “Vegas” audience, the odds are that people are coming more for the entertainment value than because they are die-hard Easton fans. Keeping that in mind, she was smart to integrate her hits from the 80’s with classic standards. No matter how you cut it (and how much many of us still enjoy it), music from the 80’s can’t help but sound a little dated.

She ran through “Strut” than did a duet with her percussion player on “U Got The Look” and “We’ve Got Tonight” as well as performing other hits from her repertoire. After letting her band shine in a jam that featured a short solo from each member, she emerged from a wardrobe change and whipped into “Fever” before singing the her obligatory hit “Morning Train.”

Then it was back to a duet on “If You Asked Me To” and “Best of My Love” featuring both her percussionist and her female backup singer participating in lead vocals. She had a very strong finish to the night with “For Your Eyes Only” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”

Easton was signed to play the 350 seat Hilton Nightclub but response has been so strong that many of her dates will take place in the main showroom that was once host to Elvis. She does a great job of entertaining and both her fans and those expecting to see a classic Vegas performance won’t be disappointed.

Sheena Easton – For Your Eyes Only Ticket Info

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EDITORS NOTE:

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Barbara wrote:

> Dear Ted, I just returned from a 5 day stay in Las Vegas. I go there
>on a regular basis, twice a year. I have always enjoyed the seafood
>buffet at the Rio and have recommended it to several. This time was
>different. I was surprised to find the food was not hot (its hard to
>dip cold lobster into cold butter). I had planned on taking my
>parents there and now I am glad that they couldn’t make it. Spending
>$30.00 a person, the food shouldn’t be cold. Also the service was
>poor. I sure hope this was a one time experience because I have, in
>the past enjoyed the Rio.

From what I understand, fish like lobster and crab are served cold at Vegas buffets for food safety reasons. But I agree that the drawn butter should be hot! I shared your opinion of the Rio Seafood Buffet and my full review is archived at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com/rio-suites-las-vegas-buffet.htm

Colleen Kato wrote:

>Here are my thoughts on De La Guarda —
>
>I love going to Las Vegas shows and have enjoyed everything I’ve ever
>seen during the many years of vacationing there. A few weeks ago we
>decided to finally see DE La Guarda. It sounded like an intriguing
>show and it was one of the few shows we hadn’t seen. De La Guarda was
>absolutely insane, only somewhat entertaining and I’d never recommend
>that anyone see it. There were six in our party (from ages 18-60).
>We tried to keep an open mind, knowing that this show would be
>different. It was different all right, but strangely so. One in our
>party described the experience as being in an insane asylum and
>watching the inmates do crazy things. Things go on forever, perhaps
>too long. For instance in the beginning, people are flying overhead
>on bungee cords for what seems like forever. After a while it gets
>tiring and you’re ready for them to move on to something else, but it
>goes on and on and on and on. I know they’re having fun up there, but
>it’s rather tiring for the audience to continually stand, looking up,
>watching the same thing and wondering when something else is going to
>happen, and hopefully — it will be something more interesting than
>what you’ve bee subjected to so far.
>
>There were some interesting
>moments. I was somewhat interested in the precise timing of two girls
>swinging from ropes as they ran across an expanse of wall. The water
>and the fog added substance and I liked the balloons, but there were
>many people around us asking their partners, “So what is the purpose
>of all of this?” There were strange cast members, dripping wet,
>mingling through the crowd, trying to stare strangely at individuals
>in the audience. They hunk around, act weirdly, then lie in the
>puddles on the wet floor like someone having a fit or acting how like
>you’d expect an adult with a mind of an infant to act. Out of our
>party of six, two walked out before the end of the show. I didn’t
>mind the loud music and enjoyed the strong percussion, but a friend of
>ours couldn’t stand the insane screaming (more like shrieking). All
>in all it is a show I’d never ever think of seeing again. It absolutely
>was not entertaining at all.

>PS I tried booking show tickets through the BookVegas Itinerary system
>you advocate. Although I’ve only used the system once, we got
>terrific seats. I just booked show tickets for two shows in July and
>am crossing my fingers that the seats we get this time, are just as
>good. It was worth paying the processing fee to get those great
>seats!

De La Guarda is definitely for people looking for a rave-like, artistic, chaotic experience. I found it interesting, but prefer more traditional Las Vegas entertainment. Most people either love or hate the show: there is little in between.

Thanks for supporting our efforts with your business! For reserved seat shows, you stand a better chance of good seats the earlier you buy your tickets and buying in advance also guarantees that you won’t arrive in town only to find a show sold out. I’m pleasantly surprised both at the number of readers using our BookVegas service at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?amid=3230&cscheme=1 and the continued positive feedback regarding it.

Allen Goenawein wrote:

>I just returned from my latest trip to Vegas. I
>thought that anyone looking for some good cheap meals
>might be interested to know that Ellis Island still
>has prime rib and top sirloin steak dinners for $4.95.
>These are not scaled down dinners but include a salad
>of your choice, potato of your choice, a vegetable and
>bread and butter. They also have a steak breakfast
>special that goes for $1.99. Again, no scaled down
>meal but a good sized portion of steak, two eggs, hash
>browns, and two pieces of toast with jelly and butter.
>For the really hungry at breakfast I would recommend
>the ham and eggs. For only $3.25 you get a slice of
>ham that is so large, it hangs over the edge of the
>plate, plus the eggs, potatoes, toast, butter and
>jelly. You can eat for very little money in Vegas if
>you shop around.

Thanks for the reminder of these great specials. I can vouch for them myself as the steak special has been a long time favorite of mine. Ellis Island is a couple of long blocks east of the Strip just set back from the corner of Koval and Flamingo (down Koval a couple hundred feet south). It just so happens that one of my summer projects will be to chronicle and list all of the great “cheap meals and deals” on The Strip and downtown for inclusion in one of our new websites!

Lysaa Rossi wrote:

>Hello,
>
>**Great newsletter**! Full of helpful insight, just one suggestion:
>Since there is so much info perhaps HTML format would make it easier
>to scroll through. It’s a bit hard on the eyes. Also, I know this is
>mainly for tourism, but a real estate review of the many
>areas/communities in LV and Henderson would be great to have given
>that so many people decide to relocate there — in fact, we are moving
>there next month!
>
>Thanks!!

By HTML, she is referring to newsletters that look like a web page instead of this plain text format. I’d like to go that route because we can present graphics and use a pleasing format. However, AOL 5.0 (and before) as well as some other email programs can’t display HTML newsletters and I want everyone to enjoy the info. Also, I have heard that the next version of Microsoft Outlook Express might be shipped with HTML turned OFF by default. I appreciate your thoughts and we will certainly make the transition when we can rest assured that everybody will still be able to enjoy our content.

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

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.


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


ONLINE POLL – “How do you feel about coinless slots?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next issue!

FREE CONTEST:

SHEENA EASTON – We have one autographed poster of Grammy award winning artist Sheena Easton. Enter by sending a blank email to (contest closed) The 20’th entry will be chosen winner. No need to include any info — we’ll return email the winner. One entry per person.

VEGAS TRIP – Sign up for Weatherbug and get a free trip to Vegas: http://ww2.weatherbug.com/aff/default.asp?zcode=Z3390&DoCheck=True

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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.
June 20, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – June 13, 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: Boston — rates starting at $99.95! Choose from Midtown Hotel, Swissotel, Days Hotel, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Radisson Cambridge and more. For details, click http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/hotdeals?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC

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

Read Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com
Post Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com

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THIS ISSUE: The Rat Pack Is Back


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:

JACKPOT – Major William Tracy had been in Las Vegas for less than a
day when he struck it rich early Wednesday morning, winning $3 million
on a Wheel of Fortune(R) dollars machine at the Flamingo Las Vegas.
“I just sat there staring at the payline, trying to figure out what
was happening when a security guard walked up to tell me that I had
just won $3 million. I’m still in shock,” he said. Tracy, 32, and
his wife, Alicia, are in Las Vegas to attend graduation ceremonies at
the USAF Weapons School at Nellis AFB. Tracy, who flies an F-15C
fighter, is currently stationed in Japan. The Tracys aren’t sure what
they’ll do with their winnings. “Make some investments, help our
families. It’s a lot to figure out. But there is one thing we are
sure of — we don’t want things to change … at least, not too
much,” Tracy said.

MONORAIL – Right now, early construction on the first phase of the Las Vegas monorail is underway. Running from the MGM to the Desert Inn, the line is eventually slated to run downtown. Proposed extensions run both to the airport and along the casinos on the West side of The Strip. Full story with map at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-29-Tue-2001/news/16179719.html

MARINERS -áááá The Seattle baseball team continues to terrorize their opponents, as well as the Vegas sportsbooks. Count the Mirage as one of many Nevada casinos that would welcome some avalanche control. It listed the Mariners at 45-to-1 odds to win the World Series before the season started, a number the team has pared to 7-2, second only to the Yankees’ 5-2. Full story (which includes a little inside peak at how baseball lines are set) at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-1.htm

ENERGY CRUNCH – is continuing to be felt by the hotels here. While Nevada has secured enough energy for the summer, the prices are on the rise. Harrah’s Entertainment, Station Casinos and the Riviera Hotel and Casino have tacked a $3-a-night surcharge on hotel rooms at their Nevada casinos. Whether to charge customers more is especially a dilemma for the more expensive casinos on the Strip, where image is everything and customers could perceive such a move as tacky. Bellagio, for example, now has a system that adjusts air conditioning and turns off lights when offices aren’t used. Full story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-2.htm

EPICUREAN AFFAIR – The 11th annual Epicurean Affair, featuring signature dishes from local restaurants, wine, a silent auction and live entertainment, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. June 20 at The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South. More than 50 restaurants plan to participate in the event, dubbed “The Rhythm of Flavor” and carrying a Latin American theme. Details at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-30-Wed-2001/living/16149617.html

NO KIDDING – In light of the recent “Kids In Vegas” debate, I was informed about No Kidding. This is a group of people who are child-free by choice. They are adamant that they don’t hate children nor are trying to pass anti-child laws. It is just a social group for people who have no kids and enjoy social events with others in the same position. The national page is at http://mypage.direct.ca/j/jerry_s/ and the Las Vegas chapter can be contacted at (click) mailto:[email protected]

VEGAS FOR KIDS – If you are bringing your kids to Las Vegas, “101 Things for Kids in Las Vegas” by Carol Stout is a must have. Instead of dragging them through the hot sun or locking them in the room while you gamble, make the trip fun for them. This excellent book is available online from Amazon.Com at
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1886161208/invegascom

LIFE OF A DEALER – CNN profiles people in various careers, asking them questions about the job and their life. They just profiled a Vegas blackjack dealer at http://www.cnn.com/2001/CAREER/dayonthejob/06/12/casino/index.html

THE ECONOMY – For all the reasons Californians come here, there’s a growing list of reasons why, this summer, they may not. Higher gas prices. Hesitancy to leave homes untended during rolling blackouts. A softening economy. The lure of Vegas-style Indian casinos closer to home. But Las Vegas can spin an economic threat like a roulette wheel, and executives here say they expect this summer to be as strong as last year’s — especially as travelers reexamine their more exotic vacation plans. Full story at http://www.latimes.com/travel/vegas/stories/20010603/t000046305.html

STEVE WYNN HAS BURPED – It’s an inside joke — I’ve told friends that some people are so into Vegas that they would like an update every time Steve Wynn burps. (Wynn is former Mirage Resorts founder / CEO and that man who bought the Desert Inn to put a new resort there.) The most recent courtesy of R-J columnist Norm! is a massive makeover of the famed golf course, a large lake with lakefront condos, and a Cirque de Soleil-type show. Read full details at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-03-Sun-2001/news/16221974.html

WIRELESS CHECK-IN – The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas plans to launch a pilot program this summer that’s aimed at using wireless devices to ensure that rooms are ready for arriving guests. Guests will meet hotel clerks at any of several entrances, including the car drop-off area, and be able to show a credit card to check reservations via a wireless LAN connection to a server in real time. Once the reservation has been confirmed, the clerk will be able to encode a room-key card for the guest. Full story at http://www.thestandard.com/article/0,1902,26682,00.html

KIDS QUEST – The new Palms Hotel Casino (under construction near The Rio) is going to have a child care center. These centers are already popular at some “local’s” casinos around town. Story at http://twincities.bcentral.com/twincities/stories/2001/05/07/daily25.html

SOUTH STRIP – Recently, a continuing series on urban hikes in Las Vegas focuses on the Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and Four Seasons hotels. Included are good synopses of the attractions at each and worth printing out before you next trip. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-13-Sun-2001/living/16040904.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!




CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

35TH ANNUAL VICTOR AWARDS – The Las Vegas Hilton will host the 35th Annual Victor Awards June 23, honoring the world’s greatest athletes and coaches, with event proceeds going to City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute. The event will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net from the Hilton Theater starting at 5:00 p.m. PST/8:00 p.m. EST. Tickets are available through the City of Hope for $50 and black tie is required. To purchase tickets, call City of Hope at 800-544-3541, extension 26206.

Each year, the Academy of Victor Sports Awards recognizes star athletes from baseball, basketball, football, track and field, boxing, tennis and more. This year’s nominees include Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Marion Jones, Venus Williams, Eddie George, Mario Lemieux, Cynthia Cooper and Tiger Woods.

NUDE CABARET – MGM is launching “La Femme” in partnership with the infamous Crazy Horse of Paris, France on June 14. The name was changed for Vegas to avoid any legal trouble with the local strip club of the same name. While promising to show a lot of skin in a theatrical fashion, Clark County liquor laws prohibit total nudity anywhere booze is served so the producers of the new show are being slightly creative with their “all nude” presentation. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-25-Fri-2001/news/16178266.html

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Earl Turner (Rio) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-01-Fri-2001/weekly/16204135.html
* Liberace Museum – http://www.viewnews.com/2001/VIEW-Jun-06-Wed-2001/East/16215569.html

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:

* Onda (Mirage) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Jun-06-Wed-2001/living/16208847.html
* Seasons (Bally’s) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-30-Wed-2001/living/16184064.html

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Thursday – 91 ░F / 70 ░F Sunny
Friday – 98 ░F / 76 ░F Sunny
Saturday – 102 ░F / 80 ░F Sunny
Sunday – 103 ░F / 79 ░F Partly Cloudy
Monday – 103 ░F / 79 ░F Partly Cloudy
Tuesday – 103 ░F / 80 ░F Partly Cloudy

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FEATURE STORIES: The Rat Pack Is Back

Sometimes I really look forward to reviewing the shows, and other times it’s just another day at the office. Granted, I’m not complaining — there are worse offices than a Las Vegas showroom and since 90% of my time is spent in front of the computer, it is always pleasant to get out in the “real world.”

The Rat Pack Is Back is a show I was truly looking forward to seeing. Up until recently, the show had been on a month-to-month engagement at the Sahara which didn’t make it a good review candidate. I don’t want to tell you about something that might be closed by the time you get to town! However, with a new one-year contract (and possible extensions), this show is here to stay.

I was looking forward to it because although not yet born in the heyday of the Rat Pack, I’ve always been curious about the vibe they brought to Las Vegas. I have a poster of them in my office. I’ve seen all the specials on the cable TV channels chronicling their time here. But would this show be a reasonably true recreation that brings back that vibe, or would I be seeing some second rate impersonators limping their way through a show as some of the budget Elvis’ seem to do?

Thankfully, it was the former. While not the Copa Room (where the originals played often at The Sands), the Congo room at the Sahara was festively decorated and very comfortable. “Joey” (played by comedian Mark Cohen — legalities prevent the performers from using the full names of the people they impersonate in the show) came out and told us that it was a very special night: December 12, 1961 … which just happened to be “Frank’s” birthday. He warmed the crowd up with some truly funny comedy.

He then introduced “Frank,” played by famed Sinatra impressionist Steve Lippia who sung a collection of hits from the era including “Luck Be A Lady” while he worked the stage with a confident manner. His vocal comparison to Sinatra’s is uncanny, and the 20 piece orchestra backing all of the performers added to the realism of the period.

Rick Michel came out as “Dean,” in character with a huge martini glass. He was perhaps was the most dead-on in the looks department (although all had good resemblance to their original characters) and had an amazingly strong voice to boot. He ran through Dean Martin favorites such as Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes and Find Yourself Somebody To Love.

Doug Starks is “Sammy,” and I mean he IS Sammy. An actual friend of the late entertainer he pays tribute to, he had the style, vocal quality, moves, and inflections down pat. Sailing through songs like That Old Black Magic and What Kind of Fool Am I, he took liberty to sing Mr. Bojangles, noting that it wouldn’t be released until 1968 … but “You are here, I am here, so let’s do it”!

From there, the show was filled with the kind of fun and frolic that these performers made legendary. They joked, sang duets, made little jabs at each other, and mixed drinks on stage. Celebrities in the audience were introduced (this night they included Robin Leach and Nevada Lt. Governor Lorraine Hunt). Although the original performers had a great camaraderie, even more credit to this group for being able to naturally recreate that night after night.

If you are old enough to remember and appreciate The Rat Pack, or were born a little after their Vegas heyday but are curious about what it must have been like and love that “old Vegas” vibe, this is a show well worth seeing.

The Rat Pack Is Back plays The Sahara hotel. Check times, costs, and availability at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?amid=143&cscheme=1

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EDITORS NOTE:

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Joyce Mitchell wrote:

> Hi, Ted!
> Thank you for your great newsletter. I really enjoy it. We
> returned from a four night visit to Vegas and are looking forward to
> the next visit — we go at least once or twice a year. Vacations in
> Vegas are real vacations — you can rest, relax, or be as frantic as
> you might be inclined, and all your old worries and troubles are far
> away in a different world. If you tire of noisy casinos, you can
> visit desert, canyons, or mountains. I recommend it! (People
> watching is high on the list of diversions!)
> I would like to comment on the new slots. People with a limited amount
> of cash to blow — like me and my husband — enjoy the
> sensation of putting in coins. We don’t even use the option of
> spinning on credit; we cash out the coins first. Besides, it seems to
> make your money last longer(!). While I understand the casinos’
> appreciation of paper slots, from my point of view — yuck! Washing
> your hands often makes a lot of sense anyway when you are messing
> around with machines that lots of people handle. And on a slightly
> different note — we don’t care for the “computer games” either. Give
> us an old fashioned one-game slot any day. (I guess we must be “old
> fashioned” people; FYI, we are both over 65.)
> We like to stay downtown, especially at the Golden Nugget.
> It is convenient and you get more casinos for the same amount of steps.
> Plus, the Strip is just a few minutes away.
> Keep up the good work, and thank you again.

We did a poll on this about a year ago, but with so many new readers, I’ll do another one. How do you feel about coinless slots? Vote today at http://www.accessvegas.com á!

Gloria Davis wrote:

> Unfortunately I allowed myself to be persuaded to stay at the Riviera
> Hotel while attending a conference in Las Vegas. I will never do that
> again. First there were the long lines at registration. After
> standing there for 45 minutes, I was given a room whose carpet was so
> soiled, I promptly returned to the desk for a reassignment. Guess
> what, another 40 minute wait. The people at the desk were very
> pleasant about the room reassignment and I was given a smoking room,
> had requested nonsmoking, which I did not realize was smoking until I
> reached the room. You guessed right again, I returned to the desk and
> waited in line 45 minutes again. By the time I reached the desk, I
> was not very composed. I know I felt like crying and evidently that
> was noticed. The manager assigned the next room. It was barely
> adequate.
>
> My next fiasco was following through with a recommendation to try the
> buffet at the Stardust. I was very disappointed in the food. It was
> attractively displayed, but lacked flavor.
>
> I like Las Vegas and will return but guess where I will not be staying
> or eating. You guessed it.

Unfortunately, with the volume of people Las Vegas hotels handle, sometimes one has a bad experience. If you don’t get satisfaction at the time, be sure to write the general manager of the hotel when you return home. If you are polite but firm and give solid detail, they will often send you freebies ranging from food to free nights on your next visit.

A couple of years ago, I gave the Stardust daily brunch buffet a nice review here, but they have since discontinued the daily buffet format and the quality has waned. Although are archives at http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com and our new show reviews archive at http://www.las-vegas-shows-reviews.com can be a big help, note the date and remember that sometimes things change. Our weekly reviews here are always fresh!

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

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.




ONLINE POLL – “How do you feel about coinless slots?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next issue!

Results from last poll: “Should people bring their kids to Las Vegas?”

No way, no how … it’s a playground for adults. 57%
Only if the kids are teenagers and can enjoy the chaos and 24/7 excitement. 19%
If they are old enough to remember it, bring them. 7%
Las Vegas is a fine place for any family vacation regardless of child age. 15%

FREE CONTEST: Sign up for Weatherbug and get a free trip to Vegas: http://ww2.weatherbug.com/aff/default.asp?zcode=Z3390&DoCheck=True

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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.
June 13, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – May 30, 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: Las Vegas: Stratosphere from $59.95, Aladdin from $109.95, Hilton Grand Vacations from $69.95, The Hilton from $59.95, and The Orleans $59.95 Click to http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/OnSale?LKF=IVC&SID=IVC

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THIS ISSUE: Andre-Philippe Gagnon

EDITOR NOTES:

I was expecting a bigger negative response to last week’s “tell it like it is” articles on the pitfalls of playing for comps and gambling with slot club cards (which focus you on points, not how much more you are losing to “earn” points).

Out of 16,000+ subscribers, only two (2) wrote in and said that they use their club card and break even or end up ahead every year when they factor in the freebies. I thought that number would be just a little higher, but further shows that playing to “earn” comps isn’t a way to beat Las Vegas.

Yes, our city on sale (above) for the third straight week is Las Vegas. Our hotel partner HRN decides each week’s city, and for some reason they have left Las Vegas specials running for three weeks now. If you were debating, I’d take advantage of the specials now. I can’t guarantee we will have Las Vegas specials another week.


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:

HOTEL FIRE – This just in: The Gold Spike Hotel Casino downtown (a cheap, rundown place downtown near Lady Luck) caught fire about 11 AM this morning. Seventeen were hurt attempting to get out, but none of the injuries were serious. The damage was confined to one room where a man and woman first reported their mattress on fire. Because of the 1980 fire at Bally’s (then the MGM Grand), Clark County (Las Vegas) now has some of the most stringent hotel fire safety codes in the world.

NEW LOUNGES – Caesars Palace and Paris Las Vegas have both jumped into the fray created by the success of V-Bar at Venetian (which we reported on a few weeks ago). Can anyone say “Bond … James Bond”? That seems to be the feel and era they are both working to recreate. Paris Las Vegas has opened Vamp from 10 PM – 4 AM on weekend nights. Vamp promises visually stimulating fashion, pulsating laser light spectrum and stylish, vogue lounge dancers with a cover of $15.

Caesars has Shadow, featuring contemporary designs with eclectic furnishings. What will stand out is the constant presence of provocative Shadow concierges. Visible only through a sheer scim screen, these multiple silhouette dancers will perform choreographed dance routines to original music and the mingle with the guests acting as lounge hostesses when not dancing. Shadow will be open 24/7 with the dancers in attendance evenings. Cover (if any) was not disclosed.

WORLD SERIES OF POKER – has been over for a couple of weeks now, but I found a good article giving a firsthand rundown of the yearly Las Vegas spectacle at http://www.freep.com/news/casinos/gam25_20010525.htm

PORN HANDBILLS – The Nevada Supreme Court ruled in a mixed opinion Thursday that The Mirage and Treasure Island are entitled to restrict the distribution of sexually oriented handbills on their sidewalks though they are used by the public. This is another step in the long fight between the resorts and the companies who pass out the handbills. The handbill companies claim free speech while the resorts suggest they have certain rights to the areas that front their properties. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-18-Fri-2001/news/16124818.html

SUMMER IS HERE – With the temperatures generally climbing, we can’t stress enough the importance of drinking plenty of water while out there. Because of the very low humidity, you perspire greatly but don’t realize it because it evaporates off of your body immediately. Drinking booze dehydrates you further. Either way, we suggest stopping by the hotel bars on a regular basis and grabbing a bottled water. Your body will thank you, your stamina will by higher, and you’ll enjoy your vacation a lot more.

KIDS QUEST – The new Palms Hotel Casino (under construction near The Rio) is going to have a child care center. These centers are already popular at some “local’s” casinos around town. Story at http://twincities.bcentral.com/twincities/stories/2001/05/07/daily25.html

SOUTH STRIP – Recently, a continuing series on urban hikes in Las Vegas focuses on the Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and Four Seasons hotels. Included are good synopses of the attractions at each and worth printing out before you next trip. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-13-Sun-2001/living/16040904.html

HARRAH’S – scored a number of wins in the recent “Best of Las Vegas” put out by the Review-Journal. Clint Holmes (read our archived review at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/01-02-21.htm ) was voted “Best Singer,” “Best All-around Las Vegas Performer,” and “Favorite Male Las Vegan.” He has also been inducted into the Casino Legends Hall of Fame at the Tropicana (Hall of Fame review at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/99-09-15.htm ).

Additionally, The Improv was voted “Best Comedy Club” and the Carnival Court was voted “Best Lounge.” The Carnival Court is definitely one of the more fun stops to party on the Strip, especially on weekend evenings when they have live blackjack outdoors to compliment the festive surroundings and live music. Discount Harrah’s rooms at hhttp://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-strip-hotels.htm (Harrah’s link).

$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!


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!


CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

PURPLE REIGN – The Prince tribute band plays Wed. – Sat. 10:30 PM to 1:00 AM in the Lighthouse Lounge of the Boardwalk Casino (across from Aladdin). One drink minimum

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Michael Holly (Sahara) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-04-Fri-2001/weekly/15991758.html

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=3230&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/entertainment/index.htm

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Marrakech (on Paradise Rd. close to Strip) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-11-Fri-2001/weekly/16044887.html

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Thursday – 104 ░F / 78 ░F Sunny
Friday – 105 ░F / 79 ░F Sunny
Saturday – 102 ░F / 75 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 99 ░F / 73 ░F Sunny
Monday – 100 ░F / 76 ░F Sunny
Tuesday – 101 ░F / 75 ░F Sunny

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FEATURE STORIES: Andre-Philippe Gagnon

The lights went down, and Mick Jagger hit the stage. Almost. Andre-Philippe Gagnon, “the man of a thousand voices” hit the stage backed by a tight four piece band and did a dead-on impression (both physically and vocally) of the Stones lead singer.

Gagnon is part impressionist and all comedian. With a repertoire of hundreds of voices from Sinatra to Axl Rose, from Sting to Barry White, he shows extreme versatility during the 75 minute show. After Jagger, he establishes his talent by rolling through Lou Rawls, Julio and Willie (in duet), and Tom Jones among others.

Then comes “Bill: The Musical” which is a hilarious multi-act “play” based on the Clinton / Lewinsky saga. Songs by Sting, Louis Prima, Barry White, and Marvin Gaye are twisted lyrically to make a nonpartisan comedic set that had the audience breaking out in laughter a number of times.

Taking a swing at pop culture, he noted the Beatles songs now used in commercials and proceeded to give us other “what if” examples in a medley of Beatles songs turned to commercials. He then proceeded to do the same with varied artists such as James Brown, Joe Cocker, REM, Alice Cooper, The Oakridge Boys, and Dire Straits.

A Gagnon show is like being hit with rapid fire bullets. He weaves together verses of different songs, seldom even doing half a song by any one artist. What makes it work is his talent, blending flawlessly from both the voice and mannerisms of one performer to another. His band must receive serious credit themselves for the ability to jump from style to style to style and sound great.

He pulled out the big guns toward the close of the show. Lest one think that his talent is based strictly on working to mimic famous talents, he picked a random man out of the audience and had this man sing a few bars of a song. Gagnon then replicated the man dead-on … with not just the vocal quality (or lack thereof in this case) but the cadence. He then did a duet of the song with them man, moving the microphone back and forth between himself and this audience member every few words. With eyes closed, you couldn’t have told the difference.

He opened for Celine Dion in 1998 for her world tour, and she has a part in his show. Appearing via video screen, he sings a duet with her using not his own voice but Sinatra’s. The result was very impressive. There is one more surprise involving audience participation, but I’ll leave this impressive and hilarious bit a surprise. (No one in the audience is embarrassed or anything — have no fear).

Andre-Philippe Gagnon Ticket Info




EDITOR NOTES: This will be the last week I publish “Kids In Vegas” letters. The letters are a representative sample of responses. It’s been a great debate, but we need to move on to other topics. We’ll perhaps revive it in a few months, but if you have not had a chance to put in your two cents, we still have the poll “Should people bring their kids to Las Vegas?” running at http://www.accessvegas.com Also, PLEASE remember that if you don’t sign your letter (we like to have your city also), we can’t publish it.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Mark Reesor wrote:

>Your May 24th issue was absolutely fascinating – I really enjoyed the
>articles about comps and your comments about kids and Vegas.

Zig wrote:

>Dear Ted,
>
>I wish to start off by saying, “I hate children.” Obviously your
>readers will know where THIS letter is going. I took my first trip to
>Vegas in February 2001. One of the many things I enjoyed about Vegas
>was the “lack” of children. I have read the letters in your last
>issue from parents talking about how much they enjoyed Vegas with
>their children. Oh sure, THEY enjoyed Vegas, but what about the
>people around them? Parents all to often are so self-absorbed in
>their little darlings that they fail to consider other people. I’ve
>been to Disney World, and the most frustrating and annoying part of
>the experience is the children. I don’t know, should we start
>allowing children into bars, nightclubs, and adult bookstores too? It
>was YOUR decision to have children, don’t punish the rest of us. Keep
>the brats at home.

R and J Schill wrote:

>We’re one of the old peoples who have gone to Vegas since the children
>were 14 and 16 that being since 1980. At that time Vegas was very
>rude to children. They weren’t even allowed to peek in the front
>window of a casino. But it is so nice to see the change in policy.
>It’s not the children the casino’s should complain about but the
>adults that bring the children. If the child is brought up to respect
>his or her self plus those around them there is no problem. We’ve
>been run into and pushed aside by adults pushing strollers as if the
>side walk belonged to them only. With this attitude why should we
>blame the children. They only learn what they see.
>
>There is room in Vegas for everyone. But it is the adult that must
>determine the behavior of the children before the planned trip.
>Parents, children and grandparents have no problems so why should
>there be a problem in Vegas. Just as it is in the town you live in
>should it be in Vegas. It’s just a little commonsense. And Vegas has
>entertainment for everyone and all ages.

Yolanda Alter of Eastpointe, MI wrote:

>Hello Ted,
>
>Do kids belong in casinos. NO WAY! This is parenting 101….children
>do not belong in or near casinos. Certainly there are venues in Las
>Vegas where it is appropriate to take children but casinos and hotels
>with casinos are not the appropriate places.
>
>The root of the problem is not the children themselves. They go where
>they are taken, as they are their parent’s prisoners. The problem is
>irresponsible parents who subject their children to this atmosphere.
>I have been going to LV at least twice a year for the past 20 years.
>I can’t tell you the amount of times I have seen parents dragging
>children down the strip or through Casinos after 10 p.m. These
>children are tired and cranky. Children should be in bed!! Casinos
>are full of smoke, liquor, gambling, swearing and lewd people. This
>is not Disney World nor a proper environment for children.
>
>I overheard someone at the Mirage who was sitting in the Lagoon Saloon
>with an infant. They were complaining about people smoking in a bar!
>”Imagine people smoking in a bar!” The women loudly said she doesn’t
>allow smoking in her home as “it’s not good for the baby.” The smoke
>must have been bad for her brain, because common sense would tell you
>that you don’t take an infant to a bar. But it was convenient for the
>parent to blame the smokers. Now I don’t smoke, I don’t like smoke,
>but I know when I should be tolerant of it and where to expect it.
>
>Parents in general feel that it is there right to impose their
>”sweethearts” on everyone. I have had many dinners spoiled in LV and
>at home due to crying children. Many of these restaurants are not the
>family type and its after nine o’clock. Being a parent is a privilege
>and a sacrifice. You either get someone to watch your children, or
>DON’T GO.
>
>I enjoying going to Disney World, do I complain about children
>everywhere, NO WAY. I’m in their world.
>
>I know I won’t change the way parents see (their right) to do as they
>please with their children. Since you are imposing your children on
>lone adults I just wanted to give you MY opinion. (It’s my right!)

Bob wrote:

>I have enjoyed reading the newsletters
>but when you tell people to check out Rob
>Singers site you have done a terrible disservice to your readers.
>People might believe what he says. He is an idiot when it comes to
>gambling. Please check your sources more carefully.

It is not my job to get in the middle of the “video poker pro”
debates. (Right now, there is great controversy among “professional”
video poker players about which pro’s method for beating the machines
is better.) I assume people are smart enough to check his stuff out
and decide for themselves, and I’ve had links to a number of other VP
resources listed for years on my gambling page at
http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-gambling-online.htm

I merely used Mr. Singers comment as well as an article by a noted gaming writer to back up my point and I gave credit to both sources. I firmly believe that slot cards are a downfall to 99% of the players who use them. They get people focused on points, not their bankroll.

For every video pro out there who tells people how they can break even
or make a few bucks playing video poker (putting tens of thousands of
dollars a month through the machines, and factoring in their comps to
say they ended up ahead), there are hundreds of thousands of people
who get trapped into playing more than they planned.

The average visitor is here to party and have fun, and if I can help
them from going beyond their gambling budget I feel as though I’ve
done a good thing.

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

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.




ONLINE POLL – “Should people bring their kids to Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next issue!

FREE CONTEST – Sign up with Weatherbug to track your local weather and win a free trip to Las Vegas: http://ww2.weatherbug.com/aff/default.asp?zcode=Z3390&DoCheck=True

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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.
May 30, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – May 23, 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]

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THIS WEEK’S CITY ON SALE: Las Vegas: Stratosphere from $59.95, Aladdin from $109.95, Hilton Grand Vacations from $69.95, The Hilton from $59.95, and The Orleans $59.95 Click to http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/OnSale?LKF=IVC&SID=IVC

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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


THIS ISSUE: The Truth About Slot Cards, Casino Freebies are not Usually Free




LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

WORLD SERIES OF POKER – Carlos Mortensen knows when to hold ’em. The 29-year-old who moved to the United States from Spain a few years ago to play poker professionally won the World Series of Poker tournament Friday night at Binion’s Horseshoe — and a $1.5 million jackpot. Full story at http://www.bergen.com/morenews/poker20200105205.htm and http://www.casinogaming.com/columnists/shelf/051601.html

WORLD SWIMSUIT – Model Search Finals will have over 60 women compete in what they bill as the “Ultimate Swimsuit Competition.” US and Canadian Finals are Friday, June 1 at 6:00 PM and the World Model Search Finals are Saturday, June 2 at 8: 00 PM. Tickets at (702) 731-7865. Discount Caesars rooms at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Caesars link).

SET TO RETIRE IN VEGAS – Nevada might have to wait a few years before it lives up to its growing reputation as a retirement mecca. Fewer than 10 percent of the state’s booming population are 65 or older, according to 2000 census figures released Friday. However, those aged 45 to 59 nearly doubled their ranks. “The pre-retirees are people moving here for their last job,” said Jeff Hardcastle, state demographer. Full story at http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/nation/states/nv/A42254-2001May17.html

FRENCH FRY FUEL – Biodiesel fuel made from recycled cooking oils at casino hotels and restaurants went on sale in Nevada Tuesday, the first public access fueling station in the nation to offer the biodegradable fuel that reduces emissions. Full story at http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/biodiesel010523.html

AFTERNOON TEA – The Four Seasons (located at the south end of Mandalay Bay — same building) offers English style afternoon tea from 2 – 5 PM daily. At the Verandah, patrons choose from 11 teas that come with a three-tiered serving tray filled with scones, finger sandwiches and pastries. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-16-Wed-2001/living/16029484.html

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CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

EFX – I took quite a bit of heat for my unkind review of EFX starring Rick Springfield, but word is that his run will end when his one-year contract is up. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-13-Sun-2001/news/16088379.html and you can read the archived review at http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com/01-03-07.htm

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Fab Four (Las Vegas Hilton) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-18-Fri-2001/weekly/16097002.html
* Paul Anka – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-11-Fri-2001/weekly/16011307.html
* Splash (Riviera) – http://www.lvshowbiz.com/current_issue/splash.html

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=3230&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/entertainment/index.htm

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Olio (MGM) – http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/departments/2001_05_10/dining_taste.html

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Thursday – 103 ░F / 80 ░F Partly Cloudy
Friday – 100 ░F / 75 ░F Partly Cloudy
Saturday – 99 ░F / 74 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 96 ░F / 69 ░F Partly Cloudy
Monday – 90 ░F / 69 ░F Partly Cloudy

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FEATURE STORIES: The Truth About Slot Cards, Casino Freebies are not Usually Free

The Truth About Slot Cards
by Ted Newkirk

Every few weeks, someone writes and asks why I never talk about comps (casino complimentary, i.e., free stuff you get for playing). The answer? For most players, it is simply not worth it. Except for the free drinks when you gamble or asking the pit boss for dinner is you’ve had a long run at the table (I mean 2 hours of heavy play or 4 hours of normal play), the average gambler bringing a few hundred bucks to town is not only going to get next to nothing, but they will be baited to play and lose far more than the comps are worth.

Most casinos track your play with a slot club card. You give them more vital info than you probably feel comfortable parting with, you use the card every time in every machine you play so they can track your every move, and you earn points good for food, gift shop items, and (if you play heavily) rooms.

If you are an average player, you may rack up enough points during your stay for half a buffet or a T-shirt. When you get home, they might send you a couple of buffet coupons or a discount room offer to get you back in on your next visit. (These “special rates” are often on par with the everyday discounts we offer on the very same rooms — our room supplier buys rooms from the hotel in bulk at deep discounts we pass on to you.)

So what’s the problem, you ask?!? The casinos don’t have slot clubs because they are nice people. Casino comps are but a small percentage of the money you are expected to lose “earning” those slot points. We all like to think that we beat the house and got something for free, so these cards actually encourage you to play more than you were planning to. After you’ve started to accumulate points, you end up putting another $20 or $100 in the machine to rack up those few more points needed for a free meal, totally forgetting the fact that the $20 will outright BUY the meal!

Don’t take my word for this or say “Well, that is other people but I manage my money flawlessly.” I recently had a drink with professional gambler Rob Singer, author of The Undeniable Truth About Video Poker. The book as well as his site http://www.vptruth.com are very fresh looks at many of the myths surrounding “beating the house,” especially related to video poker play.

Rob plays with a set financial strategy, and his #1 and only goal is to lock up a certain win on each of his monthly visits. And even HE told me that he’s stopped using slot club cards because of the temptation to deviate from his financial strategy and play just a little more to gain a benefit. If a pro can be tempted, are you going to tell me you can’t?

Don’t get me wrong: If your gambling budget in well into the thousands for each trip, get all the comps you can. In fact, skip the slot club card and ask to speak to a casino host about your gambling budget and what they might do for you.

But for the rest of us, be careful. You are coming here to have fun, and hitting the ATM for the third time in a day subconsciously savoring the free buffet the points are going to “earn” you isn’t fun. And trust me, that buffet comp or T-shirt doesn’t make you look like a high roller in their eyes. You are just another player who got a little extra play out of. Multiply that extra, unplanned play by all the slot club players, and they can well afford to give away a couple bucks worth of food.

Still don’t believe me? Or Rob Singer? Here is an interesting and informative article that came across the gaming wire a couple weeks ago:

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

Casino Freebies are not Usually Free
By Jeffrey Compton

How many times have you heard that “there is no such thing as a free lunch”? So many times that the cliche has lost its meaning. But if you patronize casinos, and receive mail filled with tempting “free offers,” and then act on that mail, i.e., stay in a free room, see a free show or have a free lunch, you will soon find out what free really means.

Here is an example from one of my readers: Dear Jeffrey: Ballys/Paris send us a letter offering three free nights and one for $69. After we arrived and played for several hours, we asked for a meal comp, and were told that there were no comp dollars available in our account until our play covered the cost of the rooms. I thought these rooms were free? WH, Springfield, Il

Before I go any further, let me assure one and all that this situation is not unique to Ballys/Paris, nor their owner Park Place Entertainment, nor happens only to travelers from Springfield. I get at least two “how come free isn’t free” letters a week, as do my fellow gaming writers Bob Dancer, Jean Scott and Anthony Curtis.

Here is how it works: As a player plays (assuming he is using his players club card), he earns both “published” and “discretionary” benefits. At most casinos in America, the published benefits are usually cash rebates (although many local Las Vegas and Midwest Riverboat casinos may also publish free food and room guidelines). Player comps, especially on the Las Vegas Strip, come from the discretionary account administered by the hosts.

Although policies vary (to the point where no two casinos have the same exact policy), many hotels do deduct from the player’s discretionary account any redeemed direct mail room/meal offers, and thus the player’s comp account could be considerably less than zero when they arrive. Some hotels (and hosts) handle this better than others, and find a more diplomatic way to explain it–¡ or tell the customer so little about discretionary comping that the player doesn’t realize what or how his account is charged.

Some casinos do not debit redeemed offers that were sent to fill up rooms during a traditionally slow seasons (early December), and there are still many older casinos that do not track redeemed direct mail offers back to the player account due to either corporate policy or an outdated computer system.

I will anticipate the next questions: “Casinos have been giving out comps both on the casino floor and through direct mail for years. Have they always tracked every freebie back to the customer?”

The answer is no, Bugsy and the boys did not spend two seconds thinking about player comps after they gave them out. Most decisions were done based on their best recollection of the player’s action (i.e. seat of the pants decision) and their daily mood. In the last few years, however, several developments have led casinos to keep track of the giveaways.

Casinos hold back a lot less money than they once did. Due to increased competition as well as increased player knowledge, player holds have dropped dramatically over the last twenty years. It was easy to be Santa Claus when you had a new sack of money coming in every day, but todayÆs casinos really have to work to make a buck.

Casinos are no longer one-man (or one-gang) operations. You can count the number of privately owned Nevada casinos on two hands, and even they have to report to their lenders. The rest have stockholders and investment bankers who are not thrilled about runaway “player reinvestment” expenses.

Players are more comp aggressive. My grandfather’s generation was brought up to never ask for a free meal, but most of us players have gotten over that stigma. Several recent books, most notably the Frugal Gambler by Jean Scott and Comp City by Max Rubin, have done an excellent job in converting once docile gamblers into aggressive comp consumers.

Computerization is everywhere. Whatever the reasons casinos had for making the comp process more accountable, it could not be done without computers, which get better and cheaper every year. It is my guess that within the next few years, they will know exactly how many free drinks I consume per hour of play ¡ and that is no joke.

So what should players do when they get a “free” offer in the mail? If they like to play at the casino, then by all means enjoy it, but realize that the offer was sent for a reason (hint: they want you to play the games) and if they do not get that result, you will not be getting any more freebies.

“Casino Freebies are not Usually Free Copyright” copyright May 11, 2001 lasvegas.com Gaming Wire Used with permission




EDITOR’S NOTE: People had a lot to say about the “Kids in Vegas” letters printed a few weeks ago. While I can’t print every letter I receive, I always print a representative sample of all opinions expressed. Letters that contain good writing style (paragraphs, punctuation, no ALL CAPS, etc.) have a better chance of getting published. I’ll have comments and answers at the end. Don’t forget to vote in this week’s poll “Should people bring kids to Las Vegas?” at http://www.accessvegas.com

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

John Krogh wrote:

> I found it amusing the two responses you published were both
> advocating keeping “kids” out of Las Vegas. Especially in light of
> the fact that Las Vegas has spent millions to promote itself as a
> “family vacation site.” Granted, I think that was a mistake, and I
> think Las Vegas has finally realized it was a mistake also. But
> nonetheless, with a family image being promoted by the city, how on
> earth could anyone be upset when families show up?
>
> Second, this is a city that is supported, in fact is built on tourism.
> When the strip fills up with people, why is anyone surprised at jay
> walking or people trying to beat the light? It comes with the
> territory. I don’t know how things are in Nevada, but in California
> and other states, a pedestrian caught in a crosswalk who’s light as
> changed against him/her, ALWAYS has the right of way.
>
> Finally, in a more serious vein, the intolerance expressed by both
> parties is disturbing. The Taxi cab driver who thinks a red/green
> light is the only rule, and the parent, who by pushing an infant is
> immune to the color of the light. The purpose of the “lights,” the
> crosswalk, the “rules” is to try and keep one another from being hurt,
> not to encourage it.

Glenn Burton wrote:

> All this noise directed against parents who take children to Las Vegas
> seems overblown to me. Don’t the casinos spend billions constructing
> attractions aimed at families with children? I doubt if die-hard
> gamblers go to Las Vegas for the Circus or the roller coasters.
>
> Isn’t Las Vegas being billed in the media as a “new” family
> destination? We’ve all read that there are many activities in Las
> Vegas suitable for children and that the prices are subsidized by
> gamblers … so why be surprised when people respond to the hype and
> come? Many of these parents who bring children to Las Vegas are
> probably on their first trip to Las Vegas and have no idea what the
> city is like. Some may not plan on gambling at all.
>
> I suggest that if you want to be angry at someone about bringing
> children to Las Vegas, direct your anger to the casino owners who are
> marketing their product to families and not against the families who
> respond.

Jack Hart (who originally wrote the letter about his experience with his young son in Las Vegas) wrote:

> Your readers comments to my letter, (subject — taxi drivers), printed
> in Access Vegas News attacked me for being in Las Vegas with my
> children. I would appreciate a rebuttal to comments made by R. Hirst
> and Mr. and Mrs. Cook of Calgary. First of all the issue had to do with
> vehicular intimidation by taxi drivers. Hirst called me a dimwit and
> an irresponsible parent. The Cook’s said they were “tired of being
> run over by strollers.” Their verbal attack and attitude displayed
> was ridiculous to say the least. These people are old people that
> should be the ones to stay away from Las Vegas. Keeping my children
> away with baby sitters is there answer to being run over by taxi
> drivers? What’s wrong with these people? I hope there are a better
> caliber of visitors to Las Vegas than these people.
> Please let R. Hirst know that he/she is not alone in his/her remarks
> about kids in Las Vegas (or any other gambling Mecca)!

J. Clayton wrote:

> We were in both Las Vegas and Laughlin some weeks ago. While in
> Laughlin, we stopped in at Burger King’s restaurant (in a corner of
> the Flamingo Hilton casino floor) at about 11:30PM to grab a Coke and
> some fries. As one would surmise, the place was the usual late night
> air full of smoke. … and even though I no longer smoke, I really
> don’t particularly care. However, a young couple with a literally
> ‘brand new’ baby (my ‘Better-Half’ guessed the age at less than a
> month) was sitting in the restaurant. Shortly after we arrived, they
> finished their meal and wandered (child in mother’s arms… carrier
> on father’s arm) off onto the casino floor to the slots.
>
> Question: What in the (expletive deleted!) are parents doing with a
> baby of that age up at that hour in a casino designed for adults?!
>
> You are absolutely right, R. Hirst, that people are trying to bend
> the adult playground of the World into a Disneyland for families! (As
> a matter of fact, I don’t even think kids can really get all of the
> fun out of the REAL Disneyland like adults can! …smiles!).

Kimberly Byers wrote:

> I have kids ranging in ages from 10 yrs to 19 yrs. We have been going to
> Las Vegas once a year for the past 5 years. Before you start slamming
> all parents and banning families maybe you should consider this. I have
> always taught my kids to respect the adult environment. They move
> quickly through casinos and only to go to the room or to eat. I realize
> this is not true with all kids but in this case it is. No one ever
> argues over who has to “watch” the kids. It is my pleasure. I never
> pretend its a family vacation. I make it one. Who are you to decide for
> me. I am glad to have these times with them and not leaving them at
> home. I’m glad your kids are grown and now you can enjoy yourselves. I
> am enjoying myself now. I dread the day when mine are gone! I’m not
> trying to be a goody goody. I drink a bit, I love to gamble and I also
> love being a mom. Too bad other people haven’t learned to incorporate
> families and kids into the real world. Don’t feel sorry for me. If it
> were up to me I would ban smokers and opinionated S.O.B. but then I
> would feel sorry for you.

Dean Di Mascio of Philadelphia, PA wrote”

> Dear Ted…. I very much enjoy reading your newsletter, a job well done!
> However, I’m becoming upset with the suggestion(s) by the many
> writers who say “if you have kids stay away from Las Vegas.” My wife,
> daughter (16) and I are big fans of Disney world, vacations and travel
> in general. We will be visiting Las Vegas in August and are looking
> forward to it. moreover, with all of the themed venues, attractions
> and natural settings and restaurants why should we not think of Las
> Vegas as a “family” detestation? I have an itinerary for our visit and
> it does not even include gaming. Although (smile) I’m sure my wife and
> I will lose some money in the casinos! But to those who wish to cling
> to the “old Las Vegas,” give it up I say. Like it or not Las Vegas
> has changed. Opened up to embrace families as well as
> “couples.”

Raymond Buchmueller wrote:

> Last year we took along our 6 and 8 year old to Vegas. We all had a
> great time. Just ask them where they want to go next holidays!
> Vegas. We just found that most Hotels buffet, the kids paid the same
> price was very unfair. How can a 45lb. kid pay the same price like a
> 250lb adult. Hats off to Luxor, and also Mirage. Maybe someone can
> let me know if other hotel have discount for kid on there buffet.

Rob McLeod of Calgary, Alberta wrote.

> We took our three boys (8, 10 and 12) to Vegas in May 1999 for 4
> nights. Contrary to most letters I have seen we had a good time with
> the kids. We stayed at Mandalay Bay and enjoyed the pool, lazy river,
> etc. We saw the Caesar’s Magical Empire which we all really enjoyed,
> spent a day at Circus Circus Adventuredome and a half day at
> Excalibur. On top of that we saw the volcano, pirate ship, the Coke
> museum, the Dive restaurant, the Luxor motion simulator ride, New York
> amusement area, etc., etc. The wife and I saw “Mystere” — we left the
> kids with the Aunt. I still got in 24 hours of gaming, we won’t talk
> about the net result.
>
> In my opinion, taking kids under 6 would pose problems. They need to
> be able to listen (“stay out of the casinos” and “don’t take the
> hooker magazines from the street vendors”) and be able to walk lots.
> But we had fun and would do it again.
>
> Great newsletter — keep it up! We will be there again, this time at
> the Luxor, no kids this time.

Las Vegas has not marketed itself as a family destination for years. This is a common misconception kept alive by bad comics and media reporters who have not done much homework. Only Circus Circus still “caters” to families to some extent although the company’s to most recent properties (Mandalay Bay and Luxor) are mostly adult-oriented.

In the early 90’s, casinos thought it would be a great idea to build theme parks and try to turn the town’s image from “sin city” to “family friendly.” Then they realized that they GOOFED because families take advantage of gaming-subsidized lower prices while children cut into the parent’s gambling time. Not cutting kids a break on buffets is just one subtle way many casinos are retracting the welcome mat from children.

Bellagio won’t allow children under 18 to enter the property unless they are guests. Hotels like the Riviera and Tropicana have used advertising slogans like “Where Adults Play” and “Rollers, Not Strollers” in the past couple of years. The MGM has taken out their theme park to build more convention space, suites and a Marriott hotel. If this seems extreme, note that children are not even allowed to enter casinos in Atlantic City.

I don’t have a particular agenda here. I sell rooms, not blackjack. If anything, a family makes me more commission, because they need two rooms or pay the extra that most hotels charge for more than two to a room. However, I’ve seen far too many little kids being pushed around late at night or in the hot sun, and these parents don’t look like they are having much fun. If you have young kids, you might consider leaving them with Grandma and spend a wonderful, relaxing, romantic time with your wife here in Las Vegas.

At the very least, consider not bring children until they are old enough to enjoy the experience and you are prepared to forgo the party / romance atmosphere that Las Vegas is now selling unless the children are in their teens and old enough to strike out on their own much of the time.

Don’t forget to vote in this week’s poll “Should people bring kids to Las Vegas?” at http://www.accessvegas.com

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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.




ONLINE POLL – “Should people bring their kids to Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in two weeks!

Results from last poll: “What is your favorite view of Las Vegas?”

Stratosphere Tower 47%
Rio Voodoo Cafe / Lounge 24%
Paris Eiffel Tower 15%
Binion’s Ranch Steakhouse 7%
Polo Towers Lounge 5%

FREE CONTEST:

VEGAS FAMILY REUNION: Go to http://www.emsiweb.com/l.asp?c=atf&r=afri1&i=1633917&s=61 for your chance to win a Family Reunion weekend for up to 100 of your family & friends at your choice of locations in the U.S. (restrictions apply).

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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!

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

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.
May 23, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – May 16, 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!

Read Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com
Post Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com

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THIS ISSUE: Wolfgang Puck’s Cili

EDITOR’S NOTES: I’m back after a much-needed vacation. The amount of news and info I sift through each week is mind-boggling but I love Las Vegas! I added a short section about my trip for those who might be interested in a nice place to take a beach getaway.

Also, we’ve added four new cities to the 120+ destinations we offer with guaranteed low rates: Edinburgh (Scotland), Nice (France), Madrid (Spain), and Munich (Germany) at http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas and our city on sale this week (listed above) just happens to be Las Vegas.




LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

HOT WEATHER – We just had a string of 100 or near 100 degree days, somewhat unusual for this early in the year but no indication of an unusually hot summer. However, bringing heavy clothes or a jacket to town between now and the end of September is pretty much unnecessary. Weather story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-10-Thu-2001/news/16065186.html

POOL PARTY – New York, New York as cranked up their Sizzling Summer Saturday Pool Party which is running now through Labor Day Weekend. It runs Saturday nights from 5 – 9 PM and features a DJ, dancing, contests, food specials, beer and cocktail availability, prizes and giveaways. Admission is $5 but includes a $3 off coupon for the Manhattan Express Roller Coaster. Hotel guests showing room key enter free and you can check New York, New York room prices and availability at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (New York, New York link).

MORE ROOMS – Caesars Palace announced Friday plans to build a 900 unit all-suites tower that will be ready for guests in 2004. This is on the heels of the all-suite Venetian finalizing their plans to go ahead with doubling their room inventory with a new tower. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-12-Sat-2001/business/16081286.html

COINLESS SLOTS – are coming, and there really isn’t a way to stop them. Fortunately, the technology is already out there that let’s you cash out on a machine, and take your receipt and stick it in another machine for play, eliminating waits for change and dirty hands. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-03-Thu-2001/business/16011220.html

CBS TELEVISION CITY – is open at the MGM. You can watch a preview of a possible TV show and be part of audience research. Screenings, which begin daily at 9 a.m. and are conducted every 20 minutes, are free. A booth outside the center takes sign-ups from participants. Coupons for $10 off on items in the retail shop are given out for watching the screenings. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-08-Tue-2001/living/15915313.html

ALADDIN BUFFET – A reader recently wrote telling me that the Aladdin buffet had gone downhill to the point that the food was comparable to Denny’s. Because I often note that the Aladdin is one of the top three buffets on the Strip (along with Bellagio and Paris Las Vegas) I stopped in a few days ago to check. I’m pleased to report that is still well worth the $20 price and that the quantity and quality of the food from seafood to deserts continues to be topnotch.

BALLET – is coming to The Rio. In a rare alliance between casino and cultural entities, the Rio will host several Nevada Ballet Theatre performances at its $35 million, 1,500-seat Samba Theatre, including the holiday perennial “The Nutcracker.” Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-08-Tue-2001/living/16043051.html

WETLANDS PARK – Phase one of the park is completed. The 130-acre nature preserve includes paved trails, ponds and wetland areas for wildlife. This first phase also features retaining rock walls to control flood erosion of the Las Vegas Wash. It is a real oasis in the middle of the desert, and they are recreating a wetlands that once filled the area. The park is in the Southwest part of the valley near Sam Boyd Stadium. To get there, drive east on Tropicana Avenue one mile past Boulder Highway, then turn left on the marked, unpaved road. Story at http://www.viewnews.com/2001/VIEW-May-09-Wed-2001/East/15998296.html

BEST ANIMAL EXHIBIT – Question: I know there are lots of animal exhibits in Las Vegas, but which ones are the best? Answer in a story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-2.htm

EX-FL – Although very popular in cities like Las Vegas, Orlando, and San Francisco, UPN backed out from broadcasting XFL games next year. This left the XFL without a network television outlet and thus the demise of the startup football league. The XFL was a weekly work-in-progress during the early part of the year, and by the time the talent started to gel and football announcing crews (as opposed to WWF-related broadcasters) were in the booth, people had tuned out and refused to tune back in. Stories at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-11-Fri-2001/news/16075189.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-11-Fri-2001/sports/16075134.html

ART IN VEGAS – Can Picasso and Renoir compete with topless revues and video poker? Will a museum exhibit draw the same crowds that scramble to see fighting pirates, dancing water fountains and exploding volcanoes? Las Vegas resorts are betting on it. Full story at http://news.excite.com/news/ap/010509/12/wkd-vegas-art

$25 HOTEL REBATE — you pick the hotel! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you $25 back on any 2+ night 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:

CELINE DION – A long-standing rumor (which we first mentioned last November) has come to pass. Celine Dion has indeed finished negotiation with Caesars Palace for a two year run in the new 4,000-seat Coliseum-themed theater built for her. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-11-Fri-2001/news/16055569.html

JUNEFEST 9 – features Bad Company, Billy Squier, Journey, Molly Hatchet, Night Ranger, Styx, and Joe Stark. More info at http://www.junefest.com

MADONNA – is coming to town and tickets go on sale May 19 at http://events.excite.com/event_info?id=845400. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-03-Thu-2001/news/16012338.html

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Scintas (Rio) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/May-04-Fri-2001/weekly/15998841.html
* Storm (Mandalay Bay) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-27-Fri-2001/weekly/15921496.html and http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/departments/2001_05_10/stage.html

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=3230&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/entertainment/index.htm

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* 808 (Caesars) – http://www.accessvegas.com/story-1.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!


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is not a regular feature, I have no plans to make this a general travel newsletter. I’m sharing a pleasant travel experience and in keeping with my editorial policy, none of this is a paid endorsement. If you are only interested in Vegas info, skip ahead.

MY VACATION – People often ask me where someone from Las Vegas goes to vacation. I go to see two things we don’t have here: a beach and green scenery. Last week, a number of friends of mine from all over the U.S. decided to spend an extended weekend on Florida’s Emerald Coast. It is an area that some Floridians teasingly call “L.A.” (lower Alabama) as this area is located on the Florida Panhandle directly below Alabama. However, this part of Florida is truly a best-kept vacation secret.

The beaches of the Emerald Coast consistently rank among the best in the U.S. by the Travel Channel because of their sugar white sand and the warm, turquoise Gulf of Mexico water. You actually get the best of the deep south with the wonderful southern hospitality and the best of Florida with the fantastic beach. Testament to this is that a number of people in our group were from Florida (South Beach, Ft. Myers, etc.) and pleasantly commented that they didn’t even know this area existed but would be back.

We stayed at the stunning Ramada Plaza Beach Resort right on the Gulf of Mexico between Ft. Walton Beach and Destin, FL on Okaloosa Island. None of our travel partners book this resort, but you can go directly to their site at http://www.ramadafwb.com and check it out for yourself.

Besides the ability to stumble out of one’s room and directly on to the beach (what a wake-up!) the hotel features beautiful grounds and Northwest Florida’s largest swimming pool accented with a five story Polynesian island where one may swim through the waterfall to the Grotto Bar. The best thing was price as resorts with similar surroundings and amenities in a more well known destinations can cost considerably more.

Destin, FL has been a second home to the well-off for quite some time. It wasn’t uncommon to see private jets flying out of the municipal airport and luxury cars on the road of this upscale beach town and you golfers may recognize the name of the neighboring Sandestin golf resort village ( http://www.sandestin.com ). As in Vegas, that meant that there was a great selection of fine dining ( http://coastalcuisinemenuguide.com/restaurants2.htm ) and shopping opportunities.

However, if listening to Jimmy Buffet style music play while you sip a drink at an open-air beach bar or dancing at a club is more your style, you won’t be disappointed. Places like The Back Porch ( http://www.backporchseafood.com ) and Pompano Joe’s ( http://www.pompanojoes.com ) are a couple of great beachfront restaurants that let you enjoy the cool breezes and beautiful Gulf whether you dine indoors or out.

For partying, AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar features dining in the day and evening and it turns into a party bar at night ( http://www.ajs-destin.com ). The Swamp Club on Okaloosa Island ( http://www.swampclub.com ) is a huge, rustic, two story totally club that features live bands and / or a DJ from 8 PM to 4 AM every day. If your raging party days are a little behind you, Howl at the Moon ( http://www.howlatthemoon.com/destinhowl.htm ) is on the same boardwalk and has a “dueling piano show” nightly. Me? I took it ALL in and never ran out of things to do the entire week.

Getting there is simple. Driving: It is within a days drive of all of most of the southern US. Flying: Okaloosa Regional Airport (airport code VPS — http://www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/airport.html ) is a scenic 20 minutes from Fort Walton Beach and 30 minutes from Destin. Air service is provided by Delta, Northwest, AirTran and US Air and major car rental services are available.

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Thursday – 96 ░F / 71 ░F Sunny
Friday – 95 ░F / 69 ░F Sunny
Saturday – 96 ░F / 69 ░F Sunny
Sunday – 97 ░F / 69 ░F Sunny
Monday – 99 ░F / 70 ░F Sunny

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FEATURE STORY: Wolfgang Puck’s Cili

Just a half mile south of Mandalay Bay sits what is now the only golf course on The Strip: Bali Hai. Course developer Billy Walters never does anything second rate. The course itself is a 7,015-yard, par 72 tropical golf paradise inspired by the landscape of the South Pacific with seven acres of water including an island green, 2,500 palm trees and over 100,000 tropical plants and flowers.

However, that wasn’t enough. So onboard came Wolfgang Puck to build the clubhouse restaurant. This isn’t your average “19’th hole” burger and beer stop, but a gourmet restaurant that happens to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus Sunday Brunch. The dining area is Polynesian themed with water, exotic relics, high arched ceilings, palms, and waterfalls. The dining area has a beautiful view of part of the course, overlooking foliage and water (patio seating is available).

Lunch features appetizers in the $10-16 range including standards such as poached shrimp “martini” cocktail to more unusual fare such as Balinese style satays with pork, chicken and shrimp. Lunch entrees and sandwiches run $12-18 and include sandwiches (with only twists a Puck establishment could think of) to rib-eye steak.

A bar menu is available from 3 PM to close and includes selections like Atlantic oysters on the half shell with mignonette, Herbed goat cheese with roasted peppers and olives, and Prime steak tartare with chopped egg, mustard aioli and sourdough croutons. The bar menu averages $12-15.

Dinner gives you a choice of American or Asian cuisine, although fans of Pucks restaurants know he takes liberties in mixing a wide variety of flavors. Highlights are the Grilled porterhouse steak with creamed spinach & potato gratin and Grilled salmon with stir fried rice, prawns & spicy bok choy. Of course, a wide variety of meat and seafood dishes prepared in various tempting configurations are available. Dinner entrees range from $21-38.00.

Cili is open seven days a week from 7 AM to 9 PM. It is open to the public and located in the Bali Hai Golf Club at 5160 Las Vegas Blvd. South (The Strip) 1/2 mile south of Mandalay Bay. Reservations are suggested but not required at 702-856-1000




EDITOR’S NOTE: I was swamped with letters (both pro and con) about kids in Las Vegas and will be printing those next week. We’ll let the “best view” poll go one more week, then introduce a poll asking how you all feel about kids in Las Vegas. This week, we’ll answer a pervious question: If someone only has one day in town, what would you show them?

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

John Krogh wrote:
> A night helicopter ride over the strip…

Jessica Lehnert wrote:

> Take her to Caesars palace. The shopping alone is beyond belief but
> the casino, pool & shows are fabulous. You can sit in one place in
> Las Vegas & get a show! Lehnert

Jean H. or Waukesha, WI wrote:

> If you can drag yourself away from the tables and slot machines–I’d
> walk to visit and see every major casino on the strip. They all have
> such different themes and each one seems to be more spectacular than
> the next! I’d also watch the Pirate show at Treasure
> Island but I’d get there early and have a drink at the Battle Bar and
> enjoy the show from there. Also, I’d go downtown and eat at Hugo’s
> Cellar–one of my favorite restaurants in the US.

Madeleine from Canada wrote:

> Having been to Las Vegas regularly, since the late seventies, I think
> a newcomer to “Sin City” would enjoy the view from the top of the
> Stratosphere, at night. It’s magnificent!

Diane Podemski wrote:

> To answer Allen Waterman’s question of what one thing would you show a
> newcomer….it’s impossible to list only one!! I’ve been going to
> Vegas at least twice a year since I turned 21 (I’m 45 now) and there’s
> always something new and exciting to see. The cactus garden at the
> Ethel M chocolate factory is beautiful, the atrium at Bellagio is
> awesome, the Pirate Show at Treasure Island impressive and Danny Gans
> show at Mirage is great! Allen, you need to take more than one trip,
> make a list of “must sees” each time you go, it’ll take quite a few
> years before you can cross off everything!

Mick & Lyn of Essex, London wrote:

> I have only been to Vegas once and that was in Nov 2000 but I am
> looking forward to going back next year, we had a great time and
> everything was good but the thing that I really liked was walking
> along the strip at night and watching the fountains at Bellagio they
> were just great.

Allen Goenawein wrote:

> What you want to show someone depends on their
> interest. And there is plenty to show in and around
> Vegas. If you are the outdoors type, Red Rock Canyon
> is a nice half day trip. You will get to see wild
> burros, Indian pictographs, maybe some wild horses,
> plus a lot of great scenery. Or maybe Hoover dam would
> be more your style. Or take a flight over the Grand
> Canyon. In town are a host of new casinos to visit,
> one more beautiful than the next. Some of the finest
> shopping can be had at the Fashion Show Mall shopping
> center. All of the big names are located there. My
> favorite place to visit in the Fashion Show Mall is
> Centaur Galleries on the lower floor of the mall.
> There you can see art work from some of the greatest
> masters of the world. You can just look or if you are
> so inclined, you can purchase a fine art treasure to
> enjoy the rest of your life. Mr. Richard Perry is the
> owner and has resources all over the world that
> enables him to present some of the best art work from
> around the world. If you want to gamble, any of those
> above mentioned beautiful casinos will be glad to take
> your money, after all, that’s what they are in
> business for. But, maybe, the best thing to do is to
> hang out by a pool for three days, relax and let the
> world go by.

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

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.




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

FREE CONTEST – Fly free to Vegas!

Every week now through June 10th, fodors.com is giving
away two round-trip tickets to anywhere US Airways flies
in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. In the final
week (June 4th¡10th), you can go anywhere US Airways
flies including Europe.

You can enter the sweepstakes every week at:
http://www.accessvegas.com/foders.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!

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

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 MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
May 16, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – May 2, 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!

Read Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com
Post Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com

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

THIS ISSUE: Skintight at Harrah’s

EDITOR’S NOTES: Last week, I miscoded the link for the national and international hotel city list, including our new listings for Hawaii. That page is http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas No newsletter next week: I’m going to meet some friends in the nice little beach town of Destin, FL (which is beautiful and about as far removed from Las Vegas 24/7 craziness as you can get). The concert and event listings on our linked pages (see the “Concerts and Shows” section) have been updated and expanded thanks to some hard work by the staff. See you in two weeks!


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:

KIDS IN VEGAS – The R-J just did a detailed story about this and although promoted as the world’s adult playground, Las Vegas still offers a variety of things for kids to do. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-22-Sun-2001/business/15892724.html We have a couple letters regarding kids in Vegas in the “letters” section.

THE NEXT SCOTTSDALE? – Henderson, NV (the SE suburban city in the Las Vegas area) has seen a 500 percent growth in new hotel rooms since 1998 and is now actively marketing the area as a resort destination. Close to Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the golf and high end resorts at Lake Las Vegas, Henderson looks to build more cultural events and a resort city atmosphere to attract those who might normally go to Palm Springs or Scottsdale. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-30-Mon-2001/news/15853879.html

CULTURE – is coming to the neon desert a little at a time. On Sept. 15, New York’s Guggenheim Museum will unveil a new 63,000-square-foot, $20-million exhibition space at the Venetian Hotel. At the same time, the Venetian will add an additional 8,000 square feet of exhibition space to house masterworks from Russia’s State Hermitage Museum. Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based theater troupe, now resides here permanently in two specially designed $40-million-plus theaters. The avant-garde New York theater troupe “Blue Man Group” settled into a state-of-the-art theater in the basement of the Luxor Hotel. In January, the Smithsonian Institution, one the nation’s premier arbiters of high culture, put Las Vegas on its list of national cultural stops for art and architecture. Full story at http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/2001/04/27/fp13s1-csm.shtml

CYBER CAFE – Cyber Stop is now the only Internet cafe on The Strip, offering on-site computer rental, printing, photocopying, scanning, cell phone rental, faxing, food and beverages. I stopped by to say hello and they have a very friendly, helpful staff. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-30-Mon-2001/business/15959426.html and their site is at http://www.cyberstopinc.com

FRONT SIGHT, NV – Gun owners are flocking to buy lots in this new master-planned community about 40 minutes east of Las Vegas. The 550-acre resort plan is built on the premise that 24-hour access to shooting ranges will attract law-abiding citizens and even the rich and famous to a gun lover’s oasis in the desert. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-29-Sun-2001/news/15959987.html

MCCARRAN AIRPORT – McCarran International Airport is among the nation’s most congested, but it handles the crush of passengers better than most of the busiest hubs in the nation, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Federal Aviation Administration. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-26-Thu-2001/business/15959527.html

WALK THIS WAY – Former Aerosmith guitarist Jimmy Crespo has joined Las Vegas performer Jimmy Hopper’s band after stints with Rod Stewart and continued behind-the-scenes work with Aerosmith. You can catch both Jimmy’s (Hopper and Crespo) performing Tue – Sat. evenings in Bellagio’s Fontana room. (Hopper will be on vacation May 13-21.)

$25 HOTEL REBATE — you pick the hotel! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you $25 back on any 2+ night 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:

Sheena Easton – Grammy award-winning recording artist Sheena Easton has signed an exclusive agreement to perform at the Las Vegas Hilton June 5 through September 2. Easton will perform at the hotel six nights a week (dark Monday) at 8:00 p.m. She is scheduled to open in the NightClub, and will also have the opportunity to perform in the Hilton Theater, based on availability. Tickets for her show will be available for $45 and may be purchased at the Hilton Box Office or by phone at (702) 732-5755.

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Clint Holmes (Harrah’s) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-30-Fri-2001/weekly/15748832.html

SHOWS – 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=3230&cscheme=1

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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Little A’Le’Inn (Area 51) – http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/departments/2001_04_19/dining_taste.html

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Wednesday – 86 ░F / 52 ░F Sunny
Thursday – 82 ░F / 52 ░F Mostly Sunny
Friday – 84 ░F / 54 ░F Mostly Sunny
Saturday – 89 ░F / 57 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 94 ░F / 61 ░F Mostly Sunny

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FEATURE STORY: Skintight at Harrah’s

Skintight is 70 minutes of high gloss breasts and brawn, feathers and jiggle with a heavy Latin / Tribal musical influence. It is one of the new set of Las Vegas shows that doesn’t pretend to be anything but a show filled with fantasy to arouse and amuse.

The star of the show is Playboy Playmate October 1985 Cynthia Brimhall whose performance as emcee is warm and interesting enough, although she’s probably along for the ride for her marquee value more than any specific talent she lends to the show.

Skintight appears to be a reasonably blatant attempt to cross a “Vegas show” with one of the numerous strip clubs that dot the tourism area of town, and it succeeds. The Romanesque staging is interesting, providing a decent backdrop for a show that isn’t meant to require much thought.

One of the scenes actually involves bringing five men from the audience up onstage for simulated lap dances from the dancers, and one lucky attendee gets a personal dance from Miss Brimhall. While interesting, it stops short of being the bump and grind of a “gentleman’s club.”

The dancing is well choreographed and there is a fair amount of Vegas-style (after all, it is in Las Vegas) entertainment with a featured female singer (who keeps her clothes on) and segments featuring dance to songs like Ricky Martin’s “La Vida Loca” and such. The audience contained plenty of couples, and I imagine the fit male dancers (who at one point strip down to g-strings) were reasonable eye-candy for the ladies.

Skintight Ticket Info




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Allen Waterman or Johnston, Iowa wrote:

> I started getting your newsletter about 2 years ago. I enjoy reading it
> before heading to Vegas. My wife has only been to
> Vegas once (6 months ago
> when we got married) and it was only for 24 hours. I am going to be at
> Networld+Interop next month and she will come out to join me after the
> conference for 3 days. So my question is, if there were one thing people
> would show a newcomer to Vegas, what would it be and why? I would like
> your opinion as well as that of you other readers.
>
> Thanks for the info.

Excellent question — readers? Send your suggestions to (click) mailto:[email protected] and we’ll print them next issue.

R. Hirst wrote:

> Jack Hart wrote about rude taxi drivers who honked their horn as he pushed
> his 10 month old son across a busy street.
>
> Jack, would you please stay home. Vegas is no place for a child and the
> idiotic parents who continually make the decision that little Billy or
> Betsy would enjoy the “pretty lights.”
>
> It’s pathetic watching these dimwits pushing strollers through crowds when,
> at the end of the day, even adults can feel the effects of smoke filled
> casinos in their throats and respiratory systems.
>
> If you want to go to Vegas, go before you have children. Then if you want
> to go, pay for child care at home. Otherwise, consider your child’s
> health, consider that others go to Vegas
> for an adult vacation and consider
> that if you are dumb enough to bring the kids anyway, you’re probably
> splitting tens, playing the Big Wheel and finding other ways to throw your
> money away.
>
> Give yourself and everyone else a break and either stay away or stop whining.

Laurie & Darlene Cook of Calgary, Alberta Canada wrote:

> My husband and I just returned from our annual spring Vegas trip and
> looking somewhat forward to the fall trip. I am getting discouraged about
> going to Vegas because it seems like it
> is becoming another Disneyland. If
> I wanted to walk the streets and get run over by baby strollers and listen
> to kids screaming in the restaurants, and now on the flight down from
> Canada, I would gladly go to Disneyland.
> I find it totally disgusting that
> a parent would take their children, in strollers, into casinos where there
> is so much smoking and noise, especially where the signs say NO ONE UNDER
> 21 ALLOWED IN GAMING AREA.
> I found it quite frustrating trying to maneuver
> around these people in the gaming area. Any security around????
>
> I have raised my kids and when they were little took them to kid
> places. Vegas is NOT a kid place. It is selfish of parents that take
> their children to Vegas, pretending it is a family vacation; how do they
> figure out who gets to baby-sit and
> who gets to go to the casino? Please take your children where they
> belong, not to a casino. and it seems now the casinos are building kid
> areas – this is not McDonalds.
>
> We will just have to start crossing off those places from our list of
> casinos when they have these “family” areas. But all in all, still look
> forward to it each time.

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

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.




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

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FREE CONTEST – Fly free to Vegas!

Every week now through June 10th, fodors.com is giving
away two round-trip tickets to anywhere US Airways flies
in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. In the final
week (June 4th¡10th), you can go anywhere US Airways
flies including Europe.

You can enter the sweepstakes every week at:
http://www.accessvegas.com/foders.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 MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
May 2, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 25, 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!

Read Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com
Post Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com

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

This Issue: Second City

Curious about a show, restaurant, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at (click): mailto:[email protected]


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: The weather has been stunning — my little free time has been spent around the pool. With our low humidity, 85-90 is perfect here. Also, we are going nuts adding new services for you! We have the new hotel hotline 1-800-666-5268 for those who still fear booking online or feel better talking to someone, we’ve added hotels in Hawaii with the same guaranteed low rates (see http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas ), and we now have condos and vacation rentals at http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickcondo?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

$5.1 MILLION JACKPOT – A Cypress, Calif. man returned to his lucky Wheel of Fortune(R) dollar machine at Paris Las Vegas Friday evening and walked away $5.1 million richer. Jim Fowler said that on a previous trip he had won $1,750 on the same slot machine and had since made it a point to play it when in Las Vegas. Full story at http://www.accessvegas.com/story-1.htm

CHAOS – is the name of the new ride at Adventuredome (Circus Circus). Similar to the popular thrill park ride The Zipper, this ride rocks, rolls, and rotates in a unique way each time, assuring riders that no two rides are the same. Story and photo at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-30-Fri-2001/weekly/15707266.html

BASKETBALL TOURNAMENTS – are headed to Vegas this fall. A Thanksgiving weekend event will have Illinois, Iowa State, Georgia Tech, Saint Louis, Hartford, Pennsylvania, Southern Illinois and Eastern Illinois and the pre-Christmas tournament fields Cincinnati, Purdue, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Richmond, Southwest Missouri State and Illinois-Chicago, with an eighth team to be announced. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-25-Wed-2001/sports/15949929.html

CSI – CBS’ highest ranked new show will be in town shooting for the next couple of weeks. Although set in Las Vegas, the majority of the shooting is done in LA. This Sunday night, Speed — The Ride at The Sahara will be shut down from 5 PM to midnight for shooting with cast and crew. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-23-Mon-2001/living/15922396.html

MAKE THE CALL – A friend brought to my attention that some of you may prefer talking to a reservations agent instead of booking online. We now have a Toll Free 24 Hour Hotel Hotline you can call for questions or to place a hotel reservation at 1-800-666-5268

VEGAS SAFETY TIPS – Howard Schwartz, marketing director for Gambler’s Book Club in Las Vegas, has written what I consider a “must read” for those coming to visit our city. Go to http://www.casinogaming.com/columnists/shelf/042501.html, print it out, and read it on the plane.

SURVIVOR – Oddsmakers have installed Texas cowboy Colby Donaldson as the favorite to win the $1 million grand prize on the CBS reality-based series “Survivor.” Donaldson is the 3-2 favorite at the Stardust hotel-casino and the 2-1 favorite at the Bally’s and Paris hotel-casinos. The odds are only hypothetical because state law prohibits wagers on events in which the outcome already is known. Full story at http://news.excite.com/news/ap/010423/08/ent-colby-donaldson

IF BETTING ON COLLEGE SPORTS IS BANNED – “(Illegal) bookmakers are going to prevail bigger than ever,” ESPN’s Dick Vitale warned. “That will happen behind the scenes like you can’t believe, big time. I sing the praises of those trying to eliminate the problem, but does this create a nightmare of shady guys getting more involved?” Full story at http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20010425/3263021s.htm

EASTER IN VEGAS – Villanova student Joelle Jackson wrote a fun and humorous story on what it was like as a Catholic to spend Easter week here in “Sin City.” This funny column is at http://news.excite.com/news/uw/010420/university-216

$25 HOTEL REBATE — you pick the hotel! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you $25 back on any 2+ night 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!


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!


CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Catch A Rising Star (Excalibur) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-13-Fri-2001/weekly/15842623.html

SHOWS – 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=3230&cscheme=1

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

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

GOLF RESERVATIONS – http://www.bookvegasteetimes.com/gvpricing.cfm?amid=143&cscheme=5

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Cili (Bali Hai Golf Club) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-11-Wed-2001/living/15812253.html

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Friday – 90 ░F ░F / 64 ░F Partly Cloudy
Saturday – 90 ░F ░F / 61 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 88 ░F ░F / 62 ░F Mostly Sunny
Monday – 92 ░F ░F / 64 ░F Mostly Sunny
Tuesday – 94 ░F ░F / 63 ░F Partly Cloudy

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FEATURE STORY: Second City

Celebrating it’s 40’th year, the famed Second City improvisational comedy troupe has expanded to Las Vegas at the Flamingo Hotel. Second City presents comedy revues filled with satire of sex, politics, and religion as well as the improvisational skits.

While never going out of style, improv comedy has seemed to make quite a comeback lately with Drew Carey’s ABC show and the reemergence of Second City’s own SCTV following Conan O’ Brian weeknights late night on NBC. I had only seen improv on TV and it wasn’t really my thing. While attending the show with an open mind, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it, and I was pleasantly surprised.

The night started with audience interaction. The troupe asked a gentleman in the crowd his name and what he did for a living then went on do to an improv song totally based on the information they had just learned. This similar segment was done twice during the show and to some pretty funny results.

There were typical “Vegas” bits that seem to be mandatory for any comic act in Las Vegas. “Frank and Bob’s Motel and Casino” was a pretty amusing bit that presented what it would be like if two used car salesmen made their own commercial for a second rate casino. As good humor should do, their jokes about the casino buffet and other “amenities” rang very true to someone who has played and dined at some of the more run down casinos on Boulder Highway and in other parts of town although some of it may have been lost on tourists.

“Leopold and Ray” took a nice dig at the legendary magicians with the tigers that play across the street from the Flamingo. In keeping with the theme of the property, the “magicians” made flamingos vanish all while noting that they were “definitely not gay” and using purposely bad misdirection during the illusions. This piece was one of the many highlights.

“Win, Lose, or Draw” took pot shots at couples, relationships, marriage, and camaraderie between the sexes. Other bits included “Las Vegas Driver Education” where the instructor rates the driver on hell well he can do things like eating, running yellow lights, and finding lost items on the car floor during driving. While all the props are minimal, it is refreshing in Las Vegas to see talented performers shine without the elaborate production used to help prop up many run-of-the-mill shows.

The Las Vegas cast consists of nine total members, rotating five for each show so even with the set bits, you are never going to see exactly the same show twice. They put on a solid 70 minutes and while improv is always at the mercy of the unique factors of audience and performer mood, very few of the bits fell flat. With the reasonable admission price, this is a great “What the hell, let’s check it out” show and you can go home telling friends you have seen the famous Second City troupe.

Second City Ticket Info




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Jack Hart wrote:

> My lasting impression of Las Vegas will be the taxi drivers. They are the
> worst in the country. I always thought New York City was the worst until now.
> I got stuck in a cross walk, pushing my 10 month old son, with the light
> changing. They cam speeding at me with horns blowing and yelling profanities.
> I have always received very courteous gestures form motorists out west. I was
> shocked and outraged at this. It happened a couple of times so I know that
> this was not an isolated incident. The city of Las Vegas should prohibit this
> type of behavior by the taxi drivers. They should be fined for blowing horns
> and displaying such an aggressive behavior. Just because they had a green
> light does not justify threatening me with running me and my baby down.

I agree that cursing at you isn’t proper, and I’m not a big fan of our taxi drivers. They don’t always take the shortest route, and they often refuse to take calls to pick up people in the suburbs because shuttling tourists around the Strip is more profitable even though they are legally required to service the entire valley.

However, I’m personally shocked I myself haven’t yet hit a tourist with my car on The Strip, and I’m not driving a cab 12 hours a day. Tourists get relaxed and forget to cross in the crosswalks, with the walk sign, etc., when the cars (taxi’s or otherwise) DO have the right-of-way. I see cabs lay on the horn all the time because people are crossing against the signal. They tend to do this well before they reach the crosswalk and the other alternative is jamming on their brakes in the middle of busy traffic and creating wreck after wreck.

The Strip isn’t Disneyland, but a very busy road. I encourage everyone to play it safe and not cross against the light (or better yet, use the pedestrian bridges when possible). If the “don’t walk” sign has even started to flash, the average person probably won’t make it across, especially on The Strip where you are crossing 7-8 lane widths. Trust me: that casino across the street is still going to be open when you get there, and we want you to stay happy and healthy for many return visits to our city!

Tom Beaven of Garden City, Michigan wrote:

> A few years ago, we were in Vegas over the 4’th of July. We stayed at
> Binion’s Horseshoe downtown. This was before they built the canopy for the
> light show. There was a brief, but major display across the street at the
> Golden Nugget. We could see it from our room.
> But what we really enjoyed was spending some time in the evening on the
> roof (by the Shoe’s pool) and watching fireworks displays pop up here and
> there all over the valley.
> I’m sure the same could be seen from any high building downtown or on the
> strip.

Mary from Texas wrote:

>Will be visiting Las Vegas again in May. Want a great meal
>with a great view of Las Vegas. What do you suggest —
>Top of the Tower, Horseshoe Steak House?

You can’t go wrong with either of those or Voodoo at Rio. Binion’s is a little more “down home” although all of them will set you back a few bucks.

Top of the Stratosphere is elegant with a view not for those squirmy of heights, Voodoo is very nice but a little more modern / funky, and Binion’s is a straight-ahead steakhouse. All three respectively have great views of The Strip. Binion’s menu is traditional while the other two have more modern culinary variety. The only one we have published a review of so far is Binion’s at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-06-14.htm Our poll this week at http://www.accessvegas.com asks “What is your favorite view of 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.




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

Results from last poll: “Are you rethinking your Las Vegas vacation plans in light of the economy?”

Vegas is Vegas — I’ll cut back somewhere else in life if I have to. 47%
I’m going to visit just as often, but cutting back (cheaper room, less entertainment or gambling). 23%
I’ll be visiting less often. 19%
I’m actually skipping a planned trip. 9%

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

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 MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
April 25, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 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
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Featured Travel Deals: http://www.accessvegas.com/traveldeals.htm

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

Read Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com
Post Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com

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

This Issue: Excalibur Tournament of Kings

Curious about a show, restaurant, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at (click): mailto:[email protected]




EDITORS NOTE: Running very late this week. I was out of town on family business 14 out of 24 days ending last Sunday, and you can imagine I had quite a bit of catching up to do — Las Vegas never sleeps and the news and entertainment never stops as we prepare for future issues. A highlight of the past week was attending the opening of Wolfgang Puck’s Cili Restaurant at the new Bali Hai Golf Course (1/2 mile south of Mandalay Bay). Both the restaurant and the course are spectacular. We sifted through a ton of great suggestions and have our $100 lodging contest winner this week also. You have one more week to vote in our poll, but it looks like most of you aren’t going to let a little downturn in the economy stop you from Vegas!

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

LAS VEGAS CLASSIC – The Senior Tour hits Las Vegas this weekend, and our windy weather of late should make for some interesting play. CNBC will be airing the tournament. Story at http://www0.mercurycenter.com/premium/sports/docs/srcap19.htm

CBS – The television network is going to open a “Television City” inside the MGM. Two screening rooms with high-tech research computers will track audience reaction to possible new shows the network is thinking of running. No word yet as to how people will be chosen to participate. Story at http://news.excite.com/news/r/010418/15/media-cbs

ENERGY SURCHARGE – Harrah’s / Rio (same company) and all of Station Casino properties (everything that ends with the word Station but Main Street Station downtown which is owned by Boyd Gaming) have tacked a $3 per night energy surcharge effective immediately. Energy is a cost of doing business, and if it costs more perhaps hotels should raise the published rates. Story at http://www.azcentral.com/business/0419vegaspower19.html

HEALTHY DINING – can be found in Las Vegas, just not necessarily on The Strip. Restaurants ranging from health-oriented to vegan can now be found around the city. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-18-Wed-2001/living/15865005.html

MORE HIGH END DINING – will be part of The Palms, a resort under construction across from The Rio. Of note will be AlizÚ, a rooftop restaurant by Andre Rochat, whose Andre’s French Restaurant in downtown Las Vegas is rated one of the city’s top high-end restaurants. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-18-Wed-2001/business/15895289.html

LAS VEGAS OUTLAWS – and the rest of the XFL say they will be back next season. They league has admitted to numerous startup mistakes including unusual camera angles, not using pure football announcers, and poor play early in the season stemming from lack of a preseason. This drove away some football fans and hurt Saturday night ratings expectations, although they also (duh) realized that their target audience of men 18-49 is usually out on Saturday evenings.

However, average league attendance was well above the expected 20,000 a game across the league and TNN and UPN were very satisfied with Sunday ratings. Las Vegas both sold the most season tickets and generated the highest ratings for the new league party because the flashy, loose style fits the city’s image and partly as our way of thumbing our nose at the refusal of major league teams to allow the city to have a team as long as sports betting is legal. Stories at http://www.msnbc.com/news/555566.asp?cp1=1 and http://www.latimes.com/sports/times/20010419/t000033233.html

HOT TALK RADIO – has returned to Las Vegas on 1140 AM KSFN. This marks the return of Don and Mike (Noon – 4 PM), Tom Leykis (4 PM – 8 PM and Midnight – 5 AM), and local favorites Johnson and Tofte (9 AM – Noon) as well as Loveline (10 PM – Midnight).

$25 HOTEL REBATE — you pick the hotel! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you $25 back on any 2+ night stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. 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:

RITA RUDNER – had a fantastic run at the MGM but had to clear out for a new show they are developing. She’s moved her act across the street to the New York – New York where her run starts on April 20. Story at http://news.excite.com/news/ap/010323/08/rita-rudner

“HAWAIIAN HOT LUAU” — Las Vegas’ only authentic poolside luau, celebrating it’s 10’th Anniversary, features a lavish buffet, unlimited Mai Tais, Pina Coladas and fruit punch, and a Polynesian revue by Rozita Lee’s “Drums of the Islands.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, weather permitting. Tickets are $31.95 for adults, $17.95 for children 4-9, and are available by calling (702) 794-3261.

LAS VEGAS JAZZ FESTIVAL – plays June 1-3 and features 25 bands. The Las Vegas Jazz Festival showcases music from the first 50 years of jazz history (1895-1945), including blues, gospel, Latin jazz, swing, western swing, barbershop and zydeco. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-10-Tue-2001/living/15791419.html and details at http://www.lasvegasjazzfestival.com

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Catch A Rising Star (Excalibur) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-13-Fri-2001/weekly/15842623.html

SHOWS – 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=3230&cscheme=1

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

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

GOLF RESERVATIONS – http://www.bookvegasteetimes.com/gvpricing.cfm?amid=143&cscheme=5

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Aqua (Bellagio) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-20-Fri-2001/weekly/15884123.html and http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?show=localnews&pnpID=789&NewsID=86136&on=0

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

LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Saturday – 63 ░F / 48 ░F Scattered Showers
Sunday – 74 ░F / 48 ░F Sunny
Monday – 87 ░F / 52 ░F Mostly Sunny
Tuesday – 90 ░F / 57 ░F Mostly Sunny
Wednesday – 93 ░F / 60 ░F Mostly Sunny

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

FEATURE STORY: Excalibur Tournament of Kings

Las Vegas still has a dinner show on The Strip, but it is a little more WWF than watching some guy croon “My Way.” Tournament of Kings takes us back to medieval Europe with fire-wizards, dragons, invading armies, and jousting.

The arena is surrounded by four tiered rows each with table room in front of you, so there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Take note of the section you are sitting in, as that is the king that you will be rooting for. Be there on time as dinner is served, and be ready to “rough it” a little when it comes to eating.

Dinner starts with a tomato-style soup that you drink straight from the bowl as well as an unidentified soft drink in a big plastic mug. Then comes a platter with a game hen, broccoli, and a roll. Wash up first, as you are eating EVERYTHING with your hands. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Actually, it is fun to be a little piggy and really gets you in that “set back in time” mood that helps bring added enjoyment to the show.

This is a play-along show and we are taught how to cheer, when to drink a salute and we get to cheer for our “country” section as the full cast enters in marching procession. The kings have their “feast” at the round table as we are finishing ours and then on with the show.

The kings compete against each other in jousting and other medieval fighting skills in a tournament for our viewing pleasure. Both the actors and the horses they ride are obviously well trained in stunt work and put on a serious show. Some audience members get into it more than others, but you do best to forget your inhibitions (hey, you are in Vegas) and yell, chant, salute, drink, and cheer along.

As the winning king takes his victory lap, the evil wizard appears with his followers in flash, fire, and smoke provoking an all-out war between the kings and the evil ones. This is a lengthy, dramatic finale that ends in true fairy tale fashion with good winning out and the heroes getting the maiden of their choice.

This is truly an all-ages show. You can take the kids to it but there is plenty of fun for the adults. The actors all really convey the look of the period, costumes and effects are impressive, the horses well trained and beautiful, and the action very realistic considering it is viewed fairly close up. Considering the rising prices of Las Vegas shows and that this one includes dinner, it’s not a bad value either.

Excalibur Tournament of Kings plays every night at Excalibur. Tickets are $39.95 plus tax (cocktails extra if you choose) and showtimes are 6:00 and 8:30 PM. Reservations available at (702) 597-7600




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Paul Gurzynski wrote:

>I really enjoy your newsletter.
>
>I will be in Las Vegas on vacation during the Fourth
>of July. Do you know if there will be a fireworks
>display somewhere in Vegas?

The Stratosphere has the past couple of years and that is the only display on the Strip. A number of displays usually take place around the other areas of the city. If you are in town for the 4’th and have a car, grab the paper that morning and make your plans!

M. Smithson wrote:

> I thought that the whole point of doing a review or critique was to
> give an honest opinion why all the fuss about your review on the EFX?
> The reason that I read your letter is that you tell us the good news
> and the bad, rather than just being paid to advertise, we can all pick
> up the advert books when we are there do all these people want a bland
> advert, if they got that then your letter would be boring, just page
> after page of adverts. You give a good honest review, also some of
> the web sites that you give for Airlines, hotels, etc., are great. I am in the
> process of booking our next trip there, and it is all being done
> through the sites in your letter. Thanks.

Hey, if I had a reader of the month award, you’d get it! I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but if people enjoy the information I send out each week, and if it helps you make the most of your very valuable few hours you have to spend each time you visit town, all I ask is that you compare our rates for your travel needs both here and other destinations.

We have aligned ourselves with the best companies out there, with the lowest rates and most secure reservations. Do I trust our travel partners? I use them myself!

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

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.




$100 Suggestion Contest Winner – A couple weeks ago, we put $100 in lodging out there for the best suggestion for our sites. A big “thank you” to the great response and suggestions. We have already or will be implementing them including starting a page listing the big jackpots (as well as when and where jackpots have been hit) which many suggested. However, the winning suggestion is:

Evelyn wrote:

> I think a visitors section would be nice. We just got back from Vegas
> and was trying to find some info before we left. People that visited and
> what they liked and didn’t like. Reasonable but good places to eat,
> same for buffets, places to gamble and things to see. I think this
> would be very helpful to the occasional visitor to get hints from other
> ordinary people like themselves. We have been out there 8 times in last
> 16 years and was just told about getting over to see the Rio. Had we
> had this suggestion before we would have tried it out. Had the best play
> and food over every where on the strip. I think your readers would like
> something like this for tips. Thank you for listening.

Quite a few made suggestions along this line, but Evelyn was the first and as per the rules we picked the winning suggestion than checked to see who is the first who made it.

While we do have the one message board that we note at the top of each newsletter, over the summer we are going to build a complete way for you to post comments about each hotel individually. Once again, thanks to all who entered!

ONLINE POLL – Are you rethinking your Las Vegas vacation plans in light of the economy? Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next issue!

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

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 MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
April 18, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 11, 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
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Featured Travel Deals: http://www.accessvegas.com/traveldeals.htm

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

Read Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com
Post Opinions: http://boards.accessvegas.com

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

This Issue: Jimmy Hopper

Curious about a show, restaurant, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at (click) mailto:[email protected]


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!


EDITORS NOTE: It looks like last week’s $100 Suggestion Contest generated a healthy response. The deadline just ended so this week we’ll be taking our time to carefully review each one before selecting a winner. Also, some of you have noticed that our concerts and events pages (noted every week in the middle of the newsletter) are behind in getting updated. We have reassigned that task and things should be back up to speed in the next 7-10 days.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

CHEAPER VEGAS VACATION? – Airline service to Las Vegas continues to grow, but weekend room rates at Strip hotels are showing their first decline in months, a precursor to weakening demand in the leisure travel industry. Good news for those of you who have cut back on your visits due to high hotel and air costs. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-23-Fri-2001/business/15700408.html and this week’s poll at http://www.accessvegas.com asks you if you are planning to visit Las Vegas less often in light of the soft economy.

CAPS – stands for Certified Airline Passenger Services and it is a service that let’s you check your bags in and get your boarding pass for flights on eight airlines serving Las Vegas at Aladdin, Bally’s, Bellagio, Flamingo, Imperial Palace, Las Vegas Hilton, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Paris, Riviera, Sahara and the Stardust.

NEW AIRLINE? – Billionaire financier Carl Icahn, who owns the Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie’s and Arizona Charlie’s East in Las Vegas failed in his bid to buy TWA, an airline he once owned. He is now talking about taking the $400 million of the money he was going to spend on acquiring TWA to start a low fare airline serving Las Vegas. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-23-Fri-2001/business/15708303.html

COURT TV – ironically isn’t available on basic cable here but a recent string of notorious “true life crime story” trials centered in Las Vegas have made the Clark County courthouse downtown a stop for visitors wanting to see the action live. Story at http://www.courttv.com/trials/rudin/040901-side_ctv.html

THE MONEY AND THE POWER – The new book by Sally Denton and Roger Morris is said to read like a novel while it chronicles the rise of Las Vegas and digs up the real dirt on many who are purported to have made the city great over the years. Story at http://www.latimes.com/living/20010410/t000030446.html and the book is available at discount from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1886161208/invegascom

GOLF – We’ve got golf! You can now view the prices of and reserve tee times online in advance of your visit for many area golf courses at http://www.bookvegasteetimes.com/gvpricing.cfm?amid=143&cscheme=5

CHEAP HOUSING – is becoming a thing of the past in Las Vegas. The average Las Vegas family makes about $51,000 a year, and yet the average home price in Las Vegas has jumped to $140,000 which is higher than the average home price in Phoenix. Story at http://www.azcentral.com/business/0328afford28.html

URBAN RENEWAL? – The City of Las Vegas owns 61 acres of prime real estate in the heart of the city (just west of Fremont St. Experience downtown) and have been accepting various proposals on what to do with it. They range from a movie studio to building the world’s tallest building. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-09-Fri-2001/news/15605112.html In a related story, Race Rock “Supercharged” Restaurant has closed downtown. They are unable to sustain continued losses while waiting for Neonopolis and other downtown redevelopment to be completed but they hope to open back up in 2002. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-10-Tue-2001/news/15838678.html

LIVING TO GAMBLE? – Station Casinos CFO Glenn Christenson notes: “Well over 50 percent of the adult population of Las Vegas lives within a three-mile radius of one of our properties,” and with Las Vegans spending an estimated $1.8 billion on their hometown pastime, he doesn’t need out-of-towners to boost the bottom line. “People here have pretty high propensity for gambling or they wouldn’t be living here in the first place,” he said. Full story at http://news.excite.com/news/cbsmw/010404/03/diligence-station-casinos

RETIRE TO VEGAS – About 20 percent of Clark County’s 1.4 million people are 55 and older, attracted by the world-class restaurants, entertainment and warm climate. Nevada’s favorable tax structure is also a draw. By living in Nevada, retirees avoid state income taxes, inheritance taxes and gift taxes. (Of course, that savings probably ends up in slot machines!) Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-05-Thu-2001/business/15801712.html

PONDERING GAMBLING – Howard Schwartz, the marketing director of the Gambler’s Book Club in Las Vegas recently wrote an interesting column called “Ten Gambling Questions Worth Pondering” at http://www.casinogaming.com/columnists/shelf/032801.html

VIVA LAS VEGAS – With the Ocean’s Eleven film remake well underway, word is out that Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez might star in a remake of Viva Las Vegas. Full story on both at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-06-Fri-2001/news/15791660.html

HOTEL SPECIAL – Book The Sahara online from $55.95 per night Sun-Thurs. for stay 4/08/01-4/30/01. Limited Availability so check rates and gook at http://www.accessvegas.com/hotels/sahara-hotel-las-vegas-room-reservations.htm

$25 HOTEL REBATE — you pick the hotel! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you $25 back on any 2+ night stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. 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



CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

STORM – The new Latin-themed show which features aerial acts and actual rain (onstage) and light snow (in the audience) is finally slated to debut April 18, 2001, at Mandalay Bay.

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Showgirls of Magic (San Remo) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-06-Fri-2001/weekly/15793235.html

SHOWS – 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=3230&cscheme=1

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

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

GOLF RESERVATIONS – http://www.bookvegasteetimes.com/gvpricing.cfm?amid=143&cscheme=5

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Commander’s Palace (Desert Passage @ Aladdin) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Apr-06-Fri-2001/weekly/15785264.html

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

LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Wednesday – 65 ░F / 49 ░F ░F Partly Cloudy
Thursday – 64 ░F / 47 ░F Partly Cloudy
Friday – 74 ░F / 50 ░F Mostly Sunny
Saturday – 78 ░F / 54 ░F Mostly Sunny
Sunday – 84 ░F / 58 ░F Mostly Sunny

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

FEATURE STORY: Jimmy Hopper

Because of the amount of news and letters this week, we’ll go back to full reviews next week. Coming reviews here: Excalibur Tournament of Kings (fun for those who like horses, action, getting a little rowdy, medieval stuff, or to take the kids to), Second City Comedy Troupe at Flamingo (very funny comedy and worth seeing, which for me is saying something because I’m not much for improv), Skintight at Harrah’s (One hour and 15 minutes solid of topless women and nearly nude guys) and more. To hold you over, here’s a short on one of Las Vegas’ most talented up-and-coming performers.

JIMMY HOPPER – We caught Jimmy Hopper last week at one of his shows in Bellagio’s Fontana Room. If you haven’t seen this act yet, you are missing out. He’s not a “lounge singer” but a full-fledged musical showman putting his own stamp on standards, pop, and rock hits in an energetic fashion. Jimmy has sung the national anthem at major sports events, performed at major political functions, and composed commercials and music for major corporations.

He plays Bellagio’s Fontana room (schedule at http://www.jimmyhopper.com/perform.htm), which I consider to be the best intimate room in town to see music with plush surroundings and view of the Strip over the lake. The price is right: two drink minimum so catch him before he’s a main showroom draw at headliner prices.

We have two copies of his latest CD “Live in LV” to give away in our contests section. You can read more about Hopper, download a free MP3 of one of this songs, or order his CD’s at http://www.jimmyhopper.com Bring them to his show and he’s happy to sign them and pose for photos.



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

EDITORS NOTE: The “smoking in casinos question” brought a record number of responses to our poll (results listed later in the newsletter) as well as email. I need to move on, so I can’t print additional letters but this is obviously something people feel strongly about on both sides of the issue. For the record, new casinos have made clean air a top priority. Bellagio has an air system where ALL air introduced into the casino is taken from outside the building and then heated or cooled. No air is recirculated.

I once read something interesting in a “How To Win At Blackjack” book which I have taken to heart: if you are winning and someone next to you starts to smoke, deal with it as long as you are winning. It’s a small price to pay. If you are losing, you should be leaving that table or machine anyway and you can usually find a table or machine somewhere else where the air is cleaner.

Gloria wrote:

> We have just returned from a week in Vegas. Did we have
> a good time? Yes, but Las Vegas is now going the way of
> all other resorts areas. I go to gamble and enjoy the
> weather, nothing else. Times are changing, Vegas no
> longer cares or needs to have us there. At one time
> this was a reasonably priced vacation. You got a break
> on the room OR the food OR the airfare OR the gaming,
> which gave you the money to gamble more. Now all
> aspects of Vegas are squeezing you dry. Is it worth
> going back, probably, but instead of our usual 2 wks a
> year, we are now thinking of 4 days there and several
> day trips to casinos near by. Is this a loss to Vegas?
> No, they have plenty of people from around the world
> willing to pay what ever they ask, and take the rudeness
> and don’t bother me attitude as they take our money.
>
> Thanks for listening, guess I just needed to vent a
> little. Gloria

Guess what — I agree with you! Room rates are starting to drop because of the soft economy and people like yourself who don’t come to have their wallet hijacked. Even though my income is off a little because of the cheaper rates (I make a commission when you book through the links in our newsletter just like a travel agent does, so lower rates equal less money), if that brings rates and service that will bring people like you back more often, I’ll grin and bear it. BTW, you will find our guaranteed low rates often beat the rates the hotels quote you directly.

Rayn of Rego Park, NY wrote:
>
> My wife and I are hoping to return to Las Vegas this summer. On our
> last trip, we flew with National Airlines, and we loved it. Now I
> hear that they are having some severe financial problems. While they
> have filed for protection against their creditors, they are still
> operating as before. Do you think it is safe to book summer flights
> with National now, or will they go out of business?

National appears pretty strong, and I personally would use them if they served the destinations I frequent. They are reorganizing, continuing to advertise (companies almost out of business usually get refused when they try to buy advertising), and have solid leadership, a fantastic maintenance and safety record, and (unlike most airlines) are flying a relatively new fleet of planes. Having said that, I must note that those are personal opinions. I have no stock or stake in the airline. If using a travel business that is under bankruptcy reorganization concerns you, use another carrier.

Allen Goenawein wrote:

> This is my first issue of your newsletter and I found
> it “right to the point, with no holds barred.” I have
> spent a couple of hours reading different articles and
> have enjoyed everything. I just returned from Vegas two
> days ago (one of 7 or 8 trips I make a year). My wife
> has always wanted to see EFX and almost talked me into
> it and after reading your review, I’m really glad we
> did not go. Our favorite show is Lord of the Dance.
> Compared with the prices they get for some of the
> other shows, it is a real bargain. Keep sending the
> weekly letter, it is really enjoyable.

Thanks for the kind words. EFX still has some strong points, which I noted. Since I’m not a snotty “critic” with a huge artistic performance background and my income comes from hotel room commissions from our travel links, my aim is to give you the honest scoop so you can tell if a show suits your interests. (I mention that on a regular basis for the benefit of the hundreds of new readers we pick up each week.)

Sue Entwistle from Wisconsin wrote:

> Good Morning! My husband and I just returned from a very enjoyable
> five day stay in Vegas. We were married at the Little Church of the
> West 12 years ago, and return every March and have also come back in
> October for the past five years. We’re always looking for something
> new to do, and this time went to see Steve Wyrick
> (magician / illusionist). We ordered our tickets about 6 weeks in
> advance and were in the front row! But at the Saturday 10:00 P.M.
> show, only about 75 people were in the audience. What’s up with that?
> Although Steve is very personable and several of his acts were
> excellent, we didn’t feel it was worth the price! I was wondering if
> you have reviewed any of the helicopter companies. We would like to
> take a helicopter trip into the Grand Canyon next time we come to Las
> Vegas. Thanks…….and we sure enjoy your newsletter!

Wyrick has drawn very mixed reviews, and we have been put off by his PR company as far as coming and seeing his show. I can only think it is because the show (from what I hear) is still very much a work in progress. That is precisely why I have not reviewed or given it much mention yet. Try Lance Burton next time — for a few more bucks, he provides a little more “bang.”

This summer, I am going to start reviewing some tours (especially the ones that we offer). For what it is worth, spend the extra money on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon if at all possible. Avoid the bus trips at all costs — you spend most of your day on the bus. The air trips are better but you still fly high above the Canyon. The helicopter tours generally not only get you close to the canyon for spectacular views as well as much closer to the scenery on the way over and back, but many land right in the bottom of the Canyon for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Jim Swain of Luton, Beds, United Kingdom wrote:

> Thought I’d drop a mail to say thanks for the great newsletter. My
> wife and I got married at the MGM Grand on Valentine’s Day 1996 – it
> was our first visit to Las Vegas and got us well and truly hooked. We
> have been back another 4 times since — the latest being Valentine’s Day
> this year and we hope to return again in August/September.
>
> However finding a reasonable price for a flight in from the UK is
> proving difficult. Even booking this far ahead we cannot find a price
> lower than 600GBP (approx. USD 950) per person. If you or other readers
> have found lower prices than this or can recommend a booking agent
> could you send details to me at (click) mailto:[email protected] or
> (click) mailto:[email protected] Thanks in advance.

We certainly hope you check out travel partner air rates at http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm but unlike our main hotel travel partner, they don’t offer guaranteed low airfare so shop around.

Bob & Cindy Sobczak wrote:

> Saw the Blue Man Group
> Monday, March 26, 7 PM show, it was great. Had the
> perfect seats, center mezz. row qq seats 47 & 48 dead
> center stage, second row in the mezz. The music is very
> loud and for those who might be sensitive, I suggest
> ear plugs I had some for my wife and they helped. Also
> don’t forget your camera. Although you can’t take
> pictures during the show, the Blue Men will be in the
> lobby after the show and pose with you for
> pictures. Also buy your tickets at least 2 weeks before
> you get to Vegas or you will be sorry as were a lot
> of people who could not get tickets for the 6 days we
> were there.

Blue Man, as well as “O” and Mystere are very hot tickets and we suggest purchasing your tickets at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?amid=3230&cscheme=1 as far in advance as the site will let you (different shows have different maximum purchase dates). The service fee charged is well worth guaranteeing seeing that special show while you are here!

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

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.


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


FREE CONTEST:

RULES: (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest): You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Send a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.

JIMMY HOPPER CD’S – We have two Jimmy Hopper CD’s to give away (see story earlier in newsletter for Jimmy Hopper info). We’ll give them to the 20’th and 40’th entries to (contest closed)

ONLINE POLL – The Las Vegas Sun recently published an article at http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/gaming/2001/feb/26/511485671.html asking people if the slower economy is going to curtail their Las Vegas trips. This week’s question is “Are you rethinking your Las Vegas vacation plans in light of the economy”? Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in two weeks!

Results from our last poll “How do you feel about smoking in casinos?”

Casinos should be forced to have nonsmoking areas. 27%
It should be banned. 22%
If I can’t smoke while I gamble, forget it. 17%
I don’t smoke, but Vegas is about freedom to do what you want. 15%
I’d use nonsmoking areas, but they shouldn’t be mandatory. 11%
I smoke, but I can hold back while I gamble. 5%

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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 MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
April 11, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

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