Access Vegas Insider Vibe – May 10, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities: http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours

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: Center Stage Restaurant

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


 


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:BYE-BYE BELLAGIO ART – If you have not seen the masterpieces yet, and you want to, do it soon. MGM is going to be selling off most of the infamous art pieces currently on “permanent” display at Bellagio. In it’s place will be exhibitions arranged with private collectors, museums and other art galleries. Full story at http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/sun/2000/may/11/510243165.html

BIRDMAN OF LAS VEGAS – is opening at The Tropicana. Famous trainer Joe Krathwohl’s show features unique and rescued birds from around the world flying through hoops held by audience volunteers, majestic eagles that fly overhead, beautiful parrots and cockatoos that talk and sing, and more. The best part is the price: FREE and open to all ages! Show times are 11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, and 2:00 PM (dark Thursdays) in the Tropics Lounge.

MOTHER’S DAY – A variety of restaurants both on and off the Strip are offering specials for Mother’s Day. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/May-10-Wed-2000/lifestyles/13423010.html

10TH ANNUAL EPICUREAN AFFAIR 2000 – This dine-around affair at the Rio is billed as the “hospitality event of the year”, held poolside, and is open to the public. 60 Las Vegas restaurants and resorts serve an array of their house specialties. All cuisines are represented in abundance: American, Continental, Cajon, Italian, Asian, Mexican, French plus a variety of spirits and non-alcoholic drinks will be available. Top chefs display their restaurants’ culinary specialties and signature dishes. Plus, there will be a live band, DJ’s with go-go dancers, and a cigar lounge. Tickets are $100 a person if ordered before June 12 ($125 after). The event will commence June 14’th at 7:30 PM at The Rio. We’ll be at this one!

NEW MEXICO – People from New Mexico seem to love Las Vegas, so I imagine we have quite a few readers from that state. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those being impacted by the terrible fires there. I’m especially close to this as personal friend and former Las Vegas radio talk show host Jim Villinucci is the afternoon talk host on the #1 50,000 watt 770 AM KOB, which reaches most of the state including the affected area. During the day, you can listen to the station’s live breaking coverage online by going to http://www.radiojim.com

Winners! – Karen Wilcox of Raymond, OH won the T-shirt. Patricia Le Barron from Dunkirk, NY won the Hard Rock keychain.

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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?cscheme=5&amid=143

Junefest – This annual classic rock festival is the party of the year for many locals and tourists alike. This year’s lineup: Sammy Hagar, George Thorogood, Pat Benatar, Paul Rodgers, BTO, and Mark Farner plus a “huge fireworks display” after the show. Tickets are only $25.96 and available at (888) 464-2468.

Mandalay Bay – Johnny Winter on May 18, David Sandborn on May 19, Kenny Wayne Shepherd on May 20, Motorhead on May 21,Toto on May 26, Jefferson Starship on May 27, The Young Dubliners on May 28, Cowboy Junkies on Jun. 3, Cheap Trick on July 3, Queensryche on June 16 and 17, and Hall and Oats on July 21. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Mandalay Bay link).

MGM – Rodney Dangerfield on July 6-12 and again on Aug. 24-Sept. 6. Tickets are $85 and available at (800) 929-1111 and MGM discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (MGM link).


 


FEATURE STORY: Center Stage RestaurantA few years ago, I stumbled across what I still consider one of the best kept secrets in town: The Center Stage Restaurant at the Plaza hotel. I had avoided it for the very reasons many people avoid the Plaza all-together — the place is not exactly The Mirage. Low limit games, cheap drinks, older slot machines, a carpet that needed replacing years ago, and some of the worst lounge acts in town all combine to make The Plaza one of the last places you would consider getting a decent meal . Which is a shame …

center-stage.jpg (20547 bytes)If you stand in front of the Golden Gate at the end of Fremont St. and look straight up at the Plaza, you notice a glass dome. Tucked away upstair in a quiet part of the hotel where the carpet hasn’t worn out yet sits the very best view of Fremont St. available to the public. The restaurant is actually pretty nice (they used it for the fine dining scene in the film Casino), and in keeping with owner Jackie Gaughn’s “low roller” tradition, the food is good, the view is great, and the prices are very reasonable.

Appetizers are well portioned, running for compote of fresh fruit ($3.50) to lobster or jumbo shrimp cocktail ($7.50). However, you might want to skip them and save room for the main course as they don’t skimp on the food.

I’m a sucker for their prime rib. Mr. Gaughn is originally from Nebraska and word has it that he gets his beef from that part of the country. The complete prime rib dinner only runs $11.95 and all dinners come with choice of French Onion Soup, Soup ju Jour, or dinner salad, Vegetable du Jour, as well as choice of potato, rice, or Fettucine Alfredo and a wonderfully unique fresh baked loaf of bread.

Dinners start at a very modest price with the Southern Fried Chicken ($7.50) and Chicken Sicilian ($9.50). Meat eaters will enjoy Baby Back Pork Ribs (a full rack, $11.95), New York Steak (regular or Cajun, $11.95), Porterhouse ($13.95), Filet Mignon ($15.95) and Broiled Lamb Chops ($16.95).

From the sea, I love their Idaho Broiled Rainbow Trout ($11.50) but don’t limit yourself: they offer Shrimp, Orange Roughy, Alaskan King Crab Legs, and Scampi Meuniere ranging from $11.95 to $16.95. Another great meal is the Whole Fresh Maine Lobster with Crab stuffing ($19.95). Combos are available: New York Steak & Shrimp is always good ($13.95), as well as New York Steak & King Crab Legs ($16.95), but I like to go all out with the Lobster Tail and New York Steak Combo ($27.95).

Desert selection is limited and runs $3.00 to $4.50. Don’t ask me about them — I’ve always been too stuffed to try one but they look good!

This isn’t Picasso or Delmonico. While it is their “gourmet” room, please remember that you are at the Plaza. However, the value is unmatched. You are paying coffee shop prices for the food, but atmosphere and service are well above coffee shop standards, even when the view isn’t taken into account. Add an unparalleled, splendid view of Fremont St. and you have my #1 best kept secret in Las Vegas. I have taken friends, family, dates, and clients to the Center Stage and never had a bad experience.

The Center Stage Restaurant is upstairs in the Plaza Hotel downtown. They open at 5:00 PM and last seating is at 10:30 PM. Reservations are suggested — smoking needs to be requested in order to be seated in the dome with a view, although the dome’s high ceiling and good ventilation make is a moot point to all but those who are very sensitive to smoke. They generally make every effort to seat people in the dome. However, when busy, a discrete $5 tip to the maitre d’ with a view request will be honored although you may have to spend a few minutes at the bar if dome seating isn’t immediately available.


 


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:Donna wrote:

>I would like to know if any of Vegas hotels offer a behind the scenes
>tour of the building. My husband is in building maintenance and was
>fascinated by a program on Discovery about the Venetian. We are
>visiting in two weeks and will be staying at Harrahs.

There are none that I’m aware of that individuals can take at this time. The closest might be the “behind the scenes” tour of the Secret Garden’s of Siegfried and Roy (info archived at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/99-12-01.htm ). Also, if you have a group of 15 or more, EFX at the MGM has a backstage tour available.

I imagine security issues have much to do with this. If there are building tours that we are unaware of, please drop us a note: [email protected]

Jim and Judy from Peoria wrote:

>I am surprised to hear your glowing report on the Flamingo garden
>buffet.á Three years ago we tried it — It came with a nice little
>bottle of wine.á The food was ok but that’s all.á The price was NOT
>$15 however it was much cheaper and we had a “toofer” It was a nice
>experience however for the price and the wine.á Two years ago we went
>back and the wine was gone and food was truly blah.á Not bad — just
>blah.á This year we did not go even though the setting is quite nice.
>Maybe the price increase made the difference.á They really needed to
>work on that uninspiring buffet.á We will try again on your word but
>if it doesn’t pan out we will let you know.

One of the very reasons we publish this newsletter is because things change so quickly in Las Vegas. Three years ago, you could get a room at The Sands, The Hacienda, or the (old) Aladdin. Three years ago, Enter the Night was the long running show at the Stardust. Three years ago, the Flamingo’s buffet was lousy for the money.

Interestingly enough (and for that very reason), I had no interest in checking the “new” Paradise Garden Buffet out but the requests for info as well as the buzz have been overwhelming. I not only enjoyed it, but I’ll be a regular.

While I’m on the topic and since people ask: I do request and accept media comps for shows, but pay my own way into restaurants. Neither influences a review. The majority of my reviews are pretty positive, but that is to be expected as I give priority to longer running shows that have proven themselves and dining establishments that are known good values.

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] 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 CONTESTS:Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent 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.

Sun Country has brought back its Fly Free For A Year giveaway. To enter, visit http://www.suncountry.com/flyfree.htm and tell, in 50 words or less, what you would do if you could fly free for a year.

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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.accessvegas.com You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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

New to the list? Back issues 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,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

You may subscribe to this newsletter by going to:
http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com or sending a blank email to below

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
May 10, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – May 3, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities: http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours

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: Paradise Garden Seafood Buffet

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




LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

SPEED – The new roller coaster at the Sahara is open for business! It’s linear-induction motors bring it to a speed of 70 mph as it goes through a loop and straight up the Sahara marquee. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-28-Fri-2000/weekly/13449086.html

MICHAEL JORDAN – is coming to the big screen. The really big screen! The Luxor is showing “Michael Jordan to the Max” in it’s IMAX theatre. They have also added a new IMAX 3-D film called Galapagos: The Enchanted Voyage”, a voyage to the archipelago of Ecuador. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/May-02-Tue-2000/lifestyles/13478720.html

SO YOU WANNA BE A GAMBLER – It takes more than watching a couple of old John Patrick tapes to beat the house. I should know — like many, I moved here dreaming of making the casinos pay. And they did. The first two years here, I was well in the black sports betting and counting cards at blackjack. I also realized that I would never have the kind of bankroll to make a full time living at it (especially considering the stress of trying to play blackjack without getting caught and the long hours required to handicap even football).

If you have the self-discipline to do well at either of the above, you have what it takes to do even better in just about any other field. Still, we all want to beat the house and Las Vegas Weekly has a great article on the nitty gritty of professional gambling at http://www.scopemag.com/features/risky_business.html

WORLD SERIES OF POKER – The infamous yearly tournament held at Binion’s horseshoe is underway. Friday evening on The Discovery Channel (11:00 PM Pacific — check your local listings) is an hour long special on this one-of-a-kind Las Vegas event. Well worth checking out even if you have no interest in poker.

AIRPORT CHECK-IN – The MGM has set up a check in desk right at the airport! You can get your room, have them take your bags, and arrange a ride to the hotel on their shuttle ($10 with luggage, $7 without). Early reports tout this as being quite the timesaver. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-29-Sat-2000/business/13470001.html and MGM discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (MGM link).

RESTAURANTS – Aqua, the beautiful restaurant at Bellagio is reviewed at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/May-03-Wed-2000/lifestyles/13458465.html Z’Tejas is a local’s fave a short cab ride from the Strip on Paradise. Z’Tejas review at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-28-Fri-2000/weekly/13414773.html

I LOVE YOU – virus hit today, affecting those who use Microsoft email programs. For the record, there is no chance of catching a virus because you are on this mailing list. Viruses like “Melissa” and “I Love You” spread by sending themselves to everybody in your address book once they infect your computer.

Your email addresses are kept securely on file at mail-list.com, the company we employ to handle our mailings. This is also the reason why you need to follow the instructions at the bottom of the newsletter to subscribe, unsubscribe, or change addresses.

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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?cscheme=5&amid=143

Hard Rock – Don Henley on July 10. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Hard Rock link).

Las Vegas Hilton – Dwight Yokam and Keith Urban on June 9-10, and Engelbert Humperdinck July 11-16 and Pearl Jam on Oct. 22. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Hard Rock link).

Mandalay Bay – Toto on May 26, Cheap Trick on July 3, and Hall and Oats on July 21. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Mandalay Bay link).

MGM – Marc Anthony on June 16, and Blink 182 with Bad Religion on June 24. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and MGM discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (MGM link).




FEATURE STORY: Paradise Garden Seafood Buffet

We’ve had an unusually high number of requests for info on this buffet, as well as hearing some great things about it. So, tonight we got over there to check it out. After a 25 minute wait in line around 8:00 PM, we were in and quite impressed from the get-go.

My biggest complaints about Las Vegas buffets are the atmosphere. Even the $27 Rio Seafood buffet is noisy, very little to look at, and background music that is too loud (archived at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-02-02.htm ). Not the case here! Almost every seat has a view out into the wildlife habitat, home to a flock of live Chilean Flamingos as well as African penguins, swans, ducks, Koi, goldfish and turtles plus exotic vegetation viewed from the dining room through 2 stories of glass.

The lighting (after dark) is subdued, with background music almost unnoticed. Service was very prompt, with our coffee cups never getting below half empty and plates removed by the time we were back from the buffet line.

Being exceptionally bright and professional, I managed to misplace the menu that a chef was kind enough to get for me after my meal, but this buffet had everything you should expect from a seafood buffet and then some. Two types of fresh green salad as well as a host of other cold salads shared a large center island with the other side filled with crab, shrimp, two types of oysters, lobster, and more — all you care to eat.

At one end of the buffet were rolls, bread, chips and salsa, at the other 3 varieties of fresh sliced melons. The serving line had the more traditional salmon, fried shrimp, and even a fish lasagna. (I’d love to tell you what kind — I’m going from memory here — I’m sure the menu specifically noted it). Also featured were a healthy variety of both the usual and less common fish delights.

Yes, you can bring that one guy who “hates fish” because the traditional buffet fare was present and accounted for. Garlic mashed potatoes, carved turkey and roast beef, and Chinese and Mexican dishes help round out the fare.

Desert was self-service, which I prefer. I hate waiting in line for the best part of the meal! As you know, I judge a desert area by it’s cheesecake. Three varieties and it wasn’t the cheap stuff! They also had a vast assortment of cakes and pies of virtually every variety. For those on a sugar restricted diet, they had one of the better “no sugar added” selection I have seen at any buffet.

Despite the modest price, nothing was second rate. This is the traditional casino loss leader, giving you value far beyond what you pay in both food and atmosphere. I’ll be going back! The Paradise Garden Buffet is located in the Flamingo Hilton and is open from 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM 7 days a week. Cost is $15, which includes tax. I’m sure that lost menu will show up first thing tomorrow …


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


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Micki from Huntington, NY wrote:

>Hi!á Love your newsletter…á I’m so glad I subscribed to it.á My
>husband and I are coming to Vegas the end of May.á We usually do nice
>dinner & show at night and were wondering if anyone knows how the
>restaurants are at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.á We are seeing Notre
>Dame de Paris (Hunchback of Notre Dame musical) and were interested in
>eating there as well.á We are particularly interested in the very nice
>restaurant located in the Eiffel Tower (French rest.).á Would
>appreciate any response.á Many thanks.

We have not seen Notre Dame nor dined at the Eiffel Tower restaurant yet. Reviews on Notre Dame are mixed. Reviews on the Eiffel tower restaurant all have one theme — nice but OVERPRICED (even from what it offers). Since you want an upscale dinner, make your way across the street to Bellagio. The walk is just a few minutes, and beautiful as you trace the edge of the lake. Picasso is one of only 19 Five Star restaurants in the U.S., although virtually any dining selection at Bellagio won’t let you down.

Satnick in NJ wrote:

>My husband and I just returned from our first trip to
>Vegas and loved it. We stayed at the Luxor and treated
>ourselves to a jacuzzi room in the pyramid. It was
>lovely and we enjoyed it. We toured most of the hotels
>although we could not squeeze everything into 4 days.
>
>We ate at Emeril’s New Orleans Seafood and enjoyed it
>but thought it was a little overrated. The food was
>good and the staff excellent but felt more like a
>chain restaurant and banking on his name than we had
>anticipated. I wouldn’t go back again but don’t regret
>the experience as we are Emeril fans.
>
>We saw a real Vegas style show at Bally’s called
>Jubilee. It was quite entertaining and we both enjoyed
>it more than we thought we would.
>
>We also went downtown and had fun. Be prepared that
>this a different element than the strip and more of a
>party atmosphere. I was not thrilled with the Fremont
>Experience light show and wouldn’t have cared if we
>missed it. I did enjoy the “boardwalk” kind of feel
>that was there.
>
>The best experience was a helicopter ride to the Grand
>Canyon. We had a beautiful day and felt incredibly
>lucky to land in the Canyon and see all that we saw.
>Although it is pricey, it was well worth it!
>
>All in all, it was GREAT trip. If I return (I hope), I
>would like to stay more centrally located on the
>strip. We stayed at the south end and didn’t get to
>some of the northerly hotels. Thanks for all the tips
>and information before our trip!

H. Hollis of Denver, Co. wrote:

>I visited Vegas about a month ago and I will never stay at the
>Stratosphere ever again!á We have stayed twice and this past one was
>very disappointing and I even wrote the Hotel with a list of 9
>complaints and have yet got any reply from them.
>
>Whatever you do don’t use the phones in your room to make a long
>distance calls unless you have a card; we were charged over $5.00 A
>MINUTE!á All of the employees were so rude, they were not friendly at
>all.á We never felt welcome there.á The Dealers were the worst!á The
>only thing that has improved was the buffet.

We are sorry to hear that. It does bring up the subject of what to do if you have a bad stay and here are some general rules to follow:

1. Don’t be scared to talk to someone in charge (restaurant manager, pit boss, etc). Sometimes they will do something then and there to make it right.

2. Write the hotel and complain! If it is legitimate, they have been known to send you vouchers for free rooms, or at least free food to get you back in the door (hoping your next experience will be better).

3. Constructive, concise criticism is always appreciated. If you can remember the name of the person and date you got the bad service, they take you more seriously that some guy who’s mad because he lost all his money, upset his wife, drank too much, fell asleep in the sun …

We hope your next stay is better!

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] 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.




FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent 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.

Hard Rock Hotel “Slot Player” souvenir key chain — Enter at (contest closed)

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

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.accessvegas.com You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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

New to the list? Back issues 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,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

You may subscribe to this newsletter by going to:
http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com or sending a blank email to below

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
May 3, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 26, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities: http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours

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: EFX

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


 


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:WYNN BUYS DESERT INN – If you use http://www.accessvegas.com as your “start page”, you already know that former Mirage Resorts founder Steve Wynn has purchased the Desert Inn. He apparently is to buy it “out of pocket” from the money he’s making in the sale of Mirage Resorts to MGM, having complete ownership. We have an ongoing poll asking if you have been to the Desert Inn and are you going to go (or return) now that Steve Wynn owns it at at http://www.accessvegas.com Breaking story at http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/sun/2000/apr/27/510187496.html Also, we are giving away a Desert Inn 50’th birthday section from the local paper in our contests section.

NELLIS AIR SHOW – from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 6, will feature the Air Force’s aerial demonstration team from Nellis, the Thunderbirds; a Canadian parachute team, the Skyhawks; and Air Combat Command’s A-10 Warthog demonstration team. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-26-Wed-2000/news/13449412.html

STREET SMARTS – The syndicated game show set to hit the air has been filming in and around Las Vegas. Contestants in a Southern California studio will try to guess what “everyday Las Vegans” (actually mostly hotel employees) will say. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-24-Mon-2000/lifestyles/13424211.html

SPORTS BETTING – We are following and feel strongly about the attempts to ban betting. Dan Woolford of the Toledo Blade wrote an interesting piece on the issue at http://www.toledoblade.com/editorial/woolford/0d22wool.htm A related story about how much illegal bookmakers are looking forward to passage of this legislation at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-24-Mon-2000/business/13427791.html

NASCAR CAFE – The Review Journal just did a story on it with an in-depth listing of the food offerings at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-26-Wed-2000/lifestyles/13413090.html and you can read our opening weekend review of the restaurant and Cyber Speedway at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-03-15.htm

VEGAS ON TV – This Saturday evening, TLC (The Learning Channel) will feature 3 straight hours of Las Vegas specials: King of the Strip, Las Vegas Uncovered, and The Secret World of Las Vegas. Check local listings for time and cable channel.

GOT A WEBSITE? – How about a link to http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com so you can help spread the word and access the archives easier. While at it, don’t forget to link to our sister site http://www.accessvegas.com – your first stop for the latest Las Vegas info!

WINNERS – Barb Hill of Musegon, MI won the entertainer press photos.

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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?cscheme=5&amid=143

MGM – Carrot Top June 22 – July 5, NHL Frozen Fury IV pits the Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche on Sept. 30, and the U.S. Open of Supercross is scheduled for October 14 and 15. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and MGM discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (MGM link).


 


Note: Rick Springfield now stars in EFXFEATURE STORY: EFX

efx-02.jpg (24808 bytes)EFX is a true “modern day” Las Vegas show, combining elements of film, Broadway, and rock concerts to bring to life a spectacle that tingles almost every physical sense. This $45 million dollar production has 6000 lights and 85,000 watts of sound. Lasers, dragons, magic, and a floor that rumbles under you are just some of what you see and feel.

But, all this would be nothing without a great theme and great performers and EFX delivers on all counts. Broadway legend Tommy Tune was brought in to replace outgoing David Cassidy (now in his own show with Sheena Easton at the Rio) and he brings an unbelievable amount of poise, energy, and showmanship to this event. And an event it is …

Get there early. Drinks are served (not included), funny and physical stand up comedy by one of the “stagehands” keeps the crown entertained, and roving photographers let you capture the moment. I noticed it was a little warm until … the lights went down and a chill fell over the showroom. We were greeted with a stunning filmed sequence by James Earl Jones (“This is CNN”) who’s head was brought to life in 3D as he gave a booming overview of the show and storyline.

The live cast then entered. Not just onstage but from both sides high above the showroom. This is a truly encompassing experience. While much of the action is onstage, you never know from left to right or high above you where events and characters will appear.

efx-01.jpg (7085 bytes)Mr. Tune made his entrance, tophat and tails, as he was elevated to the stage for his first number “In Dreams”. His appearance is striking. At 6’6″, he almost appears to be on stilts because of his unusually long legs (the illusion aided I’m sure by good costume design). What is more amazing is the energy he has, considering his age of 61 years (Source: E! Online). It was a non-factor as he belted out strong vocals and a number specifically showcasing his mesmerizing tap dance skills.

The general theme revolved around Tommy as a child and a child’s dreams. We were treated to Merlin and King Arthur in a fiery sequence pitting humans and dragons against each other in a blaze of fire and lasers and pyro. The Circus sequence was an ode to P.T. Barnum which featured some spectacular aerial stunts by The Flying Kaganovitch.

Things were slowed down for a few minutes as Tommy did a solo question and answer segment with the audience which tonight lengthened the show by about 10 minutes as something very unusual happened (it didn’t at all seem staged).

The only thing we didn’t really like was a stages question and answer segment where a women claiming to be a former student of Tommy’s had a “heartfelt reunion.” We found out that this happens every single show. It’s an otherwise great show that doesn’t need this bit. If you have to use the restroom, the Q & A is a perfect time.

The show then was underway again with a tribute to Houdini and recreations of two of his more famous attempted escapes. Perhaps the most fun segment followed with “A Dream In Time: H.G. Wells” which featured a wide screen 3D segment (glasses and all) which segued us back in time to the caveman days and a battle for a fair maiden. Dark in the mystical woods and hills, a battle featured stunts and fireworks which had the crowd on the edge of it’s seat. Following was a traditional Las Vegas ending featuring the entire cast.

EFX clocks in at 90 minutes. Children 5 and up are welcome. This is not only an all ages show in the lack of offensive language and nudity, but has a Disney-like quality to it that all ages will enjoy.

EFX plays nightly Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 and 10:30 PM in the at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Tickets are $75.00 for preferred seating (booth style), $55 regular, and $40.00 for children 5-12. Discount MGM rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (MGM link) and you can book EFX tickets online before you even leave for Las Vegas for a small service fee at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?cscheme=5&amid=143


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


Lots of helpful responses to last week’s questions — thanks to all who wrote!LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Judy Brooks of Baltimore MD wrote:

>I just returned from two weeks in Vegas and stayed at the Four queens.
>I can only warn you, if you have another choice DON”T stay at the
>Queens.á The rooms were “ok” but the service was absolutely horrible.
>I have been to Vegas many times and was so shocked that in a town
>where exceptional service is standard, this place falls far short.
>Room service people were rude, restaurant people acted like you were
>invisible, waiting for drinks, well just forget the drinks because we
>never did get one.á When we booked we were told that we got what we
>got no choice of smoking or non and one bed or two.á The only positive
>thing was we enjoyed staying on Fremont street.

Janice wrote:

>To Ray asking about Golden Nugget – there is NO comparison downtown;
>it is a great place to stay – the rooms are very nice (ask for the
>North Tower as it’s closer to the casino and restaurants), the staff
>is friendly, and the food is great in the buffet, Stefano’s(Italian
>with singing waiters), and their coffee shop.á Never had a bad meal in
>any of these places.á We always did very well with comps and found the
>slot hosts to be very accommodating.á Only tables we ever play are
>roulette, so really can’t comment on BJ or otherwise.á We find it hard
>to stay anywhere’s else when we visit.

Dannie Kemp wrote:

>Motel 6 and the Best Western chain generally accept pets.á There are
>restrictions and some of the individual sites are “pet free”, so it is
>a good idea to check before hand.á Las Vegas has kennels if you run
>out of other options.

Steve Fadden wrote:

>Here’s where we’ve played in the past:
>
>EXCALIBUR: We’ve had great times playing $2-$6 spread limit hold’em
>here.á The dealers and hosts are great people, the players are nice,
>there’s lots of room to walk around and stretch, and the poker rates
>are reasonable for the strip.á Whenever we come to LV, we make the
>Excalibur our home base.á Decent rooms, great rates, and good
>location.á (Yes, there are kids to navigate around, but they’re not in
>the poker room.á 🙂
>
>MIRAGE: Great atmosphere, good service, and loose play.
>
>VENETIAN: They have a crazy 1-4-8-8 hold’em game here.á Not the best
>place to play if you’re a serious player, but the poker area is
>mid-casino, with a great view of much of the floor.á Great place to
>take a break from other gaming while still being in the middle of it
>all.
>
>ORLEANS: Local rock garden.á I’ve been told that this place loosens up
>at times, but have never seen it.
>
>MONTE CARLO: Good 1-4-8-8 game.á The poker room is well-appointed, and
>the dealers are good.á However, it gets cramped when the games are
>full.
>
>BINION’S: Classic poker room, great dealers, and good (but craggy,
>sometimes scary) players.á Got to play here at least once, just to say
>you did it.á Good 4-8 hold’em games.

Tom wrote:

>Lots of great poker rooms.á I travel to play quite often and have
>become especially fond of the games at the Texas Station.á Small room,
>friendly staff.á Good competition to test your skills.á More
>profitable for better players at low limits is the Bellagio.á Better
>mix of tourists to locals.á Somewhat looser play here.á Orleans has
>the best low buy in poker tournaments.á I’ve done well here a couple
>of times.

R Buss wrote:

>My wife and I are taking our second trip to Las Vegas and wondered
>what the best and least expensive means of transportation would be
>from McCarran to the Excalibur?á we’re on a limited budget and don’t
>want to overdo it on transportation costs.á We’ll have suitcases etc.
>Also, is there any truth to the rumor that the Frontier is slated for
>demolition.á We stayed there last trip, and were planning to do that
>again until we heard that the hotel might be gone before we got there.
>We realize that it’s not the classiest place but liked the fact that
>the trolley, which we relied on, stopped next door at the Fashion Show
>Mall going north and south.

The date for the implosion of the Frontier isn’t set yet, but should be set far enough in advance that they won’t be taking reservations for after that point.

If cost is an issue, just catch one of the Bell Trans shuttles. Last I heard, it was about $4 a person from the airport to any Strip hotel. Even though Excalibur is close to the airport, with a shuttle you don’t have to worry about traffic and the meter running.

Don from Winnipeg, Canada wrote:

>I read with disappointment that the Green Shack, a true Las Vegas
>original restaurant is now closed.á Do you have suggestions for a good
>fried chicken dinner similar to the great spread put on at the Green
>Shack?á Thanks.

It was a shame. That place was a classic. I don’t know of any truly outstanding fried chicken dinners. Readers, have you had a really great fried chicken dinner here in town? Let us know at [email protected]

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] 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.


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


ONLINE POLL – “Have you been to the Desert Inn and are you going to go (or return) now that Steve Wynn owns it?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in two weeks!Results from last poll: ” Would you plan an additional trip to Las Vegas each year to watch spring training games?”

I don’t like baseball to begin with 38%
No, but I might take in a game if they play while I am there. 27%
I won’t make an extra trip, but I’ll adjust one of my regular visits. 13%
I’m requesting the vacation time the minute Las Vegas gets it! 23%

FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent 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.

EFX show programs — We have two programs, one each to the 20’th and 21’st entries at (contest closed)

Desert Inn Resort — 50’th anniversary special section in the Review-Journal. Enter at (contest closed)

Las Vegas T-Shirt — one size fits all. Enter at (contest closed)

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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.accessvegas.com You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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New to the list? Back issues 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,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

You may subscribe to this newsletter by going to:
http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com or sending a blank email to below

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
April 26, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 19, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities: http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours

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: “Master Magician” Lance Burton

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



 


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

THE THREE TENORS – are taking the stage in Las Vegas, and you can watch it free on your computer live this Saturday night! You have to sign up to become a member at http://www.superstartheater.com but membership is free. It also allows you to watch their other special events and even take part in choosing who you want them to feature.

MR. WYNN – The Mirage Resorts boss has been looking at the Desert Inn now that he’s out of a job (and a company) at the end of the year. He could probably buy the place out of this wallet (i.e., no investors, no stocks, no Wall St. wanting answers) and the 34 acres behind the resort give him plenty room to expand if he chooses. Full story at http://www.ktnv.com/story2.html and our poll this week as http://www.accessvegas.com asks you if you have ever been to the Desert Inn and would you check it out if Steve Wynn took it over?

SAM’S TOWN – is in the middle of an $86 million dollar renovation. They aren’t totally eliminating the country theme, but with new chandeliers, flat screen TV’s showing sporting events above the gaming tables, and a more upscale carpeting design, they are looking to attract a new audience. Their $6.99 prime rib with complete salad bar (and it is complete) served 24 hours is still one of the best deals in town. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-17-Mon-2000/business/13350247.html

EASTER DINNER – If you are going to be in town this weekend, there are plenty of great options for enjoying a great Easter meal. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-19-Wed-2000/lifestyles/13329608.html

NASH BRIDGES – is in town filming at the Desert Inn and a thief took a liking to Don Johnson’s Mercedes, stealing it and taking it for a high speed joyride and police chase before totaling it. A related story about a new CBS pilot shooting here is at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-17-Mon-2000/lifestyles/13375533.html

REBOOT – The new Imax RideFilm has opened at the Circus Circus Adventuredome. This is a must for both computer “geeks” (I fall into that category) and those who want a fun motion simulator ride. This simulated rollercoaster ride has a storyline taking place entirely inside a computer in a computer-generated imaginary world. Full story and photo at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-14-Fri-2000/weekly/13346858.html and you can read our archived Adventuredome review and photos at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-01-19.htm

GOT A WEBSITE? – How about a link to http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com so you can help spread the word and access the archives easier. While at it, don’t forget to link to our sister site http://www.accessvegas.com – your first stop for the latest Las Vegas info!

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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?cscheme=5&amid=143

Rat Pack – This David Cassidy produced show recreating the days and shows of the infamous Rat Pack has resurfaced at The Sahara to continued good reviews. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-14-Fri-2000/weekly/13356659.html and advance ticket purchase online at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?cscheme=5&amid=143

Hard Rock – Methods of Hayhem on April 28, Aimee Mann and Michael Penn on May 23, Macy Gray on May 25, and Ringo Starr and his All Star Band on June 17. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Hard Rock link).

Mandalay Bay – LYNYRD SKYNYRD on April 25, CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVISITED on April 28, Moby on April 28, REO SPEEDWAGON, Los Van Van on April 30, STYX and SURVIVOR on May 5, Classical Mystery Tour (Beatle’s Tribute) May 12 – 14, TOWER OF POWER on May 13, DAVID SANDBORN on MAY 19, Kenny Wayne Shepherd on May 20’th, BARRY MANILOW May 25 – May 28’th, JEFFERSON STARSHIP on May 26, Cowboy Junkies on June 3, and RICKY MARTIN on July 22. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Mandalay Bay link).

The Orleans – Jerry Lewis on April 21-24, and Roy Clark on April 27-30. Tickets at (702) 365-7075 and Orleans discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Orleans link).

Sam Boyd Stadium – EA Sports Supercross Series Finals on May 6, and X107.5 “Our Big 3.5 Concert” May 20 with Stone Temple Pilots, Godsmack, Cypress Hill, System of a Down, Papa Roach, Dope, Staind, Static X, Kittie, The Flys, Snake River Conspiracy, Phatter Than Albert, Inside Scarlet, Left Standing, God Among Men, and DJ Scotty Boy at Sam Boyd Stadium. Tickets at 1-888-464-2468. Sam’s Town is the closest major hotel casino to Sam Boyd Stadium and Sam’s Town discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Sam’s Town link).

Thomas and Mack – Nine Inch Nails on June 2, and Bob Dylan with Phil Lesh on June 27. Tickets at 1-888-464-2468. The Hard Rock Hotel is within walking distance of the Thomas and Mack. Hard Rock discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Hard Rock link).


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


FEATURE STORY: “Master Magician” Lance Burton

lance-burton-01.jpg (10752 bytes)I’ve seen Lance Burton on T.V. countless times. He’s been a semi-fixture on The Tonight Show, dating back to Johnny Carson who called Lance “the best magician I have ever seen.” He’s graduated from an ongoing guest spot in Folies Bergere (reviewed http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-03-29.htm) to his own gig at the Hacienda and now to his own show in the Lance Burton Theater of the Monte Carlo.

The show started with the clip from his last television special in which he was chained to the tracks of the infamous Desperado rollercoaster in Primm (40 miles south of Las Vegas). It is arguably the tallest and fastest in the world. While he was able to work his way free, he couldn’t hear his assistant’s time counts and was nearly killed. Even in slow motion, you could see the coaster missing his feet by inches as he jumped free.

Lance it a traditional magician, not relying on lasers and tigers so much as classic magic taken to a new level. We were first treated to vanishing candle routine which earned him his “World Champion” title in 1982. While familiar to anyone who has seen his TV specials or the commercials, it was even more impressive live and close up. Lit candles appear and vanish, turning into scarves in a blur of fire.

One of my personal favorites is the finale of this trick where he makes decks of cards appear and vanish. Just when you think you are starting to figure out how he does it, he literally starts to flick cards out of each hand, one at a time, card after card. With his sleeves rolled up and the ability to see each card drop to the floor, one can only be amazed!

lance-burton-02.jpg (13608 bytes)After introducing his assistants only to make them vanish one-at-a-time in his cape (another trick from one of his specials — as most of them are), he brought out his bird “Elvis” for a lighthearted bit involving a vanishing bird and cage along with the participation of a number of young children. I should note that this is very much an all-ages show. No overly risquÚ costumes, dirty jokes, or foul language.

Comedy Magician Mac King was taking the place of Lance’s regular guest artist the past week. Mac performs at Harrah’s in his own afternoon shows, and he didn’t let anyone down with a short, tight routine that left all both amazed and laughing as he put a few new twists on the classic “pick a card, any card” trick with an audience member invited up on stage. We’ll be checking out Mac’s own show soon and giving you a report!

After the teepee trick made famous on Jay Leno a couple of years ago, he segued into a series of illusions with a Masque Ball setting, which was probably influenced by the 9 years he spent at Folies Bergere. This unique trick involved everything from sawing the limbs off of a clown to making ducks and geese vanish and reappear, all while giving him an opportunity to poke fun at his friends with the tigers down the street saying “geese are much harder to train than tigers”!

His extended finale and now signature trick involves not only making a fully driveable sports car appear on stage, but making it also disappear in a unique way with a “special guest” in the passenger’s seat. This one has to be seen to be believed!

My only complaint is that it seemed at times he was on auto-pilot, just going through the motions, especially early in the show. Chalk it up to the fact we saw it on a Tuesday evening (his Monday), or maybe he was just having a bad night, but I’m used to seeing a little more energy and enthusiasm.

Lance Burton plays Tuesday – Saturday in the Lance Burton Theatre at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino. Tickets are $54.95 for Mezzanine and $49.95 for balcony. We suggest paying the extra $5 to get a more intimate view. Discount Monte Carlo rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Monte Carlo link) and you can book Lance Burton tickets online ahead of time for a small service fee (especially suggested if seeing him on a weekend — this Tuesday late show was just shy of a sell-out) at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?cscheme=5&amid=143



 


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Sam Profio wrote:

>To Janice about Harrah’s rooms:
>
>I have stayed at Harrah’s a couple of times and while the rooms are
>not the newest or greatest in town they are fine.á Some have bedrooms
>with mirrors on the ceiling and walls (don’t ask me).á I have not
>stayed in a suite.
>
>You get a lot more than a nice reasonably priced room at Harrah’s
>though: It has a great location with access to everything “mid-strip”.
>And, you can walk to Bally’s and take the tram to MGM and have access
>to everything on the south end.á The staff is very friendly and the
>dealers are some of the best in Vegas especially blackjack.á Try the
>party pit.á Noisy but fun.á Their player’s club mailings and specials
>seem to be better than some others I have.á For example, I get free
>rooms for less play.á The Garden Cafe serves up a great breakfast
>(it’s open all day).á Fresh fruit, the best granola we’ve ever had,
>etc.á The Carnival Court always has a good swing or jazz band.á They
>have a comedy club on the property which we go to even when we are not
>staying there.

Shelli Wolis wrote:

>I CAN TELL YOU PERSONALLY THAT THE STANDARD ROOMS IN HARRAH’S (LAS
>VEGAS) ARE LOVELY, ROOMY AND SOME VERY NICE FEATURES (i.e, hair
>blower, large screen TV, security at elevators, etc.).á THE ROOMS ARE
>LARGER THAN THOSE IN ATLANTIC CITY, THE STAFF IS JUST AS NICE AND THE
>RESTAURANTS JUST AS GOOD.
>
>IF YOU WANT TO STAY ON THE STRIP, THIS IS A “GOOD BET”.

Ray Ambrose wrote:

>I will be returning to LV in early June after an absence of 10 yrs.
>So need your help…it’s great to have found your site.á QUESTION 1:
>I’ve decided to stay downtown; 4 Queens or Gold Nugget, any real
>difference?á QUESTION 2: where is the best place to play low to medium
>stakes poker?á You know, are the players any different in one joint
>compared to another.á Where do the locals play?á Best comps, etc.á I
>will look forward to learning from you and your other avid readers.

The Golden Nugget is the class of downtown. While the Four Queens is nice, it’s not the Nugget. I’m not a poker player but I bet some of our readers are! Poker players, any advice? Fire us a line at [email protected]

Thierry Groueix wrote:

>hi, I’m looking for an hotel where pets are allowed in Las Vegas.
>I’ve planned to book in Circus Circus but they didn’t accept.á could
>you help me please?á thanks in advance

I don’t have a clue, and have never seen any animals inside a casino except seeing eye dogs. Input from anyone would be appreciated at [email protected]

Mary Messina wrote:

>Thought you would like a bit of trivia about the Bellagio.á Did you
>know that they sell their bread and baked goods to at least five
>different casino restaurants?á They have gotten so many orders that
>they are opening a bakery off sight to accommodate all the business.
>I haven’t seen the back “room” of any other casino but theirs is as
>nice as the casino.á The people that work their have their own
>restaurant and stores.á When we went back for a tour I thought I was
>still in the casino with the exception of not having slots or tables.
>
>The people their are very nice and I was glad to have the experience.

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] 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 – “Have you been to the Desert Inn and would you go (or return) if Steve Wynn bought it?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in two weeks!

Results from last poll: ” Would you plan an additional trip to Las Vegas each year to watch spring training games?”

I don’t like baseball to begin with 38%
No, but I might take in a game if they play while I am there. 27%
I won’t make an extra trip, but I’ll adjust one of my regular visits. 13%
I’m requesting the vacation time the minute Las Vegas gets it! 23%

FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent 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.

Race Rock – monthly giveaway features caps, t-shirts, etc. from the Race Rock restaurant. Enter at http://www.racerock.com/racerock/giveaway.html

The Westward-Ho Free Cyber Slot Tournament – http://209.12.232.112/slotmachine/index.html

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

New to the list? Back issues 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,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

You may subscribe to this newsletter by going to:
http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com or sending a blank email to below

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
April 19, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 12, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities: http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours

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: Titanic: The Exhibition by guest columnist David Berman

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


 


 


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

BELLAGIO RESTAURANTS – Did you know that the restaurants at Bellagio serve up to 25,000 meals a day and it is the only hotel in the US with two 5 star restaurants? And unlike many casinos, the restaurants there actually turn a profit. Great story at http://starbulletin.com/2000/04/05/features/story2.html

SPORTS BETTING BAN – Now the NFL and the NBA are jumping on the bandwagon to get Congress to ban all sports betting nationally. Obviously, we are a bit biased on this. Nevada has the most stringent gaming regulation in the world. The Gaming Control Board takes all complaints seriously, and often you can summons an officer down to mediate a dispute almost immediately. Sports betting is already outlawed in virtually every state (in part or full) and far more is wagered outside Nevada than in-state. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-13-Thu-2000/news/13366565.html

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – The Las Vegas Weekly’s Guide to Good Taste is available at http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/features/2000_food_review.html and well worth printing out or bookmarking.Mandalay Bay’s upscale Aureole is reviewed at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-07-Fri-2000/weekly/13110050.html Drai’s After-Hours Superclub at Barbary Coast (the restaurant changes formats for the late night crowd) at http://www.scopemag.com/noise/04_00/clubview.html Neyla at the MGM Grand serves an unique blend of Mediterranean delights with belly dancers and more. Review at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-05-Wed-2000/lifestyles/13224040.html

SUPER CASINO – “Inside the ‘New” Las Vegas” is a great account of the modern day Las Vegas. Often dense with historical fact, but neatly interrupted by fascinating first-person accounts: an old-time dealer talks about being threatened by Frank Sinatra, a hotel manager at a casino gets chewed out by her boss for renting out a $5,000 room to movie stars, and more. Available for under $20 from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553095021 /invegascom

LANCE BURTON: MASTER MAGICIAN – is on the Fox Family Channel this Friday April 14. Check your local listings for time.

GOT A WEBSITE? – How about a link to http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com so you can help spread the word and access the archives easier. While at it, don’t forget to link to our sister site http://www.accessvegas.com – your first stop for the latest Las Vegas info!

WINNERS! – Cindy Tomasi of Italy and Louis Schwartz of Lynn, MA are the winners of the Folies Bergere programs. Michael Woo of Honolulu, HI won the wine and dine guide.

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

Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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?cscheme=5&amid=143

DANNY GANS – Continues his hot new run at The Mirage and yet another review is available at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-07-Fri-2000/weekly/13302168.html We are looking forward to seeing it very soon!

MANDALAY BAY – Steely Dan on June 10. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Mandalay Bay link).

MGM – Rodger Waters on June 17. Tickets available starting this Sat. April 15 at (702) 474-4000 and MGM discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (MGM link).

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – of Equestrian Show Jumping comes to the Thomas and Mack April 19 – 23. Tickets at 1-888-464-2468. The Hard Rock hotel is within walking distance of the Thomas and Mack and Hard Rock discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Hard Rock link).


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


FEATURE STORY: The Exhibition by guest columnist David Berman

During our stay at the Rio, we immersed ourselves in the recounting of an event that happened on April 14, 1912. The event, of course, is the sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage, and the recounting is Titanic: The Exhibition, in The RioÆs mezzanine-level exhibit space.

IÆve seen many bulletin-board and newslist posts asking if anyone had seen the Titanic exhibit, and seeking opinions about the value of spending $15.95 to view it. Read on and decide for yourself, because the answer is not as simple as you might imagine.

The show is beautifully staged, occupying much of the same space used for the Treasures of Russia exhibit that was such a huge success. A key ingredient in the Titanic exhibit working as well as it does is the professionally narrated, recorded guided tour, which is included in the admission price. Visitors entering the exhibit are given a cassette recorder, with the narrator explaining the items as you proceed through the collection and directing you in such maneuvers as ônow turn to your left,ö and ôpause to study the recovered artifacts in this cabinet.ö The green button plays the tape, and the red button stops it if you want to linger along the way. The narration incorporates a musical score, and also employs the voices of actual Titanic survivors as well as actors speaking as some of the specific passengers and shipÆs officers. Most of the tape is in stereo, and it works very well.

Recovered items, including dinnerware, jewelry, shaving brushes, coins and personal letters, bring the incredible tragedy to life. But just as the re-creations of the palace rooms of the czars were the highlight of Treasures of Russia, the re-creations of TitanicÆs famous Grand Staircase, its first-class passageways and staterooms and card room, as well as a second-class bunk-style room, are what combine to put a face on the ship and its occupants.

If you visit the Titanic exhibit, one of your most dramatic moments will come when you enter a room dominated by a large block of ice intended to simulate the exposed surface of an iceberg, which you are encouraged to touch. ôNo one could survive longer than 10 minutes in the North Atlantic waters of that evening,ö the narrator intones, and suddenly the reality of collision, darkness and death is brought home to you.

Now for the big question: Is Titanic: The Exhibition worth attending?

Not necessarily. If you are a rabid fan or student of the Titanic story and have not previously attended any of the other Titanic exhibits touring around the world, or if you canÆt get enough of the film ôTitanicö and Celine DionÆs promise that the heart will go on, then by all means go see it. You will be happy you did, because it will add a little to your knowledge base.

My wife Rosalyn and I did get something out of this show, but we both agreed that we left it feeling a bit let down, in the way you might if you were hungry after eating a delicious gourmet dinner whose portions were too small.

More than 5,000 artifacts have been recovered from the Titanic wreck site, but only about 200 are on display at The Rio. In short, what is shown is presented very effectively, but there is simply not enough of it. In part this is understandable, because the recovered items are supporting many Titanic exhibits around the world. At first, the overall effect fools you, but then you begin to notice that each exhibit room throughout the presentation is furnished with just one or two display cases holding a small number of artifacts, along with a few wall hangings.

The Titanic exhibit is in residence indefinitely, which will allow the show to be changed from time to time as items from other Titanic exhibits are rotated. But this does little for Las Vegas visitors who are unlikely to see the display more than once.

Moving methodically through the Titanic exhibit, following the narrative and stopping the tape a few times to linger, took us only 50 minutes, making the attraction an attention-holder for adults and children alike. I mentioned above that the cost is $15.95, but we were able to reduce this to $12.95 with a discount coupon available at the registration desk. Cost for children under 14 is $9.95.

++++++++++

David Berman is a true Las Vegas aficionado, making numerous lengthy visits over the years. He and his wife are soon to retire and relocate from the east coast here to Las Vegas, looking forward to moving into a home they already have under construction. David can be reached at [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!


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Arthur Yeap from San Francisco wrote:

>To Frank in NJ:
>
>When I went to the Bellagio Buffet mid-March, the crab legs were still
>good.á They can also be found at the Paris Buffet much of the time.
>(They actually have a menu posted outside).á Overall, my experience
>with buffets has led me to a few opinions: Best Quality Carving Board:
>Mirage…Prime Rib better than 90% of restaurants.á Best Seafood
>Quality: Bellagio.á Best overall Buffet: Paris.á It has meat about 80%
>as good as the Mirage and seafood about 75% as good as the Bellagio.
>The Mirage shrimp may not be fresh at times while the Bellagio meat
>has always been tough and overcooked.á I will say that I have not been
>to the Rio Seafood Buffet.á The normal Rio Buffet that all the taxi
>drivers rave about has food quality below Sunset Station.á I’ll report
>back after this coming week when I get back from NAB (convention).

Helen Spillar wrote:

>Thank you for the tip you gave on the surf & turf special at the Hard
>Rock Cafe & Casino.á Just as you said it is not on the menu & you have
>to just ask or it.á I was going to order the steak that was $13.00 & I
>ended up getting the steak plus 3 delicious shrimp for $5.95.á It was
>very good & we would not have known about it if not for your news
>letter.á Thanks again.

Janice wrote:

>Ted, my husband and I visit Vegas usually in the spring or fall; this
>year we want to come at Thanksgiving(we’ll be arriving on the prior
>Mon.á and staying for 7 nights) and bringing my mom, who isn’t able to
>make her annual spring trek with her friends due to another
>commitment.á We have several questions that we hope you or your
>readers could answer.á 1.) Are most of the shows dark during
>Thanksgiving, 2.) Is there restaurants/buffets that will be serving
>the “traditional” holiday dinner, and 3.) Can someone tell me what
>Harrah’s rooms are like, specifically a suite, as we have never stayed
>there before (die hard Golden Nugget fans), but have an offer we can’t
>refuse (free), so we are debating splitting the days between the strip
>and downtown.á Any help we can get is appreciated.á As I am sure you
>hear from others, we love your newsletter as it keeps us in touch when
>we can’t be in our favorite town with the ever changing scenes.
>Thanks for taking the time to keep us out of towners informed!!
>
>Janice

Thanksgiving weekend is second only to New Years Eve and ranks right up there with Memorial Day and Labor day as far as tourist traffic here in town. The shows will all be in full swing (although you should always check with each show to see what night they are dark each week). Just about every restaurant in every casino serves some type of Thanksgiving meal. In fact, it’s often a set menu with 2 or 3 holiday choices (besides the normal menu items). The Harrah’s rooms I have seen are pretty nice for the money. When you get back, let us know how they compare to the rooms at The Golden Nugget.

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] 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 – “Would you plan an additional trip to Las Vegas each year to watch spring training games?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published nest week!

Results from last poll: “Are you planning a Las Vegas visit despite the high fuel prices?”

I was looking into coming, but gas / airfare is just too much. 2%
I’m still coming but putting off the trip until prices come down. 7%
I’m a regular visitor, but may cut out a trip or two this year if they stay high. 10%
Are you kidding? Getting there is the cheap part. Nothing could keep me away! 81%

FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent 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.

PHOTOS – Black and white glossy press photos of Trisha Yearwood, Johnny Mathis, Jeff Foxworthy, Kenny Rodgers, and Jessica Andrews. 20’th entry to (contest closed) wins.

$5,000 – Nevada Vacation Package. Enter at http://contest.2000nevada.com

HARD ROCK – One lucky winner and a guest a 3 day, 2 night room stay with $100 gift certificate to AJ’s Steak House. Plus, spa passes for two and cabana rental by the Hard Rock’s pool. Enter at http://promotion.lasvegas.citysearch.com_mike.html

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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.accessvegas.com You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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

New to the list? Back issues 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,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

You may subscribe to this newsletter by going to:
http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com or sending a blank email to below

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
April 12, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 5, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities: http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours

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: Coco Palms “All You Can Eatery”

Curious about a restaurant, event, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at: [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


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:BINION TRIAL VIDEO – We are following this closely with updated stories when they become available at http://www.accessvegas.com If you don’t have Court TV in your area and want to catch the proceedings as they happen, KLAS TV is streaming video of the trial online at http://www.klastv.com/spectre-pub/1-0/home.htm

SPRING TRAINING – Las Vegas continues to attempt to lure a number of Major League Baseball teams to move their spring training here. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-28-Tue-2000/sports/13258285.html Our online poll this week: “Would you plan an additional trip to Las Vegas each year to watch spring training games”? Vote at http://www.accessvegas.com

“NEW” SHOWS – 3 shows or performers which were absent for a little while are back! DANNY GANS has just started his run at The Mirage in a theatre specifically built for him. A recent story on the man and his past is detailed at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-31-Fri-2000/weekly/13257371.html THE RAT PACK has moved from the Desert Inn to The Sahara – story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-31-Fri-2000/weekly/13207378.html WAYNE NEWTON is a month into his long-term run at The Stardust. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-17-Fri-2000/weekly/13164070.html Tickets for WAYNE or THE RAT PACK can be reserved online at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?cscheme=5&amid=143

BELLAGIO CONSERVATORY – If you have been to town since the opening of Bellagio and have yet to see the conservatory, shame on you! I’m not even a flower fan but this is not to be missed. Great story and photos at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-02-Sun-2000/lifestyles/13217313.html

ART BELL – A big tip of the hat to the infamous late night talk show host upon his pending retirement. He took a late night shift at Las Vegas radio station KDWN and turned it into a nightly “strange-fest” on over 400 stations nationwide, broadcasting from Pahrump (60 miles west of town).

Fans of his might be interested in reading David Thompson’s IN NEVADA: The Land, the People, God and Chance. Besides talking about the crazies and conjecture surrounding Area 51, he details exploits of Howard Hughes, Bugsey Siegel, Hoover Dam, and more. 30% discount available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0679454861/invegascom

SPEEDWAY CASINO – We found this new local’s casino to be a little bit of a letdown. Although nice and new with high ceilings and a racing theme, there wasn’t much in the way of memorabilia. They have the traditional Las Vegas food specials like 99 cent shrimp cocktail, $4.99 rib dinner and $5.99 16 oz. t-bone steak. The bar and grill area does feature a 10 foot TV screen on which they show every NASCAR race. Race days feature food and drink specials, cash drawings, and prizes. The verdict? Don’t go out of your way. The NASCAR Cafe (at the Sahara) and Race Rock (downtown) are much better. The Speedway Casino is located 5 minutes north of downtown at I-15 and Cheyenne.

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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?cscheme=5&amid=143

THE SUPREMES – will be ending their reunion tour here in Las Vegas. Tickets are not yet on sale but you can read more at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Apr-05-Wed-2000/news/13296466.html

BOULDER STATION – BLUE OYSTER CULT on April 15’th, DIAMOND RIO on April 28’th, and TRACE ADKINS on May 5. Tickets at (800) 464-2468 and Boulder Station discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Boulder Station link).

HARD ROCK – THE CURE on May 27. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Hard Rock link).

MANDALAY BAY – LIT on April 9, THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT on April 12, BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY on April 14, JOE SATRIANI on April 16, TYPE O NEGATIVE with COAL CHAMBER on April 18, LYNYRD SKYNYRD on April 25, CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVISITED on April 28, REO SPEEDWAGON, STYX and SURVIVOR on May 5, TOWER OF POWER on May 13, DAVID SANDBORN on MAY 19, BARRY MANILOW May 25 – May 28’th, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE on May 26, and RICKY MARTIN on July 22. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Mandalay Bay link).

MGM – BLINK 182 with BAD RELIGION on June 24. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and MGM discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (MGM link).

THE ORLEANS – RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS now through April 16. Tickets at (702) 365-7075 and Orleans discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Orleans link).

SUNSET STATION – DAVE MASON with LEON RUSSEL on April 22’nd, and 38 SPECIAL with EDGAR WINTER BAND on April 28’th. Tickets at (800) 464-2468 and Sunset Station discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Sunset Station link).

THE VENETIAN – ANDREW DICE CLAY on April 14’th and 15’th. Tickets available at (702) 414-2225 and Venetian discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Venetian link).


 


FEATURE STORY: Coco Palms “All You Can Eatery”When I moved to town, the Stardust buffet was called the Warehouse buffet. And it sure wasn’t (Mirage Resort Chairman) Steve Wynn’s warehouse they were getting their food from. While not one of the “Big 3” worst buffets (Circus Circus, Imperial Palace, and Holiday Inn Boardwalk), it wasn’t making anyone’s top 10.

My how times have changed! Now called the Coco Palms, the Stardust is the only buffet offering weekday champaign brunch 7 days a week. The food is fresh, service is attentive, and the champaign is free flowing. The music was a little loud for my tastes. (It usually is in buffets as they want to move you through and get you back to the gaming floor). The decor was reasonably subdued and pleasant for a Las Vegas buffet.

They full salad and pasta bar has something for everyone. Penne pasta with broccoli, egg flower or chicken noodle soup, sliced melons, strawberries and whip cream, shrimp, yogurt and more. Oh yes, and salad!

Breakfast lovers can grab a made-to-order omelet or the standard eggs, hash browns, and Portuguese sausage fare. Lunch specialties like Italian beef stew, baked catfish with peanut and bacon butter, pork chops ala orange, rotisserie chicken and chicken tetrazinni will suit the tastes of those having their second meal of the day. Asian selections like sweet and sour chicken, pepper steak, moo goo gal pan, and pork chow mien were also available.

If you have a sweet tooth, you won’t be left out! The dessert bar is quite the spread, containing an excellent selection of donuts, fresh cinnamon rolls and other assorted pastries as well as the standard ice cream. Hot and cold puddings were also available.

The Coco Palms brunch buffet is open from 7 AM to 3 PM every single day. At $9.50 it’s a pretty good value, and compares very favorably with with other weekend brunches in a similar price range. While not worth going way out of your way for, but if you are staying in that part of the Strip this beats the out of the buffets at Circus Circus, The Riviera, and The Sahara by a significant margin.


 


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:Frank in NJ wrote:

>I love your newsletter.á But you need a proofreader.á I will proofread
>it for free if you email it to me ahead of time.

This is still very much a hobby for me, and I often have limited time to do it, which means barely getting it out late Thursday night after finding the latest info to include (which precludes the time needed by an outside proofreader) but thanks for the offer. I do print it out and proof it but I miss things and I do appreciate everyone’s patience at the couple of typos that seem to get by me every week.

I want to take a minute and thank everyone who is patronizing our sponsors! I’m seeing bookings for hotels and rental cars not just for Las Vegas but for all over the place, and a truckload of people have signed up to get paid to listen to internet radio. Let me tell you, with 200+ stations, that one is a no brainer!

The best part is that the newsletter is really gaining in subscribers and generating notice, which is why we can start reviewing higher end restaurants like Delmonico and shows like EFX in the very near future. I’m almost to the one year anniversary. I had no idea if anyone would subscribe or care, and I want to thank you all!

>Great work on the newsletter and many thanks for the reviews!á It is
>the only newsletter I subscribe to for Vegas highlights.
>
>Just about two weeks ago, I took a trip to Vegas to throw a birthday
>party for my mother.á She grew up near the ocean and absolutely loves
>seafood.á I was really excited about showing her a good time and
>letting her try the best Vegas has to offer.á However, I gotta confess
>that my selection, Piero’s, did not really hit the spot for her.
>Don’t get me wrong, the restaurant and staff were top notch.á I had
>the great porterhouse steak.á But I noticed that my mother was not
>truly enthusiastic about her dish.á So, please help me here!á She
>loves seafood and her absolute favorite is Alaskan King crab.á We used
>to go to the Bellagio seafood buffet but heard it has gone down in
>quality.á Now, we go to Makino’s which is decent but not great.
>
>What place in Vegas has the best seafood, especially Alaskan King
>crab, in Vegas?!

O.K. — I enjoy seafood but I’m crab legs expert. I’ve always enjoyed Bellagio Buffet (reviewed at http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com/99-12-15.htm ) and can’t say I’ve noticed a decline in quality, but we all look for different things. Readers, help us out: where do you like the crab legs? Send to [email protected]

Robin Skeen wrote:

>Just got back from a stay at the Trop.á It’s pretty decent, clean
>rooms, good service.á I would stay there again.á If you get the
>chance, go see the Folies.á I was totally awed and will see this show
>for sure on the next trip.á It was very classy, fun and entertaining.
>
>I took your advice and stayed away from the buffet at the Trop.á I
>would recommend the buffet at the Monte Carlo for breakfast.á Best
>food I’ve had anywhere.á The eggs are so fresh, it’s as if they just
>cooked them and handed them to you that moment.á Great service, but
>get there early because the lines are out the door after 9:00 a.m.
>
>We rented a car for the first time and we had a ball.á Once you learn
>to drive like a native (nuts!) it’s easy.á I would recommend it as we
>got to see a lot more of The Strip and went to Hoover Dam.

Most people that rent cars are very happy they did, even if they don’t go see Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, etc. Cab fare ads up quick and the bus and trolley takes forever. You can see and do so much more and the freedom is unmatched. We are pleased to offer discount car rental at http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005

Elaine from New Jersey wrote:

>Just returned from 10 days in Vegas.á Five at the Venetian and 5 at
>the Riviera to participate in the National Open Chess Tournament.
>Venetian was big and beautiful, but can’t help feeling at home in the
>small but homey Riviera.á Could it be that my husband and I were
>married there awhile back?á Great Italian restaurant is Batista’s Hole
>In The Wall which is a couple of blocks behind Bally’s.

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] 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 – “Would you plan an additional trip to Las Vegas each year to watch spring training games?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in two weeks!Results from last poll: “Are you planning a Las Vegas visit despite the high fuel prices?”

I was looking into coming, but gas / airfare is just too much. 2%
I’m still coming but putting off the trip until prices come down. 7%
I’m a regular visitor, but may cut out a trip or two this year if they stay high. 10%
Are you kidding? Getting there is the cheap part. Nothing could keep me away! 81%

FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent 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.

The Frontier is giving away:

FREE Margarita
FREE Margarita Glass
300 Bonus Points in the Slot Club
$5 Match Play on Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow and Big Six Wheel
50ó Draft Beer
Savings at the Tin Cup (featuring Starbucks Coffee)
And moreà..

Entry info at http://www.frontierlv.com/reward.html

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

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.accessvegas.com You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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

New to the list? Back issues 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,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

You may subscribe to this newsletter by going to:
http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com or sending a blank email to below

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
April 5, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 29, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities: http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours

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: Folies Bergere

Curious about a restaurant, event, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at: [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


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:HARD ROCK – continues to have their surf and turf special at Mr. Lucky’s (coffee shop). It’s not on the menu, so ask for it. Steak and shrimp, your choice of potato (try the garlic mashed — they are incredible), and salad for $5.95. They also have an internet access terminal by the gift shop. It’s 35 cents a minute, $3 minimum. You can surf, do newsgroups, long onto AOL as a guest, or do word processing. Printing is 50 cents a page.

LEGEND AIRLINES – is starting their nonstop service from Dallas Love Field to Las Vegas (with connections from Washington, D.C.) next week. This all business class airline it promising to offer tourist class fares to an from Las Vegas. The only catch is that the return flight to Dallas is a red-eye. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-30-Thu-2000/business/13265318.html and Legend Air site at http://www.legendairlines.com

GRAND CANYON RAILWAY – You can now combine a visit to the Grand Canyon with a ride on this historic railway. Two packages are available that include transfers from your hotel as well as airfare over to the canyon, railway, and return. Full story at http://www.bestfares.com/travel_center/desks/public/200003/10068604L.asp In a related story, next year a tourist train should be running from Boulder City halfway to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, there are no plans to run a train all the way from the Strip to Hoover Dam. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-30-Thu-2000/news/13273831.html

SPORTS BETTING – is under fire again. Congress is holding hearings with the serious intent of banning all betting on college sports nationwide. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-30-Thu-2000/news/13274791.html If you enjoy the freedom to come here and bet sports in a controlled, regulated atmosphere where you are guaranteed to get a fair deal, consider faxing or emailing your representatives. You can get the information at http://www.visi.com/juan/congress

BINION MURDER TRIAL – The Nevada “Trial of the Century” is underway and we are keeping http://www.accessvegas.com updated daily with the latest stories.

CLINTON TO OPEN STRIP CLUB – President Clinton, vacating the White House at year’s end, announced plans this week to build a combination strip club, lounge and McDonald’s in downtown Las Vegas. Clinton, who unveiled his project at a Las Vegas City Council meeting, said he intends to perform regularly in the lounge, playing saxophone in a revue starring David Cassidy. Full story at http://www.lvcitylife.com/News/stories/00033004n.html

WINNER! – Jackie Bovee-Petruska is the winner of the Las Vegas t-shirt.

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

Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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?cscheme=5&amid=143

AT THE COPA – the new David Cassidy / Sheena Easton show was reviewed in Las Vegas Weekly at http://www.scopemag.com/departments/03_30_00/stage.html

THE BOSS – SPRINGSTEEN is doing his first every Las Vegas concert Memorial Day weekend on May 27. Tickets on sale this Saturday at 10 AM. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and MGM discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (MGM link).

HARD ROCK HOTEL – JOHN LEE HOOKER on April 8, OASIS on April 11, TRACY CHAPMAN on April 16, BUSH on May 4, and ROBIN TROWER on May 26. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Hard Rock link).

MANDALAY BAY – DIO on April 1, PETER MURPHY on April 2, DR. JOHN on April 6, SEBASTIAN BACH on April 8, LIT on April 9, THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT on April 12, BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY on April 14, JOE SATRIANI on April 16, TYPE O NEGATIVE with COAL CHAMBER on April 18, LYNYRD SKYNYRD on April 25, CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVISITED on April 28, TOWER OF POWER on May 13, and RICKY MARTIN on July 22. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Mandalay Bay link).

LAS VEGAS HILTON – TIM CONWAY and HARVEY KORMAN in their “Together Again” tour April 7 and 8, KENNY RODGERS on April 14 and 15, JEFF FOXWORTHY on April 28-30, TRISHA YEARWOOD on May 5 and 6, JOHNNY MATHIS on May 12 and 13, and WYNONNA on May 19-21. Tickets are available at (800) 222-5361 and Las Vegas Hilton discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Las Vegas Hilton link).


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!


FEATURE STORY: Folies Bergere”The Entertainment Capitol of the World”. You’ve heard it time and time again. And were else will you find two German guys with rare tigers, multiple clubs with the comedy greats, 3 of the world’s best impressionists, and award-winning magicians all performing at the same time within blocks of each other?

And yet, when you think of Las Vegas entertainment, what do you think of? Lasers and tigers? No. You think of showgirls. They are in our movies, commercials, and surround the winners here whether it be a golf tournament, NASCAR race, or big jackpot winner. Tucked down near the end of the Strip in the Tropicana, Folies Bergere has been presenting some of the best before James Bond or Elvis became synonymous with Las Vegas.

Recently revamped, Folies is in it’s 40’th year and was a lot of fun and a true celebration of the showgirls and dance throughout the ages with a stunning display of fantasy and light. Opening scenes highlighted the entire cast in song and dance, and gave us our first look at some of the elaborate costuming and feathered head dresses (and if you looked closely, bits of real feathers flying around in the air as the ladies ran through their energetic steps).

We were taken back to the 1860’s and the days of debutantes and ballrooms, complete with falling winter snow. Three numbers showcased romantic, well choreographed ballet dressing the women in period attire and the men in black capes. Then is was on to 1900 and the stage became Paris in a dance number featuring some very athletic and acrobatic moves by the men as well as some playful dancing among partners.

Following was the French Riviera of 1925 set to “By the Sea”, Hollywood Glamour of the 1930’s in a number where you could feel the well-crafted romance, and Cool Jazz of 1950 complete with a period car and giant lit jukeboxes. The dancers of both sexes displayed their athleticism time and time again, with stamina and flexibility that rivals gymnasts and figure skaters.

Of particular fun was the Striptease segment, and in the spirit of traditional striptease, this was just that — a tease. The women were in black bodysuits under black light wearing white gloves, stockings, and bikinis and appeared to “strip” off the white attire only to vanish into the blackness at the end.

One of the highlights of the show was the comedy team of Mario and Daniel. A little risquÚ (PG-13) without offending, they took the tired jokes about Las Vegas buffets and coupons and gave them new life as well as performing their more traditional material. These guys are hilarious — I’d pay to see them at a comedy club — and while they are contracted to Folies for the rest of the year, they are worth catching if you get a chance. Their website is at http://www.twofunnyguys.com and we understand they do take a break from Folies to tour with Kenny Rodgers as his opening act.

The final numbers were set to a combination of contemporary and original music. There wasn’t really a theme, but plenty of variety and energy. I didn’t look at my watch once throughout the entire 90 minute show.

Instead of ending with an “over the top number, the entire cast comes onstage while emcee and principal vocalist Jack Walker sings “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from the movie the Lion King. He has a great stage presence and terrific voice, but he’s mannerisms indicate that he’s seen Wayne Newton a few too many times! Not a crime in Las Vegas, though. People come to see Vegas — give them Vegas. The entire cast then joins in for another Lion King hit “Circle of Life” bringing the show to a warm close.

Folies Bergere performs twice nightly at 8 and 10:30 PM (dark Thursday). Ticket prices range from $41.95 to $56.95 depending on which show and if you select table or booth seating. As is Las Vegas tradition, the second show is slightly less expensive and contains some topless nudity. No one under 16 is admitted to either show. Reservations are recommended at (702) 739-222 and Tropicana discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Tropicana link).


 


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:Elizabeth Beech wrote:

>>Other than Ferraro’s on Flamingo, are there any non-hotel Italian
>>restaurants that can match or even come close to the overall quality
>>of Stefano’s at G.N.?á Please let us know!
>
>I visit Vegas 4-6 times per year and there is one restaurant I go to
>every time and it is called Pasta Mia located at 2585 E Flamingo Road.
>In fact, my sister and I plan when we are going to eat there prior to
>our even leaving for Vegas!
>
>Not only is the food fantastic, but the atmosphere is quiet, nice and
>very comfortable.á A great break from the noisy hotels.á The wait
>staff is personable and they take care of special requests without
>making a fuss about it.á (I am quite a “picky” eater so this is very
>important to me.)
>
>Now I am starting to feel the need to hop on that Highway 15 and head
>on over to Vegas.á I’ve got this sudden craving for Spinach Ravioli!

Joe D’Agnese wrote:

>A good Italian restaurant in Las Vegas is called Alta Villa. A wide
>variety of Italian food. The restaurant is on the strip inside the
>Flamingo Hilton. The food is great.

Bill wrote:

>Saw the question on income taxes as they apply to gambling.á You might
>not be interested in the expanded answer but thought I’d pass it
>along.á Folks receive either W-2Gs or 1099s, based on how the money
>was won, won’t bore you with those details.á The 1099s are commonly
>issued for prizes that did not have a wager involved (e.g.á free slot
>tournaments and free bingo tournaments).á Gambling losses cannot be
>used to offset prizes won that are reported on a 1099 because since
>there was no wager involved the prize won is technically not a
>gambling win.á Of course, taxpayers only get the offset W-2G winnings
>if they fill out a Schedule A of itemized deductions.á If the itemized
>deductions don’t do the taxpayer more good than the standard
>deduction, the taxpayer does not even get to take the offset.

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] 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 – “Are you planning a Las Vegas visit despite the high fuel prices?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next week!FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent 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.

FOLIES BERGERE PROGRAM – 20’th and 21’st entry at (contest closed)

WINE AND DINE 2000 – Wine related special section from the Las Vegas Review-Journal to the 20’th entry at (contest closed)

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

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.accessvegas.com You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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

New to the list? Back issues 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,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

You may subscribe to this newsletter by going to:
http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com or sending a blank email to below

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 29, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 22, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities: http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours

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: Winning At Video Poker

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



LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:BEST OF LAS VEGAS – The Review-Journal’s “Best of Las Vegas 2000” is out! This unscientific survey still proves to be pretty accurate year in and year out, with each category having a “popular vote” winner as well as an “editor’s choice”. You can read it online at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/bestoflv/

MARCH MADNESS – and the beginning of the spring break season make March a very “mad” time here in Las Vegas. The sports books are jammed from morning until late night and the clubs are jammed from late night until sunrise. (When do these people sleep)? We found a great story that gives you a feel for the situation at http://www7.mercurycenter.com/premium/sports/docs/gamble17.htm

SKYDIVING FOR CHICKENS – (this includes me) is available at Flyaway Indoor Skydiving. For $35 you can get in their wind tunnel and experience a 120 wind keep you afloat just as if you were falling out of a plane. Full story and photo at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-17-Fri-2000/weekly/13129167.html

THE HIGHWAY STATIONS – bill themselves as “The Stations you Listen to on the way to Las Vegas” from Southern California. They now have a website with Las Vegas information as well as live online feeds of their stations at http://www.thehighwaystations.com/main.html (One station is “lite” rock and the other is country). The fun thing about listening online is that they are very Las Vegas tourist oriented with constant info on Las Vegas events and activities.

YOU JUST KEEP COMING – and we aren’t complaining! McCarran Numbers are up – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-18-Sat-2000/business/13194602.html Laughlin numbers are up – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-18-Sat-2000/business/13192969.html For those interested in Laughlin information, we have a Laughlin page at http://www.accessvegas.com/laughlin-nevada-nv.htm

MGM GRAND ADVENTURES – No, that’s not the name of that plane the Lakers and rock bands fly on. The MGM theme park is scheduled to open daily for Spring Break from April 15 – April 30, 2000. HOURS: 11 am – 7 PM.
PRICES: $15 admission fee allows unlimited access to all rides and shows except SkyScreamer. After April 30, it’s open weekends only until June 10. We understand they have made a number of changes (possibly not all for the better) so we will get over there soon, take a peek, and let you know. In the meantime, those of you looking for something to do with the kids here might want to check out tour Circus Circus AdventureDome review at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-01-19.htm

STAR CANYON – The cowboy-themed restaurant in The Venetian was just reviewed at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-22-Wed-2000/lifestyles/13187669.html

WEATHER – You can sign up to have KVVU FOX 5 here in Las Vegas send the 5 day forecast to your email every single day. For Vegas “nuts” (or locals) only! http://www.enewsnotifier.com/wwwroot/kvvu/

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

Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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?cscheme=5&amid=143

MANDALAY BAY – RICKY MARTIN is returning to live la vida Las Vegas on July 22. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Mandalay Bay link).



FEATURE STORY: Winning At Video PokerVideo poker has often been thought of as a “local’s game”. (We are tired of pulling a slot handle and at least want to put a little thought into it). It also is one of the few beatable games in the casino, provided you find the proper machines. Proper machines? Yes — video poker is about the one game where they display how tight the machine is right there on it!

Every single video poker machine in the state has to deal the same way. They randomly deal one deck of cards. Yet, the different machines pay different amounts back for THE EXACT SAME HANDS! For example, some machines pay 9 for a flush, some 8, and some less. Believe it or not, many casinos will have games sitting right next to each other that have different pay tables. Since the deal is the same, it’s much smarter to play the machines giving a higher payback on those flushes and straights so you can win more and play longer!

Proper play is also important. If you had four to the royal and a king of another suit as the fifth card, obviously you would toss the extra king (and the 1-1 payback) and go for that royal, right? Well, there are other more minor decisions that over time will benefit you just as well. Proper play is a must to extend your bankroll until you hit that royal.

The other important thing: always use your slot club card. A machine might only pay back 99.5% (with proper play), but if you are getting .5% cash back and / or good slot club points you can spend on food and rooms, you are breaking even (or better in a few cases).

We have a full page of gambling information to help make you a smarter player at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-gambling-online.htm I’m also listing a couple of books here that you might look into. Trust me, the few bucks you spend on a book will more than be paid back by the bigger comps you earn from smarter play on your very next visit. You should see my library of gambling books, and they paid for themselves a LONG time ago! Plus, they make a good read for that long plane ride here:

“The Las Vegas Advisor Guide to Slot Clubs” helps explain the why’s and how’s to make sure you get your comps when playing slots and video poker, as well as which programs are more generous. You are the customer. Go where you get the best deal – http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0929712757/invegascom

“The Frugal Gambler” is Jean Scott’s guide to getting the best and most comps. You have seen her on CBS, The Discovery Channel, and other Las Vegas documentaries. She stays and eats for free in Las Vegas 100 nights a year all while not losing a dime – http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0929712404/invegascom

“Winning Strategies for Video Poker” is a great way to learn all the major games played anywhere and includes strategy tables to optimize your play. Even if you are playing on an Indian reservation or riverboat where you can’t find a “full payback” game, it’s a lot better to look for the machines that come close! http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0962376639/invegascom



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:Linda wrote:

>Dear Ted: Am planning a trip to LV in July and do plan on winning :).
>However, I would like information on claiming losses on income tax.á I
>have seen this information before and thought it might come in handy,
>just in case.á This time I will make a copy of it.á I would appreciate
>it if you could send this to me, or possibly include it once again in
>your newsletters.

That is a great question. Personally, I think that taxing gaming winnings is a crime because 99.9% of everyone loses more than they win. Having said that, you can write off gaming losses, but they don’t make it easy. Keep a diary with you. Write down where you played (down to what table or machine number if possible), how long you played, what you bought in for, and what you cashed out with. You can deduct the losses against the wins, but you can’t deduct any more than that — i.e. if you won $4,200 during the year and lost $4,600, you can’t “write off” the aggregate $400 loss. The IRS doesn’t make it easy, does it?

Dave Bagnik wrote:

>My wife and I come to Las Vegas 2-3 times a year and love to sample
>the local restaurants as well as those in the hotels.
>
>After hearing so much praise regarding The Venetian, we went there
>about 3 years ago.
>
>To say it was disappointing is a huge understatement.á The same goes
>for Battista’s last year.
>
>Other than Ferraro’s on Flamingo, are there any non-hotel Italian
>restaurants that can match or even come close to the overall quality
>of Stefano’s at G.N.?á Please let us know!

Note: The Venetian Italian restaurant he spoke of is near Palace Station at Sahara and Valley view and has no relation to the Venetian hotel. I’m not much of Italian food guy. Anyone out here want to help us out here? [email protected]

Dennis Ida from Hawaii wrote:

>I had a question about Las Vegas and I didn’t know who else to ask.
>When I arrive at McCarran, I usually take the Bell Trans shuttle to my
>hotel on the Strip.á It cost me about 4 or 5 bucks.á If I am traveling
>in a party of 3 people, is it cheaper to catch a cab?á How about a
>modest limousine?á Would it cost that much more?

The cab will cost about the same (you didn’t mention where you are staying), but you get to go straight to your hotel. I’d go for it. Other options: In the same area you catch the shuttles, there are actual limos that will take you (and a bunch of others) to your hotels for $4-5 a head. The catch? You ride with a number of strangers. It’s just that you are in a limo and not a shuttle bus. There are usually also limos parked in that area that you can hire for $35 (plus tip) for a private ride to any hotel on the Strip or downtown.

Porter wrote,

>I love Emeril Lagassi, and found out he has two restaurants in Las
>Vegas.á I will be there at the end of April, and would like to check
>out at least one of them.á His food on the show looks so great, how is
>the food at the restaurants?á And how expensive is it?á Thanks, Kristi

We will be reviewing Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian soon, but not in time for your trip. Everything I’ve heard about it is great, but consider $100 a person as your minimum if you are going to enjoy a full meal and drinks.

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] 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 – “Are you planning a Las Vegas visit despite the high fuel prices?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in two weeks!Last poll results: “Do you prefer table games, slots, or both?”

Slots 48%
Table Games 33%
Both 19%

FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 10’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent 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.

LAS VEGAS T-SHIRT – 10’th entry at (contest closed)

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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.accessvegas.com You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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

New to the list? Back issues 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,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

You may subscribe to this newsletter by going to:
http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com or sending a blank email to below

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 22, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 15, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities: http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours

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: NASCAR Cafe and Cyber Speedway

Curious about a restaurant, event, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at: [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!


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

NEW ROLLER COASTER – The new Speed ride at the Sahara is going to use linear induction motors to speed you to 70 mph as you shoot through the Sahara sign, a loop, and a tunnel. That’s not enough? The midpoint of the ride is climbing a 222 foot vertical tower, after which you free fall backwards through the entire track once again. Picture and full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-04-Sat-2000/business/13039919.html This along with the NASCAR Cafe and Cyber Speedway (reviewed this issue) is helping put the Sahara back on the “must see” list for race fans and thrill seekers.

NEW CASINO – Station Casinos is slated to build a new $275 million dollar casino in the Green Valley area of Las Vegas. This casino is scheduled to have a 54,000 square foot casino with 2,000 slot machines and 40 table games along with the prerequisite restaurants, movie theatres, spa, and meeting space. Full story as well as proposed drawing at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-14-Tue-2000/business/13162541.html

YES, WE REALLY LIVE HERE – Having the regular contact I have with tourists, I hear my share of “How can you actually live here” questions. One of the more popular questions is “Where does everybody live?” (usually asked by someone who flew on over plenty of residential rooftops). Gaming does account for 25% of our work force, and these people are real people with real lives just like you and I.

Kit Miller’s book “Inside the Glitter: Lives of Casino Workers” is a stunning work of photography and interviews of casino workers from around the state. You can read separate reviews of it at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-22-Tue-2000/news/12975749.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-24-Thu-2000/lifestyles/12980677.html It is available from Amazon.Com at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0967648602/invegascom

4 DIAMONDS – The Las Vegas Hilton has won a AAA Four Diamond rating for the 24’th year on a row. Las Vegas now has more Four Diamond guest rooms than any other city in America with 17,205. Seen to the left accepting the award are Julius Kazen (Hilton, left) and Rick Ernst (AAA, right)

VEGAS MUSIC – Las Vegas is now the 40’th largest media market (Arbitron) in the country and the exploding population has brought a great diversity of local music talent to the city. http://www.lvlocalradio.com is an internet radio station playing local talent exclusively while sister site http://www.lvlocalmusicscene.com gives you information on just about every local band and artist. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-07-Tue-2000/lifestyles/13089267.html
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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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?cscheme=5&amid=143

COPA – You can read Mike Weatherford’s review of the new David Cassidy / Sheena Easton show at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-10-Fri-2000/weekly/13141151.html

LAS VEGAS HILTON – OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN March 31-April 1, TIM CONWAY and HARVEY KORMAN in their “Together Again” tour April 7 and 8, KENNY RODGERS on April 14 and 15, JEFF FOXWORTHY on April 28-30, TRISHA YEARWOOD on May 5 and 6, JOHNNY MATHIS on May 12 and 13, and WYNONNA on May 19-21. Tickets are available at (800) 222-5361 and Las Vegas Hilton discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Las Vegas Hilton link).

HARD ROCK HOTEL – OASIS with special guest TRAVIS on April 11. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and Hard Rock discount rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Hard Rock link).



 


FEATURE STORY: NASCAR Cafe and Cyber Speedway

The NASCAR Cafe opened race weekend, joining similar operations in Myrtle Beach, Nashville, Orlando, the Smoky Mountains. I took the opportunity to visit on the Monday after the race.

If driving, park in the Sahara’s lot in back of the hotel across Paradise Rd. A covered walkway directs you right into the Cyber Speedway area, and the parking lot is usually empty. Avoid the Sahara parking garage. It ranks right there with Paris and MGM on the “complicated parking garage” list.

The Sahara has had racing simulator Indy cars for quite some time now. In keeping with the new NASCAR theme, they have replaced most of the Indy cars with Winston Cup cars in the “Cyber Speedway” area. For $8, you get in a car with a 180 degree screen wrapped around you. The car tilts and moves as you drive around Las Vegas Motor Speedway, along with different sound effects. (The one you don’t want to hear is what it is like to bounce off the wall)! You are “racing” against up to 5 other people at a time. (Get in line at the “B” staging area, as staging area “A” only has 2 cars). I came in 2 out of 5. No credit to my driving skills, but more a credit to having played a few computer games and getting the feel for stuff like that pretty quickly.

The place was buzzing with fans who came into town for the race and decided to make an extended trip out of it. The new casino area adjacent to the Cafe features blackjack (including a number of $1 games), roulette, and a few slots. Next to it is the gift shop, featuring almost everything NASCAR. Just what Las Vegas needs — another place selling $20 t-shirts. The entire downstairs if filled with NASCAR photos and memorabilia, much like the Hard Rock is for rock music.

The restaurant is upstairs and overlooks the downstairs bar area. You are given a number if there is a wait. The only place you can see the numbers are on the corners of some of the TV monitors in the bar area. Drinks aren’t cheap — we took note of what people were paying: domestic bottles of beer at $3 and premium shots at $4.50. You can also order appetizers in the $7 range. The plus side? The bar has 9/6 jacks or better video poker (quarters and above) and you can use your slot club card. Buy a roll, get a free drink, and play “break even” video poker.

NOTE: This is a weird situation. The machines are multi-denomination machines that take (and dispense) nickels. So, you need to stick a $10 in as the bartender watches and ask for a comp drink. And the unwritten rule in Las Vegas is that you play full coins in if you are playing quarters or below and getting comped a drink. Coffee, bottled water, booze — it doesn’t matter. One more crazy thing — any payout above $5 is a hand pay. Otherwise these machines would run out of nickels in no time. Very irritating, to both players and the staff that was running around doing $10 hand pays.

The restaurant is loud and busy, but much of that may have had to do with it being new. It is the typical food selection you find at most theme restaurants. My steak was a great 9 oz. steak with a $16 price tag. Expect the tab for two including an appetizer, meals, and a couple drinks to be $40-50. Well worth it for a NASCAR fan. Otherwise, just go look around and take one of the cyber cars for a drive. You don’t have to like NASCAR to enjoy racing the cars or the $1 blackjack.

The NASCAR Cafe is located in the north end of the Sahara Hotel. The restaurant is open from 11 AM until 10 PM (closing time subject to change — they said that they are still getting a feel for demand) and the lounge is open until 2 AM. Sahara Hotel discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Sahara link).



 


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Debra Cook wrote:

>We just got back from Las Vegas after 4 days at the
>Desert Paradise Resort, a timeshare/condo facility on
>Decatur Rd. We usually visit LV 3 or 4 times a year
>and wanted a break this time from the usual hotels.
>What a great idea!!!!
>
>We reserved our unit online and I wasn’t sure of what
>the buildings were like. I e-mailed you and you said
>they were pretty nice. You were never wrong for a
>second.
>
>The unit was 1 bedroom, full kitchen, approximately 32
>inch stereo television in the nicely appointed living
>room, another set in the bedroom which had a king
>sized bed, a very nice bathroom, and all the
>dinnerware/glasses and utensils one would need. Of
>course, I did not cook while vacationing, but could
>have. They even threw in a washer/dryer (non coin
>operated) and an iron and board.
>
>Housekeeping came once a day to tidy up, and, it is a
>secure gated facility. Complementary breakfast is
>served each morning (although very early for Las Vegas
>vacation visitors – from 8 to 9am)in the main building.
>The facility has a fitness center, pool, spa. It’s
>just a few blocks by car to everything. If you don’t
>rent a car, they have shuttles to the strip. It is a
>non-gaming facility, but, with the rent a car, we did
>not mind.
>
>Since we were there for 4 days, we did not cram all of
>our usual stops into a limited number of hours. When
>we grew tired of walking and gawking, we went back to
>our unit and relaxed a bit in a very spacious
>environment. This was the best trip ever.

Glad to hear that you had a great trip! Booking info for the Desert Paradise is at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm#other (Desert Paradise link).

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] 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 – “Do you prefer table games, slots, or both?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next week!

FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 10’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent 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.

ANDRE-PHILIPPE – tickets for 2. Enter at http://promotion.lasvegas.citysearch.com/Star_canyon.html

FOLIES BERGERE – tickets for 2. Enter at http://promotion.lasvegas.citysearch.com/folies_bergere.html

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.accessvegas.com You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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

New to the list? Back issues 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,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

You may subscribe to this newsletter by going to:
http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com or sending a blank email to below

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 15, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 8, 2000

Welcome to Access Vegas News and Reviews! This is the newsletter that talks about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about. This is not spam. If you receive this by mistake, unsubscribe information is at the bottom. Please forward this to friends who may enjoy it, but only in it’s entirety.

This is the official newsletter of http://www.accessvegas.com Quality Las Vegas Tourist Information – Hotels, Casinos, Insider Tips, and more. If it’s about Las Vegas, it’s AccessVegas.Com!

Book Online and Save – Easy and Secure with Instant Confirmation:

* Discount Hotel Rooms – All Cities: http://www.lodging.com/affiliates/us_reservations.cgi?remote=tedinvegas
* Discount Rental Cars – All Cities: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours

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: Darren Romeo

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




LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

NASCAR – the big race last weekend was a victim to a rare rainy Las Vegas day, which was unfortunate for the 120,000-plus tourist who flocked to town to see it. Race fans may find the following stories from the Review-Journal of interest:

The Race – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-06-Mon-2000/sports/13105240.html
Photos – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-06-Mon-2000/photos/photos.html
Results – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-06-Mon-2000/sports/13105883.html

DANNY GANS – When Danny Gans started at the Rio a little about two years ago, he was somewhat unknown but word spread quick and up went the price. From $40 to $100 in a little more than a year. Gans was upset because the Rio had allegedly told him that price increases would be mutually agreed upon, as Gans wasn’t getting a dime of any raise. Gans bolted to The Mirage when his contract ended, and starts April 4’th. Full story at http://www.bergen.com/previews/cas03200003038.htm

MTV – will be shooting their “Total Request Live” show with host Carson Daily this Saturday at the Fremont St. Experience Saturday from 3:30- 5:00 PM. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-10-Fri-2000/news/13122166.html

WAYNE – Has anybody seen Wayne Newton’s show as it’s traveled around the country? What did you think? ( [email protected] )I’m putting it on my short list of things to review now that he’s signed the long term contract to play The Stardust. There was a pretty good story about him and the new situation at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-03-Fri-2000/news/13089738.html

KEY LARGO – hotel on Flamingo is a little too far from the Strip unless you are renting a car or don’t mind taking cabs or waiting for the bus, but according to the Review-Journal, they have installed a number of full pay video poker machines including 9/7 Jacks or Better, Kings or Better Joker’s Wild, Deuces Wild, and 10/7 Double Bonus. Plus, their club card returns .25 percent. Full story is at
http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Mar-03-Fri-2000/weekly/13065708.html That article is also a good read because it talk about the odds bet at craps — very helpful info for the novice craps player on why to take odds.

X-SPOT – The new club cranks up on Saturday night inside the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. It’s advertising itself as the “No attitude, no BS place to hang out, drink cheap beer, and listen to good music”. Advertised are $1.50 drafts and a DJ playing alternative music. Admission is free if listen to 107.5 FM to get the password. Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Mandalay Bay link).

STORIES – available right now on http://www.accessvegas.com : Eight killed in van rollover, Casino Magnate Wynn Weighs Options, Spokane’s America West service takes off, Las Vegas Posts 10.5% Increase in Visitors

WINNERS – Sandra Martin of Nebraska City, NE won the NASCAR race preview. Paul Gurzynski of Milwaukee, WI won the press photos. Debi Jackson of Kenosha, WI won the Star Trek coin.

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

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?cscheme=5&amid=143

BLUE MAN GROUP – You can check out an article about this quirky group whose show is running at the Luxor at http://www.scopemag.com/features/blue_man_cometh.html and Luxor discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Luxor link).

MANDALAY BAY – B.B. KING on March 15, FLOGGING MOLLY on March 17, THE YOUNG DUBLINERS on March 18, WARREN ZEVON on March 25, INCUBUS on March 29, DIO on April 1, PETER MURPHY on April 2, DR. JOHN on April 6, SEBASTIAN BACH on April 8, LIT on April 9, JOE SATRIANI on April 16, and LYNYRD SKYNYRD on April 25. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and Mandalay Bay discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Mandalay Bay link).

HARD ROCK – JARS OF CLAY with BURLAP TO CASHMERE and DAVID WILCOX March 23, MARGARET CHO on March 25, JOHN LEE HOOKER on April 8, and TRACY CHAPMAN on April 16. Tickets available at (702) 474-4000 and discount Hard rock rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Hard Rock link).

SUNSET STATION – BILLY RAY CYRUS on March 24, TAYLOR DAYNE on March 25. Tickets available at (702) 547-7970 and discount Sunset Station rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Sunset Station link).




FEATURE STORY: Darren Romeo

You want to go see a magic show. Your wife wants to be entertained by song. Your friend enjoys comedy. It’s early afternoon in Las Vegas, you are still stuffed from lunch buffet and getting creamed at the tables and slots. What do you do? Head on over to the Flamingo Hilton and catch 24 year old Darren Romeo’s show!

This guy can sing. In fact, he can sing so well that during his first number I could have sworn he was lip synching (pretending to sing to a taped background). In his “hello” to the audience, he assured us that all of his vocals would be absolutely live and then jumped right into the classic “Dream Lover” by namesake Bobby Darren as he put together a plexiglass box for his first trick. Not missing a beat (or a breath), he made his “dream lover” (assistant) appear from the clear empty box.

After another magic stunt themed to his vocal performance, he went on a string of singing comedy impressions of vocalists like Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ricky Martin, Elton John, Johnny Mathis, and Tom Jones. The actual impressions were passable, but the highlight was the comedy lyrics and stage moves such as Johnny Mathis crooning his dismay over not being able to attract the women like Tom Jones and Neil Diamand singing about his bald spot. He had everyone rolling in the aisles!

He brought up a female volunteer from the audience to do a touching poetry and musical act about losing a love — asking “have you ever been dumped?” in the middle of tender vocals which brought a laugh. His singing was the perfect accompaniment to a paper rose trick in which he molded a piece of paper into a rose and made it levitate before vanishing in a spectacular ball of fire. I can only imagine the concentration level needed to sing and perform magic together.

The magic was the garden variety that we have all unfortunately been overexposed to on numerous TV specials, but seeing magic in person still gives you that tingling “how did he do that” thrill. We don’t want to spill all the surprises, but he’s got a couple of first-class transformation and teleportation tricks up his sleeve.

He’s such an energetic, fun loving guy that it at times almost detracts from his magic. During a variation of the “pick a card, any card” trick, he was joking along so much that I forgot which pictures we were supposed to be remembering! Perhaps a little more magician’s seriousness would have been in order there, but you can’t be too harsh on a guy who genuinely appears to be having a great time. Despite his extensive resume in theatre and magic that belies his young age, he still comes across with a “pinch me — I can’t believe I’m hear” attitude.

The finale was a piece from Phantom of the Opera that once again showcased both his vocal and theatrical skills and revolved around the levitation of his sleeping assistant. It brought the show to an emotional crest and culminated with a stunning trick.

This show probably isn’t one for the “sports books and craps table” buddies. However, it’s a fun 70 minutes of entertainment for a couple. Also, ladies who are in town for “girls getaway” or who have heard their male companion yell “yo-eleven” for the yo-eleventh too many times at the craps table and need a break will appreciate the show. Besides his talent, Mr. Romeo looks like a slightly younger Ricky Martin and the group of ladies seated in front of me certainly seemed to be enjoying all aspects of the show. Me? I’m more of a yo-eleven kind of guy, but this show even won me over by the end.

Darren Romeo plays in the showroom at The Flamingo Hilton every day but Wednesday at 3:00 PM. Tickets are $14.95 and include one drink. Flamingo Hilton discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Flamingo Hilton link).




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

In response to last weeks letter about staying at The Trop and getting married in Las Vegas:

Zira Schiffer wrote:

>My husband and I were married at the Riviera two years ago.á When you
>get in line at the license bureau you’ll think it will take forever,
>but take heart, they are very efficient.á It was actually quite
>interesting watching the different couples there.á The Tropicana is
>definitely not one of the fancy hotels, but I’m sure they do a fine
>ceremony.á The buffet at Rio is very good, but expect to wait on line
>a long time.á Lots of luck.

Note: The regular buffet at the Rio has been going downhill (and up in price) and we no longer suggest it.

Peter from Santa Barbara, CA wrote:

>Diana, I was at the Tropicana two weeks ago and enjoyed it very much.
>The Pool grounds are spectacular and the room was very nice (Nice
>couch, cool bath Tub & mirrors over the bed).á there was only two
>things that I disliked, the Tropicana buffet and the most unpleasant
>”10 mile hike” to our room.á What ever you do not book the rooms in
>the back tower, unless you like a long, long walk.á FYI, they have a
>special $20 for $40 dollar slot area, even if you don’t win cash you
>still get a gift.á We did it for the Follies show, instead of paying
>40 bucks each for just the show, we got a chance to win cash and only
>spent 20 bucks each for the tickets.á Or you can choose two tickets to
>the Magic show among other things as your gift.

Cindy wrote:

>hi there….i am writing in regards to the woman that is getting
>married at the Tropicana in September…i now live in vegas and i also
>married at the little white chapel…my cake came from smith’s grocery
>store which cost $20, it was a round cake with red roses and
>doves…it was beautiful….i called the day before my wedding and
>picked it up myself…i also made my bouquet and the wedding party
>members r flowers by using a few dozen roses and ribbon from the
>grocery store…i spent around $30….i ran to Lee’s discount store
>and picked up 2 bottles of champagne at the cost of $20…cheap
>champagne is just as good in taste as expensive champagne…á and
>brought it with us to the chapel to have when we got out of the
>ceremony as well as to Battista’s whole in the wall behind barbarey
>coast, where we had our wedding dinner…their food is wonderful there
>as well as an enjoyable atmosphere….people were very friendly and
>great…we shared our wedding cake with several unknown guests in the
>restaurant….what ever you do, don’t eat at the buffet at the
>tropicana…it is truly horrible!á as far as wedding pictures, the
>little white chapel requests that no pictures can be taken inside the
>ceremony unless you use their photographers…so of course we had
>to…but my father in law also brought his camera and took several
>pictures after the ceremony and throughout the night…low and behold
>when comparing the differences of pictures when developed, my father
>in laws pictures came out absolutely beautiful which cost $4.95 to
>develop at walmart compared to the photographer’s from the little
>white chapel which cost $200….i ended up having duplicates and
>blow-up done on the $4.95 pictures and none from the little white
>chapel’s….by the way, i went to the hard rock cafe’s diner…its a
>24 hour place inside of the casino….i can’t remember the name of it
>maybe because i never want to go back there….oh my god….it was so
>gross….i couldn’t eat the food and my husband and i left without
>eating….the service was horrible also….i was served food with no
>utensils which took awhile to get a hold of….no offers of refills
>for coffee…and can you believe it…the place was empty…explain
>that one….for the woman getting married in vegas…as a site for her
>to always remember, make a special trip to the top of the stratosphere
>to see all of vegas….i’ve done it a dozen times and still am floored
>by its sight….thanks….cindy

Thanks for all the great advice! Tourist who don’t want to head out to one of the Lee’s Discount Liquor locations might want to hit the discount liquor store at The Gold Coast (the casino right next to The Rio). We have mixed opinions about Mr. Lucky’s, the coffee shop at the Hard Rock. Their $5.95 surf and turf special is great! It’s not on the menu, so ask for it. But, the service is usually lousy.

Sam Profio wrote:

>Ted, on the local (Cleveland) news last night I saw that the Scintas
>are going to be playing the Las Vegas Hilton for the next few months.
>The Scintas are a group from Buffalo that play many cities in NY, OH,
>MI, PA, New England, etc.á They have played on cruise ships as well
>but have never been able to break into Vegas until now.á This is a
>very entertaining group.á They do comedy, sing, and do great
>impersonations of other singers.
>
>The group mainly consists of an Italian family, two brothers and one
>sister.á The brothers sing impersonations from Billy Joel to Satchmo
>and you would swear its the real deal.á The sister has the power and
>range of Whitney Houston and sounds like her too.á Incredible.á The
>brothers are very funny and pick on their drummer who is not Italian,
>”the white boy”.
>
>I have seen them three times and they never disappoint.á I highly
>recommend to all of your readers that they check this out!

While time constraints prevent us from getting around to even half of the great events taking place, thanks for alerting our readers who will be staying or playing at the Las Vegas Hilton.

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ONLINE POLL – “Do you prefer table games, slots, or both?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in 2 weeks!

Results from last poll question “How much per night do you usually pay for a room in Las Vegas”?

Under $30áááá 9%
$30 – $50áááá 25%
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over $200áááá 1%
If I don’t get a comp, forget it 12%

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3 DAY, 2 NIGHTS AT LADY LUCK – http://www.ladyluck.com/win_a_vaca.htm

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All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 8, 2000

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