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Access Vegas Insider Vibe – July 18, 2001

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(New expanded message board coming in one week.)

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THIS ISSUE: WB Stage 16 Restaurant

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

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

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

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LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING:

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

EVENT LISTINGS:

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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

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

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

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FEATURE STORIES: WB Stage 16 Restaurant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

M. Comer wrote:

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

Allen Waterman wrote:

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

Elizabeth wrote:

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

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

A O’Neal wrote:

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

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

Tony and Carol in Southampton, England wrote:

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

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

Carol Helmholz of Tucson, Arizona wrote:

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

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

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

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



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

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

FREE CONTEST:

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

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

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

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

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

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – July 4, 2001

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

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

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

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

THIS WEEK’S CITY ON SALE: Boston — rates starting at $99.95! Choose from Midtown Hotel, Swissotel, Days Hotel, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Radisson Cambridge and more. For details, click http://www.accessvegas.com/city-on-sale.htm

VEGAS SPECIAL: Las Vegas’ Excalibur from $75.95, Sun-Thurs., 6/25/01-7/26/01:
http://www.accessvegas.com/vegas-special.htm

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

(New expanded message board coming in three weeks.)

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THIS ISSUE: David Darkstone – Illusions and Beyond

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

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

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING:

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

EVENT LISTINGS:

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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

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

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

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FEATURE STORIES: David Darkstone – Illusions and Beyond

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

E.L. Mikel wrote:

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

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

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

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

John Krogh wrote:

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

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

Donna wrote:

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

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

Rodney & Kathy Baker wrote:

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

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

>Andrew Simpson of Glasgow UK wrote:

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

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

Allen wrote:

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

D.S. wrote:

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

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

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




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

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

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

FREE CONTEST:

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

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

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

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

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

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
July 4, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – June 20, 2001

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

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

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

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

THIS WEEK’S CITY ON SALE: Boston — rates starting at $99.95! Choose from Midtown Hotel, Swissotel, Days Hotel, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Radisson Cambridge and more. For details, click http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/hotdeals?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC

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

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

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THIS ISSUE: Sheena Easton

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

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




LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

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

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

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING:

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

EVENT LISTINGS:

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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

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

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

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FEATURE STORIES: Sheena Easton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sheena Easton – For Your Eyes Only Ticket Info

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EDITORS NOTE:

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Barbara wrote:

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

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

Colleen Kato wrote:

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

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

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

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

Allen Goenawein wrote:

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

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

Lysaa Rossi wrote:

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

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

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

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


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


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

FREE CONTEST:

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

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

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

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

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

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
June 20, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – June 13, 2001

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

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

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

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

THIS WEEK’S CITY ON SALE: Boston — rates starting at $99.95! Choose from Midtown Hotel, Swissotel, Days Hotel, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Radisson Cambridge and more. For details, click http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/hotdeals?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC

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

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

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THIS ISSUE: The Rat Pack Is Back


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


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

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

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

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

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

SHOWS, GOLF, DINING:

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

EVENT LISTINGS:

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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

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

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

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FEATURE STORIES: The Rat Pack Is Back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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EDITORS NOTE:

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Joyce Mitchell wrote:

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

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

Gloria Davis wrote:

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All contents copyright 2001 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
June 13, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

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