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Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 25, 2001

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Issue: Second City

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


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


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

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$25 HOTEL REBATE — you pick the hotel! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you $25 back on any 2+ night stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. (Full details and list of all eligible cities at http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm ). Claiming your cash is simple:

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

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


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


CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

SHOWS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?amid=3230&cscheme=1

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

DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.bookvegasdining.com/dvpricing.cfml?amid=143&cscheme=5

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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

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

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

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FEATURE STORY: Second City

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Second City Ticket Info




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Jack Hart wrote:

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

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

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

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

Tom Beaven of Garden City, Michigan wrote:

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

Mary from Texas wrote:

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 18, 2001

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

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

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

* Discount Hotel Rooms : http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Featured Travel Deals: http://www.accessvegas.com/traveldeals.htm

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

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

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

This Issue: Excalibur Tournament of Kings

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




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

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

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

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

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

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

SHOWS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?amid=3230&cscheme=1

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

DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.bookvegasdining.com/dvpricing.cfml?amid=143&cscheme=5

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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

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

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

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FEATURE STORY: Excalibur Tournament of Kings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Paul Gurzynski wrote:

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

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

M. Smithson wrote:

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

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

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

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




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

Evelyn wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – April 11, 2001

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

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

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

* Discount Hotel Rooms : http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Featured Travel Deals: http://www.accessvegas.com/traveldeals.htm

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

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

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

This Issue: Jimmy Hopper

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


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


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

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

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

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

SHOWS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?amid=3230&cscheme=1

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

DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.bookvegasdining.com/dvpricing.cfml?amid=143&cscheme=5

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

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

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

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

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

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

FEATURE STORY: Jimmy Hopper

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

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

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

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



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

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

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

Gloria wrote:

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

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

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

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

Allen Goenawein wrote:

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

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

Sue Entwistle from Wisconsin wrote:

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

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

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

Jim Swain of Luton, Beds, United Kingdom wrote:

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

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

Bob & Cindy Sobczak wrote:

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

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

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

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


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


FREE CONTEST:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 28, 2001

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

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

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

* Discount Hotel Rooms : http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm
* Discount Rental Cars: http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005
* Best Tours/Rates for Grand Canyon, Hoover, more: http://www.accessvegas.com/tours
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.htm
* Featured Travel Deals: http://www.accessvegas.com/traveldeals.htm

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

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

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

This Issue: Blue Man Group

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



EDITORS NOTE: You complained and we listened! Our tours page at http://www.accessvegas.com/tours was too confusing to use, making you click through three pages to book. Now, click on the booking link for a tour, enter your dates, and immediately see a list of all tours available for your dates with prices and availability posted.LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

THE PALMS – is the name of the new boutique hotel / casino going in across the street from The Rio. With a combination of trendy dance clubs and high end dining, they are looking to challenge The Hard Rock, The Rio, and Mandalay Bay as the “in” spot for the young, trendy crowd with deep pockets. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-08-Thu-2001/news/15588366.html

STORM – The delays in Mandalay Bay’s new show is attributed to additional building inspections following some design changes during the construction of the set as well as the production not being completely ready yet. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-20-Tue-2001/living/15666596.html

BETTING BAN – Your US Senators and Congressmen are working on legislation to outlaw all betting on college sports (something only legal in the state of Nevada). They are doing this at the urging of the NCAA, who are absolutely positive that once legal college sports betting is killed, all college sports betting will cease to exist.

If you enjoy betting college sports under the safe, controlled atmosphere that Nevada provides, drop your US legislators a quick note letting them know you oppose the federal government telling Nevada what they can offer wagering on. Story at http://news.excite.com/news/uw/010328/university-68 and you can find your representatives email addresses at http://www.webslingerz.com/jhoffman/congress-email.html

WE’VE GOT POWER – Regarding the possibility of The Strip going dark this summer, Mark Shank, Nevada Power Co.Æs director of regional transmission, said the difference between keeping the lights on here and California’s rolling blackouts comes down to paying the bills, something California has been struggling with for months. ôWe’ve already secured our contracts for this summer. We’re well prepared for the peak operating hours facing us in the coming months.ö Full story at http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?show=localnews&pnpID=779&NewsID=69202&on=0

How much juice does a casino use? The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinal had an interesting story on that at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/sfl-zvegas28mar28.story?coll=sfla%2Dbusiness%2Dheadlines

MORE CASINOS – A Las Vegas legislator has proposed a bill that would allow Strip-area time share projects to have casinos, but knowledgeable sources say the bill will likely face opposition from the gaming industry. The hotel/casinos will probably oppose it, not wanting any competition. It would allow places like The Jockey Club and Polo Towers (among others) on The Strip to offer gaming.

The customer usually wins with more casino opportunities. Some of the best blackjack rules and loosest slots in the US are in Nevada because of competition. Story at http://www.hotel-online.com/Neo/News/2001_Mar_22/k.LVT.985328040.html

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

1. Print out: http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm
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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
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CONCERTS AND SHOWS:CATCH A RISING STAR – The comedy club has debuted in Las Vegas at The Excalibur. This version of the popular comedy club promises to continue their tradition of bringing in nationally known comics and seasoned professionals. Shows are twice nightly at 7:30 PM and 10:00 PM and priced at $16.95. Guests must be 21.

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* De La Guarda (Rio) – http://www.channel2000.com/sh/travel/lasvegas/stories/travel-lasvegas-55891920010326-090339.html

SHOWS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?amid=3230&cscheme=1

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

DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at http://www.bookvegasdining.com/dvpricing.cfml?amid=143&cscheme=5

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* P.F. Chang’s (Aladdin) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-23-Fri-2001/weekly/15682076.html

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

Thursday – 82 ░F / 53 ░F Partly Cloudy
Friday – 85 ░F / 52 ░F Mostly Sunny
Saturday – 81 ░F / 48 ░F Mostly Sunny
Sunday – 79 ░F / 49 ░F Mostly Sunny
Monday – 84 ░F / 52 ░F Mostly Sunny

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FEATURE STORY: Blue Man Group

If you are at Luxor in the evening and see people walking around covered in (what looks like) toilet paper, don’t assume they lost a fight in the restroom. They were just at Blue Man Group. While I hate to give away too much about shows like this, the finale is each night is a celebration that must single-handedly keep a paper mill in business.

Blue Man Group is theater, but not the kind you might expect. After success in New York, Boston, and Chicago this troop pulled out all the stops for Las Vegas, where the Luxor gave them twice as many seats to fill.

What is Blue Man Group? Space aliens from Nevada’s notorious Area 51 “secret” military base? Were the sent here to study us or overwhelm us? Perhaps a little of both.

Blue Man Group consists of three men in skullcaps and cobalt blue face (and head) paint which stays wet, giving them an eerie “alive from the inside out” look. They never speak. They do act and react.

The show is artistic and colorful, but in a very abstract way. It opens with them beating on drums as they squirt neon colored water on the other’s drum in amazement at the colorful splash.

From there, a simple game of catch is played across the stage, with one of the members tossing colored food objects at the other two for them to catch with their mouths. One of them paints a pretty canvas using colored fluid projected from his mouth, while the other creates a “sculpture” from the foodstuff and finishes this act with what is insightful commentary on modern art.

This progresses to more entertainment with food, where Cap’n Crunch cereal is consumed and crunched to the beat of the heavily rhythmic music performed by a live band. Not any band, mind you, but one that performs dressed in bright neon outfits far above the stage. The multitude of colors that make up the cereal blend with in with the constant color themes we continue to be exposed to.

The food theme is retained for one more segment that is the most comedic of the show. Imagine how someone who has never seen a twinkie before would get it out of the wrapper, let alone eat it. They seem mystified with each other and what they are doing, but that only serves to set the audience up. We get lulled into a mellow, curious, slightly comedic mindset — then our senses are attacked full force.

Fortunately, they balance this assault with more musical segments that rely on a multitude of instruments which it appears they have created. These are adaptations of age-old percussion instruments except that they are made from PVC pipe. They have become quite adept at playing these, and in conjunction with the live band they produce some great electric music. So much so, that their debut CD (the soundtrack to the Vegas show) was nominated for a Grammy this past year.

There is more drumming, more neon, more interesting interaction with the audience, and more bizarreness (in a good way), but I’ve held back to not ruin the fun. This is not your typical “sit there and watch someone sing and tell jokes show,” but it isn’t as off-the-wall (no pun intended) as De La Guarda.

If you are mildly adventurous, have your finger on the basics of the pop culture of the past couple of decades, and don’t mind being visually and sonically assaulted to a degree, this is a show you will not only tell your friends about, but want to come back and see again. Like a good movie, I can only imagine all I missed the first time around.

It is an all-ages show, but much of it would be lost on preteens and while containing no language or vile acts, the show might overwhelm children. The Grammy nominated soundtrack is available at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000038A2S/invegascom Click on the Blue Man link to hear free samples — “Rods and Cones” is my personal favorite!

Blue Man Group Ticket Info



EDITORS NOTE: Not since the “Kids in Vegas” (should you bring them or not) has a topic generated as much controversy. While space doesn’t allow me to print every letter, the ones below are a representative sample regarding the strong feelings on this topic. Because of that, I’m leaving the “Smoking in Casinos” poll up an extra week at http://www.accessvegas.com On another note, a sampling of readers were kind enough to share what activities they do to maximize romance in Las Vegas.LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Regarding Smoking in Casinos:

Ida Koo of San Jose, California wrote:

> Unfortunately, one of the most annoying, disgusting and smelly parts
> of casinos prevents me from going more often. And that’s “smoking.”
>
> I voted in the poll for “smoking” in casinos. I voted for banning it
> entirely. And I also checked out the results so far. I see that
> requiring casinos to have Nonsmoking areas is up front for the time
> being.
>
> Requiring Casinos to have nonsmoking areas just doesn’t work.
> Casinos in Reno have tried this before. It means being confined to
> one tiny little area that is allotted for nonsmokers with very little
> variety and frankly, what is perceived as very little prospects of
> winning large jackpots. I like to move around and scope out a slot
> machine and then sit down and settle in. Nonsmoking areas would
> probably work for crap tables because they could have one in the midst
> of all the other tables. It helps but its not great. But there’s
> usually only one and its always packed.
>
> Thank you for giving me a place to go to voice my opinion.

Kim and Dave Paterson of Concord, Ohio wrote:

> Ted, A friend told us about your newsletter several months ago and
> since that time we have been receiving and enjoying your newsletters.
> Regarding the smoking in the casinos issue, as nonsmokers and Las
> Vegas visitors 2-3 times a year for the last twenty-five years, we
> have encountered many situations where smoking has disrupted our
> pleasure of enjoying our visit to certain casinos. We have noticed
> the emergence of nonsmoking areas in casinos but this is not a
> cure-all because it limits the full scope of a casino. We feel (our
> suggestion) is that casinos provide better ventilation systems so that
> smokers and nonsmokers can enjoy the same areas and not offend each
> other. Keep up the good work.

Olivia Wilkin of Dayton, OH wrote:

> Hi there! I really enjoy the newsletter.
>
> I just returned from my first visit to Las Vegas and I was THRILLED to
> find one place left in the US that actually values freedom. It was
> wonderful to be able to smoke in almost every area of the city. I was
> a little surprised to see the response to your poll; so many
> indicating that smoking should be banned. I spoke with several
> nonsmokers in Vegas who said that they were surprised that the smoking
> didn’t bother them; that the casinos were well ventilated. I will
> refrain from going into my usual three hour rant about the way that
> nonsmokers feel that they have rights and that smokers do not. I am
> actually considering moving to Vegas partly due to this freedom. I
> can see the higher end strip hotels creating more smoking policies,
> but I think that the smaller and downtown hotels will stay true to
> customers!
>
> Thank you!

Regarding Romance in Las Vegas:

Linda wrote:

> I would have to say it was room service. Their you are in the morning
> with a great meal delivered to you both practically in bed. We
> happened to enjoy the time at the Imperial Palace due to the fact we
> could open the door and look out over the balcony.

I recently read an article on an airplane magazine noting that women enjoy and are more likely to indulge in room service. I’m not singling out women, and when I am tired and don’t want the hassle I enjoy ordering room service myself. But men take note — your lady might appreciate the pampered privacy of a quiet meal with you in your room!

Maureen Cullen wrote:

> For cocktails, the best romantic spot I’ve been to is The Peppermill,
> on the strip toward downtown. Though it’s pretty well-known, it never
> seems to be that crowded, and the tourist masses don’t seem to know
> about it. The lounge is very quiet, dimly lit, with really cool,
> kitschy “rat pack” era design, cocktail waitresses in evening gowns,
> and fireplaces. There’s a restaurant adjacent, with great food, huge
> portions, cheap prices, but it’s not quite as romantic as the lounge.
>
> Looking forward to others’ responses too!

Peppermill is across from Stardust (just up the street a couple hundred yards). It is indeed a special spot that is usually frequented by locals even though it has a Strip location.

Down toward the other end of the Strip, Polo Towers (behind and just down from the Harley Cafe) has a 19’th floor lounge open to the public with a great view after dark (otherwise the sun blinds the view). Not quite the atmosphere or Peppermill, but the view makes up for it. It is truly a local’s secret, as the lounge is rarely crowded. Free and worth checking out. Just head through the strip mall in front of the resort, head in, grab an elevator, and punch the top floor button.

Sam Profio wrote:

> I have a few suggestions some of which could be combined:
>
> 1. Dinner on the balcony at Olives in the Bellagio. Make reservation
> for after dark. You will have an incredible view and sound of their
> spectacular fountains. Since there are something like 6 to 8
> different consecutive fountain shows, you enjoy the fountains during
> your entire meal.
>
> Making reservations is a little tricky when I did it last May. They
> only take them beginning at 5:00 PM and then only in person. You must
> go to the hostess stand at 5:00 PM and get in line. It was not a long
> wait and we got our reservation for that evening.
>
> 2. Go to the Stratosphere tower just before dusk. Watch the sunset
> over the desert & mountains. Stunning. And then watch the strip
> lights come alive, as it gets darker. While you are there anyway, you
> could also make a reservation for dinner just after dusk one deck
> lower in the Stratosphere’s revolving restaurant. Great view all
> night. Turns slow. You won’t get sick.
>
> 3. Later, you might want to
> have an after dinner drink at Rio’s Voodoo Lounge outside on their
> patio. It is 52 floors up and also has a very impressive but totally
> different view of the South end of the strip. Their restaurant on the
> 51st floor is also very good and also has an outdoor patio with
> basically the same great view.
>
> 4. There’s always the Gondola ride at
> the Venetian before dinner to get things rolling. Make a reservation!
>
> 5. Women love to shop. Take her through the canal shops at the
> Venetian prior to the Gondola ride. Buy her some jewelry. She can
> admire it and you while you cuddle together in the boat.
>
> Enjoy!

It sounds like Sam has a happy lady, and I will “second” everything he just said.

Edward N. Brothers wrote:

> My girlfriend at the time (now my fiance) and went to Emeril Lagasse’s
> at the Venetian, and had the best meal of our lives. We had a waiter
> named Troy who was knowledgeable and helpful without being arrogant.
> It really was the perfect evening.

I reviewed Delmonico at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-06-21.htm and agree wholeheartedly. To sum this all up, I think it’s tough NOT to have a romantic time in Las Vegas with so many fun things to do, elegant restaurants, and various vistas.

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


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 smoking in casinos? Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next issue!* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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

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

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

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 28, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

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