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Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 21, 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
* Featured Travel Deals: http://www.accessvegas.com/traveldeals.htm
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.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: Imperial Palace

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: mailto:[email protected]



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EDITORS NOTE: I’m doing some traveling this week, so I’m happy to present a guest review submitted by readers Russell and Gail Howard. Next week, the long awaited review of Blue Man Group. After that, WB Stage 16 Restaurant (if they ever get me their press kit — I like the place) and Excalibur Tournament of Kings. As always noted at the end of the “Letter’s To The Editor” section, guest reviews are gladly considered.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

V-BAR – at The Venetian continues to be a “best kept secret” hot spot, although it won’t be a secret for long. I am often asked where to go to spot celebrities, and with all of the upscale hotels and activities in town, I’d generally say “don’t waste your vacation time searching.” However, the V-Bar has probably become your best bet. Their staff notes recent visits by Julio Iglesias Jr., Charles Barkley, A.J. of the Backstreet Boys, and various actors in the past couple of months.

V-Bar is open from 4 PM to 4 AM daily. It is a somewhat intimate, upscale bar. The action doesn’t pick up until later in the evening, and a relaxed dress code is enforced (look nice). Even if you aren’t celeb hunting, it is a nice spot to take a date or just relax away from the tables for a while.

STORM – The delays in Mandalay Bay’s new show Storm is attributed to additional building inspections following some design changes during the construction of the set. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-20-Tue-2001/living/15666596.html In the wake of the 1980 fire at Bally’s (then called the MGM Grand, not to be confused with the huge green hotel now at Trop and The Strip), not only are building standards tighter but inspections are very comprehensive. Similar inspections delayed the openings of both The Venetian and The Aladdin.

BON JOVI WEDDING – Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea are going to renew their vows in Las Vegas at the same wedding chapel they married at 11 years ago. This time, they are turning it into a promotion with 75 couples in tow who won various radio station and other contests taking the plunge for the first time. The wedding will take place at the Graceland Wedding Chapel after Bon Jovi’s April 21 concert here. Full story at http://www.canoe.ca/JamMusic/mar21_bon-ap.html

LANCE BURTON’S – new special “Master Magician On The Road” airs March 31, 2001 on the Fox Family Channel. Check local listings for channel and time.

OSCAR ODDS – The “Vegas Line” on the Academy Award winners is up. You can’t actually bet on them, because Nevada law prohibits betting one anything where the outcome is known but they make a fun read at http://www.nypost.com/03222001/entertainment/27069.htm

CONVENTIONS – Chicago has long been the convention capital of the world, but Las Vegas and Orlando are after their business. The Las Vegas Convention Center is almost finished with construction that will double its size and both cities are touting themselves to convention planners as warm weather, resort alternatives to Chicago’s cold winters. Story at http://www.suntimes.com/output/business/conv16.html

CULT VEGAS – is the new book by Review-Journal entertainment writer Mike Weatherford. It combines his odd fascination with both Las Vegas and American pop culture. It includes both the standard icons like Sinatra and Elvis and the more offbeat and unusual. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-18-Sun-2001/living/15631075.html and the book is available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0929712714/invegascom

SMOKING – Nevada has the highest death rate from smoking-related diseases in the country and some of the weakest tobacco laws in the United States, allowing smoking just about everywhere except public elevators and school buses. Hearings are underway to tighten those laws on a statewide level, but many are wary of the harsh restrictions of neighboring California, where smoking is even prohibited in bars. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-14-Wed-2001/news/15637012.html In relation to that, this week’s poll at http://www.accessvegas.com asks you “How do you feel about smoking in casinos”?

NO GRIZZLIES – As conjectured here a couple weeks ago, Las Vegas’ bid to land the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies was stymied because we refuse to give up legal sports betting. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-16-Fri-2001/sports/15657023.html

OFFICIAL? – You may have seen these “official” Las Vegas tourist info centers along the Strip, but many are just fronts for time-share pitches that prey on people overwhelmed with wondering what to do or see. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-13-Tue-2001/living/15593603.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
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!



á
 


CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Legends of Comedy (Frontier) – http://excursia.bestreadguide.com/lasvegas/stories/20010226/sho_comedylegends.shtml

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

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

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

Friday – 84 ░F / 58 ░F Partly Cloudy
Saturday – 85 ░F / 54 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 85 ░F / 52 ░F Partly Cloudy
Monday – 86 ░F / 51 ░F Mostly Sunny
Tuesday – 84 ░F / 51 ░F Partly Cloudy

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

FEATURE STORY: Imperial Palace

by Russell and Gail Howard

We just returned from our third Vegas trip in three years, in fact our
second since last July, and were once again very, very pleased by the
Imperial Palace.

I know that opinions range widely on this older denizen of The Strip,
but our experiences have been quite fine there. Let me break down
why:

First, the rooms themselves. We have stayed in the standard rooms
(nothing to complain about at all, and a killer price), as well as the
mini-suite (“luv tub” rooms), which are oversized rooms with ENORMOUS
bathtubs, mirror canopy beds, balconies, and what feels like a lot of
extra room, also a great price at about 60 bucks a night. Our room is
mostly our headquarters for crashing when we’re in Vegas, and these
work great.

Second, the Casino. My wife is a slot player, and has done well. I
am a video poker player, and I vastly prefer 9/6 machines, which are
getting harder and harder to find for under a buck, but IP comes
through with several quarter machines. I can play for a long, long
time for ten bucks on a 9/6 quarter machine!

Third, one need not be a “high roller,” which I clearly am not, in
order to feel welcome / well treated at IP. For example, I perceive
that I get as many free cherry cokes (the teetotaler thing, again)
when I’m playing nickel video poker as I do when I decide to go hog
wild (for me) and play dollar video poker.

Fourth, the staff. I get to know a lot of the change booth folks and
the waitresses. Never, once, in three stays at IP have I had anything
less than a great experience with an employee. They actually seem to
enjoy what they are doing. I don’t know how you train folks for
friendliness, but something is working here. I seek to be polite, of
course, and try to tip enough that I am acknowledging people’s
efforts, though not exorbitantly, but I have found the team to be
first rate.

Fifth, the show. The most significant show at IP, in the winter when
the Luau thing is not happening, is “Legends in Concert,” which we
caught for the first time this past Wednesday night. I really don’t
like maitre’d seating, preferring reserved theatre seats, so I viewed
the seating setup as a minus. However, the show itself, which varies
from time to time, included dead-on “tributes” to Tina Turner,
Madonna, Rod Stewart, The Temptations (easily the crowd’s favorite),
Liza Minnelli, and Elvis. All the musicians do their own singing. The
dancers were attractive and well choreographed. We really enjoyed
this show. We would repeat it, though we would repeat it all the more
enthusiastically if the seating were theatre-style.

Sixth, the location. Absolutely unbeatable. Within three blocks of
Venetian, Treasure Island, Mirage, Harrah’s, Caesar’s, Bally’s, Paris,
and Bellagio. All are easy walking distance, if you like to
casino-hop. And if you catch the tram from Bally’s, you’re at MGM
with Monte Carlo, New York New York, Excalibur, Luxor, and the
Tropicana all with easy walking distance. You will not top IP’s
location.

We are a married couple, upper thirties. On this trip, we took my Mom
and dad along, upper sixties. We plan to take some other relatives
out to LV this fall, and look forward to another fun stay at the
Imperial Palace. We have become loyalists.

We just returned from our third Vegas trip in three years, in fact our
second since last July, and were once again very, very pleased by the
Imperial Palace.

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

Russell and Gail Howard hail from Lexington, Kentucky and enjoy visiting Las Vegas on a regular basis. You can contact them at (click) mailto:[email protected] Legends In Concert is reviewed at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-11-01.htm and more info on the Imperial Palace is available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-strip-hotels.htm (Imperial Palace link).


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


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

David Humphrey wrote:

> My wife and I will be in Las Vegas at the end of March. I would like
> to get your opinion and the opinions of your readers of how they
> spent their most romantic evening in Las Vegas (i.e., what shows did
> they see, what restaurants did they go to, what night clubs did they
> visit, any special attractions ….)

I’ll skip my opinion for now because I don’t want to influence what you readers might say. Take a minute and jot down where you take that someone special here in Las Vegas and email it to (click) mailto:[email protected] (David: I don’t have your email address my laptop here. If you are headed to town before next week’s issue, email me again and I will forward the responses to you before publishing them).

Lynette from Palmyra, WI wrote:

> It is really unbelievable how un-objective the readers are in regards
> to your review of EFX. I liked Rick Springfield when I was younger too, but for
> cryin’ out loud, we all have a right to our own opinion. I thoroughly
> enjoy your newsletter and greatly appreciate your honesty, and
> furthermore, he is 20 years older now, so I’m sure your review is
> accurate. I wasn’t planning to go to EFX anyway, but I’m glad you
> saved me the time of even debating about it. We are coming to Vegas
> in July and are going to see BMG at the Luxor. We can’t wait; have
> you seen the show? How is it? I don’t recall seeing a review. Keep
> up the excellent work, this is very enjoyable reading. Love the
> reviews!!

Blue Man Group review is next week. I enjoyed it, but it is very stimulating to all the senses.

Bob and Barb wrote:

> I appreciate your review of the show (EFX Alive), since we already received
> tickets through the mail. Now I know exactly what to expect, and I
> can go into the show with the right attitude, and not be disappointed.
> P.S. I really enjoy your website, and the Rick Springfield fans —-
> get over it.

The show is still reasonably impressive overall, with the effects and involved cast. With any good fortune, Mr. Springfield will be in better health and settling more comfortably into the show.

Steve wrote:

> Hi Ted, I subscribe to your newsletter & find it well written and
> informative. Having just read the EFX letters you received, I find it
> a little disappointing that you received so many negative letters.
> You call ’em like you see ’em, & we are all entitled to our opinions.
> Sometimes I think people lose sight of that. I think looking at
> several sources of info is the best way to be informed and I count
> your newsletter as one of them when it comes to Las Vegas. Thanks
> again for all your time & effort.

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at 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 – How do you feel about smoking in casinos? Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next!

Results from our last poll “Who (if anyone) do you come to Las Vegas with?”* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.
March 21, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 14, 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:below

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
* Featured Travel Deals: http://www.accessvegas.com/traveldeals.htm
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.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: Viva Las Vegas

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: mailto:[email protected]



EDITORS NOTE: I just checked, and we now have readers in over 50 countries around the world! Some of those readers are Rick Springfield fans, and were very upset about my review last week. We’ll feature their comments in the Feedback section.Good News! We’ve been able to bring back the $25 rebate for booking rooms online — details at the bottom of the news section. The weather is going to be pushing into the mid-80’s Sun. – Wed. of this coming week. If you live in a cold weather climate, might be a good time to sneak in a quick Vegas trip!LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:MARCH MADNESS – is here, and combined with Spring Break the town is hopping with excitement! If you want a little “behind the scenes” look at what goes into coming up with the sports book numbers for all of the tournament games, the story is at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-12-Mon-2001/news/15623678.html

ALWAYS PLAY LOADED – No, not drunk. That option is up to you. But you don’t want to be like the Utah man who lined up all of the Megabucks symbols a few days ago with only two coins in the machine when the maximum bet is three coins per pull. Instead of winning the $8 million jackpot, he walked away with $10,000. Not a bad chunk of change, but every day for the rest of his life he has to wake up knowing he could have been a millionaire. With rare exception, standard slot and video poker machines pay much more when you hit the top jackpot with full coins in. If you can’t afford to play a machine “loaded,” move down to a lower denomination machine.

MEGABUCKS HITS! – This JUST came in before I got ready to send this. A New Hampshire man who was playing with three coins in hit the $8 million jackpot at The Orleans earlier today.

NO STORM YET – Last week, we reported the debut of this new show was set for March 22. The debut has been delayed, with no new date set.

BABY’S – Night Club at the Hard Rock hotel is growing in fame for their celebrity visitors as well as hosting events like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s recent birthday party. They are allowing us to offer you E-vite Tickets for upcoming events at Baby’s. They will send you an E-vite ticket via E-mail that will be PRINTED OUT BY YOU and have your Name, Date of attendance, and amount of guests (+3 max.) which will be checked at the door.

Requests MUST come from attendee. E-vites are good for free admission and Line pass on Thursday’s and $5 off admission and line pass for Fridays and Saturdays. These Tickets are only good for the date on the ticket. Reply to (click) mailto:[email protected]m and send your *Name, *Date you want to attend, and *Amount of Guests (+3 Max). No other info is needed.

THUMP – This Friday night dance show aired nationwide on WGN (12:30 AM Pacific) is now shooting at Club Rio inside The Rio hotel on the first Friday of each month. They tape all the episodes for the month on one night, so this is a good chance to get your mug on TV and let your friends see a little of your Vegas vacation.

GROWTH – Nevada’s population since 1990 grew by nearly 800,000 to nearly 2 million last year and the Las Vegas area has ballooned to more than 1.3 million people. Story at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/20010313/aponline213045_000.htm Before you rush to move here, you might want to read a recent Christian Science Monitor article which compared Reno and Las Vegas and highlighted Southern Nevada’s problems in a stark manner. Story at http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/2001/03/13/fp12s1-csm.shtml

THEME WEDDINGS – In Las Vegas, you can get married dressed as the Phantom of the Opera, Merlin the Magician, the Godfather, Dracula, Mr. Spock from “Star Trek,” King Tut, King Arthur, and of course the king of kings in Vegas, Elvis Presley. “Do you agree to adopt each others’ hound dogs, not to wear your blue suede shoes in the rain? Then, by the powers vested in me, the king, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss. Thank you, thank you very much.” Full story at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/daily/detail/0,1136,38000000000106245,00.html

WINNERS! – Maureen Smithson of the Canary Isles and Suellen Reed of Las Vegas won the autographed Mac King T-shirts. Karen Chatsfield of Queensland, Australia won the PR photo set.

$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!


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:COOK E. JARR – The Las Vegas lounge icon brings his show back to the outdoor Carnival Court at Harrah’s for another season. Singing everything from the 70’s to the present, Jarr has been featured on MTV, VH-1 and Comedy Central and must be seen to be believed. When he performs, it is an instant party. Performances are Friday and Saturday night at midnight, with no cover and a two drink minimum. More information on Jarr is available at http://www.accessvegas.com/jarráSHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:* Crazy Girls – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-09-Fri-2001/weekly/15583886.html
* Second City – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-09-Fri-2001/weekly/15579509.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:

* Blue Note (Aladdin) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-14-Wed-2001/living/15586082.html

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

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

Friday – 69 ░F / 48 ░F Windy
Saturday – 68 ░F / 51 ░F Windy
Sunday – 85 ░F / 53 ░F Partly Cloudy
Monday – 84 ░F / 54 ░F Partly Cloudy
Tuesday – 82 ░F / 52 ░F Partly Cloudy

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

FEATURE STORY: Viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas is about as close as you can come to a generic budget Las Vegas show. Fortunately, the price is modest and it doesn’t claim to be any more or any less. Las Vegas’ longest-running afternoon show combines singing, dancing, and comedy into an entertaining little mix.

Principal singer Natalie Carson opens the show and performs a number of songs throughout Viva accompanied by five sexy female dancers. It makes good entertainment and pleasant eye candy.

The comedy lineup is subject to change, but they manage to always have a couple of pretty good talents. The emcee (who’s name I failed to record — my apologies) had a few new twists on the standard Vegas jokes (losing at craps, the all-you-can-eat buffets) and kept everyone entertained.

Big John” Bruce Mickelson appeared later with his special brand of southern humor, playing the “good ole’ boy” that he probably is, and building up a great comedy performance with his comments on the way things are between men and women today.

Viva Las Vegas shares the showroom with American Superstars (reviewed http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-11-08.htm ). While a little bit boxy, the room has the latest in lights and sound and is large enough that you are seated around tables with plenty of elbow room. This helps contribute to the over quality feeling for a somewhat no-frills show.

The closing act is “Golden” Joe Baker who does an Elvis impression that is like none other. Kind? No. Entertaining? Not bad.

Viva Las Vegas performs daily except Sunday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in Stratosphere’s Broadway Showroom. Tickets are $13.95 plus tax and may be purchased at the Stratosphere. Check by the casino cage first, as they have a rack of coupons that allow you to get the show free with the purchase of two drinks ($9.95). The show is “all ages,” but there are bare bottoms on the dancers and a few swear words and slight raunchy jokes in the comedy bits so bring children at your discretion.

Because the Stratosphere is located at the far north end of The Strip, it is wise to spend a few hours and take it all in. This time of year, you can catch the 4:00 PM Viva Las Vegas, head up to the top of tower for happy hour in the lounge (which lasts until 6:00 PM) enjoying cocktails with the view, and get to watch the sunset shortly after. Seeing both The Strip and downtown morph from day to night with that panoramic view is a fantastic experience. Also, you can buy a discounted ticket at the box office which includes tower admission and a buffet, getting both at a savings.

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

Editor’s Note: I received more negative email regarding last week’s review of “EFX Alive” starring Rick Springfield than I have ever received regarding any topic. While some of it was from subscribers, it appears that some was also orchestrated by fan club members (or similar). Guess what, Springfield fans: I grew up listening to Van Halen and Def Leppard and playing heavy guitar. If there was any guy I wanted to say nice things about, Springfield is one of them.

Unfortunately, the fans missed a very large point: I don’t write reviews to make a certain casino happy, nor someone’s fan base. My obligation is to the regular readers who spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to come to Las Vegas. Their time is valuable and my goal is to present honest information that helps them make the most of your precious time here.

I am going to devote the letters section this week to their comments as my responses might provide a little insight into the “how” and “why” of my reviews. Because many of the letters echoed the same comments, and some weren’t signed, I will not be acknowledging specific writers.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

>I would like to offer explanations as to your
>other observances.á Firstly, please remember that at
>the time of your review this show has not even run a
>full six weeks.á During this initial period, Rick has
>been hit not once, but twice, with extremely bad colds
>and throat problems — to the extent of cancelling two
>days of shows and barely making it through another two
>performances.

Given that terrible bouts of cold and flu have been going through town the first two months of the year, this might explain some of the vocal problems and even the uninspired acting in the first act. I have been invited back to take another look at the show, and will do so in two months then file an updated report.

>The review of the FX ALive show in Vegas was very poorly done.á He
>claimed that the fan in the audience that Rick Springfield talked to,
>and talked on a cell phone was staged.á Well he obviously hasn’t been
>to any Rick’s concerts.á Nothing Rick does with the fans is staged.

It is staged. Mike Weatherford of the Review-Journal noted the same at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Feb-09-Fri-2001/weekly/15392334.html I was informed that on tour he takes a phone from an audience member during “Don’t Talk To Strangers” and calls one of their friends. But I felt that staging it made for a very weak part of the show, and one that people outside of a star’s fan base wouldn’t find very interesting.

>I hope that your company provides health insurance.á Obviously this
>man is in need of medical attention for his ears.á His hearing must be
>fading.á Anyone that thinks Rick Springfield has limited range has
>some type of problem.á You have never heard Inside Silvia then either.
>He is a very talented musician, and has brought a renewed energy to
>EFX.

Many wrote similar to the above, noting the renewed energy Springfield brought to the show. Interesting, considering that Tommy Tune did about 10 straight minutes of tap dancing as well as dancing his way through much of the show. I’m not much of a Broadway nor a Tommy Tune fan, but I can’t say that the Springfield version had more energy.

>Maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to rip on him.á He was approached for
>the show many times before he finally agreed so obviously someone
>other than you knows talent when they see it.á I have seen nothing but
>positive reviews of Rick in EFX except for you and one other, but the
>positive FAR outweigh the negative.

Many sent me the list of positive “EFX Alive” reviews. A number of them were from publications that rely strictly on hotel advertising for their revenue. If a hotel is spending $10,000 on a full page ad, you think the publication is going to run a negative review? Just for kicks, I should put a big reward up to ANYBODY who can find a negative review of ANYTHING in the glossy tourist magazines you find in hotel lobbies or hotel rooms. They don’t exist.

Interestingly enough, my comments that the show is pretty spectacular but that Springfield struggled in areas were noted by Mike Weatherford (link noted earlier) and Erin Auerbach of Las Vegas Weekly at http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/departments/2001_03_08/stage.html

>Opinions are Great, everyone has one.á It is just a shame some people
>get paid to publish theirs.

I don’t get paid a dime to publish this newsletter. In fact, it eats up 15 hours of my week. I own http://www.accessvegas.com, http://www.accessvegas.com, http://www.accessvegas.com and other tourism websites. I started this newsletter because there were so few unbiased sources to help Las Vegas tourists. Instead of having to cozy up to hotels that buy advertising, I make my money from commissions. I can recommend one hotel over another, or one show over another because I’m making the same rate of commission no matter which you decide to book.

I only ask people that if they find this newsletter helpful, please compare our rates next time they need to book a hotel room or rental car not just here in Las Vegas, but anywhere they travel. (If you usually book by calling hotels directly, you might be surprised at how much less expensive Internet rates sometimes are). If we offer the same or better rates, we appreciate your support which you show by booking through the travel partners we link at the top of the newsletter.

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

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.


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!


FREE CONTESTS:FREE VEGAS MOUSE PAD AND PLAYING CARDS! Get a Las Vegas Mouse Pad and a deck of retired casino playing cards. This mouse pad features a beautiful view of the Las Vegas Strip taken from the South end of the strip. Now you can work and at the same time set your goal to visit Las Vegas. This is the most popular mouse pad sold in Las Vegas – get yours now free during this promotion! (You only pay $4.95 to cover shipping and handling.)Plus, while supplies last get a playing cards that are actual decks played in the casino, and are retired after a few hours of use. Vegasgift.com has acquired a limited supply of these playing cards. Many of these cards are not available for purchase in Vegas gift shops. Take advantage of this special 2001 promotion now http://www.vegasgifts.com/in-vegas.com_promo.asp?REFERER=1356* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

ONLINE POLL – How do you feel about smoking in casinos? Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in two weeks!

Results from our last poll “Who (if anyone) do you come to Las Vegas with?”

Mate (significant other) 35%
Usually alone 26%
Relatives 13%
Close friends 13%
Immediate family 9%
Travel group 0%

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

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

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

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

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 14, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 7, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in 45 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 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
* Featured Travel Deals: http://www.accessvegas.com/traveldeals.htm
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/airline.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: EFX Alive

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: mailto:[email protected]


 


EDITORS NOTE: It is a beautiful 74 and sunny here today after two weeks of mostly clouds and a number of days of actual rain. Two huge sporting events brought the spotlight to Las Vegas again this weekend: The NASCAR race as well as Holyfield vs. Ruiz made for a crowded weekend and sold out hotels.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

RED DRAGON – If you have been in town past couple of weeks, you might have seen the new marquee of the Desert Inn aglow in neon reading “Red Dragon,” new red paint of the front of the building, and a flurry of activity out front looking like a casino grand opening. Truth be told, the film “Rush Hour 2” starring Jackie Chan has been shooting. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-05-Mon-2001/living/15561779.html

STORM – Billed as a “combination live concert event, Broadway theatre experience, and Las Vegas dance spectacular,” this new show at Mandalay Bay opens March 22. The creative mind behind the show has worked with Britney Spears, American Music Awards, Ricky Martin, Madonna, Prince, and more. Band members have played with Ricky Martin and others. We saw 3 numbers at a media preview Tuesday, and the show looks like it has quite a bit of potential. One number features rain on stage, and actual (very light) snow falls on the audience later.

If you go see storm, I suggest sitting toward the back left side (as you face the stage) as one number has the singer suspended over the right side of the audience and another has extensive acrobatic action taking place over the most of the lower section. Until a full show review, I can’t say whether it is worth the $55 / $65 ticket price, but the show is heavily Latin influenced (including at least one number all in Spanish) so take your music and culture tastes into consideration.

NASCAR – Jeff Gordon took the lead with 20 laps to go at last weekend’s race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Stories about the race at:

http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-05-Mon-2001/sports/15572223.html http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-05-Mon-2001/sports/15573697.html http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-05-Mon-2001/sports/15573720.html http://www.suntimes.com/output/racing/nascar05.html http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20010305/3111284s.htm http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/motorsports/auto053.shtml

THE MEXICAN – the new movie release (both partially shot and set in Las Vegas) is drawing some pretty nice reviews, one of which is at http://news.excite.com/news/uw/010301/entertainment-film-106

JOHN RUIZ – defeated Evander Holyfield to become the new World Boxing Association champ last Saturday night at Mandalay Bay. Word is that he will fight Mike Tyson next. Stories at:

http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-05-Mon-2001/sports/15571168.html http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-04-Sun-2001/sports/15569525.html http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-04-Sun-2001/sports/15570334.html http://www.sltrib.com/03042001/sports/76587.htm

BRITNEY – Ms. Spears is going to turn her Nov. 18’th concert (much later this year) into a live HBO concert. Story at http://www.billboard.com/daily/2001/0302_05.asp No ticket info available yet.

PLAYGROUND IN MY MIND – I’d tell you that this #1 hit from 1974 sung by (now) Harrah’s showroom entertainer Clint Holmes is readily found on Napster, but that would be wrong of me to encourage downloading it for free. However, if you can’t find it for sale anywhere, and are curious …


 


CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Blue Man Group – http://www.reason.com/0103/cr.sr.big.html
* De La Guarda – http://www.latimes.com/news/asection/20010304/t000019008.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:

* India Oven (just west of The Sahara) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Mar-02-Fri-2001/weekly/15529699.html

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

Friday – 68 ░F / 46 ░F Mostly Cloudy
Saturday – 62 ░F / 38 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 65 ░F / 40 ░F Scattered Showers
Monday – 70 ░F / 42 ░F Mostly Sunny
Thursday – 74 ░F / 45 ░F Mostly Sunny

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FEATURE STORY: EFX Alive

“Jesse was a friend …” sang Rick Springfield all over the radio during my high school years, and I was a fan of guitar driven rock. I think I still have a couple of his tapes somewhere. Almost 20 years later, Springfield is the latest star of the MGM’s spectacular EFX show taking over the reigns from Broadway legend Tommy Tune (who replaced teen idol David Cassidy, who replaced Michael Crawford). I’m sure they were after the very positive response David Cassidy got from audiences during his two year stint, but they goofed.

The show itself is still spectacular and one of the better staged shows for the money. Sal Salangsang does a hilarious pre-show warm-up (get seated 15 minutes early) and they have added him in a couple small parts throughout the show for comic relief. The trapeze artists in the P. T. Barnum act have been replaced with a dazzling act called “The Sphere” where a number of athletic circus performers hang and twist from a giant rotating sphere.

The Merlin act with the large animatronic dragons, fire, explosions, and great stunt work are still fantastic. The Houdini segment (the one act where Springfield shines as the infamous magician coming back from the dead for a momentary reuniting with his wife) contains the thrill of a great magic act woven into a touching story. And, the H. G. Wells act continues to contain the best 3-D film performance I have ever viewed.

The problem? Springfield. He practically sleepwalks through the first part of the Merlin act, where the lead flashes back to his childhood reminiscing about the expanse of life as well as bad dreams. Previous performers brought a contemplative, childlike feeling to it. Springfield might as well have been reading it off of cue cards. His acting throughout the rest of this act gives us an indication why his movie career never took off.

He redeemed himself in the Houdini segment. His soap opera experience served him well in the love scene and he played it in a heartfelt manner that would have been nice to see earlier. Maybe a rocker can’t play out a child’s fantasy. Unfortunately, we now know that a rocker can’t sing show tunes. Springfield’s voice is great for guitar heavy, rough singing but his limited range and raspy vocal qualities struggle on many of the songs (many of which have stayed with the show regardless of who plays the lead).

The low point? While he is in the audience during one number, he meets a “fan” whom he invites down on stage. This isn’t new — it has been a staple of EFX for quite some time. The “fan” is an audience plant who is “thrilled” to be meeting the star. In this case, the “fan” even has Springfield use her cell phone to call a friend at home who couldn’t believe what was happening. This bit plays on too long this time around and is so phony that a number of colleagues who were seeing the show for the first time could see it is fake. If you go, this is a perfect time to take a restroom break. Any time would be a perfect time for them to toss this bit and have Springfield take a little concert break and perform two or three of his hits. He does perform “The Human Touch” earlier in the show.

All is not lost. The basic tenants of the show are still spellbinding, from the huge stage sets to the amazingly creative “circus of the future” costumes to the effects which the show derives it’s name from. I last reviewed the show almost a year ago (archived at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-04-26.htm ), and my comments about the core show still hold true. At the basic price, EFX still delivers the most bang (literally) for the buck in it’s category. And, the standing ovation that Springfield received from women in the audience who probably went to high school about the same time I did suggest a dimension that I am not equipped to appreciate.

EFX Ticket Info

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Julie wrote:

>My fiance and I are trying to plan a wedding for November of 2001 in
>Vegas.á Anyone out here have any tips as to chapels included in a
>hotel?á We will be coming from Wisconsin, with about 20 couples and
>still have not found decent airfare.á We were told November is the
>least expensive month in Vegas.á I would appreciate any help I can get
>to pull this off.á Thanks a lot.

November is the month of Comdex (usually second week of the month) and Thanksgiving weekend, both bringing sold out hotels and high prices. Plus, with the winter months really kicking in up north, many are looking to escape the cold. If you are still flexible, try every different set of arrival and departure days you can make work in your quest for low airfare. Obviously, the sooner you book the better. While I hate to turn away business, a travel agent might be able to arrange a group rate for hotel and air for a party that large and do your research for you.

A few months ago, we queried our readers who got married in Las Vegas, and were flooded with responses which we posted at http://www.accessvegas.com/wedding-stories.htm With so many thousands of new readers on board, this is a good time to point that page out!

Patricia and Doug Davis wrote:

>Can you tell me where we might find the Las Vegas Show Girls (the ones
>like you used to see on TV way back when)?á This is our first trip and
>we would like to see the costumes and pretty ladies dancing on stage.
>I can’t find anything like what I’m thinking about on the web.á I can
>find “ladies in drag,” but we would like to see something like the
>original Vegas Ladies, with their pretty clothes, headdresses, etc.

We have you covered! The two traditional Las Vegas shows left featuring what you describe are Jubilee at Bally’s and Follies Bergere at the Tropicana. Splash at the Riviera and American Superstars (one of the best show values in town) both feature showgirls but not to the same extent. We have archived newsletters with reviews of each:

Jubilee – http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-07-26.htm
Follies Bergere – http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-03-29.htm
Splash – http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-09-27.htm
American Superstars – http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-11-08.htm

Zachary Lee wrote:

>First off, thanks for running a great newsletter, it’s given me a lot
>of great ideas for my upcoming visit to the city of lights.á I just
>had a few questions before i go out there on the 16’th of march thru
>the 21st.á My friend and I love a good blues club- y’know dark, good
>ambiance, and a great blues band to top it off.á We heard about
>Aladdin’s blue note, but I was wondering if you thought it was best.
>If not, how about some suggestions?á Also, we plan to go to a few
>nightclubs.á We heard the voodoo lounge, drink, and Rumjungle were
>good, but again we were wondering what you thought.á Any tips you’ve
>got are well received here.

I have not yet been to Blue Note, but hear it is worth checking out. They have name acts virtually every single night, so expect to pay a concert ticket price. Let us know your impressions if you go! As for nightclubs, The Drink caters to a younger, crazier crowd, Rumjungle has the “beautiful people” (and a line to match at the door) and Voodoo lounge is upscale and a little more subdued but with possibly the best view in town. All are worth checking out — go to the one or two that would be the best fit for you.

Lorrie wrote:

>I hear there is a restaurant designed by Steven Spielberg called the
>Dive.á Supposed to look like a submarine and every so often they’re
>supposed to have pretend submerges.á My husband was a submariner.á We
>are going to Las Vegas in 2 weeks.á How is the food, etc.?á Lorrie

The Dive sunk (closed) last December. Interesting surroundings, great location, but overpriced food (that wasn’t very good).

Tony Padula wrote:

>Hi, Just returned from my annual 2 week stay in Vegas, and had the
>unpleasant experience of getting ill, thought I too had the flu, and
>when not able to shake the feeling decided to visit the emergency room
>at the University Hospital on Charleston.á What an experience that
>waiting room was at 11 o’clock at night.á I wouldn’t recommend it to
>anyone who can afford to see a private doctor.á The wait was an
>experience, but I must say once I got inside, the doctor, who turned
>out to be a practicing nurse (whatever that is), and the other staff
>members were very pleasant and comforting.á I guess I’m getting too
>old to handle 2 weeks in Las Vegas, probably not being a big gambler,
>got sick losing the little bit of money I did gamble away.á They must
>find a way to eliminate the traffic problems they are experiencing
>there.á A bus ride on the strip is an ever ending adventure of stop
>and go, with red lights, jay walkers, and cars.á You really get a long
>ride (time wise), for your $2.00.á Speaking of good buys for your
>money, Stardust has a $2.00 off coupon on 4 very good meal items.
>Westward Ho has a nickel cup of very good coffee, plus a 75 cent foot
>long hot dog, plus other great items, Klondike has a very inexpensive
>food menu, with 10 cent roulette.á As you can see as a visitor with
>limited spending ability, I was able to find all the better deals that
>the normal 4 or 5 day tourist isn’t looking for.
>
>áá I enjoy your newsletter.á Keep up the good work.

University Medical Center is a highly rated hospital, but it is also a public hospital which can mean long waits for illness that isn’t life threatening while they treat the latest gangbanger who got shot. As for transportation, the monorail is coming but for now you have a tradeoff: the bus is cheap, but very slow. Taxis aren’t cheap at all. Rental cars are a good option when time is more important than money plus you can take all the back roads.

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at 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.


 


FREE CONTESTS:

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.

BLUE MAN GROUP – is sending one lucky winner and a friend to the end of the Las Vegas strip to see the show that TIME Magazine calls, “a milestone… the hippest show in Vegas.”

Grand Prize includes:

Round trip air transportation for two to Vegas.
Two nights stay at the Luxor Las Vegas.
Two tickets to Blue Man Group – Live at Luxor.

Five additional winners will receive Blue Man Group merchandise packages including Blue Man Group’s debut album, AUDIO, in DVD 5.1 Surround Sound Mix!

Enter at http://www.blueman.com/feature/entercontest.shtml

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ONLINE POLL – Who (if anyone) do you come to Las Vegas with? Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published soon! (There is a glitch in the software, and we can’t change the question this week.)

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

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.
March 7, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – February 28, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in 45 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 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
* Featured Travel Deals: http://www.accessvegas.com/traveldeals.htm
* Airline Tickets, Specials: http://www.accessvegas.com/a-travel-center.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: Mac King

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: mailto:[email protected]



EDITORS NOTE: It has been raining for 3 straight days here in Las Vegas (much needed, but I know it dampens a usually sunny Las Vegas vacation). However, that is child’s play compared to the earthquake that shook Seattle Wednesday morning. My brother and his family live in the area, and I fly through Sea-Tac on a regular basis getting a connecting flight to my hometown of Portland, OR.

From my talks with people flying SEA-LAS on my return trips, I know that people in the Seattle area love Las Vegas and assume we have pretty serious readership in that area (all we have are email addresses — except for tracking country domains, I have no clue where anyone who subscribes lives). To our friends in the Pacific Northwest, we are happy to hear that the loss of life and injuries was very minimal, and wish you and those around you the best over the next few weeks of cleanup and recovery.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

SIEGFRIED & ROY – have signed their new “lifetime” contract at The Mirage. The new contract stipulates a 44 week per year schedule, and eight shows a week (down from the 10 they were doing). Stories at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Feb-23-Fri-2001/weekly/15489863.html and http://news.excite.com/news/ap/010227/18/ent-siegfried-roy

NEW CAESARS TOWER – Caesars Palace is seeking permission to build a new 30-story, 864-room tower which will include restaurants, shops, meeting rooms, showrooms and underground parking. This would bring the resort’s room total to 3,300 rooms. Full story at http://news.excite.com/news/r/010222/20/leisure-parkplace

DANCE CLUBS – The Aladdin and Caesars are working to throw their hat into the latest casino trend to build high-end nightclubs. The quest is on to make Las Vegas the “clubbing” capital of the world, and people from all over the world are taking notice and counting the clubs among their reasons for visiting. Stories at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Feb-27-Tue-2001/business/15497157.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Feb-25-Sun-2001/living/15496445.html

OUTLAWS – Despite ratings problems on NBC and predictions of sure demise, Las Vegas has embraced their XFL team in a huge way. The home games are selling out, the cheerleaders are turning into local celebrities, and ratings for all XFL games are high in the Las Vegas market. Stories at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Feb-28-Wed-2001/sports/15537947.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Feb-27-Tue-2001/living/15498081.html

LIBERACE – The Las Vegas estate once belonging to the flamboyant entertainer is now open for corporate gatherings and weddings. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Feb-23-Fri-2001/weekly/15457773.html and booking info at http://www.lasvegasvilla.com

VANCOUVER GRIZZLIES – Las Vegas is one of the cities said to be in the running for the relocation of this NBA team. Don’t bet on it: Despite being the 39’th largest media market in the country (larger than NBA cities Indianapolis and Orlando), the NBA wouldn’t agree to bring a team to town unless NBA sports betting was banned. Story at http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20010227/3096596s.htm

JUST A REMINDER – Prostitution is illegal in Clark County, Nevada (the New Jersey sized county that contains Las Vegas). A Minnesota man was recently found dead in his Tropicana hotel room, the suspected victim of a robbery by a prostitute. Full story at http://www.pioneerplanet.com/seven-days/sun/news/docs/035204.htm



CONCERTS AND SHOWS:

SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Kenny Kerr – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Feb-23-Fri-2001/weekly/15486245.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:

* Tremezzo (Aladdin) – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2001/Feb-28-Wed-2001/living/15496117.html

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

Thursday – 60 ░F / 42 ░F Mostly Cloudy
Friday – 65 ░F / 40 ░F Partly Cloudy
Saturday – 67 ░F / 38 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 70 ░F / 43 ░F Scattered Showers
Monday – 75 ░F / 45 ░F Partly Cloudy

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FEATURE STORY: Mac King

I’m pretty happy. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a bad show. The odds are in my favor as I tend to review only established shows so we know they will be here when you get here, and if a show has been around a while (with few exceptions) it usually is making its target audience happy.

Mac King has been playing Harrah’s for over a year, shouldn’t need an introduction. He has appeared on television shows ranging from “An Evening At The Improv” to all five of NBC’s “World’s Greatest Magic” specials. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, upon seeing him you will remember him as “the guy who did the funny magic on TV.” And funny, Mac King is!

He takes the stage in a vintage plaid suit (vintage early 1900, not vintage disco era) with a story about a rope trick his grandfather taught him. You’ve seen rope tricks before? Not presented quite this way. From the first moment, you can tell that despite his sometimes silly demeanor, he has the craft of magic down.

King brings out an old fashioned chest containing his props and you never know what he is going to pull out of it next. Unlike Carrot Top, whose props are the joke themselves, Mac uses everything from worms to goldfish to a box of cereal to a stuffed tiger to perform “how did he do that” magic while leaving you laughing in the aisles. The finale is a “tribute” to Siegfried and Roy in which he makes both himself and a stuffed tiger disappear that reappear in a funny but spectacular way.

Eschewing assistants, King interacts with members from the audience using volunteers to help him in a couple of his more impressive illusions in this one-man show. It is pretty clear these aren’t audience plants. In fact, if you see this show the day or two after your wedding, you might end up on stage helping in the “Cloak of Invisibility” trick where Mac puts on a yellow rain coat, tells us to pretend he is invisible, then moves cards from the new wife to the new husband without touching either of them.

This is the best show deal in town. Period. You can’t go wrong paying $14.95 for the hour plus show, and the hour flies by. Plus, it is a perfect way to break up your afternoon gambling or sightseeing (or just recover from that “all-I-did-eat” buffet), give your feet a rest and your mind some refreshment.

Mac King Ticket Info

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Last week, Cindy Hoplamazian asked if there are any good Chinese or Thai restaurants in Las Vegas. We appreciate all who responded. P. F. Changs (with a location in The Aladdin) was suggested by a number of people. Others had the following favorites:

Tom Maher wrote:

>Some of the best Asian food in town is at the China
>Town complex off of Spring Mtn. Rd. It is wonderful
>authentic food, not your Mall variety garbage. Plan to
>spend a couple of hours, the shops are very
>interesting. I buy all of my herbal medications from
>the health food store here. Very inexpensive.

China Town shopping area is on Spring Mountain, about a mile (maybe two) west of Treasure Island.

Rita Hawn-Muldoon wrote:

>One of my favorites is P.F.á Changs.á There is one on the strip near
>Paradise and one on the west side of town.á They are nicely decorated,
>busy and the food is great.
>
>I also like China Grill at Mandalay Bay.á It is very upscale and
>pricey however, but very hip.

David Feldman wrote:

>That’s easy.á It’s the best Thai restaurant in North America according
>to Gourmet Magazine, and I concur.á Lotus of Siam on 953 E.á Sahara.
>Although they have a luncheon buffet, I strongly urge your readers to
>order a la carte off the extensive menu.

Lotus of Siam is a few blocks east of The Sahara Hotel.

Jim of Madera California wrote:

>We just returned from another “week plus” split between Las Vegas and
>Laughlin.
>
>This time we took the tour through the Shark Tank at the Mandalay Bay
>Casino.á For those of you who have not been there, it is well worth
>the modest $14 or so, as well as about an hour plus of your time.á We
>have been through the Monterey Bay Aquarium (CA) several times as well
>as others around the nation.á This live display is one of the best.
>Billed as the largest collection of sea predators, it contains
>numerous varieties of sharks, eels, etc., in their natural habitat and
>lighting.á A “station-to-station” radio player and a complete
>identification chart is provided to each person while you walk through
>and past the tanks.á Yes, THROUGH!á A Plexiglas tunnel is provided at
>one point so that you may walk “inside” the tank and sit on benches
>with the fishes swimming around you.
>
>For those of you who have already been to the exhibit (and are
>curious!), the brash sounds you hear periodically while visiting the
>last display (the sunken ship) are underwater recordings of what
>”creaking planks” sound like from a sunken wooden ship (bet you didn’t
>know that one!).
>
>A must see attraction!

Jim included the Shark Reef website at http://www.mandalaybay.com/entertainment/sharkreef.html and you can read our review (with photos) at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-07-12.htm Note: They didn’t have the “radio players” yet when we were there (something we suggested in the review) and I’m sure that adds immensely to the experience now.

Doug and Jaynie Hoerauf wrote:

>Hi!
>
>We were out in Las Vegas last weekend for a long weekend.á We found
>the Casino Royale very friendly.á Every time we were in there the
>staff was very friendly and the drinks were really cheap.á We played
>video poker for hours with very little cash lost.
>
>We did a Hoover Dam trip (on our own) and stopped in Boulder City for
>lunch at Toto’s Mexican Restaurant.á The food was really good and
>there was plenty of it.á The service was excellent and the beer ice
>cold.á What more can you ask for?
>
>We thought that the World buffet at the Rio was overrated.

I’m a big fan of Casino Royale. Their parking garage is a best kept secret (right behind the hotel, gives you quick access to Harrah’s, Venetian, Mirage), and when friends that like to booze come to town, I just tell them “Casino Royale: import beer and a shot of name-brand booze for $4.00 total.” Plus, the staff is very friendly.

The Rio buffet is really hit and miss. It was a novelty as the first “station” buffet in Las Vegas (different ethnic food stations) but pay the extra $3-4 and go to the Aladdin buffet where the food is topnotch and the decor colors don’t scream at you.

Nick Lubrano wrote:

>Dear Ted,I know it was an honest mistake or a typo
>but, in your article referring to Earnhardt you used
>the term “infamous” in describing him .I’m calling
>this to your attention before someone else makes a big
>deal out of it. Really enjoy your news letter.

Thanks for the heads up. One of the definitions of infamous is
notorious. I was attempting to find a word that described the
wide variety of emotions various race fans felt toward him
(he was either adored or despised) and looking back,
I could have used a better choice of words. I know that NASCAR fans are very passionate about their sport and certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone.

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at 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 CONTESTS:

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.

Mac King T-Shirt: We have two Mac King T-shirts (XL, one size fits all) to give away. Both have been autographed by Mac himself and are a fun piece of Las Vegas memorabilia. We’ll give one each away the entries #20 and #40 at (contest closed)

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AIRLINE SPECIALS – Purchase your Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air flight online at alaskaair.com or horizonair.com by March 9, 2001 and you’ll save 10% on travel. This discount is valid for travel between now and June 30, 2001. Alaska and Horizon serve Las Vegas from many destinations in the west. Buy at http://www.alaskaair.com

ONLINE POLL – Who (if anyone) do you come to Las Vegas with? Let’s hear your opinion at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published next week!

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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!

Please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

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

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