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Access Vegas Insider Vibe – February 23, 2000

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

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

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

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

HOTEL MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas hotel opinions by posting a note to our new board at http://boards.accessvegas.com We want to hear from you!

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This Issue: STAR TREK: THE EXPERIENCE

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


 


LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:MEGABUCKS – hit yet again for 7.8 million dollars on Valentines Day. While the winner has remained anonymous, one of my sources indicated that the local man’s wife left him a couple of years ago (no kids in the relationship) because she was upset he wasn’t providing her a higher standard of living. Revenge must be sweet. He’s a computer consultant who plans to keep working. Full story at http://news.excite.com/news/pr/000215/nv-igt-megabucks-hit

THE ALADDIN – construction is moving right along. This $1.3 billion resort is slated to include more restaurants, shops, entertainment and casino options that any other destination in Las Vegas according to their web page. Full story at http://www.msnbc.com/news/368176.asp?cp1=1 and discount Aladdin rooms available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Aladdin link).

LEGEND AIR – starts service to Las Vegas from Washington, DC and Dallas TX next month. Legend appears to be an “all business class” airline like Midwest Express. Story at http://www.frommers.com/newsletters/02-21-00/article6.html

VENETIAN GOES HIGH TECH – and will provide in-room office systems to every one of The Venetian’s suites including all-in-one color printer/fax/scanner/copiers to all of its guests who will be able print reports, email and other business or personal information, in color, in the convenience of their room. In addition, the fax service gives each guest gets a private fax number for direct faxing in and out of the suite. Story at http://news.excite.com/news/bw/000218/nv-the-venetian-reesort Also, a story about the Venetian’s gondola ride at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-04-Fri-2000/weekly/12836378.html Venetian discount rooms are available at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Venetian link).

RAIN, RAIN — After 140 days without rain (which ended with a sprinkle a couple of weeks ago), winter storms are here with steady rain on Monday and Wednesday. We are happy to report that the clouds have left, but we needed the rain. At least it’s winter and didn’t ruin anybody’s tanning plans! Stories at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-22-Tue-2000/news/13008611.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-24-Thu-2000/news/13028248.html

STUNTSHOW SPECTACULAR – Super Joe Reed is putting on 3 days of world record breaking stunts this weekend at The Reserve. Featured will be building-to-building jumps, blindfold motorcycle jumps, helicopter bungee jumps, walls and tunnels of fire, car stunts, female daredevils, and motocross races. Ticket available at the gate. One day: Adults $20, kids (12 and under) $10. 3 day pass: Adults $45, kids $20.

MGM GRAND – is looking to take over Mirage Resorts. This isn’t a stock or financial newsletter so we generally don’t follow things like that. But, we do have links to various stories regarding the possible takeover at http://www.accessvegas.com

LAS VEGAS – Visiting this city seems to be catching on. 33.8 million people found their way here last year. Full story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-19-Sat-2000/business/12995902.html

RIO CARNIVAL BUFFET – As most locals know, the buffet’s prices have gone up while the quality has sunk dramatically. Put this one on your “must avoid” list. Full story at http://www.lvcitylife.com/dining/stories/00021701d.html

OOOOOOPS – A couple of weeks ago, someone wrote me and asked me how many rooms The Venetian has. I said 6000+ when it’s actually a little over 3000. That 6000 figure was stuck in my mind after reading an article regarding The Venetian seeking financing to double the size of their hotel to 6000 rooms.

Winner: Carolyn O’brien of Brandon, FL was the winner of the Las Vegas Dining Guide

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?cscheme=5&amid=143

LAS VEGAS HILTON – Broadway Musical “Buddy” through March 5, humorist Steven Wright on March 10 and 11, Sinbad March 17 and 18, Reba McEntire March 23 to 26, Tim Conway / Harvey Korman April 7 and 8, Kenny Rogers April 14 and 15, Jeff Foxworthy April 28 to 30, and Trisha Yearwood May 5 and 6. Tickets available at (800) 222-5361 and discount Las Vegas Hilton rooms available at http://hotels.nevada.nu/las-vegas.htm (Las Vegas Hilton link).


 


FEATURE STORY: STAR TREK: THE EXPERIENCEstar-trek-01.jpg (9101 bytes)“To boldly go where no man has gone before” — or at least to boldly go to the Las Vegas Hilton on a rainy Wednesday afternoon was my mission. While I enjoyed the original Star Trek series reruns growing up, I have seen none of the movies nor watched any of the subsequent TV shows so I went into this pretty green.

The Star Trek casino area is a far cry from the stuffy, upper crust atmosphere of the regular casino at the Hilton. With a combination of uptempo rock music, futuristic looking slots, a bar area straight from the the 24’th century, and laser lights streaming across the sky, this puts a whole new dimension on the word “casino”. The blackjack tables were closed, but I assume those are open during the weekends and perhaps busy week nights. If you don’t want to gamble, they have a four pool tables for those more inclined to play in this unique setting.

star-trek-02.jpg (11287 bytes)First stop on your adventure through The Experience is the “History of the Future” museum area where more than 200 items used in the filming of the Star Trek television serious and movies are displayed. It is the largest permanent collection of Star Trek props and costumes in the world including 23 original costumes from the series and movies, eight starship models built to a 1:80 scale, 12 hand-painted alien head displays (so real, they are almost scary) and more than 100 hand props like the 3D chess set, communicators, phasers, and the like.

As you walk along, you follow an illustrated timeline of the universe with a special twist. From the time of Galileo and Newton to the present, it is (of course) factual. But from our time through the year 2372 (Stardate 47779.4) it follows the evolvement of the world, planets, political situations and the like as depicted from the original television series all the way through the movies and new series.

star-trek-03.jpg (11892 bytes)You may take all the time you wish viewing the museum as the as the actual adventure portion starts every 10 minutes. We’ve been asked not to give away the “good parts”, but this is a real interactive experience. Among the highlights are getting to experience being transported and ending up in the transporter room of the Enterprise, venturing onto the bridge as the crew goes about it’s duties, riding a turbolift (the “elevators” that move people around the ship), walking down the incredibly realistic corridors (all sets are constructed on a 1:1 scale from the originals), and taking a shuttlecraft mission through space and time.

The shuttlecraft is the finale, and what a finale it is! Featuring a six-axis simulator in a domed theatre, this motion simulator puts the Luxor’s (reviewed http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/99-06-09.htm ) to shame. These screens give you a 160 degree view — at no time do you see anything stationary outside the shuttle. A WORD TO THE WISE: This is an intense experience. I had a couple of slices of pizza before going on, and while I didn’t feel like I was going to lose it, I still wouldn’t suggest it. And anyone going on this after boozing it up would have to be nuts. Also, if you are older or get a little nauseous easily, stay away.

star-trek-04.jpg (8015 bytes)Having said that, the ride was incredible. You truly see and feel like you are being transported though time and space in a crystal clear universe you have never seen before with heart-pumping action taking place all around you! I don’t want to spoil the ending too much except to say that you get a unique perspective on the Las Vegas strip. The total post museum experience runs about 25 minutes. Hit the restroom first.

Afterwards, you exit through the obligatory shopping area containing everything from exclusive Star Trek clothing, the largest collection of Star Trek products and souvenirs, authentic collectibles, and the “your photo with a Star Trek star” image chamber.

The verdict? Trekkies should be put to death if they come to town and miss this. If you enjoy the series and movies, or enjoy first-class virtual entertainment with lots of surprises, this is also a must see. If you are on the strip without a car (the Las Vegas Hilton is a few blocks off-strip) and just looking for something to do, it’s worth a visit but you will live if you miss it.

Admission is $15.95 (includes tax) and you must be 42″ tall. There is no admission to visit the shops or Quark’s bar and restaurant (unique dinners in a futuristic setting running about $12 a plate). Just ask the ticket office to point the way. The Experience is open from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily.


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:Donna Ardbowman of Cincinatti, OH wrote:

>Dear Ted,
>
>I am a huge fan of your
>newsletter, never stop.á My family and I will be in Las Vegas for a
>week in April.á As always, we will be staying at New York-New York.
>Our casino host Leslie, always makes us feel special and our room and
>meals are always fully comped.á During our stay we tip everyone.á But,
>I am unsure how or if I should tip my casino host.á Can you or some of
>your newsletter readers give me some advice on this issue?á If tipping
>or a gift of gratitude is acceptable what do you suggest?á One more
>question, what night is the all you can eat seafood buffet at Ellis
>Island?á Regards, Donna Ardbowman

Thanks for the kind words. I understand that the preferred way to tip a casino host is with a gift of some kind. Food basket, wine, or something along that lines for a lady, or perhaps cigars or a tie or similar for a man. In fact, I believe that they can’t accept tips of cash. However, I claim a lack of first hand knowledge here. Any readers with a regular casino host, how do you express your gratitude for their hard work? Write us at [email protected]

Ellis Island has unfortunately cancelled it’s all you can eat crab legs buffet. It was a deal while it lasted.

To the writer of the following I apologize — I cropped your name and deleted the original before I realized it:

>Hi Ted,
>
> We are planning a trip to Las Vegas in May. Our plans are to rent a car,
>do some sight seeing and then spend a three day weekend in Las Vegas. This
>will be my fifth trip in as many years and I’ve never rented a car. The
>taxi’s and trolley’s were fun and quite an experience, but since our rate is
>terrific for a week, we’ll just keep the car a week. Question?
> What is the best route to take to downtown(Fremont Street)from Treasure
>Island and where does one park? I am probably worrying about
>this more than I need to, but I’ve seen the amount of traffic jams and would
>like some knowledgeable advice.

It’s a good question. When downtown, I like to valet park at The Plaza (one
block south of the Fremont St. Experience — follow the signs). The Golden Nugget also has an easy valet area, but kind of hard for a novice to find. Don’t valet at Binions — long walk considering it is valet. On the flip side, I usually garage park when on the Strip because
valet can take so long to get your car at times and most garages have
convenient quick walks to the main gaming area.

If it’s not the weekend, head up the Strip and make a left onto Main St.
just past the Stratosphere. Main and Fremont is the foot of downtown — you
can’t get lost. On a weekend, at Treasure Island turn onto Spring
Mountain (west — toward the freeway) and take the freeway downtown. From
I-15, you exit onto US 95 South (Phoenix) and then make the first quick
exit onto Casino Center Blvd. and you are downtown. Trust me, you can’t
miss downtown. Even if you get off an exit too late, just point your car at
the casinos!

Tim wrote:

>We recently ate dinner at the Samba Grill @ The Mirage.á This is a fun
>place with great food.á The Brazilian themed establishment is a meat
>lover’s delight.á The meal starts with some rum drinks.á Then the
>waiter brings out a salad that is fantastic.á Don’t fill up too much
>because the vegetables and meats come next.á There is turkey wrapped
>in bacon, chicken, marinated pork tenderloin, flank steak, salmon and
>on and on.á These meats are served on big skewers and you can have as
>much as you want.á What a fun place and all for 29.00.

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional). Also, guest article submissions are welcome with full credit to you, your website, etc. if accepted.


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


ONLINE POLL – “How much per night do you usually pay for a room in Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in 2 weeks!Last poll results: How many times a year do you visit Las Vegas?

Never Been 5%
Less than once a year 8%
About once a year 25%
Couple of times a year 34%
A number of times a year (3-5 times) 25%
You should see my slot club points! (6 or more visits) 3%

FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 10’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.

LAS VEGAS 2000 – Station Casinos Passport to Value contains hundreds of dollars of 2-1 and discounts for food at any of the Station Casino properties. We have one to give away at (contest closed)

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

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

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

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

All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
February 23, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – February 9, 2000

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

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

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

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

HOTEL MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your opinion of the Las Vegas hotels you stay at by posting a note to our new board at http://boards.accessvegas.com á We want to hear from you!


 


This Issue: THE ROMANTIC LAS VEGAS CHEAPSKATE by Matt WeatherfordLAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

MICHAEL JORDEN – is among the many sports stars appearing at this year’s ESPY awards this Monday here in Las Vegas and tickets are still available! Other notables appearing are Andre Agassi, Tiger Woods, Mark McGwire, Mia Hamm and Steffi Graf, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Tyra Banks, Martin Sheen, Burt Reynolds and Cybill Shepherd. That list doesn’t include the high profile celebrities who come for the celebration. Stories at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-09-Wed-2000/sports/12926104.html and http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-09-Wed-2000/sports/12926226.html Tickets at (702) 891-7777 and MGM discount rooms at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (MGM link).

PRICE GOUGING – KVBC 3 just completed an undercover investigation and found photo developing shops on the Strip that are charging up to $43.00 per roll for one-hour film developing. Story at http://www.msnbc.com/local/kvbc/7845.asp Even though you are on vacation, you are a customer. Never forget that a store needs YOUR business and ALWAYS ask how much the TOTAL cost for something will be if it isn’t clear. Many tour operators pull the same stunt by not including taxes, airport fees, and more in those glossy ads you see.

Our suggestion for photo developing when on vacation? We bring a bunch of envelopes for those mail-order photo developers with us. http://www.clarkcolor.com is one of many that do this service (not a sponsor, but we use them with no problem regularly). Every couple of rolls, just pop the film in the mail and the finished prints will be delivered a couple days after you get home with no worry about price gouging or losing your photos on the way home.

We also are giving away a Las Vegas Dining guide in our contest section.

THE TILLERMAN – Speaking of fine dining in a great atmosphere, The Tillerman is a short cab ride from the Strip and one of the better kept secrets, until now! Bring a thick wallet for this one, but be prepared for an exquisite setting with food to match. Story at http://www.lvcitylife.com/dining/stories/00020301d.html

COMPS – While one should never play for comps, if you are going to play, you might as well scoop up as many of them as possible! Linda E. Bushyager wrote a great article on on getting and using comps at http://members.aol.com/gamblinge/comps.htm

BRUNCH – is always a nice treat in Las Vegas. Nothing starts off a Sunday morning like a relaxing fine meal. Michael Paskevich reviewed a number of them at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-09-Wed-2000/lifestyles/12913264.html

STUCK AT MCCARRAN? – If your flight home gets delayed, you can go work out your frustrations now instead of dropping your winnings back in the airport slots. 24 Hour Fitness has opened an airport location and will even provide you workout clothes for a reasonable fee. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-07-Mon-2000/news/12899293.html

U.S. 93 CLOSURES – if you drive in from Phoenix, New Mexico, Texas or points southeast, note that U.S. 93 is going to be closed for 4 hours at a time intermittently over the next month. You might want to print out the info at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-09-Wed-2000/news/12922755.html and keep it handy. Closures will only be in the middle of the night.

Winner: Holly Carter of GA is the T-shirt winner.

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?cscheme=5&amid=143

DAVID COPPERFIELD – bring his magic to Caesars Palace Feb. 3 – March 2. This time around, they say he’s making the audience disappear! Tickets at (702) 731-7333 and Caesars discount rooms at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Caesars link).

DAVID BRENNER – comes to C2K at The Venetian Feb. 18 – 20. The performance on the 19’th will be broadcast totally live on HBO! Tickets at (702) 948-3007 and Venetian discount rooms at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Venetian link).

BUDDY – the hit musical comes to the Las Vegas Hilton Feb. 22 – March 5. This powerful show traces the life and music of Buddy Holly. Tickets at (702) 732-5755 and Las Vegas Hilton discount rooms at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (Las Vegas Hilton link).

TINA TURNER – with special guest LIONEL RICHIE take to the stage at the MGM Grand on Sat. April 29. Tickets at (702) 474-4000 and MGM discount rooms at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas.htm (MGM link).

SPLASH – Michael Paskevich has reviewed the updated version of this Riviera show at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-04-Fri-2000/weekly/12873797.html and book the show online at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?cscheme=5&amid=143


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


FEATURE STORY: THE ROMANTIC LAS VEGAS CHEAPSKATE by Matt WeatherfordI am writing this from the guy’s perspective, but all my romantic
tips apply in reverse, too, meaning you girls can dazzle your boys by
following my brilliant advice.

Guys, one thing I am with the ladies is slick. Before I ensnared my
wife in my viscous love-grip, I could practically charm the pants off
of any woman without spending a dime. Now that I am happily married,
it’s time to open the vaults and reveal the secrets that drove the
ladies wild and kept Andrew Jackson and his buddies in my back pocket.

In Las Vegas, you don’t need to be a millionaire to show your partner
you’re got a heart a big as a Buick. Do it on the cheap, all the
while making it so romantic that your special someone never even
catches on.

THE ROMANTIC LIMO RIDE
A popular fantasy is to cruise slowly down Las Vegas Boulevard at
night in a stretch limousine. The twinkling, spinning lights reflect
off the car as it effortlessly glides in the traffic stream, and we
are tucked away behind the dark windows in our romantic mobile
hideaway. Another part of my fantasy is when the driver says, “You
guys were such great customers that I’m gonna let you have this ride
for free.”

In reality, the driver always wants his $35 an hour for the private
limo ride. And that doesn’t include the tip, which quickly tacks on
another 50 cents! To fulfill the fantasy for less, how about a slow
ride down the Strip aboard public transit? The Citizen Area Transit
Route 301 up the Strip is $2 per person, or $4 if you go the extra
mile and pay for your sweetie too. Just like a limo, the buses have
big windows, professional drivers, and move very slowly. Climb aboard
with your squeeze, fight your way through the mob of other romantic
couples to a pair of hard bench seats and get ready for good lovin’
action. Sure, you’re sharing your limo with 50 other people, it stops
at every intersection to load and unload, and the guy next to you is
drooling, but these are the sorts of minor points that will only be
noticed by a woman not in love.

Be sure to have a six-pack of Schlitz on ice back in the room to seal
the deal, because she’s gonna be itchin’ for kissin’ when the ride is
over. One word of caution: keep your pants on while riding the bus.
We have learned they are very strict about this.

If you want to whack your girl over the head with the fat end of the
charm stick, get her a real limo ride right from the airport. For
less than $5 each, you can ride Las Vegas Limo like you would a
shuttle. The catch is that you won’t be alone. The driver packs
people in and drops people off at their hotels. Guys, I suggest
getting a hotel on the North end of the Strip, so you get a few
minutes of private time after he’s dropped off all the people staying
at nice hotels. Once the last of the other folks gets off, lean over
and smack her on the lips!

THE ROMANTIC EATS
Very few people come up to me and ask, “Matt, I want to take my gal
someplace classy for dinner. Where do you recommend?” But when
someone does, I have an answer.

First off, breakfast is not very romantic, so don’t think you can cut
corners by splitting the $2.49 steak and eggs at Arizona Charlie’s,
or a 99-cent half-pound hot dog at Slots-a-Fun. On the other hand, if
you’ve found yourself a gal who finds these exciting, run to the
nearest pawn shop and buy the cheapest engagement ring they have:
she’s a keeper!

For the lady of more discriminating taste, I recommend the following
sybaritic delights:

The Peppermill Coffee Shop – don’t let its humble appearance fool
you. This small free-standing coffee shop next door to the Riviera is
the sort of place that brought down Gomorrah. Dark velvets, fake,
silver plants, dim lighting and plush booths make this the perfect
place to act out your role-playing fantasies of being a 70s player,
with your lady being a tough-talking hoochie. Want to be a little
decadent? Have the waffles with fruit for dinner. If you order
carefully, you two lovebirds can get out for less than $20. But,
don’t leave before going to the swank-uluxe lounge where a bubbling
cauldron belches fire and the booths provide more privacy than a
modern condominium complex. The drinks are priced right and strong
enough to intoxicate even the most hardened lover.

Center Stage – The food ain’t so hot, but the view is oo-la-la!
Well-hidden on the second floor of the Plaza Hotel downtown, the
Center Stage has a domed dining room that looks straight down Fremont
Street. If you’re smart, you’ll have a few strong $1 dollar cocktails
downstairs to deaden your tastebuds. A complete meal can be had for
about $10 a person, and you get that much value just out of the
number of waiters and servers who hover around. After dinner, why not
head downstairs and enjoy the awfully good acts in the Omaha Lounge.
It’ll give you a chance to let your dinner settle and then see how
vigilantly they enforce their “No Dancing” policy.

Roberta’s – If your honeybun respects food, then why not take the
romantically dangerous after-dark stroll to Roberta’s at the El
Cortez where the savvy man can let his girl stuff her greasy piehole
until she can’t stuff anymore. Plus, Roberta’s respects food. Why
else would they call the 18-ounce steak “Mr. Porterhouse?” Other
specials include “Mr. Crab” and “Se±or Prime Rib.” All can be had
well below their fair market value. A word of warning, gents, the
task of arriving at Roberta’s is not for the squeamish or anyone
easily deterred by bums or stench.

With the right presentation, just about any meal can be romantic, but
not the buffet. Never the buffet. “Why not?” you might be wondering.
You say, “Last time I ate at Circus Circus with my buddies, it seemed
like the perfect oasis for a late night rendezvous.”

Guys, you’re right, the Circus Circus buffet has exactly the sort of
ambience to set the mood for amore. But it’s not the room that will
mess things up; it’s us. Just when everything is going so well, and
her eyes are glazed over with awe, we always end up talking while our
mouth is full of veal, or sucking Jell-o up our nose with a straw, or
gulping down some of those desserts that make you gassy. Let’s face
it: at the buffet, it’s better to pig out and get your money’s worth
than seduce your girls.

THE ROMANTIC VIEW
It’s easy to take a friend to the top of the Stratosphere or Paris’
Eiffel Tower, but those costs $6-$8 per person, and that’s money that
could be better spent on a delightful bottle of ripple with dinner.
Besides, the Eiffel Tower observation deck is covered with chain link
and it brings back too many bad memories of my time in the Louisiana
Correctional Facilities.

I say, keep the cash and take your lady to the top of the Rio’s
Masquerade Village. Although it’s only half the height of the Strat’s
observation deck, it’s free. You and your lady will step out onto the
outdoor deck and scan the entire valley, with a great view of the
casinos you will take her to later for some nickel video poker. If
your special someone asks why you’re not at the Stratosphere, don’t
admit that you’re a cheapskate, just say that it’s too crowded and
too “bourgeois.” That word drives the ladies mad. Or say they had an
outbreak of malaria over there and you care too much to let her get
deathly ill. Now, if that doesn’t make her swoon, she’s got a heart
made of corn-cobs.

The Rio’s elevator is in the Masquerade Village area of the casino.
At night there is a dress code, meaning dress pants and collars, and
pants and shirts like that cost money. Plus, there might be a minimum
number of expensive drinks you have to buy. I suggest you take your
girl during the day and wear really dark sunglasses to simulate the
evening.

Of course, what I have just revealed aren’t all of my secrets. I have
to keep some of the mystery, after all. They should be enough to get
even the lowliest among us cheapskates to see that romance and
pinching pennies aren’t always mutually exclusive. Good luck and good
loving.

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Few know the cheaper side of Las Vegas like frequent visitor Matt Weatherford. Big Empire’s twice monthly newsletter is packed with great travel stories, often about Las Vegas and done with a hilarious tongue-in-cheek twist. We strongly recommend signing up for this one at http://www.bigempire.com/buddies


 


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:Sam Profio wrote:

>Ted, still enjoying your newsletter very much!á I noted in your Feb
>4th issue that one of AAA’s four diamond rooms included the Las Vegas
>Hilton.á No way!á Not unless they have nicer rooms than the one we
>had.á We were just there the second week of Jan.á Not only was it old
>and ordinary, the carpet was wrinkled in bunches and worn.á We tripped
>over it more than once and that was before any partying.á The only
>redeeming item was the electronic James Bond drapes!á The rooms were
>clean though.
>
>I believe we were in the North Tower.á It was the one to the left of
>center where each tower splits.á Hopefully they have newer and better
>furnished rooms in one of their other two towers.
>
>While I’m at it I may as well review the property.á The staff are
>friendly and do a nice job.á The casino is on the small side and their
>location off the strip is less than appealing.á They could use more
>table games especially craps.á The casino hardly ever seemed to have
>many people in it.á It was the second week of Jan.á but the strip
>casinos had action.
>
>The Star Trek experience is the best thing they have going and I am
>not even a big fan.á It is the best thing they have going because in
>addition to the actual experience/ride they include a fun themed
>restaurant/bar and casino section to go with it.
>
>We tried this property because we were able to get a good room rate
>($29/night) but I would not stay there again even at that price.
>Location, location…..

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional). Also, guest article submissions are welcome with full credit to you, your website, etc. if accepted.


 


ONGOING POLL – “How many times a year do you visit Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in next weeks issue!FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 10’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.

LAS VEGAS 2000 – Las Vegas Dining Guide. Enter at (contest closed)

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

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

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

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

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

All contents copyright 2000 Ted Newkirk
February 9, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – February 2, 2000

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

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

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

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

HOTEL MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your opinion of the Las Vegas hotels you stay at by posting a note to our new board at http://boards.accessvegas.com á We want to hear from you!

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This Issue: Rio Seafood Buffet

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

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DO YOU TRAVEL? Get your faxes, email, voicemail, and even set up conference calls from home or on the road right from your computer. Check and receive from your computer or by phone! All this for only $9.95 a month at http://cognibox.com/?tedinvgas

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LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

FOUR DIAMOND ROOMS – Las Vegas now has more AAA Four Diamond rooms than any other U.S. city with the addition of Treasure Island to that status. The others are The Mirage, Bellagio, Golden Nugget, Desert Inn, Caesars and the Las Vegas Hilton (all of which we book at http://www.accessvegas.com ). Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-02-Wed-2000/business/12876061.html In addition, Caesars is looking at adding a new tower to capitalize on their views of Paris and Bellagio as well as their prime location. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-02-Wed-2000/business/12873066.html

BINION’S STEAK – update: the infamous late night steak is now only served 11 PM to 5 AM Sunday through Thursday night, and they price has been raised to $4.99 As much as I love downtown, unless you are staying downtown skip it and head over to Ellis Island just behind Bally’s at Flamingo and Koval (about a 10 minute walk from Ballys). This local’s casino is newly remodeled, clean, friendly and offers a similar steak special 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for $4.95 (if not on menu, ask for it). Plus, you can sample the microbrews they brew right at the casino. We still do highly recommend the $5.95 prime rib served noon until midnight in the coffee shop of The Plaza hotel downtown. Great meal for the money!

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY – was a huge success despite the fact that the game ended up right on the number which resulted on many bets being refunded. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-01-Tue-2000/business/12867821.html

SPEAKING OF GAMBLING – on sports, a number of members of the U.S. Congress have introduced legislation to ban betting on college athletics. Of course, we know that NO betting on amateur athletics EVER happens anywhere outside of Nevada. NEVER. It wasn’t that long ago that Washington quit telling us to drive 65 miles an hour on desert freeway and now this. Obviously, we are less than pleased and while we have no intentions of turning this into a political newsletter, we will follow this and give you the opportunity to write your representatives if you enjoy betting sports here in Las Vegas. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-31-Mon-2000/business/12853938.html

MEGABUCKS – More information on the women who won the $34,959,458, her options on how to take the payout, and her plans for the money at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-28-Fri-2000/news/12846373.html

RUN OF THE HOUSE – How would you like to be a fly on the wall at casino management and board meetings with unrestricted access to interview just about anyone you wanted to? Pete Earley was granted just that by the Mandalay Bay Group. He also interviews people ranging from cabbies to hookers in his quest to give us the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the “new” Las Vegas. Review is at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-01-Tue-2000/lifestyles/12807048.html and you can purchase it from Amazon for 30% off at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553095021/invegascom

LAUGHLIN – from time to time, we get asked about this little jewel on the shores of the Colorado River 90 minutes south of Las Vegas. A recent Jeff Wolf article primarily focused on the SCORE off-road racing series but also talks about Laughlin itself later in the article at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-28-Fri-2000/sports/12847125.html

WILD WILD WEST – Las Vegas is often thought of the “cowboy west” but few people make it past the neon. Which is too bad, because the desert is a beautiful, fun, calming place. Sandy Valley sits 45 short minutes from Las Vegas along the CA / NV border. It is still pretty much the middle of nowhere and the Sandy Valley Ranch offers trail rides ranging from half-day to overnight. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Feb-03-Thu-2000/lifestyles/12826242.html Note: 2 years ago, I was over there and found out that they don’t have a service station in Sandy Valley. So fuel up before you go!

Winner: Renee Borden of Providence, RI won the Rio beads. The winner of last week’s t-shirt never responded. So, you all have another chance at it this week!

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?cscheme=5&amid=143

Michael Paskevich reviewed every showroom in Las Vegas recently. Not the shows, but the actual rooms themselves. Interesting facts to know at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-28-Fri-2000/weekly/12830007.html

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BUSINESS TRAVELERS: Keep the boss happy and pocket some cash! Pick from the from the 120+ destinations offered at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-discounts.htm for booking business travel. Get the guarenteed low rates, and YOU get to pocket the $25 rebate at http://www.accessvegas.com/100-rebate.htm (you must book during this month). Do you book rental cars? Try http://www.travelnow.com/cars/search.jsp?cid=2005 and access the best rates from the major companies.

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FEATURE STORY: RIO SEAFOOD BUFFET

$27 for a buffet. No kidding. And that used to be for lunch or dinner until they dropped serving lunch last week. Is it worth it? That depends how much do you like seafood and how much can you eat.

The Rio Seafood Buffet (not to be confused with the regular Carnival World Buffet) is a seafood lovers delight. If it comes out of the ocean, they have some! Varieties of clam dishes, scallops, shrimp, oriental seafood delights, oysters, halibut, and swordfish in lanostino sauce to name a few.

Add in all the you-peel shrimp and crab legs you could eat. Then go get your choice of white fish, mussels, calanari or scallops with your choice of vegetable grilled to order . Got the kids along? Various breaded and fried fish as well as french fries were available. Someone doesn’t like fish? They were carving prime rib, serving BBQ steak and there was a fair amount of pasta, Mexican, and other more traditional buffet fare, all of which was top-notch quality.

The desert? I always judge the quality by the cheesecake, and I couldn’t finish the whole slice. Very good! The service was attentive, and for those so inclined a fairly substantial wine list was available as well as other adult beverages.

So what’s the verdict? When compared to what the same quantity, variety, and quality would cost in a traditional restaurant, you can’t go wrong for the money. Especially when you toss in desert, you couldn’t get this anywhere else for under $30 a head. However, for an upscale dining experience, it was a little too buffet-ish for my tastes. The surroundings were pleasant, but nothing special and no nicer than half of the other buffets in town. The music was a little too uptempo loud. There was a line at the desert bar because they served each person individually.

Unless you just don’t want to leave the Rio or you adore seafood, take the 5 minute ride over to Bellagio which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dinner runs $4 cheaper than the Rio Seafood Buffet and the atmosphere is more upscale, quiet and relaxed. While not having the huge selection of fish, Bellagio features a nice seafood variety, including PEELED shrimp. Plus, their desert bar is comparable but self-serve so you don’t feel like a child at Halloween or have to wait in line. You can view our Bellagio buffet review at http://las-vegas-news-reviews.com/99-12-15.htm

The Rio Seafood buffet is open 4 – 10 PM on weekdays and until 11 PM on weekends. Admission is $27 per person every single day.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

D.áLee of Casper, WY writes:

>My husband & I spent 4 nights recently.á We stayed in a very nice room
>at the Golden Nugget.á We usually go at least once a year and have
>stayed at that hotel that went under, Excalibur, Rio, and Palace
>Station.á The hotel and restaurant staff were exceptional and nice (!)
>compared to our previous stays.á Some folks don’t like the downtown
>atmosphere, but we found the savory more than made-up for the
>unsavory.á Upon returning home a letter from the Golden Nugget
>establishment came and invited us back.á What a class act.á The
>Nugget’s buffet is back in action (it was temporarily closed, during
>the stay), but we did manage to fit in the dinner buffet.á Our server
>was a young gentleman from Peru who took the time to connect with us &
>we welcomed him to come see the Tetons of our home state.á However, I
>included his tip on our room’s ticket which was credited with a $25
>food & bev allowance.á Well, I didn’t realize until we got home that
>the serving staff may not get the tip in this manner.á 1000 apologies
>to our server who so sincerely gave us delightful hospitality.á Anyone
>who has the chance make-up for our shortcoming, will you?

The Golden Nugget is the class of downtown. Perhaps not the best gaming rules, but 11 other casinos are within a 5 minute walk if that is important to you.

Jean H. of Waukesha WI writes:

>I thought Wayne Newton made an interesting statement when I saw him on
>TV over New Year’s Eve.á They were interviewing him about his upcoming
>long-term gig at the Stardust and he said: I believe that when people
>come to Vegas they want to know who is in town while they visit.
>Since entertainment, like every other industry, has it’s cycles–I
>believe we’re going to see a come back of more single entertainers and
>a moving away from the large production type shows.
>
>When I heard him say this, I really felt Mr. Newton had hit the nail
>on the head.á I know that when we visit, the first thing we do is go
>to the web and see “who’s going to be in town”, whether its a
>comedian, band/music act, special sports event or whatever!á Mostly,
>though, we’re interested to see what “headliners” are going to be
>there.á We often do book these events, if it’s someone we really want
>to see.
>
>When we look back on all our various entertainment venues we’ve see
>over the years, the only one I’ve really not cared for was a major
>production show–now not playing anymore.
>
>I do hope that the entertainment gurus of Las Vegas listen to Mr.
>Newton–and give the public what they want—more headliners!á What do
>you think?á Know of any statistics to prove me right or wrong?

Wayne is building up his own show, which we hope to check out soon. We certainly try to list in advance who will be here and how you can get tickets, but for now production shows appear to be going very strong. We have an updated list of coming events (including headliners) at http://www.accessvegas.com/events.htm courtesy of Las Vegas tourism legend Billhere. While you are at that page, make sure to sign up for his free newsletter. It is informative, and generally covers different ground than we do here.

Chuck and Charleen wrote:

>Our son recently was married at the Little Chapel of the Flowers.á The
>minister did a nice job of adding some personal comments to the
>program even though the process was rushed.á The photographer did a
>less than acceptable job on the outside pictures.á They were too far
>away from the bride/groom and/or others and many of the pictures were
>not in proper focus.á For the money invested the pictures proved to be
>less than professional.á A bad rap for such a business.
>
>In making plans for this wedding and related reception we contacted a
>lot of the hotels that you recommended.á We found them very pricey in
>terms of lodging and very expensive in terms of a reception.á We did
>make contact with the Super 8 Motel on Koval Avenue and encountered an
>extremely helpful sales manager by the name of Diane Webber Work who
>went out of her way to arrange for block room rates, arranging for a
>private reception in a large banquet room to accommodate 40+ wedding
>participants and with her own money secured a wedding cake.á We were
>extremely impressed with the staff of Super 8 and with the staff of
>the adjacent Ellis Island who catered our wedding reception.á The
>staff of both places were extremely accommodating and friendly.á We
>highly recommend them for the quality of service provided and for the
>costs of their banquet food items and lodging.
>
>We did enjoy our visit to a variety of the other hotels and casinos
>where we took in several shows and eating establishments.á I must add
>that the worst buffet we encountered was at the Riviera where the food
>tasted like it was a week old.
>
>Your city has a lot to offer and we hope each of the establishments
>and the taxicab services recognize that they have a lot to offer and
>that all should make every effort to market the city with a positive
>attitude similar to what we encountered at the Super 8 and the Ellis
>Island Casino.

It’s always tough to suggest hotels for people. We have readers that stay downtown and won’t pay more than $30 a night for a room, and others who won’t come to town if they can’t get the Mirage. Our suggestions also generally take into account that fact that most people prefer to stay on the Strip, although we are certainly fans of Ellis Island.

For those considering getting married in Las Vegas, please understand that these weddings are “in and out” type of deals. It’s almost like an assembly line. If you want something more, contact Jon Jacobs over at http://www.lvweddings.com — tell him we sent you and he will give you a discount. He’s arranged weddings in helicopters, up on Mt. Charleston, Red Rock Canyon, and weddings to accommodate various size groups. Plus, he knows every chapel in town and isn’t tied to any one of them. Making the most of your day is his #1 concern, and he can put together a great package for almost any budget.

As for buffets, the Riviera has to be one of the worst for the money. Go to the Sahara buffet if money is an issue, otherwise the new Stardust buffet is actually pretty good if you are up that direction.

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional). Also, guest article submissions are welcome with full credit to you, your website, etc. if accepted.

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GET A LIMO AND GO IN STYLE! – You might not fly in first class, but leave you can leave the airport that way! Or, imagine taking a limo ride down the neon-lit Las Vegas Strip. Find limo service rentals anywhere in the world – no cost or obligation! Request multiple quotes so you can save time & money by clicking to http://www.limos.com/search/limos.asp?cid=x228933&exc=0

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THIS WEEKS POLL – “How many times a year do you visit Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in next weeks issue!

RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK: AccessVegas.Com Poll
What is your favorite nightclub in Las Vegas??

Utopia 0%
Studio 54 (MGM) 11%
C2K (Venetian) 11%
The Drink 0%
RA ( Luxor) 33%
Trax (Palace Station) 0%
The Beach 22%
Club Rio 22%

FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 10’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.

LAS VEGAS 2000 – t-shirt. One size fits all. Enter at (contest closed)

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

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

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

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

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

All contents copyright 2000 Ted Newkirk
February 2, 2000

Access Vegas Insider Vibe – January 26, 2000

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

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

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

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

HOTEL MESSAGE BOARDS – Help others and share your Las Vegas hotel opinions by posting a note to our new board at http://boards.accessvegas.com We want to hear from you!

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This Issue: Rio Masquerade Village Show

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


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


Note: Last week’s newsletter about Adventuredome is now archived online WITH PHOTOS at http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-01-19.htm The Bellagio Buffet review is archived online with Bellagio photos at http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com/99-12-15.htmáLAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

MEGAGUCKS – got hit Wednesday night at the Deserted Inn (yes, that is what we call it locally because it’s usually pretty empty). 37 year old Cynthia Jay, a (now former) cocktail waitress at the Monte Carlo, was catching a show that night at the Desert Inn. She had invested $27. The $34,955,489 (paid over 25 years) is the largest slot jackpot ever hit in history. Newspaper story at http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/sun/2000/jan/27/509769202.html and you can catch a video of the KVBC story at http://www.msnbc.com/local/kvbc/6235.asp#Netshowvideo

SUPER BOWL – Las Vegas throws quite a few parties during the year, but this is one of the biggest. Some come to drink and let loose, some come to root on the home team because Super Bowl tickets are unobtainable, and other want to recoup everything they lost betting football during the entire year! The excitement is building and you can read about it at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-24-Mon-2000/sports/12813959.html and you can find a full list of Super Bowl parties at http://www.lasvegas.com/features/superbowl.html

NO MORE MILLION – Binion’s Horseshoe has undergone many changes since Binion sister Becky Behnen took over, but none compared to the sale of the infamous display of 100 $10,000 bills (a cool million) that her father Benny put together. An estimated 5 million plus people have had their photo taken with it over the years. If you have one, save it — it was your last. There was nothing like enjoying the $3 late night steak special (now no longer available on weekends) and then trooping back up the stairs and spending a few quiet minutes just looking at all that cash. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-21-Fri-2000/news/12797214.html

HARD ROCK – Many questioned the off-strip location when it opened, but the Hard Rock has quietly expanded and become one of the top casinos in town. They may cater to the trendy high rollers from out of town, but we personally enjoy the 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker (slot points allowed for play) and the $5.95 surf and turf special in the coffee shop (not on the menu — ask for it). Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-24-Mon-2000/business/12802058.html and you can book discount Hard Rock rooms at http://www.accessvegas.com/las-vegas-other.htm (Hard Rock link).

SHOPPING GALORE – Recent reports note that visitors spent more in Las Vegas ($22.5 billion) in 1999 than in New York City and San Francisco combined, and that doesn’t include gaming. Not only are their more gaming opportunities on the Las Vegas Strip than anywhere in the world, but now more shopping opportunities. More than 50,000 people a day walk through The Forum Shops at Caesars alone. Story at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-24-Mon-2000/business/12803672.html

WB STAGE 16 – We mentioned the opening of this new eatery at The Venetian a couple of weeks ago. The Review-Journal has reviewed it at http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-21-Fri-2000/weekly/12733830.html

LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY – is holding it’s annual open house on Feb. 19. from 9 AM to 4 PM. Race fans will be treated to free tours of the entire facility, discounts from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, discounted concessions and merchandise, special ticket deals and go-kart rides courtesy of Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix. There also will be several big-screen televisions set up during the morning hours for fans to watch the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division race from Daytona International Speedway. The go-kart rides will begin immediately following the conclusion of the race from Daytona Beach, FL.

Winner: Keith B. Stolz of Houston TX is this weeks winner of the millennium t-shirt.

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Quick Concert and Show Notes:

See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at http://www.showvegas.com/svpricing.cfm?cscheme=5&amid=143

FREMONT ST. EXPERIENCE – free all-weekend Super Bowl party features free concerts including NEON CHAMELEONS and THE CLASSIC ROCK ALL STARS on Jan. 28, THE OHIO PLAYERS and ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION on Jan. 29, and will be showing the action on two gigantic screens starting at noon on Sunday.

REVIEWS – Recent reviews in the paper:

TOM JONES – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-21-Fri-2000/weekly/12777281.html
NOTRE DAME DE PARIS – http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/2000/Jan-21-Fri-2000/weekly/12758743.html


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


FEATURE STORY: Rio Masquerade Village ShowAlthough it’s been playing for the better part of two years, I’ve always seemed to miss the Masquerade Sky show when I visit the Rio. A visit to The Rio for me usually involves a trip straight up to the Voodoo Lounge with friends or to meet a client and just enjoy the spectacular sights from 51 floors up, which is generally regarded as one of the best free view of the city.

So, I braved the 58 degree cloudy, windy day Tuesday and set out to truly experience a little of The Rio. I arrived at 4 PM just in time to see the beach-themed show featuring music from the 50’s and 60’s. After that, it was on to their infamous seafood buffet (review next week) and then up to the Voodoo Lounge to watch the sunset. Then back down at before 6 PM to catch another Masquerade show.

This is a production and a half for free! The multi-level stage at one end of the Masquerade casino area features live musicians as well as a number of dancers, but the entertainment extends the length of the casino with large two-level floats that ride high above the gaming area on rails. The sound is great, the dancers superb, and the floats are ablaze in light and color. In true Mardi Gras fashion, dancers on the various floats tossed out beads to the crowds both below and lined along the second floor.

We enjoyed the first show from the ground in front of the stage, but the best place to really enjoy the floats and dancers on them is from the second floor esplanade which surrounds the casino (it has restaurants and shopping off of it). People start lining up a half hour prior to each show upstairs, but we lucked out and found the perfect viewing area: from downstairs, look across and over from the stage until you find the big Watch Zone sign. Unlike the balcony area just to it’s right (as seen from downstairs), you aren’t fighting for a view or fighting for beads with a throng of other people, but you still have a fantastic view of the stage. Get under the Watch Zone sign upstairs and you are set!

The show runs every two hours from 2 PM to Midnight (dark Wednesdays) and lasts for about 15 minutes. You can purchase a ticket to ride in one of the floats for $9.95 and become part of the show. They dress you in a costume fitting that show’s theme (there are 4 shows altogether). Might be fun, but it looks like you are pretty much belted in and I’m not sure how much you can see.

The Voodoo Lounge is a must see. It occupies one full side of the top of the hotel with about a 270 degree view of the city, including the entire Strip, airport, downtown, and more. It opens at 5 PM and I strongly suggest going early enough to be up there during sunset (which is generally early enough that you won’t fight a line). The view actually faces away from the sunset, but watching the Strip light up as dusk approaches is stunning. The trip to the top is free except for a weekend cover charge later in the evening. Noted local musician Jimmy Hopper and his band play their unique (and very impressive) versions of popular songs Wed. – Sun. nights starting at 9:00 PM. A “dress to impress” code is enforced. No suit and tie required, but wear something besides tennis shoes and have a shirt with a collar at minimum. The more busy it is, the more they appreciate nice dress.



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:Last week, Jim from Alaska wrote about his unpleasant New Year’s Eve experience and asked for suggestions how to make it up to his wife. You can find that letter archived at http://www.las-vegas-news-reviews.com/00-01-19.htm , and our thanks to the readers who wrote in with their suggestions:

Anonymous wrote:

>I’m a life-time local and very sorry to hear about the bad time you
>had.
>
>For dining I’d suggest “Keefers on top of the Carriage House”, the
>food is top-notch and the prices aren’t.á Their specialty is
>orange-roughy and if you ask you can get a window seat with a great
>view of the strip from the Excalibur to the Bellagio.á Try reserving
>at sunset.á Drinks in the lounge are a little on the high side.á The
>phone # is (702) 739-8000 and they’re on the strip and Harmon.
>
>For a reasonable room try the San Remo, very clean and nice.á My
>best-friends brother-in-law stayed there a while back and he was very
>pleased.á He’s also very frugal.á (CHEAP!) The phone # is (702) 739-9000.
>They are at Tropicana and the strip within walking distance from
>Keefer’s.á Good luck!!!

Note: We tend to prefer signed letters, but will consider unsigned letters with helpful information.

Sam Profio wrote

>Dear Ted: To the guy from Alaska looking for a better experience for
>him and his wife: For a romantic dinner try Olives at Bellagio and get
>a table on the balcony.á What a great view of the fountains during
>dinner and the music!á Bellagio does not take normal reservations for
>the balcony.á You must get in line at 5:00 PM to make a reservation
>for that evening.á I suggest you arrive a bit before 5:00 but it was
>not difficult to get a reservation.á It’s well worth it albeit a bit
>expensive.á The food, service and view is excellent!!!
>
>Regarding a good pool experience & not knowing the couple’s age or
>budget I would go with the Flamingo.á Great pool for all ages, great
>location on the strip and a very comfortable property.á Mandalay Bay
>has a great Caribbean themed pool, world class restaurants, the hot
>Rum Jungle night club and one of the best looking hotels on the strip.
>The Tropicana also has a great pool and a little younger crowd as does
>the Hard Rock’s Beach Club.
>
>Also, you can’t beat the top of the Stratosphere right before sundown
>for a romantic view of the sun going down over the desert and
>mountains and then watching the strip “come alive” when its lights
>become visible.
>
>One last thing that always works for me; take her shopping!á I know, I
>know, but most women love it.á The canal shops at the Venetian are a
>shopper’s dream and while you are there, take her on a gondola ride
>for more romance.á Other good shopping; the Forum Shops in Ceasars,
>Mandalay Bay, etc.á Most of the new properties have shopping.

Tedd Adamek wrote:

>áá Sorry to hear about your troubles on your stay on
>New Year’s. Don’t blame it on Vegas for the problems
>on one hotel. It was unfortunate that you picked the
>only hotel to go bankrupt but you do need to shop
>around a little more then you do. Anyone that would pay
>that price to stay at that hotel (very low grade
>place) didn’t do much looking around. Try some of the
>offers in this newsletter and call around next time.
>I’m sure you could do better.

Bookmark or add http://www.hoteldiscounts.com/cgi-bin/pickcity?SID=IVC&LKF=IVC to your favorites. You can always go there, punch in your dates, compare the prices of every hotel against each other in seconds and book right online with instant confirmation.

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

Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at [email protected] Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional). Also, guest article submissions are welcome with full credit to you, your website, etc. if accepted.

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THIS WEEKS POLL – “What is your favorite nightclub in Las Vegas?” Let’s hear your opinions at http://www.accessvegas.com — results will be published in next weeks issue!

RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK: AccessVegas.Com Poll
What is your most favorite thing to do in Las Vegas besides gambling?

There are other things to do besides gambling? 21%
Fine dining and upscale shopping 19%
Sun and fun: the pool, golf, hiking, etc. 17%
I enjoy taking in a show or two 33%
Sightseeing tours to Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, etc. 10%

FREE CONTESTS:

Note: You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. Please note the expiration date and only enter if you will be in town and can use them. The 10’th entry in each contest will be the winner (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest). Just sent a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.

LAS VEGAS 2000 – t-shirt. One size fits all. Enter at (contest closed)

RIO MARDI GRAS BEADS – enter at (contest closed)

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

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

Don’t hesitate to forward this newsletter to friends and associates,
but please ask for permission before reproducing the content in any
form — we would just like to know who you are, that’s all. Thanks!

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

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