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Tales from Inside the Pit: Dark Superstitions at The Table

June 26, 2015 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (35)

Welcome to Tales from Inside The Pit. Because sharing (gambling tips) is caring (until you win really big, then you'll keep that stash for yourself), our pit insider has a few tricks (but no cards) up his sleeves that he'd like to show you. Pay close attention. Or if you're already at the table and too drunk to read this, well, just bet it all and pick up a free drink before you leave.

Five years working in the casino industry may not sound like a very long time compared to other, long-time employees in this town. But I have found it long enough to experience a lot of superstitions by both gamblers and the casino. What I do not understand is, "Why?" Why be superstitious about something that is simply math? It has nothing to do with the dealers or the other players. Nothing outside of the game itself determines the outcome.

Yet there are hundreds, if not thousands, of gamblers who truly believe a particular dealer will be lucky for them or sometimes, unlucky. (Coolers, they're called.) They actually believe the dealer determines the outcome of the game. And they aren't afraid to voice their belief.

“How come you're not letting me win?” is one of my favorite complaints. What you need to know is that--the dealer controls nothing except for the speed of the game, and some of them can barely control that.

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The Harmon Hotel is Down to Just a Little Nubbin

June 25, 2015 at 8:04 PM | by | Comments (4)

For all you deconstruction fetishists out there, can you spot The Harmon?

MGM Resorts may have deprived us of an implosion with regards to the never-opened, potentially unsafe Harmon Hotel but it's still fascinating to see them tear down this failed venture piece by piece.

VegasChatter photographer extraordinaire, Greg C., has captured the hotel recently--from all angles. Here's how the Harmon looked earlier this year:

And below is how the deconstructed building looks today (mixed in with some close-up shots from when the takedown began last year.)

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Body English to Speak No More After July 3?

June 25, 2015 at 7:37 PM | by | Comment (1)

UPDATE 6.29.15: Yup, Body English is closing for good on July 3. The Hard Rock included the closing news in their weekly e-newsletter.

A tipster told us that Body English, the long-standing nightclub at the Hard Rock Las Vegas, will no longer be speaking English, body talk or any other language after July 3. That's because the club, which has been like a second Shore house for DJ Pauly D, is closing up shop on that day.

This is just a rumor but in Vegas, where there is a Facebook status update smoke, there's usually fire. Interestingly, Body English has not updated their social media profiles since May 24, which is like six months in Vegas time and in these heady social media days, pretty much means the death knell. Whether this closure is permanent or not, we don't know but signs are pointing to "CLOSED FOREVER." A few years ago, Body English closed down but returned by the time the Rapture of 2012 had come and gone.

As for this weekend, the club is still open at its usual times on Friday and Saturday from 10:30 pm until "close." Ladies are expected to pay $20 at the door while the "gents" should cough up $30. Perhaps you should do a shot at Center Bar and then pour some sugar liquor out at Body English. Just in case you don't get a chance to say a final goodbye.

[Photo: Body English/Facebook]

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Need Some D in Your Life? You Can Now Order it Online

June 25, 2015 at 5:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

The D is the latest Las Vegas casino-hotel to offer merchandise from their property for purchase online. The new merch store called The D Shop (like the store in the casino) offers a variety of items from art you'll find in the hotel rooms to more traditional merchandise with their logo like t-shirts, coffee mugs and hats. In all, there are 26 items available for purchase on The D Shop online.

Purchasing items from The D hotel rooms isn't new but you haven't been able to purchase them online. If you really love The D you can buy a swag pack for $50.

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Ask VegasChatter: Where To Get A Nice Bargain Dinner In Vegas

June 25, 2015 at 3:43 PM | by | Comments (14)

Gnocchi a la Bolognese at d.vino.

A reader asked for a reasonably priced dinner spot to celebrate her husband’s 40th birthday. Here are a few of our suggestions. Sound off in the comments with your own ideas for a nice meal that won’t hurt their wallets too much.

If you’re ok with making appetizers into dinner rather than have a full meal, happy hour at Level 107 at Stratosphere offers delicious food and half off prices. Daily from 4-7, you can enjoy buy-one-get-one martinis and half off food. The roasted tomato fondue ($8 at HH pricing) is the dip you’ll want to put on everything you ever eat going forward. Black angus sliders ($8 at HH pricing) have a nice flavor burst from horseradish butter. The lollipop chicken wings ($7.50 at HH pricing) are also a must.

There are also apps like shrimp and lobster cocktail, lamb lettuce cups and banh mi sandwiches. As you can see, this is far from your average happy hour fare. The drinks are solid too with the lemon drop being my favorite (two for $15 at HH pricing). The real bonus here is the view. Enjoy a 360-degree view of Vegas from the 107th floor of the hotel’s tower.

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M life Members Can Now Cruise the High Seas, Thanks to Celebrity Cruises

June 25, 2015 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (4)

We already know how much you like to cruise Las Vegas but if you like cruising on the high seas, your Vegas trips may actually be able to pay for your next ocean cruise...so long as you stay and play with MGM Resorts.

The casino and hotel company just announced a new partnership with Celebrity Cruises that allows M life members to enjoy special perks and VIP experiences on Celebrity Cruises and vice versa for members of Celebrity's Captain Club. Such perks include complimentary cruises for qualified M life Platinum and NOIR members and room discounts and special check-in areas for Captain's Club members.

Complimentary cruises! That's a pretty sweet deal if you're Platinum or NOIR. (Speaking of Noir, someone needs to slip that into Titus Andromedon's Pinot Noir.)

Here's a full list of all the perks for Captain's Club and M life members:

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Checking In Again on The Las Vegas Arena Construction

June 24, 2015 at 7:35 PM | by | Comments (6)

We took an up close and personal look at the forthcoming Las Vegas Arena in early May but already, lots more work has been done.

VegasChatter's resident lensman, Greg C. was able to capture some of the construction progress that's been made on the arena. Is is just us, or is anyone surprised by how much this looks like the Viva Elvis Zarkana Theater at Aria? In case you've forgotten, or you're just finding out about this for the first time, the Arena is rising in behind New York, New York to the south of Monte Carlo.

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Beware! Bare's Pool Security May Not Be Protecting Its Topless Guests

Where: 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd [map], 89109
June 24, 2015 at 6:10 PM | by | Comments (11)

It’s pool season here in Vegas, which means bikinis, cabanas, tan lines, and...crappy pool security guards? This was the case recently for one of our readers at Bare at the Mirage. Bare, a Hakkasan Group property, is known for being a sexy and sophisticated European-style pool (read: topless), but according to this reader’s story, their staff might be missing the mark with their security operations:

Here, she's bared all about her time at Bare and it is nothing sexy nor sophisticated:

“As VegasChatter is my trusted source for all things Vegas, I wanted to share an experience I had while visiting last week at Bare Pool at Mirage. My hope is that my experience will let future visitors know what they're in for if they visit Bare.

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Seriously Losing Steam: SLS Posts $35 Million Loss in First Quarter

June 24, 2015 at 4:24 PM | by | Comments (26)

This probably isn't surprising news to avid Vegas watchers, but it is still an astounding amount of money that the SLS Las Vegas has lost in the first quarter of the financial year.

Howard Stutz at the LVRJ reports that according to a recent securities filing, SLS lost $35.3 million in the first quarter of this year, The resort’s private equity owners, Stockbridge Capital Owners also ponied up $5.3 million in April for the property’s general operations purposes. They've also committed to contributing $40 million through the end of the year so that SLS can make its payments "as they become due."

Here are some interesting numbers on SLS uncovered by the LVRJ:

Of SLS Las Vegas’ first-quarter net revenue (from January through March which totaled about $37.3 million), $9.1 million came from the casino. Hotel revenue accounted for $13.6 million and food and beverage operations brought in more than $15.7 million.

Food and beverage did close to double the amount that gambling brought in. Again, it's not that suprising to avid Vegas watchers who've seen the casinos get edged out by nightlife but it's still fascinating to hear. Maybe these means more new places to drink will pop up on the SLS casino floor.

For comparison's sake, The Cosmopolitan had a net revenue of $189 million in the first quarter, an increase from last year while their net loss was $5.8 million, down from $12 million for the same period last year.)

[Photo of SLS Foxtail Pool: Greg C. for VegasChatter]

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Project Neon Set To Wreak Havoc on Vegas Traffic in Early 2016

June 24, 2015 at 3:33 PM | by | Comments (6)

Construction that involves the improving the infrastructure of Las Vegas isn’t something that we’d normally mention but Project Neon isn't a normal infrastructure project. It's going to take years to build while causing lots of headaches for everyone traveling in and around town. The first phases of Project Neon will begin early next year and are expected to take about four to five years to complete. The complete, er, completion of this project may take as long as 20 years.

Project Neon is a construction project that’s so large and incredibly intricate that it has its own website featuring details, news and updates. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect from Project Neon:

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Finding a Forgotten Treasure From 'Lost Vegas'

June 24, 2015 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (15)

It all began with a spa robe with the words “Imperial Palace” emblazoned in gold thread. I was puzzled when it arrived on my Fort Lauderdale doorstep back in 1994 and had no idea what that robe would mean to me today.

Nineteen years later, a former massage therapist who goes by “Sammasseur” would write his first piece for VegasChatter. And in a touch of irony, it was about...the former Imperial Palace Hotel Casino.

This writer grew up in a dying steel town outside of Pittsburgh. My mother was an avid bingo fan, to say the least. After I graduated from college and moved out of state, Rosie developed an affection for gambling...slot machines, that is. She and her new husband became regulars in 1980s-era Vegas, and they always stayed at a place that sounded so fancy and regal--the Imperial Palace. Wowza, my mom was finally living like a queen!

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Vegas News Briefs: What Happened at EDC, Will End Up on 'Missed Connections'

June 23, 2015 at 7:05 PM | by | Comments (6)

There's so much going on in Vegas, we can't get to all of it so here's a nifty news round-up for you instead. Enjoy!

· Inside Look at What Went Wrong with KA: "In 2012, in Las Vegas alone, 53 performers in Cirque shows were injured, causing a total of 918 missed workdays. (Many more minor injuries are not required to be reported to the government.)" (Vanity Fair)

· EDC is Too Expensive: “Everything is too expensive. Everything. A margarita costs $18. That is too much for a margarita. Hats are $30.” (Las Vegas Sun)

· EDC is Also Dangerous: "A 24-year-old man died at the Electric Daisy Carnival overnight Saturday, police say. Of 408 medical calls reported from day two of the three-day carnival, seven people were transported to area hospitals and one person died just before 4 a.m., Metro wrote in a statistical summary Sunday morning." (LVRJ)

· WTF: Walter White Was at EDC?: "Bryan Cranston appeared at the Electric Daisy Carnival dance music festival in Las Vegas during a set by British trance group Above & Beyond." People)

· NHL in Vegas, For Good? : " It feels like a safe bet that the NHL will become the first major professional sports league to plant a franchise in Las Vegas." (Las Vegas Sun)

· And just because, this "Missed Connection" from EDC:

"I met you EDC 2015 day 3, Kinetic field, on the left side, right before Calvin Harris. You asked if you could get on the side rail to use your GoPro. I refused at first and told you I would lose my spot if I did. Even though I refused to allow you entrance onto the side rail, you were the only person in 3 days who PLUR'd me. You gave me a Captain America kandi with a shield charm, and I gave you a "URAQT" kandi. Regardless if I were to lose my spot or notou weren't rolling, and I told you I had just popped one, but hasn't hit me yet. You left sometime after Calvin and thanked me, and I went the rest of tht for that moment. I want to thank you. @e night knowing I didn't need to roll, because you allowed me to connect with others, relieve my social anxiety and fear of rejection, even if it was jus"...

Ed. Note: It gets cut off there so I don't know what happens after this. Don't do drugs, kids.

(EDC Missed Connections)