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In our book, MGM Resorts' quarterly earnings call is a must listen. Beyond a reciting of dollars and cents, it's always filled with fascinating insight into what's really popping for the gaming company, and what's on the horizon. Here's what we learned from the latest call that took place earlier this week:
Shake Shack is so money: Everybody knows cult burger fave Shack Shack opened at New York-New York late December. You may have even stopped in by now. What you probably don't know is the Las Vegas location is "already the highest-grossing Shack Shack in the portfolio's history, second only to Times Square."
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There are many factors you should consider when deciding where to play poker during your time in Vegas, such as what games and stakes are offered, how much you receive per hour in comp dollars, tournament offerings, the level of competition, and so on.
Another factor that should not be overlooked is what promotions a given room offers and how much value you are likely to get out of those promotions. Most poker rooms in town offer some sort of incentive for players in the form of high hand bonuses, bad beat jackpots, "aces cracked" bonuses, or hours-based free rolls. What many people don't realize is that the house isn't giving away free money with these promotions, they are simply taking money that players have contributed to a fund and giving it back out in the form of a bonus.
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Ever since the start of the "poker boom" back in 2003, when an unknown accountant from Tenessee with the unlikely name of Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker, no-limit Texas Hold 'Em has been the game of choice among poker players everywhere.
It's easy to forget that, in the grand scheme of things, no-limit hold 'em is a relatively new game. If you were in Las Vegas back in the 90's or earlier, you would be much more likely to be playing a game like 7 card stud or even a variation of draw poker. While most poker players today are content playing no-limit, there are many who long for the days when this variation of the game didn't have the near monopoly it seems to have on the poker world today. The good news is, if you look hard enough, there are still places in Las Vegas where you can find some alternatives. Here's a look at some poker rooms around town that offer up a bit of variety for those looking to mix things up:
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Not all Vegas hotel porte cocheres are created equally. Sometimes, you can leave your car with valet, grab your bags and quickly get where you need to go. Sometimes valet is on the opposite side of the property and entirely inconvenient for your visit. It's not fun†lugging yourself through the casino until you get to whichever part of the property you want to be in. Here are some valet tips for visitors who prefer to drive themselves, but don't know Vegas quite as well as they'd like to yet:
'Tis not really the season until Bellagio fires up the Christmas tree.
The resort held a lighting ceremony for its always breathtaking holiday tree (writing that just to make someone twitch) last night. This year's fir stands 42 feet tall, weighs 6,800 pounds (!!) and is covered in 7,000 twinkling white lights as well as 2,500 multi-colored ornaments.
Also within the Conservatory, guests will find those adorable polar bears made of white carnations, mischievous animatronic penguins, a walk-through snow globe, a model train display and tens of thousands of poinsettias. The winter exhibit will be on view through January 3. VegasChatter reader @paperposter has already dropped by and shares the images you see in this post.
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Effective this week, the properties of MGM Resorts will see resort fee increases ranging from an extra two to five dollars a night. Here's how it will all break down:
The most magical time within Bellagio's beauteous Conservatory, for us, isn't during any one of its five seasonal displays, it's in-between them. Seeing those elaborate, yet incredibly intricate displays dissembled and assembled is one of the most fascinating sights in town. A well-choreographed production, a swarm of employees work day and night, round the clock, for about a week to cart away one exhibit and create the next.
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Do you ever get to the dessert menu and suddenly go into a mild panic because you canít decide between all the delicious flavors? Sometimes you want cookies. And, chocolate. And, creamy custardy goodness. The trouble is, you probably arenít still hungry in the first place and, though the separate dessert stomach is totally a thing, you donít need to order something from three different categories of sweets. Or, at least you probably shouldnít.
FIX at Bellagio can solve this dessert dilemma with its FIX CrŤme Brulee ($15). Its presentation of the standard dessert features an added bonus at the bottom: a layer of cookie butter. If youíre not familiar with the sweet concoction, you should run, not walk, to FIX to have your taste buds blown away. Itís made from mashed spiced biscuits popular in Holland and Belgium.
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Itís not Easter time, but it is time to get egg-cited about some eggs. Yes, we are that corny. These arenít just any eggs, but Faberge, to be precise. The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (BGFA) opens its newest exhibit today entitled, Faberge Revealed: Jeweler to the Czars.
Guests will get a chance to see intricate works of art and get a Russian history lesson at the same time. We highly recommend grabbing an audio guide wand (English, French and Spanish options!) on your way in to get the backstory on the pieces featured in the exhibit. Just be warned: Russian history isnít always the cheeriest subject matter, particularly in the revolutionary years.
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Ever been afraid to order something only because you couldnít pronounce the dishís name? Hopefully, weíre not alone here. Itís embarrassing to admit, but even more embarrassing to deal with butchering a name in a restaurant setting, especially on the finer dining side. This writer speaks Spanish decently well, but French is completely intimidating. I tend to fear dishes if they even sound like a name of French origin, particularly if all or several of the ingredients are also in French, because I donít really understand what Iím considering. When it finally dawned on me that poutine is just a fancy way of saying fries with gravy and cheese curds, I knew it was time to stop wimping out and avoiding dishes with French (or French Canadian, in this case) names.
There's Bellagio at Home and then there's truly bringing a piece of Bellagio home. While the resort has long offered visitors the chance to buy its towels, robes, and mattresses, today fans were given the rare chance to purchase some of the props used to create the famed botanical displays within its Conservatory.
An auction sold off more than 100 pieces from past displays, from the mundane (batches of Grecian columns) to the elaborately whimsical (a nine-foot-tall cobra.) Many of the props went for a song, but others fetched several thousand for the resort. (That cobra? It went for fifty bucks.)
It's impossible to walk through Bellagio's always exquisite Conservatory and not wish to have a similar experience right out your back door. But, if your pockets are deep enough or you're just plain lucky, you can take the first steps to creating your own, over-the-top backyard paradise tomorrow, Tuesday, October 21. That's when the resort will auction off more than 100 props once used within its botanical gardens.
BMA Liquidators will oversee the auction which will take place as a live web event beginning at 11 a.m. PT tomorrow morning. Among the items up for bid are boring things like rubber mats, columns and planters, but once you get past that, things get a lot more interesting. And, a lot more oversized, too.