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Off Strip / Shows / Dark Mondays / Entertainment / Vinyl / The Joint / Hard Rock / Cheap Vegas / → All Tags
The lady behind me at the Tix4Tonight kiosk sounded disappointed as she gazed at the listings on the monitor. “Jeff Civillico's comedy show is dark? He must be spooky like Criss Angel". Chuckling slightly, I turned around and explained that “dark” is lingo to indicate when a show is “off” for the night. Maybe, I should have saved a chuckle for myself, because that's when this writer finally realized why a certain monthly event goes by the name of Mondays Dark.
You see, for many Vegas productions, Monday is typically the “dark” day. As weekend visitors return home and hotels empty out, show performers and crews typically start their own “weekend.” But, for some entertainers, the desire to keep performing is strong. Mark Shunock, a lead in Venetian’s Rock of Ages, had the idea to channel that extra energy into something new: a gathering of fellow Vegas performers for regularly scheduled spontaneity-fueled variety shows with proceeds donated to Vegas charities. And, that’s how Mondays Dark began.
Budget Vegas / Cheap Vegas / Survival Strategies / Vegas Observations / Slots-A-Fun / Beer Pong / → All Tags
If we ask you to name the top destinations on The Strip for some low stakes gambling, what would you come up with? This writer would fire back Casino Royale before the question mark even makes it out. Pressed for more, I’d name the new O’Sheas, The Quad, and maybe Riviera. All fine picks for a gambler on a budget, but there’s a big one missing from my list. And, as a self-professed low roller, I’m ashamed to admit that I forgot about Slots A Fun.
Downtown / El Cortez / Downtown Vegas / VegasChatter Reviews / Cheap Vegas / Fremont East / → All Tags
What if you’re looking for a place to get some rest and want something upscale and modern? We’re guessing El Cortez doesn’t immediately come to mind. The hotel at El Cortez is mostly made up of older rooms that come with low rates. We’ve reviewed their tower rooms in the past and, while we wouldn’t describe them as upscale or modern, they are well-maintained and a great value. If you’re more interested in boutique than bargain, you may be surprised to discover what a difference $10 can make when booking a room here. This writer certainly was after a recent two-night stay.
Deals / Drinking / Riviera / Cheap Vegas / Budget Vegas / Bars / → All Tags
The suits in the executive offices of the Riviera have seemingly been working on more than tying that perfect windsor knot in under four minutes. Some old spaces have been shuttered, one more than once. But, in other areas of the casino, everything old is new again.
After giving the theater a refresh, they've doo-wopped the entertainment lineup, adding Motown acts and mo'. The ol' casino lounge, Le Bistro? New again. And, the Riviera will be buddying up with the spawn of those Pawn Stars come April. Of course, Girls still be Crazy at the Riv and Men are getting into the
act Experience now, too.
The best recent news to come out of the Riviera PR machine for us? An announcement of the Riviera's 3-2-1 drink special which may just be the best on the Strip, happy hour be damned.
During our last night at Silver Sevens, we found the new Premium rooms to be well-appointed and an overall great value. The Premium rooms are the most recently renovated at the hotel, so we were surprised to learn that they go for the same rate as the older Tower rooms. Even more surprising was the discovery that Tower rooms often sell out well before Premium accommodations. Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, this writer booked a two-night stay.
My Silver Sevens Tower room was just $30 per night on the weekdays I selected. Even with the $3 resort fee, a room for under $35 is hard to beat. Checking in was a breeze, just as during my last visit. After receiving my keys, I once again had to request and then wait as my free coffee vouchers were retrieved from a back room. This is despite the fact that they are clearly advertised as being included in the resort fee, and also despite the fact that the free coffee is pretty lousy. As I sipped my cup of lukewarm swill (I’m determined to get full value whenever I’m gouged with a resort fee), I headed through the maze of blinding slot machines towards the Tower elevators. While further away from registration than most of the Premium rooms, they are still a very short walk.
The first thing I noticed as I entered my fourth floor room was the carpet. It was worn and dirty. The Premium room which I occupied during my last stay had attractive carpeting which appeared to be very new. Here, I found a threadbare and stained floor that made the decision to leave my shoes on easy. Strike one for the Tower.
Deals / Cheap Vegas / Bally's / Eating / Tequila Bar and Grill / → All Tags
It's not often we get emails (read: never) disparaging our contributors, criticizing our usefulness and humor, and boasting of how the writer can do better before delivering the equivalent of SNL's 1980 season. But, VegasChatter
lambaster reader Chris S. does have a point in that we've not touted Bally's not very widely known cheap booze and tacos deal for good reason.
Here's Chris' love letter to Tacos and Tequila (he means Tequila Bar & Grill and the tacos and booze are actually $2-$3 now, but we're big enough not to let a small thing like facts get in the way), in his own words:
Gold Coast / Off Strip / VegasChatter Reviews / Buffets / Gross Vegas / Survival Strategies / Cheap Vegas / Dining / Sick Vegas / → All Tags
With so many great dining options available in Las Vegas, the restaurants at Gold Coast don’t usually garner much attention. The 24-hour T.G.I. Fridays is handy after finishing up some late night bowling, but is otherwise unremarkable. Ping Pang Pong, a Chinese restaurant that is worth going out of your way for, is likely the casino’s most popular place to dine. Both are much better choices than the Ports O’ Call buffet which is where this writer ate dinner for five consecutive nights during a recent stay.
“Why would you do that to yourself?,” you may ask. A good question and one I was not prepared to answer when I checked into one of Gold Coast’s premium rooms. I had booked five nights, Sunday through Thursday, using an offer that included a $10 dining credit for each night. It seemed like a great deal when I made the reservation. I looked forward to trying out a few dishes at Ping Pang Pong, hitting the Noodle Exchange, and perhaps even getting some of those delicious baby backs at Fridays. My cuisine dreams were shattered, however, when I was informed that the dining credit was only valid at the buffet. Up until this point, I didn’t even know Gold Coast had a buffet, but that’s where I would be heading.
Downtown Vegas / El Cortez / VegasChatter Reviews / Hotel Reviews / Downtown / Cheap Vegas / Vintage Vegas / Fremont East / Survival Strategies / Fremont Street / → All Tags
Earlier this year, we suggested 10 things you should know about Downtown's El Cortez. While the loose slots and cheap table games in the casino are favorites among locals, El Cortez has also been welcoming out-of-towners to its hotel for more than 70 years. This writer recently took a ride up the elevator and explored a room in the hotel’s 1980 tower expansion.
As a frequent visitor to the El Cortez casino, I knew this wouldn't be a luxury resort. This place is old. So old that it has landed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Even so, I've never had a bad time when visiting. When I need a break from the pretentiousness that can be overwhelming at Strip resorts, El Cortez is always there as a beacon of humility. After discovering that Tower rooms were on sale for just over $20 on weekdays, I jumped at the chance to spend a couple nights.
"Point Frenzy, Point Frenzy, POINT FRENZY!”
If you've passed by the front of Casino Royale, you have no doubt heard this exhilarating pitch attempting to lure you inside. Amid the propositions of $1.99 foot-longs and dollar Michelob Lights which effuse across The Strip towards The Mirage, a female voice beckons you to join the players club and get in on bonus points being thrown around so freely the only way to describe the proceedings is with the aforementioned term. The siren song is difficult to escape; even the neighboring Harrah’s food court offers no refuge. While booking a stay at Casino Royale’s Best Western Plus hotel, this writer couldn't help but wonder if a full night of lying in bed listening to a endless point frenzy promotion was in store.
I had known for years that Casino Royale contained a hotel, but had never seen it. Nor had I met anyone who could tell me about it, let alone spent a night inside. I suspected the hotel was just behind the second-story windows placed above the casino’s Strip entrance. Had this been the case, the non-stop loop of hot dog offers and Blackjack Switch ads would have been impossible to avoid. Fortunately, the hotel is located further back and I left the sounds behind as I moved beyond the casino.
Dining / Eating / Restaurants / Mr. Lucky's / Hard Rock / Red Rock Resort / The Cosmopolitan / Ellis Island / Cheap Vegas / → All Tags
Everyone likes to know more than the person next to them. There are advertised specials all over Vegas for the best this and the best that. There's nothing very special about reading an ad that's available to anyone with two eyes. What you won't see shared very often are the unannounced specials at many casino restaurants.
The other day we were fixin' to get a simple salad at the Grand Cafe at Red Rock Resort; but, before we ordered a $12 salad, we decided to check with the waitress to see if there were any specials. Lo' and behold, our plans for a relatively healthy lunch went down the drain when we found out that the special was a burger and fries for $6. Not bad. They also had a $10 steak special, but that didn't feel right for 1 p.m. These specials change pretty often and in this case saved us 50% on lunch. Nice!
Cheap Vegas / Dive Casinos / Casino Royale / Gambling / Deals / → All Tags
In 1953, Ian Fleming painted a literary image of James Bond that would soon cement itself in the public’s imagination. 007 is etched in our memories, playing a high stakes Baccarat game in France in a place called Casino Royale. He was likely wearing a tuxedo. As he faced his formidable Russian foe across the green baize, an outer layer of smug assuredness only worked to conceal the ice water pumping through his veins.
In 2013, a man is playing five dollar blackjack in Las Vegas in a place called Casino Royale. He is wearing sweatpants and downing a Michelob. It is 9 a.m. Glamorous Par-ee, this isn’t.
Deals / Cheap Vegas / Off Strip / Station Casinos / Pasta Cucina / Steakhouses / Eating / Restaurants / → All Tags
If you're hoarding your cash and squeezing every penny ahead of the fiscal cliff, Station Casinos has got your back.
While prices at Strip restaurants can be enough to give us indigestion (more on that soon), Station is actually lowering prices for pasta and steak lovers. Menu pricing has been cut for all Pasta Cucina restaurants (find them inside Boulder, Palace, Texas and Sunset Station) as well as Broiler Steak & Seafood (Boulder and Palace Station), Fuego (Fiesta Henderson), The Charcoal Room (Santa Fe Station), Austins (Texas Station) and Sonoma Cellar (Sunset Station).
Great PR move? Yes. More than just minuscule savings? Surprisingly, yes, too.