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Vegas on TV / Magic / Wizard Wars / Penn & Teller / The Strip / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / The LINQ / Fremont Street / Fremont Street Experience / → All Tags
Wizard Wars, a magical reality competition series, returns to SyFy January 29 and the first episode will feature a pair of Vegas street performers. Going up against the "wizards" will be Greg Dow and Sean Scott, two performers who make their living entertaining tourists for the most part. While both do corporate and private events, they can also be found regularly on the Strip at The LINQ and Fremont Street. Read on to find out more about their careers before you tune in on Thursday night, or decide to track them down in real life.
VegasChatter: How did you get your start in magic?
Greg Dow: I got a magic set when I was a kid and couldn’t figure it out and got frustrated and then went to video games and didn’t pick it back up until I went to college. I always liked magic. I liked watching it. I bought some magic tricks and brought them back to my friends in college and they started getting impressed. After a few months of doing that, someone asked me to do a show. I did a pretty bad show but it was fun. I learned more magic and, when I moved back to Chicago, I started doing magic in restaurants and enjoyed doing that for awhile while I was working day jobs. I moved out to Vegas about 12 years ago and I started working for one of the big magic shops. I sold magic tricks and taught people how to do magic tricks for about 10 years. About three years ago I stopped that and went to performing full time which makes me much happier.
Downtown Vegas can be a difficult place to operate a casino. Many properties want to keep the vintage feeling, but they don’t want to fall too far behind when it comes to technology. Walking through the casino at El Cortez, you can feel and see that push and pull.
El Cortez recently added four touch-screen kiosks for Club Cortez players club members. These kiosks stand out like rocket ships on the old-timey casino floor. There's no question, however, regarding their usefulness. We all welcome advancements like this no matter how strange they may look. Club Cortez members can use the machines to find promotional offers and play a few games. El Cortez is currently offering four promotions at the new kiosks:
Eating / Restaurants / Dining / Itsy Bitsy / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fremont East / → All Tags
A new downtown eatery is taking over what was formerly Wild (pictured above), the recently shuttered disappointing vegan food spot ("disappointing" being redundant most of the time). Ramen and Whiskey will feature a very simple "build your own ramen" menu as well as a selection of Japanese whisky and sake, a wide craft beer selection and a mixology program, too.
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Golden Nugget / Resort Fees / Tips / → All Tags
On Monday, Golden Nugget ended its $5 Downtown Destination Fee in exchange for a $22.60 tax-inclusive resort fee. But, if you don't want to pay, you don't have to. Of course, there's a string attached.
Sports In Vegas / The Strip / Hockey / NHL / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / MLS / Vegas News / → All Tags
If you really want NHL in Vegas, mark your calendar for February 10. That's the date set for the start of a test to see if there's enough interest in tickets and, subsequently, a team.
Billionaire businessman Bill Foley, behind the NHL push, is hoping some hockey fans buy in and "plunk down $150 to $900 for a season ticket deposit," according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He hopes at least 10,000 tickets are spoken for. Foley told the RJ that he's already reached lease terms with MGM Resorts and AEG for the 20,000-seat arena they're building behind New York-New York. Foley would share ownership of the team with the Maloof family, best known for bringing Vegas the Palms.
Vegas News / Eating / Restaurants / Openings / Mob Museum / Plaza / California Noodle House / California Hotel / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Off Strip / Red Rock Resort / Mercadito / Vegas Residencies / Caesars Palace / Music / Entertainment / → All Tags
There's a lot of sh*t that happens in Vegas and not all of it can make it on our site. So, every Friday, we take note of some of the smaller announcements around town that may be of interest, too. Here's the rundown for the week of January 12:
○Downtown: Now With More Mob: The Mob Museum is on the move in Downtown Vegas. Kinda. A traveling exhibit, basically a 1972 Jaguar XKE convertible once owned by John Gotti, can now be found at the Plaza through June 30.
Just days after the release of our 2015 Resort Fee Guide, we already have our first update. The Vegas Rover Facebook page is reporting that downtown's Golden Nugget will enact a nightly $22.60 tax inclusive resort fee beginning Monday, January 19.
Events / VegasChatter Questions / NASCAR / Las Vegas Motor Speedway / Fremont Street / Entertainment / Rascal Flatts / Cheap Trick / Hard Rock Hotel / Shows / Fremont Street Experience / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Off Strip / Sam's Town / The Strip / → All Tags
The annual NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Las Vegas is more than just a race. A week-long celebration leads up to a race weekend set for Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 8 this year.
Reader Ryan K. asked if we could keep him up-to-date on NASCAR week events. Since most won't be announced until after the Big Game we’ll start today and continue to update this list as driver appearances, specials and other events are announced.
Vegas Observations / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / Fremont Street / The Strip / Slots / Gambling / Gaming / → All Tags
Visitors doing Vegas on a budget often head downtown to get more for their money. There’s no denying that when compared to the Strip, downtown is full of bargains. Average room rates are about half of what you’ll find ($66 vs. $126 in 2014). Dining downtown is easier on the wallet as well, with the priciest downtown buffet coming in at just over $20. That’s a deal when compared to the more than $50 you would spend on The Strip. A commonly repeated piece of advice suggests that in addition to these savings, downtown offers better returns than the Strip when gambling, especially at slots. That seems to makes sense, given that everything else downtown is cheaper, but is it true?
If you’re a fan of Evil Dead: The Musical, it’s a safe bet you’ll also like Re-Animator: The Musical at The Smith Center’s Troesh Theater. The musical is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Re-Animator,” a cult classic like its fellow horror/comedy musical, “Evil Dead.”
If you’re a fan of campy horror, this is definitely the show for you. Even if you’re not, you’re likely to be amused by the humorous lyrics, plotlines and over-the-top silliness. This is not serious theater like Shakespeare by any means, but it is well-acted and the puppets and costumes are great. Think costume contest winners. You’ll likely leave wanting to be Dr. Hill and his dismembered, re-animated body for Halloween next year.
For two upcoming runs in Downtown Vegas, we're not sure if it will be more fun to be a participant or a spectator. One will ask runners to race in their skivvies while another will dust participants in just about every color in the rainbow.
Cupid's Undie Run (February 14)
With the tagline "put the hilarity in charity," it might be hard to resist this Valentine's Day themed event. Runners will take part in a one-mile fun run while in their undies (yes, they're serious about that) to raise money for the Children's Tumor Foundation. The run begins at 2 p.m. in front of the Commonwealth in Fremont East. There will be festivities before and after, too.
Resort Fees / Hotels / Strip / Off Strip / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
With more hotels charging resort fees than not, the year of 2014 was all about that bump.
On the Strip or off it, nightly charges continued climbing to new heights. Since we published our 2014 guide a year ago, Boyd Gaming raised its rates and enacted a flat fee of $12.99 at The Orleans, Suncoast and Sam's Town. MGM Resorts raised the charges at all of its properties by two to five bucks. Caesars Entertainment instituted a one-rate-fits-all-properties fee of $25 in November 2014 and has, somehow,
sneakily already topped that with five of its resorts now at $29. Hooters, Silver Sevens, Silverton, Plaza and Palms also bumped their resort fees higher in 2014.