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Vegas News / Papillon Helicopters / Rio Las Vegas / Events / Entertainment / Fun Vegas / Alex Stratta / Tapas by Alex Stratta / → All Tags
There's a lot of sh*t that happens in Vegas and not all of it can make it on our site as a full report. 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 April 13:
50 Years and Counting: What do you do to celebrate your 50th anniversary? Add a new Airbus H130T2 helicopter to your fleet. Papillon is celebrating its golden anniversary with a golden bird. It was blessed by the Hualapai Nation and christened earlier today. Papillon is the world's largest and longest-running helicopter touring company. Head to its website for a list of tours and pricing. Grand Canyon flights start around $359.
The Strip / Venetian / Palazzo / Attractions / Fun Vegas / → All Tags
Chances are, you’ve probably seen the gondola rides at Venetian. If not, experienced one. But have you ever wondered about what it takes to be a gondolier?
During the rides, guests are transported through Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes and experience the scenic ambiance of a faux Venice. The gondolas float through a quarter-mile indoor canal. There's also an outdoor ride that showcases views of The Strip.
On Friday, April 3, Venetian began selecting new gondoliers to join its staff, and invited the media along to view the first portion of the audition: the jump test. That's when candidates jump in the water -- outside at 8 a.m. in 52-degree weather, btw -- and prove they can swim back to the gondola, pull themselves in, and regain control of the boat, all in a specific amount of time. No biggie, right?
Future Vegas / Openings / The LINQ / The Linqs / The Strip / Off Strip / The High Roller / Attractions / Fun Vegas / Family Friendly Vegas / → All Tags
Yes, it's billions in debt and going through bankruptcy, but you know what they say, you got to spend money to make money. So, Caesars Entertainment is answering MGM Resorts' plans for a just-off-the-Strip Topgolf location by teeing up a golf concept of its own. Mini-golf, that is.
The land behind The High Roller is used for parking right now, but has always been earmarked for expansion of The Linq promenade concept. Now, thanks to a tipster who leaked these renderings to us, the gaming company has apparently committed to a course of action (with an emphasis on "course") -- The Linqs, a family friendly mini-golf experience.
Off Strip / Shows / Thomas & Mack / Fun Vegas / → All Tags
Las Vegas has officially gone to the geeks! First, we let you know about Wizard World Comic Con coming in April along with the already established Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con over EDC weekend in June. Then, we filled you in on the Nintendo Legend of Zelda symphony concert series coming to Venetian. Now, it’s time for Marvel fans to assemble.
Riviera / Fun Vegas / Attractions / Pinball / The Strip / Off Strip / Pinball Hall of Fame / → All Tags
One of our favorite non-gambling Vegas activities is to play at the Pinball Hall of Fame (1601 Tropicana Ave., about two miles east of The Strip). There are few places in the world where you can play over 250 pinball machines, from the 1950s to the present. And as an added bonus, all the profits go to charity.
This VegasChatter writer in particular was delighted when Tim Arnold, owner of those machines, was able to create a second mini Pinball Hall of Fame in the Riviera. About fifty pinball and video arcade machines located on The Strip... such convenience!
Attractions / Events / Fun Vegas / → All Tags
In recent years, Vegas got Wet ‘n Wild again, but this summer we may be able to cool off in another fun way. Slide the City, a.k.a. a giant slip ‘n slide, is reportedly coming to Las Vegas in June. From the looks of pictures on the event’s website, it will be a giant 1,000-foot slide laid out on asphalt. That’s over three football fields.
The point of it seems to be taking a fun and refreshing slide, but also dousing those who come to watch. With paid admission, you’ll be given a mouthguard and a water gun. Participants are encouraged to bring their own devices like water guns and buckets to get bystanders wet, too. Participants are also urged to bring some sort of inflatable tube. There will be some available on-site for purchase, but why not save a few bucks?
Off Strip / Movies / Palms / Game of Thrones / Fun Vegas / → All Tags
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, chances are you’re already attending viewing parties at whichever friend’s house has the best/newest TV situation. Well, it’s time to up the ante and the screen size.
To get you out of the between-seasons doldrums, the folks behind “Game of Thrones” will be showing the two final episodes of season four on the gigantic IMAX screens around the country, including the Brenden Theatres at Palms.
Vegas For Beginners / Tips / Movie Theaters / The Strip / Off Strip / The Palms / Fun Vegas / Budget Vegas / Showcase Mall / → All Tags
Over the summer, we brought you some great options for enjoying a movie in Vegas. Based on your comments, it seems we’re not alone in our love for a flick, even while on vacation. We’re back now with more possibilities, as well as details on how you can see the blockbuster film Interstellar the way it was meant to be seen.
If high-priced theater tickets aren’t your thing, then Regency Tropicana Cinemas is your best bet. All shows here are just two bucks. Better yet, swing by on a Tuesday and get in for half off. Trade-offs? There are plenty. The screens are smaller, the movies are older, they don’t have stadium seating, and it occasionally seems like parents use the place as a daycare. Concessions are just as expensive as at any other theater, but when you can get five tickets for the price of one, it’s OK to splurge a bit. The Regency is located about four miles east of The Strip on Tropicana. It’s way too far to walk, but not a bad drive if you’re at the southern end of The Strip.
SlotZilla / Fremont Street / Fremont Street Experience / Attractions / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fun Vegas / → All Tags
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a drunken tourist! You might catch a Superman busker working for tips under the SlotZilla zipline on Fremont Street on any given day, but now you can be your own superhero and fly down the newly opened “zoomline!” The $17 million attraction over downtown Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience is now fully functioning with the 77 ft. “zipline” ($20) option on the lower level and the higher 114 ft. “zoomline” ($40) above.
The additional line opened August 31 and has been gaining new riders through word of mouth and the obvious wow factor of pedestrians looking up to see excited (or, occasionally, terrified) riders fly through the air above them. Aside from the obvious higher height, riders of the zoomline will be able to fly through the air in prone position, a.k.a. superhero-style. The kicker is, the higher zoomline starts out over the Fremont Street Experience canopy, adding yet another layer of why-did-I-do-this?!
Halloween / Fright Dome / Circus Circus / Haunted Houses / Fun Vegas / Scary Vegas / The Strip / → All Tags
While the masses of excited children and quasi-drunk tourists who regularly pass through The Adventuredome at Circus Circus are a tad scary, it’s time for something truly frightening as the metallic pink dome shifts into Halloween mode with Fright Dome. Opening Friday, October 3, Fright Dome will celebrate the 40th anniversary of classic horror flick The Texas Chainsaw Massacre by dedicating one of its six haunted houses to the theme.
Horror director Tobe Hooper and writer Kim Henkel are teaming up with Fright Dome to, hopefully, deliver quite the terrifying haunt. Attendees will see scenes from the flick as well brave the over-the-top sets and eerily accurate actors Fright Dome has become known for.
Off Strip / Star Trek / Star Trek Convention / Conventions / Events / Rio Las Vegas / Star Trek Experience / Star Trek The Experience / Fun Vegas / → All Tags
Another Star Trek Convention at Rio has come and gone, and with it the hundreds of dedicated fans who "assimilated" (a Trek term) the off-strip property from July 31st through August 3rd. The annual sci-fi gathering is famous for celebrity meets-and-greets, entertaining presentations, parties, concerts, film screenings and vendor booths. This year’s event even had a first-time-ever Star Trek-themed wedding, presided over by a convincing "Lt. Commander Data." But, the one thing Star Trek conventions are most famous for? Those wild and elaborate costumes worn by attendees.
Yes, Star Trek fans are a dedicated lot. As so wonderfully spoofed in the Sigourney Weaver comedy, Galaxy Quest, Trekkers proudly wear their geek-dom on their sleeves... and Starfleet tunics, Borg implants, blue antennas and Klingon ridges. While this writer, a lifelong Trek fan, has yet to participate in the regalia (a logo tank or “Starfleet Security” T-shirt have gotten me by so far), some fans spend weeks, months and sometimes years perfecting their creations.
Star Trek conventions always have a Best Costume contest, and this year was no exception. Leading up to the competition were presentations by various experts in the fields of makeup and costuming. Exhibitors in the vendors area offered tips and supplies for next year's hopefuls. It's estimated that nearly 1,500 costumed enthusiasts filled the halls last weekend, hoping to catch the attention of celebrity and expert judges alike.
Several photo-op stations were set up in the promenades amongst the various halls (even a red carpet with the Official Convention Logo backdrop), and they kept flashbulbs popping. I spotted a few party-crashers from the Star Wars universe muscling in on the action, like Wookies, Storm Troopers and lightsaber-wielding Jedis. This may be due to the fact that director J.J. Abrams is now actively involved in both the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises.
This year's competition took place last Saturday, with a $1,000 prize winner crowned that evening. Naturally, I sat in on the prejudging to note audience reactions, but it was much more fun to stroll through the Rio Convention Hall to pick my own favorites. How else would you get to share Klingon Warnog beer (which made its world debut at the convention) with a Romulan or plot to pillage a planet with the Cardassians (no, I didn’t mean “Kardashians,” although they're known for doing the same).
If you’re like us, you grew up in an arcade. If you’re like we still are, you may wish you could relive these video game glory days of your youth, now with an adult beverage in hand. While Downtown's Insert Coins and Henderson's Hi Scores Bar-Arcade have these offerings, the new GameWorks at Town Square has the latest technology (and the old school games you love) in a much more central location, a short cab ride from the Strip.
Locals and some Vegas visitors may remember the old outpost of GameWorks on the Strip near M&M’s World. While this writer only personally visited that location once, the seemingly general sentiment that it was a dark and slightly sketchy venue can be confirmed. Luckily, this new Town Square location is bright and cheery (except for the purposefully darker eSports Arena, but more on that later.)