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A mainstay in the gay community is closing its doors tomorrow after a 12-year run. Blue Moon Resort off the Strip near Artisan announced last night it will be ending operations October 15. The message posted by owner John Hessling on the resort’s Facebook page cites only “circumstances beyond my control” as the reason for the closure. An employee cited the resort was “sold out from under the owner” in a mortgage situation.
From what we’ve heard, Blue Moon was home to some pretty epic pool parties and BBQs. What other Vegas hotel offers a free BBQ on Sunday with BYOB? Blue Moon’s Facebook page is full of comments from sad customers who don’t want to see the hotel close. They called trips to Blue Moon “the best vacation I ever had” and noted it had the “best service” while being “the most fun I had” in Vegas.
VegasChatter Questions / OpenThread / Vegas Observations / Vegas For Beginners / Casinos / Hotels / → All Tags
With so many choices in Las Vegas, one of the most daunting choices you have to make will be done long before you set foot off the plane. Choosing where to rest after long days and nights of gambling, eating and, of course, boozing can have visitors vacillating between the latest and the greatest, the closest and the cheapest, and more. This writer has even heard of decisions based on the size of the shower!
When looking for hotels in Vegas there are so many options, your first time or two usually results in a stay at one of the main hotel-casinos on The Strip. And, why not? All the lights, glamour, action, romance and nostalgia exist around those hotels. After a couple trips to Vegas, however, that feeling might wear off. A transformation into a Vegas veteran may send you off Strip or downtown when choosing a spot to sleep. If you aren't interested in leaving The Strip, there are other options that provide a good bang for your buck and don't come with the annoyances of a mega-resort.
SLS Las Vegas / Openings / Sahara / Monorail / Taxis / The Deuce / Survival Strategies / Self Parking / Tips / Hotels / Room Rates / → All Tags
When Sahara closed May 16, 2011, sbe chief executive Sam Nazarian hung a note on the door promising “Be back soon.” At that time, those words seemed like wishful thinking. Yet here we are, three plus years later, counting down the days until Sahara is reborn as SLS Las Vegas August 23.
If you’re as excited as we are to see a new hotel casino on the Strip, then you’ve probably got plans to check it out when the doors open for the first time. VegasChatter will attend the unveiling at midnight, Saturday August 23 (that’s Friday night if you’re unsure) and will share our impressions soon after. If you intend to join in on the fun, here are a few tips and (hopefully) useful information to get you there with minimal headache.
There's only 10 days until the SLS Las Vegas opens and, while rooms are only available in the Story and World towers for the first two nights (starting at $189 a night), the Lux rooms will be available beginning August 25, offering not only more space but also more sexiness.
As we told you back in May, the Lux rooms start at 425 square feet and feature mirrors on the ceilings, long white leather chaises and illustrated drapery that is wrapped around most of the room. This drapery also covers the glassed-in bathroom shower. So, while you can't step into the shower from the room, you can pull back the drapery and admire whoever is taking the shower. Surprise! Prince Harry, the SLS is practically calling your name!
Don't judge, but we've been counting down the days to Labor Day weekend since July 5. Now that we're less than a month away, it's a good time to check in on room rates. We decided to research rates with a Friday check-in and a Monday check-out because Vegas. Here's how much a summer holiday will cost you in Sin City (not counting tax and resort fees!):
Resort Fees / Hotels / Strip / Harrah's / Paris Las Vegas / Planet Hollywood / Stratosphere / TI / Treasure Island / → All Tags
It's been almost a month since our last resort fees story so, you know, it's time. And, not to disappoint, we have updates for you from both sides of The Strip.
The first came to us from VegasChatter tipster Duane D. who writes:
I just booked a room at Harrah’s through Expedia and found out later that they will want another $24.64 PER DAY up from the $18.00 shown on your list. This is a big rip off so I will (be) cancelling the room until they smarten up.
It is not the costs that is the problem, but to quote one price and then virtually double it for very dubious reasons makes it unethical. Even if they have covered their themselves legally, which they have, does not make it right. Whatever happened to the theory of just getting people there and then hosing them in the casinos – we all know that happens and are prepared for it but to expect more in other ways is just too much.Good luck to them.
I had a small hiccup at check-in when I was sent to an accessible room. It turns out I booked the cheapest rate for a one-bedroom (of course), but did not notice the accessible designation on the rate listing. The hotel was able to put me in a smaller studio room. Not what I booked, but since it was my bad, I didn't make a fuss.
Off Strip / Resort Fees / Motels / Hotels / Red Roof Inn / Mardi Gras Hotel / Tips / Survival Strategies / → All Tags
Most people either hate them or take them with a 'whatcha gonna do' shrug, but resort fees are at their most maddeningly when there's nothing resort-like about the business that's tacked the charge onto your tab.
While they're pretty much inescapable at Las Vegas' mega-resorts, it can be a rude awakening to discover your run-of-the-mill, off-Strip motel is charging them, too. VegasChatter reader Scott C. wrote us to alert us that the Mardi Gras "Hotel" & Casino on Paradise (shown above) has a $5 resort fee. The holder of 2 1/2 stars on Yelp, the property offers an airport shuttle, in-room coffee and WiFi in exchange for the fee. Although, the wireless Internet, according to one Yelper, hasn't worked on any of his four previous stays. Four!
Name Changes / The Quad / The Linq / Caesars Entertainment / Hotels / Future Vegas / The Linq Hotel / → All Tags
Another long-time rumor has become reality.
Caesars Entertainment has announced that The Quad, as part of more than $200 million worth of additional renovations, will emerge in November as LINQ Hotel & Casino, capitalizing -- of course -- on the adjacent LINQ shopping, entertainment and dining district (read: outdoor mall) next door which culminates in the soaring High Roller observation wheel.
VegasChatter Flashbacks / Hotels / Hotel Rooms / Bellagio / Room Renovations / Remodels / → All Tags
Way back in 2007, our sister site HotelChatter was not impressed with the rooms at Bellagio, one of the premier (obviously) hotels on The Strip. For all the talk about Bellagio being the best in town, we found the room decor to be nondescript, non sequential, and non-stylish. It was dominated by a massive brown armoire which overpowered the room. In the bathroom, we found some very questionable wallpaper. We also noticed a stain on the headboard. See for yourself just how "BLAH" this room was in 2007 in the video below.
Well, it took a few years, but Bellagio finally upgraded their guest rooms in 2011 and, boy, was it an improvement.
It’s always exciting to find a piece of Las Vegas while away from Las Vegas. We were surprised when we discovered multiple world’s largest gold nuggets outside of Vegas. And, just last month, we were delighted to find our favorite Vegas horse racing game up in Lake Tahoe. During a recent overnight stay in Reno, this writer was stunned to find something even bigger, a second El Cortez.
This hasn’t been a great year for El Cortez Las Vegas. First, they added an $8.95 resort fee. Shortly after, gaming legend and former El Cortez owner Jackie Gaughan passed away. El Cortez continues to thrive, however, and remains one of my favorites in Downtown Vegas. When I came across a hotel and lounge that shared its name, I couldn’t resist exploring.
SLS Las Vegas / Sahara / Hotels / Restaurants / Jose Andres / Nightclubs / → All Tags
Last week, we got to the tour the most ambitious SLS Hotel project yet -- the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the old Sahara casino used to be.
For "old" Vegas fans, there's not much of the original Sahara left, aside from the bones of the room towers and casino building. But if you want a thrilling new way to do up Vegas, the SLS will satisfy small and large spenders alike. Sorry, we got carried away with SLS-speak. What we meant to say is, there will be something for everyone here. You may not need to leave the SLS, at all.
As we mentioned on Friday, there will be three different room towers, each with a different category of rooms inside.
The World Tower will feature SLS "lite" sort of rooms. These rooms are no bigger than 400 square feet (with the exception of a suite) and they are more functional rather than over-the-top luxurious. Rob Oseland, president and COO of SLS Las Vegas, told us these rooms were designed by Philippe Starck to be "cost effective chic."
There's an exclusive SLS bed (called Sleep Lying Still from Beauty Rest by Simmons Hospitality), 300-thread-count bedding, down pillows and a comfy little couch at the foot of the bed. There's also the SLS-branded Saints & Sinners minibar goodies as well as a desk and rolling chair and a flat-screen TV.
And, instead of putting in a lot of luxury layers where room technology is concerned, Oseland said SLS will simply boost the cell reception and install a fast WiFi network which, at the end of the day, is really what guests want. The World Tower rooms start at $149 a night . Yet if you want some luxurious settings, you should upgrade up to the Lux Tower.