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Festivals / Elvis / Westgate Las Vegas / LVH / Events / Off Strip / VegasChatter Emails / → All Tags
VegasChatter reader Barbara E. is a big Elvis fan and a regular Las Vegas visitor from California. After visiting an Elvis Festival in San Diego, she knew she had to experience one in the city Elvis helped make famous.
With 837 performances since 1969 in the hotel now known as Westgate Las Vegas (formerly LVH, formerly the Las Vegas Hilton, formerly the International Hotel when Elvis performed there), Barbara knew this would be the spot to meet up with other Elvis-minded fans. She submitted the tale of her trip to VegasChatter so read on to hear more about her experience.
I’ve been an Elvis fan since I was 16 in 1956. I remember a radio host announcing “a new and controversial singer,” or some such phrase that got my attention, before he played “Heartbreak Hotel.” Those were the days when there were portable radios in the bedrooms, not TVs. I bought all his records and still have them. Unfortunately, termites ate Elvis’ first album–the little buggers.
Palace Station / Renovations / Sportsbooks / Bars / Drinking / Gambling / Off Strip / Little Tony's / Openings / Dining / Restaurants / Charcoal Room / → All Tags
It’s great to see older casinos become more modern. Last week, this writer checked out Palace Station to see what their new steakhouse, Charcoal Room, was all about. I was pleasantly surprised with the food, decor and level of service. The restaurant, however, felt like an anachronism compared to the rest of the casino. I'm happy to report the Charcoal Room won’t be the only updated destination inside the off Strip property.
Palace Station has recently renovated their sportsbook, too. There are two key features to the upgrade. New, large-screen TVs have the ability to feature one game across a number of monitors or the screens can be split so patrons can watch multiple games at once. The other change is the addition of 85 new plush, faux leather chairs. The chairs are among the nicest you’ll find in any Vegas sportsbook. VIP booths have been added as well.
Openings / Shopping / IKEA / Off Strip / → All Tags
With all the chatter (pardon the pun) over the past few years about Las Vegas’ lack of IKEA, this writer has come to immediately dismiss any rumors of the arrival of the much coveted and pined for Swedish furniture store. It seemed Las Vegans had come to accept the fact they weren’t going to get one of their own and had even figured out ways to make it easier to obtain IKEA items from Covina, the nearest California location, via ModernLV.com.
It now looks like the city that cried IKEA is sounding a false alarm no longer. In a press conference at Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas this morning, representatives for the international retailer announced plans to build a store at Sunset Road and Durango Drive (that's about a 15-20 minute drive from the center Strip). Rumored Las Vegas locations included downtown and the upcoming Downtown Summerlin project. The store is expected to open in summer of 2016 and will employ 300 people. The project is expected to create 1,000 construction jobs and will be the chain's 39th location (unless another city gets their wish before ours fully comes to fruition).
WSOP / Rio Las Vegas / Off Strip / Poker / World Series Of Poker / Events / → All Tags
The big event of the 2014 World Series of Poker is well underway at the Rio. Not the Big One for One Drop which netted one player $15 million and over $4.5 million for charity. The big one in this case is the Main Event which is currently on the second of two Day 2's that will eventually play down to one winner going home with $10 million dollars. And, if that hasn't sufficiently confused you yet, we're going to throw some facts and figures out now for what has been a bigger and better record-breaking year for the WSOP:
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!
As far as openings go, Las Vegas doesn't have too many that border on the bizarre, almost the surreal, as Omae. We were subject to a little tease and then nothing.
Without any buildup, fanfare or big publicized announcements, Japanese Cuisine by Omae opened on the 22nd of June. Then, after roughly a week of service, it closed until further notice. (The eatery's namesake, Takeshi Omae, had to go back to Japan. Immigration business, according to the young man on the phone.)
The LVH letters, which stood for Las Vegas Hotel after Hilton parted ways with the property in 2012, are coming down this morning:
Events / Off Strip / Elvis / LVH / Las Vegas Elvis Festival / → All Tags
There are plenty of music icons that come to mind when thinking about the history of Las Vegas, but none bigger than Elvis. Every year, Elvis fans and impersonators descend on Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Elvis Festival at LVH. This year’s event takes place July 10-13. If you’ve been to LVH before, you probably remember seeing a bronze Elvis statue (above) right near the entrance. Sometimes he’s inside, sometimes he’s outside and sometimes you can see that he'd just lei’d.
The main feature of the festival is an Elvis tribute artist contest, a four-round competition taking place over two days with two rounds of cuts, one after the second round of the competition and one after the semi-final round, leading to a final face-off by the top five. The festival is open to everyone, but some events might charge an entry fee. Here’s a look at the schedule and accompanying costs:
All good things must come to an end, but this was a bit faster than even we would have expected.
Earlier this year, executives at the Palms had us cheering over two out-of-the-box guest programs. In March, we were impressed with the launch of a 24-hour checkout policy that allowed guests to leave (with a few strings attached) 24 hours after they arrived instead of at the usual pre-set time. A few weeks later, execs had us toasting the introduction of a Beverage Butler whose sole goal was to bring the bar to guests waiting their turn at check-in.
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