Tag: Sad VegasView All Tags
The VegasChatter family is sad to pass along news of the loss of a vocal and respected member of not just our community, but several Vegas-centric sites. Known online as GREGRIO, Greg Reiten passed away recently after battling with cancer. Word of his death spread through Vegas message boards on Thursday.
Though he did not reside here, Greg loved this town and was known as an authority on Vegas shows. He knew our theaters even better, we'd hazard to guess, than most of the performers who graced those stages and was always willing to share his thoughts on the shows themselves as well as advice on which seats were the best, down to specific sections and rows. As his name implied, VegasChatter also knew him to be a big fan and a regular guest of the Rio. He often shared his insider view of the off-Strip property here on our site.
We offer our heart-felt condolences to his loved ones. That sounds so meager and inadequate but know it's written with the utmost sincerity. And, to you our readers, we offer some of GREGRIO's wisdom on Vegas shows as well as the Rio down below. See all the comments he left on VegasChatter, here. Once you're done reading, we can't think of any more fitting tribute than to make plans to take in a Vegas show. Even better, make those reservations using GREGRIO's advice.
Magic / Magicians / Freaky Friday / Amazing Johnathan / Bally's / Quitting Vegas / Sad Vegas / → All Tags
The Amazing Johnathan is quitting Vegas.
A long-running Vegas mainstay, Johnathan recently began a residency at Bally's. But, he's giving up after reportedly receiving no love from Caesars Entertainment when it came to letting folks know he was actually there.
Johnathan let fans know about his decision via his Facebook page early this morning:
Magic / Rick Thomas / Vegas Returns / Suncoast / Sad Vegas / → All Tags
Magician Rick Thomas is returning to Las Vegas. But, sadly, missing a long-time partner. Last month, Thomas tweeted the death of his 500-pound white Begal tiger named Samson. The tiger was a main feature of every Rick Thomas show, led into a large box and magically "shrunk." Here's some vintage video of the majestic Samson in action:
Thomas has performed at the Tropicana, Stardust and was the resident magician when the Sahara closed in 2011. Always a family friendly show, the big cats were a big attraction. He's spent the last six months on an Asian tour, but announced his return to Vegas with two performances at the Suncoast with an unexpected update:
Sad Vegas / VegasChatter Flashback / Du-Par's / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / Golden Gate / Riviera / → All Tags
Today, we heard some news that made us feel the same way we do when we get down to the last few bites of Du-Par's fluffy gold pancakes -- wanting more, but appreciative of what we had.
Back in August, our favorite downtown diner thrilled us with news that a second location was headed to Vegas, this one on the Strip and by year's end. After the announcement, the Internet blogsphere was abuzz with rumors that Du-Par's would land at the Riviera, but that's not to be. In fact, a second Vegas location isn't in the immediate future for Vegas, at all, anymore.
Sad Vegas / Vegas Delays / Echelon / Boyd Gaming / Construction / Vegas News / → All Tags
Sidelined by the economy back in 2008, the sprawling project was to have seen a 3,300-room hotel-casino, a shopping mall, and three supporting boutique hotels (sound familiar?), a Mondrian, a Shangri-La and a Delano (recently swooped up by Mandalay Bay). Instead, the site has sat dormant all these years.
Ads / Sad Vegas / Politics / → All Tags
Casinos are evil, so says NoCasinos.org.
Well, it turns out that some people don't love Las Vegas as much as we do. A lobbying group called, NoCasinos.org, has just launched a new ad campaign in Miami and Tallahassee featuring a scary voiceover discouraging the public from allowing any new casinos into their areas.
In the ad, voice of Ghostface argues that the casinos are responsible for making Las Vegas #1 in a lot of undesirable categories like foreclosure, divorce, unemployment and crime. (Surprisingly, they left out Las Vegas' new spot at No. 12 on the rudest cities list.) The NY Times also ran an op-ed piece written by an anti-gambling advocate saying pretty much the same thing (Only this time, the state in question was New York.)
Sad Vegas / Lady Luck / Downtown Grand / Renovations / Hotel Remodels / Neonopolis / Downtown Vegas / Golden Gate / Fitzgeralds / Drink and Drag / → All Tags
We know nothing stays the same especially in this town, but it was still a sad Vegas moment to hear that the Lady Luck is no more.
Today, owners flushed the iconic name for the more royal sounding "Downtown Grand." As the picture above shows, the old name has already been plucked from the hotel's facade.
The unlucky property has been shuttered since 2006 when it was supposed to undergo remodeling. But, unlike the Plaza which later did the same, Lady Luck never reopened. It's unclear when the Grand will make its debut. A $100 million dollar remodel is currently underway and, hopefully, will stay that way. (knocks on wood)
And, that's not the only change still taking place in Downtown Vegas:
We almost wanted to tag this story as a VegasChatter Flashback as the last time we rode the Las Vegas Monorail was sometime in 2002. But while staying at the MGM Grand the other week, we decided to eschew a cab ride over to the Bellagio in favor of the monorail. "Maybe we'll get a story out of it," we told ourselves. And voila! Here we are.
Except there's still not much to say about the monorail. A single-ride will cost you $5, which is a good deal if you are taking it to the Las Vegas Hilton or the Sahara station. It's a so-so deal if you're taking it to Bally's which is where we got off. And while the MGM Grand has relatively close access to the monorail from the casino floor, everywhere else does not.
Stemware, wall art, dingy carpet, chairs, gaming tables, ice scoops. You name it, it was for sale as we discovered after finally getting into the Sahara liquidation sale the other day. That was after spending hours outside in sweltering heat, but that was a story for last week.
We would not have stumbled upon our most surprising find at Sahara, tho, if it were not for one of our linemates who told us that we really needed to go to the hotel's Golden Room, a small event space not too far from the poker room. We'd walked by it a few times without planning to venture inside, but - when we heard what we would find - we almost swooned.
After trotting back over and entering the nearly vacant room, we saw it - a model of the SLS Hotel that was supposed to replace the Sahara and, perhaps, the most damning piece of evidence that a new hotel won't arise from Sahara's gutted interior after all.
If you would have asked us yesterday at any point of our four-hour wait to get inside the Sahara's liquidation sale, we would have told you that this story would be a fiery FU to a CEO who clearly didn't think past making one last buck. Now, we're just worn out, deflated and trying to move on. Pretty much like Sahara's former employees must surely feel. Oh, yeah -- and still oh, so thirsty. We've gotten up twice for refills in just writing this story. A total of Five hours of hell in +90 degree heat with no water can do that to you.
The line continues today, tho, we haven't heard just how severe it is. (The local media have apparently moved on and we ain't moving from our couch.)
Inside, Sam is willing to let everything go and we do mean everything -- even dingy hallway carpet was being sold at several hundred bucks -- and is willing to keep the lights on (if not the A/C) for two months to wring every last bit of profit out of a once grand dame who is now being stripped of every last shred of dignity.
If you're planning to stop by for a bit of Vegas history, wear comfy shoes, dress light, bring a six-pack of water (or something more fortifying, just keep it on the DL as police officers stroll by on occasion) and, most importantly, don't forget a friend. At the very least, the latter will allow you to walk away in disgust whenever you wish, rant without seeming crazy or go on a restroom or food run. (We chose a bad day to skip breakfast, ourselves.)
Parents, don't bring your kids here. Forgot about the fact that there is searing heat and that there may or may not be a long ass line. Think about how many times the kids touch things and then put their hands in their mouth or rub their eyes. Do you really think anything is being cleaned in the Sahara now? Or at the very least well?
While a lot of the expected things were long gone by the time we got inside four hours after the doors opened (those iconic Sahara doorhandles, most - if not all - of the poker and blackjack tables), there were still a lot of other things up for grabs. Like an endless amount of $2 each stemware, fugly hotel room art at $25, mattresses (too busy shuddering to note the price), dressers and nightstands, too. Oh, yes, and more than enough camel lamps to go around as almost everyone was clutching one.
Our own Rebecca Frisch has braved the long-ass line, the heat and babies at the Sahara Liquidation Sale today to live-tweet what Sahara hotel and casino mementos people are plunking down their money for.
The only problem is, as we write this Rebecca has been in line for nearly three hours. But that's nothing compared to the folks at the back of the line who are being told by police the wait is EIGHT HOURS! She also heard that once you're inside it takes two hours to pay for your items.
Back outside, things remain dire. Paramedics have already wheeled out an old man on a stretcher and people nearly collapsed from dehydration and the 90+ degree heat until the sale people started handing out bottled water.
Now, we know we are bias but this might be one of the most captivating live-tweeting we've seen in Vegas in a while. We just hope Rebecca makes it inside soon enough to snatch up a shufflemaster shuffle machine for the VegasChatter HQ.
Follow @VegasChatter for the play-by-play and for the first tweet from inside the sale! (fingers crossed!)
Stay tuned tomorrow for Rebecca's full Sahara Liquidation Sale report. In the meantime, check out her Twitpics from today in the gallery below.
Bellagio / Hyde Lounge / Fontana / Sahara / Closings / Openings / New Year's Eve / Petrossian Bar / Lounges / Sad Vegas / → All Tags
Bellagio closes the doors on Fontana Lounge July Fourth weekend with zero fanfare and zero parties or special events. Much like Sahara, Fontana will be going away with a wimper. It will be sad to see an old place go but this is Vegas and everything changes all the time.
Fontana will be closed for the rest of the year and will re-open as Hyde Lounge on New Year's Eve. New Year's Eve in Vegas tells us that Hyde will be opening with a bang with some big party that is sure to include your favorite mainstream pop performers and celebrities. We also imagine that some or part of the New Year's Eve celebration will be on TV since MGM Resorts (Owners of Bellagio) always has a TV presence on NYE.