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If you haven't been through Mandalay Bay's lobby in a few months, you've not had the chance to notice the disappearance of a long-time fixture.
The lobby's temple-inspired, 12,200-gallon saltwater aquarium was taken offline for repairs and maintenance in late May. When officials refilled it, they realized a leak hadn't been resolved. A decision was made to remove it and that work began in July. The tank is now completely gone; in its place, stands an oversized table topped with a collection of floral displays in varying heights.
Snapshots / Vegas Observations / Delano Las Vegas / THEhotel at Mandalay Bay / Name Changes / Mandalay Bay / → All Tags
Delano comes to Vegas via South Beach and while there are lots of design nods to its beachfront roots -- from the rippling, blue-hued carpeting in guest corridors to underwater photography in its suites -- the upscale brand didn't forget it's been plopped into the middle of the Mojave Desert.
Slots have always struck us as one of the most laidback forms of casino gambling. Play craps and you have to be on your feet. Choose blackjack and you can sit, but keeping track of the game can keep your mind racing. pokerís constant pushing, shoving, and stacking of chips can be exhausting. Even roulette requires some counting and sorting. Slots are the game for the truly lazy. Sit in a chair, sip a drink, and slap a button. Thatís all there is to it. Slot manufacturers, however, seem to think the games are still too strenuous. In a never-ending quest to combat slot player fatigue, theyíve introduced some game enhancements that have us rolling our eyes.
First up is an easier way to bet. Hitting ďspinĒ sounds painless enough, but apparently pressing a large round button is a process that needs improvement. Could valuable seconds be lost with each reach of the arm? Or, maybe frequent players are plagued by elbow strain. Weíre not really sure where the need for this innovation came from, but remote play buttons are here. Connected to the machine via cabling approximately two feet in length, these handheld devices let you enjoy another spin without the discomfort of raising your arm. You wonít find a cash-out button on the unit and, unless youíre willing to make the grueling reach six inches over, your only option is to continue playing. Sneaky.
Snapshots / Vegas Observations / The Strip / The Harmon / Harrah's / Casino Royale / Bally's / Grand Bazaar Shops / Caesars Palace / PURE / The Quad / The Linq Hotel / → All Tags
The Strip of today is not the Strip of tomorrow. And, when we say tomorrow, we don't just mean the near|distant future, we mean tomorrow tomorrow.
On-going construction continues to bring us a slightly different Vegas each day. Last week, we checked up on six different projects, from the tear-down of a never-completed resort to a casino remodel. The 18 photos below, snapped by Greg C. and @paperposter, were captured between August 19 and August 22. So, yeah, expect five of these projects to be slightly more advanced today.
At The Harmon, the latest phase of a year-long demolition brings a crane and black barrier drapes. The condo-hotel never opened due to construction errors.
Casino openings in Las Vegas are a blast. There are so many new things to do, see and touch. With every new property opening we see the entire hotel and casino concept evolve. Operators follow the money so it's no surprise to see the spread of smaller casinos. When The Cromwell opened earlier this year, few were surprised to see the low-rollin' property become a†nightclub that also had†an intimate hotel and casino.
It's not news when we say the majority of revenue on the Vegas Strip has been coming from non-gaming outlets. Last year, when Sam Nazarian spoke about his now open SLS Las Vegas, his goal†was to reap 70% of its revenue from non-gaming sources. When it was revealed SLS would open with nine restaurants and three clubs it wasnít much of a surprise to anyone.
In a city where the pylons of yesteryear have fallen to taller, flashier, all-digital productions, Westgate is going with the
cheaper more cost-effective route of just changing the letters on the old Las Vegas Hilton sign.
The 279-foot-tall structure, featuring more than 70,000 square feet of surface space, was erected in 1997 after severe winds destroyed the marquee before it. At the time, it was declared the largest freestanding sign in the world. We're not sure if that still holds true today (if you are, say so in the comments below.)
Vegas Observations / Consumer Electronics Show / SHOT Show / AVN / Mandalay Bay / Hard Rock / Las Vegas Convention Center / Sands Convention Center / Conventions / Conferences / → All Tags
Itís not even Labor Day weekend, but itís already time to start planning for 2015. Whether youíre a bargain hunter or just a neurotic planner like this writer, youíre always looking for an excuse to plan your next fun experience. When it comes to planning Las Vegas vacations, there are always times when everyone knows it will be busy. New Year's Eve, The Big Game, March Madness, Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend are among the busiest. Cinco de Mayo weekend is also a big one because thereís usually a big boxing match and the Kentucky Derby†to go along with all the Cinco de Mayo parties.
In between these busy periods, youíll find some less expensive times of the year to visit Las Vegas. My favorite time of year is in between Thanksgiving and Christmas (not counting when National Finals Rodeo moseys into town). Itís relatively†quiet (for Vegas) and hotels are less expensive. Even living in Las Vegas, I†still take a few days off to enjoy the Strip while it isnít as crowded. I like when the hospitality industry isnít run so ragged by the constant barrage of tourists and they can pay a little more attention to me. Iím a real fancy boy like that.
Players are trading bluffs and deep penetrating stares on ESPNís World Series of Poker telecast, airing now through the final table of the Main Event in November.
But, what you see isnít always what you get. Televised poker often presents a rather misleading look into the world of tournament poker. In addition to some obvious differences, such as, you know, the fact that drunk who gave away all his chips in that $50 Flamingo tournament wouldnít ever play the $1 million buy-in Big One for Big Drop at the Rio, youíll find plenty of differences between whatís myth and whatís reality.
MyVEGAS / Slots / Slot Machines / Konami / Vegas Observations / MGM Resorts / Free Vegas / → All Tags
Now two years old, social casino game MyVEGAS continues to add new users, new rewards, and new mini-games. Earlier this month, PlayStudios unveiled its latest slot title, China Mystery. New ways to earn those valuable loyalty points are always welcomed, but we were even more excited by the addition of new dining rewards. As we took a closer look at whatís new, however, we were left wishing we could turn back the clock.
Anytime anyone criticizes MyVEGAS they are inevitably met with the same response, so letís get it out of the way. Yes, the game is free. Itís been possible to rack up free hotel stays, dining vouchers, shopping credits, show tickets, and more, all from day one without spending a dime. For those who joined early on, itís been a great ride. Many of us here at VegasChatter are MyVEGAS players and this writer alone has racked up at least $1,000 in rewards. Thatís the good, on to the bad.
Budget Vegas / Cheap Vegas / Survival Strategies / Vegas Observations / Slots-A-Fun / Beer Pong / → All Tags
If we ask you to name the top destinations on The Strip for some low stakes gambling, what would you come up with? This writer would fire back Casino Royale before the question mark even makes it out. Pressed for more, Iíd name the new OíSheas, The Quad, and maybe Riviera. All fine picks for a gambler on a budget, but thereís a big one missing from my list. And, as a self-professed low roller, Iím ashamed to admit that I forgot about Slots A Fun.
Venetian / Palazzo / Technology / Mobile Phones / Video Poker / Slot Machines / Gambling / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
Tired of losing the charge on your mobile phone while wandering the Vegas Strip? Well, Venetian†has you in mind with the most recent addition to its casino.
VegasChatter reader Jeff C. recently spied the installation of Plug & Play mobile charging systems on some of the resort's video poker and slot machines. You don't even need a full charger to get your mobile phone some extra power while you gamble. Just plug a USB cable†into the machine and your phone will begin to charge.
With nightlife spots in its basement as well as on its rooftop is The Cromwell just a party hotel? Or, is it a convenient, boutique (by Vegas standards) hotel ideally situated on the center Strip?
Frequent Vegas visitor and VegasChatter reader Keith C. recently checked into The Cromwell -- a renamed and completely renovated Bill's Gamblin' Hall -- and fills us in on the pros and the cons, from the food to the service.