Tag: Vegas Observations

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At TI, The Pirate Show That Could Have Been

Where: 3300 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
December 18, 2014 at 4:21 PM | by | Comments (5)

It’s been just over a year since TI abruptly pulled the plug on its outdoor pirate spectacle. Original plans called for a brief hiatus during construction on a shopping mall located adjacent to the show’s viewing area. Instead, in late 2013, TI informed the Sirens of TI cast the production would not be returning. Few expected such a drastic move. Even TI staffers anticipated a revised show to emerge once construction settled down. Now, we’ve learned that an upgraded show actually was in the works and that it could have been The Strip’s latest tech marvel.

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Mega Fun With Megabucks

December 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM | by | Comments (5)

Megabucks slot machines are as close to having a lottery as the state of Nevada has. The allure of playing Megabucks is to be the lucky winner of a jackpot that’s always north of $10 million. The most recent hit was less than a month ago for $14 million at Rampart Casino. The largest we could find on record was for over $33 mil at Terrible’s in Sparks, NV back in 2009.

Those big jackpots are pretty sweet, but the odds of hitting are 1 in 49,836,032. Returns for Megabucks can legally be set to about 75%, but history tells us that’s not typically the case. Overall, casinos return about 88% of money played in Megabucks to players when you include jackpots hit. This is just slightly less than returns for penny slots, if you’re curious.

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The Strip's About To Get Lit Up In A Fancy Way

Where: 3645 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
December 17, 2014 at 5:04 PM | by | Comments (2)

Bally’s couldn’t let The High Roller have all the glory as a colorful addition to the Vegas skyline. The hotel's Grand Bazaar Shops will sport a sparkly attraction of its own. The outdoor mall was initially scheduled to open this month, but you should now expect a February debut.

The already ridiculously colorful project is upping its visibility game even more with the addition of a Swarovski crystal starburst. Last Friday, the sparkly structure was delivered and installed. The structure is 14 feet in diameter and was a collaboration between Swarovski and The Young Electric Sign Company, better known as YESCO.

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One Thing We Loved And One Thing We Loathed At Wynn

Where: 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
December 12, 2014 at 3:01 PM | by | Comments (17)

If you’re not up on your latest edition of Wynn magazine (the in-room publication at Wynn), you may be unaware of Steve Wynn’s philosophy on hotel organization. Basically, he likes to arrange things logically in a manner that groups related concepts into “neighborhoods” for easy enjoyment. It seems this philosophy didn’t transfer over to his rooms, though.

Despite being a top-tier luxury resort, Wynn Las Vegas is behind the times with certain aspects of in-room technological convenience. Though rooms have not one, not two, but three different sets of controls for the room lights and drapes (logically placed within about five inches of each other, plus another at the door which actually makes sense), you’ll be hard pressed to find a way to plug anything in by the bed.

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Why We're Not Digging The Renovated Sportsbook At Caesars Palace

Where: 89109
December 3, 2014 at 6:55 PM | by | Comments (10)

Caesars Palace is the latest to squeeze the regular guy out of sportsbook. The resort's recently(ish) renovated sportsbook is less of a remodel than it is gentrification. By that we mean, the sportsbook added a bar to make the tired old space look new.

If you remember the glory days of the Caesars Palace sportsbook, you probably recall the giant space with lots of seats where anyone could watch the games. Fast forward to 2014 and that space has been enhanced (read: drastically reduced). The sportsbook is now blocked off by a bar and the actual sportsbook TV screens haven't been replaced. The majority of seats inside the sportsbook are reserved for Diamond and Seven Stars Total Rewards members or people spending large sums of money on booze. This makes Caesars' sportsbook accessible to about 5% of Total Rewards members.

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A Food Lover's NYE In Vegas

December 3, 2014 at 4:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

New Year's Eve in Las Vegas is a time when thousands upon thousands flock to the Strip for one big, raucous blowout. But, when nearly every spot is offering a special prix fixe dinner or what have you, what is the best way to do it? Here's what I would suggest.

If you've never done NYE on the Strip, you may be wondering, "What's the parking situation?" This is the situation: you can't park anywhere, ever, unless you are cool with getting there ten hours early and leaving the next day. Either that or get your walking shoes on and park somewhere a good mile away.

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The Real Magic Of Bellagio's Conservatory

Where: 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S. [map], 89109
November 25, 2014 at 1:23 PM | by | Comments (2)

The most magical time within Bellagio's beauteous Conservatory, for us, isn't during any one of its five seasonal displays, it's in-between them. Seeing those elaborate, yet incredibly intricate displays dissembled and assembled is one of the most fascinating sights in town. A well-choreographed production, a swarm of employees work day and night, round the clock, for about a week to cart away one exhibit and create the next.

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Not All Games Award Players Club Points Equally, Or At All

November 20, 2014 at 2:34 PM | by | Comment (1)

We read the players club websites and brochures and usually have a good idea of how to earn points with a players club card. The information is spelled out in black and white. Unfortunately, things are always changing in the casino world and don’t make it online or into the brochures.

Take the video roulette game pictured above, for example. In some casinos, you may be able to earn players club points for the money you load into this game. In most casinos, including Boyd Gaming properties, you won’t. When this video roulette game was introduced, some players decided to try and game the comp system. Casinos pay attention and change the rules on the fly to counteract any weaknesses. Since these protective moves can be seen negatively by customers, they may not promote something like this prominently on their website or brochures. They’ll just leave stickers on the machine.

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No Guts, No Glory At The Video Poker Machine

November 19, 2014 at 1:48 PM | by | Comments (11)

Sometimes, it’s fun to do something dumb in the casino. A few weeks back, I was playing a 3 play video poker game and was dealt a Straight Flush on the 4th or 5th hand after sitting down at the machine. 250 quarters x 3 = sweet score of 750 quarters (that’s $187.50)! I held all five cards, took the pay day and played a few hands before walking away.

Later that night, it was pointed out that the hand was four cards to an open ended Royal Flush draw. A Royal Flush would have paid 4,000 quarters or $1,000. Even getting one Royal Flush in the three hands would have paid much better than keeping the cards. It was fun to talk about, but I was consoled by the fact the WinPoker app said that I made the right play by keeping the Straight Flush.

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Inside a Parlour Suite at The Cromwell

Where: 3595 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
November 18, 2014 at 4:51 PM | by | Comments (8)

The other week, HotelChatter showed off a different kind of jackpot in Las Vegas -- the deep soaking tub inside a Parlour Suite at The Cromwell. The rest of the suite isn't too shabby, either.

The room decor at The Cromwell is eclectically detailed, mixing a lot of modern with a bit of faux-vintage items. HotelChatter was impressed with luxury touches like the welcome beverages that are given to all guests (including sangria), the high-tech Toto Neorest toilet (the seat lid rises to "greet" you), the Eataly snacks in the pantry, and the flat iron in the vanity.

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At Planet Hollywood, A Hike, A Search, And A Surprise

Where: 3667 Las Vegas Blvd South [map], 89109
November 10, 2014 at 5:54 PM | by | Comments (11)

I want to introduce myself. I'm George Addams, a frequent traveler to Las Vegas. I'm middle aged, I'm from the middle of America, and I'm a middle roller (green chip blackjack and dollar video poker). I like gambling, and all the kitschy things Vegas offers. I'm delighted to have been invited to write for VegasChatter. I plan to share stories of my Vegas adventures, hotel and restaurant reviews, and perhaps some tips on gambling and comps, too.

I'm currently at the diamond level in the Total Rewards players club offer by the casinos of Caesars Entertainment. As a member, I received an email for three comped nights at Planet Hollywood in a Hollywood Hip room, which is their least expensive room. I had never stayed there before, but I knew that as a diamond, if I stayed mid-week and not at high season, they'd likely have some extra empty rooms and I had a good chance to score a complimentary upgrade.

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Don't Just Shrug Off A Misplaced Players Club Card

November 6, 2014 at 3:16 PM | by | Comments (10)

Players cards are more popular than ever, and for good reason. If you’re gambling, using a card is a must if you want comps or room offers. Even for non-gamblers, carrying a card makes sense. Most casinos now offer comps based on dining and entertainment purchases. Many restaurants, especially those in properties owned by Caesars, even discount their menus for cardholders. And, some resorts go so far as to combine room keys and players cards into one. As cards continue to do more and become increasingly valuable, it’s important to consider what’s at risk when one is lost or, even worse, stolen.

Slots seem to be the biggest culprits when it comes to misplaced cards. Despite the bright lights that surround card readers, it’s easy to walk away after cashing a big win without remembering to pull your card. Slot attendants are tasked with removing and discarding cards that are left behind, but there’s no guarantee that someone else won’t get to it first.

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