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Vegas Observations / Openings / Closings / KISS Monster Mini-Golf / Exposed Salon / Plaza / Rock of Ages / Venetian / Million Dollar Quartet / Harrah's / Pin Up / Claire Sinclair / Stratosphere / Carlos n Charlie's / Flamingo / King's Ransom / Binion's / Sugar Factory / → All Tags
A year ago, we culled a list of 15 spots, surprisingly, still open. A list partial tongue-in-cheek, partial kudos and a whole lotta shock. In drafting a 2013 follow-up, if
Mr. Pappagiorgio hadn't taken a vacation and we'd published just two weeks ago, we would've looked like bonafide geniuses. Goretorium and Heraea are two spots that would've topped the list and have just shut their doors. The Las Vegas Zoo may have even made the cut if we'd looked far enough away from The Strip and downtown. Timing is everything, after all. But, we're up to a challenge and are ready to callout less easy pickin's.
Gambling / Craps / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / The D Hotel / El Cortez / Golden Gate / Las Vegas Club / Riviera / Stratosphere / Binions / Four Queens / Casino Royale / Main Street Station / → All Tags
The best games in the casino aren't always the games with the best odds, but it's nice when they are. Craps happens to be both. The casino only has a house advantage on pass line (or come) bets of 1.41%. This is among the smallest advantages the casinos have on gamblers. We can further minimize that house advantage by playing craps games that allow us to place higher odds behind our pass line bet. Pass line odds come with no house advantage and help shrink the overall house advantage. Why not take advantage of what's technically a free bet?
We'll play craps (or any game) wherever we happen to be, but it's nice to know where the best odds can be found. This helps us plan outings to specific casinos that meet our social and gambling goals. Many Strip casinos have 3-4-5x odds (3x odds on the 4 or 10, 4x odds on the 5 or 9 and 5x odds on the 6 and 8) (good eye rollie) so it often doesn't matter which casino you play at on the Strip. 3-4-5x odds isn't bad, but you can find better if you look for it. There's much more variety in craps odds in Downtown Vegas.
With daily 100+ degree temps, it's something we're all likely doing, anyway. So, why not score a freebie out of it?
Tropical Smoothie Cafe will offer complimentary 24 oz. Jetty Punch smoothies next Friday, June 21. And, all you have to do to nab yours is to wear flip flops. Already got yours on, right? The deal will be available from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. just when
we're the sweatiest it's the hottest and relief couldn't be more needed. TSC operates three locales on the Strip, one at Excalibur, one at Harmon Corner and one that just opened a few days ago at Stratosphere. Off Strip, there are almost 20 additional locations. All will take part.
Resort Fees / Stratosphere / WTF / → All Tags
Here's one we didn't see coming.
After sharing news of a Stratosphere resort fee hike back in March that took the surcharge from $7.50 to $12.99 a day, VegasChatter fan Kai has discovered that the north Strip tower has done it again. Again!
Guests will now need to pay $14.99 plus tax when booking a stay at the Strat. The new fee comes with changed inclusions, too. Here's what you get now:
Blackjack / Tournaments / Stratosphere / Slots / Gambling / → All Tags
One of the most frequent questions we get about gambling is from people looking to get into tournaments -- specifically blackjack tournaments. Most blackjack tourneys in Vegas are by invite only for casino players club members while slot tournaments are more widely available in many different casinos. Stratosphere, however, is changing the game up a little. While Station Casinos is offering a free slot tournament every Sunday in June, The Strat is offering blackjack tournaments every Saturday.
Besides being different games there is a monetary difference in to the tournaments as well. Registration for blackjack tournaments at the Stratosphere is $40 for Ace Play players club members. Everyone that reaches the final table will receive some form of monetary prize, ranging from $800 for 1st place to $150 for 6th or 7th place.
Romantic Vegas / Tips / Eiffel Tower Restaurant / Paris Las Vegas / Top of the World / Stratosphere / Comme Ca / The Cosmopolitan / Todd English's Olives / Oscar's / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / → All Tags
You can count on Las Vegas to bring out your wild child, but these restaurants will take your trip from adventurous to amorous. So, bust out those credit cards (these places aren’t cheap!) and put on a collared shirt (how romantic can you be in a tank top?) and get ready to impress your special someone with some candlelight and a bit of bubbly. Here are our five favorite restaurants to visit when we're in the mood for love:
Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris
A restaurant in a fake Eiffel Tower in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip could’ve been ridiculously cheesy, but this place gets everything right. From personal service (ask for Lyle!) and the awesome views of the Bellagio Fountains to the velvety red decor, it’s like Valentine’s Day every day inside the Eiffel Tower Restaurant.
This Chatter'er has a confession to make. I have a total girl crush on Claire Sinclair. Unlike some of her artificially enhanced, bleach blonde, spray tanned breast friends, she’s a brunette breath of fresh air. Like a hottie hybrid of Jessica Rabbit and Bettie Page.
So, you can imagine my excitement to see this angel in a centerfold come to life on stage in PIN UP at the Strat. (Aside: I used to think she was only innocently cute, at most. A fabulous Bettie Page spokesperson, but Playmate of the Year? Really? But, then I saw her naked in Playboy, and YOWZA. Those doe eyes, that body and her playful sex appeal. Girrrrrrl. Oh, and those are real! NSFW link, here.)
Back in January, when we discovered Deja Vu Love Boutique was constructing a new space on Las Vegas Boulevard, we actually though it might be corporate offices. The erotic emporium has two other stores in Vegas, but we didn't think it might be expanding onto the far north Strip. And, we didn't think to check the address. We should have. The city's third Love Boutique will be opening in the Tower Shops at the Stratosphere. And, we're frankly surprised.
Last year, the Strat closed their topless production Bite and recently replaced it with the more covered-up burlesque show, Pin Up. At the time of the cancellation, a Bite producer was quoted as saying, “they were not crazy about having a topless vampire show be the face of the Stratosphere.” Hence our surprise at welcoming Deja Vu as a new tenant. We'd link to their retail website, but we'd have to to warn you parts can be seriously not safe for 90% of our reader's workplaces. (cough, click here, cough.)
Frankie Moreno who?
The Strat has pinned up (see what we did there?) its newest headliner on billboards and signs all over Vegas while initial verdicts are mixed on the less-than-a-week-old production starring Playmate Claire Sinclair. The only two reviews for PIN UP on Yelp are a choice between "great singing, dancing, choreography and a really tight live band" and.. "If you think Holly Madison was okay in Peepshow then Claire Sinclair was terrible in Pin Up." Oh, my. A va-va-voom Claire Sinclair, however, isn't the only eye-raiser at the hotel-casino.
The Stratosphere raised their resort fee from 7.50 to 12.99 a night. And that does not include internet. Another 11.99 a day for internet.
Under the old charge, guests were granted admission to the tower during regular operating hours and pool access. Here's what guests are offered now for the extra $5.49:
Gambling / Luxor / Casino Royale / Stratosphere / Blackjack / OpenThread / → All Tags
Recently, we looked at some low roller gaming options on The Strip in light of the closing of Bill's Gambling Hall and Saloon. While cheap blackjack can be found from one end of The Strip (Stratosphere) to the other (Luxor), they may not come with the best odds.
More often then not, if you play $5 blackjack on The Strip, you will encounter a game that pays 6:5 for blackjack and has a house advantage of about 1.8%. If you play a $5 blackjack game, like the game at Casino Royale, that pays 3:2 for blackjack the house advantage is about .44%. The 1.4% difference may not seem like a lot, but it's almost 5 times more of a house advantage for the casino.
Gambling / Survival Strategies / Budget Vegas / Luxor / Excalibur / New York-New York / Bally's / Harrah's / Treasure Island / Circus Circus / Riviera / Stratosphere / Aria / The Cosmopolitan / Craps / Blackjack / Roulette / → All Tags
The closure of Bill's Gambling Hall makes Casino Royale one of the last low roller casinos remaining on The Strip. Whether you want $1 beer or you're in the mood for a Cinnabon or if you just want to play $5 craps, Casino Royale has it all. While many casinos on The Strip offer poor odds for most casino games, Casino Royale has some of the best inexpensive gaming. That said, they're not the only place you can gamble for cheap, nowadays.
You won't find low roller limits on The Strip at newer casinos like Aria or Cosmopolitan, but you will find $5 and $10 blackjack at a variety of other casinos up and down The Strip. Availability on these games depend on the day and time you visit, but $5 or $10 blackjack can be had at Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York, Bally's, Harrah's, Treasure Island, Circus Circus, Riviera and the Stratosphere.
EDC / Electric Daisy Carnival / Hotel Rates / Gold Spike / El Cortez / Artisan / Circus Circus / Orleans / Riviera / Hooters / Stratosphere / Golden Nugget / SpringHill Suites / Luxor / MGM Grand / Aria / Bellagio / → All Tags
Even though Electric Daisy Carnival isn't until the end of June (June 21-23), hotel rates are already significantly higher than they were for EDC this time last year.
If you're planning on attending this year's party, be sure to act quick! We've collected the initial rates below from some of the hotels we recommended last year. EDC also did everyone a solid when they partnered with a few of the bigger hotels, including Luxor, New York-New York, MGM Grand, Aria, and the Bellagio. You can check the discounted rates here. As of now, some of them are cheaper than the hotels below. For example, Circus Circus is cheaper if you go through the EDC website at $87/night, and a room at the Luxor is $135/night.
By the way, three-day passes to EDC are still available. They're priced at $500 for those over 21. Single day admissions aren't being offered this year, but a lay-a-way plan is!