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Vegas Observations / Free Vegas / Treasure Island / The Mirage / Bellagio / Wynn / Caesars Palace / Flamingo / Circus Circus / Monte Carlo / Blue Man Group / → All Tags
During its original ten year run, the swashbuckling performance served as one of the greatest examples of the city’s family friendly era. Its more recent rendition, full of scantily-clad women and poorly crafted jokes, could be viewed cynically as a representation of the party pits and 6:5 blackjack payouts that many Strip casinos are now known for. With one of Vegas’ most iconic attractions no longer in action, we thought it an appropriate time to check up on the remaining free Las Vegas Strip shows.
Eating / Vegans / Vegetarians / Plaza / Pizza Rock / Downtown Grand / Wynn / Chefs / Restaurants / Healthy Vegas / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / MTO Cafe / Vegas Virgins / → All Tags
They’re strange. They’re subversive! They're secretly living in your neighborhood. They are... the vegans!
Sounds like the tagline for a sexy 1960s potboiler playing at your local drive-in theater, doesn’t it? Well, to some, vegans might seem very odd, indeed. But, with 2014 around the corner, the lifestyle of plant-based eating is no longer considered strange. Nor, is it very rare. Vegan dining, much like vegetarianism, has grown exponentially as people become more aware of its benefits (and are seeking non-pharmaceutical ways to improve health and longevity). Las Vegas, forever on the cutting edge of dining, is keeping pace with this growth. Let’s take a look at what’s cooking in the vegan kitchens of Vegas. Or, growing in the gardens, if you will.
Sportsbooks / VegasChatter Questions / Vegas Observations / Tips / Survival Strategies / Cantor Gaming / William Hill / MGM Resorts / Caesars Entertainment / Station Casinos / Boyd Gaming / Wynn / LVH / Golden Nugget / → All Tags
It's football season and that means it's a busy time in the sportsbook. Yesterday, we gave answered why sportsbooks will or won't show certain games. Strange enough, it makes sense. Now, we answer the often-asked question of which sportsbook has the best odds and point spreads. Some sportsbooks have better odds for some games, but there isn't a "best odds sportsbook." Sportsbooks often have similar odds, but since the odds are based on the amount of money bet, you'll see some noticeable differences.
Sportsbooks that cater to Vegas Strip tourists tend to have worse odds on teams from large cities. So, for example, you'll see that Caesars and MGM sportsbooks may have worse odds on teams from New York, Los Angeles and Chicago since there are so many tourists from those cities that place their wagers on The Strip. Caesars and MGM properties make up the majority of casinos on The Strip so you may see the Lakers with shorter odds to win a title or larger point spreads on a game at these properties than you would at, say, a Cantor Gaming-operated sportsbook.
Vegas casino resorts have changed a lot over the years and it continues to change today with hotels inside of hotels and boutique hotels becoming the trend. We recently found a great research document from the UNLV Center for Gaming Research library discussing the evolution of Las Vegas casino resorts. With so much news about the transformation of the Vegas Strip, we thought it would be fun to see how we got here.
The first generation of casino resorts was born in the 1940s with El Rancho Las Vegas. El Rancho was the first self-contained casino resort.
Memorial Day / Bellagio / New York-New York / Palms / Golden Nugget / The Cosmopolitan / Hard Rock / Venetian / Wynn / → All Tags
Most of the country is battling the back and forth weather that comes along with April and the transition from winter to spring, but it's never to early to start thinking about summer. Memorial Day is the official kick off in our eyes, and those making plans to visit Sin City in celebration should begin to stake their claim before you'll need to go with plans B, C, or even, D. The Golden Nugget, for example, is already sold out on Sunday, May 26.
Here's a glimpse at the starting rates at a selection of hotels. All rates are as of April 9 and, as always, are subject to change:
OpenThread / Vegas Observations / Resorts World Las Vegas / Wynn / The Cosmopolitan / Venetian / Palazzo / Paris Las Vegas / Excalibur / → All Tags
Every casino has a concept which may or may not be seen as a theme depending on how obvious it. Wynn, Aria and Cosmopolitan have a concept behind the design, but these casinos are not seen as themed because it's not as
cartoonish obvious as the Eiffel Tower at Paris or the castle turrets surrounding Excalibur. There hasn't been an obviously themed casino in Las Vegas since The Venetian and The Palazzo were completed in 1999 and 2007, respectively. That could all be changing with Resorts World Las Vegas.
Resorts World Las Vegas is set to open in 2016 and will have a heavy Asian influence throughout the $2 billion property. Resorts World Las Vegas will include a series of bronze and gold glass towers flanking Asian-style red pagodas, lagoons and fountains. There is even plans for a replica of the Great Wall of China and discussion on whether or not they will have a panda exhibit. The inclusion of a water park definitely makes Resorts World Las Vegas the first outwardly family friendly casino on The Strip in years.
Encore / Wynn / Andrea's / Restaurants / Dining / Fine Dining / VegasChatter Reviews / → All Tags
If you've heard of Andrea's, the newest dining destination at Wynn/Encore, you know at least two things. One, it's named after casino mogul Steve Wynn's wife and, two, it's her eyes that gaze upon diners.
What you may not know about Andrea's is that Nobu-trained Chef Joseph Elevado helms its menu. And, what you definitely don't know is that Elevado is one of the few chefs this writer gets geeked out about. And, apparently, embarrassingly so. For, as soon as he stopped by our table in greeting, this Chatter'er grabbed his arm and blurted out, "I love you." Yeah. Cool, lost. Thankfully, he took our gauche greeting in stride and, after a few more pleasantries, returned to the kitchen.
As our party of three waited for our courses to arrive, the "vibe" of dining at Andrea's began to sink in. First, as the pictures in this post show, the decor is beautifully feminine, the colors almost reminiscent of a blush pink champagne, with silver accents and crystal-clear teardrop light fixtures. The patrons that filled its spaces were part of the see-and-be-seen set. On our visit, young ladies in high heels and higher hemlines cocktail'd in its lounge while a noted Vegas food critic dined at one of its tables.
Doyenne of all things domesticated, Martha Stewart, is currently sleeping at the Wynn Las Vegas while in town for her niece's wedding, which is also taking place at the Wynn. How do we know all this? Why, we have Martha on speed-dial. Psych. She's putting it all out there for us to see on Twitter.
And boy is she
getting a serious comp deal from Steve splurging while in Vegas. For starters, she's in a two-room villa at the Wynn complete with a private massage room and a private pool. She and her niece also spent serious time getting prepped for the wedding at the hotel's beauty salon. Lastly, while tweeting a pic of her bedroom she let us know that Steve Wynn is "one of Las Vegas's most famous people." You don't say! Other than that, Martha is taking it rather easy in Vegas. We'll see where she ends up late-night tonight.
Dining / Red 8 / Asian Food / Wynn / Fine Dining / Eating / Restaurants / VegasChatter Reviews / → All Tags
Like many of the restaurants at Wynn, the decor is warm and comforting. As you'd expect from the name, Red 8 is heavily covered in red. The casual comforts of wood tones keep you from getting angry. Or, at least that's what we told ourselves. Black is the other color you'll notice in the decor and this works well with both the reds and wood tones. Red may be the color of anger, but not here.
Red 8 isn't just Chinese food like Ping Pang Pong. Rather, it has dishes from a variety of Asian countries from China to Korea. People say that variety is the spice of life and they aren't wrong when it comes to dining at Red 8.
We've said before that SW Steakhouse at Wynn is one of our favorite steakhouses in Las Vegas. With all the steakhouses opening over the past couple years, its been a while since our last visit. That had to change and we're glad it did. Las Vegas tends to have less traffic after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day, but SW was packed last Saturday. There was not an open seat in the house. Thankfully, we made our reservation well in advance.
The crowded restaurant had no effect on our party as we were seated in a private dining room. Much like our last visit to SW Steakhouse, the service was fantastic rivaled only by the great service at Delmonico Steakhouse. A waitstaff that works as a team seems to make every dining experience better since the service is more efficient. All of this was topped by an amazing meal.
Boxing / Wynn / Sports / Events / → All Tags
Boxing and Las Vegas have long gone together and just because it
is the lamer older bro to MMA doesn't seem to be knockin' fans out with those American thighs poolside at Cosmopolitan any longer doesn't mean this writer's given up on finding the perfect venue to break his virgin fight cherry.
The Wynn wasn't one spot we expected to have the opportunity to consider. Fancy water shows, yes. Country, check. But, the most stitches we ever expected to see on display at Wynn/Encore walked the NHL red carpet earlier this year. So, real live boxing at the Wynn versus on the TV sounds like news to us, even if high school field hockey ranks higher on our list of favorite spectator sports.
Steakhouses / Del Frisco's / Delmonico / SW / Wynn / Venetian / Gordon Ramsay Steak / Paris Las Vegas / Oscar's / Plaza / Triple George Grill / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
We love steak and are always excited to try a new or different steakhouse. This year brought a few new steakhouses to Las Vegas. Some were winners and some weren't. We visited many of them, but we also visited many existing steakhouses for the first time, too.
Here are our favorites among what we've tried out this year. You can see last year's favorite steakhouses here.