89101 Travel Guide

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Is El Cortez 'Amenities Fee' About To Nearly Double?

Where: 600 E. FREMONT STREET LAS VEGAS, NV [map], 89101
July 20, 2015 at 12:51 PM | by | ()

Update 7/22/15: A small victory for VegasChatter fans? Our helpful tipster "Brad" has tipped us off that El Cortez has possibly changed their mind about raising their "amenities fees" (or perhaps just delayed the decision) after reading our post. In his own words: "Vegas Chatter was responsible for rattling the cages and having El Cortez think twice about an increase. Hotels.com was contacted to change the resort fee back to $10.02. LMAO..." We checked hotels.com, using the same selections as earlier this week. Sure enough, the old rate has been restored.

An entire seven days has passed since our last update on controversial resort fees. We’d be thrilled to let another seventy pass by before the next announcement…but no such luck. VegasChatter fan “Brad” tipped us off on Saturday that El Cortez was raising its daily mandatory surcharge to $15.00.

It all began three years ago this week, when the newly-renovated Plaza Hotel, which caps off the west end of Fremont Street, became the first major Downtown hotel to impose a mandatory daily fee (the little Gold Spike beat them to that dubious honor back in 2010 with a negligible $1.99 fee).

Since then, the primarily Strip-centric resort fee trend has rolled down Fremont Street like a bowling ball, eventually striking into the old-timey El Cortez Hotel Casino.

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Male Exploitation Is 'On The Rise' In Vegas

Where: 301 Fremont Street [map], 89101
July 17, 2015 at 4:37 PM | by | ()

When the former Fitzgerald’s Casino was renamed The D, many wondered if that new monicker stood for “Downtown”. Or perhaps “Detroit”, where owners Greg and Derek Stevens grew up. Starting this month, that fourth letter could also represent “Daring”, “Down Under”, or perhaps “Daily Dose of Derriere”, with the July 31 premiere of "Aussie Hunks".

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Triple George Grill is Celebrating Double Digits

Where: 201 N. Third Street [map], 89101
July 14, 2015 at 3:20 PM | by | ()

DTLV restaurant Triple George Grill, home to one our most "glorious" steak dinners, is celebrating their 10-year anniversary with weekly dining specials and an epic party. (Cue the confetti!)

The big event will happen on Thursday, July 23rd from 8pm-10pm, with live entertainment on the patio, hors d’oeuvres, and a variety of wines and signature drinks available. All guests will also receive thank you gift bags full of goodies (and who doesn’t love free stuff!). This event will be open to the public, so long as you purchase a $15 ticket.

Triple George Grill will also feature weekly specials all month long. Take a look at what to eat for the rest of the month:

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Downtown's Inspire Theater Showcases Free 'Boozy Movies' Series

Where: 107 Las Vegas Blvd S Las Vegas, Nevada [map], 89101
July 1, 2015 at 5:37 PM | by | ()

There have been plenty of new additions to the Fremont East scene for us to crow about. Want a new Urban Market? You got it. A Downtown gay nightlife event? Round two is coming up. An assortment of new restaurants and nightclubs? Ta-da, they're everywhere. And right under our nose is a sorta-free weekly screening of fun films that apparently nobody felt the need to tell us about. For the price of a drink, you can experience "Boozy Movies".

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Are We On The Verge Of Downtown Grand 2.0?

Where: 206 North 3rd Street [map], 89101
June 30, 2015 at 1:17 PM | by | ()

Sometimes it doesn’t take long for a project to be declared an utter failure. In the case of Downtown Grand, what started out as an less-than-Grand opening quickly spiraled into near-irrelevance. Now signs are pointing (both literally and figuratively) towards a relaunch of the ill-fated property. But is it too late to restore good fortune to the former Lady Luck?

This writer was the first VegasChatter-er to publish a review of Downtown Grand’s contemporary new rooms. Initially as a pampered invited guest, then two days later (incognito and on my own dime) for a different perspective. Feel free to look back at those write-ups here and here.

The former Player's Club desk, now a bank of empty slot machines

During that first stay, the Grand’s marketing team described ambitious future offerings, like “Commissary After Dark”, a nightclub-style venue that was to rise nightly inside "The Commissary" food court. And “Picnic”, downtown’s first and only daytime pool club.

Well, "After Dark" never happened and "The Commissary" went from an elaborate concept to a scaled-down food court with limited choices and hours. It now exists primarily as a place to get your "Grand Experience" (resort fee) coffee and maybe a sandwich or bar bites.

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Our Thoughts On 'Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whisky'

Where: 150 Las Vegas Blvd. North [map], 89101
May 1, 2015 at 1:59 PM | by | ()

Downtown is becoming quite the hip and trendy location to visit in Vegas these days, and not just for the cheap drinks.

The area has welcomed a number of new eateries recently, including Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whisky, which officially opened its doors at the beginning of April. We’ve given you the scoop on their concept and menu, and we’ve already heard mixed reviews of the restaurant so far. We wanted to check the place out to see what they had to offer and what the food and drinks were like, so we attended their official grand opening/media night.

You would think that a place with "ramen and whisky" in the title would serve either ramen - or whisky - for guests to try at this event. Unfortunately, they didn’t serve either (we are still scratching our head in confusion over this). They did have appetizers to taste: The Veggie Pot stickers ($5.50), Pork Pot Stickers ($6), Mushroom spring rolls with black aioli dip ($5.75), Japanese Street Corn ($2.75), and the Chicken Skewers ($4.75) were all appetizing, but they were nothing out-of-the-ordinary. They also weren’t the make-to-order Ramen we’ve heard so much about.

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Should You Indulge In Glutton?

Where: 616 East Carson [map], 89101
April 30, 2015 at 4:35 PM | by | ()

After the announcement of Glutton's downtown arrival, there wasn't much info released until its opening. Until very recently, there even wasn't much of a publicly available menu. But, it seems the new dining destination is up and running at what feels to be cruising speed after serving up its first customers on April 10.

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At Plaza, 'Lovers Or Losers' Isn't Always An Either Or...

Where: 1 South Main Street [map], 89101
April 16, 2015 at 1:56 PM | by | ()

Plaza's newest production, Lovers or Losers, hasn't fallen into the latter category just yet. It's still hanging around since we first spied signage for the show, hosted by actor actor Todd Bridges of Diff’rent Strokes, in early March.

The downtown hotel-casino hosts the live game show, which promises fast-paced fun "with a dash of sexy Vegas attitude, at 8 p.m. nightly, with the exception of Sunday and Thursday. VegasChatter fans Les & Flori J. (pictured above) attended recently and informed us that losers are, initially, winners, too, but may not feel that way for long:

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VegeNation Opens In Fremont East

Where: 616 East Carson Avenue [map], 89101
April 14, 2015 at 9:29 PM | by | ()

Two new Fremont East eateries, with two different visions. While indulgence is the name of the game at Glutton, which opened Friday, VegeNation, located right next door and which opened Monday, focuses on health-conscious fare.

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No More Unlimited Bubbly At Golden Nugget's Weekend Brunch

Where: 129 E. Fremont St. [map], 89101
April 10, 2015 at 3:11 PM | by | ()

Outside of "open" bars or plunking yourself down in the casino for a while, buffets are the last bastion for unlimited booze. Over the last few years, though, there's usually been an up-charge attached to that.

Downtown's Golden Nugget is known for its weekend champagne brunch, but VegasChatter reader @ivyboy recently discovered the bubbly doesn't flow freely, anymore:

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In Downtown, A Place For Gluttons Opening Friday

Where: 616 E. Carson Ave., #110 [map], 89101
April 8, 2015 at 12:19 PM | by | ()

After many months of delays and a teasing sign beckoning all to closed doors, Glutton will finally do its best to bust waistlines beginning this Friday at 5 p.m. in downtown's Fremont East.

Set on the corner of Carson and 7th (across from the Container Park as seen from the photo above), the spot is being opened by Chef Bradley Manchester. The mission statement of the new venture is that of culinary excitement, with dishes geared to be as interesting as they are delicious.

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In Fremont East, PublicUs Is The Epitome Of Hip

Where: 1126 Fremont St. [map], 89101
April 3, 2015 at 4:53 PM | by | ()

Downtown is not only growing up, but also growing out. As the area becomes safer, cleaner and filled with more resources, businesses are becoming more and more comfortable with their general distance from the epicenter that is the Fremont Street Experience. PublicUs is pushing that boundary, and is doing so with some of the hippest food off the Strip.

PublicUs is located on a very nondescript corner of Fremont East, "way" down at Maryland Parkway (Google map here). From the outside, it is very minimal; inside, it is a palace dedicated to hipness. Custom-warped wood benches, modernist wall treatments, and a centerpiece of a giant, beautiful espresso machine. This machine and all things coffee are manned by Cole McBride, one of the most awarded competitive baristas in the world. This man practically has a PhD in coffee. The restaurant even boasts laboratory-grade water treatment equipment.

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