89109 Travel Guide

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Parting Glances: Our Photographer's Take On a Historic Resort's Fate

Where: 2901 Las Vegas Boulevard [map], 89109
July 31, 2015 at 2:35 PM | by | ()

VegasChatter photographer Greg Clarke officially joined our team last April, but he'd already been supplying us with gorgeous imagery for quite some time. We've proudly displayed his art across our Facebook banners and articles, and we've been wowed by his knowledge of all things Vegas. Greg's talents behind the camera have made VegasChatter more than just another travel blog ...they've brought visual dazzle to our prose.

I had the privilege of working with Greg this spring during the final days of Riviera Hotel. His fascination with that iconic property was rekindled yesterday by an announcement regarding its implosion.

Today we turn our lens towards Greg himself as he pens his first, last, and only article for VegasChatter. Thanks for the gorgeous sunsets, Mr. Clarke.

A lot of folks have been wondering about the fate of the shuttered Riviera Hotel Casino. Well, in a unanimous vote on Tuesday July 28th, a subcommittee of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) announced a decision to demolish the 60-year-old property.

The fact that this was just decided seems odd, as plans to expand the Convention Center towards Las Vegas Blvd. were announced simultaneously with the purchase of Riviera in February. The LVCVA even provided the media with artist renderings of the final project.

Don't expect things to go "Boom!" anytime soon, as pre-implosion preparations take a considerable amount of time, effort...and money. The official price tag to erase the Riviera buildings is a cool $42 million. Compare that with $11.5 million to chip down the unfinished Harmon Hotel, floor by floor.

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Our 'Be A VegasChatter Critic' Winner Reviews 'Intoxicating Magic' at Planet Hollywood

Where: 3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South Las Vegas, NV [map], 89109
July 30, 2015 at 2:10 PM | by | ()

Since the beginning of VegasChatter, our goal has been to provide useful tips, breaking news and unbiased reviews...ways to make the most of your Vegas vacation. Our site included several ongoing features, like "My Vegas", "Just One Dish" and "Ask VegasChatter". As our final day of publication grows near (with very little warning, sorry to say), many of these series have already taken their parting bows. The following piece will most likely be our final reader-penned review. We hope you enjoy it, and thanks for the magical memories...

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Monthly Wine Dinners at Giada are Worth The Money

Where: 3595 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
July 29, 2015 at 8:00 PM | by | ()

For $200 per person, it better be one of the best meals of your life. Speaking from experience, when it comes to specialty dinners, Giada at The Cromwell puts its money where its mouth is. Or its mouth where its money is. Or they have really good food. You know what I mean.

The signature restaurant from Food Network empress Giada De Laurentiis has been putting out top of the line cuisine since it opened just over one year ago. The new Monthly Wine Dinner Series is an excellent way to showcase the skill levels of all departments of the eatery.

As mentioned, it will cost you two hundo, but what you’ll be getting, at least judging by past dinners, is a stupendous five course meal with specific wine pairings courtesy of Allegrini Estates. You can expect menu items such as antipasto featuring some of Giada’s greatest hits, a clean arugula salad and Giada’s best-selling lemon spaghetti with shrimp, which is one of the greatest California/Italian mashups you’ll ever taste. Plus more.

Along with food and drink, diners will take home a signed picture of the restaurant’s namesake, and some of her favorite recipes including one for Giada’s scrumptious lemon ricotta cookies. At the preview dinner, De Laurentiis made a surprise appearance, talked to the diners and gave them all signed books.

Now, in honor of Giada, we rounded up all the ways that Giada loves Giada at this restaurant in a photo gallery below. It's ok, G. We love you too!

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Here's Your Chance to Be a VegasChatter Critic for One Night

Where: 3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South Las Vegas, NV [map], 89109
July 22, 2015 at 4:37 PM | by | ()

You may have wondered what it’s like to be a critic. If you’re a frequent visitor to VegasChatter, you know that we like to dish out our opinions with a bit of personal flair. This weekend we’re offering you a chance to be one of us...and attend the premiere of a new dinner show at Planet Hollywood Casino on our behalf. But you have to promise to tell us all about it in a publish-able review...and follow some strict guidelines.

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Valentino Really is Opening Up Right Next to The Bellagio Front Desk

Where: 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
July 21, 2015 at 6:35 PM | by | ()

I'll take a deluxe room and a side of fancy shoes.

In case you were wondering, Valentino really IS opening up adjacent to the Bellagio front desk. Hermes was already across from the check-in area facing the bell desk on one side and facing Petrossian lounge on the other side.

Now Hermes and Valentino’s storefronts are staring each other down, enemies in the same hotel lobby, vying for shoppers’ dollars. It threw me off when I heard another shop was opening inside of the Bellagio lobby because, as a luxury property, with a gorgeous lobby complete with the Fiori di Como flowers by glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, the lobby already had a lot of pretty things to look at.

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There's Still No Word On When The Riviera Will Be Imploded

Where: 2901 S. Las Vegas Blvd [map], 89109
July 15, 2015 at 2:45 PM | by | ()

We recently received an email from reader Ckkrafty inquiring about the closed but not forgotten, Riviera. He asked:

Is there any word yet on when the buildings might be imploded? Spent many a fun night gambling there and stayed over on its final night May 4th and 5th. I would like to plan ahead to be there for the final goodbye. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated!

We reached out to a couple sources, but sadly there still is no actual date set for the implosion of the famous landmark. At first we heard whispers of the big bang happening at the beginning of the summer, but that obviously didn't happen. Then we heard the implosion could happen at the end of the summer, but now we're hearing it may get pushed back to the end of the year. But we don't know for sure.

We will definitely keep you updated on the implosion date so you can go about planning your implosion parties. But if any of you have deep connections within the implosion community, let us know what you've heard in comments below!

[Photo: Greg C.]

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Just One Dish: Brussels Sprout Hearts at Cleo

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
July 14, 2015 at 7:10 PM | by | ()

Sometimes, a full restaurant review just won't do. Perhaps, there wasn't time for an A-Z meal. Maybe we just don't want to spoil it all. Or, a dog ate our good pictures. There may still be that one dish worth writing about. A new one, an old one. A newsworthy one or a memorable one (for better or worse). It might be the one dish, or drink, out of the whole experience that gets us to return. Or, stay away.

After hearing from my vegetarian friends how delicious Cleo at SLS was, this omnivore was quite curious. When I go out for a nice meal, it’s either Italian or a typical steakhouse dinner of steak and some sides. Potatoes are a vegetable, right? I do love most vegetables but I wouldn’t normally choose a restaurant just for its veggie reputation.

I’m so glad I went out of my comfort zone because the meal I had at Cleo, which was recently sold to The One Group, was easily one of the ten best I’ve had in Vegas over a decade of overeating here. While the seasonal mushroom flatbread, spanakopita and mushrooms with puffed rice all were worth returning for on their own, the Brussels Sprouts Hearts from the mezze section of the menu were surprisingly great. They are $9 for a fairly large bowl that was a good size to share with a friend.

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'Intoxicating Magic' Has Us Baffled...For All The Wrong Reasons

Where: 3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South Las Vegas, NV [map], 89109
July 14, 2015 at 5:20 PM | by | ()

Fans of dinner theater are about to get another heaping helping in Las Vegas. This one, entitled Intoxicating Magic, promises “an outstanding four-course meal with premium bar service followed by Chicago-style close-up illusions performed right at your table". If that mouthful doesn't jolt you into speed-dialing the reservations hotline, perhaps the headliner will. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the amazing “Master Magician” Danny Doyle!

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Divas Is Movin' On Up... One Floor During Linq Renovations

Where: 3535 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
July 14, 2015 at 11:30 AM | by | ()

Assuming you caught our update on Jeff Civillico’s new digs over at Flamingo, you might have noted the part where we said his temporary move was due to renovations of his former showroom at The Linq. If you’re keeping score at home, that means Divas Las Vegas, the show Civillico used to share a stage with, will be displaced as well.

✨ Tonight was our last night performing in the Linq Showroom, formerly the Imperial Palace. This was a classic Vegas...

Posted by Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas on Monday, July 13, 2015


The Facebook page of Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas posted a photo of The Linq Showroom after the show’s very last performance in that room. Not to worry, both the showroom and the show will go on. The theater is getting a complete renovation and Divas will be sashaying back in all its feather boa-ed glory once the upgrade is complete.

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The Linq Pool Will Be Ballin' Tonight (And For the Rest of the Summer, Too)

Where: 3535 S. Las Vegas Blvd [map], 89109
July 10, 2015 at 5:30 PM | by | ()

We are really lovin’ the pool at The LINQ this summer. (Go here for our story on the all-new pool deck.) And now there are a few more reasons why you should pop in on your next trip to town. Ahem competing Strip pools, take notes.

TONIGHT: The LINQ Pool is teaming up with USA Table Tennis to bring Ping Pong by the Pool. This party will kick off at 8 p.m. and it will feature 20 Ping-Pong tables for guests to play on and over 30,000 Ping-Pong balls that will fill the pools. This event goes until midnight and it is free to the public (score!) There will be Miller Lite, Coors Light and Herradura Tequila drink specials all night.

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The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art Showcases Picasso's Printmaking Processes

Where: 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
July 10, 2015 at 1:10 PM | by | ()

The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art has traded Faberge eggs for several series of Picasso lithographs and linocuts plus several paintings.

Though there are several Picassos down the casino floor at Bellagio’s Picasso restaurant, this collection features 43 works on view together for the first time in the U.S., including one that’s never been seen before, 1928's "Profile of a Woman With Blue Hair." The oil painting is from his estate’s private collection and this is the first time it is being shown publicly.

This “Picasso – Creatures and Creativity” exhibition centers on his painting and printmaking from 1938-1962. The exhibition was initially supposed to have one other later piece from 1971 but it did not end up being included. In a rare opportunity to see a bit more of Picasso’s printmaking processes, three of the plates he used for the making of some of his series of linocuts and lithographs are also on display so guests can see how layers were cut away and new colors were applied to morph the block as he progressed through the series of images.

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Would You 'Drive All Night' for Celine Dion?

Where: 3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd [map], 89109
July 9, 2015 at 12:00 PM | by | ()

Celine Dion returns to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Thursday, Aug. 27 with an updated version of her residency show and she’s looking for fans to help her make her return extra special. This could possibly be your one chance at 15 seconds of fame, so listen up.

The production team is looking for brave fans to submit a video of themselves performing their own rendition of “I Drove All Night.” A limited number of submissions will be selected to be included in a video montage during Celine's live shows.

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