Archive for the ‘gaming news’ Category

7 Las Vegas Superstitions…Happy 113th Birthday Vegas! – S2E63

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Jamey and John celebrate the 113th Birthday of the City of Neon…Plus a look at some interesting superstitions, their origins and scientific relevance.

Curated content and comedic viewpoints on Society, Politics, Entertainment & Las Vegas!

Vegas Gossip

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions have voted overwhelmingly in favor of sanctioning a walkout if new five-year labor contracts aren’t in place by June 1. About half of the 50,000 eligible workers participated, with 99% voting “Yes” to approve a strike. It’s not a certainty that a strike will be called even if contracts aren’t in place during the deadline, but if it is it would affect as many as 34 resorts on the Strip and downtown, causing a significant disruption in operations.

The Las Vegas Walk of Stars project, which honors Las Vegas entertainment personalities with stars embedded in Strip walkways similar to the sidewalk stars in Hollywood is getting a new home. After more than half of the stars were taken out during Strip construction, a deal was made to move them to the Linq Promenade. The stars will reside in an area near the High Roller wheel.

After dominating in the boxing ring, the prospects are reversed for Floyd Mayweather if he wants to take on Connor McGregor in the octagon. The Westgate opened with McGregor a -1000 favorite over Mayweather should the two meet in an fight with MMA rules. You can get +650 on Mayweather. The fight is only speculation at the moment and bets will be returned if it doesn’t take place by September 2019.

The first serve-yourself cocktail kiosk on the Strip has closed after less than a year in operation. The Hop kiosk was located among the restaurants shops at the Harmon Corner and offered beer and wine dispensed directly to customers.

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Mysteries of the Las Vegas Clefs d’or…and other fan questions! – S2E62

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Jamey and John discuss the realities of Las Vegas concierge and the mystery of Le Clefs d’or.  Also on this episode are talks of the sluggish Q1 and Q2 as reported by MGM and Caesar’s and what changes are causing this down turn.

Vegas Gossip

According to Jeremy Aguero, Las Vegas’ top economic analyst, Nevada’s population growth was nearly three times the national average and Las Vegas’ was the second fastest in all 50 states in the past year. Aguero estimates that an average of just under five people every hour have moved to Las Vegas in the previous 12 months, of whom 34% are from California. The Las Vegas metropolitan area has a population of nearly 2.3 million.

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) is unconstitutional. The 6-3 ruling opens the door for the legalization of sports betting in all 50 states.

According to the Case Shiller Home Price Index and the latest Fitch Ratings, Las Vegas is the most overvalued housing market nationwide. Home prices are 21.30% above fair market value and increasing at nearly twice the countrywide rate (11%). Las Vegas has plenty of company; of the 400 markets Fitch rates, 72 (17%) areas overvalued, with housing prices more than 10% above what income, population, and rent growth indicate they should be.

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Las Vegas – City of Happy Endings…or Not – S2E60

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Jamey is joined by Deidra, a massage therapist in Las Vegas.  Their discussions include what it is like to work the floor of a casino and which players do and do not like massage…plus massage horror stories, the myth of the happy ending…and the Amish…seriously, the Amish.

Vegas Gossip

Mariah Carey is returning to Las Vegas and the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. “The Butterfly Returns” residency will run from July 5 through September.

An agreement has been made to allow online poker players in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware can to play against each other in an attempt to boost liquidity. A sharing agreement has been in place between Nevada and Delaware since 2015, but the addition of the much bigger market in New Jersey should have a more significant impact, especially for the two smaller markets.

Barry Manilow has signed on for a residency at Westgate Las Vegas, returning to the venue at which he starred (when it was the LV Hilton) from 2005 to 2010. He’ll play from one to four weekends per month, with the first batch of dates landing on the lighter side of that schedule.

CityCenter Holdings LLC, owned jointly by MGM Resorts International and Infinity World Development Corp., has sold the Mandarin Oriental to an undisclosed buyer for $214 million. The sale of the 392-room non-gambling resort is expected to close this summer.

 

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Riding Elephants in Las Vegas – S2E59

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Jamey is joined by Carla M. as they recount more stories of being a talent agent in Las Vegas.  Also discussed are some of the differences between Vegas and the smaller gambling markets and will Vegas continue to support the private entertainment industry.

Vegas Gossip

Uncertainty about the prospects for Wynn Resorts’ previously announced Las Vegas projects was heightened when new CEO Matt Maddox announced that the scope of Paradise Park would be scaled back at a minimum. Calling plans to spend $3 billion to develop both Paradise Park and the Alon-site project “unsustainable,” Maddox indicated that the PP lagoon would be restricted to hotel guests only and that a hotel would be built either next to the lagoon or on the Alon site, but apparently not both.

The new edition of Hiking Las Vegas is in-house and ready to ship, just in time for the prime Las Vegas outdoor season. For years the go-to Las Vegas-area hiking guide, HLV covers more than 80 trails, varying in difficulty from relaxing family-friendly hikes to challenging climbs and scrambles, at Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston, and Lake Mead. Changes were made in the design to make it easier to carry and use than earlier editions.

The Orleans is experimenting with virtual-reality tournaments. Enter a tourney for ArcheryVR as a single player ($10 entry) or SiegeVR as a team of two ($30). ArcheryVR has a $125 free-play prize and SiegeVR awards $300 FP. Playing sessions are 90 seconds and the tourneys run 4-10 p.m. weekdays and 2-10 p.m. weekends during a three-month trial. A similar program is running at MGM Grand.

 

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Is Vegas Dying?…and other Fan questions – S2E58

 

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Curated content and comedic viewpoints on Society, Politics, Entertainment & Las Vegas!

Jamey and John answer Fan Questions and discuss listener show comments.  Topics include Las Vegas architecture, photography, weird concierge requests and sports-book fears.

Vegas Gossip

The Burlesque Hall of Fame opens today in its new location at 1027 S. Main Street. Admission to the museum is $15 and $12 for locals.

According to a survey by Forbes, Las Vegas is the sixth most affordable city in the U.S. The salary needed to live comfortably in Las Vegas came in at $56,609, with the “cost of necessities” listed at $28,304 per year and median income at $50,822. Tucson, Arizona, ranked at number five and El Paso, Texas, placed in the number-one spot on the list with the cost of necessities at $25,075, median income $43,322, and salary $50,150.

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by John Thorpe, Contributing Editor(The Pod Bay Door Show)

A few podcasts ago, I mentioned an essay about Las Vegas, written in 1964 by the American author Tom Wolfe. Before I get to the essay, I need to set the record straight: Tom Wolfe is an excellent writer. His novel Bonfire of the Vanities is one of the funniest novels I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot of novels. Tom Wolfe is also a pretentious prick. In fact, if you look up “douche bag” in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 6th edition this is what you’ll see:

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Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at his essay, “Las Vegas (What?) Las Vegas (Can’t Hear You! Too Noisy) Las Vegas!!!!.” You can find it in his collection, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, published in 1965. (You can read the entire Las Vegas essay on Google Books here: https://books.google.com/books?id=QwyU4YsvLsEC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false)

As I mentioned on the podcast, Wolfe describes a Las Vegas that no longer exists. It did at one time, but like no other city that I know of, Las Vegas reinvents itself every generation. It tears itself down and then rebuilds itself anew, rising from the rubble like the mythical Phoenix. Sure, other cities remodel and renovate, but they don’t fundamentally change their identity. Kim Kardashian can dye her hair or change the style of clothes she wears, but she’s still the same sexy but inherently skanky-trashy-slutty celebrity that many people, for whatever reason, find fascinating. Las Vegas isn’t like Kim Kardashian. Las Vegas is more like Caitlin Jenner. Whatever happened to Bruce? He existed at one time, but he’s gone now. Yeah, Caitlin Jenner sure looks like Bruce Jenner in drag, but the Bruce Jenner who competed in the 1976 Olympics lives only in the memories of those of us old enough to remember him.

Here is one paragraph from Wolfe’s essay worth examining. There are countless others, but this one will do:

He had been rolling up and down the incredible electric-sign gauntlet of Las Vegas’ Strip, U.S. Route 91, where the neon and the par lamps—bubbling, spiraling, rocketing, and exploding in sunbursts ten stories high out in the middle of the desert—celebrate one-story casinos. He had been gambling and drinking and eating now and again at the buffet tables the casinos keep heaped with food day and night, but mostly hopping himself up with good old amphetamine, cooling himself down with meprobamate, then hooking down more alcohol, until now, after sixty hours, he was slipping into the symptoms of toxic schizophrenia.

My how the hotels and their guests have changed since Wolfe wrote this back in February 1964! Although Las Vegas Boulevard is still bright beyond belief—I can easily discern which hotel is which late at night from the veranda of my house, some 12 miles away—the flashing neon we associate with Las Vegas of yesteryear (and which still exists in downtown Las Vegas) is largely gone, either blown up, torn down, thrown out, or carted off to the Neon Museum boneyard. Also gone, of course, are the “one-story casinos.” It’s interesting that Wolfe refers to them as “one-story casinos” and not “one-story hotels” because today the emphasis is on the hotel, not on the casino. When I worked at the Venetian, the maps and brochures bore the name, The Venetian Resort * Hotel * Casino, clearly placing the focus on the hotel and its resort aspects—the rooms, the restaurants, the spa and fitness facilities—more so than on the casino, which gets third billing.

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A business card from the Venetian. Notice the order listed: resort, hotel, and then casino.

Stefan Al, professor of urban design at the University of Pennsylvania, has made the interesting observation that the architecture of the Las Vegas Strip reflects the history of recreation and social change in the United States. Al notes that the post-World War II years marked the emergence of the suburbs, as returning GIs sought to ditch crowded urban areas. This trend helped secure the single-story family home with a swimming pool as the frontispiece of the American Dream, and influenced the architecture of the Strip during this period. Hotels and casinos were shaped, in Al’s words, like “bungalow[s] on steroids,” and all competed with one another to see who could create the most elaborate, spectacular swimming pool.

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The swimming pool at the old Desert Inn in 1951. Check out the broads!

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“A one-story casino.” The Flamingo in the early days.

As Americans eventually woke up from this sepia-toned wet dream and whipped up a new one, the architecture on the Strip changed as well. Baby boomers were no longer babies. They had grown up and had kids of their own. In response, Las Vegas developers scrambled to cash in on this family traveler demographic. The result? The 1990s version of Las Vegas that brought us a fairy tale-like castle (Excalibur), a pirate cove (Treasure Island), and an amusement park (Grand Adventure at MGM). Even the venerable Sahara, long in the tooth and ripe for the bulldozer, tried to join the fruit punch-only party by opening the NASCAR Café and spending in excess of $6 million on a rollercoaster, just in case the grease bomb served hot off the griddle wasn’t enough to make Mom, Dad, and offspring heave their guts out. To the broken down, incorrigible and chronic gambler like the one Tom Wolfe describes, the Family Values Vegas was a sacrilege, the equivalent, in reverse, of seeing Mr. Rogers throw aside his red knit sweater in favor of a studded jacket and leather jockstrap.

Over time, the hotels’ bottom lines showed the dolts in management that people who travel with their kids do two things that people shouldn’t do when they travel to Las Vegas: behave themselves and pinch their pennies. These two behaviors—or rather, lack thereof—are partners on a tandem bicycle: one gives impetus to the other, and the hotels, casinos, strip clubs, and bars in Las Vegas have historically thrived when this bike kicks into high gear and crosses the intersection of Loose Morals and Loose Wallet. Tighten them up and the city chokes.

Once it became clear that the family-oriented iteration of Las Vegas was a flop, Cinderella and her ilk, thankfully, were kicked to the pavement and tossed out of town on their ear, and the whores and the drunks welcomed back with open arms.

The most recent wave of hotel construction—the wave that started just after the massive economic crash in 2008—brought us the Aria, the Cosmopolitan, and the Vdara. All of these hotels have downplayed their casinos (the Vdara doesn’t even have one) and have instead focused on restaurants, high-end shops, and clubs. That’s because millennials—a favorite and frequent whipping boy on the Podbay Door—don’t gamble like their parents did, and what money they do spend, they spend on food, frou-frou drinks, and assorted trendy shit.

Personally, I’m sick of the current iteration and a new round of death and resurrection cannot come fast enough. I just hope that the result is something not built on the current trend of nickel-and-dime, Mickey Mouse bullshit that seeks to wring every possible dollar out of everything that breathes. If the last marketing motto was “What Happens in ‘Vegas Stays in ‘Vegas,” the new one, unstated but exemplified through hidden “resort fees” and increased parking/valet fees, would be “I’ll fuck anything that mooooves!!” (If you don’t know or can’t place the movie reference, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N755jvOUCNI).

-John Thorpe, contributing editor(The Pod Bay Door Show)

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Link to Article by John Thorpe – Contributing Editor

 

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Jamey, John and Special Guest Julia discuss how the city of Las Vegas has leaked into many celebrated, classic and infamous novels and literary pieces throughout the recent decades.  These discussions are paired with their anecdotes of living and working in the city like no other.

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_and_Loathing_in_Las_Vegas

“The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kandy-Kolored_Tangerine-Flake_Streamline_Baby

“Learning from Las Vegas the Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_from_Las_Vegas

“Leaving Las Vegas”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaving_Las_Vegas_(novel)

“The Desert Rose”

http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Desert-Rose/Larry-McMurtry/9780684853840

“Beautiful Children”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beautiful_Children

Vegas Gossip

The plug has been pulled on Renegades at Caesars Palace. The experimental show that was essentially a rap session with former sports bad boys, e.g. Jose Canseco and Jim McMahon, closed without warning prior to the end of its originally planned run.

Westgate Las Vegas has installed a system on its machines that allows players to order drinks without having to wait for a cocktail waitress. The order is relayed to the bar where the drink is prepared and delivered. As an added feature, the menu presented lets players know what they can be comped, with higher-tier players offered a bigger selection. It will be interesting to see how this goes over. The process has been put in place in Atlantic City and its prompting complaints from cocktail waitresses who don’t like being reduced to cocktail retrievers and, we presume, are getting fewer tokes.

Two new triple-zero-roulette wheels have been spotted. One is at Planet Hollywood and the other is at New York-New York, meaning that both Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts have joined in the gouge that had belonged solely to the Venetian before now. The extra zero raises the casino edge from 5.26% to 7.69%.

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More Vegas stories with Jamey and John…this time they discuss the types of gamblers and high-rollers they have encountered. Also on the show are talks of the MGM (MGM China) and its positioning for Q1, the new marijuana airport drop-boxes, EDC & Psycho Vegas…with another entry to Area 52. Part 1

Vegas Gossip – The Big Apple roller coaster at New York-New York now offers a virtual-reality experience. Riders are given headsets that provide a VR feed simulating an alien pursuit synced to the coaster’s movements. Tickets for the ride are $15, or $20 with the VR add-on. Must be 13 years old and at least 54 inches tall to ride. Not to be outdone, a Star Wars-themed VR experience will soon open in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire” is a walk-around experience, allowing customers to explore a facility with a mobile VR headset.

The Las Vegas Aces WNBA team will open the 2018 season away on May 20 against the Connecticut Sun. The home opener will be May 27 at Mandalay Bay against the Seattle Storm.

Planet Hollywood’s theater has a new name. The Axis is now Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, reflecting a partnership with the Zappos brand. We’re thinking that most will just call it the Zappos Theater.

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Join Jamey and John for their 1st anniversary episode (part two) as they reminisce about the past year in Las Vegas.  Topics include what is missed in Las Vegas, the continuing evils of the millennial, the evolution of Podcasting and how consumerism should change in the coming years.  Plus The Pod Bay Door Show anniversary gear give-away…download for details.  Thank you to all of our listeners – We appreciate you!

We are also celebrating our One Year Anniversary with The Pod Bay Door Gear Give-Away…

It’s Easy…

Just go to iTunes or Podbean(Links above)

Give The Pod Bay Door a quick review & rating

Take a Screen Shot of the Review

Email the Screen Shot to – thepodbaydoorlv@gmail.com

Include in the email the screen name you would like us to use on the shout out, and whether you would like a T-Shirt or MousePad (samples below – actual gear will have title and website)

The first 10 reviewers will get the requested TPBD Gear…for FREE!

The giveaway ends on 2-23-18.  We will announce the winners on the 2-27-18

Thank you to everyone who enters!

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Catch the entire conversation at The Pod Bay Door – Subscribe below or click here.

 Subscribe to The Pod Bay Door Show (Podcast) Above

Listen to – The Pod Bay Door Podcast

Subscribe on iTunes

Curated content and comedic viewpoints on Society, Politics, Entertainment & Las Vegas!

Join Jamey and John for their 1st anniversary episode (part one) as they reminisce about the past year in Las Vegas.  Topics include what is missed in Las Vegas, the continuing evils of the millennial, the evolution of Podcasting and how consumerism should change in the coming years.  Plus The Pod Bay Door Show anniversary gear give-away…download for details.  Thank you to all of our listeners – We appreciate you!

We are also celebrating our One Year Anniversary with The Pod Bay Door Gear Give-Away…

It’s Easy…

Just go to iTunes or Podbean

Give The Pod Bay Door a quick review & rating

Take a Screen Shot of the Review

Email the Screen Shot to – thepodbaydoorlv@gmail.com

Include in the email the screen name you would like us to use on the shout out, and whether you would like a T-Shirt or MousePad (samples below – actual gear will have title and website)

shirtmousepad

The first 10 reviewers will get the requested TPBD Gear…for FREE!

The giveaway ends on 2-23-18.  We will announce the winners on the 2-27-18

Thank you to everyone who enters!

Catch the entire conversation at The Pod Bay Door – Subscribe below or click here.

 Subscribe to The Pod Bay Door Show (Podcast) Above