Posts Tagged ‘las vegas’

Is Las Vegas the Worst Place for your Waistline…amazingly…NO! S2E68

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Julia, John and Jamey discuss how Las Vegas ranks among the worst cities and states of the union for obesity and health.  Included are some shocking fast food statistics, Body shaming traps, Fat Pride dilemmas and the evil secret of the Plus size fashion industry.

 

Vegas Gossip

Las Vegas esports venue has opened at the Rio. The Wall Gaming Lounge is a 24,000-square-foot space in the Masquerade Village area, featuring 30 high-performance Alienware gaming PCs, along with a number of console gaming stations. Tournaments will include Local Lock In, MOBA, FPS, Battle Royal, FGC, and Twitch. The first phase has a self-serve beverage wall and mobile food/drink ordering; Phase 2, to be completed in the fall, will introduce more food and beverage options.

August 2 at Neonopolis downtown, the Cannabition Cannabis Museum will feature multi-sensory exhibits on cannabis art, education, and culture, including a 360-degree theater (trippy visuals, anyone?). The museum’s centerpiece will be a 22-foot-tall bong.

The Golden Knights have filed a lawsuit against StubHub, the giant eBay-owned ticket reseller. The suit stems from the ticket site’s “demand” that StubHub be allowed to resell playoff tickets, contravening the team’s efforts to limit those sales through its Vow program. The suit claims that StubHub’s “ultimatum” threatened to turn the Knights’ “historic inaugural season from an experience that encouraged fan loyalty and hometown spirit into a scalping money-grab.” In contention is $1.5 million in ticket profits that the Knights organization claims StubHub unilaterally reduced to $255,000, splitting the rest with AXS, the team’s primary ticketing site.

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Fan Challenge – Finding the Positive – S2E67

Sponsored by: TBM Electric

 

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Join Jamey and John as they take up the challenge of one of the shows fans, and find the positive influences of the Venetian Resort and beyond.  Included are talks of architecture, historical significance, art form, jobs creation and parking.  Also included on the show is a discussion of concierge travelling with their VIP guests. #crankyjohn

 

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

 

Vegas Gossip

Following suit with Caesars Entertainment, Culinary Union members from MGM Resorts International properties have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new five-year labor pact. There are now approximately 14,000 union members from other properties still working without a contract, though there are still no signs of walkouts.

In an interview with the LV Review-Journal, Wolfgang Puck indicated that he’s trying to negotiate a parking-fee discount for locals who eat at the new Spago at Bellagio.

Smith & Wollensky has announced that it’s reopening in a two-story “female-friendly” space that formerly housed Zeffirino’s at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. Construction is expected to begin sometime in the fall, with an opening date next spring.

If you haven’t experienced Rehab at the Hard Rock, this summer will be your last opportunity. After 15 years, the pool club that started the whole Dayclub phenomenon will close after this season as part of the rebranding to Virgin.

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Brothels, Churches and Walmarts…Which ones might leave Nevada? – S2E64

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Join Jamey, John and Julia for discussions of why millennials think Vegas is depressing, why brothels may be on their way out and a little bit of what it is like to be a casino host.

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

Vegas Gossip

The Rio has quietly discontinued its Seafood Dinner Buffet after years of being the only one of its kind.

Marijuana sales set a record in March, raking in $41 million, the most since it was legalized last July. A little more than $7 million of the total for the month went to taxes. For the nine months since legalization, sales have totaled $385.99 million, with tax revenues of nearly $50 million. Bud accounts for 50% of sales, concentrates 25%, edibles 13%, pre-rolled joints 10%, and the rest “other.”

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Rage Rooms & Ghost Towns – Hidden Vegas – S2E61

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

Join Jamey and John this week as they discuss the hidden and unique treasures of Las Vegas…including Ghost Towns, Fine Art Exhibits & Rage Rooms.

Vegas Gossip

Yesterday was the first 100-degree day of the year, with the temperature topping out at an even 100. It’s a bit early, as the average first day to hit triple digits is May 24, but last year’s first 100 degrees was May 5, with 85 more to follow.

The transition from Monte Carlo to Park MGM is official. Press releases were sent out today announcing the change in identity for the 22-year old 3,000-room resort, including new signage on the building. Work is ongoing, however, on the $550 million upgrade and rebranding that includes a 292-room hotel-within-a-hotel. NoMad Hotel Las Vegas and two more high-end restaurants are scheduled to open later this year.

A new system that monitors machine-play on the casino floor to determine drink comps is being tested in Laughlin. Similar systems are already in place at some casino bars, but this would expand the monitoring to all machines. No firm plans to bring the new system to Las Vegas have been announced, but it seems only a matter of time.

Megabucks was hit last weekend at Paris for $11.2 million by a gambler who did not want to be identified. The last Megabucks jackpot was hit in September at Fiesta Henderson.

 

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

This Weeks Sponsor:  CWO Designs – Fine, Custom Wood Working and Decor.

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

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

Jamey and John discuss how almost all of the musical genres have a song representing, celebrating and remembering Las Vegas.  This episode is a fun retrospective of musical artists such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Faith Hill, the B-52’s, AC/DC and many more.

Join Jamey and John for Part 2 of their discussion of how almost all of the musical genres have a song representing, celebrating and remembering Las Vegas.  Some of the artists covered include Clubstrophobia, Southern Culture on the Skids, Katy Perry and LMFAO.

Vegas Gossip

Two new gentlemen’s clubs have opened. The first is SCORES, back in town for a second run, but in a new location at the former Foxy’s just west of the Strip. The second is the reopening of the Library, located way east on Boulder Hwy. next to Boulder Station. Read reviews of both clubs at ToplessVegasOnline.com. (NOTE: Topless Vegas Online is fully illustrated throughout and contains adult language and imagery.)

As expected, Gwen Stefani is coming to Las Vegas. The former No Doubt lead singer and regular on TV’s “The Voice” will play a 25-show residency at Planet Hollywood.

 

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

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.  The three also continue their discussions on how Las Vegas has positively and negatively changed their lives and perceptions.

Vegas Gossip

The Las Vegas Golden Knights qualified for the 2017-2018 Stanley Cup playoffs tonight after beating the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 at T-Mobile. The Golden Knights are the first expansion team ever to clinch a playoff spot in their inaugural season. The VGK are also the quickest expansion team to reach 100 points. It took the 1981-82 Edmonton Oilers three seasons to break 100 points with 111 points and the 1975-76 New York Islanders reached 101 points in their fourth season. Vegas actually has 103 points, with six games to go. By comparison, the 100-year-old Toronto Maple Leafs reached 103 points only once in the century, in their 2003-2004 season.

The elevated tram between the Mirage and Treasure Island has been taken offline and will be out of order till November at the earliest. Details are sketchy, but we’re told that the line is being “renovated,” so that it will be completely automated; though the cars are driverless, an employee apparently had to oversee its operation.

“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

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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

 

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

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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