Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

All Articles Published: September 2006

September 29, 2006

Worst Las Vegas Podcast: Episode 2

Posted by Hunter

I posted the second episode of the "Worst Las Vegas Podcast". Yes, it's two podcasts in a week. That's the way this thing is gonna be... Anyway, in this episode I talk about the Playboy Club at the Palms, a special talk with my friend Kevin on the Barbary Coast, and finally, a re-cap on my Bellagio tour from June.

I hope you enjoy, it's getting cheesier each time.

To listen, put the podcast feed into iTunes (copy and paste this into the podcast option in the Advanced menu):

Podcast Page:

BTW, Kevin's Web site is:

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September 29, 2006

Playboy Club to Open at The Palms - a Nevada First

Posted by Hunter

When the Playboy Club opens atop the new Palms Fantasy Tower, there will be something that no one in Las Vegas, or even Nevada, has done before - charge admission to an area that features gaming.

Actually, to allow this they had to get special permission from regulators. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

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September 28, 2006

RateVegas Podcast

Posted by Hunter

I recorded and posted a podcast yesterday. It's available via RSS here:

Just point iTunes at that URL and you should get it, plus I submitted it to iTunes so when they review it, it will show in their directory as well.

I don't plan on podcasting on a regular basis but I do have to admit, it was fun. I doubt I'll take the time to do all the professional show stuff like a great intro, bumper music, etc... I just sat down in my little recording studio I have for my guitar and I scratched it out.

The episode talks about Harrah's plans for Las Vegas, Wynn in Atlantic City as well as the recent chat. Future podcasts will focus on stories that we report on the Web site as well as some conversations with other people about some of those topics.

I'll likely build a special page on the site that shows the podcast episodes but for now the only way to get it is via the RSS link above.


September 27, 2006

Wynn Considering Atlantic City?

Posted by Hunter

This was on VT yesterday and I should have posted it then but hey, I was busy.

Anyway, this story out of New Jersey indicates that Wynn Resorts might make a play to build a hotel there. I see this as very possible - along with Mississippi and Nevada, New Jersey is the only gaming jurisdiction in America with any sensible tax and regulatory setup.

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September 26, 2006

RateVegas Chat Transcript

Posted by Hunter

We had our first scheduled RateVegas chat and I think it went well. It was a small group but a fun discussion.

We'll do this again.

The transcript is here:

September 24, 2006

Rumble Gets Louder on Harrah's Las Vegas Strip Plans

Posted by Hunter

An official announcement may be getting closer as the news reports start to be coming on a more regular basis. From what we read, the project's scope has expanded and thus we probably won't hear the details this month as expected.

The gist is the same - Harrah's is going to use the property they have on the Strip, combined with some acquisitions, to create a loosely integrated resort complex that retains the individual brands but still sits under a cohesive umbrella. How lose will the integration be? We don't know yet but that will be an interesting component.

What do you guys think? CityCenter is obviously a massive development but this could be bigger? The project would certainly be disruptive and likely undertaken in stages to mitigate the risk to Harrah's cash flow.

More details:
Las Vegas Sun - Jeff Simpson
LVRJ - Inside Gaming

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September 23, 2006

Fire at The Venetian

Posted by Hunter

Looks like there was a three alarm fire at The Venetian:

I believe that everything is under control now and no one was hurt.

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September 21, 2006

Regulation 6A History

Posted by Hunter

I got this from Dave over at his 'Die Is Cast' blog (which we are now hosting for him by the way). It appears that Nevada regulators are getting close to ditching 6A, one of the anti-money laundering rules on the books.

Some might remember The Mirage being hit with the largest fine in Nevada history for forgetting to file thousands of 6As.

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September 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Mike!

Posted by Hunter

I don't usually do personal announcements here but I wanted to give birthday shout-outs to regular contributor Mike E.

Mike has become a good friend over the last year and I can't thank him enough for letting me see his Fairway Villa at Wynn Las Vegas last year.

Have a great one, Mike!

September 20, 2006

Pallo Goes to China

Posted by Hunter

Our friend Steve Friess from The Strip podcast also has a podcast related to pets, The Petcast.

When he was in China he spoke with Steve Wynn a bit about his dogs, who had come along.

Kinda funny on a slow news day. It's near the start of the podcast:

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September 19, 2006

Harrah's Plans on Blowing Up Half of Las Vegas?

Posted by Hunter

ChuckMonster at is running a story about Harrah's plans for its Strip properties.

According to this story, Bally's, the IP and Harrah's all get imploded while the Flamingo gets a major overhaul.

Anyway, it's an interesting read, even if based on at least some speculation. You never know - it could happen!

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September 19, 2006

Scheduling a Chat... And a Meet?

Posted by Hunter

We have the shiny chat room and readers have been doing ad-hoc chats since it opened. We've actually had some great discussions in there already... Still, I want to setup a real chat event so we can get even more of the regulars in there. I'm thinking a weekday evening. I am in the Pacific time zone but I know we have people spread all over the world. What works best for you guys? Leave info in the comments and we'll try to figure something out.

Beyond that, I've been toying with the idea of organizing a meet and taking it to the next step. By that I mean an actual event (probably a catered dinner in a ballroom or hospitality suite depending on number of people) that has a real 'speaker' of sorts. I'm thinking maybe an informal Q&A with a Vegas person - somebody that works for one of these places and somebody good. Not sure who we can get but I am confident we could get *someone* and that it would be a great time. I'd also love to invite some of the Vegas regulars that we cite often (i.e. Steve Friess and Miles from 'The Strip' podcast as well as some others) to join us as well.

Anyway, I want to gauge interest in this concept. Ideally, we (I guess me) would be able to pick up the cost for the event itself so your expenses would just be whatever your standard trip costs are. I don't want people not to be able to come because the actual event cost turns them off plus I've been trying to think of a way to say 'thanks' to you guys for some time.

Anyway, please comment - I'm very curious if there is interest in either idea.

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September 18, 2006

Bellagio, CityCenter, Japonais

Posted by detroit1051

I attended a casino function at Bellagio last week. A few notes I made appear after the break.

Steve Friess of popular Las Vegas podcast, The Strip, had published his interview with Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson. Adelson discusses Macau in detail and comments on the Venetian Macau and even Wynn Macau.

The rivalry between Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson continues to blossom and has almost reached the level of high comedy. At a certain point you have to wonder if they don't, in a way, see the rivalry as good for business, as a way to get people interested in their properties.

Anyway, it's a very interesting podcast that also includes a Wynn snippet on the tip changes at Wynn Las Vegas.

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September 14, 2006

RateVegas for Your Cell Phone or Smartphone: PocketVegas

Posted by Hunter

I have had a mobile version of RateVegas for years, though it was never a major focus of development.

With this new version of the Web site, we again have special pages that are dedicated to cell phone and smartphone users - they are optimized for smaller screens.

I plan to add some new features to PocketVegas in the near future, including an email lookup service for folks that are 'on the ground' and need some info about where to eat dinner!

I'm interested in hearing any suggestions that anyone may have about other mobile features that would be useful. There are a lot of limitations on what is possible with these things but I'd love to hear your input!

To see the current site:

Today we are happy to announce the re-launching of, our parent site that features user generated reviews and ratings of Las Vegas casinos.

The site is, as always, at: though until things are all settled, the browser will be doing a bit of forwarding and you might see other URLs in the menu bar.

It is possible that some folks might not see it right away. Due to the geographically diverse nature of the Internet, some updates to the Internet naming system, DNS, can take longer for some than others.

Thanks to the users that provided feedback during our beta phase - we made a lot of improvements based on your useful comments.

In short, the new site features an all new-design with a focus on simplicity. We've made it easier to send in ratings and reviews as well as reader questions for our 'Ask the Experts' area. Submitting reviews, comments and questions no longer requires an account! We still approve all comments before the go live to make sure they are legitimate but we hope that removing the registration requirement will make it easier to add your thoughts.

Don't worry, all of the great ratings, reviews and reader questions have been moved over to the new site.

Keep reading after the jump for more info on the new site as well as some technical info for those interested.

September 11, 2006

Harrah's Name Change ; Wynn Macau Opening Video

Posted by Hunter

Two things this morning:

Today in the RJ, Norm! speculates that Harrah's may be changing its corporate name to Caesars and the long rumors Bally's/Horseshoe switch may be in the works:

Also, thanks to a reader for the following video of the opening of Wynn Macau:

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Thanks for Sean for this trip report, featuring an extensive breakdown of his activities while at The Mirage recently.

This report made me feel like I was right there - I think you'll like it too.


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September 6, 2006

Sommeliers and Wine in Las Vegas

Posted by Hunter

I am posting on behalf of detroit1051 - this is his find.

The LA Times has an interesting article on the wine business in Las Vegas. I knew Southern was big in Vegas as well as here in South Florida, but I didn't realize just how big. The article says wholesale prices can be 30% higher than in LA or New York.,1,110441.story?coll=la-headlines-food

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September 6, 2006

Wynn Macau: Photos and a Little Geography

Posted by Hunter

Thanks go out to Chris in Hong Kong for sending his photos of the Wynn Macau opening and shedding a little light on the layout of the place, as no property map is currently available.

First off, some additional interior photos:

More today from the Las Vegas media:

LV Sun -
Review Journal -

Keep reading after the jump.

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A few quick items:

Harrah's is set to remodel the rooms at the Flamingo, casting any demolition rumors into severe question:

After losing the Tropicana assets, Pinnacle will buy the Sands in Atlantic City:

Boyd has announced the Stardust will close November 1st:

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September 5, 2006

Wynn Macau Madness / Adelson Fires Back

Posted by Hunter

With Wynn Macau opening today/tomorrow (time zones and all that), there's a flurry of activity discussing the event.

Thanks to Brian for submitting some of these.

And of course, Sheldon Adelson can't resist calling Wynn's Macau resort a 'joke and a half':

UPDATE: Brian wrote in with some GREAT photos:

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September 2, 2006

Reader Report: Bellagio and Wynn

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to reader John Hall for contributing another piece, this time the focus on Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas. I can't say how much I appreciate contributions from you guys, the loyal readers. If you want to send something in, send it to:

Ok, what do we have here? Well, as regular readers know, we have spent an awful lot of time looking at Steve Wynn properties, and Wynn Las Vegas over all of them. Well, before there was WLV there was Bellagio and it is still a literal cash factory on the Strip. After touring the back of house facilities, I have a renewed appreciation for the property - it's really a work of art in its own way.

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