Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

Yes, that's two podcasts in a week... I have posted the fourth RateVegas podcast and this episode has an international bent.

I discuss the basics of Macau along with the info about Wynn Macau opening in early September. I also talk about Harrah's pulling out of competition for the second casino site in Singapore as well as our potential nomination for a "Trippie" award.

On top of all of that, we now have a listener line where you guys can call in to get a message read on the air. The number is: 702-508-4232. Go ahead and call us anytime, from the field in Las Vegas or otherwise.

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Read archived comments (7 so far)
October 8, 2006 2:14 AM Posted by Hunter

I apologize in advance if any of my numbers are off - I was running them off the top of my head and not from a written source.. I'm at least close. :-)

October 8, 2006 6:11 PM Posted by mike_ch

Unless there's something new that I don't know about, I think what Japan has at the moment is Pachinko parlors. Their atmosphere is a sort of half-way point between a downtown casino like the Fremont or Binions and a video-game arcade.

Wynn's partner makes these machines, and had a US arm that made slot machines for a time, well before I came to town, I don't know when the years were. Anyway, they had a "feature" built into their random number generator that intentionally made near-misses, like placing the reels just one space away from a jackpot. The gaming commission strongly disapproved and just about ground the company into dust, so you won't see them in this country anymore.

October 8, 2006 6:12 PM Posted by mike_ch

Clarification: When I say the NGC caused "the company" to shut down, I mean it's US division. Wynn's partner is still in business in Japan and elsewhere(?)

October 8, 2006 6:20 PM Posted by Hunter

Yeah... What he said!

Seriously, this was what I was referring to in Japan and it shows how little I know about Pachinko.

I remember the near miss thing - there was a chapter about this in the book 'License to Steal', which chronicles the details of the Nevada Gaming Control Board's biggest cases.

Thanks mike_ch for the clarification/expansion.

October 9, 2006 12:10 AM Posted by mike_ch

Here's a podcast idea I got from your Mirage rundown: Nightlife 101. So much of the Vegas marketing machine talks about ultralounges and nightclubs and all these things that I guess make sense to hip and trendy people, but leave people like me confused and wondering what's so great.

I know a large amount of it is just being drunk, which explains why I know nothing about it because I'm not a drinker (yeah, I know, missing out on half the Vegas experience and all, but whatever.) But even if I was to take up the bottle, all these terms are tossed around and they mean nothing to someone who isn't initiated to those of us whose idea of nightlife is watching the Mirage volcano.

I don't know if anyone here has ample nightclub experience, maybe this is something best addressed by one of the other podcasts, but even just some links to pages or a kind of FAQ (What's the difference between an ultralounge and a regular lounge, what is a good "beginner's" place to go, etc.)

I don't know, it just seemed like a topic worth approaching. Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't know these things, and if that's the case it's not worth talking about, since I only visit the Strip once every week or two and I'm heading back home by 7PM anyway.

October 9, 2006 12:44 AM Posted by mike_ch

And finally, because I can't stop posting like mad (no really, it's because I needed to move from my PC where I typed the above post to my Mac for this one) and I feel like I should give SOMETHING back to the blog, here's some ugly cell phone camera pictures I've taken over the last month.

An interesting T-shirt in the Siren's Cove shop at "TI." The slogan is "Read 'em and weep." Does marketing know something that management doesn't? Then again, the changes were made in the first place for marketing, weren't they?

And another uhm, unusual shirt to find at "TI." I was talking about this and America's new-found excitement in pirates in a large LV design rant that I wrote to submit here but never did because I felt it was too pessimistic. However, to copy & paste from that document, I wrote:

"While you can't blame MGM for not having the foresight to know a fad would hit a year ahead of time, it can be argued that "TI" would be more profitable than ever if only they had left good enough things alone."

I still think that part is true.

Sesame Street is a sellout! Well, I think we all knew that from the Tickle-Me doll anyway, but Elmo & Co are on two Bellagio shirts and I... I don't know what to think really. Kind of funny not only considering the new sex-sells mentality, but Bellagio's prior attitude towards those who were not old enough to gamble (best summed up in the acronym "GTFO.")

And finally, here's some pictures of the new Buffet at Golden Nugget that's opened up on the second floor. I went here again for their Sunday brunch ($17) which was good, although really it felt just like their lunch ($10) with the international items shifted out for waffles and other breakfast goods. That might seem like a bad bargain, but of course it doesn't include the champagne, which is again an element I'll politely pass on. I haven't tried Main St Station's lunch yet (only steak-night dinner), but lunch at the Nugget desperately wants to compete with that buffet, and I'd wager the food is almost as good if not equal and the room is much more modern-elegant.

Here's the pictures, there's definitely some influences from Wynn's various hotels in the details:

Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

And here's some shots out the window looking at the pool development:
left side right side

Sorry for the crummy quality of the pictures. I'd adjust their colors and stuff in Photoshop but with cell phone pictures that's kind of like putting lipstick on a pig.

October 9, 2006 2:10 AM Posted by Mike E

Hunter, great work. I like that I've got my own make-believe casino competing with yours ;-).