This is exciting - an original piece from a new guest author, Matthew Farley. This piece focuses on video table games, a growing segment of the manufacturing scene.
Big thanks for Matthew for providing this - we hope there's a lot more to come! Anyone else interested in writing something should feel free to get in touch with me at editor AT ratevegas DOT com.
The feature story starts after the jump.
Well, it appears at the geniuses at Las Vegas Sands have decided that they needed a name for the combined complex of The Venetian, Palazzo and the Sands Expo Center. That name? MEGACENTER (yes, all caps). Dumb name. I wonder if they considered other gems such as THEMegacenter or maybe even CITYMEGACENTER.
Also, as has been reported elsewhere, Palazzo's opening moved from 12/20 to 12/28, no doubt cause they realized it was impossible to make 12/20 work. There's a good chance I'll be in town for this opening so I'll keep y'all posted. I don't think I'm brave enough to reserve a room.
The RJ has details on the departure of Tropicana's CFO:
The embattled parent company of the Tropicana on the Strip took another blow with the resignation of the company's chief financial officer after only 120 days in the position. [From ReviewJournal.com - Business - Tropicana CFO quits, takes new job]
For those following the fun, here's a recap on all the excitement:
The original article by Steve Friess where I was quoted is here.
Then, the first followup was on Steve's blog here, where we had a little commentary.
The latest is the Friess article in the Las Vegas Weekly, which can be read here.
Anyway, lots of fun and I will of course update you as it (if it) unfolds further.
Update: More from Chuck at VegasTripping: http://www.vegastripping.com/features/feature.php?feature_id=127&page=1
Hi guys, just wanted to schedule the next call-in podcast and so I wanted to see what works best for folks - how about next Sunday evening 12/2 at, 6pm PT?
Here we are with a special Thanksgiving-eve 'Strip Walk' segment. This time around, mike_ch checks out the Frontier, Encore, City Center, Luxor, The Mirage and more. Text after the jump...
Bottle service at clubs is huge as reported in the LV Sun. The economy must be better than I thought!
"Consider that more than 2,000 people walked through the door at Mirage's Jet nightclub during a recent weekend - and that more than half sat at reserved tables where bottle service starts at $400 for a bottle shared by three people.
An average table check can reach about $800, said Kelley Jones, president of nightclub operator Light Group's restaurant division."
Revenue From Alcohol Growing Faster Than Slot Revenue
A piece on Steve Friess' Vegas blog yesterday talks about the upcoming clash between the Downtown Las Vegas Plaza Hotel and the upcoming Plaza Las Vegas, destined for the site of the now demolished New Frontier.
Like Steve says, this one seems clear. I'm curious how this will shake out - Elad has deep pockets, they could probably license the name and pay off the cash strapped Tamares (they still own the Plaza, right?)
I've posted my Las Vegas Strip construction photos: Most Recent Las Vegas Photos
All sorts of great stuff including Encore's high and low rise buildings, WLV's villa atrium, Palazzo, the white tiger pit at The Mirage, City Center, P-Ho, Bellagio, and more.
The link above should show them all but you can also visit the November 2007 tag. Also, based on some feedback I plan to add new searching and sorting capabilities to the photo database soon.
This will start Brian Fey's day off with a smile. Wynn Las Vegas has won recognition from The Michelin Guide.
NORM: Michelin makes Steve Wynn's year
Michelin's Highest Honor of Five Red Pavilions Awarded to Wynn Las Vegas
Okay, that was amazingly cool. If you've never felt the raw power of a building fall, make sure you put the Tropicana Island Tower implosion on your Jan/Feb calendar.
I took a ton of photos. They are here: http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/gallery/newfrontierimplosion.
That's probably it for now - I'm super tired and it's been a long day. Lastly though, another big thank you to Steve Friess who hooked me up with the pimp media access. Thanks Steve!!!
Well, I decided that I'm going to jump in the car and head to Las Vegas to photograph and shoot video of the implosion of the New Frontier tonight (early tomorrow).
I'll be trying to do this as 'live' as possible, including posting to my Twitter feed @ratevegas. Also, Flickr should have updated photos and of course I will be posting here, but that's probably going to have a little delay, just due to the nature of the tech. The Twitter feed will be the most up to date as it happens.
So, wish me luck and you'll hear from me soon.
Update: If anyone reading this is either a Wynn Resorts employee or is staying at Wynn Las Vegas and has a room overlooking the Frontier, drop me a line at editor AT ratevegas DOT com - myself and another high-profile Vegas blogger/writer would love to watch from your window.
MGM Mirage announced today that they will build a $3 billion, non gaming resort in Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates.
Chuck at MacauTripping.com has posted a photo walkthrough of Wynn Macau with shots from his recent trip. A must see for Wynn fans.
A quick site update... The new visual design, which hasn't been worked on for a few months, is still gestating and will come with a software upgrade to Movable Type 4, sometime soon I hope.
Second, I'm hoping/planning to get back into doing some more writing myself. I used to do a 'Stripping' series of hotel reviews and despite the fact that I was way too picky for a lot of folks, I think it may be time to do another round. The Strip has changed a good bit and I'd love to exercise my pen a bit more. Besides me, I'm *always* looking for writers - guest writers, series writers, regular columns, whatever. Interested?
Lastly, I have thousands of Las Vegas photos. I have plans to expand on my 'photo quiz' concept but other than that, any suggestions from anyone as to what I could do with all these photos? I have this feeling they are under-used but I'm not sure what to do. Any thoughts?
I got a press release this morning from MGM Mirage regarding a new restaurant going in at The Mirage. BLT Burger will be replacing the Habitat at the resorts' Southern-most Strip entrance.
This is another nail in the coffin of Siegfried and Roy's tenure at The Mirage. As for the restaurant, the press release states:
"BLT Burger's diverse menu will offer quality ingredients including beef (sirloin, short rib, chuck and brisket cut), American and Japanese Kobe, lamb and Ahi tuna burgers along with soft, no-frills buns. Onion rings and a variety of French fry options, including waffle-cut, sweet potato and chili cheese, will complement the meal. An array of milkshakes in classic and spiked varieties will be available along with a selection of ice cream floats. Nostalgic glass-bottled sodas, innovative cocktails, as well as a focused selection of wine and beer will quench every guest's thirst."
I can't imagine MGM or Wynn having the problems HET has had with unauthorized remodeling. And, I can't imagine the RJ ever going after this story as aggressively if it were MGM or Wynn.
"Harrah's Entertainment has reached a turning point in recovering from bungled remodeling projects at two of its local hotels.
A block of 501 guest rooms at Harrah's Las Vegas returned to active use by patrons on Friday, Harrah's Entertainment executive Jan Jones announced the same day.
Those rooms were pulled from service due to remodeling that had been performed without permits or inspections. They are located on floors four through 19 of the hotel's Carnivale tower. Those floors no longer need a fire watch, which is round-the-clock patrolling by personnel with two-way communication to report any fire, Marybel Batjer, another Harrah's executive, said Saturday. The rooms were out of service for 25 days.
A smaller block of 87 rooms at the Rio also returned to service earlier last week. Those rooms were shut down for less than 25 days. At that hotel, fire watches continue on floors three through 17, plus 19, of the Ipanema tower."
Improper Remodeling: Harrah's Reopens 501 Rooms
Well, the last step in Station Casinos, Inc.'s journey to 'go private' has been achieved.
The Las Vegas Review Journal has the skinny: http://www.lvrj.com/business/10992946.html
Well, the annual VegasTripping.com awards, The Trippies, are here again and voting is open. This year, my projects were nominated in several categories:
RateVegas.com - Best Vegas Web Site
Two Way Hard Three (this blog) - Best Vegas Blog
Worst Las Vegas Podcast - Best Podcast
I want everyone to go and vote (and hopefully for us). I know that Five Hundy's probably got the podcast thing sewn up and there's strong competition for the best site. I think you guys can put this blog over the top for that award though - go for it!!
Las Vegas Sands reported their third quarter results today: net loss of $48 million connected to opening expenses for Venetian Macau and rising operating costs.
I was really wondering about occupancy at Venetian Macau: 77.5%. Detroit, we gotta check our bet - what were our metrics?