Vegas Gang #16 is online. It should show in iTunes or you can play it here.
This time around we cover:
* Harrah's Tests Removing Slot Machines
* Atlantic City Update
* Encore Rooms Revealed
* KS Gaming Licenses Awarded
* 40/40 Club Closes - Doomed All Along?
Feel free to leave comments below.
My friend Steve Friess wrote the other day about the closing of the 40/40 Club at Palazzo. Steve is a curious and thoughtful guy who isn't scared about political correctness when he writes - that's part of what makes him a great reporter.
Well, it seems some people took what he wrote the wrong way:
As someone that knows Steve a little bit, I can say with certainty that he was just positing a question - something for discussion (I suggest you read the comments on his story). That's what he does - he fosters discussion. If we can't talk about this stuff, we'll never make any progress.
Update: Steve has posted an update here: http://thestrippodcast.blogspot.com/2008/08/of-chicken-wings-and-irresponsibility.html
In comments made during the opening of the Cotai Four Seasons, Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson spoke about the possibility of building a strip of casinos in India, similar to the Cotai Strip development in Macau.
He's talking about spending $12 billion or more on legal casinos in India. Unclear if this is more than a trial balloon or more than that - India has just one legal casinos at the moment.
The next step for Las Vegas Sands' 'Cotai Strip' is the Four Seaons, opening next to the Venetian Macao (or Macau for any non LVS folks). Well, the opening has arrived:
This also includes the Cirque show, 'Zaia', opening at The Venetian Macau. Cotai Strip development may slow as credit markets tighten but things are now rolling with the inventory of rooms starting to build.
As Chuck at VegasTripping.com notes, the Eastside Cannery opens tonight.
I don't have this hotel in the RV or Vegas Mate databases yet and it brings me back to a question I've been asking myself for some time - should I remove a lot of the 'locals' joints from RateVegas and Vegas Mate?
Those pages get far less traffic than Strip and even Downtown properties and having them there means more upkeep and more data to clutter navigation. Is it worth it?
I'm sure I'd keep places like GVR and Red Rock and of course The Palms, Rio and other near-Strip joints. I'm talking about nixing the Fiesta, Texas Station, etc... If I'm going to do it, now is the time, especially for the iPhone app. Thoughts?
My first iPhone application, Vegas Mate, has been published to the iTunes App Store.
More information is here:
to see the listing in the store (opens in iTunes) click here:
The app has been 'in review' for over a week and I already have a significant update ready that includes three dozen new hotel reviews and a few bug fixes - that will be sent to Apple shortly.
Unlike paper-based travel guides, Vegas Mate's content updates will be consistent and available for free.
Vegas Mate uses the location-aware nature of the iPhone and iPod Touch to help you sort through the hundreds of choice on and near The Strip.
I'm proud of the app and excited about features I want to add down the road as well as other apps I want to build. It's only getting more interesting from here on out!
Mike Ch is back yet again - this time with a boots on the ground report from Planet Hollywood.
Our man on the scene braved the Palace of Earl to bring back some first hand intel.
As always, photos are here:
Also, he linked up some photos in his post as well. Enjoy after the jump.
As an aside, I'm well aware of how bad the photo gallery sucks. I've not had the time to do much about it but I actually think that might change in the near future. Stay tuned.
Word comes this morning that the 40/40 Club at The Palazzo is closing. This has been long rumored and many have doubted the place was doing very well.
In other Palazzo news, Lavo, the club from the creators of Tao, has opened. Lavo is notable because it is the center of ongoing litigation between the operators and Las Vegas Sands.
Fellow podcaster David McKee keeps us updated on the Kansas gaming process here at Stiffs and Georges:
George is back with another trip report from Macau, this time to the Grand Waldo.
Continue reading after the jump for all your SAR goodness.
Photos are posted here:
Steve Friess has a great article in the Las Vegas Weekly about digital media and Las Vegas.
Clearly, something I'm interested in. Besides the podcast and this site, I just submitted my first Las Vegas related iPhone/iPod Touch application, Vegas Mate, to the iTunes App Store for review - it should be for sale very soon.
I'd love to do another Podcast-a-palooza and have main-stream media participating - it could take the event another couple of notches above where it was this year. I have hope.
Looks like Expedia has leaked out some extra photos of the rooms at Encore, the companion resort to Wynn Las Vegas.
http://www.expedia.com/pub/agent.dll/qscr=dspv/htid=2223789 (click on 'Photos' on the left)
We get to see the entry way, bathroom and most interestingly, the sitting area. You can see in photographic detail how the 'suite' is divided - a wall with a cut-out for a TV that swivels between the two rooms.
Thanks to reader JK for the find.
This show was recorded live at The Palms in Las Vegas on August 16th, 2008. Our guest was Palms owner George Maloof.
Thanks to everyone that attended - we had a great time and I hope you did too.
There's also a video of our segment of the show here:
I have some photos to post as well, as soon as I can get to it. I'm in the late beta stages for my iPhone application, 'Vegas Mate', trying to get it ready for sale very soon.
Thanks to The Palms, George Maloof and Steve Friess, all of whom contributed to make the event what it was.
Also, a special set of thanks to my co-hosts, some of whom I had not yet met in person. It was a thrill - I wish we could do the show live all the time - it was great.
Updated: Photos posted, including new rooms at The Mirage:
http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/gallery/august2008 (yes, I know the photo gallery has some bugs like duplicate images and navigation problems - I need to get to fixing them one of these days).
Here's a quick summary and highlights of my nine-hour adventure in Las Vegas for Podcast-a-Palooza.
Mike Ch is back with another Strip Walk.
This time he hits both ends of the Strip with Luxor, Echelon, Encore, City Center and more.
Photos are here: http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/gallery/august2008
Mayor Oscar thinks that the NFL should put all the Monday night games as well as the Super Bowl into a new stadium in Las Vegas. Yeah. Right.
A very interesting story from the LV Sun that covers how the timing of reporting can skew gaming win figures:
Vegas Gang #14 is online: http://www.vegasgangpodcast.com
This time we feature:
* Echelon Work Stoppage
* LVS and MGM Financials / City Center Financing
* Steve Wynn in the New York Times
* Mirage Renovation
Feel free to comment below.
Regular reader Jeff from OKC wrote in to describe what seems to be a dwindling number of hotel and airfare packages available from the mid-west to Las Vegas.
Is this happening in other areas and how severe is it? As smaller carriers shut down or cut back on flights, how is that impacting the flow of people into Las Vegas in a time when it needs more visitors, not less? These are often subsidized, at least in part, by gaming companies - are these subsidies drying up?
As Jeff said, it seems like the worst time for it to be harder to get to town.
The RJ posted a story in which they confirmed tips they had been sent regarding City Center construction workers having alcohol before they entered the job site.
Perini, the site's main contractor, has a zero tolerance policy regarding alcohol and drugs.
Construction safety has been highlighted at City Center due to the number of construction deaths since the project began.
Another development in the saga of the Tropicana and Columbia Sussex. This time, the Nevada Gaming Control Board has recommended that the Las Vegas Strip casino be taken over by an unlicensed group of trustees as it progresses through bankruptcy.
What's interesting is that they are not licensed employees and that they say that CoSux head Bill Yung is no longer part of the decision making process.
This decision, as well as the recent stoppage at Echelon and other Las Vegas issues will be topics on tomorrow's Vegas Gang.
Here's a story from the Sun on today's reporting from MGM Mirage on their second quarter:
Some properties, such as Bellagio, didn't do as poorly as some might have guessed. Executives seemed bullish on the future.
Here's yet another report where I sample some amazing food, nightlife, and the new Palms Place. Enjoy!
Just a reminder that the Vegas Podcast-a-palooza is coming up in less than two short weeks at The Palms, right off The Strip.
Including Five Hundy By Midnight, The Strip Podcast and the Vegas Gang, along with special guests Carrot Top and George Maloof, this should be a ton of fun.
We'll also have some giveaways and a question and answer period for the show producers.
Attendance is free and all the details are here:
The New York Times has a long story on Steve Wynn, Las Vegas and gaming in Sunday's paper. It doesn't break new ground for anyone familiar with Wynn or the industry, but it's interesting. The highlight for me was reading that Steve is irritated by the sound of rushing wind in the elevator shafts. The writer must not be familiar with the old DI. She makes it sound like Steve Wynn bought the homes around the property in order to build a golf course. Yes, he did, but the DI always had a golf course.
Read the story here:
The Chips Are Down in Vegas, but Steve Wynn Is Betting Big
This was rumored the past few days. It's too bad for Las Vegas and the North Strip. I hope they can resume construction in a year or so. BYD's Conference Call is at Noon today, so we'll get more information then.
NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp (BYD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday it has decided to delay construction of its new Las Vegas Strip casino called Echelon and suspended quarterly dividends.
The company also posted lower second-quarter profit as the U.S. economic slowdown reduced gambling revenue.
The company also said it has decided to delay the construction of Echelon due to the challenging economic environment. It plans to resume construction in three or four quarters, assuming credit market conditions and economic outlook improves.
Boyd Delays Echelon