Mike's back with a trip down The Strip including a lunch at First Food @ Palazzo.
Some updates and photos of City Center, Bellagio, Monte Carlo and more.
The complete photo gallery is here:
Just a reminder that on October 17th we'll be launching Vegas Podcast-a-palooza 2 at The Palms.
The show, emceed by Wings For Wheels host Dave Lifton, will feature three live podcasts: Five Hundy By Midnight, The Strip and The Vegas Gang, as well as a podcasting panel / Q&A session. Some interesting guests are being lined up for some of the shows - we think you'll dig 'em.
We'll take some questions from the Internet audience in advance, along with the folks there in attendance. Scott is an honest-to-goodness professional podcaster so I'm sure he'll have a lot to add.
We'd really love to see you all there, it's a lot of fun to meet the listeners.
I saw the 'Prima' promotion from MGM Grand maybe a week and a half ago and didn't think much of it - at first glance I guess I didn't really get it... until I listened to the T&M Show (kinda like H&M but with some Replacements, more shoe-talk and less Scandinavians).
Turns out, the deal goes something like this: book at MGM Grand under this program and you commit to spending $500 on top of your room cost - basically a credit on your room account. In return, you get all kinds of deals and special offers during your stay including 2-for-1 drinks, 2-for-1 entrees at restaurants, VIP check-in, a limo trip, club access, etc...
This is interesting! I'm sure many people can relate to spending something in this range (or more) during a trip of a few days, especially if they concentrated their activity at one hotel and if show tickets are involved.
As far as I know, there aren't other deals of this kind out there, at least not explicit like this one is. Curious to see how this goes for them and if Prima is around in a few months.
As we've previously reported, Encore Las Vegas is looking at replacing the Las Vegas Strip porte-cochere with a new pool complex, tentatively named the 'Switch Beach Club'.
This rendering was presented tonight to the Clark County Planning Commission:
The complex should be open for next year's Summer season.
Thanks to @mtc for the higher-res image.
Wynn Resorts has an appointment to see Clark County about a big potential change to Encore.
It seems that they feel the Las Vegas Strip porte-cochere is a bit of a waste of space - they want to replace it with a pool and nightclub complex, right up next to Las Vegas Blvd.
Here's the filing with the county: PDF Filing w/ Clark County
Sounds like they would create a new entrance to this addition from Las Vegas Blvd. as well as create a pedestrian bridge for people walking in front of the parking garage entrance.
What will happen to the Encore atrium, Switch and high limit areas? Will they have to be modified to accommodate this?
We're working on getting more info from Wynn PR and also other channels.
Thanks to Detroit for giving me the heads up on this filing.
Update: We hear that the project is scheduled for Q2 2010.
Vegas Mate 2.0, the latest release of our popular iPhone application for Las Vegas tourists, is now available via the iTunes App Store (opens in iTunes). 2.0 is a free upgrade for existing users and costs $4.99 for new users.
Vegas Mate is an interactive, location enabled travel guide that includes tons of information about hotels/restaurants/attractions both on and off The Strip, as well as user reviews and other useful information. This release represents months of work - most of the app internals were re-written to take advantage of iPhone OS 3.0 and beyond, which is required for this release.
Here's a sample of the new features:
* Over-the-Air Content Updates - We can now push out content updates over the air without having to push a new release through iTunes. This means we can be more current with the constant openings and closings in Las Vegas.
* Restaurant Menus - Many of the restaurants now include viewable menus.
* Favorites - Mark hotels, restaurants and activities as favorites, useful for trip planning and re-visiting top spots.
* News and Events - Read news stories from many Vegas sources ; view upcoming events.
* Massively improved map system.
* Updated user interface.
Special thanks to all that helped test the release, with extra special thanks to Joe P., Chuck S. Monster, and Mike Ch.
A screen cast of v2.0 is available here: Vegas Mate Screen Cast
Releases of Vegas Mate will continue in earnest - there's a list of features for 2.1 and beyond already on the drawing board and I expect a 2.0.1 with a few little bug-fixes will be in the works soon.
One of the benefits of running a site like this is that from time to time, certain information comes my way before it hits the general public.
Most recently, this would include floor-plans of ARIA's public spaces and casino area. The hugely anticipated City Center anchor hotel, opening in mid-December, looks pretty great to my eyes.
In addition to being such a major milestone, ARIA is important because it is meant to be the crown of the MGM Mirage empire. The current occupant of that top slot, Bellagio, was designed and built by now-competitor Steve Wynn. MGM Mirage hasn't 'authored' a major Las Vegas resort for many years, its empire having been assembled through acquisition instead of development.
If you want some details about what is inside of ARIA, continue after the jump.
* Harrah's 'Street O' Shops'
* Monte Carlo Hotel 32
* Financial Reporting
* Random Banter
Feel free to leave comments below.
Here's the latest installment in our 'Strip Walk' series in which our intrepid reporter, Mr. Ch, visited several major Strip casino resorts in the heavy heat of Summer.
The photos are located here:
Continue after the jump for all the juicy details.
Over the past weeks, Wynn Resorts have been posting some new videos to their official YouTube channel.
Well, now it seems they are distributing them as a video podcast as well:
http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=324891950 (opens in iTunes).
Perhaps not a podcast in the traditional sense but interesting to see them experimenting with this stuff.
This morning, Nevada based MGM Mirage released their second quarter results:
A loss of $212 million for the quarter, along with lower revenues as well. Despite taking a big hit this quarter, some analysts believe MGM Mirage has turned their balance sheet around and should start to see some upside in the coming quarters. They miraculously were able to navigate a very difficult set of conditions this Spring without resorting to an asset fire sale.
Their massive City Center project opens in phases starting in October.
High rise condos are the subject of a story in the RJ. The concluding paragraphs summarize what many others have been saying:
"What is the end game for Las Vegas? Returning to its roots as an affordable and diverse entertainment destination, Nichols said.
"We became too much of the $500 bottle of vodka and multihundred-dollar room," he said. "We increased capacity at a higher price point when there was no demand for that. There's a direct relationship between price point and market share. If entertainment, rooms, and food and beverage get back in line, just like any service or commodity, that's when the town will rebound."
To read more:
High-Rise Plans Go Flat In Las Vegas