This time on the show:
* Fontainebleau + Ichan
* Resort Fees
* Harrah's + Planet Hollywood
* Harrah's iPhone App
* Vegas Gang Trivia Episode #1
Check out the show: http://www.vegasgangpodcast.com/2010/01/vegas-gang-43-january-21st-2010
Feel free to leave comments below. Trivia questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org - we might use yours on the show.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, it appears that financier Carl Ichan will probably end up as the new owner of the Fontainebleau project, the hulking shell of a half-finished hotel looming over the north end of The Strip.
It's not clear yet exactly when, or even if, the project would be restarted.
Our own mike_ch is back with a 'mega' Strip Walk, including his first time at CityCenter.
As regular readers know, Mike is never short of opinions - you'll get his full take on the new MGM Mirage development as well as a boatload of photos.
This is a good one - you don't want to miss it. Enjoy.
Complete gallery: http://photo.ratevegas.com/Other/Stripwalk-January-2010/10930508_gxkui
Reader @mac78130 caught these, potential renderings of the Encore Beach Club project in Las Vegas.
We don't know if these are real or not but they do match the project as proposed, with a walk-way across the existing parking garage entrance. If they are indeed real, I assume the Wynn overlords will have these taken down soon so see 'em while you can.
Doing the Vegas Gang show is one of my favorite things but even as much fun as it is, I'm constantly coming up with ideas to make it better. Most of these turn out to be way too dumb to share with other humans but I finally have one experiment I want to try.
You, loyal listeners, can send trivia questions to me at this email address. I will pick one or two for the show. If the Gangsters can't answer correctly, I'll give you a $25 Amazon.com certificate. I'll be the screener and judge so I won't be able to give answers on the show.
See, I think the guys are pretty good and I don't think you'll be able to stump them but who knows... Only real rule is that the questions have to be reasonable - don't ask how many tiles are on the floor in the Forum Shops for instance. Keep them focused on history, tourism and gaming and in the spirit of good fun.
I'm hoping this will be a regular thing - we'll see how it goes.
The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that Harrah's will be launching an iPhone app sometime this month.
This sort of thing is inevitable - I expect more of this to come.
What's not really mentioned in the article though - GPS doesn't really work indoors. On the iPhone, it falls back to cell-tower triangulation which is not very accurate (it could tell you that you were on The Strip but not that you were specifically inside Caesars) - that's a problem that I combat with Vegas Mate too. I'd invest in high-quality interior maps if I could use them that way.
Now, the other way an iPhone can locate itself is through registered Wi-Fi access points - if Harrah's is installing and registering Wi-Fi stations, that would improve the ability to locate indoors (for Vegas Mate too - it all works the same way). That would be great for everyone.
The author also refers to the app 'text messaging' users. I assume they mean Push Notifications, which are like text messages but are not really the same thing. It's a pretty high level article so I guess the specific details aren't too terribly important.
I haven't tried the app yet but I certainly will. In the meantime, the far more comprehensive Vegas Mate is on sale this week for the bargain price of $1.99.
Update: Is this 'Caesars Palace' app on the App Store the app they're talking about? If so, it's already out... and quite basic. Looks like basically a brochure in app form. Also, it appears to download each screen of data as you move through the app. That means it won't work offline for iPod Touch users. If this is the app they're talking about, count me underwhelmed.
Vegas Mate for iPhone and iPod Touch is on sale this week in honor of CES 2010. Instead of a normal price of $4.99, it's $3 off - just $1.99. This week only.
Enjoy kiddies. In other news, I bought an Android 'Nexus One' phone to test and to learn more about Android programming. No promises about VM for other platforms but you never know.
Very interesting item on the Harrah's blog today that ties into some of the things we've been talking about.
Basically, a post putting down resort fees and the resorts that charge them. I guess this means the PHo resort fee will be getting the axe sometime soonish? Theirs is pretty small at only about $5.
CityCenter's architecture and architects are discussed in this Wall Street Journal article:
"At one time City Center represented one of the biggest, if not the biggest, source of billings in the U.S. for high-profile architects. One of the reasons for its enormous price tag was the premium MGM Mirage was willing to pay for design, which chief executive Jim Murren has said added hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost, compared to similarly sized projects. The company won't disclose what percentage of the $8.5 billion cost went to design."