Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

September 8, 2011

Vegas Gang #66 - September 8th, 2011

Posted by Hunter

Episode #66 is up!

Listen here:

This time on the show:

- The Plaza Redevelopment
- Updated Bellagio Rooms
- Riviera Update
- Wynn Loses Key Exec to Caesars Palace
- Parry Thomas Birthday
- Vegas Homelessness

** Sure Bets **

- Drive up US 93 to Caliente, Pioche, etc...
- Vegas Internet Mafia Family Picnic
- Bachi Burger
- Nike AirMag Shoes


Read archived comments (5 so far)
September 10, 2011 10:59 PM Posted by jonasjones

Wowzahz... that was long.
No one wants to say it, but my understanding from the show is Golden Nugget will remain the "go-to" hotel for downtown.
I always visit downtown... I love the crazy drunks, the hookers and drug dealers that peddle their merchandise after about three in the morning. It's dirty... gritty... I'm not purchasing anything, but I am glad that Vegas has a place that its "soul" --no matter how contaminated-- still exits in some form.
...Also... Wynn... The latest defection isn't a surprise. Let's admit it - they're purging the 'best and brightest'-- the staff who Stevesies use to base his pride in, and on -- for cheaper labor Very hard for me to watch.

September 11, 2011 11:12 AM Posted by stevecovington

I still need to listen to it, but is there any chance Winn could be setting up Wynncore Vegas for a takeover by Casears?? Or is that some impossible shit right there? It seems like Wynn Las Vegas could end up being the new flagship for CET if Wynn lets the resort slip away even further. It seems most people's love affair with the Steve is slowing fading.

September 17, 2011 8:32 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

I've listened twice in the last week. One of the best ever. I'm happy with long episodes. Over 1 hour of downtown, the Riviera and E. Parry Thomas: I think I've died and gone to Heaven!

IIRC, let me share an interesting cross link-Roger Thomas used to own the Riviera! I read "Quiet Kingmaker", the E. Parry Thomas bio that he did with Jack Sheehan, a couple times this year. My understanding of what I read is that Thomas and Jerry Mack bought the Riviera property after a default in the late fifties. I think they held it until sometime in the seventies, or eighties. Thomas put all his ownership in a trust for his children. So, for much of his life, Roger Thomas was the landlord of the Riv. A business partner of Dean Martin and stuff like that.

I think "Quiet Kingmaker" is an essential book for anyone who is interested in post war Las Vegas history. It also is a very good read about the key figure in building the Las Vegas that we love so much.

I will rehash my idea the the Riviera needs to team up with Circus-Circus, Slots-A-Fun and the Hilton to jointly market themselves as the North end of the Strip. Have a shuttle that gets people right off the monorail and runs east-west. Clean up the walkway from the Hilton to the Riv and make it look safe, direct and clean. "Take a day trip to the North End. The Strippers Alternative To Downtown". Jointly sell value, retro and fun. Safe fun, since their market is going to be baby boomers and above, plus families. As Dr. Dave noted, the Riv has a great pool. I think the Hilton pool is nice also, and is already marketing itself as a pool party for grown ups.

Something I have always liked on the Strip is/was the shuttles that ran from Harrah's to the Rio and from Barbary Coast to the Orleans. I didn't ride them, but they sold me that I could always get back home to the Strip, no matter how late or how drunk. And these off Strip places were important and entertaining enough that they had their own special busses, so they must be a place worthy of my visiting. This is the basis for my shuttle idea out north. It might not get a lot of riders, but it creates the perception of easy access and desirability.

My heart is filled with envy of Hunter, that he got to be in the presence of Mr. Thomas, his family and the other legends. Green envy. Pulse pounding, can't hear, see red, green envy. The only consolation is that Hunter is a man who appreciates the significance of the event. :-)

September 17, 2011 4:11 PM Posted by Mike P.

A couple of totally OT observations from a mid-week Bellagio stay:

The panhandlers have supervisors! I just happened to hear a young woman giving a pep-talk to a guy assuming the destitute position on the Bellagio-Caesars overpass -- "Big weekend coming up!! Look Wretched!"

Interior work is definitely underway on Caesars Octavius tower. They have the corridor between Augustus and Octavius turned into a temporary loading dock, and supplies were being dropped all week. Mostly looked like drywall.

If CityCenter has neighborhoods Monte Carlo is the ghetto.

Aria's poker room has really taken off. They seem to be spreading the right mix of games, and daily tournaments with pretty low buy-ins and decent structures are drawing lots of players.

The rest of Aria's casino seems livelier too. This is the first time there seemed to be (to my usually lying eyes) bigger crowds there than at Bellagio.

I'd tweet all this, but I don't really get twitter and all my followers seem to be bots anyway.

September 18, 2011 3:21 PM Posted by LVReporter

The Nevada Commission on Tourism has a great companion for the drive to Pioche via U.S. 93. It is a CD that narrates the history and highlights of the drive, timed to coincide with your speed so when you are in Alamo you're hearing about Alamo and when you are hearing about the old ghost towns you are kind of close to them. Obviously, speeds vary by driver and traffic, but it timed up pretty close to us and the production values were good so it was a pleasant and compelling listen.