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rhc1221 asked on 08/09/04

Hunter, your one on one reference was a classic. But I will be getting in about 3 pm on Saturday and leaving 8 am Tuesday, are there any tournaments at the Bellagio (with buy-ins between 500-1000) that I can enter and possibly play these poker gurus? I know these guys are better and that is why they do it for a living, but I can not imagine them being that good when the variable is the cards. It is not like gold where Tiger is going to hit driver 90 yards past me, we both get two cards down and just play. I think the margin between an amateur poker player (but someone who knows how to play) and a professional, is far less that a world class athlete and a overweight, beer drinking, cheetoe eating, Monday Night Football watching fella… So anyways, thanks for the advice. But back to my original question…tournaments?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, I think most poker players would argue that you don’t play the cards, you play the person… You seem determined to give this a try, and sometimes even Kobe slips on the court. :-). There are no tournaments scheduled during the dates you specified… They offer regular No Limit Hold’Em tournaments Wednesday and Friday… Can you adjust your stay? Otherwise, you’ll have to settle for sitting down and going for it, hoping to end up seated next to a superstar.

kmajka asked on 08/05/04

I am going to vegas in December 04. I have extremely cheap rooms from the Aladdin, due to our previous play (we usually go twice a year) However, I am concerned about the upcoming construction. Do you know if it will be a major distraction or inconvenience? Also, do you know if the existing play credits and comps will carry over when the Aladdin becomes Planet Hollywood?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The casino plans to transfer its customer base and take care of its customers. Specific transition plans haven’t been announced. The construction plans haven’t been specified, this information isn’t all available. Bottom line is that they plan to minimize guest disruption and carry players over.

jsaldridge asked on 08/05/04

thanks for the input. I have one more question. My buddies and I are looking for a poker game, but are wanting to stay around a $150-$200 buy in. Any suggestions where we can play a little low limit poker without getting our heads split open by professionals?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Believe it or not, the Excalibur is a good place to try no-limit Poker without being hassled by pros!

leia asked on 08/04/04

am visiting vegas for the 1st time in early oct. hotel rates very high…when do fall rates come out? would like to stay at luxor or monte carlo, both currenlty listed at over $500 for 3 nights =(

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Hotel rates for major Strip resorts are constantly moving up and down based on fairly complex demand models built into their reservations systems. While rates could drop, they could also increase… They are often influenced by supply – if there is a large convention or other event in town they go up… I would consider checking a few other hotels to compare. Try Treasure Island, Aladdin, and perhaps Ballys.

jsaldridge asked on 08/04/04

Great site. I went to LV and stayed at Paris in April, and you really helped out with some questions then, so I’m back looking for suggestions. I’m heading to Caesars with some buddies that are pretty big gamblers. I’m told that we have two suites as well as our food comped based on their previous trips to Caesars. That being said, is there anything I should request or any particular restaurant that is a must at the Caesars property?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! Caesars newest restaurant, Bradley Ogden, is supposedly fantastic but I haven’t tried it yet. Also very good are 808 and Nero’s. Make sure you get a good view… If you are in the Palace Tower, all views are pretty good.

Jhub asked on 08/03/04

Geat site Hunter…this site has answered a lot of questions for me over the years, and I finally have one that I am hopeing you can answer. I am planning on purposing to my girlfriend on August 25 in Vegas. We are planning on going to see Penn & Teller that night. I am wondering if you think there is even a slight chance that if I sent the Rio an e-mail asking if it is at all possibile to somehow work the purposal into their act that they would do it. If you could let me know I would appreciate it.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! Congratulations on your upcoming engagement. I am getting married later this year and I’m excited. The key to getting your request filled (and it is possible) is asking the correct person. I would write a letter (paper mail gets more respect than email) to the entertainment director at the Rio and ask that way. Good luck!

craigmanson asked on 08/03/04

Hi, I’m staying in one of the MGM penthouses in September – is there a particular room I should request? Good strip view etc??

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

All offer good to great views, so you shouldn’t need to request much. Let the reservationist or check in clerk know that views are important and you should get what you want.

Guy asked on 08/02/04

Thanks for your advice. I’ve held a week at THE Hotel @ Mandalay bay. It seems a bit too good to be true. For a considerably less sum of money it appears to be offerering similar floor space as a suite at Mirage, Caesars, Bellagio.
Venetian. Is there a catch? I’m really looking forward to my first experience of Vegas, any advice is welcome ! I’d also like a great view of Vegas; is this the catch at this hotel?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I stayed at THEHotel mid-July 2004 and was very impressed by the facility. I think you’ll really like it. Prices are all over, so you probably got a good rate. No catch… They have some great views too – make sure you tell them that you want a view of the Strip. Only one side of the tower has Strip views due to its location.

AnnaMikeMc asked on 08/02/04

Hi! My husband and I will be visiting Las Vegas for this second time this October. On our last day, we are looking for a casual but nice restaurant for dinner. We are stuck because our bags will be checked at the hotel and we won’t be able to change into nicer clothes. I don’t want to eat at a cafe or anything, we’d like to eat at the nicest casual restuarant that will allow sneakers and jeans (on the strip). Thanks, and thank you for creating this site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Actually, you have some choices… I would check out these restaurants: FIX (Bellagio) – great food, all attire welcome; Olives (Bellagio) – another great spot, right on the lake; Mon Ami Gabi (Paris) – dine outside on the Strip in front of the hotel. Those are three good choices for some quality food without having to get all dressed up.

AC asked on 08/01/04

It seems like the rooms at THEHotel at Mandaly are receiving great reviews everywhere I’ve read, but I’ve yet to read anything about the View Suites. I haven’t seen what the upgrade cost is, or whether the difference is worth the money given the amenities of the standard rooms…any opinion? Any luck with the $20 trick here? Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No reports of $20 trick luck. The view rooms guarantee a Strip view… If that is important to you, go for it.

Wiggy asked on 07/30/04

Hello Hunter. Brilliant site as ever. I’m looking into buying a condo or apartment in Vegas with a view to renting it out. Price range of around $100,000. Trouble is I can’t find a web site with info on any for sale – they’re all for rent. Wondered if you knew of any. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The best person to answer this is Chris over at… Drop him a line and tell him I sent you over! He’s a very cool guy that can point you in the right direction.

Guy asked on 07/30/04

Hi there from sunny (HA!) England. I’m really looking forward to my first ever trip to Vegas this October for a 10th anniversary celebration. Have secured great seats to see Elton but feel a bit swamped by the choices available regarding hotels. My priorities are a spacious room with a great view and a luxurious bathroom in a hotel with a great pool. I’ve got around $2800 for a 7 night stay. I’ve heard the fountains at Bellagio are stunning, if I don’t get a room with a view of them will I regret this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers,

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Based on your budget and other priorities, I would look seriously at the following properties: Bellagio (Lake view or Salon suite), Mirage (Tower suite), Caesars Palace (Palace Tower), THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. All of those are great hotels with great pools, very high end and a lot of fun. You can get information on the specifics through the links on our main page. The Fountains of Bellagio are fantastic and should be seen while on your trip – a view from your room is nice but to be honest, the best view is from the street – a design ‘flaw’ that builder Steve Wynn has acknowledged.

zblossom asked on 07/28/04

Greetings and salutations, Hunter! Great feedback on your site; keep up the good work! Am planning my 40th birthday celebration to Vegas on May 2, 2005. Please give me a couple of choices of hotels in order to make this unique trip extraordinary. Muchas gracias.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks! Since you didn’t mention price range… Wynn Las Vegas will be in its second week of operation and will be the hot thing in town. No one knows exactly what the prices will be like, but they will be high. Also consider a Tower Suite at the Mirage. Very nice rooms that can usually be had for less-than-insane prices… I recently tried THEHotel at Mandalay Bay and was very impressed… Hope this helps!

beansf asked on 07/27/04

Hello, I am planning on being in Vegas 8/8 – 8/13. I am a doll collector and am wondering, is the FAO Schwartz in Forum Shops going to be open during my stay?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The store is closed for renovation and expected to reopen with the Forum Shops expansion, later this Fall.

jmw asked on 07/25/04

Hi Hunter! Our next trip to Las Vegas is the first week of May 2005. We are considering a room at the Ritz Carlton or a one bedroom MonteLago Village Viera condo. What’s your opinion? Also, do you have any information on the “Club Level” at the Ritz Carlton (rooms; food; service) and whether it’s worth the extra $100/night for two people. We would also consider staying at Green Valley Ranch. How do you think Green Valley stacks up against Lake Las Vegas as a place to stay for a resort-type vacation with a few trips to the by car? Should we be able to get a good rate for this time period? Thanks for the information.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Green Valley Ranch is a great property with a fantastic pool. The scenery is probably not as nice as it is out at Lake Las Vegas, other than a nice view of the Strip. Ritz Carlton has a long standing reputation for great service and facilities. The ‘Club Level’ rooms are basically guaranteed good views accessible via private elevator. There is a small lounge for guests in that area. MonteLago Village Viera is in the same area and is also a nice facility but I would stick with the brand and the more experienced hotel operator, Ritz Carlton. As far as rates, May is a bit far off to predict – there are some large conventions but those mostly impact Strip hotel rates.

dharrell21 asked on 07/25/04

My wife and I are going in Feb. for a getaway from the kids for 2 nights. We have narowed it down to the jacuzzi deluxe at NyNy and the Jacuzzi suite at the Luxor.Which is the better room? Is NyNy a suite or is there any difference between the two rooms other than the hotel itself? It’s hard to tell by the pictures of each at their websites. Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Personally, I would rather stay at NYNY. I think the location is a bit better and the service is a couple of notches above Luxor. I have felt like service at Luxor has declined a bit in the last 24 months. The Luxor jacuzzi suite is a bit larger than the one at NYNY, but the second room is almost an afterthought – I can’t see much of a practical use for it since the tub and everything else is in the main (bed) room. Hope that helps.

kdaroush asked on 07/25/04

Dear Sir,
Could you tell me if Caesar’s Magical Empire still exists? If it does, Could I have a phone number and cost? Thanks!
A great site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Magical Empire closed in 2001. The space will be revamped but it is currently empty. Thanks!

yummy asked on 07/23/04

why do you think the bellagio didn’t make the top 10 for room reviews? my husband and i are planning a trip for our annivrsery in august – any tips for nice rooms with great rates?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Top Ten list is recalculated every fifteen minutes – Bellagio has been on the editor top ten list for quite some time… As far as the user top ten… Probably because many don’t perceive Bellagio to be a good ‘value’ – it can be pricey and it is swanky. Some just want a bed to sleep in… Anyway, I think Bellagio is a great place to stay. Rooms, restaurants and service are all tops.

pconway asked on 07/21/04

We were wondering about the Alladin as we want to stay there Nov 10, 2004 to Nov 14, 2004. We heard they are making changes as they are now Planet Hollywood.

Thank You

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The sale is not yet complete. Expect Gaming Commission approval around the beginning of September. The buyers have announced plans to make major changes to the facade and theme of the casino but no specific timetable has been announced. The hotel will be open during construction.

billy17ken asked on 07/19/04

We are planning to stay in Vegas from April 4th to 7th 2005. We are a family consisting of two adults and three children, aged 15, 11 and 8. We’d love to stay on the strip but are having trouble finding a room to accommodate us all. Any tips? Can afford up to $300 a night.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Spring in Las Vegas can get pretty busy with conventions, etc… Also, a single bedroom hotel room in Las Vegas can sleep a max of four by law. I know many folks that have crammed additional folks in (2 queens plus a rollaway). If you mention you have five people in the room, most reservationists can’t help you unless you want to get two rooms or a 2 bedroom suite. Some hotels won’t take reservations that far in advance. A quick check at The Mirage for those dates show a TOTAL cost of about $477 for a deluxe (standard) room. You probably want to look for places that have average to larger-than-average rooms. Check The Mirage, Treasure Island, Mandalay Bay, THEHotel at Mandalay Bay, and the Venetian. I hope that this helps.

heyadammiller asked on 07/18/04

Hunter, Harrahs seems to have outdated casinos, how did they have enough money to be able to afford to buy what seems like, ever rich Caesars? Do you think that Caesars Palace will be affected in any way, I dont believe there would be a name change, but its interesting you say that Ballys may. How is Wynn as we speak? I enjoy the pictures you have posted! Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

In Las Vegas Harrah’s has two properties, Harrah’s Las Vegas and the Rio. The company operates 26 other casinos throughout the world and last year had over $4 billion in revenue. Harrah’s Entertainment is considered one of the highest quality operators and have been recognized for their extensive leverage of technology to increase same story growth. Caesars, while often lauded as the best brand in gaming, has had a lot of challenges transforming Caesars Palace into a 21st century competitor to Bellagio, the Venetian and Wynn Las Vegas. In the past Harrah’s has gone primarily after the $1 slot player, leaving the volatile high end baccarat market to MGM MIRAGE and Caesars Entertainment. With the potential of the MGM MIRAGE/Mandalay merger, Harrah’s couldn’t risk being marginalized in Las Vegas. This was reactionary. Caesars Palace itself will probably see few changes. The new hotel tower is well under its way to being completed, as are the Forum Shops expansion. Harrah’s will almost certainly bring its ‘Total Rewards’ player tracking system to all of the Caesars properties. Caesars itself is an incredibly valuable brand. Paris would be too hard to convert away from its theme… Ballys doesn’t have much real personality and the brand value is questionable, especially when compared with the ‘Horseshoe’ brand… Anyway… Wynn Las Vegas is coming along great. Hope to post some more pictures today.

heyadammiller asked on 07/18/04

Hunter, wow, with the new merger of Caesars into Harrahs, what will we expect to happen! Do you think there will be some hotels and wrecking balls, or new resorts coming up? Or is this just a merger to compete with hotel rates? It will be interesting to follow this and to hear your input on this. Thank you very much, your website is a success and help to us all.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Harrah’s/Caesars merger is quite a different beast than what is happening with MGM MIRAGE and Mandalay. The latter is almost entirely about Las Vegas while the Harrah’s deal creates a globally diverse entertainment giant. As far as Caesars Las Vegas assets, the Palace is still under construction but will be completed soon. Paris throws off a lot of positive cash flow and even the aging Bally’s is highly profitable. You may see Harrah’s re-brand Bally’s as a ‘Horseshoe’ casino and make some interior adjustments. Harrah’s saw the MGG/MBG merger and I think were a bit blind-sided. The fact is that Caesars could be run more efficiently than it has been in the past and Harrah’s can’t afford to be marginalized.

davetsai asked on 07/15/04

My fiancee and I are planning to throw a post-wedding event in July 2005 to gather 30 or so of our closest friends in Vegas. Not a “party”, just somewhere where we can all hang out and catch up through the night. We’re looking for a large enough suite to rent out for 1-2 nights to accommodate everyone, on or near the Strip. The larger the better, and we’re expecting to spend $1-5K/night. We found the following possibilities so far: 1) Terrace Room at MGM (saw your video, decent, but is this too small?); 2) Presidential Suite at Four Seasons (great size/layout, but easy enough access for guests?); 3) Hospitality Suite at Venetian (no idea what this looks like). 4) Playpen at the Palms (suitable for our kind of low-key event?)

Any thoughts on which of these are ideal? Any others we should consider that are rentable and that will allow entertaining of guests? Will the new Wynn Resort have any that could work by then (e.g. their “Fairway suites”)? Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The room inventory at Wynn Las Vegas is still somewhat unknown. The Fairway suites will be quite large but will be hard to rent for non-comped players, especially so soon after the opening. The Venetian hospitality suite is designed for this type of event. Also, the Mirage has hospitality suites and details on their Web site. While you mentioned several other types of nice rooms, much of those spaces are ‘living’ areas and are hard to re-purpose for a social event. Take a look at the Mirage and see if that is along the lines of what you are looking for.

kas2004 asked on 07/14/04

Hello, I am going to Vegas to get married in August. Unfortunately, I booked a room at the Imperial Palace before I read reviews on it :(. What are the chances of getting an upgrade there with or without the $20 trick? I would like to at least get a renovated room. Also, do you know when the room renovations are supposed to be completed? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Be sure to mention that you are there to get married. When you attempt the $20 trick, the check-in clerk must know you are getting married. This can help you get a better view and a good looking room.

vegasfan asked on 07/13/04

My husband and I have booked an Emerald Tower room at the MGM and we are hoping to get an upgrade. Do you think it more likely to get the upgrade at the express airport check-in or at the registration desk at the MGM? Great site by the way. I am getting a lot of great information. :)

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

More likely at the hotel itself. Airport staff have limited powers.

lpdrec asked on 07/08/04

Hi Hunter, just returned from Vegas last week and my limo driver said there are plans by the new owners to tear down Circus Circus and Excaliber. What have you heard? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Well, if the MGM MIRAGE / Mandalay Resort Group merger does go through, those parcels will no doubt be looked at for redevelopment… but not for quite awhile. The merged company would have a lot of free cash flow but also a huge amount of debt – they will most likely focus on paying some of that down before embarking on a huge redevelopment project, especially considering that both resorts are profitable.

vegasfan asked on 07/08/04

How are the jacuzzi rooms at the Excalibur?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

They are slightly larger Excalibur rooms that include a jacuzzi in the main area. If you don’t mind the Excal and want a cheap room with a jacuzzi, it could work. All normal Excal disclaimers apply.

SOLDSHORT asked on 07/07/04

hey hunter,

I have the choice between staying at a standard suite at the Rio and an Executive suite at the Strat. Which do you recommend?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Rio. Nicer hotel, better location, better restaurants.

LindaB asked on 07/07/04

Hi – GREAT site – Thanks for all the work!! My husband and I will be going to Vegas for the second time ever and taking my elderly parents – dad in 80’s, unsteady on his feet, but can walk slowly – We will probably stay in center strip for location – but which casino would be the easiest to get in and out of both walking from the strip from nearby casinos as well as self parking? We also would love a view of the fountains for them! Thanks.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

All major Strip casinos have a lot of walking involved. A few have tried to minimize distances but there is still a lot of ground to cover. Despite being a huge property, Bellagio is fairly easy to get in and out of. A smaller property like Paris might be a bit easier, but has cobblestone ‘streets’ that can be difficult to navigate. The Aladdin has stairs on its Strip entrance so that’s probably not a great choice. Monte Carlo offers straight shots in and out but it is a football field inside. Whatever hotel you choose, check with them to see if they will let you use a wheelchair – this can be a big help and might make any one of those places doable. I hope that this helps.

blazedchris2004 asked on 07/07/04

Hi Hunter,
When i last visited fabulas las vegas the newest resort was the Paris. I hope to be going there very soon although what are the latest hotels open and is there any plans for huge resorts to be opened in the future like my favourite Bellagio! Thanks very much, Chris

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Paris opened in 1999, along with the Venetian and Mandalay Bay. Since then we saw the Palms open (off Strip) and the Aladdin on the Strip. Wynn Las Vegas will be the next mega-resort to open, in April 2005.

Bouzouki asked on 07/07/04

I am going to Vegas in late July. 1. What do you think my chances are of getting a room upgrade at the Monte Carlo on a Wed and Thurs. night? 2. What do you think is the best casino on the strip for low limit tables? 3. Do you know of any casinos that offer College Hockey betting? 4. I have seen a horse racing slot machine where plastic horses race around a track at many casinos in Canada and have played an old one at the New Frontier. Do you know of any other casino in Vegas that has this game? If so, where? Thank you for your help.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Ok… Here goes… 1. Your chances are basically impossible to predict. Weekdays are generally easier but it all boils down to hotel volume, which has many variables. 2. Sahara, Stratosphere, Barbary Coast, Excalibur, Circus Circus, and the Riviera. Also smaller joints like Westward Ho have low limit action. 3. College hockey? Honestly no. Never seen anything but horses, dogs, pro and college football and basketball, pro hockey, pro baseball, special proposition bets like the Indy 500. 4. Yes, actually… I have seen it at both the MGM Grand (about the middle of the casino) and at Luxor (in the back by the sports book – they use camels in this version).

Wiggy asked on 07/06/04

Hello again.
Myself and the wife have just returned from sunny Vegas but we’ve already booked again to stay at the Gold Coast next year. We’ll be in Vegas for the 4th July and I wondered what we could expect in terms of celebrations etc and if you had any tips on where best to spend the day and evening.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

2005 is the 100 year anniversary of the founding of Las Vegas. While events will be going on all year, the city has designated July 4th as a big part of those celebrations. Details will be announced as we get closer to the event.

luckycat15 asked on 07/06/04

Hi Hunter! You gave me some great advice last year, so now I’m back again with another question. Planning a trip to Vegas in early Sept (6-9). Need two rooms — a couple & a single. Based on a great stay last year, we’re staying at the Venetian Sept. 6 and 7. The Venetian rates go way up on Sept. 9, so we are considering trying out THEHotel for Sept. 8 and 9. Here’s my question… Will THEHotel (or Mandalay Bay in general) let you use the pool on the day you check-in, even if your room is not yet ready (i.e. before the published check-in time?)… Also, is there a locker room/changing room for this type of situation?
Thanks in advance, and as always, GREAT SITE!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Yes, you can use the pool as soon as you are checked in, even if your room is not ready… You need to tell the clerk that you are heading to the pool – they will need to give you a key. As far as a locker room, you’re out of luck there… Nothing beyond restrooms are available.

scooter30 asked on 07/02/04

Hunter, thanks for answeting my previous questions so promptly! I have another couple for you; I need to keep in touch with people back home via e-mail while i’m in Vegas. On my last visit i seem to remember an interenet facility in the foyer of the Boardwalk – is this still the case or are there any other places i can use (staying at Monte Carlo)? Secondly – can you recommend any tattoo parlours? Many thanks again!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

For tattoos, check out Hart and Huntington at the Palms… As far as Internet access, a couple of the souvenir stores between Bellagio and Monte Carlo are now offering Internet access by the minute.

heyadammiller asked on 07/01/04

Hunter, what do you think the structure is appearing on the top of Wynn Las Vegas? It is a metal structure towards the center of the building currently looking like its being built? Is it going to be the marquee? Also, do you think the Wynn Las Vegas Lake is going to be a similar duplicate of the Lake at Bellagio? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The structure is indeed signage for the resort. The resorts’ logo is Wynn’s signature… As far as the lake goes, it will be much smaller than the lake at Bellagio. I would expect to see some lake detail that surpasses what was done at Bellagio.

heyadammiller asked on 06/29/04

Hunter, thanks for answering all my questions! This site is so helpful to all of the Las Vegas facts, ratings, updates, etc! I was just watching Rush Hour 2 and wondered where and if they taped Rush Hour 2 in Las Vegas, or was it a Hollywood set up? What hotel did they shoot the “hotel in the movie” in? Just curious and wondered if you knew! Rat Race was obviouslly taped in the Venitan but where was Rush Hour 2 Taped at? Thanks!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Portions of Rush Hour 2 were filmed at the Desert Inn. The exterior shots that feature the leads jumping from the casino windows as well as the interior casino shots were all filmed inside the Augusta Tower, which has since been imploded (the parking garage for Wynn Las Vegas occupies much of the space). Wynn allowed the filming to occur there since the casino was shut down pending demolition.

scooter30 asked on 06/29/04

Hello from Scotland!! What a fantastic website – by far the best Vegas site i’ve came across!! It’s been three years now since my last trip to LV. Just wondered if I’d notice any major changes to the place? And is this famed Monorail operational yet? Keep up ther tremendous work!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks very much! We’re now testing a new version of the site with new features and improvements – we’re excited. The monorail will start running July 15, 2004 and be on a limited schedule for the first several months. In the past three years there haven’t been too many resort openings but the next 12 months will see major changes: Wynn Las Vegas opens April 2005; Bellagio Spa Tower opens December 2004; Caesars Palace Tower opens mid-2005; Caesars Palace Roman Plaza is now open; Aladdin changes ownership this fall, Caesars Forum Shops expansion opens in late Fall… All major projects. In addition, the resorts are often tuning their restaurant and nightlife offerings.

heyadammiller asked on 06/27/04

Hunter, do you believe that the Mirage & Treasure Island may be sold to other corps since the merging of MGM Mirage Mandaly? What is the deal with the Plaza downtown and the new owners and the 60 acers behind the Plaza? What will they be developing there, are there any other plans in downtown re development- and how do you think that will fly, do you think that the re development will be a success? Thanks and sorry for the long questions!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

My understanding is that the new owners of the Plaza, Barrick Gaming, plans to add a second tower at the Plaza along with extensive renovations. Downtown is about to enter a period of revitalization. It will be fun to watch.

As far as The Mirage and TI, my guess is that MGM Mirage wants to keep both, especially The Mirage. They are both good contributors to cash flow and are getting a fair amount of capital improvement this year (restaurants, buffets, nightclubs at both, etc…). We’ll have to see how the FTC thing shakes out.

flem asked on 06/25/04

Hey Hunter. I am staying off the strip next week and was wondering if I can access any of the pools on the strip without actually staying there? If so which would be the best one? Thanks and great site!!!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The short answer is no. All Strip resorts restrict their pools to guests only. That said, you might be able to sneak into one if you wanted to try. Some places are locked down tight, including Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, The Mirage and the Hard Rock.

Mikeynla asked on 06/21/04

Hunter – we’ll be in Vegas this weekend (25-27) – rates keep JUMPING, so I need to book soon… anyway, we have 6 people, all mid- to upper-20s. We can get rooms in the Garden section of the Tropicana for $125/night each or the larger “deluxe” rooms at Excalibur for $89/night each. After taxes, we’d each save about $30 by staying at Excalibur, but the pool at the Trop is way better, and we’d have a balcony… any suggestions? As always, great site!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I would spend the cash and be at the Trop. I am not a big fan of Excalibur. At all. Trop. All the way.

ian448 asked on 06/19/04

have just checked the Bellagio web site , hoping to book for april, have the prices gone up or is april just a busy time

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

April can be a busy time for various conventions. Also, Bellagio demands some of the highest room rates in the city.

heyadammiller asked on 06/19/04

Hunter, what is your opinion on Las Vegas changing back to the promoting “sex” Vegas. Do you think that it will ever go back to a family style place agian? It seems like all the hotels are bouncing back to the “sex” Vegas. Especially with all the new Margarita type places and the Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritavill aiming towards a youngner crowd. Is this the next Cancun

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

I don’t think that Las Vegas will ever go back to the ‘family’ marketing idea… My opinion is that the Convention Authority views that as a marketing mistake and would prefer if folks would forget it happened… Las Vegas will continue to be marketed as a place where you can go and leave you inhibitions behind – cut loose for a weekend and do the kinds of things you wouldn’t do at home… That includes more than just sexy advertising, but gambling, drinking, shows, etc… It is marketed as the ultimate vacation destination with something for everyone.

bigslim4 asked on 06/19/04

hey hunter… sorry but we’ve decided to stay in a 2 bedroom parlor/grand suite at bally’s instead of harrah’s. can u tell me what u know about this suite if anything at all. we’re staying there for a bachelor party. also, if u can share ur opinions about the property itself. any particular tower i should request or are all the suites in one tower. any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks again hunter

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Ballys is an older property, built in the late 70s. It has had several renovations, including a complete room remodel in the last 2 years. The pool is large but fairly boring – standard Olympic size. The monorail, while not yet operating, has a stop at the back of the property. The rooms are usually very nice and the suites are well kept. The south tower is slightly newer than the north tower, it is also closer to the casino but further from the pool. Ballys has a good, fun atmosphere and should be a good place to have a bachelor party. I once checked out of Ballys wearing one shoe and carrying the other under my arm… At 4am. What happens there says there indeed.

tommyiac asked on 06/17/04

Hunter, Awesome pics of Wynn LV construction! You could see bits and pieces last month from Venetian, but now I hear the visitor’s center is opening. Any new details emerging about the project??

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Thanks. As far as we know, there is no set date for any sort of visitor’s center at WLV. Wynn continues to be tight lipped about details, beyond what has already been disclosed.

Nevermatters asked on 06/17/04

Hi Hunter, do you know of a cyber cafe that I can check my e-mail while in Las Vegas? If it’s around the Hard Rock that would be a plus. I know the hotels offer internet access these days, but I’m not bringing a computer with me.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

There is an Internet cafe in the Polo Towers area called Cyber Stop Cafe. It is near the MGM Grand. That should get you going.

bigslim4 asked on 06/17/04

thanks for answering a previous question of mine a couple months back… i’ve got another. i’m gonna be staying at harrah’s in sept. with a free room offer. i’m hearing conflicting reports on the size of their rooms. i’m assuming that the rooms in one tower are larger than the other. can u tell me which particular room i should request. size is a priority here. also, i called the property to inquire about square footage and they said the smaller rooms are approximately 220 feet. this can’t possibly be right can it? thanks for the response.

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

220 sq. feet is quite small. That doesn’t seem correct, no. The Carnival Tower is the newer of the two and much larger than the original tower. If you’re picking a standard room, you certainly want to be in that tower. Of course if you really want a large room, booking a suite is also an option… You might call and ask your host.

thatsomeone asked on 06/15/04

SUPERB site!!!!!! I’m sure many people, like myself, find your site extremely helpful Now onto the questions…… they are nothing original either, but here they are: thanks =0)
Need advice on picking out a room. Want a room which is clean(spotless-clean, not just holiday-inn-clean), fancy & classy, for some indulgence with/in my Mister. Tub VERY important.
Pls. rank/rate the following: Found them more or less within the same price-range.
Bellagio: luxury suite
Venetian: luxury suite
THE Hotel at Mandalay: ROH suite.
Mirage: Petite Suite
Caesars: Petite Suite
(the following slightly cheaper) : Luxor & NY-NY: Jacuzzi Suite
Thanks a bunch!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

All good choices. I would rate them in the following order: Bellagio, The Mirage, THEHotel, Caesars Palace, Venetian, Luxor, NYNY. Bellagio is very deluxe but often times the suites at The Mirage are a good bit cheaper and are almost just as good. THEHotel is brand new but pretty nice inside. Hope this helps.

kati1969 asked on 06/15/04

If I was to book a room at Caesars what tower would I ask for. I know some of the towers and rooms are older, but Im not sure which they are. Also if I was going to book a suite again what tower and any questions that I should ask when booking this. Thank you!

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

The Palace Tower is the newest and nicest tower at Caesars Palace. Hope this helps!

joanna asked on 06/15/04

Are celene dion tix ever avail. for under 50 dollars? How about under 75.00?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

No. The tickets are pretty much always sold at face value, which start at $80.

heyadammiller asked on 06/14/04

Hunter, do yo believe that the Excalibur is doing poor in guest performance and keeping rooms occupied? When we went to Vegas it seemed like the place was very empty the last 2 times we’ve been there? Is there any talk about maybe demolishing the place to start new again since its not a very popular hotel/theme? Also- when looking at Monte Carlo’s front, there is always 1 strip of windows on the right wing closed on each floor vertically (up to down) why is this? It is shown is post cards, pictures, and they are never open? Is it an elevator shaft or some kind of construction error?

Vegas Mate @ RateVegas answered:

Excalibur consistently does very well financially. It serves a particular market of budget conscious Las Vegas visitors that value it’s prime location. With over 4,000 rooms, it posts large numbers each quarter. If the proposed MGM Mirage / Mandalay Resort Group merger goes through, there is a possibility it could get imploded to create a new, higher end resort in that space. As for the Monte Carlo, I believe the windows that you speak of are actually part of the load bearing structure. This is common in hotel towers, creating windows that are always dark as they contain either elevator shaft or structural elements. This is not unique to Monte Carlo, you can even see where they exist in the new Bellagio tower pictures. Most hotels try to minimize them in prime locations (i.e. good views) but they are required to complete structures of that size. Hope this helps! Thanks for the interesting questions.