Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

All Articles Published: December 2005

December 31, 2005

The Best Way to Book Your Las Vegas Vacation?

Posted by Hunter

Continuing our 'Vegas Tips' series, this article talks about the pros and cons of the different ways you can book your Las Vegas vacation. Keep reading to learn more. If you're looking for the other articles in the series, click here.

These days it seems like there are about a thousand ways to book your vacation to Las Vegas. Having tried most of them over the years and being exposed to stories from folks through the Web site, I'm writing this article to hopefully help guide people in the future.

Keep reading after the jump for the whole article.

December 30, 2005

Possible Riviera Takeover?

Posted by Hunter

Looks like someone might have their eye on that impressive bundle of real estate.

I forgot to note that I saw this first over at, a great place to keep on your bookmarks... Be sure to check out their South Coast pictures as well.

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December 29, 2005

Las Vegas and the $20 Trick

Posted by Hunter

I'm starting a new category on the blog called 'Vegas Tips'. The category is for articles designed to be helpful to Las Vegas travelers instead of the news headlines that dominate the blog.

The first in the series discusses the infamous '$20 Trick'. I get more questions about this than anything else. I'll share what I know here and hopefully answer a few questions.

What is the $20 Trick?

An important part of Vegas lore, the $20 trick is a common technique designed to obtain free or discounted room upgrades from the check-in clerk after slipping them a $20.

Does it work? How do I do it? Will I get in trouble?

Want the answers? Keep reading...

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December 28, 2005 Gets a New Look and Wynn Opens Tryst

Posted by Hunter

As part of the new look inside the casino, The Mirage has updated their Web site, The new site features a much cleaner look, lots of white space and simple navigation. A great casino Web site and much better than many of its siblings.

Also, with Tryst set to replace La Bete at Wynn in a few days, the press release has been making the rounds (after the jump).

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December 27, 2005

Recapping 2005 in Las Vegas News

Posted by Hunter

What a year! 2005 saw big changes for Las Vegas, world-wide gaming and this little Web site.

In Las Vegas, 2005 saw the return of Steve Wynn with Wynn Las Vegas. We saw the completion of two mega-mergers, MGM Mirage + Mandalay and Harrah's + Caesars. The jury is still out as to how that will impact the Strip.

MGM Mirage announced major components of their Project City Center initiative. Las Vegas Sands unveiled the Palazzo resort concept. The Las Vegas condo boom, while still very strong, showed some signs of too-rapid expansion.

Las Vegas turned 100 years old and the city celebrated with a big party in July.

So, what were your favorite Las Vegas stories of 2005 and why? Read more and comment after the jump.

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December 26, 2005

Casino Patron/Developer Packer Dies

Posted by Hunter

Kerry Packer, Australia's richest man and a frequent customer of Las Vegas casinos has died. Famous for supposedly paying off a cocktail waitress' mortgage with a tip, Packer was also developing Macau casinos with partners in the SAR.

Details: Australia's Packer Dies

This could have an impact on MGM MIRAGE's cash flow. Packer was a consistent contributor to their bottom line at Bellagio.

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December 26, 2005

Add To What Is This?

Posted by Hunter

I've added a new option for each post, a link that allows you to easily post the story to, the online bookmark server.

If you haven't looked at, you should. It's a great way to story your bookmarks online, available from anywhere. Also, browsing bookmarks that are tagged with subjects like 'Vegas', 'Gambling', etc... can result in some interesting results that you might not find through a search engine.

Good stuff.

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December 23, 2005

Reader Reviews: Wynn Las Vegas December 2005

Posted by Hunter

Another segment in our 'Reader Reviews' category, reader John Hall was kind enough to submit his thoughts after a recent stay at Wynn Las Vegas (12/19-12/21). These segments are not written by our 'staff' but instead provided by our loyal readers. To submit your own, please send it to More after the jump.

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December 21, 2005

Station Casinos to Continue Las Vegas Locals Domination

Posted by Hunter

Hot on the heels of Red Rock Station, here comes more Station:

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December 11, 2005

Updated Macau Photos Posted

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to Chris from Hong Kong, we have updated the Macau photos on our photo site. Those shots are located here:

Thanks again to Chris for these great shots.

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Looks like the gallery is going to be history after all - everyone needs a Rolex!

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December 11, 2005

More Details on The Tropicana's Rebirth

Posted by Hunter

This Las Vegas Sun article has some interesting new info on what may happen at the Trop, including a rendering of the new building.

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December 10, 2005

Wynn Departs Singapore Bidding Process?

Posted by Hunter

According to this RJ article, Wynn Resorts will not be bidding on a potential project for Singapore:

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December 9, 2005

Planet Hollywood Finally Rolling?

Posted by Hunter

This article details the progress the Aladdin folks have had converting to the 'Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino'. It's taking longer than expected, but things are rolling now...

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December 8, 2005

The Future of Downtown Las Vegas?

Posted by Hunter

Inspired by a post on the WYNN Yahoo Finance Message Board from Hail2skins, I'd like to pose this question to the group:

What will downtown Las Vegas look like in 10 years?

The Fremont Street Experience is just about a decade old, created to increase visitor-ship with a 'must see' attraction. How well has it done this?

What will new owners like Landry's do downtown and how big of a problem is the Barrick Gaming's financial meltdown?

All comments are welcome!

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December 7, 2005

Wynn Details Macau Concession Plans

Posted by Hunter

In a move that will surely please investors, Wynn has discussed plans to possibly offer sub-concessions or joint ventures in Macau:

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December 6, 2005

Wynn To Proceed With Encore

Posted by detroit1051

The Las Vegas Sun reports that Steve Wynn will start construction on the 2,030 suite Encore tower next spring. The article implies Encore will be a high-end property in which many of the comped casino guests will reside. A 40,000 sq ft casino is very small; will it be primarily a high-limit pit? When completed in two years, Wynn Las Vegas will be a 4,800 room property.

To read the Las Vegas Sun Column:
Wynn To Build Encore

December 5, 2005

Las Vegas Podcasts

Posted by Hunter

As Apple's iPod takes the world by storm, 'podcasting', the name used for audio programs produced for this and other audio devices, has reached Las Vegas.

While there are many podcasts out there that touch on Vegas, many are either very low rent or don't really center around the city of Sin.

There are two notable exceptions that we'd like to point out:

'The Strip' - This is one I recently discovered. Some great stuff here in the archives, check it out, especially a recent interview with Steve Wynn. An important distinction is that a. these guys are based in Vegas and b. they are journalists. This means that we get a fantastic show and on top of all of that, it's published on a regular basis. URL:

'Five Hundy By Midnight' - We've talked about Tim's podcast before. Published frequently, it's a well done show from a true Vegas fan. Funny and irreverent, always a good laugh. URL:

If you've never listened to a podcast before, your best bet is probably downloading and installing Apple's iTunes 6 software ( It can easily get you subscribed to any of these podcasts (and thousands more).

Who knows, we might even try a podcast at some point. Enjoy!

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December 4, 2005

Reader Review: Bellagio: Part III

Posted by detroit1051

Part III: Bellagio

Bellagio was the last stop on this unusually long trip to Las Vegas. It was interesting to stay at both Wynn and Bellagio on the same trip and compare my impressions of each. Until Wynn opened in April, Bellagio had been my property of choice since opening day in October, 1998. It still has much going for it.

December 4, 2005

Reader Review: Wynn, The Mirage, Bellagio: Part II

Posted by detroit1051

Part II: The Mirage and Green Valley Ranch

On Sunday, November 20th, I moved across the street to The Mirage. Some of these rambling comments will be redundant because Hunter gave us all fair warning recently about the construction at The Mirage and provided detail on other changes.

December 3, 2005

Reader Review: Wynn, The Mirage, Bellagio: Part I

Posted by detroit1051

November Trip To Las Vegas and Palm Springs
Part I: Wynn Las Vegas

November 17th was the beginning of a two week trip from Florida to Las Vegas, Palm Springs and then back to Las Vegas. Two weeks in and around casinos is too long to return home in a positive financial condition, but as they say, �Hey, I had a good time.�

The trip was planned to participate in the Wynn slot tournament November 17 to 20; take advantage of my Winter Offer at The Mirage and then, after a drive to Palm Springs with friends for a few days, return to use Bellagio�s Winter Offer on dates which coincided with the opening of MGM Mirage�s annual Holiday Gift Shoppe selection.

Continued after the jump: