Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mirage Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas

The Mirage is home to the Las Vegas Strip's famous exploding volcano, recently "remodeled" to be even more spectacular.

The Mirage also hosts Cirque de Soleil's "LOVE" show which features the music of the Beatles along with the fantastic performances of the Cirque performers.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Treasure Island "TI" Las Vegas

The Mirage Group has sold a major Las Vegas Strip property, TI aka Treasure Island, to develpor Ruffin for $775,000,000. Ruffin recently closed his deal to sell the New Frontier which landed him a cool 1.3 billion.

More over at Bill's Las Vegas Real Estate blog

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Encore Opens

Steve Wynn's 2.3 Billion Dollar Encore to the magnificent Wynn is called the Encore. It opened Monday night and the Las Vegas Sun has the story:

Las Vegas Sun 2

Las Vegas Sun 1

I'll be posting photos from the Encore in a few weeks at Flickr

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mirage Makeover Revives Attractions

The Mirage Volcano has long been an iconic emblem of the spectacular Las Vegas Strip, and thanks to a major renovation at the Mirage the Volcano is bigger and better than ever now. Also, you'll enjoy the superb indoor attractions at the Mirage including the Ziegfried and Roy Secret Garden, Atrium, and Aquarium. Click here for more about the Mirage's free attractions.

The Mirage is also home to Cirque du Soleil's spectacular show LOVE, a musical and acrobatic tribute to the music of the Beatles.

Can CES 2009 Computer Show Rescue the Sands Empire?

Writing in Business Week, notes that the Sands is hoping CES 2009 will be a boon to the lagging stock price of the Sands and will help in boosting Adelson's dwindling mega-fortune back to the stratospheric levels he enjoyed only a few months ago before the US financial crisis unfolded:

The company is hoping that January's CES show, which typically draws more than 100,000 people, will help support the company's stock, because many of the show's events will be held at its convention facilities in Las Vegas. Adelson is no stranger to computer industry people -- he developed the Comdex show, which used to draw more than 200,000, before he sold it to Japan's Softbank Corporation in 1995 for about $800 million.

More on this story

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Encore Las Vegas

This great commercial by Steve Wynn introduces his latest project "Encore", which is located next to the Wynn and appears to offer the spectacular elegance and amenities that have made the Wynn properties some of Las Vegas most spectacular venues.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CES 2009 - Las Vegas gears up for the world's top technology event

The Consumer Electronics Show "CES 2009" is coming to Las Vegas. Although some reports suggest attendance this year may be off from recent highs, CES Las Vegas remains the world's premier technology showcase.

CES expects over 130,000 attendees and about 4000 press and bloggers to attend the event, which this year will include thousands of new technology products from computers to games to film to music, the CES Innovation Awards, SONY tapings of Jeopardy, Diana Ross in Concert at the Monster Cable retailer awards event, and much more.

For more information about this event see the CES official website.

Friday, December 5, 2008

OJ Simpson Sentenced to 15+ years in Las Vegas Courtroom

Today in Las Vegas OJ Simpson was sentenced to what appears to be a minimum time in prison of 6.5 years and probably close to his full sentence of 15+ years in prison after a robbery and kidnapping incident at the Palace Station several months ago.

Tapes of the incident, where Simpson and associates met in a hotel room and effectively robbed a memorabilia dealer of Simpson items, appeared to sway the judge against the defense. The judge initially appeared to be defending herself from critics who might accuse her of a harsh verdict to redeem another court's earlier aquittal of Simpson after what most think was a clear case of murder. However she stated emphatically that she was sentencing on the basis of the evidence and facts of this case only.

Given the extreme media scrutiny and Simpson's probaby guilt in the murders years ago, it seems very unlikely he'll be out of prison for many years and probably will remain in prison for the full term in this latest incident.

Did justice prevail in this case?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Las Vegas Air and Hotel Packages at Allegiant Air

Just wanted to note some great deals are available through Allegiant Air for Las Vegas combination flight and hotel packages. Last year for the Computer Electronics Show Conference "CES", I scored a huge savings by staying in Fitzgerald's downtown (which was not as glamorous as strip hotels but very clean and nice and saved me about $200 per day over what I would have paid for a room at Bellagio or Venetian).

In Las Vegas you want to stay at the fancy places in the *off season* and middle of the week and stay in the modest priced places at high season. The savings with this strategy are *spectacular* because demand on Las Vegas hotels is extremely variable depending on the time of week and event schedules. CES fills all hotels on the strip and the Hilton which is adjacent to the conference. The cost for say, the Hilton during CES will be about 400 per night for a room that'll run you maybe $75 mid week with no special events.

The Allegiant Air specials vary enormously in price because of the hotel costs, so consider the excellent low priced hotels downtown or just off the strip and your trip will cost about a third of what you'll pay for premium lodging. Exception - if you can travel mid week consider splurging. Places like the new Palazzo at the Venetian have premium suites that are often at great discounts mid week.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Las Vegas

This view is looking south and west from the Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower. The Bellagio Fountain pool is in the foreground and the huge new Las Vegas CITYCENTER development is in the middle of the picture where all the cranes are located.

The Mirage's Citycenter is a joint project with Dubai World. The 8 billion dollar project promises to be one of the most intriguing and extravagant urban developments in the world, offering a planned city environment within the context of the surrounding Las Vegas strip.

Las Vegas
Originally uploaded by http2007

Here are details from the CITYCENTER Official Website:


  • The dramatic soaring hotel tower, casino and convention center designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects will be CityCenter’s iconic feature. The sophisticated, contemporary design will be demonstrably different from any building that has preceded it, contributing to the breathtaking Las Vegas skyline and providing a rich variety of experiences at the street level. Set in the heart of the 76-acre city-within-a-city, the resort-casino will feature approximately 300,000 square feet of technologically advanced meeting and convention space.
  • The Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas will mix the prestige of an internationally renowned resort brand and its matchless amenities with a world-class hotel and residential experience. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox with interiors by Adam Tihany*, this spectacular 47-story tower will feature 400 hotel rooms and approximately 227 exclusive residences. This legendary residence will become the most prestigious urban dwelling in Las Vegas and set a new standard of style with state-of-the-art suites, amenities and architectural design.
  • Recently accepted as a distinguished member of The Leading Hotels of the World, The Harmon Hotel, Spa & Residences, designed by the internationally renowned firm Foster + Partners and operated by The Light Group, will be one of the most luxurious, high-quality boutique hotels across the globe with approximately 207 elite condominiums. The Harmon’s modern, reflective exterior will give way to a world of indefinable sophistication that delivers the precise mix of privacy and profile to make it a classified, unambiguously stylized haven.
  • Vdara Condo Hotel, designed by RV Architects, LLC led by Rafael Viñoly, will create an urban complex that will forever change the future of architecture and design in Las Vegas and redefine urban development worldwide. This 57-story ebony tower located between Bellagio and the hotel/casino will include approximately 1,543 condo hotel units, including approximately 280 corner-end suites that feature full panoramic views. Vdara also will offer residences and guests the best choice for small executive meetings and social and banquet functions from 10-400 people.
  • Distinctively designed by architect Helmut Jahn as two glass towers leaning in opposite directions (five degrees from center), Veer Towers represent a truly innovative architectural accomplishment. The modern, loft-like residences will be surrounded by the best retail, restaurants and entertainment on The Strip. Two 37-story towers each will feature approximately 337 residences.
  • Designed by Studio Daniel Libeskind*, The Crystals, CityCenter’s retail and entertainment district, will feature international luxury brands and high-end couture under a crystalline canopy of unprecedented brilliance. For the interior architecture, David Rockwell and Rockwell Group will create an experiential environment within the retail district complementing the overall city scene. This inviting neighborhood of unique retail shops, dining and entertainment venues will form the core of this urban metropolis.
  • Charting a new course for responsible growth in Las Vegas, MGM MIRAGE is pursuing the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification at CityCenter. The 18-million-square foot, multi-use project will incorporate a variety of elements – from the use of reclaimed water to on-site power generation – to make it one of the world’s largest environmentally sustainable urban communities

As currently envisioned, CityCenter will boast:

  • One 61-story, 4,000-room hotel tower
  • Two 400-room high-end, non-gaming hotels including Las Vegas’ first Mandarin Oriental
  • Approximately 2,650 luxury condominium and hotel/condominium units
  • The Crystals retail and entertainment district will include approximately 500,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment under a crystalline canopy of unprecedented brilliance

Late 2009

Thursday, September 4, 2008

AARP - Las Vegas on $50 a day

AARP has a one page article about Las Vegas on a budget called "Viva Las Value" and written by the good folks at

Some of the recommendations listed there are to take the airport shuttle to your hotel, which at $6 beats a taxi or limo. They also recommend the $5 day pass on the Deuce, a bus that runs up and down the Las Vegas Strip all day and night. This is good advice because no matter how much you plan expect to walk a LOT in Las Vegas. The buildings are huge on a scale pretty much unknown outside of Las Vegas and simply walking from one end of the MGM to the other will take you 5-15 minutes even if you don't get lost. Getting lost in the Casinos is easy as the signage is designed to some extent to take you around via the slots and other distractions. If you want good directions it is best to ask an employee rather than look for signs.

Food advice from the article include all you can eat Breakfast at the Mirage's "Cravings" with some delicious selections including crab cakes and eggs benedict. They also note Main Street Station downtown as a good cheap buffet.

Cheap attractions? Forum shops live sculptures every 2 hours, the Flamingo's flamingos and wildlife habitat, the Bellagio Conservatory, and (my favorite) TI's Sirens of TI free show outside of TI right along the strip. Get there at least 15-30 minutes early for a better view. and be careful not to stand in the "VIP" area that gets cleared before each show for VIPs. The shows are nightly and the current times are 8:30pm, 10pm, 11:30pm Sirens of TI Official Website

They also recommend the Fremont Street Experience (ride the Deuce to get to the downtown Las Vegas which is about 3 miles from the strip).

I would add that the downtown area offers great hotel bargains and fun "old style vegas" strolling experiences, though you should not expect to find anything like the glamour of the splendid lobbies and hallways of the Bellagio, Venetian, Wynn, or most of the jaw droppingly extravagant Las Vegas strip hotels.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton ... ends today.

After a ten year run and some three million visitors, the attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton is closing. Rather than a lack of popularity, it appears the closure is the result of contractual term challenges between the Las Vegas Hilton and Cedar Point which owned the show.

The Star Trek Experience offered interactive rides simulating space travel and adventure, the themed restaurant Quark's, and more. The Hilton has not announced what will replace this attraction, one of the most notable themed attractions in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Hilton is a major off strip hotel that is adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center (though don't think you are right next door in the usual sense because walking from the Hilton rooms to the Convention Center via the skyway or below via sidewalks is a walk of about 10 minutes even at a fairly brisk pace. The Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the world's largest facilities and even getting from one end to the other is quite a hike.

Here's the Star Trek Experience Press Release, closing the show effective today:
DATE: Monday, June 30, 2008
Las Vegas - Star Trek: The Experience, Las Vegas’ premier interactive attraction will
conclude its historic 11 year run at the Las Vegas Hilton on September 1, 2008.
Since 1998, millions of guests have gone boldly into the 24th century to battle Klingons,
Borg, and other hostile aliens. The original complex featured the Klingon Encounter, an
interactive adventure and ride. In 2004 Borg Invasion 4-D was introduced and the Secrets
Unveiled Backstage Tour was unveiled in 2005, making Star Trek: the Experience the
stomping grounds for fans around the galaxy.
Asked if there is any final transmission he’d like to convey from the Enterprise bridge,
Chad Boutte, Operations Manager and Director of Marketing said “Hailing frequencies
open. We’d like to thank all the fans and friends of Star Trek, whose constant and
amazing support we’ve enjoyed throughout our tenure at the Las Vegas Hilton. As we
boldly go into the futures that await, know that we take your love of Star Trek: The
Experience with us. We share the memories of time spent in the most unique place in the
Galaxy, and we carry those memories into our futures with us. Live long, and prosper.
Hailing frequencies closed.”
A digital media kit is available upon request.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

M Resort, opening March, will cater mostly to locals

The new M Resort is a 700 million dollar project at the far south of Las Vegas Boulevard - some ten miles south of Mandalay Bay.

Unlike other resorts on the strip, the M will cater to locals and expects 80 percent of its business to be from local visits.

M Resort will feature an outdoor amphitheater, buffets, and high quality service. It appears the goal is not so much to out wow the competition, rather to offer locals a comfortable resort environment they can call their home away from home.

Las Vegas Sun reports

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chris Angel / Cirque Show Pushed back to September 12th

Chris Angel of Mindfreak fame is opening a special show with Cirque du Soleil called "Believe". Originally scheduled for Sept 1 the show has had technical problems and will begin September 12th with the big gala grand opening later in October.

The Luxor 100 million dollar venue promises one of the most spectacular Las Vegas shows of all time, but we'll all have to wait a big longer to see how great this show will be.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

CES 2009 Las Vegas

You have new Picture Mail!
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
The Computer Electronics Show is one of Las Vegas' biggest conferences and is the most influential electronics show in the world. Spanning two huge venues - the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Convention Center at the Venetian Hotel Complex, CES 2009 will be held in January. A new fee structure is making it even easier to get into the exhibitions at this amazing event, though you will find the strip hotels at very high rates for most of the week AND mostly sold out. Consider staying downtown for a cost break. Fremont Street hotels are not as extravagant as the big places on the strip but most offer comfortable, quality rooms in the 50-100 range. Expect to pay 3-5 times that amount on the strip during CES.

CES 2008 Intl Panel. Meyer on leveraging existing cell infrastructure for health.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Nugget's New 30 Million Dollar Swimming Complex

Who says all the amazing stuff, aside from the Fremont Street Experience, is on the Las Vegas strip? The Golden Nugget now has a spectacular new swimming complex complete with shark tank and waterslides right through the sharks. For pools that will impress everybody also consider the Mandalay Bay swimming complex.

The Palms and Hard Rock - Celebrity Hangouts

In Las Vegas you'll probably have a harder time finding celebrities than in Hollywood, partly because there are so many luxury hotels and clubs on the strip. However the Travel Channel suggests that the Palms and Hard Rock are among your best celebrity sighting bets in Las Vegas.

Palms Hotel | Hard Rock Hotel

Monday, June 23, 2008

Banks Leaving Las Vegas

Las Vegas Construction loans are among the largest in the industry, and have put a strain on some banks with high exposure. Although the commercial real estate industry seems surprisingly healthy given the current residential meltdown, some banks are still suffering under the pressure.

This Bloomberg story notes how building continues as banks joust for control of a major Las Vegas project:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Las Vegas City Summary from Wikipedia

You'll want to check out Wikipedia for a nice history and overview of Las Vegas:

I also have some notes from the PBS Las Vegas special here along with a lot of pictures from the Las Vegas Strip, Fremont Street, and more.

This blog is almost exclusively dealing with the travel and tourism side of Las Vegas, one of the world's hottest destinations. However there is a lot more to this city including the University of Las Vegas, residential neighborhoods, parks, and much much more.

We'll post Las Vegas relocation information in the future and more about retirement in Las Vegas, but for Las Vegas Retirement information click here.

For USA Retirement information check out the Retire USA Blog

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Las Vegas Ceilings.

Las Vegas at Caesar's
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
I think this was in the Caesar's Forum Shops, one of Las Vegas' most exclusive shopping venues, but the feature I wanted to note in this picture is the great painted ceiling - a feature that is found throughout most of the large casinos but one that adds a lot to the experience. I think the Aladdin has my favorite of the painted ceilings, and at the Aladdin you can even see an indoor rainstorm - especially great for kids and raining down about every half hour for most of the day and night.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wolfgang Puck Restaurants in Las Vegas

Wolfgang Puck is a culinary legend who does not seem to tire of bringing new amazing restaurants into play, especially in Las Vegas where he just opened CUT, a very upscale steakhouse in the Pallazzo, itself a new all suites venue located adjacent to the massive Venetian Sands complex.

Following are descriptions of some Puck Restaurants from the official website of Wolfgang Puck:

Spago Las Vegas:

Synonymous with fine food and celebrity clientele, Spago continues to be the preeminent Las Vegas trendsetter in cuisine, service and design. Distinguished as the spark that ignited the Las Vegas culinary phenomenon, Spago is located in The Forum Shops at Caesars just steps away from the casino and Colosseum Theatre. The restaurant’s dramatic, yet warm interior design presents a sophisticated and stylish environment for the applauded California-style cuisine of Chef Wolfgang Puck. With indoor patio dining in the casual café, considered as the best people watching in Las Vegas, and a more formal dining room with two private banquet facilities for special events, Spago provides a variety of dining options. Spago consistently dazzles in a city known for its many stars and remains one of the most popular dining spots for tourists and locals alike.

Chinois Las Vegas:

When the bold flavors of Asia meet the creativity and passion of America’s most innovative chef, Wolfgang Puck, the result is the unique Asian cuisine served at Chinois. Located inside the Forum Shops at Caesars, this sister branch of Santa Monica's Chinois on Main, originally created by Barbara Lazaroff in 1998, offers a hip, contemporary environment with additional design work by Todd-Avery Lenehan. Perfect for mixing and matching, the menu includes modern interpretations of Asian classics to produce an incomparable dining experience. Chinois also features a full-service bar and alluring private dining space.

CUT Las Vegas:

CUT in Las Vegas is the second location for master chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck’s critically acclaimed, award-winning Beverly Hills steakhouse of the same name in the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel. Widely acknowledged as one of the most popular restaurants in the United States, CUT has raised the bar within the fine dining industry and has garnered high praise from prestigious publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times (Three Stars), Wall Street Journal and Wine Spectator and was named one of the top three steakhouses in America by Bon Appetit Magazine.
Located at The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Avery Brooks & Associates designed the 160-seat restaurant and 60-seat bar, providing a modern aesthetic to the traditional steakhouse. Adjacent to the restaurant’s main dining room is an energetic, upscale bar and lounge showcasing exclusive custom cocktails, classic drinks and a smaller menu called “Rough Cuts” featuring CUT’s popular appetizers. It provides a perfect vantage point to people watch into the bustling Shoppes at The Palazzo, overlooking the famous Barneys New York. Private dining space also is available featuring a fully retractable bronze glass wall that opens to a contemporary wine display.

Postrio Las Vegas:

Postrio Las Vegas combines the style of Wolfgang Puck’s critically acclaimed San Francisco restaurant with the romantic ambiance of Venice, Italy. Located on St. Mark’s Square in the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, the restaurant provides a perfect setting for both casual and more formal dining. Offering a stellar menu of seasonal American cuisine with Mediterranean influences, Postrio offers guests two dining experiences. The elegant and intimate dining room features colorful jewel tones and trademark Venetian design elements. For a more casual setting, Postrio offers a festive patio on St. Mark's Square. The restaurant also features two private dining rooms with a separate bar.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chinois Restaurant, Las Vegas

I think it was's Las Vegas guy who said he thinks this is the best Chinese in Las Vegas and one of the best restaurants of all. Wolfgang Puck's "Chinois" is in the Caesars Shops which are connected to Caesar's Palace Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Prices are moderate here at Chinois - expect to pay $25 per person and up for a nice meal. The decor was very appealing - upscale but not extravagant.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Elvis in Las Vegas

If you are a big Elvis fan there is a helpful web page from will help you find your Elvis in Vegas. Click here for's guide to Elvis stuff in Las Vegas.

You may want to check out Legends In Concert at the Imperial Palace, with a big show featuring Elvis and other legends. Add the meal option which is only about $60 vs over $50 without the meal. If you are on tight budget (or just frugal), check out the discount show ticket places along the strip which often offer half price show tickets. Ask at your hotel desk for the location and best strategies to get discounted tickets.

Generally in Las Vegas if you are flexible about days, seating, and shows you can find much cheaper entertainment than if you insist on a specific headliner at a specific time, which will generally run you full price and range from $50 to $250 depending on the show.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sands Profits - and Stock Price - Down

Las Vegas Sands, one of the key Las Vegas empires and owner of the Venetian, Palazzo, and Sands Convention Center, lost about 11 million last quarter and the stock took a big hit today, down about 8%.

CNBC reports that tourists to Las Vegas have scaled back spending and I think also there are fewer visits, though the convention traffic remains strong.

Some have suggested that the Casino business and Las Vegas in particular would be resistant to economic downturns as people turn to entertainment to sooth their economic frustrations, but this news does not support that idea.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Macau High Speed Ferry

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

High speed Macau ferries take folks to Macau for Gambling. I think the trip is about 30 minutes from the peer in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor to the island of Macau where massive gaming development is underway by Chinese and Las Vegas casino interests like Wynn, Venetian, and MGM.

But Macau is a lot more than gambling. The island offers a look back into the fascinating history of the Portuguese colony in the heart of the orient.

Here is the official Macau website:

Cher Returns to Las Vegas' Caesar's Palace in May. (Official Cher Website Link)

Cher started in Las Vegas and she's still going strong with what is likely to be one of the most spectacular shows in Las Vegas History, starting at Caesar's Palace May 6th.

Here's the Official Cher Website:

Cher's career spans several decades during which she has soared to mega stardom after being something of a second fiddle to comidian and pretty bad singer Sonny Bono with whom she shared the "Sonny and Cher" TV show, a marriage, and daughter Chastity Bono.

Cher's amazing talents include brilliant movie performances and dozens of huge pop music hits.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Venetian Spring Specials

Check out the Venetian website for some great spring specials including suites at $139. The Venetian and her new twin tower, the Palazzo Las Vegas, offer one of the most elegate venues on the strip and at the special rates make for a great bargain this spring in Las Vegas.

Trump Tower is also now open though I don't have details yet on rates or specials there.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hong Kong High Rollers

The Island of Macau has gone from a sleepy Portuguese colonial enclave to one of the world´s top gaming and resort casino destinations. Huge investment in the Cotai strip by American gaming empires Wynn, MGM, and the Venetian are almost certain to define this area very near Hong Kong´s bustling metropolis as the new Las Vegas of the Orient.

High speed hydrofoils take people from Hong Kong to Macau - I think every 30 minutes though reservations may be required for the trip.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Las Vegas' Top Suites

From the Travel Channel TV show, following are the top ten suites in Las Vegas in increasing order - ie number ONE at the bottom is the top suite:

10. Penthouse Suite, Las Vegas MGM Grand. Approx $3000 per night, 19 phones, elevator to the second floor.

9. Palms Hotel, Las Vegas. Adrienne Suite, the “Coolest Suite” in town according to the Travel Channel. For $1500 per night you get a view of the mountains and city and a hotel address at one of the newest and coolest of the Las Vegas hotspots.

8. Sahara Hotel Casino. Ambassador Suite. This “Best Retro Suite offers a 1950’s style look and lots of old vegas glamor and history.

7. Turnberry Place. This “best alternative” to hotel suites is a rich and famous living hotspot. They showcase the 5.25 million dollar Suite, home to a wealthy client and will soon be home to many more Las Vegas luminaries and rich folks.

6. Elvis and Priscilla Suite at the Viva Las Vegas Hotel. This place does not look like my idea of a honeymoon place, but at $175 you even get neon lights and a Pink Cadillac bed.

5. Paris Las Vegas, Napoleon Suite. Over 4300 Square feet of opulence, primarily used by high rollers who often come in via private jet. Normally celebrities don’t stay here.

4. Mandalay Bay Four Seasons’ 180 Degree Suite is the ‘Best Escape” Suite. $2500 per night. A $10,000 hand carved bed is uniquie to the suite as is styling that is not typical Las Vegas. The Four Seasons goal is to remove you from Enjoy iced grapes at the pool where even the towels are chilled.

3. Las Vegas Hilton. Verona Suite. 15,000 Square feet of neo-renaissance opulence abounds in the Verona Suite that is generally for high rollers but unlike many of the other suites the Verona is on the market at $17,500 per night. 25 TV’s and big showers make this Las Vegas’ most expensive suite in terms of building costs according to the Las Vegas Hilton.

2. Venetian Hotel. The Presidential Suite at the Venetian. Sheldon Adelson is the Owner of the Venetian and says he likes to offer the Presidential to very high rollers - those who are gambling for 6-8 million per night and $150,000 per … .hand. Usually playing baccarat. Enjoy a Guggenheim Art Museum right in the hotel.

1. Bellagio Hotel. Villa One Suite. Take the secret tunnel into the Bellagio Villa One. This is a two bedroom, $6,000 per night masterpiece (unless you are a high roller in which case you’ll be paying nothing for the suite, but a lot more over time for the privileges).

Staff pampers guests in a private dining room, private gym, and more. There are several villas at the Bellagio and each has a secret garden. The villas have 130 staff to help make the Bellagio’s Villa One the top suite in the Travel Channel’s roundup and the “most stylish suite” in Las Vegas.

The Bellagio, a 1.6 billion dollar hotel is only one of 58 five diamond hotels in the world.

Venetian Casino and Hotel ... in Macau China?

The Las Vegas Venetian is one of the Las Vegas Strip's finest hotel and gaming, and convention venues, but it appears to have outdone itself in the larger Macau, China version of the Venetian Hotel and Casino - now the world's largest casino.

The Sands conglomerate that owns the Las Vegas Venetian and Sands properties has invested some 2.6 billion along the Cotai coast of Macau, China near Hong Kong. The high stakes corporate effort is designed to upgrade the Macau region from a gambling destination of questionable repute to a Las Vegas style mega-resort destination serving the millions who live and travel to this region - one of the world's centers of global commerce and travel.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Las Vegas Strip Map

Click here for a street view of Las Vegas Boulevard. For most, the Las Vegas Strip will be most of what they see during their visit to Las Vegas. The Downtown "Fremont Street" area is of more historical interest and has a lot of smaller casinos and the spectacular Fremont Street Experience - a huge light canopy that is several blocks long and towers over you. However it's the Las Vegas Strip where you find the mega-resorts that make Las Vegas one of the world's top tourism destinations.

Click here and drive the strip to get familiar with the area before you go!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Las Vegas Shows

Las Vegas is the show capital of the entire world, where there are dozens of international stars performing *every single night* at venues all over the city, though mostly centered in the hotels along the Las Vegas Strip.

Las has a great listing of shows here by genre:

Ticket prices can vary quite a bit with certain ticket specials and casino comps, so keep that in mind if you are on a budget. There are locations along the strip where you can agree to go to timeshare presentations in exchange for free show tickets. Timeshares are generally a very bad investment, so don't agree to these pitches unless you find it easy to say no to high pressure sales tactics. However if you do find it easy to say "no", then it's not a bad way to save $100 or so on a show.

For price consider Penn and Teller at the Rio - this is supposed to be a great comedy show and is only about $50. For amazement consider Cirque du Soliel's "O" at the Bellagio. For old fashioned Las Vegas showgirls consider "Jubilee" at Ballys.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Viva las vegas is a term coined in the song and film of the same name by Elvis Presley. Here's some fun historical detail about that movie:

Before your trip to Las Vegas it's fun to view films about the city. Most will show a very differnet and far less dramatic strip landscape, now one of the world's most extravagant urban landscapes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Venetian and Palazzo Scale Model

The Palazzo and Venetian hotels combine with the Sands Expo Center to form one of Las Vegas' largest conference venues, home to mega conferences like the annual international Computer Electronics Show "CES" which also occupies the Las Vegas Convention Center.

This model shows the layout of the mega-complex, though I'm not sure what the structure is attached to the Palazzo - perhaps the convention center buildings?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Walking Las Vegas

I recommend the Las Vegas Strip walks listed below, though of course this list is pretty subjective. I'm stringing these together North Strip to South into a single walk you could do in one afternoon over many hours, though ideally you'll see Las Vegas at a slower pace.

Wynn: From the front huge waterfall in front to side waterfalls, exit or enter the Wynn at the side that is across from the Palazzo to see some of the most dramatic water landscaping anywhere. Roam around the Wynn a bit, and then head out and over the street on the footbridge/escalator at the south end of the building to the Palazzo.

The Palazzo and Venetian: Las Vegas' newest hotel is the luxurious Palazzo, part of the massive Venetian Hotel and Casino / Sands Convention Center empire. From the Palazzo Lobby you can walk to the pretty indoor waterfall and some halls and over to the Venetian Hotel's amazing indoor canal. Complete with Gondolas, restaurants, luxury shops, and afternoon opera and performances the Venetian has in my opinion the greatest appeal of all the Las Vegas themed hotels. In the Grand Hall sit and have a coffee and listen to the players sing. Leave the Venetian via the massive moving walkway complex at the "front" and south of the building, which takes you back down to Las Vegas Boulevard.

Next you'll walk a bit down the strip to Paris Las Vegas which is impossible to miss thanks to the half scale (which I think translates into 1/4 the volume) replica of the Eiffel tower with the massive legs literally buried in the casino floor. Stroll the charming Parisian "Street" in the hotel area and consider a trip up to the top of the Tower, which costs about $10 but offers neat views of the surrounding area. If you know the *real* Eiffel Tower this is not remotely in the same league as a travel experience, but like the hotel it's a neat replica and a tiny taste of the real France. Head back out to Las Vegas Boulevard and the Strip.

Bellagio Fountains and The Bellagio
Almost directly across from Paris Las Vegas are the magnificent Bellagio Fountains, which I think is the world's premier synchronized fountain/music displays. This is a "must see" in Las Vegas - a beautiful lake a large city block long filled with hugely powerful fountains that shoot off in synch with music from a powerful outdoor sound system. Views are good from anywhere, but I think the best view is near the middle of the block where you can realize the gigantic size of the display.

After the fountains you'll head to the Bellagio's *north* entrance. Don't try to get in from the Bellagio's South side - you'll have to walk a lot of extra distance to get in.

Once inside the Bellagio, visit the lobby area for the Glass Sculptures, the Conservatory for amazing landscaping which changes with the season, the amazing huge Chocolate fountain in the "Spa" wing, and just take in the general opulence of this magnificent venue.

Another walk that is away from the Las Vegas Strip area is the key "big" attraction in Downtown Las Vegas is the Fremont Street Experience, a huge video presentation on a canopy that stretches over the entire street for several blocks. This is worth seeing and to get there simply ride the Deuce bus for $2 from the Strip to Fremont street and back. Take a few hours to stroll the downtown area which in my opinion gives a better feel of "historic" Las Vegas than the strip where the mega casinos are much more amazing and extravagant but also are little empires unto themselves.

Bellagio's Glass

The Bellagios Sculpted, hand made glass ceiling display we posted about earlier is one of the many spectacular amenities at the world class Bellagio, which along with the Wynn and the Venetian seem to have the best reputation in Las Vegas for "splendor", though splendid and extravagant decorations are hardly lacking in Las Vegas along the strip.

Next post: For a first visit to Las Vegas I'll recommend walks in order of the "interesting" factor, though of course this is pretty subjective.

This picture really does not do the Bellagio Glass "cieling" justice. Here are several more over at Flickr:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bellagio's Chocolate Fountain

Bellagio Las Vegas' Chocolate Fountain - the world's largest Chocolate Fountain. Don't miss the Bellagio's fine free attractions - some of the most elegant in the world. In addition to the Bellagio Fountains in the front of the hotel where you'll be amazed by the water and music show, inside near the main huge lobby area you'll find the world's largest *chocolate* fountains, where hundreds of gallons of liquid chocolate flow gracefully within a sculpture that is some two stories high. Be sure to take enough time here to realize the size of this choco-masterpiece, and see if you can resist buying a treat at the chocolate gift store.

The Bellagio is also home to several other amazing attractions including some of the world's most extravagant hand made colored glass sculptures in the lobby, fantastic natural landscaping creations in the Bellagio nursury area, and a superb art museum (this costs about $15 but is worth it, especially if you have never visited a great art museum). Bellagio owner Steve Wynn has one of the world's great art collections and many of his pieces are on display here at the Bellagio.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Palace Station March Special - $39 rooms

The Palace Station - made a little bit infamous as the Las Vegas hotel where OJ Simpson recently was accused of assaulting a sports memoribilia dealer - is offering an excellent March special on their rooms Sunday-Thursday. At $39 you are not likely to find a much better deal on quality rooms near the Las Vegas Strip, or even in the cheaper downtown areas for that matter.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Las Vegas links and websites - THE one and only OFFICIAL List....NOT

Las Vegas, as one of the world's top travel destinations, has more websites devoted to it than you can shake a pair of dice at.

I'm still not clear why "" claims to be the 'official' site when appears to be "the" official site of the tourism bureau, but when booking you'll want to check rates at several sites and generally you'll be better off starting with for comparison shopping on prices. Then contact the hotels and other consolidators to see if you can land any special deals.

Here are some sites associated with

Celebrity Week In Business Las Vegas Life Las Vegas SUN Las Vegas Weekly Ralston/FlashLas Vegas Magazine Vegas Golfer VEGAS Magazine

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas Strip

Bill's Gambling Hall - formerly The Barbary Coast which was almost an iconic Las Vegas Strip property as it occupied one of the most prominent places on the strip at a major intersection.

Bill's is now a Harrah's property and although it does not have the luxury reputation of the Wynn or Bellagio it offers the comfortable and reasonably priced amenities of many of the moderate sized and moderate priced Las Vegas strip hotels:

If money *is* an object to you during your Las Vegas trip, you'll want to consider rooms at places like Bills, Imperial Palace, Sahara, Circus Circus, Stratosphere, Flamingo, Harrah's and others in the moderate price category where you'll have a large nice room for anywhere from $50 to $100. Many people like to splurge in Las Vegas since the world class accomodations here are not too expensive. For example rooms at the Bellagio, Wynn, or Palazzo are only about 200 per night and sometimes less with specials or mid-week. Always ask about special deals and do a little research before you book. Rooms during some conferences or over the weekend can cost *hundreds* more than the same room mid-week when many hotels have vacancies.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wynn Las Vegas

The Wynn, Las Vegas

The stunning curved monolith of the Wynn rises above the Wynn Golf Course located behind the Wynn. The Wynn is often considered Las Vegas' most exclusive resort venue, offering splendid lodging, dining, and shows. Even if you stay in more modest accomodations don't miss the elegant waterfall landscaping in the front of the Wynn just off Las Vegas Boulevard, especially at the entrance that is along the walkway to the Palazzo which is across the street and just south of the Wynn along Las Vegas Boulevard aka "The Las Vegas Strip" or "The Strip".

This hotel is named after Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn, who is also the inspiration behind the Bellagio Las Vegas, the splendid Bellagio Art Gallery, and who achieved great notoriety a few years ago for accidentally mauling one of his own Picassos - a painting that he had just agreed to sell for $139,000,000.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Shopping Las Vegas

Las Vegas offers visitors to the city one of the premier shopping venues in the world. Unfortunately for bargain hunters you won't necessarily find good prices in the beautiful and extravagant casino shops. However you will find some of the best window shopping in the world at places like Caesar's Forum Shops, Venetian Grand Canal Shops, and the huge Fashion Show Mall across from the Wynn Las Vegas.

Here is a small sample of places to shop in Las Vegas:
Las Vegas Outlet Center
Forum Shops At Ceasars
Grand Canal Shopping
Las Vegas Premium Outlets
Boulevard Mall
Fashion Show Mall
Meadows Mall
Fantastic Indoor Swapmeet Inc
Mirage Shops

For a lot more shopping venues in Las Vegas, see Las Vegas Shopping Google listings right HERE

Ballys Las Vegas with Paris Hotel's Eiffel Tower in background

Ballys Casino sits at what might be the most strategic spot along the Las Vegas Strip. There is a Monorail stop here as well as a pedestrian bridge over Las Vegas Boulevard. To the South is Paris Las Vegas with it's half size Eiffel Tower, across the street is Caesar's Palace and the Bellagio, and to the north is the Flamingo.

Ballys is at the intersection of Flamingo and the strip - one of the busiest areas in the city and pretty much rocking 24/7/365.

Jubilee, the big show at Ballys is considered an excellent show in the tradition of the old Las Vegas showgirl extravaganzas.

Las Vegas Strip Map

If you are heading to Las Vegas for the first time, or even if you know the place well, it's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Las Vegas Strip. My favorite map is from the Monorail and is a PDF file here

The Las Vegas Strip is almost always called "The Strip" in Las Vegas and refers to the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that is about 4 miles long. Mandalay Bay is the large resort at the south end of the strip, and the Stratosphere is at the North end. Note that the monorail route is from the MGM to the Sahara and you'll need to walk a fair distance to get to these two venues. Also note that the monorail does NOT follow the strip even though it serves strip destinations. The monorail rides from Hilton and Convention Center which are on Paradise, and then "behind" most of the Casinos. Always expect to walk a long way in Las Vegas unless you stay at the same casino, take Taxis, or spend your time downtown in the Fremont Street Experience area were the size of the casinos is much smaller and you can easily walk to several in a short time.

Retire in Las Vegas

Thinking of retiring in Las Vegas? With an excellent climate, low taxes, good community services, an excellent university, and reasonable home prices Las Vegas is home to many retirees.

Before retiring to any city you'll want to consider an extended vacation in the area. Communities take some time to understand and often the tourist view is not the same as a resident's view of the community.

For a review of Retirement Communities throughout the USA check out

Check out some of these retirement options:

Ardiente - Aventura Series Active Adult Neighborhood
Las Vegas, NV 89081
Centex Homes

Ardiente Ceilo Series Active Adult Neighborhood
Las Vegas, NV 89081
Centex Homes

Mariposa Place
Las Vegas, NV 89148
KB Home

Sierra Ranch - Hillcrest
North Las Vegas, NV 89031
KB Home

Solera at Anthem
Henderson, NV 89052
Del Webb

Solera at Stallion Mountain
Las Vegas, NV 89122
Del Webb

Sun City Aliante
North Las Vegas, NV 89084
Del Webb

Sun City Anthem
Henderson, NV 89052
Del Webb

Sun City Mesquite
Mesquite, NV 89034
Del Webb

The Villas at Solera
Henderson, NV 89044
Del Webb

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tao Nightclub Gift Shop, Venetian Hotel 274

India? No, it's the TAO Nightclub gift shop in the Venetian Hotel Las Vegas. TAO is one of the many "elite" clubs in Las Vegas associated with major hotels. Others on this list include PURE at Caesar's Palace, Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Orange at TI, RAIN, and several more. Check beforehand with clubs as they often have special nights for locals and performance schedules you may want to know about. For example PURE hosts the PussyCat Dolls show some nights.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bellagio and Caesar's Palace South Side from Bellagio Fountains Pool

Even if you are only in Las Vegas for a day, try to see the Bellagio Fountains if you've managed to miss them on previous trips or if this is your first time in Las Vegas. The fountain show is magnificent, especially at night.

The huge fountains pool - more like a small lake - stands directly in front of the Magnificent Bellagio Hotel. "Nearby" are Ceasar's Palace and Paris Las Vegas, although "near" in Las Vegas can mean a 15 minute walk as the properties are almost unsurpassed in their size and scale.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Woodstock Guitar at Hard Rock, Las Vegas

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is just off the strip in Las Vegas, and although it's not a "mega resort" Hard Rock has nice rooms, a very hip nightclub called "Body English", good food, and one of the world's best collections of legendary guitars. Pictured is from Woodstock. You'll also find Prince's stylish electrics, a Johnny Cash original, and many many more. Guitar and Rock fans won't want to miss these, which line the casino walls.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Venetian Performers, Las Vegas

Venetian Performers, Las Vegas
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
Las Vegas has several free live performances throughout the day at several of the resorts. My favorite is the opera at the Venetian, held several times throughout the day with live music and performers.

You'll also find great bands at night playing at many of the bars for only the cost of a drink, though these shows do not compare to the amazing headliner performances througout Las Vegas at all the major resorts. Cher, for example, will soon be at Caesar's Palace. Barry Manilow is at the Hilton, Cirque du Soliel has several performances at different venues, and there are dozens more.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Venetian

Venetian Las Vegas
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
One of Las Vegas' most popular venues, the Venetian offers the splendor of Italy, luxury suites, dozens of restaurants, the Sands convention center, and shows like the Blue Man Group.

Most notable about the Venetian Hotel and Casino is the canal which runs through the property, complete with Gondola rides and singing Gondoliers.

Don't miss the opera show held in the huge open city square near the center of the property.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bellagio Las Vegas

Bellagio Las Vegas
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
The Bellagio is a property owned by the group led by Steve Wynn who has his namesake property, Wynn Las Vegas, just down the strip. The Bellagio is beautiful inside and out, with very tasteful but extravagant decor, Cirque de Soliel's "O" show, many fine restaurants, a superb art gallery, and a wonderful and massive lobby display that changes with the season. The Bellagio is even home to the world's largest Chocolate Fountain (to left of the big lobby display). Even if you can't afford to stay here be sure to walk through this magnificent hotel, rivalled only by Wynn Las Vegas and some would say the Venetian / Palazzo Las Vegas properties which are located across from the Wynn.

Friday, February 8, 2008

TI Show, Las Vegas

TI Show, Las Vegas
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
Most nights TI (formerly Treasure Island) lights up the sky with a fantastic show featuring the Sirens of TI on one ship battling with a ship across the water in front of the mega resort casino along the Las Vegas Strip. Two shows nightly and be careful where you stand because they clear some of the bridge before the show for "VIPs". Check the signs in front of TI for showtimes. It's free, and one of the most spectacular free shows along the Las Vegas Strip which include the Mirage Volcano and the Bellagio Fountains.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Vegas Reflections

Vegas Reflections
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
Looking south along Las Vegas Boulevard "The Strip" from a footbridge. This reflection in the right is - I think - from Harrahs which is actually to the left.

Signs for Ballys and the huge Eiffel Tower (half the size of the real one) and illuminated balloon at Paris Las Vegas tower above the street in the background.

Although there is no "official" center of Las Vegas, the area along the Strip between the Wynn and the Bellagio a good candidate. Here you find many of the major resort casinos and an almost unending stream of foot and car traffic.

Always bring *comfortable shoes* to Las Vegas. Even if you are prepared to travel by Taxi, the Deuce Bus, and the metro whenever possible you will be walking a lot as the Casinos tend to route foot traffic to maximize their profit rather than your walking distance. If you are lost in a casino *ask* a staffer for directions - they'll generally give you the most accurate and fast route.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Palazzo Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada

Palazzo Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
Las Vegas' newest venue is the magnificent Palazzo Hotel located adjacent to the Venetian and under the same ownership. Suites at the Palazzo offer a luxurious and tasteful decor which is reflected in the lobby's elegant and beautiful statuary and waterfall.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Station Casinos - where the "locals" hang out

I've heard that Las Vegas locals prefer certain off strip casinos and I think that the Station Casino's claim to be the key player in this market is justified. Station Casinos operates all the following properties in the Las Vegas area, most notably the new spectacular Red Rock Casino, one of Las Vegas newest properties with an awesome and stylish decor. Click here for pictures of the Red Rock Casino and Hotel.

Palace Station Hotel & Casino, Boulder Station Hotel & Casino, Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel, Santa Fe Station Hotel & Casino, Sunset Station Hotel & Casino, Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa, Fiesta Rancho Casino & Hotel, The Fiesta Henderson Hotel & Casino, the Wildfire Casino the Wild Wild West Gambling Hall & Hotel, the Magic Star Casino and the Gold Rush Casino.

Additionally, Station Casinos operates properties in California and has some management agreements and part ownerships with other gaming enterprises.

Las Vegas' Best Buffets

Las Vegas has dozens of great buffets and hundreds of exceptional restaurants. However given the cost of most of the Buffets - $20+, with the best restaurants much higher than that, and given the tendency to have great food at many conference venues, the budget approach is to do a lot of great eating at the parties and events that tend to go with conferences and tend to have exceptionally good catered food and free drinks.

However here's an excellent list of ten Las Vegas Buffets with prices:

Not on the list is Terribles Buffet about a mile off the strip on Paradise. Popular with locals I found it to be OK but not exceptional. The 9.99 price was very reasonable, but I think for the cheaper buffets Excalibur is probably your best choice.

Monte Carlo Fire

This breaking news just in - The Monte Carlo casino is on fire though the extent of the blaze is not clear. The Monte Carlo is being evacuated now, and hopefully the fire is confined to the roof where it appears it started.

MSNBC is reporting that the Bellagio and New York New York Hotels are now being evacuated as well, though from the look of the flames this will be contained soon as it appears restricted to the roof of the Monte Carlo. It's believed the fire started at about 11am PST on the west facing roof area.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

McCarran Airport Baggage Claim

The Las Vegas Airport is one of the most manageable in my experience. Large but not huge, McCarran is fairly easy to navigate, especially if your arrival and departures are using the standard Taxis or Shuttles. City bus service in and out of McCarran is a little trickier as the bus departures are from level 0 and not signed well. Unless you are really short on cash the best option will generally be a Taxi if you have more than 2 people or the comfortable $5 shuttles which leave from just outside of the baggage claim area and deliver you to the door of your hotel for $5.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Golden Nugget, Las Vegas Downtown

Although the Las Vegas Strip, home to dozens of mega resorts and casinos, now plays the key role for most visitors to the city you'll want to consider riding the Deuce bus or taking a short Taxi ride to Downtown Las Vegas, renamed "The Fremont Street Experience". Here, the world's largest light show is displayed on a screen as wide as a street and as long as a city block. Short shows play frequently from about dark to midnight.

Monday, January 14, 2008

AEE Adult Entertainment Expo, Las Vegas

Originally part of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas - now simply overlapping in time and place - the Adult Entertainment Expo is the world's largest convention venue for the adult industry. Held this year in two halls of the massive Sands Convention Expo in the Palazzo Venetian Hotel empire, the AEE brought together trade people, press, fans, adult stars and novelties from all over the industry.

Not for the faint of heart, the AEE event fills a large convention hall with hundreds of adult exhibitors featuring themes as innocuous as teeth whitening to live sex shows.

The highlight of the AEE event this year was the AVN Adult Video Film Awards held at the lavish "RAIN" nightclub at the Palms Casino.

CES Las Vegas

January brings the Consumer Electronics Show to Las Vegas. Even for the convention capital of the world this is a huge show, with some 140,000 attendees and 2700 exhibitors. CES is so large that it fills both the Las Vegas Convention Center and most of the Sands Expo Center as well as most of the hotel rooms in Las Vegas, which tend to run at much higher than even weekend rates.

Budget tip for CES? Stay downtown during CES. Many of the hotels there are as nice as the moderate priced strip hotels, and the Deuce bus runs very frequently from Downtown to the Strip 24 hours per day. Rates downtown didn't appear to be any higher during CES this year.

The rooms in Fitzgeralds on Fremont Street were nicely remodelled a few years ago and you'll also find nice rooms at most of the downtown properties. Just be sure to ask for a room change if you aren't happy with the first one they give you.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Palazzo Las Vegas Grand Opening Jan 19

If you are heading to Las Vegas in January contact the Palazzo about their $199 luxury suite specials in association with the Grand opening of the Palazzo on January 19th. I had a chance to tour part of the Palazzo today while in Las Vegas for the Computer Electronics Conference, and it's a very impressive, beautiful property with a tasteful yet spectacular ambiance. Bill Gates keynote speach was at the Palazzo Grand Ballroom, which must hold about 8,000+

They are still working on getting all the suites ready, though the construction was nicely hidden from the public. Even if you don't stay at the Palazzo be sure to drop in to see the sculptures and waterfall. It's right next to the Wynn, another of the "newer" must see properties like the Bellagio Hotel.

The Palazzo Las Vegas is part of the Venetian's hotel empire, and from their website we learn:

The Palazzo will give the company the largest hotel and convention complex in the world on the heart of The Strip. In addition to JERSEY BOYS, The Palazzo will feature more than 3,000 all-suite rooms and offer its new shopping, dining and entertainment on two luxurious levels. The 450,000-square- foot retail space, The Shoppes at The Palazzo™ will be highlighted by Barneys New York and connected to The Venetian via The Grand Canal Shoppes. It will house approximately 60 high-end and mid-level stores from the most recognizable brands to the hottest newcomers and unique one-of-a-kind boutiques drawn from all over the world. Additionally, The Palazzo will offer a variety of new restaurants from renowned chefs, many of whom are not yet featured in the Las Vegas area.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

CES Las Vegas 2008

The Computer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas is in many ways *the big* technology event of the year. I'm here covering it but the posts will be at Joe Duck:

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Taking the Bus?

Las Vegas has a great selection of transportation options that vary quite a bit in terms of cost. Many folks take taxis around, but it's not clear to me that they save any time over the cheaper alternatives since during big events you may have to wait in a taxi line at the hotel. The Monorail is fantastic, and it is what you want to take if you are near a monorail station - basically places between the Sahara on North Las Vegas Strip and MGM to the South. This is *the way* to get up and down the strip unless you *really* love to walk. The strip his huge so wear great shoes in any case, even if you'll be taking transportation you'll be walking a lot.

Here is a good roundup of McCarran Airport to Strip and Downtown via bus:

The $5 shuttles from the Airport are comfortable but usually pretty slow as they stop at many hotels.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Powering Las Vegas

Some stats from the National Geographic special regarding power consumption at some of the Las Vegas hot spots:

Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel and Casino:

$1.7-2.0 million per month power bill
Uses enough A/C for 5000 homes
7000 employees

The Mandalay Bay also has the countries largest ballroom, which seats over 6000 people.

The LUXOR spotlight shines like an amazing beacon into the sky above Las Vegas, and on into space. It is visible from outer space. The electric bill for the "sky beam"? $125,000 per year.

Surfing in the Mandalay Bay wave pool, which holds about 1.5 million gallons of water. The electrically powered wave machine uses turbine pumps that can shoot out over 100,000 gallons per minute into chambers. Releasing the water in the chambers creates the waves.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Bellagio Las Vegas

The Bellagio is one of Las Vegas premier hotel casinos and probably ranks about equal in qaulity with the Wynn even though the Wynn was designed to be fancier and tends to be more expensive. I think the new Palazzo may be even nicer but I have not been there yet or read reviews.

Luxury Hotels
Cirque Du Soleil
Bellagio Nightlife
Bellagio Weddings
Amenities at Bellagio
Restaurants of the Bellagio
Spa Services at Bellagio Las Vegas
The Bellagio Casino and Gaming

The Bellagio is a favorite hotel for many Las Vegas regulars, combining as it does a central strip location, a glamourous and tasteful european decor, and Las Vegas' most beautiful free attraction the Bellagio Fountains, which put on a super show every half hour. Don't miss the fountains of the Bellagio regardless of where you stay - this is really a spectacular syphony of music and water. Great "seats" are always free and always good - just stand anywhere.

I'd recommend being down at the fountains rather than far away, and although it's tempting to watch them from high above across the street at the Paris Las Vegas I think it's much more spectacular up close.