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.