Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Harmon Hotel at MGM CityCenter may be imploded has a nice explanation of the complicated situation at Las Vegas' Harmon Hotel where owner MGM has applied for permission to implode the building, citing structural defects that may make the Harmon prone to major damage during an earthquake.

However the builder is challenging this structural diagnosis and offering to re-engineer as needed to fix the problems. They claim that MGM is mostly just concerned about difficulties filling the new rooms in a downturned Las Vegas economy.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Macau vs Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world

Although it's hard to beat Las Vegas for variety and amazing resorts and casinos, Macau's gambling revenue simply dwarfs that of Las Vegas Casinos. Macau's annual gaming revenue stands at about 20 billion, with Las Vegas at about a third of that amount.

With the Las Vegas economy still reeling from the recession - hurting both the housing and the travel sectors, combined with the Asian economic explosion, it seems unlikely that Vegas will ever reclaim the fame of being the number one gambling hotspot in the world, but it's also true Macau is unlikely to attract north American visitors for some time.

More from the Las Vegas Sun

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Las Vegas Bargains on Twitter

Twitter is one of the best ways to track some great bargains in Las Vegas, especially in this summer of a LOT of great hotel and vacation package bargains. Obviously you should also be looking at a LOT of websites such as, individual Airline websites (a list of them is here), Expedia, Travelocity, and Tripadvisor. All these sites offer hotel and airline combo packages that are often (but not always) your best bet in terms of a bargain trip.

Only with careful searches can you uncover the very best bargains, as generally hotels would prefer folks to pay the "rack rate" or higher rates than the very best they'll be offering during specials.

Enter Twitter, which is often the source of great tips on bargains from individual hotels in Las Vegas. Here's a partial Las Vegas list on Twitter. Follow it for some information from Las Vegas folks and properties.

Also note that most of the Las Vegas hotels have Facebook pages and those will sometimes feature specials. Facebook and Twitter are a great way to get a fast response from many hotels as well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Binions, Downtown Las Vegas, 2005

LasVegasDowntown0043 by JoeDuck
LasVegasDowntown0043, a photo by JoeDuck on Flickr.

Few Las Vegas venues capture the colorful history of old Las Vegas as the old Binions. The hotel and casino are small compared with the newer mega-resort venues up and down the strip, and after near bankrupcy and sale to Harrah's in 2004 the venue is now resurrected as Binions Gambling Hall and Hotel

History of Binions:
In 1951 Benny Binion reopened the Eldorado Club and Apache Hotel, naming the new venue the "Horseshoe Casino" and styling it as a riverboat.

Only a few years later Binion was convicted of tax evasion and served about 4 years in Leavenworth.

As a convicted felon Binion could no longer own the casino but his family had a controlling interest and he continued as consultant until his death in 1989.

In 1970 the World Series of Poker began at the Horseshoe and would eventually create the largest poker tournament series in the world.

Daughter Becky Behnen acquired controlling interest in the casino in 1998, but legal conflicts with the culinary workers and bartenders unions led Binions to near bankupcy, leading to a sale to Harrah's in 2004.

Vdara Hotel, CityCenter Las Vegas

The Vdara Hotel and Spa is one of Las Vegas' newest and most elegant venues, part of the CityCenter Complex near the middle of the Las Vegas Strip and home to Vdara, Crystals Retail Shopping Complex, the Aria Resort and Casino, The Mandarin Oriental, and the Veer Towers.

Vdara's design is upscale and elegant rather than overly flashy or loud, offering something of a respite from the more hectic Las Vegas lifestyle you'd find in the resort casinos. For a little less talk and a lot more action you may want to stay at the Aria Resort and Casino which is right next door - just past the Vdara's very intriguing crashing kayaks sculpture.