Getting It On in Sin City: Take Our Las Vegas Sex Survey

We want to hear about your Las Vegas sex life!

Take 60 seconds out of your day to answer 10 really personal questions and we’ll share the anonymous results in a future blog post. Take the survey below or click here.

Las Vegas sex swing

Oh, yes, we’re going there.

 

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Today’s Thing We Don’t Entirely Get: Downtown’s Las Vegas Parklet

Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project continues to push the boundaries of WTF, keeping downtown in the news as it has with its latest endeavor: Parklet Las Vegas.

Las Vegas parklet

The Las Vegas parklet will serve as a gateway, transporting guests to the great outdoors. Actual results may vary.

So, what is it? The “parklet” is essentially a tricked-out, 8-foot by 20-foot parking space.

The parklet is being built near downtown’s John E. Carson building, home to the popular Carson Kitchen and other shops.

The baffling pop-up structure (which is supposed to be in place for a year) is intended to turn an urban parking space into “a little slice of nature.” No, really.

Parklet Las Vegas

The Harmon Hotel on The Strip has taken a year to dismantle. The parklet will take about 25 minutes.

The parklet is “designed to connect people downtown with nature by providing a place to enjoy the outdoors, which reduces stress, increases brainpower and more. Like any park, the parklet is also a place for people to connect with each otherto gather with friends and meet others who also enjoy being outside.”

So, yeah, we still don’t get it. This blog tends to love the Las Vegas that’s the exact opposite of outside.

The first parklet was erected in San Francisco in 2010.

While our work-in-progress photos of Las Vegas parklet don’t make it look all that impressive, the rendering below of the finished product also makes it look not all that impressive.

Las Vegas parklet

Given the way people drive in Las Vegas, the parklet is sure to be in the news again soon.

It took a lot of people to make the parklet possible, including a team of professors and students at Iowa State University and UNLV, the Nevada Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects and Las Vegas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the latter two “facilitated community engagement with the project.”

Oh, and parklets cost $20,000-$60,000 to build.

The Las Vegas parklet, dubbed “The Waiting Game” (presumably because visitors can use the parklet while waiting for a table at nearby restaurants) opens April 18, “just in time for Earth Day on April 22.” Yeah, a bit of a stretch, but we’re writing about it, so something’s working. Here’s more.

Las Vegas parklet

Remember, Las Vegas isn’t about “Why?” It’s about “Why not?”

We’ll be swinging by again to see the finished Las Vegas parklet, especially if we can hang out with our cocktail.

This part of downtown has cleaned up nicely in recent months, but it’s still fairly grubby, so sitting outside in a parking space as cars go by doesn’t sound all that appealing at first glance. Then again, we had our doubts about having lunch in a shopping center made of shipping containers, and we’re at the Downtown Project’s Container Park all the time.

Keep the surprises coming, Downtown Project. We didn’t get the fleet of Airstream trailers, turning Gold Spike into a college dorm gameroom, or the preoccupation with llamas, either. But a recent report pegs Downtown Project’s fiscal contribution to downtown in the range of $118 million, including more than 1,000 permanent jobs.

We love a revitalized downtown, even when it comes in the form of a spruced-up parking space.

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25 Fascinating Facts About People Who Visit Las Vegas

Much like Las Vegas itself, visitors to Sin City can’t be summed up with mere numbers or percentages. Oh, who are we kidding? Everything can be summed up with numbers and percentages!

Each year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority does just that with its fascinating Las Vegas Visitor Profile. The 2014 installment of the report reveals a treasure trove of nuanced travel trends. Since this Las Vegas blog doesn’t do nuance, we’re just going to cut and paste some of the more interesting facts about Las Vegas visitors below.

1. In 2014, 19% of visitors to Las Vegas said it was their first time visiting the city. Question: What took them so long?

2. 58% of visitors arrived via ground transportation, 42% arrived by air.

airport graphic

This was taken at the Las Vegas airport, and do you have to make everything dirty?

3. Las Vegas visitors in 2014 stayed an average of 3.2 nights and 4.2 days.

4. Over the course of their stay, Vegas visitors spent an average of $281.88 for food and drink. Mainly drink. Or maybe that’s just us.

5. Visitors spent an average of $47.56 for shows.

6. 71% of 2014 Vegas visitors said they gambled during their visit, down from 80% in 2010 and 77% in 2011. Slackers.

7. 10% of Vegas visitors had children (under 21) in their immediate party. Nobody’s perfect.

kids playing slot machines

The good news is parents can be trusted to keep their kids away from the casino floor. Actual parental competency may vary. Greatly.

8. The average gambling budget of Las Vegas visitors in 2014 was $530.11.

9. 65% of 2014 visitors attended shows during their stay, down from 72% the year before. We have no idea what accounts for the drop in show attendance. Duck Commander Musical wasn’t even a thing in 2014.

10. 19% of Las Vegas visitors in 2014 were from foreign countries. Which, when you think about it, most countries are. Foreign. Please try and keep up.

11. 36% of visitors said they’d visited downtown Las Vegas during their trip. That’s an increase of 6% over the prior year. We should work on commission.

12. Of those who visited downtown, 59% said the main reason was to see the Fremont Street Experience.

Fremont Street Experience

Visitorship to downtown increased after we started working there and began photographing Fremont Street with a fisheye lens. Coincidence?

13. 88% of Vegas visitors surveyed gambled on The Strip, 27% downtown, 6% on the Boulder Strip. The rest “gambled” by fornicating in a unisex restroom, unless we just made that part up.

14. When visitors were asked how many casinos they visited during their stay, the average was 5.7. The .7 was Casino Royale. It’s adorable.

15. Of visitors who said they planned to visit somewhere near Vegas before or after their Las Vegas visit (16% said “yes”), the three most popular destinations were the Grand Canyon (67%), Hoover Dam (51%) and Zion National Park (20%).

16. 8% of Vegas visitors said they’d been to a hotel nightclub that charged a cover charge.

17. 2% of those surveyed has visited a pool party or day club.

dayclub waitresses

Las Vegas dayclubs. Motto: Anywhere else, you’d be considered the hot one.

18. 77% of visitors who saw a show in Las Vegas went to a lounge act. Note: Those tend to be free, so not a giant leap in logic.

19. Among all the visitors surveyed, their average number of visits to Las Vegas over the past five years was 5.7.

20. 9% of visitors said they’d attended a convention, trade show or corporate meeting while in Las Vegas. Which is like being shot with a tranquilizer dart, but involving a lanyard.

21. 52% of visitors decided where to gamble after arriving in Las Vegas.

22. 7% of visitors said they’d visited a spa during their trip. Spas just whipped your ass, day clubs.

Caesars spa robe sauna

The spa at Caesars Palace has a special sauna specifically devoted to keeping robes warm. We’re not kidding.

23. 68% of visitors said they used the Internet to plan their Vegas trip. Side note: 100% of people used the Internet to read that statistic.

24. Of those who said they used used social media Web sites during their visit to plan their activities in Las Vegas (28% of all visitors surveyed), 51% said they used Facebook and 34% said they used Twitter.

25. 30% of visitors arrived in Las Vegas on a weekend, 70% arrived on a weekday.

Again, these numbers are for 2014, and the survey results were the result of first-person interviews with 3,600 randomly-selected visitors. Second-person interviews are so much less fun, don’t you think?

Hope you had as much fun looking these over as we did lifting them from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority report. (Here’s the entire report in .pdf format if you’re into that kind of thing.)

For the record, this is as close as we get to enjoying numbers. Other than the ones noting the alcohol content of distilled beverages, of course.

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Las Vegas Drag Queens Attempt World Record for Largest Drag Stage Show

Ah, Las Vegas, you never fail to “What just happened?”

On April 12, 2015, 61 drag queens and kings (women dressed as men, in case that wasn’t obvious) took to a stage at the Hard Rock Cafe to break the world record for “Largest Drag Stage Show.”

Yes, there’s a record for that. There’s a record for everything.

drag show world record

Let’s get the not-judging party started!

Las Vegas headliner Josh Strickland served as master of ceremonies for the event. Strickland was the former star of “Peepshow,” and currently appears in “Vegas! The Show.” Before the record attempt, Strickland spotted someone in the crowd having a birthday and belted out an impressive version of “Happy Birthday,” a reminder of just how talented this guy is.

When it appeared the record attempt would fall a little short of participants, Strickland donned a dress and joined in the fun.

Josh Strickland in drag

If we’re ever adopted, we want Josh Strickland to be our mom-dad.

The gathering of Las Vegas drag queens presumably broke the standing record of 55 participants. Participants who arrived in full drag got a complementary mimosa.

Drag show world record

While there was a lot of drag, the term “show” was used pretty loosely.

It’s murky whether or not the new record will be validated by a record-officiating organization, but the organizers went to great lengths to document the event and ensure the head count was accurate.

The record attempt took place during the Hard Rock Cafe’s monthly drag brunch, which we’ve never personally attended, but trust us, you can never not have a blast in the company of drag queens.

Drag show world record

Shake Weights and drag queens join forces for some comedy fierceness.

A great time was had by all, and proceeds of the event went to charity, The Center, an organization serving the LGBTQ community of Nevada.

More photos in the gallery below, because that’s how this blog rolls.

Largest Drag Stage Show Record Attempt

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The Latest From Rock in Rio USA’s City of Rock in Las Vegas

The Rock in Rio USA music festival is just around the corner. One of the biggest music festivals in Vegas history happens May 8-9 (rock weekend) and May 15-16, 2015 (pop weekend).

There’s been a flurry of activity at the event’s City of Rock site, and we got all up inside Rock in Rio’s business for some fresh pics.

First up, the festival’s zip line tower has been built. It’s an impressive, free-standing structure with several launch platforms (only one is likely to be used for the May event). We’re calling the tower five stories up, accessible via a spiral staircase.

Rock in Rio zip line

Guests will fly over the crowd in front of the festival’s main stage.

Another striking new feature at the Rock in Rio USA site is a spiderlike EDM stage.

Rock in Rio USA

It would be more accurate to say the EDM stage is “insectlike.” Insects have six legs. Spiders have eight. You know it’s a bad sign when our photo captions are even boring to us.

We’ve shared some shots of the festival’s massive VIP tent, but that doesn’t preclude us from sharing another.

Rock in Rio

The tent will serve as a command center for the event, catering to VIPs, and it will also have a medical facility and media center.

The VIP tent, like many of the fixtures at the City of Rock, was shipped from Brazil. It won’t be making the trip back, though. Festival organizers are selling the tent to an undisclosed buyer for a cool half million dollars after the festival. Rock in Rio owns about a half dozen of these tents, so they’ll ship another one in for the next Rock in Rio installment in 2017. (If all goes well, the festival will expand to six days in 2017.)

Here’s a look inside one small portion of the VIP tent. Overall, the VIP tent is in the neighborhood of 40,000-square-feet.

Rock in Rio

The Rock in Rio USA VIP tent is quite an architectural wonder. This is the lower level, a series of spaces for a variety of uses, many of which we could specify were it not for the fact we forgot to ask for specifics.

Those with the bucks to be in the VIP area are in for a treat. Along with the live performances, they’ll have an open bar and catering by none other than Wolfgang Puck.

Rock in Rio’s main stage is a sight to behold. Which is generally what people do with sights, we get that.

The main stage is flanked by giant metallic sheets which, if positioned correctly, will act as reflectors, turning anyone in their wake into ash. Or something.

Rock in Rio USA

We totally weren’t kidding about the reflective quality of those metal pieces. Oh, the stories we’ll tell.

Several smaller stages dot the festival site. Should be an interesting feat of audio technology balancing the “bleed” from one stage to another. We have no idea if that’s an actual term, but if not, it should be.

Rock in Rio

Here’s another Rock in Rio stage. We’re pretty sure this is the Sunset stage.

One of the more visually appealing elements of the Rock in Rio USA site is the collection of facades making up three themed streets, Rock Street USA, Rock Street UK and Rock Street Brazil.

Rock Street UK

We’re going with Rock Street UK on this one.

The themed streets will be where all the retail happens at Rock in Rio USA. An interesting aspect of the retail concessions (bars, restaurants and merchandise) is they’ll be completely cashless. Festival-goers will use their RFID bracelets not only to gain entry to the event, but they’ll also be part of the cashless payment system, being referred to as “Rock Cash.” Get details.

Cashless payment devices help avoid headaches of cash transactions at a busy event, and it’s a dream for event organizers, including the fact people spend 15-30% more when they use cashless devices. Read more.

Rock in Rio

All the facades were shipped in, and from the great shape they’re in, we’re guessing Rock in Rio organizers spend a metric ass-ton on packing peanuts.

The sense you get at the Rock in Rio USA site is these people know what they’re doing, and they’ve thought of everything.

Rock in Rio USA

How awesome is it that City of Rock has a building with an ironic hipster mustache?

Among the things we never would have thought of are “delay towers.” Delay towers ensure sound coming from a particular stage can be heard throughout the venue at a high sound quality. Rock in Rio USA is all over it.

Rock in Rio USA

Delay towers must be placed in exactly the right spot based upon the speed of sound, or C = 331.45 + 0.597t. Yes, we knew that off the top of our head.

Yet to appear on the site is the massive Ferris wheel. It’s the same portable Ferris wheel being used at another music festival, Coachella.

Rock in Rio USA has the makings of a music festival unlike anything fans have experienced in Las Vegas.

Here’s the full Rock in Rio USA line-up, and enjoy more photos from the City of Rock site on the Las Vegas Strip.

Rock in Rio USA's City of Rock

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Bellagio Conservatory’s Spring Display Goes to the Far East for Inspiration

The Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens have, for the first time, drawn inspiration from Japan for its spring display.

Bellagio Conservatory Japan

The oil-paper umbrella originated in China. Which is pretty much the same as Japan if you look at a map, from a distance, while squinting.

The Bellagio’s new spring display showcases many aspects of Asian culture, including the fact Asian visitors drop a metric ass-ton of cash at Las Vegas casinos. Wait, sorry, that wasn’t in the news release.

This is from the release, “Pairing the soothing aesthetics of Japan’s traditional gardens with Bellagio’s striking grandeur; the new display boasts a vibrant collection of more than 82,000 flowers and larger-than-life floral creations.” Back to more pretty photos!

Bellagio

Some of the 82,000 flowers. We’d tell you which ones, but that would involve “remembering” or “note-taking,” not our favorite things.

Flowers at the Conservatory include tulips, daffodils and snapdragons. Thank you, news release!

Live musicians (our favorite kind) perform songs on a floating platform from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day.

Bellagio musicians

No dancing, please. You might crush a snapdragon.

In a pond, there are 75 live Koi fish (again, our favorite kind).

Bellagio koi

“Koi” is a Japanese word that means “carp.” Koi makes them sound more exotic, so just go with it.

Also on-hand is a 12-foot tall traditional Japanese-inspired tea house.

Bellagio tea house

The ideal floor size of a tea room is 4.5 tatami mats, whatever those might actually be. We are a Las Vegas blog, not a foreign exchange student.

Other cultural icons at the Bellagio Conservatory include the turtle, below. In Japanese culture, turtles represent longevity and good luck. Or soup. But mostly those other two things.

Bellagio turtle

The turtle on display at Bellagio is similar to Gamera, the building-crushing mutant that got its ass whipped by Godzilla. But with flowers.

There are a few elements of this year’s display that are head-scratchers. While the hotel may claim they were inspired by Japanese culture, they seem to have been inspired by, “What can we throw up there on the cheap?”

Bellagio Conservatory

Did we mention the Bellagio Conservatory is still free? All is forgiven.

While the spring display may not necessarily be the Conservatory’s most memorable, we have to keep things in perspective. It’s free, and it could be a CVS. ‘Nuff said.

Besides, flowers!

Bellagio

These are the rare, delicate “flowers we also didn’t bother to write down the name of.”

One of the highlights of the display is an 18-foot-tall cherry blossom tree with 300 acrylic blossoms and leaves.

Bellagio

Whatever happened to the Acrylic Blossoms? Loved their music.

A six-foot-tall crane stands nearby, wings outstretched as if to say, “Please, can we wrap up this blog post? I have to get busy sharing some of these amazing photos on Pinterest.” Or something.

Bellagio Japanese crane

The red-crowned crane, or Japanese crane, is among the rarest in the world and symbolizes fidelity. And in Las Vegas, it’s about the only thing that does.

Before you leave the Conservatory, make sure to check out the giant Fabergé egg fashioned from (wait for it) flowers. The egg is a clever cross-promotion for an exhibit in the Bellagio’s Gallery of Fine Art, “Fabergé Revealed.” The gallery features more than 200 objects made by a dead Russian. Although that’s probably not the description Bellagio uses in its marketing materials. They’re fancy like that. Learn more.

Faberge egg

Despite the fact this has absolutely nothing to do with Japanese culture, it’s still a great photo op, not to mention it could make 4,800 omelets.

Even after years of Bellagio displays, we still enjoy seeing what the Bellagio’s approximately 140 horticulturists have up their sod-soiled sleeves. And like we said, it remains one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas.

Please enjoy more photos in our exclusive gallery of the Japanese and dead Russian-inspired spring display at Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.

Bellagio Conservatory Spring 2015

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