Monthly Archives: July 2013

High Roller Ferris Wheel Gets Its Outer Rim at The Linq

The massive High Roller observation wheel behind Flamingo Las Vegas, part of The Linq project, is going from puberty to young adulthood as assembly of its outer ring gets under way.

The wheel's coming together so quickly, this photo was out of date the minute we took it.

The wheel’s coming together so quickly, this photo was out of date the minute we took it.

The wheel will ultimately be 550 feet tall, 520 feet in diameter, and its 28 passenger cabins will carry up to 40 people each, or 1,120 people in the entire wheel at one time.

Each of the wheel’s out rim pieces weighs about 90,000 pounds. There are 28 rim segments in all.

Sponsored by Cialis.

We’re seeing a sponsorship opportunity by Cialis.

It’s difficult to describe the massive scale of this project, but if you see a construction dude standing next to just one of the rim pieces, it starts to sink in.

Thanks for providing some scale, construction dude.

Thanks for providing some scale, construction dude.

The High Roller is expected to open in the second quarter of 2014. On a Tuesday, at 10:14 a.m. Which we might just be making up, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

Fremont Hotel Gets a Fancy New Flatscreen TV

The Fremont Hotel & Casino downtown must’ve gotten a gift certificate to Best Buy, because it recently installed a massive new video display on its colorful front marquee thingy.

Imagine the size of  the remote.

Imagine the size of the remote.

The big-ass screen should add another eye-catching visual for visitors to the Fremont Street Experience, and a new marketing opportunity for the hotel, of course.

This is the approximate size of our first apartment.

This is the approximate size of our first apartment.

We dropped by again to see the finished product.

You can never have too much bling in Vegas.

You can never have too much bling in Vegas.

Bigger. Flashier. More. Better. It’s Vegas, baby.

Beware: Today’s Las Vegas Rip-Off

Some days, we get callouses from all the face-palming.

Today, the source of our consternation is “Ron’s Light Show Parking,” downtown. This parking lot is adjacent to the new Park on Fremont restaurant, on Fremont Street East, and if you lose your mind and park here, you’ll be dinged a whopping $20 for the privilege.

The blood, it roils.

Don’t make this blog angry. You wouldn’t like us when we’re angry.

This delightful little price gouge appears to be intended to sucker in unsuspecting tourists, because there’s plenty of free or much-less-expensive parking at nearby hotels and public parking structures along and around Fremont Street.

The popular light show at the Fremont Street Experience is one of the great free things to do in Las Vegas.

Twelve million LED lamps light up the "barrel vault canopy" at the Fremont Street Experience. Add that to your "Crap I Don't Need to Know" file.

Twelve million LED lamps light up the “barrel vault canopy” at the Fremont Street Experience. Feel free to add that to your “Crap I Don’t Need to Know” file.

Again, the light show at the Fremont Street Experience is still free, despite the false impression some may get from the new Fremont Street Experience fee forced upon guests of the Golden Nugget, an otherwise perfectly nice hotel. And while not all the parking downtown is free, there’s no need to let Bonehead Ron, whoever he might be, take you to the cleaners.

You’re welcome.

Terrible’s Gets a Better Name, Silver Sevens Hotel & Casino

Just east of The Strip is a smallish (at least by Vegas standards) casino, formerly called Terrible’s.

How did a casino, or any business for that matter, get a name like Terrible’s? Well, the casino was opened by a family that also owned a chain of gas stations. The family’s name is Herbst. The family thought to themselves, “How can we make the name Herbst even less appealing? Wait, Terrible Herbst. Let’s go with that!”

Terrible’s Hotel and Casino opened, after a renovation of the Continental (which originally opened in 1981), in December of 2000. Suddenly, there were cowboys everywhere.

Time for you to retire, padner.

Time for you to retire, partner.

Following an 18-month renovation, costing upwards of “this blog does not do research,” the operators of Terrible’s (Affinity Gaming, as if you care) decided it was time to start anew, including giving the hotel a new name, Silver Sevens. The new name became official July 1, 2013.

All right, it was a $7 million renovation. You’re such a stickler for details.

Silver Seven's new marquee thingy.

Silver Seven’s new marquee thingy.

Representatives of the company say they chose the name because of the “vintage feel.” It should be noted, though, that Nevada is the “Silver State.” Sevens, of course, are common in casinos, from being a great come-out roll in craps to playing a prominent part in slot machine culture, including being featured on what our grandmother considered the greatest machine of all time, Blazing Sevens.

It’s also interesting that there are Seven Lucky Gods (or Seven Gods of Fortune) in Japanese culture. We’re also pretty sure the folks at Affinity Gaming considered the fact seven is the lowest natural number that cannot be represented as the sum of the squares of three integers. Because everybody knows that, right?

Anyhoo, just about all traces of the former Terrible’s are gone, and we grabbed a pic of the casino’s new chips, just for posterity.

Casino chips don't stay this clean for long, trust us.

Casino chips don’t stay this clean for long, trust us.

So, what happened to the Terrible’s cowboy sign? We hear it was donated to the Neon Museum, sort of the Las Vegas version of Boot Hill.

Stop by Silver Sevens and help break in the chips if you get a chance. And don’t miss the newly-named Sterling Spoon Cafe. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and the lowness of the prices.

Useless Facts for Roulette Nerds

Roulette is a blast. You put a few chips onto the felt, the roulette wheel spins, and sometimes magic happens.

Let's do some damage!

Let’s do some damage, shall we?

But there’s a lot about this seemingly simple game you might not know. First, it’s often called the “devil’s game,” because all the numbers on a roulette wheel add up to 666.

The nerdy fun really starts when you get into the names of the parts of a roulette wheel. There’s the static bowl (the part that does move) and the wheelhead (the part that does). The average roulette bowl is 32 inches in diameter. Yes, there will be a test.

Here’s a keeper: The little bumps (frequently diamond-shaped) that run along the ball track, and which give the spinning ball a bit more jump and randomness, are called “frets” or “canoes.”

The indentations where the ball lands are called ball “pockets,” illustrated below.


The most popular number played in roulette is 17.

There’s a lot more to know about roulette! Our best tip is to look for a European-style roulette wheel, with one green space rather than two (the American version). This simple difference in a wheel can mean a pretty big sway in terms of odds. The house advantage for European roulette is 2.7% while the edge for American roulette is 5.3%.

And you can take that to the banque. Because roulette is French. Oh, nevermind.

Best Ice Cream in Las Vegas, Thy Name is Lappert’s

Las Vegas is known for its seemingly endless bounty of sinful indulgences. The liquor. The gambling. The sex. Those things are all great, although we could do with a little less sex, because it can get in the way of our drinking and gambling, but that’s beside the point. There’s one Las Vegas sin that may trump them all. Ice cream.

Just when we thought we’d had all the great ice creams in Vegas, we found Lappert’s at the California hotel, downtown.

This ice cream may cause your face to implode. In a good way.

This ice cream may cause your face to implode. In a good way.

Lappert’s, quite simply, makes and serves the best ice cream in Las Vegas, and it only took us 10 years to try it. Yes, we feel like a complete boob. Don’t rub it in.

The small ice cream shop on the hotel’s second floor is an offspring of Lappert’s Hawaii. The store’s founder, Walter Lappert, made the first batch of Lappert’s ice cream on the island of Kauai on December 21, 1983, a fact which will no doubt win you a bar bet someday.

If Mr. Lappert were here, we would kiss him enthusiastically on the mouth.

If Mr. Lappert were here, we would kiss him enthusiastically on the mouth.

While we typically shy away from hyperbolic terms like “super premium,” that pretty much sums up the ice cream at Lappert’s. Another way of describing it is “we would trade our sister for a cone.”

Offerings at Lappert’s run the gamut, and we say this despite the fact we wouldn’t know a gamut if we saw one, and to be honest, we’re more than a little curious if anyone’s ever “ambled a gamut,” because that sounds much more appealing, especially on a hot Las Vegas day.

Tip: It's not really about the muffins.

Tip: It’s not really about the muffins.

Beyond the ice cream scoops, Lappert’s has a fine selection of sundaes, including a brownie sundae, and banana splits.

This should come with a diving board.

This should come with a diving board.

There’s also Hawaiian-style shaved ice. You get bonus points for ordering it as “shave ice.” It’s a Hawaii thing.

So, if you can find an excuse to visit the California (a block east of the Fremont Street Experience), and even if you can’t, give Lappert’s a taste. Just ignore what your thighs are saying. What have your thighs ever done for you?