Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Quad: What a Difference a Wrap Makes

The Quad has undergone some dramatic changes from the days when it was the Imperial Palace. The aging hotel’s Asian theme was slowly removed, inside and out, in late 2012 and early 2013, to make way for an updated look.

The Imperial Palace during the transition to The Quad.

The Imperial Palace during the transition to The Quad.

Here’s the result of the Quad’s exterior redesign.

The Quad's new look has gotten mixed reviews.

The Quad has swallowed the Imperial Palace whole.

While not everyone’s in love with The Quad’s new look (change is hard, and lots of people have fond memories of the IP’s cheese), the exterior renovation was done cleverly, given a tight budget, as hotel renovations go.

The majority of The Quad’s new look is, in essence, a massive building wrap.

Metal “frames” were installed on the walls (see below), and the building’s exterior material is attached to those frames. They’re not too different from the building wraps used when the IP was advertising “Divas Las Vegas” and Human Nature on its facade. (Human Nature is now at The Venetian, by the way.)

quad_wrap2

From the bestselling authors of “How to Get a ‘New’ Hotel on a Shoestring.”

There are some challenges with this kind of superficial upgrade. One, it feels temporary and a little cheap (because it is). Two, it’s vulnerable to weather damage and fading. (Remember how the Paris balloon looked after awhile?) Three, it’s not exactly the kind of thing that would’ve been done when Las Vegas was a “Spare no expense!” kind of town.

Oh, well, it’s certainly different, and it makes The Quad a much better fit for the adjacent Linq project than the Imperial Palace would’ve been, even spruced up.

Straight from the "How to Get a 'New' Hotel on a Shoestring" playbook.

The dots on The Quad’s exterior are useful for self-hypnosis.

On the upside, the “lite” version of an exterior revamp meant more could be spent on the hotel’s interior. The casino part, anyway. The rooms still haven’t been touched, but we hear a room renovation could begin within the next year or so. Here’s a walk-through of The Quad’s new casino.

Could The Quad’s exterior be swapped out with ads to subsidize the hotel’s room renovations? Don’t laugh. Caesars Entertainment, which owns The Quad, is looking to sell the naming rights to its High Roller observation wheel next door.

Like lots of things in life, it looks better from a distance.

Like lots of things in life, it looks better from a distance. In the dark.

Another upside: If The Quad wanted to change its look again, it probably could, virtually overnight, just by swapping out its “skin.”

What do you think of The Quad’s new look, and since it could be changed easily (think of it as a giant cell phone case), what should The Quad’s next exterior theme be?

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Today’s Luscious Las Vegas Photo: The Fabulous Golden Gate

The Golden Gate, in downtown Las Vegas, has come a long way since it opened in 1906.

The Golden Gate, back when men were men and women clearly had no fear of heights.

The Golden Gate, back when men were men and women clearly had no fear of heights.

Here’s our take on this classic Vegas casino that’s better than ever.

One of our favorite places to play in Las Vegas, and not just because it's so pretty.

One of our favorite places to play in Las Vegas, and not just because it’s so pretty.

Because we trust you love Vegas as much as we do, here are a couple of larger images that might be used as background images on your computer desktop thingy.

For a desktop image in the resolution of 1440 by 900, click here. For a desktop image in the resolution of 1600 by 1200, click here.

Just a little love for your eyeballs from VitalVegas.com, enabling vices since 2013.

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Useless Las Vegas Trivia from Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill

There are many interesting facts about Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace. This is one of the more useless.

The 20-foot-tall wall of kegs at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill has exactly 175 beer kegs.

Yes, we counted. Go ahead and double-check our work.

Yes, we counted. Go ahead and double-check our work.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has three restaurants with his name on them in Las Vegas. Besides Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars, there’s Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas and BurGR at Planet Hollywood. (The “GR” is capitalized to, well, capitalize on the chef’s initials.)

The kegs on the all at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill are empty, so don’t get your hopes up.

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10 New Things Downtown to Up Your Las Vegas Street Cred

Your friends might be Vegas fanatics, but when it comes to the latest Vegas stuff, you’ve got the edge. Because you’re here. Reading this. Well, not that, in particular, but you know what we mean. Increase your Vegas street cred with some downtown Vegas scoop, because everybody loves a know-it-all.

1. Pizza Rock Gets a Big-Ass Sign

Pizza Rock is the latest addition to Downtown Third, a little district that includes the Downtown Grand (formerly the Lady Luck), Triple George and Mob Bar, among others.

So fresh, it still has wires sticking out.

So fresh, it still has wires sticking out.

Pizza Rock is supposed to be a pretty big deal. The owner and chef, Tony Gemignani, has won some impressive international recognition for his pizzas.

We also breached security and got our first good luck at the interior of Pizza Rock, still in the works.

Want. Pizza. Now.

Want. Pizza. Now.

2. Downtown Grand Lights Up Its Casino Sign

It was awesome when the Downtown Grand’s “Casino” sign went up. It’s even more awesome lit up.

Want. Gambling. Now.

Want. Gambling. Now.

3. Downtown Grand’s Valet Entrance Gets a Thingy

The Downtown Grand’s new valet area is huge, and since our last visit has gotten a sign and a thingy on top.

It's not a tumor. It's not a tumor at all.

It’s not a tumor. It’s not a tumor at all.

4. SlotZilla Gets a “Candle”

SlotZilla is set to be the world’s biggest slot machine (not to mention a new zipline ride), and no slot machine would be complete without a “candle.”  That’s the red light on top.

Zipline riders will shoot out of Slotzilla on two different levels.

Zipline riders will shoot out of Slotzilla on two different levels.

The candle is a light on top of slot machines that tells you what denomination the machine accepts.

A red candle denotes nickels, so SlotZilla is a nickel slot machine. Exclusive! (Hey, we’ll take an exclusive where we can get one.) Yellow means quarters, blue means dollars and gold means half-dollars.

We hired a helicopter to take this photo. And that's the story we're sticking to.

We hired a helicopter to take this photo. And that’s the story we’re sticking to.

Check out all our posts about the SlotZilla zipline attraction at the Fremont Street Experience.

5. Temporary Seating Platform

This one’s new, but not permanent. Spectator stands have been installed in front of the Fremont Street Experience’s Third Street stage.

Creative use of the space.

Creative use of the space.

The stands were put up for a little Muay Thai (some kind of sport) action outside The D, but should also come in handy for a Kid Rock performance on Sep. 28, in honor of The D’s first birthday as The D (formerly Fitzgerald’s). Other performers will include Uncle Kracker (Sep. 26) and Stone Temple Pilots (Sep. 27).

One of the few sports arenas in Las Vegas that has actually been built.

One of the few arenas in Las Vegas that has actually been built.

6. Banger Brewing’s Grain Silo

Banger Brewing is coming to Neonopolis, and it looks like they already have a place for the grain they’ll be using in their beer. This new microbrewery will focus on craft beers, and is expected to open in late October, 2013.

It could just be a decorative flourish, but what fun would that be?

It could just be a decorative flourish, but what fun would that be?

7. Luna Rossa Deal

Luna Rossa Italian restaurant, also at Neonopolis, just started a deal where you can get 20% off your meal with “your machine ticket, bet or casino card.” There’s some small print, of course, but it’s not too burdensome: “Not valid on holidays, not valid on drinks, not valid with happy hour, not valid with any other discount, special menu or coupon.” OK, it’s a little burdensome, but still might be worth checking out.

Save up to $50. Do we watch out for you, or what?

Save up to $50. Do we watch out for you, or what?

8. These Guys

We loved these T-shirts so much, they made our list. If you don’t like it, get your own Las Vegas blog.

With friends like these.

So, tell us how you really feel about your buddy getting married.

9. Beer Garden at The Plaza

The long-awaited outdoor beer garden at The Plaza seems to be picking up steam. Plywood has been removed, and a metal lattice has gone up in its place.

Dude, that is not a good parking job.

Dude, that is not a good parking job.

The hotel hasn’t announced an official opening date. Clearly, there’s isn’t too much garden at the beer garden yet. Hey, things happen a bit more casually downtown. We’ll wait.

This provide may provide a better sense of where the new beer garden will be. Lower right-ish.

This photo may provide a better sense of where the new beer garden will be. Lower right-ish.

10. Rush Lounge Opens at Golden Nugget

It seems like only yesterday we were sharing photos of Rush Lounge at Golden Nugget in the throes of a renovation. Well, those renovations have been wrapped up, and the new lounge is already packing them in.

You've got to love a lounge with live music and card tables. Only in Vegas, baby.

You’ve got to love a lounge with live music, a bar and gaming tables. Why would anyone ever leave?

Awhile back, we shared a photo of a construction wall that seemed to be free-standing, in the middle of the casino. The signs made it look like this area would be part of an expanded Rush Lounge.

A mere month ago. Things move quickly in Las Vegas.

A mere month ago. Things move quickly in Las Vegas.

Now that the construction walls are down, we can see the area in question has been given some design enhancements, like light fixtures, but it remains part of the main casino floor. It’s just outside the Rush Lounge.

Sorry, photos in the casino are strictly forbidden.

Sorry, photos in the casino are strictly forbidden. That’s one of the Rush Lounge entrances to the right.

We’re exhausted, but always excited to see new things downtown. Or anywhere in Vegas, for that matter.

If you see something new, send it our way and as a way of expressing thanks, we’ll tattoo your name on our thigh. (Offer subject to change without notice. Not valid on holidays or with any other discount, special menu or coupon.)

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“X Rocks” Opens at Rio, Delivers One of the Best Topless Shows in Las Vegas

There are some shows in Las Vegas that just work. They keep it simple, and deliver what they promise. The recently-opened “X Rocks” topless revue at Rio Las Vegas delivers, bigtime.

These photos should be safe for work, unless your boss is Amish or something.

These photos should be safe for work, unless your boss is Amish or something.

There’s no plot in “X Rocks.” No subtext or character arcs or theme. It’s five women, often topless, dancing to music for more than 90 minutes. It’s the kind of show that helps make Las Vegas what it is, an adult playground, and if you’re into this kind of show, you’ll love “X Rocks.”

All the requisite fantasy sequences are covered. It's like Chippendales, but without all the shirt-tearing.

All the requisite fantasy sequences are covered. In its own way, it’s like Chippendales, but without all the shirt-ripping.

In a show like “X Rocks,” it doesn’t particularly matter if the dancing is any good. (It is.) It doesn’t matter how many costume changes there are. (There are a lot.) It doesn’t even matter that the King’s Room at Rio is weird. (It feels like a converted storage space, a slap to Feng Shui with its asymmetrical seating and funky sight lines.)

Topless shows play by a different set of rules. Are the women attractive? (They are.) Do they take their clothes off at regular intervals? (They do.) What else is there to know?

Thankfully, the artsy moments are few and far between.

Thankfully, the artsy moments are few and far between.

The thing about topless shows in Vegas is they often aren’t at all sexy. Seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true. “Peepshow” never got close to being sexy, even with all the flesh. “Jubilee!” is a topless show, but there’s not a trace of sexuality to be found. “Zumanity”? Not even remotely sexy. We never found “X Burlesque,” the Flamingo show produced by the same folks as “X Rocks,” sexy either, although it sort of has the same vibe as “X Rocks.”

Prior to “X Rocks,” the only other show on The Strip that pulled it off, so to speak, is “Fantasy” at Luxor, our favorite topless show in Las Vegas.

“X Rocks” has that certain something, though. The elusive sexy mojo. It knows what it wants to do, and is unapologetic about doing it. For example, during certain portions of “X Rocks,” all you see are body parts. Butts. Legs. If you have issues with objectification, you’re in the wrong theater.

You're in Vegas, just go with it.

You’re in Vegas, just go with it.

Our biggest complaint about “X Rocks” has to do with the lighting. There’s just so much of it, all the time.

The lighting includes projections of shapes and words and just about anything else you can think of. We suspect the show feels like this barrage of lights adds to the production value, but in a way, it’s like putting clothes back on the dancers, which sort of defeats the purpose of “X Rocks” to begin with.

Stop covering up with lights what she's working so hard to uncover, thanks.

Stop covering up with lights what she’s working so hard to uncover, thanks.

Oh, and there’s a “comedian,” presumably named John Bizarre, which is possibly not his real name. He’d probably be great were it not for the fact he: 1) awkwardly interrupts the nakedness, and 2) doesn’t have any actual jokes.

Being the comic relief in a topless show is a rough job, and this case, nobody has to do it.

It’s a rough job. And in this case, we suggest nobody do it.

Overall, “X Rocks” at Rio Las Vegas knows exactly what it’s doing.

Being a Las Vegas blog is probably not the worst job in the world, actually.

Insider trivia: Most Las Vegas shows lose money based on ticket sales, but they make it up on the back end.

“X Rocks” a fun-filled, sexy romp–one of the best topless shows in Las Vegas! And we’re not just saying that so they’ll use our quote in their ads. Probably.

On the bendy scale, "X Rocks" gets an 11. Yes, there's a bendy scale.

On the bendy scale, “X Rocks” gets an 11. Yes, there’s a bendy scale.

Enjoy more PG-13 photos from the newest topless show in Las Vegas, “X Rocks.”

"X Rocks" at Rio Las Vegas

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