Monthly Archives: March 2014

A First Look at the New Tag Bar at The Quad Las Vegas

The bar-building magicians at The Quad Las Vegas have been busy!

Are you skeptical that they’re magicians? Take a look at the hotel’s new Tag Lounge and Bar during our security breach on March 8, 2014.

Tag Bar at The Quad

Not exactly inviting, unless you’re into construction chic.

Less than two weeks later, Tag Bar is ready to open (on March 20, 2014). Here’s a first look at this inviting new watering hole.

Tag Bar at The Quad

Love at first sight.

We dig the whole vibe, and it doesn’t even technically have a vibe yet!

One of the hooks here is an area where players will interact with a “holographic dealer.” We don’t have to know what it is to embrace the idea. Why? It’s new. We love new.

Holographic dealer

Is Vegas ready for a holographic dealer? If so, this is where she’ll be doing her thing.

As far as we know, this is the first holographic dealer in Las Vegas, and Vegas thrives on firsts and biggests, of course.

Tag Bar holographic dealer

We’re virtually giddy about this prospect.

From what we could tell, there will be no human dealers in Tag Bar. Not so great for dealers, but wonderful for those of us who are used to self-service. And, no, we’re not referring to our love life, thank you very much.

Tap Bar at The Quad

We are enamored with that digital ticker tape thingy overhead, too.

We’re endlessly fascinated by the ability of Las Vegas hotels to build new offerings seemingly out of thin air, pretty much overnight. Just one of the reasons we’re obsessed with Sin City.

Tag

Tag Lounge and Bar. Emphasis on the bar.

We can’t wait to try all the virtual games and signature cocktails at this new offering at The Quad.

Tag Bar

Good luck holding us back, yellow tape.

Judging by cocktail prices at the hotel’s other bar, Catalyst Bar, the drinks won’t be cheap, but they’ll be free if you gamble, so who cares? Are you in Vegas to have fun or pinch pennies? Live a little, bucko.

Tag Bar

Tag Bar and Lounge is located right next to The Quad’s craps tables. These are a few of our favorite things.

Tag Bar is easily accessible from The Linq entertainment district, too.

The surprises just keep on coming, and we’re drunk with anticipation for what’s next. Metaphorically. Probably.

The Cromwell Las Vegas Gets Its Sign, Scheduled to Debut May 21

The Cromwell, formerly Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall, is barreling its way toward a May 21, 2014 opening, including getting its fancy new sign.

The Cromwell

Just don’t call it the Gansevoort. Long story.

The new sign is on the east side of The Cromwell.

Remember just a few short ago, November-ish, when Bill’s had been stripped down to its bare bones as part of the hotel’s $185 million renovation?

The Cromwell

Want to see a Las Vegas magic trick? Take a look at the photo below.

Well, the transformation has been dramatic. Here’s a look at The Cromwell from the Flamingo’s parking garage.

The Cromwell

You know, we could fix that hole in the hotel if we had enough spackle.

Note the dramatic new porte-cochère, and you can see a hint of The Cromwell’s new parking structure (it goes parallel to the Flamingo’s garage).

The Cromwell will have 188 rooms, and celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis will have a restaurant on the hotel’s second floor.

Here’s the Las Vegas Boulevard-facing side of the new Cromwell Las Vegas.

The Cromwell

Note: We risked our life to get this photo as we drove by. The things we do for you.

The Cromwell is slated to open in time for the Memorial Day weekend, May 26.

The Newest Must-Stop Photo Op in Las Vegas

There are some photo ops in Las Vegas that aren’t optional. At some point, you have to get a photo with the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. It’s the law.

You also have to get a free photo with a million dollars at Binion’s, downtown.

Now, there’s another photo op that’s an essential part of a Las Vegas visit, and it’s at The Linq, the new outdoor mall between Flamingo and The Quad.

Linq photo op

Boom, as the kids say.

You have to stand in exactly the right spot, but you can get The Linq’s fountains, the brightly-lit top of the new Sprinkle’s cupcake shop and, of course, the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel.

Good luck! And try a visit to the Sprinkle’s cupcake ATM while you’re there.

Cupcake ATM

We are not making this up.

Question Answered: How Can Las Vegas Casinos Pay 6-to-5 for Blackjacks?

It’s a question that’s long-plagued blackjack players: How can casinos pay 6-to-5 for blackjack?

For many years in Las Vegas casinos, blackjacks paid 3-to-2. It was the standard. That means if you made a $10 bet, a blackjack would pay $15. In a 6-to-5 game, however, that same $10 bet will get you $12 for a blackjack.

Doesn’t sound like too much at first glance, right? This simple change in rules gives the house an additional edge of 1.39%. Over time, that seemingly small difference can cost players a lot.

blackjack

Casinos already have an edge. Paying 6-to-5 for blackjacks gives them even more.

In recent years, insidious 6-to-5 blackjack games have started popping up all over The Strip. In some casinos, it’s hard to find a 3-to-2 game at all.

Recently, we tried our hand at blackjack at a downtown casino, and were dismayed to learn, mid-game, that here, too, blackjacks paid 6-to-5. Not downtown! The infection is spreading!

As we do not tend to keep our displeasure to ourself in situations like this, we mentioned our disappointment to a pit boss (a casino floor manager), asking, “How can you pay 6-to-5 for blackjacks?”

We got the most brutally honest answer, ever. The pit boss said, simply, “Because people still play.”

As we were picking our jaw up off the new casino carpet, we realized he was absolutely right. Poor game rules aren’t something casinos do to players. We do it to ourselves.

We vote with our business. If we refuse to play 6-to-5 blackjack, casinos won’t offer it. (Well, it won’t offer it as often, because there will always be people who don’t particularly care. They want to play where they want to play, and they clearly have money they don’t need.)

If we stay at hotels with resort fees, hotels will continue to charge resort fees.

If we attend shows where performers lip-sync, performers will continue to lip-sync.

It’s important to remember, though, we decide. So, what kind of Vegas experience will you have?

VooDoo Zip Line at Rio Las Vegas Gives Critics a Smackdown With Visible Progress

For the first time since the VooDoo Zip Line was announced, nobody needs to Photoshop the lines between the two hotel towers at Rio Las Vegas.

VooDoo Zip Line

Don’t strain anything. We have close-ups.

Critics have been wary of the VooDoo Zip Line project, mainly due to a number of delays around the launch of the new attraction. The ride was supposed to open in the summer of 2013, but permitting issues and rumors of difficulty finding financing trampled several announced opening dates.

The most recent was an announcement stating the ride would open “in early March,” which obviously isn’t happening.

VooDoo Zip Line Rio

We trust they’re going to move that cell tower away from the landing platform. We like our thrill rides sterility-free, thanks. (Maybe that’s why the ride lists a minute and 10 seconds?)

That, however, appears to be behind us. Our friends at the Vegas Rover Facebook group even pointed us toward the Clark County permit inspections Web site revealing a long-awaited approval for the ride.

VooDoo Zip Line permit

It’s on the Internet, so it must be true.

Both the launch platform and landing platform are in place, as well as the lines which will take riders between the patio at VooDoo Steakhouse (see below), 40 floors up (no, not the 50-plus the hotel advertises), to the nearby Ipanema tower.

VooDoo Zip Line

There’s a net under the launch point, but please, no flip-flops.

Unlike many other zip lines, passengers will ride side-by-side, seated. After they arrive at the Ipanema tower, they’ll go back up the line, backwards, to the starting point.

Photos on the VooDoo Zip Line’s Facebook page show a test dummy making its way down the line, but there’s been no sight of the passenger contraption seat thingy. Yes, that’s the technical term.

VooDoo Zip Line

This blog’s lens is several inches longer than the lens used by similar Las Vegas blogs. If you know what we’re saying.

Tickets will cost $24.99 per person from noon to 5:30 p.m., $37 from 5:30 p.m. to midnight.

The VooDoo Zip Line should afford guests a stunning view of the Las Vegas Strip, especially the north half of The Strip given the angle of the ride.

VooDoo Zip Line view

Something along these lines. So to speak.

We’re happy to see some tangible progress being made with this new Vegas attraction. The VooDoo Zip Line may give a much-needed boost to Rio Las Vegas.