Why do they call it “Sin City” when there are so many places where redemption can be found?
Las Vegas is a newness machine, and we’ve gathered a few new offerings at The Linq shopping promenade, including girthy public art, a free museum, Chinese tacos and more.
First up, murals! Apparently, the Linq has partnered with a group called I.S.I. Group (Industry Supporting Industry), and they’ve arranged for a number of murals all along the Linq’s promenade. While it’s likely they were commissioned to make unoccupied storefronts more appealing, they actually add a nice element to the district.
There’s nothing too edgy about the murals at The Linq, but middle-of-the-road is probably best given the vast swath of humanity that meanders its way down The Linq to see, and sometimes even ride, the High Roller, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.
As we were doing our own meandering, we stumbled upon another new offering at The Linq, a sort of Caesars Entertainment fun book. Caesars Entertainment is the company that owns The Linq and the surrounding hotel-casinos.
The coupon book has offerings from The Quad, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Flamingo and The Linq. The deals range from 2-for-1 and other cocktail discounts, match play and even a free admission to the Auto Collections at The Quad, an attraction that’s highly recommended for people who love cars or the people who love car lovers.
If you don’t see people distributing the fun books, stop by The Linq’s concierge office. They seem to know everything.
Speaking of free museum admissions, because “segue” is our middle name, the Polaroid Fotobar store at The Linq has made the wise decision to drop the fee for its upstairs Polaroid Museum.
While we couldn’t recommend this lightweight exhibit when there was a charge (even at five bucks), we can heartily recommend it for free.
The museum has several classic Polaroid cameras and some history of this formerly-popular form of photography.
There’s also some weird enclosure with foil balloons floating around. We are a blog, not an art critic.
Here’s more information about the Polaroid Museum.
Moving on, there have been some changes to F.A.M.E. (Food, Art, Music, Entertainment), the Asian food court. Apparently, some of the Asian food wasn’t going over all that well, so F.A.M.E. now serves up pizza and tacos.
In an Asian food court.
We’ve tried both the Chinese food at F.A.M.E. and the pizza, and we actually recommend the pizza. Las Vegas doesn’t live by society’s rules.
Check out our photo gallery to see the menus at Pizza Buddha and Gangnam Taco Bar. We are not making those names up, and we really, really hope they’re being ironic.
Also on the food front, there is absolutely nothing new to report at Tilted Kilt. We just needed to mention Tilted Kilt so we can share this photo.
Newness at The Linq often takes the form of street performers. You never know what you’ll see. There are often Taiko drum performances outside F.A.M.E., as well as random dancers and musicians who appear to have no set schedule.
Our final find during our most recent visit to The Linq wasn’t actually at The Linq.
At the south end of Flamingo (that’s the Cromwell side), we discovered a young woman, Timmea, selling High Roller tickets. While the lines aren’t especially long at the High Roller a lot of the time, when they are, this is a convenient way to skip the ticket line at the High Roller ticket office.
Timmea said there are remote ticket-sellers outside Flamingo from noon to 8:00 p.m. Handy, and a great way to market the wheel to folks who might not necessarily turn into The Linq.
The Linq seems consistently filled with visitors, so we trust it’s been successful overall (albeit with a few unfortunate hiccups in the mix).
If you haven’t been to The Linq yet, check out our walk-through. There’s a lot to see and do and drink. And especially that last thing.
Murals at The Linq and More
Sometimes, it’s just in the cards. During our last visit to The Quad (soon to be The Linq), we witnessed the sad state of the casino’s “dealertainer” pit and predicted the demise of a beloved, although outdated, Vegas institution.
Dealertainers, blackjack dealers who also perform as famous musical artists, have been around since The Quad was the Imperial Palace, but now the hotel’s approximately 30 dealertainers have been asked to take non-dealertaining positions at The Quad or seek new gigs elsewhere.
The dealertainers are done at The Quad.
The end of the dealertainer pit comes as The Quad Resort and Casino is being rebranded as The Linq Hotel and Casino.
This most recent rebranding is happening, in large part, because of a disasterous miscalculation by Caesars Entertainment, the company that owns The Quad and other Strip resorts. Imperial Palace, an Asian-themed hotel, was very popular with Asian gamblers, a lucrative source of revenue for Las Vegas casinos. Imperial Palace was renamed The Quad as an attempt to capture a younger audience (“quad” being a meeting place on college campuses), but overlooked was the fact “quad” also means “four,” which many Asians consider bad luck because “four” and “death” sound similar in Mandarin Chinese.
This gaff has sparked another multi-million dollar rebrand just two years after Imperial Palace was rebranded to The Quad.
The change from The Quad to The Linq hotel, in addition to the waning popularity of the dealertainers, made the removal of the quaint, but out of place, remnants of the Imperial Palace inevitable. (The dealertainers were originally inspired by the hotel’s “Legends in Concert” tribute show. That show is still going strong at Flamingo.)
An obvious sign the dealertainers were doomed was how their stage had been downsized since Imperial Palace became The Quad. Here’s a shot of the stage when the dealertainer pit first opened in its new location at The Quad.
During our most recent visit, the stage had been downgraded to little more than a couple of carpeted steps.
Also, there was no signage featuring the dealertainers anywhere at The Quad. When The Quad was the IP, the dealertainers were promoted heavily, had their own blackjack table felts, a Big Six wheel devoted to them and they were the centerpiece of the casino.
During our visit, the frequency of performances by the dealertainers had been severely cut back. During more than an hour of play, there was one performance.
Remnants of the dealertainer era include a neglected page about the dealertainers on The Quad’s Web site that features a photo taken during the Imperial Palace days. We expect this page will face the same fate as the dealertainers and will soon have its plug pulled.
While we’re sorry to see the dealertainers go, in Vegas, money talks, and their time had clearly come. The dealertainers were a cheesy vestige of a different time and a different Las Vegas. With it’s massive casino and room renovation, the new Linq Hotel & Casino is likely to market to a younger, more affluent customer as Sin City’s focus shifts away from gambling toward nightlife, as can be witnessed at the nearby Cromwell or the new SLS Las Vegas.
We’re happy to have had one more chance to play in the dealertainer pit at The Quad. Our dealer seemed resigned to her fate.
On a brighter note, a Caesars Entertainment source says the dealertainers weren’t fired, but rather offered other positions within the company. It’s not known how many took new gigs and how many decided to move on.
The curtain coming down on the dealertainers marks the end of an era in Las Vegas. They’ll always hold a special place in our heart.
Update (10/4/14): According to posts on Facebook, some of the dealertainers from The Quad have found a new home at Ellis Island casino, just off The Strip.
Rick Harrison, star of the Vegas-based reality show “Pawn Stars,” will lead motorcycle riders across the Las Vegas Valley to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Nevada on Oct. 5, 2014.
Rick Harrison suffered from seizures in his youth and serves on the Epilepsy Foundation’s National Board of Directors.
He’ll be accompanied on the ride for charity by his son, Corey Harrison.
The “Pawn Stars Poker Run” will start at the world’s most famous pawn shop, Gold & Silver Pawn.
Saloons and motorcycles, what could possibly go wrong?
Mark Yuill, owner of a Las Vegas motorcycle dealership, Freedom Cycle, will donate a 2014 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle to the event. The bike is valued at more than $11,000, and will be auctioned off at Hogs & Heifers (the city’s best-known biker bar).
Registration for the ride is available online. Early registration is $30 per rider and $15 per passenger.
The “Pawn Stars Poker Run” coincides with Las Vegas BikeFest, held Oct. 2-5, 2014.
The Crazy Horse Too strip club has a long and colorful history in Las Vegas, a history filled with legal battles, financial struggles and an ample supply of drama. Now, the storied club has closed (again) and an uncertain future lies ahead.
Crazy Horse Too closed on August 23, 2014 due to the establishment losing its temporary liquor license. Attempts to get a permanent liquor license have failed like Kate Upton’s training bra.
The future of Crazy Horse Too is up in the air. The club’s owner, Mike Galam, appears to have passed responsibility for running the place to other parties. Presumably, the new management team will pursue a liquor license so the club can re-open. Alternatively, Galam may just lease the building to another operator.
In any event, it’s doubtful we’ve seen the last of the beloved fleshfest that is Crazy Horse Too.
On a related note, if you find yourself between lap dances, feel free to take a peek at our expose about the Las Vegas hottie shortage.
Rest, assured, if there’s further news about Crazy Horse Too, we’ll be sure to keep you abreast.
Today’s panty-dropper cocktail is a simple but effective concoction. Triple George Grill serves up its Blind Melons signature cocktail with Grey Goose Le Melon, fresh lemon and basil ($12).