Monthly Archives: October 2015

Blacklight Slide: Where We’ll Be on April 9, 2016

Yes, it’s months away, but we already know where we’ll be on April 9, 2016. We’ll be getting our Blacklight Slide on.

As the name implies, Blacklight Slide is a 500-foot, well, blacklight slide. Here’s a pic from the Blacklight Slide site.

Blacklight Slide

Besides making things look awesome, black lights are often used to detect bacterial infections. So, perfect for Las Vegas!

There’s music, tubing and UV neon glowing water colors. Oh, and an after party. It’s Vegas, after all.

The event takes place at Sam Boyd Stadium, with a 7:45 p.m. start time. The cost for the Blacklight Slide experiences is $50.

Blacklight Slide

If you don’t think this looks fun, you may be an automaton. Thanks to the folks at Blacklight Slide for the pics.

The ticket gets guests unlimited trips down the slide, a glow-in-the-dark tattoo, a special edition towel and admission to the after party. A portion of each ticket sale with go to charity. (Prediction: It’ll end up being the Neon Museum.)

If slides are your thing, also keep an eye on Slide the City, presumably making its way to Las Vegas in the very near “soon.” If you’re looking for fun things to do in Las Vegas, we’ve got this.

Learn more at the official Blacklight Slide site. We’ll see you there. With out guns out. Which is well worth the price of admission, right there.

Plaza Las Vegas Throws a “Back to the Future” Day Bash

Downtown’s Plaza Hotel &Casino threw a party in honor of “Back to the Future” Day on Oct. 21, 2015, drawing a healthy crowd of movie fans of all ages, many dressed like characters from the popular film series.

Plaza Back to the Future

Try not to hear that Huey Lewis song in your head. Dare you.

The Plaza took advantage of its unique connection to the “Back to the Future” franchise, having served as the inspiration for Biff Tanner’s Pleasure Paradise Casino & Hotel featured prominently in 1989’s “Back to the Future Part II.”

Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise

The Grays Sports Almanac young Biff was given by his future self to build his financial empire cost $32.19. There will be a quiz.

Here’s the Plaza today. Well, in the recent past, which is becoming the more distant pass even as you read this. Unless you’re a believer in the circularity of time, in which case the past has already happened. We are a Las Vegas blog, not a Newtonian cosmologist.

Plaza Las Vegas

The hotel’s distinctive dome houses Oscar’s Steakhouse, but was originally a pool.

Oct. 21, 2015, of course, holds a special place in the hearts of “Back to the Future” fans as it is the date Marty and Doc Brown visited in their time machine.

Back to the Future

After Oct. 21, 2015, everything that happened in the “Back to the Future” series happened in the past, although “Back to the Past” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

The party at the Plaza featured a number of DeLoreans, several tricked out with “Back to the Future” accessories, and Doc Brown’s van from the movie.

Back to the Future

DeLorean owners divide their time between “Back to the Future” events and auto repair shops, but mostly that second thing.

Former Las Vegas mayor, and one of this blog’s all-time favorite humans, Oscar Goodman, stopped by the event.

Plaza Back to the Future

Former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman and Plaza CEO Jonathan Jossel.

Guests of the event were invited to enter a costume contest, and several Doc Brown and Marty McFly lookalikes were on site for photo ops.

Plaza Las Vegas Back to the Future

Doc’s full name is Emmett Lathrop Brown. Emmett is “time” backwards, phonetically.

“Back to the Future” remains a popular cultural touchstone, including the recent introduction of self-lacing shoes from Nike and the revelation Biff Tannen’s character was based upon Presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

Plaza Las Vegas

In early drafts of “Back to the Future,” the time machine was a refrigerator.

Props to the Plaza for making the most of “Back to the Future” Day. It gave guests a chance to check out the casino’s new party pit (formerly the Louie Anderson gift shop, the dealers even wore “Back to the Future”-inspired outfits), its outdoor Beer Garden, Oscar’s and other offerings.

Any movie with anything Las Vegas is worth another watch, even if there’s no actual “Pleasure Palace” in Las Vegas. Then again, give us a minute.

Casino Royale’s White Castle is Really Happy to See You

When the first White Castle in Las Vegas opened at Casino Royale, it caused quite a stir. And by “stir,” of course, we mean “riot.”

Fans of the restaurant’s tasty, square sliders-slash-laxatives lined up for hours and the Casino Royale outpost easily crushed the company’s single-day sales record for an opening day. In just 12 hours.

Since then, buzz about White Castle has died down a bit. We have, however, seen ads for the restaurant in local print publications, and one such ad caught our eye.

White Castle Las Vegas

Wait for it.

Yes, it’s true, this Las Vegas blog tends to see phallic objects where others may not, but seriously?

All we can say is, White Castle, if that’s happening for 24 hours, it might be time to contact a physician.

With Downtown Grand’s “Casino” Sign, Three Time’s a Charm

When Downtown Grand opened in downtown Las Vegas in October 2013, its “Casino” sign stood as a testament to renewal and high hopes.

A company called CIM Group bought the former Lady Luck for $100 million and invested another $100 million in renovating the resort.

Downtown Grand

Downtown Grand’s first “Casino” sign, in 2013. Neon over LEDs for the win.

The casino’s second sign was a variation of the first, with tweaked colors.

To us, the sign was a symbol of the reality check Downtown Grand and its management, Fifth Street Gaming, faced as the resort struggled to find success.

Downtown Grand

Like the hotel-itself, Downtown Grand’s sign was a work in progress.

Recently, Downtown Grand replaced its “Casino” sign yet again.

This time, the sign better reflects the resort’s branding and we’ve decided to take the latest change as a sign the resort is going to find its groove, continue to improve its offerings and meet its potential as a stand-out Las Vegas destination.

Downtown Grand Las Vegas

Now, we’re getting somewhere.

We’ve poked some fun at Downtown Grand in the past, but ultimately, we’ve come around to the idea we’d rather have a Las Vegas casino rather than not-a-casino, any day. So, we’re going to try some cheerleading for awhile.

In the meantime, we’re going to visit more often (geography helps, as we work at Fremont Street Experience), imbibe more often (no-brainer) and play more often (there’s a revamped player’s club, too) at Downtown Grand.

Because it’s a great resort, because taking jabs doesn’t help keep dealers dealing, bartenders tending and chefs cheffing, and maybe if we play there more, if we all try to, we can help keep Downtown Grand’s neon neoning.

Epic Las Vegas Arena is Going to Drop Jaws, Change Games

Two of our favorite Las Vegas P.R. buzzwords are “jaw-dropping” and “game-changing.” We’re happy to report the under-construction Las Vegas Arena is set to both drop jaws and change the game.

Las Vegas Arena

Boom! This blog isn’t about foreplay. It’s about boom.

The new Las Vegas Arena (currently seeking a naming rights partner, so expect it to be
called something else), has reached a turning point in its construction. The “rough”
construction of the 20,000-seat venue is nearing completion, and the project is moving to
the “finishing” stage. The arena’s seats, for example, will be installed in November 2015.
The arena’s final steel beam was put into place on May 27, 2015.

The Las Vegas Arena, a partnership between MGM Resorts International and AEG Live, is
expected to open in April, 2016.

Las Vegas Arena

This is probably more of the foreplay. Just ignore the way we jumped right into the boom. That never happens.

It’s hard to describe the splendor that is the Las Vegas Arena, so we took some photos
which also don’t really capture the splendor, but they’ll have to do for the time being.

While much has been written about the arena itself, some of the most compelling aspects of
the project are around it. An entirely new entertainment and dining district, The Park is
being built between Las Vegas Boulevard and the arena.

The Park originally was going to have several more retail and dining concepts, but MGM
Resorts decided to build a 5,300-seat theater instead (reported first on this very blog,
because that is how we occasionally roll).

Las Vegas Arena

This model shows the project before the theater addition. Those little trees are adorable.

Those distinctive reddish things are pieces of art that will also provide shade for visitors to The Park, between the Monte Carlo and New York-New York resorts. Monte Carlo will get a new name soon, by the way, which we’d mention was also reported first in this blog, but we prefer not to dwell on such things due to our extraordinary modesty.

The Park Las Vegas

MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren (who has stated publicly he doesn’t read this blog, and we can’t blame him) got the inspiration for those reddish shade structures from Holland.

Outside the arena, there will be a two-acre area called Toshiba Plaza, with entertainment
programming before, during and after major arena events. Oh, and also on days when there’s
nothing happening at the arena.

Las Vegas Arena

One of the outdoor stages will be under this balcony thingy.

Toshiba Plaza will hold between 5,000 and 7,000 people and will have three stages. One
stage, the “Plug’n Play,” will set on the ground floor outside the arena. Another stage
will be in front of the New York-New York parking structure and a third, a movable stage,
will be on the opposite (north) side of the plaza.

The Las Vegas Arena itself will have 30 entrances.

When completed, the exterior of the arena will have a giant LED video mesh screen. Probably something along these lines. Below, you can see where the video mesh will attach.

Las Vegas Arena video mesh

The video mesh allows people inside to see out, surely the result of witchcraft.

The Las Vegas Arena is set to host about 100 events a year, including 50 concerts, 25
sporting events (including 15 UFC boxing matches) and five award shows.

So far, just a couple of events have been confirmed at the arena, including a string of
shows by George Strait, a May 14, 2016 concert by Janet Jackson and the PBR World Finals
(Nov. 2-6, 2016).

The arena will also be the home of a new NHL expansion team, so fans can anticipate 41-43
hockey games per season. The new team won’t take up residence in the Las Vegas Arena until

Las Vegas Arena

This is the main lobby. It’s spacious and umpteen stories high. “Umpteen” is shorthand, of course, for “We failed to take notes.”

Are we having fun yet? Because we had a blast seeing the Las Vegas Arena, even in its
unfinished state.

Las Vegas Arena

Once the arena opens, please use a coaster. Don’t make them cover everything in plastic.

We honestly had no idea what a thing arenas have become. It’s an experience far beyond
what’s onstage or on the ice.

For example, the Las Vegas Arena will feature a number of lounges and Tower Clubs. The
Tower Clubs are a wonder to behold. They’re 100 feet up and jut out over the seats below.
Each Tower Club has a 125-person capacity.

Las Vegas Arena Tower Club

If you look closely, you can see where the Tower Club will be. It looks like the front of an Imperial Battle Cruiser.

The arena’s two Tower Clubs will be run by a Las Vegas nightlife operator that hasn’t been
officially announced yet. There aren’t all that many, so you have about a 50/50 shot at
guessing it.

Las Vegas Arena Tower Club

This is the view from one of the Tower Clubs, soon to be a must-have photo op in Las Vegas.

There’s also a bridge spanning the arena with a lounge that will accommodate 150-300

We’re not sure how the success of an arena is measured, but it has to be a huge win that
every single one of the Las Vegas Arena’s 42 luxury suites has already been sold. They go
for about $200,000, so that’s no small feat. There’s even a waiting list in case anyone’s
check bounces. Assuming people still writes checks, which we’re fairly sure they don’t.

Las Vegas Arena suite

Each suite comes with 12 tickets per event. When you get a suite, you commit to a five, seven or 10 year contract. That’s a commitment of a million clams, minimum.

The scale of the $375 million Las Vegas Arena is overwhelming. About 2,500 construction
workers are making the arena a reality.

Here’s another angle on the model of the arena and the adjoining New York-New York parking garage.

Las Vegas Arena

If you look closely, you can see a new ramp coming out of the parking structure, as well as the pedestrian bridge between the parking garage and the arena.

The fifth floor walkway will span the two structures, below.

Las Vegas Arena

That square area on the arena wall is likely to be where the bridge goes. Note: We are a blog, not an engineer.

The new arena is going to wow even the most jaded Vegas enthusiasts, and logistical
concerns (like parking) will fall by the wayside when the Las Vegas Arena and The Park
become the new heart of the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas Arena

All right, make that jaw-dropping, game-changing and breathtaking.

Enjoy more exclusive photos in the gallery below, and join us in our unabashed, borderline annoying, gleeful expectancy as we giddily anticipate the opening of the jaw-dropping, game-changing, breathtaking Las Vegas Arena. Or something.

Las Vegas Arena Construction Progress

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Public School 702 Restaurant and Bar May Just Hit the Spot If You’re Off the Strip

Public School 702, a new restaurant in Summerlin, about 10 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, invited this blog to lunch, so we said “yes.”

Public School 702 Las Vegas

Useless trivia: While a school’s cafeteria attendant is called a “lunch lady,” the British term is “dinner lady.”

Most Strip visitors won’t be traveling to Downtown Summerlin (the shopping center that sort of just decided its the downtown of a place that doesn’t have one), but if you find yourself hiking or horseback riding at the nearby Red Rock Canyon, it’s good to have some solid dining options. Public School 702 would be that.

Public School 702

There’s school stuff, but it’s not all up in your business, or whatever the kids are saying.

Public School 702 is themed, but not annoyingly so. The menus, for example, are designed to look like composition books (see below). That sound you hear is Millenials mouthing the word, “Whuh?” Just look at the photo, Millenials.

Public School 702 menu

Marble-covered “comp” books have been around since the late 1800s.

The brunch menu is designed to resemble a standardized test form answer sheet, bubbles and all.

Public School 702

Dibs on the name The Test Bubbles as a band name.

All right, enough of the formalities, let’s drink.

The first signature drink is called the Crushed Velvet.

Public School 702

The Crushed Velvet has blackberry and blueberry reduction, lavender and Karlsson’s Gold vodka.

Next up, appetizers. The restaurant’s most popular are the Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower, Chorizo Mac and Cheese and Bacon Cheddar Tots.

Public School 702

Yes, one of our favorite menu items features cauliflower. Miracles never cease in Las Vegas.

A good number of the dishes at Public School 702 come with sriracha ketchup. While the word “sriracha” sounds very romantic and exotic, in Thai it actually means, “Careful or you will find your face burned off.” Just ask for regular ketchup if you’re a heat wimp. Which this blog totally isn’t not.

Public School 702

Big fans of any of these things alone or in combination with the others: Bacon cheddar tots.

Time for another cocktail, naturally. This one’s the Lavender Vanilla, with housemade vanilla bitters, lavender simple syrup and Four Roses small batch, an understated blend of four premium whiskeys. A description, we should add, we definitely didn’t just copy and paste from the Internet somewhere.

Public School 702

This one will grow hair on your chest. And back. And possibly palms.

The menu also features soups and salads, sandwiches and burgers and hand-tossed pizzas.

While we are not a brunch person, we ordered the Eggs Benedict Pizza, with prosciutto, grana padano (a slow-ripened cheese from Italy), hollandaise and two fried eggs. We can only presume some people are into that kind of thing.

Public School 702

Personal preference, but let’s keep our pizza worlds and breakfast worlds separate, shall we? Others in our party disagreed, and loved this pizza, so definitely subjective.

We also tried the Beer-Battered Fish and Chips. The cod was cooked perfectly, and the presentation was original.

Public School 702

The first fish and chip shop opened in London in 1860. Such shops are called “chippies.”

Dessert came in the delicious form of the Nutella Cookie Sandwich, with bacon brittle (not as gross as it sounds), chocolate chunk cookies (the size of manhole covers) and vanilla bean ice cream.

Public School 702 dessert

Random customers were circling our table like vultures in the hope we would drop some.

If you’re in the neighborhood, Public School 702 may be just what you’re looking for, especially during its 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. happy hour (called Recess).

During Recess, there’s a variety of food served up at prices between $4-7, and the place is always packed during happy hour.

Public School 702

A mobile of planets. Planets may not be actual size.

Ask about the patio seating during periods of more temperate temperatures in Las Vegas (specifically, Apr. 14-21 and Oct. 15-29—kidding, it’s also nice a couple of hours in May).

Public School 702

Yes, Las Vegas has some “outdoors.”

Find out more about Public School 702 at Downtown Summerlin (also coming to the Town Square shopping center, from what we hear) on the official site.

Public School 702

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