Monthly Archives: October 2016

Let’s Blow Through What’s Going On at Linq Promenade

Change comes fast and furious in Las Vegas, so we thought it time to take another pass at what’s new at Linq promenade. That, of course, it code for security breaches!

First up, we poked our nose over the construction wall and In-N-Out, a long-awaited addition to the Linq mall (located between Flamingo and Linq hotels).

Presumably, the Strip outpost of In-N-Out will open by the end of the year, but at this point, there’s little to see in the way of progress.

Linq promenade In-N-Out

Why doth thou torment us so, In-N-Out?

Nearby, there’s another restaurant in the works, Canter’s Deli. Of Canter’s Deli fame.

This establishment, too, is supposed to arrive soon, but at the moment is little more than an empty room with sadness written all over it.

Linq Canter's Deli

Canter’s will take up residency in the space formerly used by the High Roller Ferris wheel ticket office.

Other parts of the Linq promenade, however, hold a bit more promise.

There’s a new restaurant in the works, Jaburrito, a place for sushi burritos, which we understand isn’t nearly as gross as it sounds.

Linq Jaburritos

Former home of a failed lingerie shop, Ruby Blue. There will be a quiz.

Linq promenade is currently decked out in its Halloween finest, including some impressive ghouls and werewolves along the pedestrian mall.

Linq promenade Halloween

Linq promenade, helping populate your nightmares since 2014.

The monsters at Linq are a fun diversion, and lots of visitors seemed to be taking advantage of the free photo op.

Linq promenade vampire

That time it got awkward because your fear was tinged with arousal.

In keeping with the Linq’s practice of refreshing its public art, there’s a new undead-themed mural.

Halloween zombie mural

Don’t believe zombies exist? Who do you think approved the Las Vegas stadium deal?

A new addition to the Linq promenade is an exotic vehicle rental stand.

Linq exotic car rentals

Drunk tourists, lots of traffic and three-wheeled vehicles? What could possibly go wrong?

The rates don’t seem particularly high, but we are a blog, not a Slingshot expert.

Linq exotic car rentals

Seriously, though, driving The Strip in a vehicle without a roof is a great way to take it all in.

Urban Turban, a popular Vegas restaurant, now has a stand at Linq (sorry, “open-air kitchen”), and it’s fully up and running.

The menu is somewhat limited, but what’s on it looks tempting.

Linq Urban Turban

Ripped from the pages of the bestselling book, “How to Open a Restaurant With the Change You Find Under Your Couch Cushions.”

Here’s the Urban Turban menu. What, you thought we were going to leave you hanging?

Urban Turban menu

Finally, a menu so streamlined even we could memorize it.

Nearby, of course, is the High Roller observation wheel. Nothing too new there, but we felt it was a good time to bring up the fact Las Vegas is home to the world’s largest Ferris wheel. It continues to struggle to meet ridership targets, but we shouldn’t take this engineering wonder for granted.

Thanks to the miracle and curse that is the Internet, there’s an easy way to see everything we’ve ever written about the High Roller wheel, and there’s been a metric hell-ton. Warning: Some of it is really weird.

High Roller wheel

Let’s take a moment to revel in the wonder and remember the High Roller has changed the Las Vegas skyline forever.

And some final newness, just behind the High Roller wheel is a seasonal attraction, The Zombie Escape. It’s a haunted house with zombies. Which we didn’t personally confirm, but what the hell else could it be?

Zombie Escape

The Zombie Escape felt a little cobbled-together, but we suspect it provides the promised thrills.

The Zombie Escape is $20, with $5 off for Total Rewards members.

That’s about all the news that’s fit to report, especially in a state of advanced intoxication. Allegedly. Here are more pics of the latest developments at Linq promenade. As always, you can thank us in Captain Morgan.

Linq Promenade Update, Oct. 2016

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W Las Vegas Hoists Its Sign at SLS, Plus a Look Inside the Boutique Hotel

The digital marquee outside SLS Las Vegas has a new accessory, a massive letter W. Installation of the sign marks a big step toward the arrival of W Las Vegas, a boutique hotel-within-a-hotel at SLS.

Yes, it’s a little complicated.

W Las Vegas at SLS

Cue the Barry White music, it’s a love connection! (Millennial translation: These two are about to Netflix and chill.)

SLS Las Vegas, of course, is the resort that sits on the site that was previously home to the iconic Sahara casino.

W Las Vegas will take over one of the hotel towers at SLS, the 289-room Lux Tower, and will function as its own entity, including a separate entrance, lobby, meeting spaces and pool deck. Think Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay or Nobu at Caesars Palace. But less snooty.

W Las Vegas marquee

If this doesn’t pan out, M Resort could get a new sign on the cheap. We’ll wait.

Reservations can already be made for W Las Vegas, with stays starting Dec. 1, 2016. An official Grand Opening will follow in Feb. 2017.

W Las Vegas

The W weighs about 13,500 pounds, or slightly more after a visit to Cleo (one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas you haven’t been to yet).

The W Las Vegas sign is 25 feet tall, and hotel reps say its the “world’s biggest W sign.” With that claim, W Las Vegas is already in the spirit of Las Vegas! Everything in Sin City is the biggest or best or hottest. That’s just how we roll.

We have no idea if the W is the world’s biggest, but by comparison, the W in the nearby Westgate sign is a measly 20 feet, one inch tall.

In honor of the ceremonial hoisting of the W sign, we got a tour of the under-construction W Las Vegas, and here are few points of interest.

As mentioned, W Las Vegas will have its own porte cochere off of Paradise road, a block east of Las Vegas Boulevard. In the porte cochere area, we hear there will be a another large W, this one fashioned from 20,000 poker chips. That puppy’s likely to be a popular photo op.

W Las Vegas

This is the view from the porte cochere toward Paradise, mere feet from a monorail station.

Guests will enter the Living Room, a combination lobby, guest registration, lounge (complete with DJ booth) and VIP hang-out.

It’s already starting to take shape, and we appreciate W Las Vegas letting us snap some pics of the Living Room without its make-up on.

W Las Vegas Living Room

There are few things that give construction dudes more joy than taking their photo while interrupting their work.

Hotel reps are very excited about the fact the distance from the registration area to the hotel tower elevators is a mere 57 feet. Compare that to the quarter mile stroll required in many Strip casinos, and it could very well be a selling point.

Beyond the existing hotel tower, W Las Vegas will feature a newly-built structure, atop which will be the Wet rooftop pool. The other floors will be meeting and convention space (no additional guest rooms).

W Las Vegas

This new construction cost about $40 million, or about what Steve Wynn spends on dry cleaning each month.

Here’s a first peek at the Wet deck at W Las Vegas. They had us at “free-standing bar.”

W Las Vegas Wet deck

The Wet deck at W will be for hotel guests only, unless you know a guy. In Vegas, it’s important to know a guy.

W Las Vegas has big plans in store, and is sure to be a significant boost to the bottom line of SLS Las Vegas. SLS has a lot going on, but the opening of W Las Vegas is going to shake things up in a big, bountiful way.

W Las Vegas is part of the Marriott International family, which recently merged with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

The sheer girth of the marketing clout of those companies means SLS is likely to experience a windfall. New guests at W Las Vegas, many part of the Marriott Rewards program, means more gamblers in the SLS casino and more business travelers taking advantage of meeting space and catering and food and beverage and retail offerings.

W Las Vegas

W Las Vegas has ample meeting and convention space. They should totally book a construction equipment convention first, so they don’t have to clear all this stuff out. This is why we write a blog rather than running a hotel.

While we don’t tend to care all that much about non-gaming hotels, W Las Vegas sits within the footprint of a casino resort, so we care a lot.

It sounds like the Lux rooms will remain essentially the same as they were under SLS Las Vegas management, but they’ll be “updated with a W touch,” according to a hotel rep.

In a freakish coincidence, the room names at W Las Vegas are an exact match of the words used to describe this blog’s lovemaking: Wonderful, Spectacular, Fabulous, Marvelous,
Mega, Wow and Extreme Wow.

We’re actually excited about the arrival of W, and not just because it’s going to help reverse the fortunes of SLS. They seem to be embracing Las Vegas, and have taken care to integrate Vegas culture into the theme and design of the hotel. We especially love the decorations inspired by the pyramid-shaped bumpers (some times called “alligator bumpers”) on craps tables.

W Las Vegas

Keep bringing the Vegas, W, and we’re all yours.

Enjoy more photos of the erecting of the W sign, dudes constructing things and another look inside the W Las Vegas hotel.

W Las Vegas Sign and Construction

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 30 – Linq Newness, W Las Vegas and a Vegas Pledge Drive

We’ve got all the Las Vegas you can fit into your auditory cortex, and less!

In this week’s insult to the art of podcasting, we’ve got some inside skinny about W Las Vegas at SLS, everything new at Linq promenade (including updates about In-N-Out and Canter’s) and The California, as well as a perfunctory round-up of all the latest Las Vegas news.

Linq promenade vampire

New at the Linq promenade: This vampire we totally shouldn’t be aroused by, but are, because nipples.

We also ramble about the Las Vegas stadium fiasco, open rehearsals at “Love,” what’s next for the Harley-Davidson Cafe (it closes Oct. 31), Bruno Mars, Morimoto Las Vegas and “Rock of Ages,” which closes at Rio on Jan. 1, 2017.

Circus Circus gets some love in our “This Week in Vegas History” segment, and we dive shamelessly into our first annual Las Vegas Pledge Drive. Promise, it’s not what you think.

We also celebrate our 50,000th download, because somebody has to.

Take a listen and learn a thing or two about the detrimental effects of podcasting while lacking any discernible ability to podcast. All due respect.

“Love” at Mirage Opens Up Rehearsals to Boost Ticket Sales

Update (8/9/17): “The Beatles Love” is no longer offering open rehearsals. They’ve been replaced with a “Magical Technical Tour,” an open house presentation showcasing the production’s technology. The events take place every Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. It’s free and open to the public.

Update (4/21/18): As of May 4, 2018, the “Magical Technical Tour” happens each Friday at 1:00 p.m.

Cirque du Soleil shows have dominated the entertainment scene in Las Vegas for such a long time, it’s easy to forget they actually require marketing to fill seats.

Recently, “Mystere” at Treasure Island (rumored to be struggling, and some suggest its
time on The Strip may be coming to an end, but a PR rep for the show says the show “will not be coming to an end anytime in the foreseeable future”) began allowing guests to attend rehearsals.

We loved our visit, and there’s no denying Cirque has an eye for some of the most talented
performers and athletes in the world.

Mystere Las Vegas

“Mystere,” without its makeup on.

Similarly, “Ka” at MGM Grand has experimented with giving guests behind-the-scenes access
with a weekly open house.

Again, it’s an incredible opportunity to see the work and talent that goes into these
unforgettable shows.

Granted, it’s a little difficult to remember which Cirque show is which, but we’ve got you covered.

Ka theater

We could sort of just sit and look at the “Ka” theater itself for an hour and feel entertained.

Now, “Love” at Mirage is following suit. “Love” will let guests get a free peek at
rehearsals starting Oct. 14, 2016. The rehearsals are open to guests of all ages.

Open rehearsals will happen each Friday, 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Sundays, 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Beatles Love Mirage

“Love.” Rumored to be all you need.

The show notes these open rehearsals are subject to cancellation, and it’s recommended
guests call the show’s box office (702.792.7735) to confirm they’re happening on a given

We love the idea of giving guests a glimpse into the weird, wonderful world that is Cirque. Open houses and rehearsals help raise awareness about the shows, and in turn, increased ticket sales shore up the bottom line. That’s especially important now that so many of the expensive production shows in Las Vegas are receiving scrutiny about their profitability, and several have closed because of soft ticket sales.

In a fun twist, Cirque’s most brilliant marketing move yet may have been to use some kind of mind control on the Venetian, a competing resort just across the street from the Mirage, to help advertise “Love.” The Venetian recently installed a massive “Love” statue by artist Laura Kimpton in its atrium area. The “Love” art installation was previously on display at the Life is Beautiful music festival.

Love statue Venetian

We are not making this up. Genius!

So, check out the open rehearsals at “Love.”

More fun, free things to do in Las Vegas? We’ll drink to that! Technically, we’ll drink to just about anything, but let’s not get bogged down in details.

All the Las Vegas Shows That Have Closed in 2016 (Or Will)

With the announcement “Rock of Ages” at Rio Las Vegas will close, we’re reminded once again how brutal 2016 has been for Las Vegas shows.

Jubilee Las Vegas showgirl

“Jubilee” was the last classic showgirl production in Las Vegas. It closed in February 2016 and put tens of thousands of rhinestones out of work.

To help keep track of the ongoing carnage, we figured it was time to compile a list of all the Las
Vegas shows that have either closed, or will close, in 2016.

1. “Jersey Boys” at Paris
2. “Puppet Up” at Venetian
3. Paul Zerdin’s “Mouthing Off” at Planet Hollywood
4. Dirk Arthur’s “Wild Magic” at Westgate
5. “Jubilee” at Bally’s Las Vegas
6. Frankie Moreno’s “Under the Influence” at Planet Hollywood
7. “Zarkana” at Aria
8. Matt Goss at Caesars Palace
9. “Raiding the Rock Vault” at Tropicana
10. Jan Rouven’s “Illusions” at Tropicana (long story)
11. “Twisted Vegas” at Westgate
12. The Improv at Harrah’s
13. “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” at Bally’s Las Vegas
14. Zowie Bowie at Downtown Grand
15. “One Epic Night” at The Plaza
16. “Yes, You Can’t” at El Cortez
17. “Spoofical the Musical” at Planet Hollywood
18. Michael Monge at Encore
19. “Cherry Boom Boom” at Tropicana
20. “53X” at Paris Las Vegas
21. “Band of Magicians” at Tropicana
22. “Country Superstars” at Hooters Las Vegas
23. Gordie Brown at Golden Nugget
24. “Everybody: The Boy Band Review” at Planet Hollywood
25. “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s
26. “Shotspeare” at Planet Hollywood
27. “Men of Steele” at Tommy Wind Theater
28. “Showstoppers” at Wynn
29. “Rock of Ages” at Rio Las Vegas
30. “Clint Holmes: Between the Lines” at Palazzo

Alarming, isn’t it?

Based upon our nearly 10 minutes of Captain Morgan-fueled research, we’ve concluded 2016 has had the most shows close in the history of Las Vegas!

Las Vegas shows Jersey Boys

“Jersey Boys” was a great show, but in Vegas, everything runs its course.

In the world of Las Vegas shows, only the strong survive.

The good news is each closed show also represents another new entertainment offerings in the works. (Except in the case of “Zarkana,” where meeting space is the only thing in works. Sad trombone.)

Twisted Vegas

“Twisted Vegas” closed after just 70 performances at Westgate, or approximately 65 too many.

If we’ve forgotten anything, please let us know. We’ll update our list of “All the Las Vegas Shows That Have Closed in 2016 (or Will)” if there are any more casualties.

Confirmed: Harley-Davidson Cafe on Las Vegas Strip to Close After 19 Years

As we first reported back in September, the Harley-Davidson Cafe on the Las Vegas Strip will close on Oct. 31, 2016.

The closure was announced on the Harley-Davidson Cafe Facebook page. The message included, “Come on down and let’s enjoy the next couple of weeks till we close.”

If you’ve never visited the Harley-Davidson Cafe, unmistakable due to the giant Sportster motorcycle on its facade, now is the time to heed that advice.

Harley-Davidson Cafe

This may require its own wing if it ends up in the Neon Museum.

The Harley-Davidson Cafe is located at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue, near the Harmon Corner shopping complex.

While details weren’t provided, insiders inform us the restaurant has struggled recently and is several months behind on its rent.

Talks are presumably already under way with a new tenant, so expect an announcement about a replacement soon. Hint: If you listen to the Vital Vegas podcast, you’ll have a head start in figuring out who’s likely to end up in the Harley-Davidson Cafe space.