Monthly Archives: August 2017

Las Vegas Club Demolition Update: Rubble Happens

The demolition of downtown’s Las Vegas Club continues at a brisk pace.

Crews and their toys have virtually finished off the casino level of the former Las Vegas Club.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Soon, the Las Vegas Club will re-emerge as a new resort. Sort of like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, but in this case the butterfly is wearing tassels. Hey, it’s Vegas.

See our complete, borderline obsessive, coverage of the Las Vegas Club demolition.

The street-facing facades of the Las Vegas Club and Glitter Gulch strip club are being kept in place to assist with dust suppression, as well as for as aesthetic reasons. The facade of Mermaids casino was supposed to stay up as well, but the excavator guy had a little too much coffee that day. That’s our technical explanation, as we know less about demolitions than sports, which we didn’t actually think was possible.

North American Dismantling Corp., out of Michigan, has now turned it attention to the Las Vegas Club’s parking structure.

Here’s a look at the Las Vegas Club demolition site, mainly because it’s less expensive than therapy.

Workers are using a massive excavator to cut through the Las Vegas Club’s parking garage like butter, but it’s not the biggest excavator that will be used during the demolition.

Soon, a record-breaking excavator, with a reach of 182 feet, will be delivered on a fleet of trucks. It’s the longest reach excavator in the country and we’re giddy about seeing it in action.

Las Vegas Club demolition

It’s like cutting into a layer cake, but with rebar instead of frosting. Or something.

Starting in September, the shorter of the two Las Vegas Club hotel towers is slated to come down first, followed by the taller.

After a bit of clean-up, the entire 18 Fremont block will be ready for construction of a new resort from Derek and Greg Stevens (also out of Michigan, by the way), owners of The D and Golden Gate.

Demolition of the Las Vegas Club and 18 Fremont block should be completed by the end of 2017, at which point we’ll have a massive void in our lives which we hope to fill with Captain Morgan and age-inappropriate women.

Hey, you do therapy your way and we’ll do it our way.

Wolfgang Puck’s Spago Will Close at Forum Shops and Open Again at Bellagio

Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is on the move. His flagship restaurant, Spago, will close at the Forum Shops and relocate to Bellagio.

Puck’s new restaurant will move into the space currently occupied by Todd English’s Olives, which definitely sounds like a euphemism for something.

Olives is slated to close this winter.

Spago opened in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace 25 years ago, in 1992. You know, back when woolly mammoths and showgirls roamed the Earth.

Spago Forum Shops

“Spago” in Italian means “string,” slang for spaghetti.

In an L.A. Times story, Puck said, “Twenty-five years ago when we opened in the Forum (Shops), that was the place to be. A lot has changed since then.”

As they say in the restaurant business, ouch.

Then again, we aren’t sure how much to trust a story that repeatedly includes an apostrophe in “Caesars.” Moving on.

Wolfgang Puck is widely credited with sparking the restaurant revolution in Las Vegas that continues to this day.

Wolfgang Puck

We took this photo of Wolfgang Puck flipping something back in 2012. As you might suspect, we are not a “taking notes” kind of person.

According to our friend John Curtas (a Las Vegas food critic who shared rumors of the Spago closure a month before anyone else), Spago is moving because the relationships that brought the restaurant to Caesars Palace no longer exist, as well as “rent issues.”

Apparently, there have been some discussions about the potential of Wolfgang Puck using the existing Spago space for a casual cafe, but that remains to be seen.

Wolfgang Puck

We’re always looking for an excuse to show off our food photography.

Bellagio is pulling out all the stops in anticipation of Spago’s arrival, including hiring high-powered architects Massimiliano Locatelli and Annamaria Scevola. At least we assume they’re high-powered, because they have exotic-sounding names. They also have a Web site that takes 14 minutes to load, and only the coolest architectural firms can get away with that.

The new Spago will have brass fixtures, leather seating and smoked-oak wood floors,
which sounds absolutely mouth-watering if you ask us.

No specific closing date for Spago has been announced, but it’s likely to happen in
January 2018, as that’s when the restaurant’s lease runs out.

Wolfgang Puck

The original Spago restaurant opened in West Hollywood in 1982 and boasted California cuisine and a mullet.

Spago is an excellent restaurant, although it’s been on autopilot for some time now, and a move to Bellagio could shake things up and return Spago to its former glory.

The new Spago should provide amazing views of the Bellagio fountains, as does Lago by
Julian Serrano.

Golden Gate Closes Temporarily to Complete Expansion

In a town known to stay open 24/7, it’s rare for a Las Vegas casino to close, but that’s exactly what’s happened at Golden Gate.

Both Golden Gate’s casino and hotel closed on Aug. 20, 2017. It will re-open on Aug. 25, 2017.

Golden Gate

Golden Gate is a hive of activity, mainly because cliches save us a lot of time writing photo captions.

Golden Gate closed temporarily so an expansion into the former La Bayou casino space can be completed.

The expansion will nearly double the size of Golden Gate’s casino floor, and increase the number of slot machines by about 100.

We got a first peek inside the new space, of course.

Construction will mean a brand new loyalty club desk, as well as a 20-foot expansion of the casino’s popular outdoor bar, One Bar.

Golden Gate

The existing casino at Golden Gate has been stripped down to its pantaloons. We should probably stick with cliches.

Crews are expected to work 108 hours straight during the closure of Golden Gate to meet the ambitious construction timeline.

The Golden Gate expansion will be revealed on Aug. 25, marked by a free concert at Fremont Street Experience (where we work in digital marketing as our day job) by Better Than Ezra on Sep. 3, 2017.

Comedy Legend and Longtime Las Vegas Resident Jerry Lewis Dies at 91

Jerry Lewis was a beloved comedy legend to legions of French people, a hero in the fight against muscular dystrophy, a longtime resident of Las Vegas and sort of a jerk.

Jerry Lewis died at age 91 in Las Vegas on Aug. 20, 2017.

When someone passes away, of course, it’s best to focus on their best qualities.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association telethons Jerry Lewis hosted raised billions, with a “b,” for research. It’s estimated that during his time working on behalf of the MDA, from 1966 to 2009. his telethons collected $2.6 billion.

Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis was many things to many people, but one thing he wasn’t was forgettable. Thanks to Tom Donoghue for the pic.

His success in films and television is undeniable, and those are how we’d like to remember Jerry Lewis. Inspired. Uninhibited. Mischievous. A comedic force of nature.

Lewis’ break-up with Dean Martin in 1956, and their strained reunion at the hands of Frank Sinatra on the 1976 MDA telethon, is deeply woven into the fabric of our culture.

Lewis performed in Las Vegas frequently during the course of his 60-plus year career, and he called Las Vegas home.

The comedian had his detractors, many of whom disliked his controversial opinions about gender, politics and other topics, but he managed to outlive many of them.

As is customary with entertainers of his stature, numerous Las Vegas resorts on The Strip paid tribute to Jerry Lewis on their marquees at 7:49 p.m. on Aug. 21. That specific time was chosen for the tribute because 7:49 is 19:49 in military time, and 1949 was the year Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis first came to Las Vegas.

Jerry Lewis had a long history of medical problems, and he died of ischemic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition.

Ironic, because it’s impossible to look at his decades of charity and not come to the conclusion his was larger than most.

The Weekend Box Serves Up Buzzworthy Sampling of Marijuana Products

Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Las Vegas, many visitors are making its consumption part of their wild time in Sin City.

A Las Vegas company, The Weekend Box, is making it easy to sample a variety of cannabis products, from pre-rolled joints (what the kids call marijuana cigarettes) to edibles and vaporizer (or “vape”) pens.

There’s also some actual weed, the romantic name for which is “cannabis flower.”

Las Vegas weed

The main psychoactive compound in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, often responsible for relaxation, euphoria, philosophical thinking and Pizza Rock cravings.

We should say up front that we know absolutely nothing about marijuana, so this isn’t a review.

We just find the idea of a “buffet” of cannabis products intriguing, and we suspect many who are considering trying marijuana for the first time will find The Weekend Box a revelation.

The Weekend Box actually arrives in a bag, but the box is the star of the show.

The Weekend Box

We fully expect to get around to writing this photo caption, whenever, bro.

Inside the box, eight marijuana products are laid out in various compartments.

Las Vegas cannabis samples

You can’t take it with you (cannabis isn’t allowed in airports or on planes), so you’d better get started.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s inside: A transdermal patch, two pre-rolled joints, a gram of actual plant (and a pipe), mints, gummies, chocolate bars and a vape cartridge.

For the uninitiated, such a collection of devices and cannabis consumption methods, can be daunting.

The Weekend Box, though, is very user-friendly, including providing information about what each product is, what it does, and how one can avoid a disappointing experience. The Weekend Box also gives an overview of recommendations for visitors: Don’t consume cannabis in a public place, don’t drive while under the influence and don’t take your products with you when it’s time to leave Las Vegas.

The Weekend Box

Yes, there’s a little reading, but The Weekend Box keeps it to a minimum.

The world of cannabis is a fascinating one.

The basics, from what we can glean, is there are two main kinds of marijuana: Indica and sativa. Indicas tend to mellow people out, sativas are stimulating.

Each product in The Weekend Box has its own way of being consumed, its own dosage and its own set of reactions.

If we were going to dive into The Weekend Box, we’d definitely try the gummies (Cannavative Gummiez) or chocolate (Incredibles Mile High Mint) first.

marijuana gummies

These cannabis gummies come in five flavors: Grape, lemon-lime, cherry, mango and pineapple.

There are 10 gummies, so it’s perfect for sharing with friends.

Pace yourself, however. Most negative reactions to edibles seem to be the result of improper dosing. It can take an hour for an edible to kick in, so users are often tempted to consume an excessive amount of cannabis before they should.

The good news is no one has ever overdosed on cannabis, according to the brochure in The Weekend Box.

In weed circles, everyone talks about how the effects of “edibles” takes much longer than smoking or vaping. It’s best to try small quantities of edibles to see how your body reacts, then consume additional amounts as needed.

Another great addition to The Weekend Box is its Dixie Mints. They have a low dosage of THC, and also contain Siberian ginseng, ginko, matcha and orange oil to enhance alertness and increase stamina.

Not that there’s anything wrong with our stamina. Which, we realize, is probably what someone with stamina problems would say. Moving on.

marijuana mints

These are just the happiest mints, ever.

There’s also a Manna Molecular Science transdermal patch, which gives a time-released dose of cannabis.

As mentioned, there are two pre-rolled joints, one called Bluebird Flower Pre-Roll Deep Roots Harvest Fortune Cookies, another called Tahoe Hydro OG Stix.

Bluebirds pre-roll

Don’t get excited. There’s no actual fortune cookie involved, but the Bluebird Flower Pre-Roll does have a fortune inside.

Probably the most appealing element of the sampler is the vape pen and Moxie vape cartridge.

Our only qualm with The Weekend Box was the lack of instructional material for the vape pen. Assembly and use might be old hat for those familiar with cannabis or vaping culture, but for the rest of us, it’s a head-scratcher at first.

Ultimately, you plug the vape pen into any USB port using a USB charger attachment (included). Once the pen is charged, you unscrew the USB plug part and replace it with the vape cartridge, as seen in the photo below, and trust us, we’re even more surprised than you are that it’s in focus.

cannabis vape pen

Charge the pen, screw on the cartridge and you’re in business. Studies show 95% of THC is absorbed in the first few seconds of inhaling, so don’t bother with that breath-holding thing you’ve seen in movies.

Vape cartridges are great because there’s no smoke involved. This method of consumption is believed to help avoid smoke toxins, which is sweet, because toxins are a buzzkill.

It’s also worth mentioning vape pens are virtually odorless, so unlike with with smoking, you won’t disturb or annoy those nearby.

Finally, The Weekend Box contains a gram of actual doobage, also known as “flower.” There’s also a handy lighter and glass pipe.

marijuana pipe lighter

While we’ve never smoked marijuana, if it helps people chill out, we’re for it.

The Weekend Box is an ingenious idea, bringing together diverse product manufacturers to give customers a range of options, all in one convenient, curated collection.

Each compartment of the box holds a fun new discovery. It makes the baffling world of cannabis accessible to newbies, but we trust would also satisfy the cravings of more worldly marijuana consumers.

It should be noted The Weekend Box can only be purchased in Nevada, and it can’t be shipped out-of-state because cannabis is federally illegal. The Weekend Box can be ordered online for pick-up, or can be purchased in a few dispensaries such as MMJ America, The Source or Oasis Cannabis.

The Weekend Box costs $199 (we have no affiliation with the company, nor do we receive any financial benefit from blogging about it), and the product line-up may change.

A big thanks goes out to the rad folks at The Weekend Box for letting us know this awesome cavalcade of weed exists, and for providing us with a sample, gratis.

Find out more about The Weekend Box at the official Web site. Remember, marijuana is legal in Las Vegas, so get that judgy look off your face and pop a mint.

The Weekend Box

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Golden Gate Expansion Nears Completion, Here’s a First Peek Inside

Golden Gate’s expansion is in the home stretch, and we’ve got an exclusive look inside.

Golden Gate expansion

Dead center is where the 24-foot tower of televisions will be. No, we haven’t talked about that yet. We don’t live by society’s rules.

The expansion has been months in the making as Golden Gate has moved into the footprint of the former La Bayou casino.

The additional space will nearly double the size of Golden Gate’s casino floor, adding about 100 slot machines.

Golden Gate will close temporarily on Aug. 20, 2017 to complete the build-out, and the new space will officially debut on Aug. 25.

If you know anything about this blog, you know we’re not real big on waiting for things to “officially debut,” so we had to do a security breach, while adhering to all applicable laws, ordinances and safety regulations, of course.

Golden Gate expansion

We love that new slot machine smell.

During the closure, virtually the entire east wall of Golden Gate’s existing casino will come down to connect the new and old spaces.

A highlight of Golden Gate’s expansion will be a 24-foot tower of TVs, surrounded by hundreds of beveled mirrors.

The television “fountain” will sit inside a new entrance to the casino, with marble flooring and velvet drapes.

The opening of the new casino area and entrance will coincide with an expansion of the casino’s lucrative outdoor bar, One Bar. The bar will expand 20 feet.

Golden Gate expansion

There are fewer words in the English language we love more than “more bar.”

Another big change at Golden Gate will be the relocation of the casino’s loyalty club desk. To complete the finishing touches of the loyalty club and casino expansion, it’s rumored crews will work 108 hours straight during the casino closure to meet the Aug. 25 debut date.

We’re exhausted just typing that sentence.

Golden Gate loyalty club

This is where they’re going to keep the loyalty.

To celebrate the debut of the casino expansion, owners Derek and Greg Stevens will host a free concert by Better Than Ezra on Sep. 3 at 9:00 p.m. The concert is a late addition to the free summer concert series put on by Fremont Street Experience (where we work as our day gig in digital marketing).

Golden Gate has made the most of a fairly modest space, and the casino interior already gives off a welcoming vibe with its mix of modern and classic design elements, including dark wood accents we sort of want to rub our various body parts up against for some reason.

Golden Gate expansion

Golden Gate opened in 1906. Back in those days, slot machines paid jackpots in cobwebs.

The new space is already filling up with shiny new slot machines (no classics from the Riviera here), many of which were too tall to put in other areas of the casino due to the classic casino’s low ceilings.

Golden Gate’s expansion is a great excuse to stop by during your next visit, and make sure to check out the demolition site just across Fremont Street while you’re there.

Here’s a little-known fact related to Golden Gate: The hotel was home to the first telephone in Las Vegas (the phone number was “1”), but that’s not the little known fact. The little-known fact is about who got the second telephone in Las Vegas. Any guesses?

We’ll wait.

You’re going to love this.

Golden Gate (originally called Hotel Nevada) was owned by John F. Miller. The second telephone in Las Vegas was installed in his home, at the behest of Miller’s wife, Rosa. Who else do you think he’d call with the city’s first phone? Now you know!