Monthly Archives: September 2017

Bronto Goes to Work on Las Vegas Club Tower, Golden Goose and Glitter Gulch Facades Go Away

The demolition of the Las Vegas Club continues with the country’s highest reach excavator taking on the casino’s southernmost hotel tower.

The excavator, nicknamed “Bronto,” can reach 182 feet, more than enough height to drop the Las Vegas Club’s tower, piece by piece.

Las Vegas Club demolition

That excavator is nearly as badass as our photo of that badass excavator.

Demolition crews from North American Dismantling Corp. have made quick work of a number of structures on the 18 Fremont block, formerly home to Mermaids and the Glitter Gulch strip club.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Bronto doesn’t take lunch breaks because to Bronto, everything is lunch.

Here’s an exclusive look at the demolition work being done on Sep. 19, 2017, including Bronto taking big bites out of the south tower.

It’s expected the south tower will take about three weeks to come down, then it’s on to the north tower, the newer of the two.

The north tower has been draped with a containment mesh to help control dust and debris.

Las Vegas Club demolition

Las Vegas Club’s north tower slips into something more comfortable.

Nearby, less flashy progress has been made, some of it bittersweet.

Two old-timey facades, that of Glitter Gulch and the Golden Goose have been removed.

Glitter Gulch Golden Goose

The empty space formerly known as Glitter Gulch and Golden Goose.

Here’s a “before” shot of crews working on the former perch of Vegas Vickie.

Golden Goose Glitter Gulch demolition

Not that we aren’t sentimental, but the demolition of the Glitter Gulch strip club has already improved the smell of downtown.

The Golden Goose is still at the demolition site, as there aren’t currently any plans to dispose of the old (and sort of disgusting) sign. The Golden Goose originally opened in 1974.

Golden Goose demolition

Goose down! We’ll wait.

Prior to it becoming the Golden Goose, it was the Las Vegas Coffee Shop and Bakery, State Cafe, Buckley’s, Starlite Sales and Mecca Slots.

Demolition of the 18 Fremont block is expected to be completed by Christmas 2017. A new resort will be built on the site and is expected to debut in 2020.

Enjoy more exclusive photos of just one of our Las Vegas obsessions, the demolition of the Las Vegas Club in downtown Las Vegas. Check out all our coverage.

Las Vegas Club Demolition: Sep. 19, 2017

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Fremont White Castle Opens This Week, Ditto Fremont East’s Flippin’ Good Burgers

A long-awaited White Castle restaurant, only the second such location in Las Vegas, will open at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Sep. 22, 2017.

Yes, we were the first to report a White Castle would be coming to Fremont, but we don’t like to brag. Link to our original story, yes, but brag, no.

White Castle Fremont Street

White Castle on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas is nearly ready for the onslaught.

The new Fremont Street White Castle is located at the east end of the Fremont Street Experience (where we work in digital marketing), just across from the Neonopolis shopping plaza.

Given the festive, liquor-fueled street party that is Fremont Street, we expect the owners of White Castle will soon have more money than any number of Gates or Adelsons or Buffetts.

White Castle Fremont Street

This is likely to be the last time you don’t see a line in this doorway. Because drunchies.

Fremont lost its Trader Bill’s sign with the arrival of White Castle, but the thought of some tasty sliders is helping with the grieving process.

Another burger restaurant, Flippin’ Good Burgers & Shakes, will also open on Sep. 22. Or, technically, re-open.

Flippin Good Burgers renovation

Yes, the door was open, but we’re calling it a “security breach,” anyway, because it just sounds cool.

The fast food restaurant in the Fremont East Entertainment district originally opened in August of 2015.

The eatery recently closed for a major renovation, and will now be more of a fast casual restaurant, complete with a new bar, servers and a focus on “chicken, burgers and beer.”

Flippin’ Good Burgers & Shakes has completely overhauled its interior with new colors, and flourishes of metal and wood. The new color scheme is reflected on the building’s exterior as well.

Flippin Good Burgers renovation

Flippin’ Good Burgers has an outdoor seating area with some new picnic tables, which will be perfect for the two weeks a year when Las Vegas has perfect weather.

It’s no coincidence these restaurants are opening on the same date. A huge influx of potential customers will be heading downtown for the Life is Beautiful music festival, and the restaurants no doubt wanted to take full advantage of the crowds.

Life is Beautiful runs from Sep. 22-24, 2017.

Linq Promenade Expected to Announce Zipline Attraction

Buzz is building about a new zipline attraction planned for the Linq promenade in the center of the Las Vegas Strip.

We should know, we started the buzz! Hey, everybody needs a hobby.

Details are few about the new zipline, but given the financial success of downtown’s SlotZilla zipline (where we work in digital marketing as our day job), we’re surprised ziplines haven’t already cropped up elsewhere on The Strip.

Linq zipline

Ziplining is the new slot machining.

The closest thing to a zipline on the Las Vegas Strip is the VooDoo Zipline at Rio Las Vegas, which opened in May 2014. Unlike traditional ziplines, guests of the VooDoo Zipline ride in a ski lift-style chair between the Rio’s hotel towers.

While Rio is in the Caesars Entertainment family of casinos, the folks behind the VooDoo Zipline won’t be involved in the new attraction at Linq.

Linq promenade

Let’s just jump ahead to the Caesars Entertainment statement: “We do not respond to rumors and speculation blah-blah-blah.”

A zipline at Linq promenade would seem to be a good fit.

The world’s tallest Ferris wheel, the High Roller, hasn’t quite lived up to expectations in terms of ridership (it hovers around 50% of capacity), and a zipline would be another offering to draw families as well as millennials, a coveted customer for casinos.

Linq promenade is flanked by the Flamingo and Linq resorts.

The zipline at Linq promenade will run from the Linq hotel to the High Roller. (Note: Our original story surmised the zipline would run from the High Roller toward the Linq hotel. It’s since been confirmed it’s the opposite direction.)

Linq and its parent company would be wise to borrow a page from the SlotZilla playbook.

When guests fly over an area with lots of foot traffic, enthusiastic screams from above can sell an attraction better than any advertising ever could.

Back in 2012, there were rumors of a series of ziplines planned by MGM Resorts that would connect Luxor and Excalibur, but those never materialized.

Linq promenade zipline

Linq recently got its very own In-N-Out, which is like a zipline for your mouth. Or something.

No official announcement of a zipline at Linq promenade has been made, but if it’s in a news release, it’s too late!

We’ll share more details as they become available, but rest assured if the price point is right, and the Linq zipline provides a reasonably good experience, the operators will soon be printing money.

Update (11/8/17): Our story has been confirmed with an official announcement by Caesars Entertainment. Fly Linq will have 10 side-by-side lines.

Fly Link zipline

Behold the new High Roller Ferris wheel delivery device, Fly Linq.

The Fly Linq zipline launch tower will be 122 feet tall and guests will travel 1,080 feet.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 61: Virtual Reality, Inside Skinny and Cheating Las Vegas

It’s time for another installment of the podcast even our closest friends listen to on double speed.

This week, we wrangle all the Las Vegas news you need to make the most of your next visit.

Michael Symon is coming to Palms (not confirmed, but not denied), while just about everything at the resort is shutting down for renovations and rebrands, including N9NE Steakhouse and Ghostbar, China House, The Lounge and Social (the casino bar).

Monte Carlo, too, is changing up all its venues as it transforms into Park MGM, including the closures of Hit Lounge, Yusho, BLVD Creamery, The Pub at Monte Carlo, Brand Steakhouse, D.Vino and Dragon Noodle Co.

The 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria is going as well, but it will relocate to New York-New York. See them when they were shiny and new, all the way back in 2014. Hey, that’s 30 years in Vegas time.

D.Vino wood-fired pizza

D.Vino is one of the casualties at Monte Carlo, but there’s lots of newness on the way.

Also in the news: EDC is changing its dates from June to May 18-20, 2018, Lotus of Siam is closed for roof repairs, Bin 702 at Downtown Container Park is expanding to a new location, feuding siblings Donny and Marie hit 10 years at Flamingo and more.

We also chat about two massive new projects coming to Las Vegas, and almost do so with a straight face. One is an extreme sports park called The Edge, another is a science fiction-themed entertainment venue called Area 15. In the words of Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, “Even though I don’t understand it fully, everyone is very excited.”

Bottom line on those efforts: Don’t hold your breath.

Other perfunctory news includes the end of The Parklet, the opening of Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum, “Twilight Zone” mini-golf coming to Bally’s, the demise of Planet Dailies and the return of the Age of Cleavage Renaissance Festival.

Age of Chivalry Las Vegas

Yeah, like we were going to share a photo of a knight.

For our “Listicle of the Week,” we cleverly rehash “11 Casino Dice Security Measures to Keep Players From Cheating.” Read it.

Thanks to KNPR for letting us play portions of a recent interview. Here’s the whole shebang.

Join us for a Captain Morgan-fueled cavalcade of WTF, and marvel at the fact we’ve managed to slap together 61 episodes of this dog and pony show.

11 Casino Dice Security Measures to Keep Players From Cheating

About 20 minutes after dice were invented, fashioned from the ankle bones of hooved animals, somebody cheated using dice.

The tradition of trying to swindle casinos continues to this day, so casinos take extraordinary measures to prevent players from cheating, especially at the craps table.

Because players handle and shoot the dice, craps is the only casino game where patrons have complete control over the outcome of a wager. In other cases, it’s a machine or wheel or dealer. Dice, then, are an easy target for cheaters.

Here are 11 hastily slapped-together dice security measures casinos take to ensure players don’t cheat and every roll is random.

1. Serial Numbers

Swapping out legitimate dice with weighted or “loaded” dice is a time-honored tradition in Las Vegas casinos. To avoid “crooked” dice entering a game, casino dice have serial numbers. Typically, casino dice come in packs of five, wrapped in gold foil, each with matching serial numbers. If a casino staffer sees two dice in play with two different serial numbers, the cheater’s jig is up.

Dice serial number

Casino dice come in groups of five, much like Hugh Hefner.

2. Sharp Corners

The next time you use dice on a board game at home, take note of the corners. Most dice outside casinos have rounded corners, but in casinos, they’re sharp. Rounded corners cause rolls that aren’t truly random, and exaggerate any bias in the dice. Sharp corners “grab” the felt and assure rolls are random and keep the odds the way casinos like them, in their favor.

Dice square corners

Curved corner, amateur hour. Sharp corner, all business.

3. Glow Spots

Some casinos use dice that have spots, also called “pips,” filled with special epoxy that changes color under U.V. light. Floor managers can quickly tell if dice are legit using a simple black light.

Dice glow spot

Shout-out to Bruce Leroy.

4. Translucency

Before the advent of plastics, it was difficult to tell if dice were weighted, or “gaffed.” Since the 1950s, dice have been made of cellulose acetate, making them translucent. Being able to see inside a die makes it much easier to see if anyone’s mucked with it.

Dice key letter spot

We’ll get to the “K” in a minute. Always in such a rush.

5. Key Letter Spot

This is one of our favorite casino dice “secrets,” because while we’ve held hundreds of dice at craps tables in Las Vegas and around the world, we never noticed this security measure despite the fact it’s in plain sight. Each casino die has a letter or number “monogrammed” on a designated spot before the spot is painted. While scammers may be able to replicate the exterior of a die, it’s difficult to convincingly fake a letter under pip paint. Check it out the next time you’re shooting for “boxcars” or “puppy paws.” Yes, there are a lot of nicknames for dice combinations.

Dice key letter spot

You’re totally going to win a bar bet with this one someday.

6. Casino Logos

Yes, imprinting a casino’s logo on dice is actually a security measure. On its own, putting a logo on dice is fairly easy to do, but this “unique identifier” is another element a cheater has to take into account, and another way they can get tripped up trying to use counterfeit dice.

Dice logos

Logos are typically printed on the side of the dice with one or two spots, because there’s more room. This isn’t rocket science.

7. Diamond Rubber Bumpers

This security measure is more about the table than the dice, but we’re including it, anyway. They have lots of names, but along the sides of a craps table are textured bumps, sometimes called “diamond rubber bumpers” or “pyramid bumpers” or even “alligator bumpers.” These textured bumpers make it much more difficult to manipulate how the dice will land.

Craps pyramids

It’s all fun and games until somebody puts an eye out.

8. Change-Outs

Casinos foil cheaters through a variety of means, including frequently changing out dice, just as they do with cards at the blackjack table. As mentioned, the randomness of rolls can be impacted by things like edges and corners becoming less sharp through use. Fresh dice are brought into a craps game every four to eight hours, often during a shift change. Casinos have the right to change out dice at any time, however. This sometimes happens during hot rolls, as casinos want to ensure a player’s good luck isn’t the result of dice tampering.

Dice

Casinos are paranoid about dice cheats, so always keep dice over the table and only use one hand to shake them before you shoot.

9. Perfect Cubes

There’s a reason casino dice are also called “precision dice.” That’s because casino dice are made to exacting specifications. Most casinos use 3/4-inch dice, and each of the die’s dimensions must be true to within 0.0005 of an inch, or approximately the length of this blog’s sexual organ. Just making sure you’re still paying attention.

Precision dice

Perfect cubes, of course, aren’t “perfect.” For example, some mistakenly believe Chicago-style pizza is actual pizza.

10. Pip Drilling and Backfilling

Even tiny variations in a die can cause it to roll in a less random way. Pips aren’t just painted in casino dice, they’re drilled. To make sure the side of the die with six pips doesn’t weigh more than the side with just one, the drilled holes are filled with a special paint that’s the same density as the rest of the die. Oh, all right, maybe there’s a little rocket science involved.

Dice pips drilling filling

Drilled Pips and The Backfillers were a terrific folk group in the 1970s.

11. Cancellation

When dice are removed from a table, casinos use a hand-operated press (or “punch”) to “cancel” the dice before they’re destroyed or sold in the casino’s gift shop. Cancellation markings, commonly in the shape of circle, make it easy for casino security, dealers and managers to see if a “retired” die has been put into play by an unscrupulous player.

Dice canceled

While Las Vegas casinos get away with this cancellation mark, Atlantic City casinos must drill a hole in canceled dice. Typically, it’s done by a guy nicknamed “Knuckles.” All due respect.

Craps is one of the most exciting games in a Las Vegas casino. Now, the next time you play, you’ll know all the dice security measures casinos take to keep players from cheating.

By the way, cheating in a Las Vegas casino is a felony. You have better things to do during your Las Vegas visit than going to the big house and being passed around like a social security number at a hacker convention.

Palace Station Has a Brand New Erection

There’s been a flurry of activity at Palace Station in recent months, including the demolition of the crime scene that sent multiple murderer O.J. Simpson to the slammer.

While demolition is fun to watch, it’s even more fun to see new things rise from the rubble. Palace Station now boasts a new structure, and we’ve got the pics.

Palace Station construction

We are a big fan of new.

The new structure is adjacent to Palace Station’s new porte cochere. We asked what the new structure is, but got no official response.

Chatting up Palace Station staff, we hear blueprints refer to the building as a “fight arena,” but a more likely use will be for convention space.

Palace Station construction

No photos of the construction site are permitted, so unfortunately we can’t show you this.

Upgrades at Palace Station are being done in phases. The first phase included remodeling the casino’s facade (and removing the train theming), adding a new bingo room and other enhancements.

Next, guests will see a new buffet, additional work on the casino and potentially a new 27-story, 606 room hotel tower. There will also be a new movie theater, bowling alley, two restaurants and upgraded pool area.

Red Rock Resorts (Station Casinos) says it will spend about $70 million on all the upgrades.

Palace Station construction

Palace Station demolished its rundown motel buildings, about 447 rooms, to make room for less suck.

Palace Station is located just off the Las Vegas Strip, on Sahara Ave. Or, as we like to describe it, “mere feet from Chick-fil-A.”

Palace Station’s main clientele is Las Vegas locals, especially Asian players. Lucky Dragon has tried to cannibalize Palace Station’s customer base (ditto Gold Coast), with little success.

Red Rock Resorts is no doubt aware of its competition in the marketplace, and is making the financial investment needed to give customers new offerings to keep them coming back for more.