Monthly Archives: December 2017

Las Vegas Strip’s First Spanish Language Show, “Ilusion Mental,” to Open at Planet Hollywood

Well, it’s about time.

Given the 41 million Spanish-speakers in the U.S. alone, and multitudes of Spanish-speaking Las Vegas visitors from other countries, it’s about time The Strip had a Spanish language show.

“Ilusion Mental,” featuring Santiago Michel, opens at Sin City Theater inside Planet Hollywood on Dec. 28, 2017.

Santiago Michel

Santiago Michel knows what you’re thinking, and has alerted the authorities accordingly.

“Ilusion Mental” is, as the name implies, a mentalism show.

Mentalism, or “mind reading,” isn’t for everyone (including this blog) due to the fact mind-reading doesn’t actually exist, but it’s perhaps helpful to think of it as a magic show and everyone loves a Las Vegas magic show.

Besides, Spanish!

Ilusion Mental

If you speak Spanish, you’re freaking out right now.

The show features Santiago Michel, a 24-year-old, charismatic performer who has performed in more than 10 countries.

Here’s a look at Michel in action.

The 65-minute show is family-friendly and takes place Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $49.99.

Find out more about Santiago Michel at his official site. Welcome to Las Vegas, Santiago.

Fun fact: Las Vegas is a Spanish term meaning, “I hope you brought your morning after pill.”

Demolition is Underway on Diablo’s Cantina at Monte Carlo

It seems like ages since we first shared Diablo’s Cantina would close at Monte Carlo.

Nearly a year after our initial story, the popular restaurant and bar is being demolished. It closed Nov. 7, 2017.

Diablo's Cantina

Whenever a bar closes in Las Vegas, a showgirl loses her pasties. Which, upon reflection, may not be a bad thing.

Diablo’s Cantina is one of many venues closing at Monte Carlo as the Strip resort transitions into Park MGM.

We’ve got a look at all the changes at Monte Carlo. Sorry, Park MGM. That’s going to take some getting used to.

Here’s another look at the current state of Diablo’s Cantina.

Diablo's Cantina

Ah, if this rubble could talk.

For a decade (it officially opened in Oct. 2007), Diablo’s Cantina thrived with an innovative strategy: Have attractive women serve liquor.

Now, it’s thought the boisterous atmosphere of Diablo’s Cantina could clash with the more upscale Park MGM customer. That customer doesn’t exactly exist yet, but MGM Resorts hopes it will once the resort’s renovations are complete.

Why, look, Diablo’s Cantina has a new drive-through window.

Diablo's Cantina

You say “demolition fetish” like it’s a bad thing.

While we were checking out the Diablo’s Cantina demolition, we got a peek at other changes being made to the exterior of the resort.

Monte Carlo

Down with the Monte Carlo signs, up with the room rates.

The Monte Carlo sign is undergoing work, too.

Monte Carlo

Don’t get too sassy, you’re next.

In 2018, Monte Carlo is expected to be unrecognizable. Work continues on the hotel’s facade.

Monte Carlo

Today’s job we don’t want. That’s 32 floors up.

Thanks to Twitter follower Xhaust for letting us know work has begun on demolishing Diablo’s Cantina.

Diablo’s Cantina was a beloved party spot for many Vegas visitors, and many will miss the sexy devil statue that has kept watch over the venue for years.

At one time, we heard Diablo’s Cantina might move next door to The Park, but there’s been no such chatter for some time.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 69: Lyft Skinny, “Magic Mike” Moistness, Roulette Gems and a Metric Ass-Ton of News

Welcome to the only Las Vegas podcast that’s in the Gaming Control Board’s “Black Book.” It’s also the podcast not particularly invested in “facts” or “reality,” obviously.

This week’s “Listicle of the Week” is “12 Weird, Wonderful Facts About Roulette.” Learn about “mucking,” left and right-hand roulette tables, dealer “signatures,” “section shooting” and why you can’t cash roulette chips at the cage.

Bonus fun fact: That little silver bump is called a “canoe.” It helps ensure roulette spins stay random.

In this week’s episode, we chat up an official from Lyft Las Vegas, one of the rideshare services that’s made Sin City a better, more affordable and convenient place to make poor life decisions.

In this episode, you’ll get all the latest scoop about your favorite vacation destination.

There’s news about Wynn Resorts purchasing the Alon site, Lotus of Siam’s new location, Barry Manilow’s residency at Westgate, McGregor vs. Pacquaio, virtual reality coming to the roller coaster at New York-New York, Diablo’s Cantina (past tense), Hell’s Kitchen (future tense), SpeedVegas’ bankruptcy and more.

Diablo's Cantina

Let’s just say Diablo’s Cantina at Monte Carlo has changed a little since your last visit.

We’ve also got a tipsy review of “Magic Mike” at Hard Rock.

The Vital Vegas Podcast is the most fun you can have without a casino VIP host, so take a listen and get your Las Vegas fix!

Lady Gaga Residency at Park MGM Theater Is a Done Deal

MGM Resorts has snagged another bona fide superstar for its Park Theater at Park MGM (currently Monte Carlo). We have it on good authority Lady Gaga has been signed for a 50-show residency.

Expect an official announcement of the deal this week.

The dollars involved, of course, will be staggering. Our source shares that the deal for 50 shows will pay Lady Gaga a whopping (wait for it) $100 million. (Recent reports say 74 shows.)

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga will soon bring her special brand of WTF to the Las Vegas Strip.

Park Theater is set to be a major player in the Las Vegas live entertainment scene. Bruno Mars has a series of shows lined up for Dec. 2017 and Feb. 2018.

Cher, too, is scheduled for a residency of 18 shows through May 2018.

Rumors have circulated since June 2017 that Lady Gaga would be one of the new residencies at Park Theater, but now we’re hearing it’s a fait accompli.

There have also been rumors about Justin Timberlake joining the list of musical luminaries at Park MGM, but it doesn’t appear that’s in the cards at the moment.

We have heard Timberlake will perform two mammoth shows at the T-Mobile Arena in April 2018.

Stay tuned for the official confirmation of Lady Gaga’s residency at Park Theater.

Competition for big name talent among the major Las Vegas music venues is reaching new heights, so expect ticket prices to do the same.

Update (12/181/7): The Las Vegas Review-Journal has confirmed our story, although it claims there will be 36 shows. The numbers provided ($400,000 per show) does not take into account the agreed-upon extension or compensation from deal points like merchandise.

Update (12/19/17): Our story has been confirmed officially by MGM Resorts and Lady Gaga herself. Her Park MGM residency starts in Dec. 2018. The residency will span two years and further details will be announced in the coming months, according to a news release. Variety sets the number of shows at 74 and confirms our $100 million figure for the run.

Update (8/7/18): Lady Gaga has finally officially confirmed 27 shows through 2019. The residency will consist of two different shows, “Lady Gaga Enigma” and several “Jazz and Piano” shows.

“Twilight Zone” Mini Golf Opens at Bally’s Las Vegas

There’s a fun new diversion on the Las Vegas Strip: “The Twilight Zone” mini golf has opened at Bally’s Las Vegas.

Twilight Zone mini golf

You remember “The Invaders,” right? Neither do we, but let’s not get bogged down in details.

The “Twilight Zone”-themed, family-friendly attraction comes from the folks at Monster Mini Golf, the company that created Kiss Monster Mini Golf at Rio Las Vegas.

This time, guests are treated to an indoor, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course inspired by the classic TV show (wait for it), “The Twilight Zone.”

Twilight Zone mini golf

Mini golf is a throwback to a time when people talked to each other once in awhile.

While the vast majority of customers at “Twilight Zone” Mini Golf weren’t alive when the show aired, 1959 to 1964, it doesn’t require a knowledge of the show to enjoy the charming decor.

Those who do know the show will immediately recognize more than a dozen direct references to “Twilight Zone” episodes. Here’s a list of many of the episodes, because we occasionally visit attraction sober and manage to take notes, shocking as that may be.

  • “Talking Tina”
  • “Eye of the Beholder”
  • “The Hitch-Hiker”
  • “You Drive”
  • “Five Characters in Search of an Exit”
  • “The Invaders”
  • “Twenty Two”
  • “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”
  • “The Lonely”
  • “Nick of Time”
  • “Nightmare at 22,000 Feet”
  • “To Serve Man”
  • “And When the Sky was Opened”

Classics, all!

Twilight Zone mini golf

It’s creepy. It’s cool. It’s a damned good time on the cheap. Sort of like your sister.

The “Twilight Zone” Mini Golf venue takes up a whopping 10,000-square-feet of space and
is located next to the Real Bodies exhibit on the shopping concourse at Bally’s. It’s
between the food court and the casino. You’ll find it. Look for all the people on first
dates.

Twilight Zone mini golf

You can’t miss it, unless you’re tanked. In which case, the mini golf will be even more fun.

The attraction has to be one of the best values on The Strip, with 18 holes for just
$11.95.

Also in the venue are several lanes of miniature bowling. Again, great value. Five frames of bowling costs $3, 10 frames are just $5.

Twilight Zone mini golf

Approximately $300 less per hour than time spent at a blackjack table.

There’s also a small arcade, and most of the games are just a buck to play.

Also in the works are a gift shop, a special events room and a science fiction-themed wedding chapel.

We chatted with the founder of Monster Mini Golf, Christina Vitagliano, on our podcast, so take a listen.

Twilight Zone mini golf

This one’s from the “Nick of Time” episode which featured an embryonic William Shatner.

No, really. William Shatner.

Vitagliano claims Kiss Mini Golf at Rio is doing well despite a challenging location, so “Twilight Zone” Mini Golf is likely perform strongly. (Kiss Mini Golf relocated from Clearly, a lot of time and expense goes into these custom miniature golf courses, and the blacklight element makes them all the more enjoyable and offbeat.

There are photo ops galore during the course of play, all suitable for sharing in social media. Translation: Marketing gold.

Twilight Zone mini golf

Despite social media causing everything bad that happens in the world, it’s a great way to let people know how much fun you’re having in Vegas.

It’s the only bowling in the neighborhood, and mini golf is a timeless way to spend
some quality time with friends at a reasonable price.

The attraction is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to midnight.

Twilight Zone mini golf

Black (UV) lights reveal phosphors and have many uses, including detecting counterfeits. So, be real.

So, wash your balls (it’s the venue that’s family-friendly, not this blog), spit-shine
your putter (if you get our drift) and take a journey into another dimension, a
dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind (we totally made that up), at “The
Twilight Zone” by Monster Mini Golf at Bally’s resort.

Twilight Zone Mini Golf

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Lotus of Siam Restaurant Opens New Location

It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for fans of Lotus of Siam, considered by many to be the best Thai restaurant in Las Vegas.

Others say it’s the best restaurant, period. While we appreciate their enthusiasm, they’ve never been to Pizza Rock. Moving on.

The original Lotus of Siam is located in a seedy shopping center (sorry, Commercial Center) on East Sahara Ave., and recently suffered a roof collapse after an intense rainstorm in September. Yes, it’s rained in Las Vegas. But just that one time.

A new Lotus of Siam is here!

Lotus of Siam

Siam was once an exonym for Thailand. We’ll wait while you look up “exonym.”

As repairs continue on its longtime location, Lotus of Siam has opened a second location at 620 E. Flamingo Road. Just go east on Flamingo (away from The Strip), past Silver Sevens casino, it’ll be on your left. It used to be Roy’s restaurant.

The only “downside” to the new Lotus of Siam location is it’s virtually on top of another fantastic restaurant, Mint Indian Bistro. You’ll survive.

Lotus of Siam

It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Lotus of Siam has an expansive menu of northern Thai foods we can’t pronounce, but everything we’ve ever tried has been delicious.

You can check out the menu on Lotus of Siam’s fancy new Web site.

One caveat of the new Lotus of Siam: They don’t have their liquor license yet, but it’s in the works. The bar is perfect for solo dining.

Lotus of Siam

The service at Lotus of Siam is preternaturally good. Getting a lot of use out of Google today, aren’t you?

The new Lotus of Siam is about half the size of the original location, and features a number of colorful murals imported from Thailand.

Lotus of Siam

How one orders a mural from Thailand, we may never know.

The company that built out the new Lotus of Siam location, Breslin Builders, can now focus all its attention on the closed venue, and it’s expected the original restaurant will open again in March 2018.

Lotus of Siam is well worth seeking out, as the restaurant’s legions of die-hard fans will attest.

Lotus of Siam

We prefer American broccoli on our Pad See Ew, don’t hate.

Welcome back, Lotus of Siam! And we are reminded of an old Thai proverb, “Don’t borrow another’s nose to breathe with.” We don’t entirely know what that means, but it was the best Thai proverb we could come up with on short notice, other than “Frog in a coconut shell.”

So, yeah, the nose thing.