Monthly Archives: January 2018

Shark Fin Soup Finally Banned in Las Vegas

Shark fin soup has been banned in Las Vegas, and it’s about time.

The disgusting soup, harvested from sharks in an even more disgusting and cruel way, has been a favorite of Asian visitors, despite the controversy surrounding it.

As of Jan. 1, 2018, shark fin soup is no longer an option in Nevada.

shark fin soup

You can damn well bet we don’t have any photos of shark fin soup. Just play along.

Now that S.B. 194 has been signed into law, it’s illegal to sell soup or other items made from shark fin. It’s also against the law sell products made from other endangered wildlife like rays, sea turtles, rhinos, whales and others.

Fines for violating the new shark fin ban are $6,500 or four times the market value of the product.

Our first thought when we heard about the shark fin soup ban was restaurants would continue to serve it, taking their chances with enforcement. In the past, restaurants couldn’t afford to
refuse the requests of high rollers because they’d take their business, including big gambling budgets, elsewhere.

Now, that’s simply not going to happen.

While that may not sound like a lot, it would hit a restaurant’s bottom line hard, especially after
repeated violations.

In addition, industry insiders say it’s going to be nearly impossible to get shark fin for soup because distributors and suppliers won’t risk endangering their businesses to please their restaurant clients.

Also, restaurants won’t want to end up on any enforcement watchlists. As with the Health
Department, if you’re caught violating regulatory laws, you get for more attention and more frequent visits and restaurants abhor that kind of scrutiny.

So, it looks like shark fin soup is, at long last done in Las Vegas.

shark

Let’s keep shark fins where they belong. On sharks. In case that wasn’t clear.

In case you’re unfamiliar with why shark fin soup is such a hot button topic, here’s the bottom
line: Shark fins are harvested through “finning,” or the practice of catching a shark, cutting off its fin and throwing it back, alive, into the ocean, resulting in a slow, painful death for the shark. Seriously, WTF is wrong with people?

It’s estimated 100 million sharks are killed globally each year.

For posterity, we should probably list the Las Vegas restaurants known to serve shark fin soup (never listed on the menu, cowards) right up until the ban was implemented.

Casinos that served shark fin soup included Fin at Mirage (closes Feb. 10, 2018), Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesars Palace, Blossom at Aria, Jasmine at Bellagio, Paiza Club at Venetian, Ping Pang Pong at Gold Coast and Phoenix at Lucky Dragon, among others.

Props to the Nevada legislators who made this shark fin soup ban a reality, and a big “screw you” goes out to all the asshats who voted “nay.”

Bellagio Conservatory Goes Doggy Style for Chinese New Year

It’s the Year of the Dog, and the Bellagio Conservatory has not only unveiled another wonderful seasonal display, but it’s also provided an opportunity for this blog to make a gratuitous sexual joke in our headline, so what’s not to love?

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Behold, the Moon Gate. The slooping roof symbolizes the half moon of Chinese summers. Which would make an excellent porn name, all due respect.

Each year, Bellagio pulls out all the stops for Chinese New Year, mainly as a way to kiss up to
all the Asian gamblers who frequent the resort.

For the rest of us, Bellagio’s Chinese New Year display provides a sample the work of some of the most prolific and talented horticulturists in the world.

Bellagio Chinese New Years

People born during the Year of the Dog are said to be honest, friendly, smart and likely to chew your favorite shoes.

As mentioned, this year’s display features 18 dogs, one of our favorite forms of life on Earth.

The star of the show is an 18-foot-tall Husky.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

We aren’t entirely sure whether this is a Siberian or Alaskan Husky. We are a blog, not a dog whisperer.

Huskies are beautiful dogs, but are bred to run, so can’t be trusted off a leash and don’t particularly make good pets. They also like to chase small animals. They also aren’t obedient.
They also shed a lot. But, again, they sure are beautiful!

The Chinese New Year display at Bellagio has lots of other enchanting features, including 13
Chinese lanterns.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

There are three main types of Chinese lanterns: Hanging, flying and floating. Which, coincidentally, are the three ways mobsters would be disposed of in the early days of Vegas.

It’s interesting to note that while 13 is considered in Western cultures, it’s actually good luck to the Chinese.

Also good luck in Chinese culture are Koi fish. They symbolize perseverance and abundance. And possibly sushi to some people. Let’s not dwell upon it.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Koi fish are also known as “swimming flowers.” These horticulturalists are smart AF.

The display has ding pots, too. We don’t know what they are, but we sort of like saying “ding pot.”

Bellagio Conservatory  ding pot

Ding pot. Ding pot. Ding pot.

The Chinese New Year display at Bellagio Conservatory will be open until Mar. 3, 2018. Next up is the spring exhibit, Mar. 10 to Jun. 2, 2018.

Bellagio Conservatory

This is what happens when you have one more photo than photo captions.

The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens remains one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas, so make sure to stop by and rub some bellies. Which is probably frowned upon, and
you’re likely to be wrestled to the ground and tossed out by security, but the stories you’ll tell when you get back home will make it all worthwhile.

Bellagio Chinese New Year 2018

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Flamingo Closes Go Sexy Adult Novelty Boutique

It was one of the sexiest stores at a hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip, but the Go Sexy boutique at Flamingo has closed.

News of the closure was sudden, and while the shop was scheduled to close on Jan. 26, 2018, it
closed two days early.

Go Sexy was home to a popular photo op featuring one entrance of the store adorned with a giant pair of legs. The Go Sexy legs even made it onto our list of offbeat Las Vegas ops.

Sex store Las Vegas

It was sort of a thing.

The Go Sexy store had a dizzying array of adult merchandise.

At one time, Go Sexy got into a pickle with Clark Co. for unknowingly violating a code that prohibited the sale of sex toys. The issue was resolved, and the shop offered a range of devices and novelty items visitors seemed to love.

Go Sexy

Flamingo guests now have to go elsewhere to get their party supplies.

Because of its reputation as an adult playground, sex toys are popular with Las Vegas visitors. Guests tend to follow the “What happens here, stays here” philosophy, leaving their toys behind when they go back home.

Housekeepers collect the sex toys and keep them in bins devoted to the items.

Go Sexy legs at Flamingo

The good stuff was hidden in the back.

While Go Sexy had a certain following, retail rents can be high on The Strip, so it was time to pull the plug. Or remove the batteries.

Word is a new store concept will open in the Go Sexy space in early Feb. 2018.

Wynn Resorts Confirms It Will Build New Hotel on Alon Site

In a corporate earnings call, Wynn Resorts confirmed our story of Dec. 2017 that the company will build a new hotel on the former Alon site.

We love when that happens, especially when “experts” said Wynn planned to “warehouse” the land. Suck it, experts.

Wynn Resorts purchased the abandoned Alon site (before that it was the site of the New Frontier) for $336 million.

The tentative name for the new Wynn project is Wynn West.

Wynn Encore

They should invent a Las Vegas version of the sunglasses in “They Live.” Yes, we drink a lot.

Wynn West will have 2,000 to 3,000 rooms, and will be connected to Wynn and Encore by means of an “umbilical hallway,” whatever that might actually be.

Actually, dibs on Umbilical Hallway as a band name.

During the earnings call, Steve Wynn said the new project will move relatively quickly, as analysis and design have been happening for some time, and renderings for Wynn West will be shared in the coming months.

Wynn West will be just one element of Steve Wynn’s big picture plans for the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. Check out our list of what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Other projects include Wynn Paradise Park, an attraction already under construction on the former Wynn Golf Club land.

Wynn Golf Club

Later, Wynn Golf Club.

Wynn Paradise Park will feature a mile-long lagoon and will take up 26 acres. By comparison, the fountain attraction at Bellagio is eight acres.

Yes, there will be ziplines.

Steve Wynn SlotZilla

Easily one of our most surreal Las Vegas moments of all time: Steve Wynn flying on the SlotZilla zipline.

Steve Wynn is a fascinating dude, and you, a mere mortal, can listen to him speak enthusiastically about all things Wynn while saying things like, “God lives in the details.” He also says “Nevada” and “Alon” wrong. Go here.

Feel free to ignore all the Macau talk, although the success of Wynn Resorts in China is a key reason the company can afford these projects in Las Vegas.

Here’s a fun read about Why Wynn Wins.

Wynn Resorts always seems to deliver the goods, so we’re excited to see what the company has in store for Las Vegas.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 71: Final Episode of Season One, Probably

Look, we’re as sick of this podcast as you are, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen, anyway.

In this week’s show, we blather on about Hard Rock being sold, Britney Spears getting a new Vegas gig, shark fin soup being banned and all the other Sin City news you need to get the most out of your visit.

Imagine Dragons memorabilia

Hard Rock’s memorabilia are expected to go away under new ownership, so check it out while you can.

Las Vegas moves fast, so we’re here to help you keep up.

We talk Lucky Dragon misfortune, SLS cost-saving measures, CES and robot strippers, Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, “Inferno,” a new “Saw”-themed escape room, Spago’s relocation to Bellagio, a recent rash of casino robberies and more.

Spago Forum Shops

Arrivederci, Spago. Don’t freak out, it’s moving to the Olives space at Ballagio.

The “Listicle of the Week” will blow your mind, so break out that dental damn!

This week’s listicle delves into the realm of Las Vegas hotel housekeeping, and we’d wager a Bitcoin you’ll learn something new about this vital and sometimes mysterious aspect of the Las Vegas experience.

Hotel facial tissues

How do Vegas hotel housekeepers know when your box of facial tissues is running low? The tissues change color! Now, you know.

Did you know a housekeeping cart weighs 500 pounds? Neither did we!

Join us for news, rumors and speculation and lots of special guests, at least some of whom have had fistfights with slot machines.

The Killers Light Show Debuts at Fremont Street Experience

The free light shows at Fremont Street Experience are a big draw for Las Vegas visitors, and a new show from The Killers has been added to the rotation at the downtown pedestrian mall.

The new Viva Vision show showcases three songs by The Killers: “Mr. Brightside,” “When You Were Young” and “The Man.”

The Killers light show Fremont Street

Fremont’s light shows are one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas, along with the Bellagio fountains, the Mirage volcano and rejecting the sexual overtures of bloggers.

This blog is a big fan of “The Man,” mostly because the video for the song was shot in Las
Vegas.

The Plaza casino is featured prominently in the video, and former Mayor Oscar Goodman even has a cameo (he’s the one with the martini at the roulette table).

The Killers got their start in Las Vegas when the band formed in 2001.

The unfortunately-named band’s members include Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci, Jr.

Their new light show was designed by a Canadian firm, Moment Factory.

Here’s a look. It’s better in person.

Other recent additions to the Viva Vision line-up include shows devoted to Imagine Dragons (another Las Vegas band), Green Day, Linkin Park and Tiesto.

The Viva Vision screen at Fremont Street Experience (where we work in digital marketing as our day job) is about to undergo a major upgrade at a cost of $33 million.

The project will be paid for by Fremont Street Experience, the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Installation of the upgrade is expected to begin mid-2018 and is expected to take a little more than a year to complete. The Viva Vision canopy will continue to operate during the improvement process.

The upgrade project will vastly improve the resolution of the screen, making it visible even during daylight hours, and will create a “floor-to-ceiling, interactive” experience.