Monthly Archives: February 2018

MSG Sphere Arena Details Revealed and It’s Wonderfully Weird

There’s a new, 18,000-seat entertainment venue in the works near the Las Vegas Strip, the MSG Sphere arena, and it’s pretty weird.

The new venue is a partnership between Madison Square Garden Co. and Las Vegas Sands Corp., the company that owns Venetian and Palazzo.

MSG Sphere Arena

Besides concerts, the MSG Sphere will host Carousel. Oh, just watch “Logan’s Run” again.

The arena project was announced back in May 2016, but is only now picking up steam.

According to a story in USA Today, the MSG Sphere will boast some impressive audio technology developed by a German company, Holoplot. The technology is called “beamforming audio,” which sends sound via witchcraft rather than through speakers.

Here’s another look at Sphere.

MSG Sphere Arena Las Vegas

Get used to your mouth being agape, it’s Las Vegas.

The Sphere’s exterior is a dome with 190,000 feet of LED lighting, which translates into about 36 miles of lights.

Inside the dome, guests will enjoy what amounts to a 360-degree IMAX experience, with about 180,000-square-feet (four acres) of high resolution video across the dome’s roof.

Translation: Holy crap.

MSG Sphere Las Vegas arena

Finally, a Las Vegas venue that can legitimately use the word “immersive.”

One of the best things about the MSG Sphere is its developers promise little to no sports will be hosted in the venue. Although, fights are a possibility. Hey, nobody’s perfect.

The unfortunately-named MSG Sphere arena (some people are intolerant, you know) will be located on Sands Ave., between Manhattan St. and Koval Lane.

You have no idea where that is, so here’s a photo we took. Let’s just say we used a very tall monopod and leave it at that.

Sands music venue

The future home of some awesome.

The MSG Sphere breaks ground in 2018 and the new arena is expected to open in 2020.

We can’t wait.

Delmonico Steakhouse at Venetian is a Cut Above

Las Vegas has so many great steakhouses, it’s sometimes difficult to choose between them.

Solution: Try them all.

Delmonico Steakhouse

Let’s Delmonico! Which, we admit, up to this point, hasn’t really been a verb.

Delmonico Steakhouse at Venetian is one you’ll need to visit at some point, because it exemplifies many of the things a Las Vegas steakhouse should provide: Outstanding food and world-class service.

Delmonico Steakhouse at Venetian is owned by Emeril Lagasse, one of the few remaining celebrity chefs without a sex scandal.

Delmonico Steakhouse

You don’t need a slick exterior when you have such good cocktails on the interior.

Delmonico opened in May 1999, and while it doesn’t get the buzz of its flashier counterparts, we found the restaurant to be top-notch, with steaks that stand out from much of the competition.

Hint: It’s the rub.

The superb quality of the steaks might also be because they’re dry-aged, in-house. But mostly the rub thing. The steaks are lovingly massaged with Creole seasonings, then get a healthy (so to speak) dab of butter to ensure your meal is memorable.

Delmonico Steakhouse

Get in our belly.

Beyond the exceptional steaks, the service is pure old-school pampering. Expert waiters guide guests through the menu and a wine list with 2,300 selections. And boy are our arms tired.

You know you’re in a fancy joint when they make your Caesar salad tableside.

Delmonico Steakhouse

To get a fresher salad, you’d need to be in a field gnawing on lettuce while it’s still in the ground. If you go that route, please send photos.

You may never go back to ordinary salads.

Delmonico Steakhouse

Yes, we actually ate a salad. Peer pressure.

Don’t forget the sides. They run the gamut from Country Smashed Potatoes (pictured below), steak fries and Duck Fat Fingerling Potatoes to creamed spinach, sauteed garlic mushrooms and Baked Anson Mills Grits, whatever grits might actually be.

Delmonico Steakhouse

We tend to stick with foods we can pronounce.

Delmonico Steakhouse also boasts some delicious signature cocktails. You knew we’d get around to those, eventually.

Our waiter recommended the New Orleans Nectar. We do not remember what was in this cocktail, which leads us to believe it was fantastic.

Delmonico Steakhouse

You might as well just order these by the dozen.

You can check out the lunch, dinner and dessert menus, as well as the specialty cocktail and beer menus, at the official Delmonico Steakhouse site.

The decor at Delmonico Steakhouse is understated by Vegas standards. There are vaulted ceilings and glass French doors, among other flourishes.

Delmonico Steakhouse

It’s not cheap, but you’re worth it. Yes, we’re suddenly a L’Oreal commercial.

Delmonico Steakhouse gets its name from another Emeril Lagasse restaurant in New Orleans, Emeril’s Delmonico.

It’s fancy without being snooty, and tends to be full of businesspersons with company credit cards.

While there’s no dress code, keep it classy. The restaurant’s Web site says, “We recommend business casual attire. However, smart-casual attire is completely acceptable. We ask that gentlemen not wear sleeveless shirts.”

Good luck trying to figure out the difference between “business casual” and “smart-casual.” Translation: Don’t be a schlub, you’ll be good.

Delmonico Steakhouse

We trust those are the vaulted ceilings. We are a blog, not Architectural Digest.

Great food, excellent service and extraordinary company results in a quintessential Las Vegas steakhouse experience at Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian’s restaurant row.

Steve Wynn Steps Down Following Flood of Sexual Harassment Claims

Can someone simultaneously be a visionary casino mogul and unrepentant sexual predator?You bet your ass.

Steve Wynn has stepped down as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Wynn Resorts following a flood of sexual harassment allegations.

Wynn’s tumultuous fall from grace was sparked by a story in the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 27, 2018.

Steve Wynn

He did it his way. Which, upon reflection, wasn’t the way.

The Wall Street Journal story barely scratched the surface of decades of bad behavior considered an open secret to those who have worked with, and for, Steve Wynn.

Steve Wynn’s resignation was seen as inevitable by many.

There’s a lot that’s sad about this story. Primarily, it’s sad myriad women have had to endure mistreatment by Steve Wynn and others in a culture he fostered. The system failed, and it took a tectonic shift in our culture to finally hold Steve Wynn accountable for his misdeeds.

It’s sad this story had to be published by a national newspaper, rather than the Las Vegas Review-Journal or another local publication, especially when Wynn’s sexual misbehavior was common knowledge for years.

It’s also sad so many employees will be harmed by Wynn’s seeming inability to grasp he’s done anything wrong.

Wynn’s tone-deaf statement about the resignation is telling.

“In the last couple of weeks, I have found myself the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” says Wynn.

You didn’t find yourself anything, Mr. Wynn. You caused this. You’re not a victim. The victims are victims. You’re not a victim of the media or even your ex-wife. You did despicable things. For decades.

Steve Wynn chip

We are barely making this up.

Wynn continues, “As I have reflected upon the environment this has created, one in which a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts, I have reached the conclusion I cannot continue to be effective in my current roles.”

Sorry, but you just went from delusional egomanic to full-blown sleazeball, Mr. Wynn.

Women are standing up for themselves. Powerful, wealthy men don’t get to abuse women anymore. That’s not an “environment,” it’s not hysteria and no one’s rushing to judgment. They’re holding you responsible for your actions. They’re finally getting some semblance of justice, and you can’t buy or spin your way out of this.

Steve Wynn obviously has a metric hell-ton more reflecting to do.

Here’s our favorite part of the statement: “Therefore, effective immediately, I have decided to step down as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Wynn Resorts, a company I founded and that I love.”

We’ll let the “love” thing slide, despite the fact your sexual harassment claims have cost the company you love billions in market value, Mr. Wynn.

Wynn Resorts stock is down about 18% since the sexual harassment allegations broke, or a loss of market value approaching $4 billion.

The rest of the statement touts how great Wynn Resorts is. Nobody’s denying that. It’s just not relevant.

Tacos El Gordo

“We’re not with him.” ~Tacos El Gordo

It does get creepy when Wynn says, “Most of all, I am proud of our employees.”

Which employees are those? The ones you forced to have sex, Mr. Wynn? Maybe “proud” isn’t the right word for those particular employees. Thankful, perhaps. Thankful they allowed you to bully them into silence. Or thankful they accepted your money to go away. (Wynn admitted to paying a $7.5 million settlement to a manicurist who claimed he coerced her into having sex. There was also a paternity claim involved.)

The statement goes on to say Matt Maddox will take over the position of CEO of Wynn Resorts. Maddox currently serves as the President of Wynn Resorts, and has been described as a “trusted confidant.” What could possibly go wrong?

The tricky part of any succession plan, of course, is that everyone at Wynn Resorts knew about the long history of sexual harassment allegations against Steve Wynn. Virtually everyone turned a blind eye. Everyone.

Another unpleasant reality of Wynn’s resignation is it may be an excuse for regulatory agencies and the Wynn Resorts board to discontinue their investigations into his behavior. This lets those who were complicit off the hook.

Wynn Las Vegas

We look forward to a time when this company gets back to making pretty things.

For now, though, the victims of Steve Wynn can take some consolation in the fact he’s out.

Wynn is working his way through the sex scandal playbook, and as reality begins to sink in, we’ll soon see him embark on what’s known as an “Apology Tour” where he acknowledges what he did and feigns contrition because he desperately wants to try and salvage his legacy.

Or he’ll just keep blaming his downfall on an unfair media and an ugly divorce.

Steve Wynn’s resignation slaps a giant question mark on several announced projects in Las Vegas, including Wynn Paradise Park and Wynn West, a resort planned for the abandoned Alon site.

Wynn’s departure has an even greater impact than Las Vegas because of Wynn Resorts businesses in Macau (where Wynn Resorts makes most of its revenue) and Massachusetts (Wynn Boston Harbor was likely to have its plugged pulled as a result of the Wynn allegations).

The revelations about Steve Wynn, and his subsequent resignation, have shaken Las Vegas to its foundations. Wynn’s influence will be felt for as long as Las Vegas exists, even if you won’t be able to find his name on any of its hotels. Just give it time.

Troy Liquor Bar Opens at Golden Nugget

A new nightlife offering has opened at downtown’s Golden Nugget casino, Troy Liquor Bar.

The new nightclub and bar replaces Gold Diggers on the resort’s second floor.

Troy Liquor Bar

Liquor bars are our very favorite kind. Of bar. Please try and keep up.

The new bar concept at Golden Nugget isn’t entirely new. There’s another Troy Liquor Bar in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. No, that is not a euphemism. Get your mind out of the gutter for a change.

We are not personally a nightclub person, but we are a liquor person, so we enjoyed Troy Liquor Bar’s selection of signature cocktails.

Troy Liquor Bar

Drinks at Troy Liquor Bar are served in plastic cups because the outdoor patio overlooks the street. Translation: People be clumsy.

Most are $13, which is our least favorite price, but only because we like to gamble and we’re occasionally superstitious.

Troy Liquor Bar

The White Gummy Bear is an epic panty-dropper cocktail that will change your life.

While downtown may be known for its nightlife, it’s not exactly known for being a hotbed for nightclubs, so it remains to be seen if Troy Liquor Bar will catch on.

At the moment, it’s the only nightclub on Fremont Street Experience (where we work in digital marketing as our day job).

There’s no denying one of Troy Liquor Bar’s best assets is its view of Fremont Street Experience. The balcony at Troy Liquor Bar offers a bird’s-eye view of the circus that is Fremont Street. It also provides a sweet view of the Viva Vision canopy.

Troy Liquor Bar

A little bit of throwback, mixed with a little bit of throwforward, if that’s an actual thing.

Beyond the memorable cocktails, we found the music volume and selection to be perfect, big wins in our book.

Troy Liquor Bar also boasts several blackjack tables, so we’re in.

Troy Liquor Bar

Fun fact: Las Vegas nightclubs make about 70% of their revenue from bottle service. Then again, most don’t have blackjack tables.

We’re often asked where one can go dancing downtown, and Troy Liquor Bar certainly qualifies.

The place is a fraction of the cost of clubs on The Strip, and the vibe is unpretentious.

If you’re dining before your dancing, our best tip is to try Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse. The prix fixe menu (it’s not on the in-house menu, you have to download and print a .pdf) is one of our favorite dining deals in town.

Enjoy a few more photos of Troy Liquor Bar and let us know what you think if you give it a try.

Troy Liquor Bar at Golden Nugget

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Caesars Entertainment Rolls Out Big-Ass Convention Center Details

Caesars Entertainment has revealed some details about its Caesars Forum conference center, expected to open in 2020.

The new convention space will have 300,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, or roughly the size of Iowa.

Caesars Forum convention center

Lanyards for miles.

The Caesars Forum will have four ballrooms (two at 108,000-square feet and two at 40,000 square feet), and more than 100 “break-outs,” mainly due to eating fried foods.

The company touts the fact the convention center will be LEED Silver Certified, despite the fact no one in the history of the planet Earth has ever chosen a conference facility based upon whatever that means.

The Caesars Forum will sit just behind (to the east) of the Linq promenade, near the Flamingo and Harrah’s hotels.

Caesars Forum conference center map

All the yellow squares are paid parking kiosks. Put it on the company card.

The new project boasts the “two largest pillarless ballrooms in the world.” Yes, random, but in Las Vegas you’re not permitted to start a project unless it has the largest something.

Here’s an online version of the fancy sales brochure for the Caesars Forum.

The massive Caesars Forum project is testament to these facts: 1) Las Vegas is making huge investments in convention space, and 2) even we can’t make convention space interesting.