Monthly Archives: July 2018

Construction of Downtown Welcome Display Gets Underway

The City of Las Vegas recently announced it would devote resources to a new gateway arch and welcome display, and elements of the latter are already being put into place.

Downtown Las Vegas welcome

Be nice to Denny’s. We didn’t see anywhere else to park for this photo op.

The welcome display, featuring dice, chips and a roulette wheel, sit at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Main Street, about a block from the Stratosphere casino.

Downtown welcome Stratosphere

The new display is a stone’s throw away from the Strat. Please don’t throw stones. This neighborhood has enough problems with projectiles.

According to renderings, the site will also sport two showgirls. Posts for the showgirls have also been put into place.

Here’s a look at the rendering.

Downtown Las Vegas welcome sign

We definitely didn’t notice the dice pip position has changed since this rendering was released. Because that would be weird.

The City of Las Vegas plays a big part in the display, which is only a little awkward because the City pretty much abandoned the logo in March 2017, presumably because it was too darned full of itself.

The logo cost $20,000 to develop.

Downtown Las Vegas welcome display

On a roulette wheel, those yellow triangles are called canoes.

Also in the works is a gateway arch. The City has been a bit vague about where the arch will end up, but it’s assumed it will stretch across Las Vegas Blvd. at Sahara Ave.

An alternative location for the arch could be at South 4th Street and Las Vegas Blvd., where a “Welcome to Downtown Las Vegas” sign was obliterated by a drunk driver.

No timeline for completion of the welcome area or gateway arch has been announced.

It’s also possible a timeline has been announced and we just ignored it. We’re defiant like that.

Pinball Hall of Fame to Close, Seeks Funds for Strip Location

A popular Las Vegas attraction, the Pinball Hall of Fame, has announced it will close its Tropicana location.

The owner of the Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame Museum, Tim Arnold, shared the news in a forum catering to the pinball community.

Pinball Hall of Fame

The Pinball Hall of Fame is a beloved Las Vegas diversion, even for people who aren’t “pinheads.”

Arnold also shared he plans to move the Pinball Hall of Fame, which features hundreds of classic pinball machines, to a new location on the Las Vegas Strip.

The new site for the attraction is the former location of the Sombrero Motel, at 4915 S. Las Vegas Blvd. on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.

The Sombrero Motel closed in 2000 and the site has changed ownership several times since.

The parcel, located near the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, has been purchased for $4.6 million, but Arnold is now seeking funds to build at the new site.

Pinball Hall of Fame new location

Thanks for not making us drive all the way over there, Google Maps.

No date was given for the closure of the existing Pinball Hall of Fame location, other than Arnold saying, “as soon as we can wind up our affairs.”

Funds for the new Pinball Hall of Fame will be raised through memberships, so it remains to be seen if the new location will become a reality. Read more.

Thanks to our friend @VegasInsight for tipping us off to this story.

The Pinball Hall of Fame has always been a blast and we hope plans for a new location pan out.

Bomb Tacos Lives Up to Its Name

When Bomb Tacos opened downtown, some doubted its chances of success. Bomb Tacos has proven the skeptics wrong, the restaurant more than lives up to its name.

It’s “bomb,” in case that wasn’t clear.

“Bomb” in the post-1997 sense, that is: Legit, epic, cool, awesome sauce and fire. In other words, Bomb Tacos is the opposite of what “bomb” meant prior to 1997.

Now that we’ve established the appropriate definition of “bomb,” boom.

Bomb Tacos

This taco has onion, cilantro and guacamole. We’re a big fan of guacamole and played it often at Chuck E. Cheese as a child. We’ll wait.

There are two Bomb Taco locations, both owned by chef Robert Solano.

The original Bomb Taco is located about 15 minutes west of The Strip, so let’s not pretend you’re ever going to go there.

The Bomb Taco downtown is a block off Fremont Street, on Carson Avenue. It’s 616 E. Carson Ave., to be exact, next to Vegenation and 7th & Carson restaurant.

You sort of can’t miss Bomb Taco, as its exterior sports bright colors galore and can be seen from the surface of Jupiter.

Bomb Tacos

Life is too short to blend in. Unless you’re blending rum into diet Coke. But that could just be us.

The space has been tricky for previous restaurant offerings, including Zydeco Po-Boys and Two Bald Brothers.

The third time’s a charm, apparently, because Bomb Tacos does brisk business and has become a popular hangout for denizens of downtown.

Bomb Tacos

Denizens in their native habitat.

Bomb Taco keeps the menu streamlined, and while the menu is limited, it hits all the right notes.

On a typical day, selections include carne asada, grilled chicken, carnitas, al pastor, braised brisket, fish and rock shrimp.

Oh, hell, why did we bother typing all that when we could’ve just shown you this chalkboard?

Bomb Tacos

Most chalkboards are made from porcelain enamel. It’s not like you’re reading these captions, anyway.

Here’s more of the menu.

Yes, there are veggie options, freak.

Bomb Tacos

We don’t even know what language they’re speaking right now.

The tacos have fairly straightforward ingredients, but manage to have wonderfully complex flavors.

In fact, the restaurant’s mushroom tacos were recently named “Best Tacos from the Earth” by Las Vegas Weekly. We’re going to trust the judgment of Las Vegas Weekly on this one, as we are definitely not a mushroom person.

Bomb Tacos

Jorge has never lost a staring contest.

The tacos run anywhere from $2.75 to $3.75.

Our recommendations: Grab the braised brisket tacos and al pastor.

Bomb Tacos

These tacos are a-maize-ing. Because tortillas are made from, oh, nevermind.

The Bomb Tacos Web site is fairly useless, so find out more about the place on their Facebook page.

Bomb Tacos

Not gonna lie, those two just look guilty as hell.

Bomb Tacos in downtown Las Vegas offers up an unpretentious, satiating dining experience that’ll satisfy your drunchies with a timeless Mexican classic.

In other words, try Bomb Tacos the next time you’re bombed.

You’re welcome for the new tagline, Bomb Tacos advertising copywriting person.

Las Vegas Sands Takes a Stand, Pulls Plug on Three Mario Batali Restaurants

We have a long-standing adage: Successful things don’t close in Las Vegas.

In the case of CarneVino Italian Steakhouse at Venetian, that assertion simply doesn’t hold up.

CarneVino, along with B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, closed on July 22, 2018. The three restaurants closed nearly a week earlier than originally announced (July 27).

B&B Las Vegas

B&B might as well stand for “bye and bye.”

The decision to close the three restaurants was made by Las Vegas Sands, owner of Venetian and Palazzo, where the establishments were located.

Las Vegas Sands decided to boot the restaurants following explosive allegations of sexual misconduct against celebrity chef Mario Batali on “60 Minutes.”

While Las Vegas Sands didn’t operate the restaurants, casino companies have to steer clear of even an appearance of wrongdoing due to strict gaming regulations.

The decision to sever ties with Batali’s B&B Hospitality was intended to be a decisive, very public condemnation of his conduct, and bravo to Las Vegas Sands for taking the action it did.

That, despite the fact, by all accounts, the three restaurants made a metric ass-ton of money for Las Vegas Sands.

CarneVino, in fact, was considered by many to have been not only one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas, but the nation.


“CarneVino” is Italian for “Keep it in your pants, jerk.” Or should be.

The banishment of Batali’s restaurants follows on the heels of MGM Resorts terminating their relationship with another controversial chef, Todd English.

While MGM Resorts managed to keep its actions fairly low profile, the company closed English’s Olives restaurant at Bellagio (Spago took over the space) and rebranded Todd English Pub to The Pub.

Given the current climate, the elephant in the room with all these moves is Eataly.

MGM Resorts has invested millions in construction of Eataly at Park MGM. Eataly, of course, is being developed in partnership with B&B Hospitality Group. Yep, that B&B Hospitality Group.

While B&B Hospitality Group is buying out Mario Batali, and doing its best to distance itself from Batali (now under criminal investigation), it was too little, too late for Las Vegas Sands.

It remains to be seen if MGM Resorts will bail on its sizable investment in Eataly at Park MGM or stay the course and hope the public has a short memory.

Park MGM resort rendering

Eataly is going to sit right up front at Park MGM, making it all the more gloriously awkward.

We trust MGM Resorts has been exploring other potential partnerships even as Eataly’s construction continues.

As we said, casinos don’t play around when it comes to upholding the exceedingly high ethical standards required by regulators to get and keep a gaming license. That extends to its restaurants, shows, nightclubs and other venues.

MGM Resorts says it has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual misconduct and harassment (at least for employees), but Las Vegas Sands is one of the few Las Vegas casino companies that’s put its money where its mouth is with the closure of CarneVino, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria.

T-Mobile Arena to Offer Backstage Tours

Looking to diversify its sources of revenue, T-Mobile Arena will offer backstage tours starting July 30, 2018.

T-Mobile is offering “exclusive, behind-the-scenes access” to the facility that opened in April 2016.

T-Mobile is home to the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team, among other things.

T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas

T-Mobile Arena cost $375 million, and not a penny of it was taxpayer money. Looking at you, Raiders Stadium.

The new tours will give guests a look at areas described as “some of the most restricted” at the venue.

According to T-Mobile Arena, the tour “may include”: Luxury suites, Hyde Lounge, Press Ledge (whatever that might be), the arena’s video control room, the Vegas Golden Knights Zamboni room, dressing rooms and visiting team locker rooms.

Insert your favorite Zamboni joke here.

T-Mobile Arena

Now, visitors can get all up inside T-Mobile’s business.

Tours will take place Mondays and Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The tours will last one hour.

Tours cost $25 per person.

Children four and younger won’t be permitted, which should sort of be a rule for Las Vegas in general, if you ask us.

Learn more about the new backstage tours at T-Mobile Arena at the official Web site.

Resorts World Las Vegas Whips Out Yet Another Rendering

Resorts World Las Vegas has rolled out a new rendering, another in a series of teases from this under-construction resort on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip.

Here’s the latest from Resorts World.

Resorts World

Fun fact: Resorts World is slated to have 200 elevators and escalators. We are not making this up.

We’re pleased to report that construction of the Asian-themed resort seems to be accelerating in recent months, after sloth-like progress since its groundbreaking ceremony in May 2015.

It’s estimated Resorts World will cost around $4 billion, and its owner, Genting Group, is clearly killing time until there’s sufficient demand to fill the hotel’s planned 3,000-plus rooms.

Here’s our most recent photo of the construction. By our count, about a dozen floors have been added to the Resorts World hotel tower since early 2018.

Resorts World

Yes, they’re going with “Resorts World.” Invest $4 billion in a Vegas resort and you get to call it anything you’d like.

Genting still claims the massive resort will open in 2020, the same year the Raiders stadium will be completed, as well as an expansion to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

It’s fun to compare the new Resorts World rendering to what might have been, Echelon Place. Here’s a look at Echelon, abandoned during the economic meltdown of 2008.


Echelon was to be built on the site of the former Stardust. This is the point where we get a little weepy.

It seems more frequent updates about Resorts World may be in order now that there’s visible progress being made.

A recent story on KSNV News 3 in Las Vegas reports Resorts World claims 800 people are currently working at the resort site.

Genting says the two hotel towers are now “more than double their initial height” and workers on-site will increase six-fold in the first half of 2019.

A company rep stated 25 floors have been poured in one tower and 22 in another. Ultimately, the hotel will be 60 stories tall.

Genting further shared glass will arrive and be installed in fall 2018. Topping out of the towers will happen in fall 2019.

The company remains confident construction will be completed at the end of 2020. We predict Resorts World will blow right through that completion date. Experts agree.

We love new and shiny, and Resorts World is shaping up to be downright lustrous.