Category Archives: Las Vegas WTF

PBR Rock Bar Creates Inspired, Awkward Photo Op With Bedazzled Bull Testicles

We’ll say it right up front: We never imagined we’d type those words in that order, ever.

Nevertheless, PBR Rock Bar at Planet Hollywood has created a must-see photo op by decorating a bull statue in an audaciously eye-catching way.

PBR Rock Bar bull balls

PBR Rock Bar at Planet Hollywood has managed to turn one of the worst views in Las Vegas into one of the most brilliant.

We’ve written about offbeat Las Vegas photo ops in the past, and shared stories about the city’s phallic objects, but this bold decorative touch stands out for its sheer originality and undeniable flair.

Simply put, nothing says Las Vegas like a bull with disco bull.

PBR Rock Bar

In case you’ve ever wondered what makes this blog special. And your impertinence is duly noted.

Hello, Pulitzer Prize.

PBR Rock Bar, of course, is home to a variety of bulls, including a mechanical one.

We trust mirrors were added to the bull’s “boys” as a reflection of the restaurant’s irreverent and fun-loving atmosphere.

You never know what surprises await in Las Vegas!

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Zombie Apocalypse Store Closes, Converts to Bitcoin Store

It came in with an “Aaargh!” and went out with barely a whimper.

The Zombie Apocalypse Store, a quirky Las Vegas retail store and attraction, has closed.

Zombie Apocalypse Store

Ah, the memories. The Zombie Apocalypse Store is currently pushing up daisies.

The store called it quits with zero fanfare or news coverage in May 2017 after a liquidation process where fans could purchase zombie and doomsday-inspired tchotchkes at garage sale prices.

Here’s a look back at the Zombie Apocalypse Store.

We’re saddened to learn of the passing of the Zombie Apocalypse Store, an undeniably memorable destination for “biter” fans and hardcore survivalists.

Zombie Apocalypse Store

Here’s a photo from 2013, long before the Zombie Apocalypse Store apocalypse.

The store housed a wide variety of zombie-related merchandise like emergency water filtration systems and food supplies, ammo, stun guns and roamer-killing weaponry.

Zombie Apocalypse Store

Not gonna lie, it got a little awkward.

The Zombie Apocalypse most recently hosted a 3-D zombie photo studio and zombie shooting gallery. See more.

After a little more than five years of operation (the store opened in November 2011), the once-brisk zombie business began to decay, so the store’s owners decided to pivot to the booming Bitcoin business.

That’s right, the Zombie Apocalypse Store has risen from the dead, becoming Bitcoin Central Las Vegas.

Bitcoin, of course, is what’s known as an alternative currency, or digital currency. Bitcoin got its start in 2009 as the first decentralized cryptocurrency. There’s been a lot of buzz about Bitcoin recently as the digital currency’s value has skyrocketed.

As with so many things in Las Vegas, we didn’t realize how attached we’d become to the Zombie Apocalypse Store until we learned it was gone.

Zombie Apocalypse Store

Part tongue-in-cheek, part deadly serious, the Zombie Apocalypse Store was a singular Las Vegas attraction.

Zombies in Las Vegas aren’t going down without a fight, however.

There’s the Zombie Apocalypse Experience at Adventure Combat Ops, a Zombie Hunt package at Range 702, an upcoming zombie attraction called Fear the Walking Dead: Survival at Fremont Street Experience (where we work in digital marketing) and the well-reviewed Zombie Burlesque show at V Theater inside the Miracle Mile Shops.

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Downtown Grand Snafu Reaps Big Wins for Players

It’s a Las Vegas story almost too good to be true, but it happened, and it’s sure to become the stuff of casino legend.

Recently, an error in Downtown Grand’s loyalty club system resulted in thousands of dollars in unearned free play for customers and tens of thousands in losses for the downtown casino.

Here’s how it went down.

On Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017, guests using their player’s cards noticed something strange when they accessed their Downtown Grand Rewards loyalty club accounts.

Rather than the typical free play offered by the casino, customers realized they were being given hundreds of additional dollars in free play for no apparent reason.

Ultimately, a system glitch resulted in each slot player receiving nearly a thousand dollars in free play ($970, to be exact), irrespective of their previous level of play. Or, to put it into the parlance of casino management, “Aieeee.”

Downtown Grand $1,000 rebate

They weren’t kidding.

Word of the snafu spread quickly, with customers alerting friends and relatives by phone and text so they, too, could take advantage of the administrative fluke.

While casino free play has no cash value, players are allowed to keep winnings resulting from the use of free slot play.

Downtown Grand’s incident (most likely caused by human error, according to casino insiders) resulted in players cashing out for substantial sums as a result of the gaff.

There’s no way to know how many players took advantage of Downtown Grand’s mistake or how long the glitch was in effect before casino management rectified it, but it’s safe to say the casino took a hit for tens of thousands of dollars.

One customer inquired about the abnormally generous free play and a Downtown Grand employee claimed a similar aberration had transpired a week prior, but players had mistakenly received free play in the $100 range.

Downtown Grand

We totally got a photo release from this guy and his suspenders, so no worries.

While magical for gamblers, errors like the one at Downtown Grand can do serious damage to a casino’s bottom line. Casino computer systems are sophisticated, but remain vulnerable to human fallibility.

The good news is Downtown Grand seems to have found its footing in recent months. We’ve heard the resort’s room bookings are strong and there are plans to add more room inventory soon.

The resort has also announced it will transform a nearby parking structure into The Quad (don’t get us started about the name), an entertainment district featuring a tavern, concert venue and fitness center. Read more.

Downtown Grand The Quad

Yay, new.

Here’s a better look at the plans for The Quad at Downtown Grand.

So, here’s the question: If you realized you were getting a thousand dollars in free play you hadn’t earned, what would you do? Would you keep playing or report the error to casino officials?

Let us know. We’re a Las Vegas blog, so we won’t judge. Probably.

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14 Sips of New, Cool and WTF in Downtown Las Vegas

Things move fast in Las Vegas, so we’ve carelessly slapped together a list of 14 new things happening in downtown Las Vegas to keep you in the loop.

Why 14 things? Well, it was originally 20, but in Sin City, the house always takes its vig. Or something.

1. Golden Gate Expansion

The expansion of the Golden Gate into the former La Bayou space is moving at a brisk pace. Note: Every great list of Las Vegas things begins with a security breach.

Golden Gate expansion

Golden Gate is doing a lot with a little. La Bayou was a mere 25 feet wide and 130 feet deep.

It’s expected the new structure will be completed in August 2017 and will feature 100 new slot machines. Here’s an inside look at the expansion construction.

2. Pop-Up BBQ

Across Fremont Street from the Golden Gate, a new BBQ truck has taken up residence in a spot where two shops used to be. Find it between the closed Mermaids and Glitter Gulch strip club.

The shops were purchased by Derek and Greg Stevens for $13.5 million and the space will eventually be part of a new resort, currently referred to as 18 Fremont.

BBQ truck

There are only about four things on the menu. That means less time waffling, more time carnivoring.

It seems the BBQ truck idea is catching on, and the pop-up restaurant will be in place as demolition of the closed Las Vegas Club begins in Q3. Derek Stevens talks about his new resort on our podcast, so have a listen.

downtown Las Vegas

Fun fact: If some of the accessories look familiar, it’s because they’re from the closed Mermaids casino, right next door.

3. Pizza Rock Menus

Just when we thought Pizza Rock couldn’t get any better, it busts out some awesome new menus. Real album covers with real albums inside double as menus. Glorious.

Pizza Rock

Millennial translation: “Albums” were made of vinyl and people used them to listen to music back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

4. Fear the Walking Dead: Survival Attraction

Demolition and construction have begun on a new attraction at Fremont Street Experience. The new walk-through attraction, inspired by “Fear the Walking Dead,” will be a mixture of escape room, maze and interactive motion ride. Here’s a look at the space.

Fear the Walking Dead Survival

Given the zombie theme, think how much money they’d save by just leaving it like this and adding zombies.

The “Fear the Walking Dead: Survival” attraction will be near the base of the SlotZilla zip line tower and is expected to open in July 2017.

downtown Las Vegas

We actually work at Fremont Street Experience as our day job. If you can’t security breach at your own place of employment, where can you security breach?

5. SlotZilla Video Screens

The SlotZilla zip line tower got an upgrade to its video screens. The largest screen is 23 feet wide. Three others simulate the reels of a (wait for it) slot machine.

SlotZilla

Yes, we rode it, and we are not a heights person. Thank you, comedy-hypnotist Marc Savard.

Here’s a look at all the dudes it took to install the largest screen.

SlotZilla zip line

You should probably consider something a little smaller for your man cave.

6. Hennessey’s Pint Glass

The seemingly endless process of rebranding the “World’s Largest Pint Glass” at Hennessey’s Tavern continues. The glass will eventually transform into a mug touting Not Your Grandfather’s Root Beer, including the addition of a massive handle.

Hennessey's pint glass

This is the back of the pint glass. The front side is 85 feet tall. That’s a lot of head.

7. Inspire Bar Windows

A small tweak to the exterior of the street-level bar at Inspire Theater has opened up the space and lets guests experience the sights and sounds and occasional fragrances of Fremont Street.

Inspire lounge

It’s actually “Inspire Bar, Lounge and Theatre.” Yes, with the fancy spelling of “theatre.”

The bar is quite welcoming, and yes, they have Captain Morgan spiced rum, the best thing since the advent of sex on giant Ferris wheels. Allegedly.

Inspire bar

Inspire is at the corner of Fremont Street, Las Vegas Blvd. and Hipster Avenue.

8. Progress at The Vault

At long last, there’s activity at a new bar on Fremont East, The Vault. Previously, the space was home to a clothing store called Coterie. Not sure where things are on Fremont East? We did walking tour.

The Vault Fremont East

The Vault is located between the Griffin and Beauty Bar, which you have also never heard of.

Outside, not a security breach. Inside, security breach.

The Vault Fremont Street

The Vault could be the hottest new spot for gymnasts in Las Vegas, unless we’ve completely misread the meaning of “vault.”

9. Changes at Emergency Arts and Eureka

A mural-covered construction wall has come down at the Emergency Arts Building across the street from El Cortez. There’s a lot of activity inside the building’s bottom floor where a new restaurant, Eureka, is expected to open soon. The space used to be the Beat Coffeehouse. There will be a quiz.

Eureka Las Vegas

Eureka sure is taking its sweet time.

10. Stoned N Baked Closes

A tasty pizza shop inside the Downtown Container Park has closed. The owner says he sold the business, including the equipment and recipes, to the Downtown Project, with promises the shop would open again in some form.

Stoned N Baked

Recreational marijuana will be available for sale in Las Vegas on July 1, 2017. Missed it by that much.

11. ChillSpot Closes, Puffles On the Way

Also at the Container Park, a frozen pop store called ChillSpot (owned by the same folks as Stoned N Baked) has also closed. A new “gelato and waffles” shop, Puffles, will take over the space.

Puffles

Puffles cones use egg waffles which originated in Hong Kong, a city whose king once climbed the Empire State Building.

12. The Dome

In other Downtown Container Park news, The Dome has opened. The dome-shaped theater seats 25 people and offers five different shows (mostly music-driven and family fare) and one interactive shooting game.

The Dome Las Vegas

In “Logan’s Run,” people rose into the air and blew up as part of a ritual called Carrousel. Location: Dome.

13. Petting Zoo

You knew we’d get to the WTF, eventually. This one’s flown under the radar, but it seems there’s a petting zoo coming the the Downtown Project’s Learning Center space.

Friends of the Wild

We spend way too much time poking our nose into places we shouldn’t.

Friends of the Wild will be a “a non-profit educational animal facility,” and appears to be in the fundraising phase. We’ll keep an eye on this one.

Friends of the Wild

Las Vegas Zoo closed. Roos-N-More closed. Let’s get it right this time, please.

14. Bonanza Gift Shop Signs

Bonanza Gift Shop is sort of downtown. Well, the “World’s Largest Gift Shop” has finally gotten around to repairing its signs damaged by high winds in March 2017. And we’re using the word “repairing” very liberally here.

Bonanza Gift Shop

Being the world’s largest gift shop means there’s plenty of space to store all the WTF.

There are always new things going on in downtown Las Vegas. If you spot something new or notable, drop us a line.

Full disclosure: This blog’s day job is in the marketing department at Fremont Street Experience. Our opinions, especially the most idiotic, are entirely our own.

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Tone-Deaf Billboard Promotes New York-New York Thrill Ride With 9/11 Phrase

A tone-deaf billboard touting a Las Vegas thrill ride could have unintended consequences given its chilling 9/11 connection.

The new billboard for the roller coaster at New York-New York uses what was once an innocuous phrase, but which on 9/11 became associated with the worst terror attack in American history.

The phrase, “Let’s roll.”

Let's Roll billboard

That’s some serious WTF right there.

Use of “Let’s roll” in an advertisement wouldn’t be as problematic were it not for the fact 9/11 is so closely associated with New York City, the theme of the New York-New York resort.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, New York-New York was even home to an impromptu memorial, a “spontaneous shrine,” to the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The memorial was outside the hotel, near its replica of the Statue of Liberty.

Items from the memorial were moved to UNLV’s Lied Library in 2016.

“Let’s roll,” of course, became inexorably intertwined with 9/11 when United Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer said it to rally other passengers as they attempted to wrest control of the hijacked plane back from terrorists. The plan ended tragically, but the phrase became a symbol of defiance, bravery and patriotism.

The use of “Let’s roll” on a billboard associated with New York-New York is unfortunate, and it’s hard to believe no one who created or produced the ad made the connection to 9/11, or if they did, chose to use the tagline, anyway.

For those who still remember 9/11 vividly, or lost loved ones in the attacks, it’s more than a gaff, it’s a slap.

Update (5/5/17): MGM Resorts and New York-New York have taken the extraordinary step of saying they’ll remove the offending billboard (at no small expense, by the way). The company said in response to this story, “We intended no connection between the tragic events of 9/11 and our billboard. Any perceived association between the two is something we deeply regret. We are already voluntarily removing the billboard in question and apologize to anyone who may have been offended.”

Much respect and thanks to MGM Resorts and New York-New York for their quick and decisive response to the concerns raised by this inadvertent misstep.

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Experiment Reveals Average Face of Las Vegas Escorts

A Canadian Web site has collected data and used face-morphing software to reveal the average face of female, male and transgender escorts.

The site used 277 images of Las Vegas escorts and has correlated the morphed images to escort price points. It’s a wacky idea at first glance, but the results are intriguing.

Here’s a look at the average faces of female escorts at various price ranges.

Female Las Vegas escorts

This is definitely not the place where we’re going to suggest the next study compare average escort gazongas, because that would be wrong.

The site takes care to note prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, but escorts often sell their services as “companionship.” If anything romantic (or physical) happens, it’s the choice of the escort and falls outside laws prohibiting prostitution.

Yeah, we don’t really understand it, either.

Still, the morphed images are telling, and speak to the way our culture values certain beauty standards.

According to the site, “the most expensive female escort seems to have more refined features” and “has lighter skin and looks much younger” than the less expensive escort.

We’re curious who the escorts are who charge $10-99, and by “curious” we mean “please contact this blog immediately, if you get our drift.”

Here’s a look at the average face of the male Las Vegas escort.

Male Las Vegas escorts

Look, there’s no male equivalent for gazongas, so get off our back.

Yes, there are male escorts, which we have to admit we didn’t actually realize was a thing until approximately 10 minutes ago.

The Web site shares, “As the price point for an escort increases, each man’s features become more refined and model-like. It’s also important to note that the men become lighter skinned as services become more expensive.”

On a related note, “Male escorts charging more than $500 an hour seemingly wear nicer clothing as well.”

The site also morphed the faces of transgender female Las Vegas escorts.

Transgender Las Vegas escorts

Stop with your judging, it’s Las Vegas.

About the transgender female escorts, the site claims, “Those who fetch top dollars look professionally made-up, while the less expensive escorts have somewhat plain hairstyles. However, the transgender woman who charges between $250 and $499 an hour has the lightest skin. Interestingly, the most expensive escort has the darkest skin.”

Who knew?

We have zero sense of the scientific validity of the information provided in this experiment, but it’s a fascinating look at a Las Vegas subculture that doesn’t often get the spotlight.

We asked an actual escort, Nikki Irish, her reaction to the study, and she replied, “Who took time out of their life to do that?” We’ve found Nikki tends to not beat around the bush. So to speak.

The site used 95 male, 105 female and 77 female transgender images to create its morphed images. Male transgender escorts weren’t included due to a lack of available images.

See the full project at the Web site in question, and kudos to the site for getting us to link to them. That’s some online marketing gold right there.

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