Category Archives: Things to Do in Las Vegas

Downtown Grand to Open New Showroom, The Spare Room

Downtown Grand is getting into the comedy game with the opening a new showroom dubbed The Spare Room.

The new showroom hasn’t officially been announced yet, but give it a minute.

Downtown Grand

You can find Downtown Grand downtown. Hence, why were are considered a Las Vegas expert.

The new showroom will be located in the former Mob Bar space, just across the street from the Mob Museum.

For the showroom launch, The Spare Room will feature two shows, “Hypnomania” and “Delirious.”

“Hypnomania,” a comedy-hypnosis show featuring 20-year comedy veteran Don Barnhart, runs at 7:00 p.m.

“Delirious,” with traditional stand-up comedy, happens at 9:00 p.m.

The showroom will be open Wednesday through Sunday.

The Spare Room will have a full bar, thankfully, and a capacity of around 100 people.

Comedy fans will be able to find tickets at the official Downtown Grand Web site once they go on sale.

Downtown Grand has faced some challenges in the past due to its location, but the resort has recently perked up with the beginning of construction of a new hotel tower.

Downtown Grand construction

Downtown Grand’s new hotel tower is coming along nicely.

If you’re checking out the new showroom at Downtown Grand, we recommend making it dinner and a show by stopping in either at Pizza Rock or Triple George, a few steps away.

Update (6/20/19): Our scoop has been officially confirmed, of course. Learn more at the official site.

Your Perfunctory Raiders Stadium Construction Update

Apparently, Las Vegas is getting another professional sports team, the Raiders.

As NFL teams need a place to engage in their copious concussions, Las Vegas agreed to help build the Raiders a sportsball theater experience.

We are not a sports person, so we don’t tend to blog about sports too much, but Raiders stadium is hard to ignore, so here’s an update!

Raiders

All due respect, Oakland, you can’t touch this.

As Las Vegas can get warmish (think a “kiln” you can’t turn off except for two weeks in early January), the Las Vegas Raiders stadium will have a translucent roof. Retractable roofs are so 2012.

The roof will be made from ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, a fluorine-based polymer. And, yes, we knew that off the top of our head.

Raiders stadium will have 52 truss columns, each weighing about 65 tons, or about what your brother-in-law weighs after a visit to a Las Vegas buffet. Give or take a ton.

Raiders Stadium truss

These things weigh a lot, truss us on this one.

That roof will be 200 feet up and supported by trusses, which are being installed right now.

Raiders stadium update

T-Mobile’s slipping lifts into its shoes right about now.

It’s expected the stadium will be completed in August 2020.

Here’s a video that shows what’s gone into building this massive structure. Bonus: It’s narrated by Mike Rowe, the guy from “Deadliest Catch.”

The stadium will have 65,000 seats.

It’s been reported the Las Vegas Raiders stadium project will cost $1.8 billion. Although, that’s pocket change in NFL dollars.

Raiders Stadium

Still the worst education system in the country, but damn we’re good at making buildings for sports.

While we may not be the biggest football fan, there’s no denying the Raiders stadium is a big deal for Las Vegas, so we’ll keep an eye on this project, even perfunctorally, which we’re pretty sure wasn’t a word until this sentence.

10 New Things Happening in Downtown Las Vegas Right Now

It’s time to dive headlong into a metric ass-ton of downtown Las Vegas updates. The alternative is for us to get a life, and you know that’s not happening.

Enjoy this hastily slapped-together list of things going on downtown at the moment, including some new things to do in downtown Las Vegas, in no particular order.

1. Flamingo at Lyft Art Park

The Lyft Art Park, in the parking lot next to Park on Fremont restaurant, has updated its collection of “Grammable” art with Phoenicopterus Rex, a 40-foot flamingo. The giant flamingo made its debut at Burning Man in 2017.

Flamingo Lyft Art Park

About 750 pounds of steel are used for each of the flamingo’s legs.

2. Circa Las Vegas Gets Its Pour On

Circa Las Vegas, a new casino resort coming to Fremont Street, has already made significant progress, including a couple of recent, massive concrete pours. Here’s the latest from the site.

Circa

While Circa is expected to eventually have 777 rooms, it will open with 500 rooms and 71 suites.

On Apr. 9, 2019, 205 concrete trucks lined up to deliver 2,050 cubic yards of concrete for the foundation of Circa. Here’s where some of it went.

Circa

We will not bore you with the technical details of what’s happening here, mainly because we don’t know what those are. We do know these are elevator shafts. One bank will go halfway up Circa, the other will go all the way up.

Circa is slated to open in 2020, and the good folks at Circa have thoughtfully put up a schedule so we can keep abreast of what’s happening when.

Circa

Thanks, Circa. Suitable for lamination.

Here’s a bonus new thing you need to know about: If you’re a fan of the Project BBQ truck, please know it’s relocated. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding it, as it’s only moved 20 feet.

Project BBQ

Consider your visit to the Circa site a catered affair.

Oh, and here’s a bonus bonus: In a nearby location, we spotted some early exposure tests of the Circa windows.

Circa windows

Fun fact: The spots without glass are LED panels. So, the entire side of Circa will essentially be a video screen. The mind reels.

3. Golden Gate Sports Book Underway

Just across from the Circa site, Golden Gate is quickly working on its news sports book. We popped our head in, because that’s sort of how we roll, despite it’s being related to sports. The new sports book at Golden Gate will open June 1, 2019, under the Circa Sports brand.

Golden Gate sports book

While the sports book at Golden Gate will be one of downtown’s smallest, the one at Circa is being billed as the world’s biggest.

4. Santos Tacos & Beer Opens

We’ve spoken often of “Restaurant Row” on Carson Street downtown, as it boasts several popular dining establishments including Carson Kitchen, Vegenation, 7th & Carson and Eat. Now, Santos Tacos & Beer has taken up residence in the former Bomb Tacos space.

Santos Tacos downtown

This space has hosted a string of restaurant concepts. Let’s hope this one sticks.

Santos Tacos is a solid offering, and well worth a stop to help manage those drunchies. One of the quirky aspects of this new restaurant is its “Saint of the Day.”

Santos Tacos

The day we visited, Celine was the “Saint of the Day,” and we can all get onboard with that.

5. Cat’s Meow Karaoke Bar in the Works

Despite our best efforts to keep karaoke from being a thing in Las Vegas, Cat’s Meow at Neonopolis actually seems to have potential.

Cat's Meow

In case you’ve wondered what’s going on in there. This is that.

Cat’s Meow has its roots in New Orleans, and will take over a massive, 10,000-square-foot space on the second floor of Neonopolis.

Cat's Meow

Curiosity is the only thing we have in common with cats.

You can see Cat’s Meow from the street, and the owners say they’re trying to get approval for a staircase from Fremont Street. Access has proven a challenge for a number of businesses in Neonopolis.

Cat's Meow Las Vegas

Cat’s Meow will have multiple bars, a necessary amenity when there’s karaoke.

It sounds like Cat’s Meow will open in May 2019, and another sing-along business, OD’s, will follow in a adjacent space.

6. Don’t Tell Mama on the Move

In other Neonopolis news, Don’t Tell Mama, a piano lounge with a passionate following, has moved to the retail complex. Don’t Tell Mama originally opened in 2009.

Don't Tell Mama

Now, you know where that place you know nothing about is.

7. Downtown Grand’s Gets a New Tower

While Downtown Grand’s casino is often under-peopled, the hotel side of the business is apparently booming, so Downtown Grand is building a new hotel tower. The new tower will sit in the space where the hotel’s porte cochere used to be and construction will add 495 new rooms to the hotel.

Downtown Grand construction

Rest assured, we’ll be keeping an eye on Downtown Grand’s new erection.

8. Whiskey Licker Up at Binion’s

Construction continues in dramatic fashion at Binion’s, making way for a new venue called Whiskey Licker Up.

Whiskey Licker Up Binion's

Binion’s lost a little neon, but there’s plenty left.

Of course we poked our head inside. Do you know this blog at all?

Whiskey Licker Up Binion's

Walls are highly overrated.

Whiskey Licker Up will be a bar and lounge with a rotating bar as its centerpiece. There will be food, dancing and live entertainment as well. Read more.

Whiskey Licker Up

Consider this the “before” photo.

The new bar will wrap around one corner of Binion’s providing a sweet view of the festivities below. Whiskey Licker Up is expected to open summer 2019.

9. Hotel Apache Takes Reservations

See what we did there? Back in February, which never seems correctly spelled, Binion’s announced it would open about 80 rooms in a boutique, hotel-within-a-hotel, Hotel Apache. The rooms are decorated in a vintage style, and Binion’s isn’t being shy about how some believe the place is haunted. Rooms can now be booked online.

Hotel Apache

We’ve heard Hotel Apache, like its sister hotel, Four Queens, won’t have a resort fee, so there’s that.

10. First Fremont Street Experience Canopy LEDs Arrive

Fremont Street Experience, where we work in marketing as our day job (opinions are our own, as if that weren’t readily apparent), is getting a $32 million renovation of its Viva Vision screen. The canopy upgrade is a huge undertaking, and the first shipment of LEDs were recently delivered.

Fremont Street Experience canopy upgrade

These crates hold just 1/16th of the LEDs needed for the Viva Vision upgrade.

We poked our camera into one of the crates to get a look at the new LEDs. The Viva Vision canopy renovation starts around May 6, 2019, and the upgraded video screen will debut on New Year’s Eve.

Viva Vision modules

These LEDs will give the Viva Vision screen seven times the brightness and four times the resolution.

The light shows at Fremont Street Experience will continue to play throughout the upgrade. Installation of the new LEDs will happen in the late evening through early morning in 150-foot sections (from the west end of the street, near Golden Gate, to the east, near White Castle), but the shows will play with little interruption.

This Doesn’t Fit With the Rest of the List, But We’re Sharing Anyway

We figured it was worth mentioning, Beauty Bar on Fremont East has closed and isn’t coming back. The entertainment venue didn’t go down without some drama, but the curtain has fallen for the last time on this beleaguered venue.

Beauty Bar closed

Beauty Bar opened in 2004, and was once co-owned by Corey Harrison of “Pawn Stars” fame.

We trust our list satisfies your thirst for downtown Las Vegas updates.

Downtown offers a distinct and idiosyncratic, to say the least, alternative to the Las Vegas Strip.

We do our best to keep you in the loop on all the latest news, mainly because it gives us an excuse to drink and gamble downtown more. We also love keeping you informed. But mainly the drinking and gambling thing. Just keeping it real.

FlyOver Las Vegas Virtual Reality Attraction Coming to Linq Hotel

It was recently announced a new flight simulator attraction is coming to the Las Vegas Strip, and now we know where it will land.

We’ve learned FlyOver Las Vegas will be located at the Linq hotel, on the resort’s third floor Vortex deck.

FlyOver Las Vegas

Las Vegas will soon have a new way to get your woozy on.

The attraction will feature two domes, one a high tech theater, the other a ticketing, merchandise and concession space.

So, what’s FlyOver Las Vegas?

According to the FlyOver Web site, “FlyOver Las Vegas utilizes state-of-the-art technology to give you the feeling of flight. You’ll hang suspended, feet dangling, before a 52-foot spherical screen as our film whisks you away on an exhilarating journey over and above Las Vegas, Nevada and more local wonders. Special effects, including wind, mist and scents, combine with the ride’s motion to create an unforgettable experience.”

The ride will feature destinations in and around Nevada with filming locations expected to include the Grand Canyon, Zion and Arches National Parks in Utah and Lake Tahoe. More Vegas, please.

Each virtual reality show will run 8-10 minutes.

Here’s a promotional video.

FlyOver Canada has already been a thing. Check out the official Web site.

Side note: The FlyOver Canada location has a pre-show presentation by a company called Moment Factory, featuring “2-D and 3-D animations as well as 360-degree video projection mapping.” These are the same folks who did the incredible video display outside the Forum Shops. Let’s have more of that in Vegas.

Here are some perfunctory details from the FlyOver Las Vegas permit filing:

The theater dome will be 7,854 square feet, 33 feet tall and 50 feet in diameter with about 1,963 square feet of floor area. The theater dome will accommodate 62 movie theater seats with bass shakers.

Fun fact: The Bass Shakers are one of our favorite bands, ever.

The ticket dome will be 17 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter, with approximately 531 square feet of floor area.

Thanks to @morenoapa on Twitter for pointing us toward the permit application.

The Linq’s Vortex deck has been one of the most underutilized spaces on the Las Vegas Strip. Why you’d take people inside a dome for simulated views, rather than taking advantage of the Strip views from the Vortex deck, we have no idea. But we quite enjoy sparkly new Vegas things, so there’s that.

If you have no idea what we’re talking about, here’s a look at the Vortex at Linq. You sort of can’t miss it.

Linq Vortex

Today’s reminder Vegas does eye candy like no other place on Earth.

Construction of FlyOver Las Vegas is expected to begin in late 2019. Which is weird when you consider the attraction is expected to open in early 2021. It’s domes.

Here’s the official FlyOver Las Vegas Web site.

As gambling revenue declines over time, Las Vegas casinos continue to seek out partners to help generate revenue in other ways, especially attractions appealing to younger visitors.

While we tend to avoid attractions featuring heights (yes, even virtual) and the potential of motion sickness, FlyOver looks like it could be a fun new diversion in very visible location, so it has the potential to make a killing. This is one to watch!

Update (6/14/19): Plans for a virtual reality attraction at Linq have been confirmed, but it’s called Fantasy Dome, “powered by Ominvision.” We have no idea where the dome is, nor have we seen any publicity for it, but presumably it opened June 14, 2019. Here’s the official site.

Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas Gets Light Show

The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas boasts some new bling. And, yes, we’re fully cognizant of the fact people haven’t used the word “bling” since 2008. You get the idea.

The Strip resort spent about $1.7 million installing lights on its Eiffel Tower replica in honor of the casino’s 20th anniversary.

The light show was unveiled with the requisite hoopla on Feb. 27, 2019, despite the fact the resort’s anniversary isn’t until Sep. 1. Paris opened on that date in 1999. Never let facts get in the way of a perfectly good hoopla!

Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower light show

The half scale Eiffel Tower at Paris has about 300,000 rivets. Yes, we counted.

The new light show runs every 30 minutes, from sunset to midnight.

The lighting system features “300 color washing Traxon ProPoint Wall Washer luminaires and more than 800 Traxon ProPoint Pixel luminaires.” In human words, that’s 300 colored lights and 800 strobes.

The lights are programmable and come in four colors (red, green, blue and white).

Check out our spectacularly slapped-together video of the new Eiffel Tower light show at Paris Las Vegas.


While the music in our video syncs with the light show, we aren’t entirely sure music accompanies the show at Paris. The best view of the light show is across the street at Bellagio, and they have their own music going to accompany the dancing fountains show.

And while we’re on the subject, it’s fairly obvious the Paris light show is meant to pull tourist eyeballs back across the street from Bellagio.

We’ve often talked about how surprising it is Bellagio’s Conservatory is still free, given trends toward casino cost-cutting, so it’s refreshing to see Paris creating a new free “attraction” for Las Vegas visitors.

The Eiffel Tower light show may not have the “wow” factor of the fountains (nothing does, really), but it’s a fun diversion and makes the most of a distinctive Las Vegas landmark.

Fremont Street Experience Announces Concert Series Schedule for 2019

Fremont Street Experience has announced its Downtown Rocks summer concert series schedule for 2019. Which we sort of just said in the headline, but we needed an opening sentence before the graphic, so there you go.

Fremont Street Experience concerts

The word “free” is music to our ears.

2019 Fremont Street Experience free concerts schedule:

googie May 24 – Good Charlotte
googie June 15 – Nelly
googie June 29 – Sugar Ray
googie July 4 – Eli Young Band
googie July 20 – Fuel, Toadies and Sponge
googie July 27 – Pop 2000 Tour hosted by Lance Bass, with O-Town, Aaron Carter, Ryan Cabrera and Tyler Hilton
googie Aug. 10 – Collective Soul
googie Aug. 17 – Buckcherry
googie Aug. 24 – Cheap Trick
googie Aug. 30 – The Wallflowers
googie Sep. 1 – I Love the ’90s featuring Vanilla Ice, Montell Jordan, All-4-One, Tone Loc and Coolio
googie Sep. 28 – Smash Mouth
googie Oct. 19 – Muddfest featuring Puddle of Mudd, Saliva, Trapt, Saving Abel and Tantric

Most of the free Fremont Street Experience concerts start at 9:00 p.m.

Fremont Street concerts

Free rocks. Shout-out to Mermaids.

When you’re visiting downtown for these free shows, look up. The Viva Vision canopy at Fremont Street Experience is getting a $32 million upgrade.

The upgrade is expected to begin in early May 2019, and will officially debut on New Year’s Eve. The light shows will continue to run during the upgrade, which will be done in eight phases, in 150-foot sections (starting at the west end of the canopy, near Golden Gate).

Here’s a look at what’s being replaced on the Fremont Street Experience screen.

Viva Vision LEDs

Fremont Street Experience debuted in 1995 and got an upgrade to its old-timey LEDs in 2004. They’re old-timey again.

Full disclosure: We work in digital marketing at Fremont Street Experience as our day job. Our opinions are our own, despite the fact we haven’t really expressed any in this blog post. Though, we like Cheap Trick a lot. And that “All Stars” song from “Shrek.” And we are also a big fan of light shows.

Get details about the free concert series at the official Fremont Street Experience Web site.