Category Archives: Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas Welcome Archway Has Legs

Construction of the downtown Las Vegas welcome archway is underway and we’ve got all the latest scoop. Along with some sweet-ass pics, of course. Do you know this blog at all?

The archway is slated for completion on August 28, 2020.

Here’s a look at this sparkly new photo op being built downtown.

Downtown Las Vegas arch

This is the caption where we’re legally obligated to share this fun fact: The Las Vegas Strip isn’t in the City of Las Vegas.

The archway will extend from one side of Las Vegas Boulevard to the other, basically at the foot of The Strat. The cross streets are E. St. Louis Ave. and W. Bob Stupak Ave.

The City of Las Vegas will pony up about $6.5 million to build the illuminated archway.

Las Vegas arch

Here’s what downtown’s new erection will eventually look like. Related: Grow up.

Here’s our photo from the same general perspective for comparison purposes.

Strat arch

There’s a pretty good chance people are going to call this the “Strat arch.” The Strat probably isn’t going to complain.

Watch us talking about the arch on the local news when it was originally announced in May 2018.

We were all so much younger and unsoiled a year ago, weren’t we? Well, at least we were all younger.

Vegas arch

Paging Dr. Freud.

The archway is being built east to west by Las Vegas’ go-to sign company, YESCO.

The bases of the 80-foot archway, on the Strat side, are substantial.

Vegas arch

Yes, we took a photo of the arch support. You’re welcome.

When complete, the archway will feature the City of Las Vegas logo. Interestingly, the logo being used was abandoned by the City for official uses in August 2017, because some found the logo confusing because it was seemed to convey “fun” and “a classic vibe” and “visual interest” and “you know, all that crap Vegas is supposed to be about.”

Anyway, the ditched logo will be back in a big way.

Vegas archway

Here’s a closer look at the arch’s inner steel frame and ourter fancy.

The archway joins another “welcome to downtown Vegas” photo op a couple of blocks away.

That display, unveiled in August 2018, cost about $400,000 and features dice, poker chips, a roulette table and showgirls.

Downtown gateway display

Many actual Las Vegas showgirls were nearly this tall.

The welcome sign and arch grew out of a need for a new way to welcome visitors when downtown’s original sign (a replica of the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign near Mandalay Bay) was destroyed when an asshat crashed into it with his truck in July 2016.

All due respect to asses, hats and trucks.

Vegas arch

If you can’t tell the difference between a parabolic arch and a catenary arch, we can’t be friends.

You know we’ll be keeping an eye on the construction of the new downtown welcome archway. We’re always up for some new bling or whatever the kids are calling it now.

Las Vegas Raiders to Play Inaugural Season Without Fans

Las Vegas Raiders fans got a sharp kick to the giblets as it was announced the team’s first season at Allegiant Stadium will be played without fans in the stands.

News about the decision was first seen in e-mails to season ticket holders.

Raiders no fans

We’re bummed, and we’re not even a sports person.

The e-mail states: “We Have Made The Difficult Decision To Play The Las Vegas Raiders 2020 Inaugural Season At Allegiant Stadium Without Fans In Attendance.”

You know it’s serious when a football team owner goes full title case.

The e-mail continued, “While the current situation is not how any of us envisioned celebrating the opening of Allegiant Stadium, when circumstances permit we look forward to sharing an unparalleled GameDay Experience in the Magnificent Stadium you helped to build.”

Allegiant Stadium

“Magnificent Stadium” would’ve actually be a great name for the stadium, actually.

Honestly, the current situation isn’t how anyone envisioned 2020. Except Bill Gates. But let’s not get bogged down in details.

While the Las Vegas Raiders news is disappointing, it’s not entirely surprising given the worldwide WTF currently in effect.

Ultimately, the news could’ve been worse, because it appears there will actually be a football season.

Wayne Newton

Odd as it is, we were also sort of looking forward to seeing this in person.

The celebration of the opening of Allegiant Stadium might be on hold, but we trust the excitement of sportball fans isn’t.

Raiders enthusiasts are sure to find ways to create their own at-home game day experiences.

And we’ll just have to wait to visit those glorious Allegiant Stadium bars and lounges.

Update (8/3/20): On the bright side, Las Vegas gets the Super Bowl in 2024. Just saying.

Reveal of Five Circa Resort Bars Creating a Buzz

Circa Las Vegas seems to keep topping itself.

First, the downtown resort had its construction topping off ceremony on June 19, 2020.

Now, the casino has shared plans for five bars and lounges, just what we needed to help get us through all the pandemic-related WTF currently trying to create a buzzkill in Las Vegas.

Mega Bar Circa

Behold, our future home away from home.

Circa Las Vegas will have two opening dates: The first five floors (including the casino) open Oct. 28, 2020. The hotel opens Dec. 28, 2020.

Here’s a look at the new bars planned for Circa, as well as what inspired them. In addition to hooch. That’s sort of a given.

Vegas Vickie’s

She’s back! Circa’s lobby cocktail lounge will be named after a vintage Vegas sign, Vegas Vickie. Vickie once sat atop the Glitter Gulch strip club, now part of the Circa footprint (along with the former Mermaid’s and the Las Vegas Club).

Vegas Vickie's bar Circa

How many homes away from home is someone allowed to have? Asking for a friend.

We’re so excited for Vegas Vickie to make her return to Fremont Street. We got a little weepy when she was taken down back in 2017.

Vegas Vickie

No, you grow up.

Vickie’s been fully renovated by YESCO Signs, and Vickie will be reunited with her “husband” (yes, they were married), Vegas Vic, when Circa opens in October 2020.

We’ve heard exclusively Vickie’s leg will kick again!

Vegas Vickie Circa

Another exclusive: Vegas Vickie’s boot will feature the signature of the sign’s designer, Charles Barnard.

Mega Bar

How do you top the longest bar in Las Vegas (Longbar at The D, same owners as Circa and Golden Gate)? You build a Mega Bar.

Mega Bar looks to be Longbar, amplified.

Mega Bar Circa

We suggested Leviathan Supersize Elephantine Bar, but apparently that was already being used.

The bar will set another record for its size (165 feet, Longbar is 100 feet-ish), and will have the only acceptable flair bartenders in Las Vegas. Flair slows down the drinks, but the Longbar guys make up for it with their charm and long pours.

Mega Bar will sport the requisite 40 double-stacked TVs and 120 beer taps.

Mega Bar

Remember, it’s not just the length, it’s the mirth. You can totally steal that for your advertising, Circa.

Overhang Bar

Overhang is pretty much going to be a sports lover’s dream, overlooking Circa’s sports book, complete with a 78 million pixel video screen.

The cleverly-named Overhang, pronounced “hangover” when intoxicated, will have video poker machines, which will almost make all the sports tolerable.

Overhang

We need sports back or everyone at Overhang will be watching “Love Connection” reruns.

Circa Bar

The outdoor bars at The D and Golden Gate are pretty much paying for Circa, so it’s no surprise there will be an epic outdoor bar at Circa itself.

Circa Bar will be in the thick of the circus that is Fremont Street Experience, with 24 frozen cocktail flavors and dancing bartenders. The bar top will be fashioned from recycled Skyy Vodka bottles.

Circa Bar

The most popular slushy flavors on Fremont Street are strawberry, pina colada and margarita.

Legacy Club

While the previous four bars will open, Oct. 28, 2020, guests will have to wait until December 2020 for Legacy Club.

Legacy Circa

We long for a time when everyone can mingle again.

The bar is said to be inspired by Las Vegas’ founding fathers, and will have one of the best views in town from Circa’s 35th floor. Metal busts will line the hall of Legacy Club, so we’re thinking along the line of the Crazy Girls butts. We didn’t read the news release all that closely.

Legacy lounge Circa

Downtown’s about to get a metric shit-ton of fancy.

Legacy Club will boast a 10-foot display of 1,000 ounces of gold, pretty much guaranteed to be a must-see photo op after one hits up Vegas Vickie.

Legacy lounge Circa

Circa is the tallest structure downtown (if you don’t count Strat), so the view is guaranteed to be spectacular.

We’re thrilled about the promising collection of bars and lounges at Circa.

They even threw in a bonus beverage offering, Jack Pots, a coffee shop. This coffee stand comes from one of our favorite new Circa partners, the “sandwich legend” behind Michigan’s Zingerman’s Deli, Paul Saginaw.

Saginaw will also oversee Circa’s Saginaw’s Delicatessen, a 24-hour cafe. Expect the cafe to serve a shrimp cocktail using the same sauce recipe that made Golden Gate a thing.

Jack Pots coffee Circa

Sorry, Jack Pots, this blog has never had coffee. All due respect.

Read all about the Circa restaurants.

It’s an entirely surreal time to be opening a Las Vegas resort, but Circa’s line-up of bars has given us something to look forward to, and just three months away!

We can’t wait to test drive all these Circa bars on your behalf. We’re selfless like that.

10 Random Happy Thoughts About Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a little disorienting at the moment.

Challenges abound, with individuals and businesses facing unprecedented uncertainty.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the bad news, so we’ve put together a short list of happy Las Vegas thoughts. Sort of just random crap we’ve noticed that makes us smile and forget about all the WTF, even if momentarily.

Somebody has to do it.

Wynn Plaza

This Wynn Plaza artwork cost $3 million, so you know the artist is happy.

Vegas, after all, wasn’t built on concerns and dwelling upon bad news. It was built on hope and escape and possibly tassels.

Think of these observations as tassels on the burlesque dancer of life. Or something.

1. Free Parking is Awesome

We whined about paid parking for years, along with everyone else. Now, parking is free at most Las Vegas casinos, and it’s glorious. We gamble and drink longer, and our first and last interaction with casinos isn’t annoying! Let’s keep parking free, already.

Vegas free parking

Arms up, the way nature intended.

2. It’s Easier Than Ever to Find an Open Table

A busy casino is a profitable casino, but that can also mean higher table limits and fighting for a spot at your favorite craps or blackjack table. That’s not a concern at the moment, so let’s enjoy it while we can. There’s plenty of room, and casinos are very appreciative of our business and it shows.

Binion's

Twenty years a Binion’s fan and we’ve never seen zero customers. No waiting!

3. Marketers Are Flexing Their Creativity

Las Vegas marketers have the easiest job in the world. We should know, we were one. But everyone needs a challenge to grow and improve at their craft. Marketers are up against something they’ve rarely had to overcome, soft demand. Some are winning, hard.

Big Balls

Commerce finds a way.

4. There’s a Lot You Haven’t Done Yet

At one time, it seemed there was something new every day in Vegas. A new show, a new restaurant or bar, a new attraction. The good news is there’s a lot that’s new, and there’s a lot to discover during your next visit. Visit our blog often and listen to our podcast to learn about all the new Las Vegas things to do, taste and indulge in.

Love Sugar

There’s a martini bar at I Love Sugar at Linq promenade. Add it to your to-do list.

5. Wow, We’ve Got Bigass Video Screens

Video screens make us happy, and Vegas is bulging with massive screens, with more on the way. Resort World recently showed off its tower-tall screen, and we’re always mesmerized by the sweet screen at TI (pictured). Circa is going to corner the market on the number and mega of its screens, and from what we can see, Venetian is getting a beauty out front. Las Vegas is going to need to invest in a universal remote.

TI video screen

They made you look. Mission accomplished.

6. Vegas is Still Full of Amusing Surprises

We are what we dwell upon, and we like to dwell upon laughter. There’s amusement to be found at every turn in Las Vegas. You just have to keep your eyes peeled. Which is a very strange saying if you think about it, peeled eyeballwise.

Ho charger

We don’t make up the news, we just report it.

7. Loud Things Are a Lot Quieter

Typically loud parts of Vegas are incredibly quiet right now. The restaurant experience is incredible (restaurants have to limit capacity to 50%). Is this great for businesses? No. But we’re in glass half full mode right now, and we’re loving it. No onstage entertainment is keeping the noise level lower, and even the infamously boisterous Hogs & Heifers is on a break.

Hogs & Heifers

All due respect, but Las Vegas is actually better with a few less megaphones.

8. Casino Employees Are Taking It All in Stride

Casino staffers have been hit with a number of new chores and protocols, including wearing masks, but they are handling it with grace. Smizing is everywhere, and everyone’s making the best of an irksome situation. There’s a reason Vegas is known for its service, it’s the extraordinary people who serve our drinks, pay our jackpots, clean our hotel rooms and park our cars. Tip generously, they need it more than ever.

Smizing bartenders

Deliverers of happy.

9. Vegas Still Wins at Everything

Vegas continues to be a place where wonderful things happen. Even as casinos are tightening their belts, they’re still creating experiences you won’t find anywhere else, and tapping into the incomparable history and culture of Las Vegas. For example, Flamingo recently opened Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse, a new restaurant replete with more flamingos than we could count. Guests enter through a bakery facade and walk into a gorgeous, welcoming space. It’s a little bit history, and little bit romance, a whole lot of Vegas being Vegas. Guests can’t take full advantage of the bars right now, but they will, and this new joint has the potential to be on everyone’s must-do list.

Bugsy & Meyer's

Fun fact: Flamingos are naturally white or gray. They’re pink because of their food.

10. There’s Always a Bright Side

Slot players have a few things in common. They have short memories and lots of optimism. When you gamble, you have to hope for the best, every time. To us, the cherry symbolizes the fact there’s always a bright side, even during a losing streak. Cherries aren’t the most valuable symbol, but they’re something. They’re like an old friend who’s there to offer support, even when the going gets rough. Cherries mean it ain’t over ’til it’s over. It’s something, and in times of adversity, something’s better than nothing.

Cherry

Don’t hate on the cherry. Sometimes, they’re our last, best hope.

It can be challenging to stay in a positive mindset right now, but there’s a lot to be happy about, whether you’re in Las Vegas or not.

You can train yourself to see the bright side of everything. Experts say you can even re-wire your brain. Being positive is healthier and makes you more productive, and positive people have more successful relationships and make more money. No, really.

Being positive can even increase your lifespan.

Happy things are everywhere, you just have to know where to look. We suggest reading blogs. We don’t just think that’s a great idea, we’re absolutely positive.

Sahara Las Vegas Says Closure Rumors Unfounded

Sahara Las Vegas and its legal representatives say a rumor we shared about the resort closing later this year is unfounded.

Which is why you won’t find the original article here, because while the story was clearly framed as a rumor, life it too short to talk to lawyers.

How you “retract” a rumor, we aren’t entirely sure, but consider this that. Because we really like drinking and playing video poker at Casbar Lounge.

Sahara to close

We love Sahara’s new Casbar Lounge, and we’re not just saying that to make the lawyers go away.

In case we haven’t said it often enough, we share news on our site, but we also share rumors, speculation, opinions and industry chatter.

We clearly state when rumors are rumors. Rumors don’t always turn out to be true. Often they do. If this one turns out to be true, we trust Sahara will retract its denial and send us an edible bouquet.

Here’s another photo of Sahara’s casino.

Sahara casino closing

We retract our former photo caption where we noted how empty Sahara is.

For posterity, here’s Sahara’s denial of the closure rumor. via its Twitter account.

Sahara closure denial

Trust us, this isn’t the first time we’ve disappointed someone.

It’s never our intention to knowingly share false information, and Sahara is adamant this rumor has no validity. Which would mean we just made the whole thing up, for no reason and based upon no information whatsoever. That’d be weird, but let’s go with it.

We definitely apologize if this rumor caused employees any unnecessary concern. Trust us, they hear rumors long before we do.

This isn’t our first dance with Sahara and it won’t be the last.

Update (8/3/20): We’ve been told Sahara has pulled the plug on its baccarat discount and incentive program.

Update (8/8/20): Apparently, Sahara wasn’t satisfied with removal of our original post and this update/retraction. We’ve been sued by Sahara (Las Vegas Resort Holdings). The news coverage has been extensive, find stories at Channel 3, Channel 5 and the Las Vegas Sun. The story by Channel 13 contains the full complaint. We aren’t going to get into why we believe this legal action was misguided, but here’s what we have said to media outlets: “This was a rumor clearly presented as such. Threatening legal action to try and intimidate and silence writers is so 2001. It doesn’t really fly in 2020. How is the rumor that a struggling casino is struggling even more during a pandemic surprising or controversial?” More to come.

CES Pulls the Plug on Las Vegas Convention for 2021

CES 2021 has announced the massive consumer electronics conference won’t be held in Las Vegas due to COVID-19 concerns.

While conventions are one of the least interesting things about Las Vegas, the announcement still ranks high in nad-punchery as CES brings about 170,00 attendees and $280 million in economic impact to Las Vegas each year.

CES

The word root “ces” comes from the Latin meaning concede, yield or submit.

CES will move to a virtual format in 2021, and officials say the face-to-face gadget fest will be back in Vegas in 2022.

In case you don’t have a calendar handy, 2022 feels like a long, long way away.

Even when CES returns, it’s unlikely to look like the CES of years past.

Back in June 2020, we snagged details about a survey CES sent to its attendee database.

The survey floated the possibility of banning handshakes exchanging business cards.

Ultimately, CES decided to pull the plug on its annual gathering.

On the heels of the CES news, we’ve heard from friends at Caesars Entertainment that the entire marketing department of the new Caesars Forum conference center has been let go. The timing wasn’t coincidental.

While Vegas has been doing reasonably well on the weekends, the lack of convention business has hammered room occupancy, event catering, restaurant and gambling revenue and just about everything else on The Strip for several months.

Vegas doesn’t really work without conventions and expense accounts.

CES would’ve been a nice shot in the arm for the Las Vegas Strip, but international conferences are especially challenging due to travel restrictions and economic uncertainty overall.

We’d love to be able to predict a timeline for a return to normalcy for Las Vegas conventions, but at the moment all our industry sources are as baffled and perplexed as the rest of us.

On the bright side, during CES, Las Vegas room rates are typically sky high. There will be deals galore now. So, there’s that.