Category Archives: Vital Vegas Podcast

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 102: Stratification, Inside Hard Rock Skinny and More

Let us satiate your insatiable hunger for Vegas with the only Las Vegas podcast recommended by habitual self-flagellators.

In this episode, we interview the Vice President of Table Games at The Strat, Brian Stanton.

Among other things, Stanton is the driving force behind the casino’s new policy embracing photography in the casino, a move we’re hoping will catch on, well, everywhere.

Strat selfie

Taking photos is part of the casino experience, or should be. The Strat gets it.

We’ve also got some inside skinny from Hard Rock. Hard Rock recently announced it will close for eight months in 2020 as it transitions to Virgin Hotels, and we’ve got some top secret audio which isn’t really all that top secret but it sounds a lot sexier when we describe it that way.

We also review Ada’s restaurant at Tivoli Village, and share some self-serving media appearances, because we like attention.

The “Listicle of the Week” is “10 Misconceptions About Las Vegas,” at least one of which probably should’ve been “this is a good Las Vegas podcast.”

Think the house always wins? (It doesn’t.) Or that counting cards is illegal? (It’s not.) Or maybe you think casino dealers are rooting for you to lose? (They aren’t.) Do you believe penny slots cost the least to play? (Nope.) Do you think prostitution is legal in Las Vegas? (Really, really nope.) Do you hate being asked lots of questions accompanied by parenthetical answers? We’ve got this!

Take a listen and make your earholes earn their keep, the freeloaders.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 101: Viva Vision Overhaul, Hooters Goes Oyo, Kind Heaven’s Demise and More

Sound the bugle, it’s the first episode of the third season of the podcast your mother should’ve warned you about. And, yes, we get it, nobody’s seen a bugle since 1974, but let’s not get bogged down with details.

In this episode, we chat with the President and CEO of Fremont Street Experience, Patrick Hughes.

Patrick Hughes

Fremont Street Experience President Patrick Hughes has the second best job in the world. Because astronauts, obviously.

Hughes orchestrated the $32 million upgrade of Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen, and shares insights about the project as well as other news from downtown Las Vegas. The renovated screen will be four times the resolution and seven times the brightness of the existing screen. The project is about halfway done and the fully renovated screen will make its official debut on New Year’s Eve.

Vegas Vic Viva Vision

Vegas Vic approves.

We’ve also got a metric hell-ton of exclusive Las Vegas scoops, including stories about Hooters becoming an Oyo hotel, Kind Heaven being nixed at Linq, Cleo’s closing at SLS (Aug. 25), the closing of the weed museum in Neonopolis, a shake-up at Palms, Strat’s new chips (Stratosphere chips expire Dec. 9, 2019) and more.

Strat new chips

There’s nothing like that new chip smell! Note: Please don’t smell the chips, that’s weird.

We’ve also got the latest rumors about Las Vegas casinos up for sale, including Cromwell, Cosmopolitan, Mirage, Circus Circus and Planet Hollywood. Yes, the Rio sale is still happening, they’re just taking their sweet time announcing it.

Also, there’s tons of news, including the announcement Raiders Stadium will be Allegiant Stadium, Cat’s Meow has opened in Neonopolis, Hans Klok has opened at Excalibur, Moneyline sports bar has closed at Park MGM and whatever else we feel like rambling about incoherently.

Allegiant Stadium

Allegiant got its name in our blog, so totally worth the $25 million a year for 20 years the naming rights cost.

We also give a special shout-out to Vegas PodToons for immortalizing us. See more.

The listicle of the week is “Ten Reasons to Visit the Strat Again.”

Oh, and we talk endlessly about “Land of the Lost.” It’s a Golden Tiki shrunken head thing, just go with it.

There’s also a portion of the show devoted to grasshoppers. Yes, that was a thing, and we got to talk about it on NPR.

This episode is the next best thing to being in Las Vegas, but without all the fees, idiots banging on pickle buckets and strollers in your way. Listen on!

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 100: Oscar Goodman, Piff and More

It’s the 100th episode of the trainwreck we call the Vital Vegas Podcast. What could possibly go wrong?

In this final episode of the first season of the podcast, we review one of the best comedy-magic shows in Las Vegas, Piff the Magic Dragon at Flamingo.

Piff the Magic Dragon is performed by inspired comedian and “America’s Got Talent” alum John van der Put. The show features his Chihuahua, Mr. Piffles, and exuberant partner-in-hijinks, Jade Simone.

Piff’s show is a non-stop cavalcade of clever illusions and masterful audience interaction, all wrapped up in a family-friendly package, a Las Vegas must-see if you like comedy, magic or an irresistible mash-up of both.

Piff

A trifecta of comedy perfecta. They’re totally stealing that for their advertising.

To make our 100th episode truly memorable, we badgered former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman into an in-depth interview just in time for his 80th birthday.

Oscar Goodman was the mayor of Las Vegas for 12 years, and prior to that was a mob lawyer, defending some of the most infamous organized crime figures in the history of Las Vegas.

Fun fact from the interview: Goodman says mobster Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal always referred to himself in the third person. Here’s more about Lefty!

During his time of mayor, Oscar Goodman not only raised awareness about Las Vegas as a tourist destination, he also raised eyebrows with his sometimes controversial positions on issues like graffiti (he facetiously suggested offenders have their thumbs cut off), prostitution (he wanted it legalized) and drugs (ditto).

Oscar Goodman

The unstoppable, unreticent, undeniably unapologetic Oscar Goodman.

On the episode, we also dive headlong into a controversy swirling around comedian Doug Stanhope.

Stanhope shared a letter from Caesars Entertainment saying he’s banned from all their casinos, asserting he was “trespassed” because he posted negative reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp. There’s always more to the story, and we call bull!

We also serve up your recommended allowance of exclusive Las Vegas scoop, so take a listen and see what all the meh’s about!

Vital Vegas Podcast, Episode 99: Stop, Inebriate and Listen

It’s time for another installment of the supremely skippable Vital Vegas Podcast.

We cover the whole gamut of Las Vegas news, several gamuts if we’re being completely honest.

We talk about the Caesars and Eldorado merger, of course, including the wild speculation and poorly researched opinions for which we have become so well known among residents of correctional centers.

Caesars Palace fountains

By the time you listen to this podcast, Caesars Entertainment could be a very different thing.

There’s also talk about Vic & Anthony’s at Golden Nugget, tons of news at SLS (soon to be renamed Sahara), Apex and Kaos at Palms and an upcoming partnership between Virgin Hotel and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. See more.

Our listicle of the week floats “10 Great Gifts for People Who Love Las Vegas.” Fair warning: At least one of the gifts can be used as a murder weapon.

Ready to get pumped full of Las Vegas in a fully consensual context? We’ve got this!

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 98: Las Vegas Tea Time

It’s time for another installment of the podcast that never fails to disappoint!

In this episode, we chat with casino owner Derek Stevens about the debut of Circa Sports, a new sports book at Golden Gate. Read more.

Circa Sports Golden Gate

The oldest casino in Vegas has the newest sports book. There will be a quiz.

Stevens shares updates about not only the new sports book, but also brings us up to speed on construction of Circa Resort.

Also on the show, we share our experience at the Top of the World restaurant at The Strat, as well as Alder & Birch at Orleans.

But, wait, there’s more.

We also pass along some inside scoop about the Hakkasan Grid, a new light installation at Hakkasan nightclub at MGM Grand.

Hakkasan Grid

Behold the newest eye candy in Las Vegas, the Hakkasan Grid.

Naturally, we cover all the juicy Las Vegas rumors and speculation you have grown to know and love.

We talk SLS resort, the Front Yard at Ellis Island, resort fees, the former Intrigue nightclub, the World Series of Poker at Rio, the Mill Meek fiasco and more.

It’s the final episode of the first season, so take a listen.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 97: The TMI Episode

Can you ever have too much information about Las Vegas? Let’s hope not, because in this episode of the Vital Vegas podcast, we have enough scoop to rupture your tympanic cavity, whatever that might be.

To whet your appetite, you’ll get our first-hand take on Urth Caffe at Wynn and Chica at Venetian.

Chica Venetian

You can’t see the food from Chica restaurant on the podcast, so we’re sharing it here. You’re welcome.

We’ll also bring you up to speed on the cost-saving measures being implemented at MGM Resorts, including layoffs and the roll-out of surge pricing. Good times.

You’ll also get the inside scoop about Wynn Resorts being fined $35 million, presumably the final chapter of the Steve Wynn sexual misconduct saga.

There’s more drama surrounding Kaos at Palms, the Hunger Games Exhibition at MGM Grand, Hyde Nightclub at Bellagio, the Drew Las Vegas project, Lucky Dragon (which recently sold for $36 million) and the prematurely terminated Yayoi Kusama exhibit at Bellagio’s Gallery of Fine Art.

Lucky Dragon

Lucky Dragon is expected to re-open as a non-gambling hotel. It’s the yawn of a new era.

Listen in for news about the Hard Rock’s transition to Virgin Hotel, a new show coming to Luxor called “R.U.N.,” the Cosmopolitan being up for sale, a doomed Paula Abdul residency and A Little White Wedding Chapel looking for a buyer.

The “Listicle of the Week” is “10 Moments in Vegas History to Remember in May,” mainly because we were too busy to come up with anything clever. Here’s the listicle now!

1. May 3, 1999: Venetian opened.
2. May 14, 1998: Frank Sinatra died of a heart attack. (Let’s be real. He was sort of a dick.)
3. May 15, 1905: Las Vegas officially was founded as a city.
4. May 16, 2011: The Sahara casino closed.
5. May 18, 1956: Fremont casino opened downtown.
6. May 20, 1964: “Viva Las Vegas,” starring Elvis Presley and Ann Margret, was released.
7. May 21, 2010: Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health opened.
8. May 22, 2012: Construction began on SkyVue, the ill-fated observation wheel.
9. May 23, 1955: The Dunes opened.
10. May 24, 1955: Moulin Rouge, the first racially-integrated hotel in Las Vegas, opened.

It’s all the Vegas you could ever need, in a format you’d have difficulty caring less about.

Just push the “Play” button, already. You’ll be able to tell people you exercised.