Category Archives: Vital Vegas Podcast

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 125: Downtown Grand, Island at Ellis, Dueling Axes and More

Podcasts are radio for the cool kids, and you know damn well you want to be cooler without paying $475 for a bottle of Gray Goose at Tryst, so check out our newest episode!

In this installment, we share our experience at the pop-up tiki lounge at Ellis Island. We love this quirky new addition to Ellis Island, and hope it becomes permanent. Ellis Island has transformed the second floor of its Front Yard venue into a tropical paradise, with stand-out food, drinks and decor.

Also, we won a handpay, so there’s that.

Ellis Island tiki

You’ve got a new place to shake your wahine, Island at Ellis. Also, please don’t shake your wahine. It doesn’t mean what you think it means.

We also touch base with Seth Schorr, Chairman of the Downtown Grand resort.

Schorr shares insights about how the downtown casino weathered the pandemic, plus what’s new and what’s next for one of our favorite places to gamble and drink downtown. Mostly that second thing.

Also, we won a handpay, so there’s that.

Downtown Grand

Try and find another place with $1 blackjack. We’ll wait.

It’s no coincidence that our “Listicle of the Week” is about how to get more handpays.

“Handpays,” of course, are also known as “taxable slot jackpots.” If a player wins a jackpot of $1,200 or more, an attendant has to pay the winner by hand.

We’ll share our tips and tricks for winning more jackpots so you can enjoy the thrill of filling out tax forms during your next Las Vegas visit!

In our ongoing quest to find fun things to do in Las Vegas, we drop by Dueling Axes at Area 15. The venue, where guests throw axes, recently got its full liquor license. You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

We also have video of one of the Dueling Axes bartenders, Misha, reminding everyone why it’s important to be respectful of bartenders.

As with every episode, we begrudgingly slap together all the latest Las Vegas news so you’re up-to-date with what’s in the works as Sin City regains its footing following a year chock full of WTF.

Learn more about the fireworks extravaganza planned for July 4 weekend, Amalfi at Caesars Palace, Soulbelly BBQ downtown, dates for Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain and Lionel Richie, Illuminarium, Las Vegas restaurant week, Kassi Beach House at Virgin Las Vegas, Hofbrauhaus, Siegel’s Bagelmania, EDC’s line-up and more.

This podcast isn’t going to listen to itself, so download, stream or feel free to insert rectally. You do you.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 124: Elon’s Holes, Vegas Returns to 110 Percent and More

There’s never been a better time to listen to a mediocre Las Vegas podcast!

For starters, we get to share our experience riding the Vegas Loop, the underground shuttle at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Elon Musk and Boring Company.

We had a blast, so let us fill your melon with all the Elon Musk fawning allowable by law.

Vegas Loop

The Vegas Loop opens June 8, coinciding with the World of Concrete convention. Yes, Elon Musk can even make concrete fun!

We’ll also chat about the return of two Las Vegas buffets, Bacchanal at Caesars Palace and Circus Buffet at Circus Circus.

We’re as surprised as you are those two buffets actually just appeared in the same sentence.

Just because we took a photo of 100 creme brulees at Bacchanal doesn’t mean we ate 100 of them. Probably.

Also in this episode, we answer all your Las Vegas questions.

We cover Resorts World (opens June 24) and its lack of pandas, the Las Vegas A’s pro baseball team, Caesars Entertainment’s Laurel lounges (not coming back), the current state of mask-wearing (pretty much nobody), Fontainebleau’s future (formerly The Drew), taxis and rideshare (it’s getting better), paid parking (it’s getting worse), the reopening of Palms (early 2022), brothels (it’s busy) and whether “Army of the Dead” is worth a watch (lower your expectations).

Army of the Dead tiger

You know you’re into Vegas when you look past the zombie tiger in “Army of the Dead” to the roller coaster at New York-New York.

We also delve into the pressing questions of our time, like “Red or black?” (red) and “Why is it so hot?” (it’s a desert).

It’s all you’ve ever wanted from a Las Vegas podcast and infinitely less. Let’s go!

Podcast Ep. 123: Maskless May, Piff at Flamingo and Omega Mart Revisited

Turn off your good judgment, pour yourself a Captain and diet and luxuriate in the unrelenting WTF of the newest installment of the Vital Vegas Podcast!

In this episode, we celebrate “Maskless May,” as vaccinated guests are no longer required to don masks in Las Vegas casinos.

We take the opportunity to chat with one of the first performers to return to the stage after months of no live entertainment: John Van Der Put, better known as Piff the Magic Dragon.

The Flamingo headliner talks about the challenges of navigating pandemic-related restrictions, and what it’s like to make people laugh and feel a sense of wonder again.


Comedy, magic, flair and a pup. Piff’s show has it all.

We also revisit one of our top Las Vegas attraction picks, Omega Mart at Area 15.

Our guest is Spencer Olsen, Director of Meow Wolf Las Vegas. Meow Wolf is the company behind the stunningly original and mind-bending Omega Mart.

Omega Mart is a little bit art exhibit, with a twist of twisted grocery store, a pinch of Gary Larson
cartoon, a smidge of immersive storytelling and a lot of “What the hell did I just see?”

We’ve also slapped together a listicle, “10 Things to Do With Your Old Masks,” plus all the news you need to become a master mansplainer about Las Vegas in just 90 minutes.

We know if we suggest you listen to our podcast, you’ll probably ignore the advice. So, do these two things: 1) Find a therapist to address your oppositional defiant disorder. 2) Listen, anyway. There might be pie.

Podcast, Ep. 122: Brothels Are Healing, Palms is Sold and Las Vegas is Back

It’s an especially saucy edition of the Vital Vegas podcast, so lube up, gird your loins and strap on your earbuds.

We start with all the latest on the as-yet-unannounced sale of Palms casino to the San Manuel tribe. Yes, we’re the only one reporting this story to-date, which makes the scoop, and us, even cooler.

Palms San Manuel

This is going to shake things up real good.

As of May 1, 2021, Nevada brothels are open again, so we went to a legal brothel icon for what’s going down.

We chat with none other than Air Force Amy, of “Cat House” fame, about how sex workers have navigated the pandemic and the closure of brothels for more than a year.

Air Force Amy shares insights about what customers can expect now that brothels have opened again, as well as her experiences at the famous Bunny Ranch (and just about every other brothel in Nevada).

Air Force Amy

Here’s brothel legend Air Force Amy on Casual Friday.

Naturally, we’ve got a butt-ton of updates about pandemic restrictions being lifted (Las Vegas capacities are up to 80%), what’s opening again (nightclubs, dayclubs and strip clubs, sorry, still no lap dances) and more.

Of course, we’ll dive into the recent spate of million-dollar-plus jackpots around Las Vegas. The biggest was a $10.5 million beauty at South Point which should’ve been ours, but we’re not even slightly bitter.

Of course, amidst all the good news, there’s still a lot that annoys us, so we share our “Top 11 Annoying Things in Las Vegas Right Now.” Highlights: Broken escalators (only 11 of 60 are working on The Strip right now), rideshare and rental car problems, the $1,200 taxable threshold and, of course, masks.

Strip broken escalator

“Grrr” just about covers it.

Get ready for a wild ride as we fill your head, heart and moist regions with so much Vegas, you’ll probably spill a little when you run over speed bumps.

Take a listen, and we’re so sorry.

Podcast: Raiders Tavern at M Resort, Pinball On The Strip, The 35 Cinema and More

There’s simply too much Vegas for one humble blog, so we’ve got a podcast as well!

In this installment, we’re jamming your orifices full of all the Vegas scoop you can accommodate without causing a hernia. Probably.

First up, we chat with the General Manager of M Resort, Hussain Mahrous, about the new Raiders Tavern & Grill.

This new sports-themed bar and restaurant is the first of its kind in the world, with lots of TVs, memorabilia as well as great food and drinks, especially that last thing. Two words: Boozy shakes.

Raiders helmet

Pretty sure this will be the subject of a future Las Vegas heist movie.

We also ask Mahrous about the resort’s popular buffet, and when it might return.

Next up, we hear from Tim Arnold, owner of the Pinball Hall of Fame.

The Pinball Hall of Fame’s new location has quietly opened on the Las Vegas Strip, with hundreds more games than the attraction’s previous location. Here’s an exclusive peek inside.

There’s also an interview with John Lohmann, owner of The 35 Cinema inside the Nerd Lounge at Neonopolis.

This quirky little theater shows films on, gasp, film, and is the only movie theater in the world where the, gasp, projector sits in the theater.

Cinema 35 Neonopolis

The youths are so freaked out right now.

Here’s more about this quirky retro gem in downtown Las Vegas.

We round out the episode with exclusive skinny, perfunctory news and a “Listicle of the Week” that tells critics of Elon Musk’s Las Vegas Loop where to stow it.

When was the last time you listened to a podcast that third world countries sometimes use to torture dissidents? Here’s your chance!

Listen up and tide yourself over until your next Las Vegas visit.

Podcast: “Absinthe” Producer, Circa Owner, Resorts World’s Restaurants

What an incredible time to be alive. While “reading things in a blog” can be useful, through the technological miracle of podcasting, we can also “have word sounds shoved into our earholes!”

In that spirit, episode 120 of the Vital Vegas podcast is live!

The show features an in-depth chat with the producer (he prefers “Impresario Extraordinaire”) of “Absinthe,” Ross Mollison.

Ross Mollison

Producer Ross Mollison, pre-pandemic. Currently, he’s quarantined in Australia, but still suitably sassy.

“Absinthe” recently reopened (again) at Caesars Palace, and Mollison’s other Vegas shows, “Opium” at Cosmo and “Atomic Saloon” at Venetian, will be back soon.

Also on the show, Circa owner Derek Stevens talks about the sale of VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network) to DraftKings.


We do not know what a “DraftKings” is, but it’s a great time for them to revamp the name of VSiN. And to add a space to Draft Kings while they’re at it.

Financial details of the deal haven’t been made public, but insiders share Stevens reportedly got $6 million in DraftKings stock for his $1 million investment (a 10 percent stake) in ViSN. Unconfirmed, but let’s just say he doesn’t seem too broken up about the deal. (The VSiN studio at Circa, pictured above, isn’t going anywhere. There’s another one at South Point.)

As if that weren’t enough exclusive rum for your Las Vegas daiquiri, we’ve also got the scoop about Resorts World’s incredible line-up of restaurants.

You also won’t want to miss our “Top 20 Nicknames for Las Vegas Bartenders.” You know, the things people call bartenders when they step up to the bar.

On second thought, let’s just list them, already.

Top 20 things Las Vegas bartenders are called when someone steps up to a casino bar:

  1. Buddy
  2. Guy
  3. Pal
  4. Boss
  5. Sir
  6. Dude
  7. Bro
  8. Homie
  9. Man
  10. Sport
  11. Dawg
  12. Barkeep
  13. Bub
  14. Bud
  15. Champ
  16. Partner
  17. Hoss
  18. Bubba
  19. Chief
  20. Hero (mainly used by us)

Yes, these are mostly used for male bartenders, but that’s because: 1) Casino bartenders are mostly male, 2) We don’t want to encourage sexist terms like “babe,” “honey” and “sweetie.”

Of course, the show is full of useful nuggets and inside scoop you won’t find anywhere else. That’s just how we roll. And by “roll,” of course, we mean “ramble.”

Bonus: We finally figured out which side of the microphone we’re supposed to talk into. Miracles happen!

Speaking of miracles, we’ll also regale you with our night of big video poker wins, including a royal flush and $4,000 hand pay for four aces with a “kicker.”

Hand pay Circa

Some people look at porn. We look at this.

There’s so much Vegas, you’ll need an expandable waistband.

Let the unmitigated disappointment begin!