Tuesday, May 31, 2016

360 Vegas Vacation 3

360 Vegas Vacation 3 Summer 2016

Random Vegas
Bliss Dance at MGM’s The Park complex is 40 feet tall and weighs 7500 lbs (@MGMResortsIntl).  While she does light up at night, the internal LED lights she was built with are not being used.  She’s lit up by external color lighting.

Twitpic of the Trip

It’s fitting that the art center piece of The Park in Vegas is a 40 foot tall nude women.  Never has metal mesh looked so sexy.  The twitpic of the trip captured her sultry movement with the Monte Carlo, as she is currently known as, as a back drop.  While she is large, the angle we found gave her the impression that she could be almost as large as the hotel itself.  Prediction time, if MGM still owns the name “THE Hotel” formerly at Mandalay Bay, now Delano's, Monte Carlos new name will be “THE Hotel at the Park”.

  Limo Playlist

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

360 Vegas Vacation 2 Summer 2015

Random Vegas
Binion’s was the first casino to offer free booze

Vegas Mate Review of the Trip
360 Vegas Mark’s 6/25/15 Review of Broadway Burger @NYNY – 5/5 chips

Twitpic of the Trip

We’ve been around for more than 4 years so I think its safe to accurately throw around the word “History”.  As you all know, whenever we go to Vegas, the intro of the show is related to that trip.  Random Vegas is related to what we did, the review is one of ours and Twitpic of the week becomes Twitpic of the Trip.  For the first time in the shows history, the Twitpic of the trip, while it was taking while we were in Vegas, it wasn’t taken by one of us.  This trips’s winner was taken by @agcorrington.  It’s panorama of the strip looking across the fountains of Bellagio.  This view is stunning and tends to frequently have a pic in the running every few weeks.  However this is, hands down, the best at capturing what it actually looks like to be there enjoying the view.  The only thing I can compare it to is when my smoking hot wife allows me to do some deep see exploration below the equator…I’m talking about going down on her incase that was too clever for any of you.  The picture is fantastic and well worth making show history.

Limo Playlist

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring 2015 Trip Report

Created with flickr slideshow.

Download M4A

Random Vegas
April 20th, 1955 – The Riviera Hotel and Casino becomes the 9th casino to open on the strip and it’s first high rise
In 1955, it opened with 300 rooms.  On May 4th 2015, after it’s 60th anniversary, it will close with 2,100

Vegas Mate Review of the Trip
Mark’s 3/8th review of Shake Shack @NYNY – 2/5 chips

Twitpic of the Trip

Location. Evolution. Change.  These are just a few words that Vegas lives by, maybe more than any other place on the planet.  Name one of city in the world that blows up buildings that aren’t condemned.  Having this sort of forward thinking has casualties and its time for us to say goodbye to another piece of history.  Riviera closing on May 4th inspired us to spend sometime at the property this trip and it helped put all things into perspective.  Ask yourself this.  If we still had the Sands instead of the Palazzo/Venetian, or the Castaways instead of the Mirage and TI, or the Dunes instead of Bellagio, would you still love it as much or would it feel like Reno?  Maybe 1 or two of those have a special place in your heart.  I now Dunes does for me but ultimately, it’s the spirit of betterment that has allowed Vegas to continue and even grow as the most popular vacation destination on the planet.  I think @2Vegas said it best this week.  “Forget the run-down casino/hotel, save the Riviera façade”.   While its sad to lose all that living history, it’s what that façade represents that will be lamented most.  Odds are there is nothing that can save that tower unless the neon museum wins the lottery so enjoy it while you can. If you are visiting, take lots of pictures, video and just enjoy it before it’s gone.  The “Twitpic of the trip” celebrates just one of several pictures and videos we captured for our neon spank bank while enjoying her one last time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

SLS Vegas: A First Impression Fall 2014


The renovations at SLS are impressive, no doubt about it. Especially when you know what they had to work with. However, SLS is clearly less successful at doing what Cromwell did, mirror Cosmopolitan. Regardless, it still looks great. 

The vibe is where SLS falls flat. Other than a few pit bosses & dealers, this place has no energy. They may have renovated the old Sahara but were able to successfully retain the "funeral procession" vibe it had towards the end.  We were there at around 4-5pm on a Wednesday but I've felt more energy in most casinos at 4 am. It was sad and empty. 

SLS has no public entrances on the strip.  The porte cashere is the main, and pretty much the only, way in. Other than the monorail, the only other ways in are through restaurants and/or clubs without clearly marked entrances. The concept appears to be a better take on the The Crystals forced traffic pattern but less successful at actually driving foot traffic. 

The property does have two clear reoccurring themes throughout. One is remarkably narcissistic and the other is confusing and unclear to even those that work at the property.  

The porte cashere has a large, one-eyed, smiling, arms outstretched to the sky, Pokemon meets Sponge Bob Squarepants character as its center piece.  Its said this is an artists representation of SLS figurehead Sam Nazarian's personality. Considering Steve Wynn has a $30 million dollar Popeye statue, you come to expect a little eccentricity from your Vegas personalities. And if that statue was all it was, you could...but it isn't. You'll find a head shot version of the character, with mouth agape and tongue exposed as slot bank toppers all around the property. The other memorable slot topper is an oversized handheld ornate mirror. The final egomaniac touch you'll find in SLS is the 10 foot tall marquee of Nazarian's model girlfriend dressed up as Cleopatra, used as the primary signage for the properties restaurant Cleo. In truth, it isn't as creepy as Wynn's new wife's giant color changing eyes used as the centerpiece of the restaurant named after her but still a adequate representation of his megalomania. 

Sam is always watching
The last WTF item are the monkeys. They are everywhere. On the backs of the employee's vests, on the blackjack felt and in a lounge called the monkey bar to name a few.  But what allows an odd choice of design to become something you wouldn't be surprised to find in the home of a serial killer is the fact that no one knows why they are all over the place. Dealers, waitresses, pit bosses and floor managers either simply say they don't know or those that think they do don't have consistent stories. Its bizarre.

And then there was, what appeared to be, one waitress covering the entire casino floor and the nonexistent customer service at Umami burger's bar but you'll find things like that at any property. This is about a morticians work on the dead. For those of you still mourning the lose of Sahara, fear not, because even though she looks almost unrecognizable, SLS Vegas has resurrected her spirit, just like she was, just before we lost her. 

You are still missed
I hope this is just a case of personal taste, an off day or even simply not being part of the properties demographic. Hopefully this property finds its market, caters to it well and becomes a big success. I wish that for almost all things Vegas (fuck you Gordan Ramsey & Guy Fierro). But one thing is crystal clear, SLS, in this incarnation, is NOT for me.

Now that doesn’t mean I’ll never go back or that they’ve committed some unforgivable sin.  However, I’ve been accused of being a Vegas casino apologist.  Some have gone as far as accusing me of never seeing a casino I didn’t like.  So I felt it was important to document, at least on my first impression, that I don’t like SLS Vegas. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

G2E 2014

Created with flickr slideshow.

Random Vegas
Penny slots return approx. 88%; nickel 90-91%, quarter 93%, and dollar 95%

Vegas Mate Review of the Trip
Keren’ Oct 10th Review of Pizza Rock @Downtown Grand – 4/5 chips
Mark’s Oct 3rd review of Andiamo Italian Steakhouse @the D – 5/5 chips

Twitpic of the Trip
What is it about a collection of machines and games that entrance so many of us?  Is it the noise?  The chinging “C” notes of the slot machines, the beeps of a video poker machine and even the sound of cards being dealt.  Why do we enjoy playing games that we are mathematically designed to lose at?  We intensely position ourselves for minutes around the table in anticipation of the seconds after the die are cast to reveal the results of our analysis of the situation.  It hardly seems like something fun to do or even worth the effort.  However, like all of you, the sights and sounds do mesmerize me and honestly, I don’t really care why.  I just know it feels good when I’m in its midsts.  I laugh when I lose because I’m supposed.  I shout when we win because we overcame one of the true absolutes in the cosmos, math…and its fun.  For all the reasons a casino floor thrills us, that’s why the panorama we took at Main St Station is the Twitpic of the trip.