As this unusual news story confirms, a casino floor is not a weapon.
Look, we don’t make up the news, we just report it.
As this unusual news story confirms, a casino floor is not a weapon.
Look, we don’t make up the news, we just report it.
There are parties, then there’s Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve. This town takes all its celebrations to the extreme, but New Year’s Eve is even extremier (probably not a real word).
Vegas pulls out all the stops for New Year’s Eve, and just about every nightclub and restaurant and bar and kiosk selling teeth whitening gel has something special in store on this most unleashed of nights.
At Pure Nightclub inside Caesars, it’s the inestimable Rihanna. We have a fancy graphic to prove it.
Las Vegas is expected to host 320,000 guests for this year’s bash! This is not a number we just made up. We called everyone personally to confirm they’ll be here.
Of course, one Vegas’ biggest draws for New Year’s Eve are the fireworks!
Seven Las Vegas resorts will participate in the fireworks extravaganza this year: Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Stratosphere, TI, The Venetian, MGM Grand and Aria at CityCenter, a development so expensive, they had nothing left over to purchase a space between “City” and “Center.”
Not to be a buzzkill, but along with the New Year’s Eve revelry come some road closures on the Strip. Freeway offramps for the Strip begin closing at 5:30 p.m., and Las Vegas Boulevard closes to vehicular traffic at 6:30 p.m. Yes, we said “vehicular.” Somebody had to. The Las Vegas Street Sweeping Experience begins at 2:00 a.m., and the aforementioned vehicular traffic will be allowed back on the Strip between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.
There’s far too much happening on New Year’s Eve for one Las Vegas blog to comprehend much less post about. We do, however, have a virtually unlimited supply of fancy graphics.
Trust Vegas to offer a New Year’s Eve festivity for just about every taste and budget. If you’re looking for something restrained and understated, might we suggest Rockhouse outside Imperial Palace?
Have a blast, be safe, imbibe in moderation, but mostly that first thing! It’s Vegas, baby.
The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, and just about everybody makes the trek to the famed sign for a photo at one point or another.
Getting a great photo with the sign is pretty straightforward during daylight hours, but snapping a great photo at sunset or at night can be tricky.
We’re here to help. We are a highly-trained Las Vegas blog, after all.
This is the Advanced Course, so we’re going to assume you have a couple of things: a camera and a flash unit, each with its own manual settings.
If that’s covered, here’s what you do. Make sure your flash is off, and set the camera to auto, then take a test photo of your subjects and the Las Vegas sign.
Now, turn your camera to manual, and set it to match the settings of your test photo. In the case of the sucky photo above, the shutter was 1/160th of a second, f/6.4. Now, turn on the flash, set it to manual and take a test photo at full power. Your subjects will probably be overexposed and washed out (depending upon your distance from them), so adjust the power of the flash manually until they’re lit just right. Here’s the result.
This technique takes a little practice, but it’s very handy, and once you master it, you’ll wonder how you managed to take photos in Las Vegas without it!
It’s time for another “So, You Think You Know Vegas?” challenge. Where was the photo below taken, exactly?
Post your best guess in the Comments section for bragging rights!
Yes, we tend to take a lot of photos of Paris Las Vegas. We happen to think it’s very easy on the eyes.
What’s the most popular question people ask before they visit Las Vegas? “Where did I put my Elvis sideburns and edible underwear?!”
The second most popular question? “What are the best free shows in Las Vegas?” So thoughtful of you to ask. This blog loves it some free stuff! Here, then, are our 10 favorite free shows in Sin City. Sorry, “ultimate favorites.” Because “ultimate” makes a list sound even more awesome than it already is.
1. Big Elvis at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall
When it comes to free, Big Elvis at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, next to the Flamingo Vegas, is at the top of our list. His show packs them in, and consummate tribute artist Pete Vallee knows how to work a room. His larger-than-life frame is matched only by his big heart and even bigger voice.
2. The Fountains at Bellagio
There’s a remote chance you’ve never heard of these famed fountains, but once you see them, you’ll never see water in quite the same way. Remember the last scene in “Ocean’s 11″? Those are them. Choreographed water shoots hundreds of feet into the air, set against music to stir the senses. The best view of the fountains? A window seat at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris across the street.
3. Fremont Street Experience
The dazzling, free light show at the Fremont Street Experience, in downtown Las Vegas, is a jaw-dropper. Twenty-five million LED lights brighten the Fremont Street canopy and the hearts of thousands of Vegas visitors. Bonus free stuff: There’s almost always a free show on one of the stages at Fremont Street. Even that mildly-annoying street performer with the saxophone has his moments, especially in small doses. (You’ll see what we mean.)
4. Show in the Sky at Rio
This one’s a crowd-pleaser. There’s music. There’s dancing. There are giant boats floating through the air with gyrating, scantily-clad dancers on them tossing free Mardi Gras beads to the guests below. It’s the famed Show in the Sky at Rio Vegas. What’s not to love? Bonus free thing to do: Bevertainers. Yep, your Rio Vegas cocktail servers also get up on stage and perform from time to time. Your drink might arrive a little more slowly, but trust us, it’s worth the wait.
5. Dealertainers at Imperial Palace
Speaking of “tainers.” The blackjack dealers at Imperial Palace also break into song (and dance) every so often. We hear that people come from around the world to play blackjack with these fun-loving folks. Who’s your favorite? See all the dealertainers we’ve featured to-date.
6. Sirens of TI
This ain’t your grandpa’s Treasure Island, folks. The pirate battle outside TI has evolved into a spectacle that’s all kinds of sassy (and skimpy, costumewise). The free show draws a big crowd and continues to stop traffic with its Hollywood-style pyrotechnics. The dialogue might not win a Tony anytime soon (“My name’s Cinnimon, but every seaman that’s ever sailed into my cove just calls me Sin”), but it’s still an essential part of a Vegas visit, especially the first.
7. Circus Acts at Circus Circus
Yes, the circus acts at Circus Circus are still going strong. Most of the acts perform for about 10 minutes, so it’s best to keep your expectations in check. Still, they’re free, and the acts are fun for all ages. Acts include aerialists, jugglers, trapeze artists, clowns, contortionists and magicians.
8. Flair Bartenders
The Carnaval Court bar area outside Harrah’s is a little hard to describe. It’s part frat party and part, well, more frat party. It’s boisterous, and the bartenders are world-class conviviality-facilitators. (Translation: They know how to turn up the fun to 11.) There’s almost always free, live entertainment to be had onstage, but the bartenders are the main attraction: Vegas is the flair bartending capital of the world, after all. You can also catch some hardcore flair wizardry at Rio Vegas and other hotspots in Sin City.
9. Volcano Eruption at Mirage
Strolling by, it appears to be just an innocuous heap of rocks. But once the volcano at the Mirage gets going, it’s not hard to see why this free attraction is still a big draw on the Strip. Multi-colored water flumes and synchronized puffs of fire (think the Bellagio fountains, but with flames) make for a sensory treat. The free part makes it even better, of course.
10. People-Watching, Anywhere on the Strip
Seriously. There’s always something to do in Vegas: People-watch! Just pick a good vantage point, like on the balcony at Margaritaville at Flamingo, or in Mon Ami Gabi at Paris, or on the patio at PBR Rockbar. Just about anywhere will do. People-watching in Vegas never gets old. The sexy, the silly, the seedy, the startling. It’s all here, and it’s absolutely free, 24-7, every day of the year.
Merry Christmas, folks! We’ll let Paris Vegas headliner Barry Manilow take it from here.
Vegas definitely has its own unique way of expressing holiday cheer. Same goes for the enchanting ladies of X Burlesque at Flamingo Las Vegas.
The weather outside might be frightful, but it’s warm and toasty in Bugsy’s Cabaret at Flamingo.
If these photos don’t jump-start your holiday spirit, your heart might be two sizes too small! See more photos sure to supplant your visions of sugarplums.
We’re thinking they might want to change the song lyric to “There’s no place like Rao’s for the holidays…”
We’re big fans of the tasteful, understated holiday decorations at Rao’s restaurant inside Caesars Palace.
The real scoop: It’s a tradition at Rao’s to leave holiday decorations up all year long (at least inside the restaurant), so the holiday spirit never really leaves!
Make sure to ask about their specials for Christmas Eve, including some Feast of the Seven Fishes action, as well as their prix fixe menu for New Year’s Eve, just $140 per person.
Holiday spirit hasn’t quite kicked in yet? Oh, it will. Take it, guys!
Boyz II Men are currently putting on one of the best shows in town at Flamingo Vegas. Read more.
From her seemingly-limitless wardrobe to her dazzling smile and love of animals and Las Vegas, it’s no secret Peepshow star Holly Madison takes our breath away.
Today (Dec. 23), we wish her a happy birthday.
Thanks, Holly, for being the sparkle in our eyes and the spring in our step, and for being the de facto mayor of Las Vegas, at least according to us.
Oh, and thanks for being born. It gives us another excuse to post photos of you. As if we needed an excuse.
Catch Holly Madison, in all her glory, at Planet Hollywood in the striptease spectacular, Peepshow. See all the “birthday suit” jokes we’re not making? We’re maturing! (Actual results may vary.)
This blog doesn’t often get hot under the collar. Actually, this blog tends to avoid wearing collars altogether. But this tidbit has done unpleasant things to our hackles, including raising them.
On Dec. 20, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, from Oklahoma, released a report, “Wastebook 2010.” The report claims to highlight some of the most egregious examples of government waste in 2010.
Listed among the alleged “wasteful” expenditures was this little nugget: “The city of Las Vegas has received a $5.2 million federal grant to build the Neon Boneyard Park and Museum, including $1.8 million in 2010.”
This blog is calling the Honorable Senator from the Otherwise Likeable State of Oklahoma on the carpet for that one! Granted, this blog is not entirely sure what “calling someone on the carpet” means, but that’s not going to stop us.
We happen to love the work of the Neon Boneyard Park and Museum. Since 1996, this nonprofit has done a lot with relatively little, gathering and protecting and restoring vintage Vegas signs that would otherwise be destroyed or lost or left to rust.
Granted, “waste” is a pretty subjective thing, but surely preserving the colorful past of one of the world’s most beloved cities warrants a little governmental love, no?
Read more about the Neon Museum.
Or check out the Wastebook 2010 report, and tell us what you think in the Comments section. Oh, and here’s a suggestion. How about if we spend more on historic sign restoration and less on oversight reports. Oh, snap!
A Wizard of Oz slot machine hit at Planet Hollywood Vegas last night, and hit big. The machine paid a whopping $2.9 million progressive jackpot. And in the kind of story only Las Vegas can tell, the winner of the jackpot was named…wait for it…Dorothy, of course.
Dorothy Reyholds hit the jackpot in the early morning hours of Dec. 22. Her family was with her as the click-your-heels moment unfolded.
Dorothy is retired, visiting Las Vegas for a week from California, and had been playing the Wizard of Oz penny slot for about three hours before hitting it big.
The Vegas dreams is alive and well! Oh, and FYI: If Glinda the Good Witch isn’t available, Lady Luck might just do in a pinch.
Today’s random Vegas photo was taken at The Forum Shops inside Caesars Palace.
As Las Vegas experts, this blog can say, without fear of contradiction, that this impressive statue is a likeness of mumblemumble, a historical figure of some note, probably.
The statue in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace was installed in the year mumble, and is fashioned from several hundreds or thousands of pounds of mumblemumble. The stunning painting above the statue was done by mumblemumble and required mumble gallons of paint to complete.
Look, we are a Las Vegas blog, not a statue and ceiling detective.