We know The Quad hasn’t officially debuted its new casino area and Catalyst Bar yet, but who can wait?
We popped in for a sneak peek, and honestly, our mouth’s still agape. Which, admittedly, is not a great look for us, but we digress.
The finishing touches are being put on the Catalyst Bar. Do people still say "holy smokes"?
The Catalyst Bar is the centerpiece of The Quad’s expanded casino area, and we can’t wait to have our first cocktail at this impressive bar.
We apologize for thinking the renderings might have been a little full of themselves. They sort of nailed it.
There are lots of new flourishes in the renovated casino. We especially like the fancy light fixtures.
The Quad is definitely discovering its vibe.
The expanded casino will be the new location for The Quad’s dealertainers, blackjack dealers who also perform as music’s greatest stars. Or they’re performers who deal blackjack. We can never keep that straight.
One of the tables in the dealertainer pit gets it assembly on.
During our visit, we got to see a funky tool being used to level one of the new roulette wheels. This tri-point level (called an AccuLevel) sits in the groove where the ball circles the wheel before dropping into the numbered slots. A perfectly level wheel ensures the game’s fair for players and the casino.
We have no idea why we find all this so fascinating. We just do.
There’s something exciting about new table games. What’s not to love about the arm rests on the new craps tables at The Quad, pictured below?
What an amazing rack. We should probably leave it at that.
Another new addition to The Quad is the “Q” Wine & Spirits store. The shelves will soon be filled with a few of our favorite things, including, but not limited to, wine and spirits.
At least we think this is the "Q" Wine & Spirits store. The sign was still in the works.
Unrelated to anything, look what we found in the hotel’s gift shop, nearby. This blog’s other favorite things!
Insert gratuitous photo of Quad candy here.
There’s a lot to take in at The Quad, so plan to spend some time checking out the new casino area, the new Catalyst Bar, the new porte-cochère, the new Registration and Total Rewards desks, and much more.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about what the luckiest number on a roulette wheel is. But here’s a fact about roulette you probably didn’t know: The funniest number on a roulette wheel is 32.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. It’s something along the lines of, “Despite your being an award-winning Las Vegas blog, which orifice did you extract that from?” Actually, we didn’t just make that up. The number 32 has been deemed the funniest number on a roulette wheel by none other than a group of the most acclaimed comedy professionals in the history of funny.
The undisputed funniest number on a roulette wheel.
One of the most lauded shows on television, ever, was “Your Show of Shows.” It starred Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, and the show’s writing staff was a who’s-who of the greatest comedic inkslingers ever to put yucks to paper.
Back in 1996, the Writers Guild of America gathered the former “Your Show of Shows” (and “Caesars Hour”) writers for a free-wheeling panel discussion. The panelists included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin, Aaron Ruben, Danny Simon, Sheldon Keller and Gary Belkin.
During their discussion, these masters of their comedic domain revealed they’d explored the question of which number on a roulette wheel is funniest, and landed upon 32. Take a look.
Ultimate insider trivia: After the Writers Guild event, the “Caesar’s Writers” panel was made available on VHS tape. The photo on the packaging was taken by none other than this very blog, who served as the official photographer at the event. We are not making this up. Ah, the circularity of the universe. And don’t even get us started about the fact our roulette wheel photo, in a post about “Caesar’s Writers,” was taken at (wait for it) Caesars Palace.
So, now you know! Some always bet on red or black when they’re in Las Vegas, but this blog always bets on 32.
How do you welcome a performer like CeeLo Green, someone with a larger-than-life persona, to his new home on The Strip? With an over-the-top Sin City spectacle, of course.
The multi-talented Green made a dramatic, flame-fueled entrance as he was officially welcomed to Planet Hollywood to celebrate the start of his new show, “CeeLo Green is Loberace,” which opens Feb. 27, 2013.
Mr. Green is not known for understatement. Sort of like Vegas, you might say.
The Strip was shut down for a short period as Green, and a bevy of showgirls (they tend to travel in bevies), cruised down the famed Las Vegas Strip from Caesars Palace to Planet Hollywood.
We're thinking there's a new single in this for CeeLo. Suggested title: "Truck You."
The moving platform featured a piano spouting five-foot-tall flames, and other pyrotechnics, just for some added flair.
Like New Year's Eve on The Strip. Just soberer.
And speaking of flair…
Now, that's a welcoming committee.
Fans lined the street outside Planet Hollywood to greet the performer known for his epic hit single, “Forget You” (you know the better version) and his role on the hit reality series, “The Voice.”
Check out these video highlights from the evening’s festivities.
After disembarking his flame-throwermobile, Green took part in a Planet Hollywood tradition, placing his hands in cement and signing his name (with a chopstick, which this blog now owns).
It's a rough job, but somebody's got to do it.
CeeLo’s big arrival didn’t just magically happen, of course.
The crowd-pleasing stunt was months in the making, and we’ve got some exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos taken during the preparation process. Because that’s how this blog rolls.
CeeLo was hands-on during the planning of his hoopla.
The platform used for Green’s official welcome was built in a nearby warehouse, on a massive flatbed truck equipped with the flaming piano, LED light panels and hand-holds for the showgirls. The showgirls appear nightly in “Jubilee!” at Bally’s Las Vegas, just down the block from Planet Hollywood.
The planning of the event was meticulous because of the potentially-dangerous fire elements. We hear Green’s clothes were even treated with a flame-resistant chemical. Singed music superstars are not happy music superstars.
CeeLo reviews video of the flame effects with the production team.
The piano top was equipped with tubes which pumped flammable gas (see below), creating the leaping flames enjoyed by the crowds along Las Vegas Boulevard during Green’s arrival.
A little Las Vegas publicity stunt magic.
CeeLo Green’s new show is described as “part dance party, part live concert,” and will feature not only Green’s flamboyant sense of style, but also music that inspires him, from Rod Stewart to INXS to The Temptations.
The show will also have magic and showgirls, of course, because what Las Vegas show would be complete without them?
Did we really need to mention "Loberace" is a tip of the hat to the iconic Liberace? Please try and keep up.
Although a number of tenants have been announced for The Linq, the first-of-its-kind F.A.M.E. has made us especially curious.
The venue’s name stands for “Food. Art. Music. Entertainment.” But we still weren’t getting it. So, we decided to track down Chul Park, who works with HIG Management, the group bringing F.A.M.E. to The Linq. The Linq, of course, is the new, multi-million dollar shopping, dining and entertainment complex coming to the heart of the Las Vegas Strip (between Flamingo Las Vegas and The Quad).
You can't spell "F.A.M.E." without "M.E." Or "F.A." for that matter.
Park explains that the overall concept for F.A.M.E. is that it’s an “Asian Night Market & Lounge.” Which would be great if this blog knew what that was. We don’t get out much. Thankfully, Park was up for telling us more.
“On the first floor, we’re re-creating an Asian night market. Night markets in Asia are known to offer a variety of street food within a busy, loud and exciting atmosphere. They’re great places to stroll around with your friends and family, to eat, drink and people-watch,” says Park.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Oh, all right, we'll eat a vegetable if we have to.
“We’ll have stalls and food trucks offering popular street food from different cities in Asia. Once you step into the first floor of F.A.M.E., you’ll feel like you’re standing in the middle of a night market in Taipei. The second floor will be a lounge with sushi bar and robatayaki (Japanese slow-grilled skewers). It’ll give off a vibe that you can only feel at a lounge in Tokyo or Seoul. It’ll be very hip and sexy.”
Given that this Las Vegas is both hip and sexy, we’re now completely onboard. Along with being hip and sexy, however, this blog is also often hungry, so we asked Park for more scoop about the food.
Sure to be one of the more aromatic offerings at The Linq.
Park adds, “There’s going to be an array of authentic street food you’d find at night markets in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Taipei and more. We’ll have noodles, dim sum and satay, but also food that can only be found at night markets in those cities.”
We’re definitely in.
Of course, another component of F.A.M.E. will be the entertainment. Among the offerings will be a Japanese Taiko drum show, Chinese lion dances, live cooking, DJs and street performers.
This video might provide a feel for what’s coming at F.A.M.E.
As far as the art, Park says, “F.A.M.E., as a whole, will be a very artsy space with a lot of attention to detail. Also, in order to portray the authentic street feel, we’ll have a space dedicated to street art where we’ll invite different artists to ‘tag’ every month.”
We were curious about a couple of other things, like who’s behind F.A.M.E., and Park said, “Many of us were born and raised in Asia. Others have multiple, first-hand experiences at Asian night markets and lounges. Each of us brings something to the table and we’re going to make F.A.M.E. as authentic as possible for people who have yet to experience an Asian night market or lounge, or for those who want to experience it again.”
Fact: You will never see a cook at an Asian street market with a wrinkled shirt.
Thanks to Chul Park for sending along some photos, too! They were taken by the F.A.M.E. team during visits to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Taipei.
We were also curious about the fact “Gangnam Style” was mentioned in describing F.A.M.E. Park already knew what we were going to ask next.
“It’s funny the song ‘Gangnam Style’ became popular while we were coming up with the concept for F.A.M.E. Gangnam is an area in Seoul that’s known to have some of the best street food and trendiest lounges and clubs. The atmosphere in Gangnam is fun, energetic, passionate and vibrant and it’s that style, ‘Gangnam Style,’ that we’re bringing to F.A.M.E.”
Don't hate us because we're mainly sharing the food photos.
We had to ask Park what he’s personally most excited about when it comes to The Linq. He said, “The Linq is going to be a place where you can come back every night and experience something new, different and exciting. And the High Roller (observation wheel). How can you not get excited about the world’s tallest observation wheel?”
We can’t wait to get a taste of F.A.M.E. when it opens later this year.
As if a 20-year, record-breaking residency at a Las Vegas hotel weren’t enough, comedy-magician Penn Jillette now has another item to beef up his resume: There’s a spider named after him.
Jason Bond, Director of the Auburn University Museum of Natural History, recently discovered the spider and named it the Atomic Penn Jillette spider. The scientific name is “Aptostichus pennjillettei.” Yes, there will be a quiz.
If we had discovered this spider, it would now be named the "AIEEEEEE!" spider.
The Atomic Penn Jillette spider is quarter-sized, rust-colored and native to Nevada’s nuclear testing site. The spider was named after Penn because, among other things, he’s an outspoken advocate of scientific skepticism.
Arachnophiles will immediately see the similarities between the Atomic Penn Jillette spider and Aptostichus atomarius, mainly because of all the free time arachnophiles have due to not being busy with things like “being invited to parties” and “girlfriends.”
You’d sort of expect excellent food at an Italian restaurant, especially in Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Official Motto: “Everything in Las Vegas tastes better because we also have pole dancing.”)
But Trevi Restaurant, inside The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, does great Italian food one better by also serving up some mind-blowing signature cocktails.
Yes, there's a fountain. It's not the Trevi fountain. Long story. Please try and stay focused. We're talking about cocktails here.
Here, then, are five libations sure to make you feel like you just tossed a coin into an Italian fountain and got lucky. So to speak.
Stealing the show, right off the bat, is the mesmerizing Pomegranate Cosmo. This Sin City-worthy temptation has Sobieski Orange vodka, fresh pomegranate juice, triple sec liqueur and fresh-squeezed lime.
Come to mamma. Or mamma mia. Whatever.
Also ridiculously good is the Capri Coral Crush, with Smirnoff Melon vodka, along with a blend of mango, guava, pineapple and passion fruit juices.
Speaking of "Capri," did you know The Quad hotel in Las Vegas was once called the Flamingo Capri? Yes, there will be a quiz.
The Italian margarita has Sauza Gold tequila, Cointreau, Amaretto and fresh lime juice. What it mostly has is the ability to help you get past pretty much any drama in your life, at least for awhile.
You can tell it's an Italian margarita because after you drink one, you'll feel like putting on a striped shirt and singing to tourists. Probably.
The Coconut Mojito is not only pleasing to the palate, but also to the eye. It contains Pearl Coconut vodka with fresh mint and lime, with splashes of soda and pineapple juice. Don’t try to replicate a “splash” at home. The cocktails at Trevi are prepared by professionals trained in the art of splashing.
Waiter, would you mind bringing over a diving board? Thanks.
Last, but in no way the least, is the Sangrini. It’s one of the best slushy drinks we’ve had in town, and while we can’t entirely remember what was in it, we’d call that a tremendous selling point.
"Peach Bellini with Valpolicella wine" seems to ring a bell.
Every signature cocktail at Trevi is more saporous than the last. And while we can’t guarantee the cocktails will suddenly make you start using big words like “saporous,” we’re pretty sure they can help you mispronounce a few.
Although The Quad officially became The Quad in December 2012, only today did the hotel get its “Q.”
In linguistic circles, the letter "q" is known as a "voiceless uvular stop." Which sounds hot, if you ask us.
The hotel’s new sign has been going up for the last couple of weeks (each letter in the sign is 16 feet tall, so installation takes some time), and just hours ago, the “Q” logo was being affixed. The “Q” will have the ability to change colors once it’s fully operational.
Using our girthiest lens, we were able to get all up in the business of The Quad’s new “Q.” If you look closely, you can see the inner workings of the sign, also known as the “electronic stuff we can’t identify because this blog is clueless about that kind of thing.”
This sign needs to get hooked up. Not unusual in Vegas.
We can’t wait to see this bad boy all lit up and glowy, and we’re happy to see The Quad finally wearing its official nametag.
Today's job we do not want. Aieee.
Find out more about all the magical things happening at The Quad.
We asked George Wallace a few questions, and he was nice enough to give us a few answers.
Pulse of Vegas: Is it weird to get a lifetime achievement award while you’re still alive?
George Wallace: Where have you been? You don’t have to be dead to receive a lifetime achievement award. They stopped doing that years ago. Most honorees are all alive now. It means you’ve been in the business for a long time and you’ve made a footprint for others to follow. It also reflects you have achieved meaningful success in your category.
Pulse of Vegas: Say you had a time machine. Which part of your career do you wish you could experience again?
George Wallace: I’m so blessed. I love everything I do. I’m the most successful comedian ever. It’s not how much money you make. It’s how you live and continue to live your life. I have everything I need and desire. I continue to live my dream. My ultimate dream was to headline Las Vegas. I came here for 30 days initially, and now I’m entering my 10th year! I’ve made history. I have now owned and headlined a major showroom on The Strip longer than any African-American. What a blessing to know my record is longer than Lena Horne, Red Foxx and Sammy Davis Jr. I wouldn’t mind going back to high school and college, however.
His middle name is Henry. Hey, you might get asked that question someday.
Pulse of Vegas: Awards aside, what are some other perks of being you?
George Wallace: A great advantage of being George Wallace is I love what I do. How many people do you know who do exactly what they want to do and get paid? I don’t make as much as Seinfeld, but who does? But, I do everything he does. I have everything I need and, most important, I love giving back to the community. Not always in cash, but in many different ways. I love this city. The people are great and our purpose in life is to give back.
Pulse of Vegas: What would you like to say to your fans about this impressive achievement?
George Wallace: Thanks to everybody for their laughs. I’m George Wallace, “I love you, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award event was taped for broadcast, and a “Centric Comedy All-Stars” special will air March 2, 2013 on, of all places, the Centric network (a spin-off of BET). The show is hosted by Bill Bellamy and Anthony Anderson. Featured comedians include Sherri Shepherd, Tony Rock, Gary Owen, George Willborn and G-Thang.
Video poker fans are going to love the new My Poker Multi-Game Poker machines at Caesars Palace and Harrah’s Las Vegas. Why? Because they’re the only video poker machines we know of that remember you and what you’re into, or at least seem to.
This blog strives to be memorable.
My Poker video poker machines straddle the world of real and virtual casinos, making it seamless to play for fun at home, even customizing your game’s settings, while automatically transferring those settings to the machine at your favorite casino. Here’s what we mean.
First, find a My Poker Multi-Game Poker machine in the casino. The slot attendants can help. We decided to test drive one at Caesars Palace. Insert your Total Rewards loyalty card (free to join, of course), and on these special machines, you’ll be asked if you’d like to create an account. It’s an account just for My Poker, and it’s definitely worth the 12 seconds it takes to set up.
On a video poker machine, this blog can type an astonishing four words a minute.
You select a username, and a password. Then the fun begins.
As you play, you can personalize a variety of things about the game like the design of your cards, background colors, how quickly the cards are dealt and more.
We are the master of our video poker domain.
It’s fun to play around with the “card art.”
This card face can be seen from the surface of the Moon.
One of the features we enjoyed most was being able to choose how we want to celebrate our winning hands, with chips or jewels flying through the air. We like celebrating. Typically, we do that by dancing nude around our video poker machine. But chips are nice, too.
They sort of cascade. If that's a thing chips can do.
The video poker machine will even spit out a voucher to make it easier to log in if you move to another machine.
The My Poker machine remembers all your custom settings, so the next time you log in, all your settings are there. But here’s the cool part. Say you leave the casino. (Why you would want to do that, we have no idea, but this is a hypothetical situation, so just play along.) Now, you’re at home on your computer and want to work on your video poker strategy. You visit the My Poker site (called Player’s Life), log in with the same username and password you set up in the casino, and the personalized settings are reflected in your virtual, play-for-fun (translation: no actual money is involved) machine online.
Well, hello, ladies.
Any changes you make to your settings online will be reflected on the in-casino machine the next time you visit, and vice versa.
The visuals are just the beginning of the benefits of playing on a My Poker video poker machine. You can also track your total hands played, royal flush and straight flush pays, overall wins, and compare your results to other players on a leader board.
Not that you have a competitive streak or anything.
“Trophies” are also awarded for various accomplishments. No mantle or dusting required.
We love the idea of getting a trophy for just showing up.
My Poker, made by WMS Gaming, provides the ultimate control of your video poker experience, online and off. From what we understand, these machines are the first of their kind in the casino industry. This blog happens to be a huge fan of both “new” and “first.” Oh, and “casino.” Find out more.
So, give them a try let us know what percentage of your winnings you’ll be sending this blog as a thank-you. Because you’re appreciative like that.
Recently, Caesars Palace hosted a glitzy event in honor of the release of Sports Illustrated magazine’s annual swimsuit issue. It’s possible this blog was there to take some photos.
One blog's "gratuitous" is another blog's "essential."
Several of the models featured in the swimsuit issue walked a red carpet, and honestly, the red carpet is still smiling.
Sorry this photo didn't turn out too well. Our flash went off prematurely.
One of the highlights of the event involved turning the Octavius Tower at Caesars Palace into a 51,000-square-foot projection screen, upon which additional genetically-gifted swimsuit models frolicked.
It's a huge deal to be an SI model. At times, literally.
Advanced 3D technology was used to create “an animation mapped to the contours of the Octavius Tower,” whatever that actually means.
Here’s a snazzy video from our new best friends at Sports Illustrated that may better illustrate what transpired.
The Sports Illustrated event at the Garden of the Gods pool complex at Caesars was streamed live across the Web, leaving it, too, smiling.
We get this a lot. Models love bloggers. And rock musicians. But mostly bloggers.
Some of the models who took part in the red carpet were Nina Agdal, Jessica Gomes, Kate Bock, Emily Didonato, Cintia Dicker, Alyssa Miller and Genevieve Morton.
Bonus points if you’re able to match them up to our photos, because we did not take notes, as usual.
Jessica Gomes. Some notes we took.
The 220-page SI swimsuit issue for 2013 features photo spreads of models on all seven continents.
And, yes, if you guessed we’re just filling space now to share more photos, you’re right.
Model Genevieve Morton loves comedy movies like "Anchorman." Now, that's hot.
Sports Illustrated scholars will note that cover girl Kate Upton was on last year’s cover, too, the first time there’s been a back-to-back cover model since Tyra Banks, in 1996 and 1997.
Emily Didonato's photo shoot was in Namibia, a part of the world known for this blog not being able to find it on a map.
Eater Vegas hosted the friendly competition, and now Piekarski will represent Las Vegas in a “no-holds-barred national hot chef death match.” (We’re pretty sure no actual death will be involved.) Cast your vote here.
What makes a hot dude additionally hot? He also happens to know how to cook. We caught the chef in action during a recent visit to the Sugar Factory’s kitchen.
How you like me now?
Note: It’s pure coincidence the chef won our “Hottest Chef” vote approximately three minutes after he made us this.
Sexy is highly subjective.
Congrats to Chef Matt Piekarski on the win. He’s just lucky this blog doesn’t know how to cook, because we’re adorable.
A popular entertainment fixture on The Strip, “Legends in Concert,” is making its move to a new home, Flamingo Las Vegas, starting Feb. 28, 2013.
The show has announced its opening line-up which includes tributes to icons Britney Spears, Elvis Presley, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Rod Stewart.
Grahame Patrick’s portrayal of Elvis Presley probably warrants an entire show. He’s got charisma and all the right moves in addition to The King’s powerful voice. No lip-syncing in this show, folks, just pure talent.
Oh, there will be pelvis.
Kate Steele (below) does an incredible take on Lady Gaga.
Steele is immensely talented, nailing not only Lady Gaga’s speaking and singing voice (not to mention her attitude), but she’s also amazing on the piano.
At times, Kate Steele seems more like Lady Gaga than the actual Lady Gaga.
Awhile back, when “Legends” was at Harrah’s Las Vegas, we snuck into Kate Steele’s dressing room for some video. It’s not how it sounds. Probably. Just watch.
Also featured in the Flamingo iteration of “Legends in Concert”: Katie Murdock portrays Britney Spears, Damian Brantley is Michael Jackson and John Anthony does an uncanny homage to Rod Stewart.
The show’s residency at Flamingo builds upon an astonishing 30 years of success in Las Vegas. The show happens Sunday through Friday at 4:00 p.m., with additional shows at 9:30 p.m. every Sunday and Monday. Find out more.
Possibly the best way to squeeze the most from your Las Vegas visit is to get a steal on a hotel room. You need a home base for your Sin City misadventures, so why not grab the best deal possible?
There’s a sale going on at all Caesars Entertainment hotels in Las Vegas, and across the country, with savings up to 25% off your room. Get 25% off at Bally’s, Rio Las Vegas and The Quad, and 15% off at Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Paris, Harrah’s and Planet Hollywood.
Throw a dart, get a deal. Wading pond not included.
Other cities also have Caesars Entertainment hotels, although why would you go anywhere else but Vegas? While this blog doesn’t necessarily condone it, you can also find room deals in Atlantic City, Reno and Lake Tahoe, Tunica and even Horseshoe Bossier City, which we were unable to locate on a map, but we are a Las Vegas blog, not a cartographer.
This semi-annual sale ends March 10, 2013, so don’t miss out. Go book a room, already. And ask if you’ll have a bidet. Those are like having dancing fountains right in your room.