New Restaurants on The Vegas Strip

Monday, 14 April 2014 by Blog Category: Food.

The Vegas Strip is always changing. We try to keep up with newcomers as they’re announced but they sometimes get forgotten over time. With that in mind we think it’s a good time to look at many of the new restaurants open on the Vegas Strip. Besides the world’s tallest observation wheel The Linq brings a slew of places to eat. Flour & Barley offers pizza, Yard House offers American classics and over 500 beers, Chayo offers Mexican cuisine, Brooklyn Bowl has food from Blue Ribbon (including their world famous fried chicken) and Sprinkles brings cupcakes and ice cream to the outdoor mall. That’s a lot of new places to eat and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar just opened outside of The Linq at The Quad. The restaurant will offer kicked up variations of traditional American cuisine. For example, instead of a normal bacon cheeseburger you’ll have the chance to order a bacon, mac & cheese burger. These innovative dishes aren’t for the faint of heart. Speaking of not for the faint of heart, the newest Hash House A Go Go just opened at Rio, taking place of the old cafe. If you’re not familiar with Hash House, they serve “twisted farm food” in the biggest portions you’ve ever seen.

Back on the Strip 800 Degrees Pizza and Double Barrel Roadhouse have both opened at Monte Carlo. 800 Degrees Pizza comes to Las Vegas from Los Angeles where they have a handful of restaurants that focus on brick oven pizza. You may have noticed that pizza is the newest restaurant trend in Vegas with pizza shops opening at just about every hotel. This isn’t your $3 quick bite – this is a full serve, sit down restaurant.

Double Barrel Roadhouse offers southern style dining and drinking. Both 800 Degrees Pizza and Double Barrel Roadhouse occupy prime real estate just off the Vegas Strip so expect your bills to be on the higher side since you’re paying for that prime real estate. In fact, you should always keep real estate and construction in mind if you’re looking for bargains. Eating at restaurants that occupy prime real estate or are new construction will almost always cost more money.

We’re not done with new restaurants on the Vegas Strip. Yusho will be opening this weekend at Monte Carlo. If the name sounds familiar you may know the original Chicago outpost of this Japanese restaurant. The ever popular American Fish will be closing in July at Aria. Later this year Bardot Brasserie will open in its place. Michael Mina will remain the chef of the space. Bardot Brasserie will open later this year and be his take on cafe culture in France.

DB Brasserie opens at The Venetian next month. The restaurant will mark Chef Daniel Boulud’s return to Vegas. You may be familiar with Boulud from previous restaurant stint in Las Vegas at Wynn. His time at Wynn ended in 2010 but now he returns in full force with DB Brasserie. This brasserie  will feature American-French cuisine like most other brasseries in America.

Construction is slowing in the center of the Vegas Strip now that The Linq is just about complete and with The Cromwell opening in a couple months but that will just leave the other parts of the Vegas Strip to sport some new places to eat, drink and be merry. We can’t wait!

10 Ways To Use Free MyVegas Rewards

Thursday, 10 April 2014 by Blog Category: Entertainment.

Unless you’re a high roller in the casino your players club benefits can only help you get so many discounts and freebies. For the past year or so people have been using rewards from the MyVegas game on Facebook (and now the app) for “free” items to supplement their vacations to Las Vegas. MyVegas offers complimentary and discounted items to restaurants, shows, and hotel rooms at the 9 different MGM Resorts hotels in Las Vegas and some of their local partners.

Nothing in life is totally free and you have to invest the time into getting coins so that you can play the games and earn rewards. They say that time is money and if you have a value on how much your time is worth than you probably want to do the math on how long it takes to compile points. Playing MyVegas is entertainment for me so I don’t put a value on it.

Between the Facebook game and the mobile app game MyVegas offers new games regularly to keep you interested. At the same time MyVegas is constantly refreshing their prize offerings. Note, you must be an M Life member (sign up here) to redeem rewards and you can only earn and use 3 rewards at one time. A couple is allowed to each have 3 rewards for a total of 6 rewards.  Here are 10 ways to use free rewards on your next vacation to Las Vegas

1. Hotel Rooms – You can stay at any of the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas for a night or two at no charge except Bellagio. This is probably best used as a complement to other players club rewards and discounts – especially if you’re staying for a long trip.

2. Shows – Earn one of two free tickets to see Love, KA, Zumanity and other Cirque du Soliel shows. Retail value of these tickets are around $100 each so this is quite a value.

3. Dining – There are a wide variety of dining options from all day buffet passes at Luxor or Excalibur so you can eat for free all day to the more fancy chef tasting for two at Trattoria del Lupo at MGM Grand.

4. Drinks – You can redeem your credits on MyVegas for a simple cocktail at a variety of bars or get crazy with a $100 drink credit to use on the hundreds of beers available at The Pub at Monte Carlo.

5. Snacks – Think you’ll be peckish at night? You can grab a tin of popcorn from Sugar Factory for just a few points.

6. Attractions – If you’re not a gambler you might want to get away from the casino for a while and you can use your MyVegas loyalty points to get free entry to some great attractions like the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and Mandalay Bay Shark Reef.

7. Clubs – If you’re not a club kid but curious to see what actually happens in the clubs you can get free entry to Hyde at Bellagio or 1OAK at The Mirage. Hyde has a nice little patio that looks out to the fountains. You’ll probably have a different soundtrack to the show than most people.

8. Lounges – Okay, you’re not a club kid and you don’t want to see how they live but you still want to have some free cocktails. You can get complimentary bottle service at The Deuce or Gold Lounges at Aria. You’re probably going to want to tip on the retail value so make sure you have a few bucks when you receive top notch service.

9. Transportation – The monorail isn’t the most convenient way to get around the Vegas Strip but if it’s free it may be worth walking to the far end of the casino. This is especially useful if you’re in Las Vegas for a longer vacation.

10. Random – It’s Vegas! Let’s get married! MyVegas has a comp wedding package available at MGM Grand.

Keep an eye out on MyVegas as they often run promotions where you can earn extra coins or points at no charge. The more you play the more rewards you can earn. MyVegas offers plenty of free rewards to save you money on your next trip to Las Vegas.

It’s not a ferris wheel. It’s an observation wheel. The High Roller has been under construction in Vegas for over a year but is finally open for business today. The High Roller is the anchor to the outdoor mall in the center of the Vegas Strip called The Linq. After two opening phases we can finally say that The Linq is open for business (even if there are still some finishing touches to do on a few of the stores). For the past few weeks we’ve been able to shop, dine and drink at the Linq but the experience never felt complete without the operational observation wheel.

The High Roller is the most noticeable addition to the Vegas Strip in years. In fact, the High Roller has changed the skyline of the Vegas Strip forever. The massive observation wheel can be seen as far out as 10 miles away when its 1,500 lights are all lit up at night. While a ferris wheel wouldn’t normally be exciting this 55 story high observation wheel can is taller than any of the casinos on the Vegas Strip and offers unparalleled views of this beautiful city. For context, the High Roller is 100 feet taller than the London Eye observation wheel.

How Much to Tip in Las Vegas?

Monday, 31 March 2014 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

Everything in Vegas is at your finger tips. Great service may seem like a lost art in many cities but that’s one of the things that separates Las Vegas from anywhere else in the world. It’s almost impossible to take a step in Vegas without someone offering to help you. The great service is a blessing but it can become costly. Tipping for great service isn’t mandatory but it’s a way to show appreciation for good service. Tipping is optional but if you are one who likes to tip for good service you might want to plan for it. Today’s tip isn’t about saving money, rather it’s a planning activity so you know what you’re in for.

When I go out in Vegas I’ll spend a few minutes at a bill changing machine or at the casino cage filling my pocket with singles and five dollar bills. I’m a tipper – scratch that, I’m an over-tipper. Great service goes a long way to a good time for me and I like to make sure that the people helping me have a good time are thanked. A dollar goes much longer today than a simple “Thank You”. I’m also an over-preparer and like to be ready for any situation that may come my way. That’s my prerogative, not everyone tips the way I do and that’s fine. To each their own.

Even if you receive a comp meal, limo ride or room from a hotel you’re still responsible for a tip. Generally, you should tip on what the full value of the item would normally be. If your meal would have cost $100 you should tip based on that amount. Tips are not included in the bill so just tip what you normally would. I usually throw a few extra bucks down for the tip if the service is great, which it often is. Same thing goes for a limo or car service provided by the hotel. You can easily find price approximations for rides. Not everyone tips the maids in a hotel but a few bucks can get you better service if you need something.

The Best Views of Vegas off The Strip

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

The Vegas Strip is beautiful. There’s nothing like it in the world. No matter how many neon signs Times Square put up in New York City there’s nothing better than the memories and beauty of the Vegas Strip. That said, there’s more to Vegas than the strip. We’ve given you some of the best places to eat and drink with a view of the Vegas Strip and now we’re going to take you off the Vegas Strip for some of the best views of Vegas off the strip.

You don’t have to be on the Vegas Strip to have a great view of it. Ghostbar at Palms Hotel and VooDoo Lounge at Rio All Suites Hotel have amazing view of the Vegas Strip from about a mile away. Ghostbar and VooDoo Lounge are both on Tropicana and sit at or near the tippy top their respective hotels. Each has ample views from large windows and both have decks where you can grab a drink with a great view of the entire Vegas Strip. Ghostbar’s deck even has a window looking down to the ground below. If you’re afraid of heights you might want to stay to the sides and away from this unique view. Besides, the best view are in front of you – not below.

When you head to Downtown Vegas you have two great views of the area with very different perspectives. Coincidentally both great views from Downtown Vegas are from steakhouses. Binion’s Steakhouse is at the top of the casino (the hotel is closed) and offers views of the Las Vegas valley above the Fremont Street Experience. Oscar’s Steakhouse sits on the outermost edge of the Plaza Hotel on the 6th floor with amazing views of Fremont Street and its experience. Both steakhouses are among the best in Downtown Vegas but the views are really what set each above the competition. Literally.

4 Overnight Trips From Las Vegas

Monday, 24 March 2014 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

Some people visit Las Vegas for a crazy weekend of fun while others enjoy Las Vegas for a relaxing vacation destination and plan long trip. If you’ve been to Las Vegas often and are looking to break up a long trip you might want to take overnight trip to a nearby city. Traditional Vegas is great for most people but if you’ve been to Las Vegas often taking an overnight trip to nearby Mount Charleston, Laughlin, Primm or Pahrump is a great way to change things up. Here are some highlights and reasons to make an overnight trip during your Vegas vacation.

Mount Charleston is the closest of the “out of Vegas” overnight trip destinations. Mount Charleston is under an hour away from the Vegas strip but it feels as if you’re in another state. Temperatures here are often 20-30 degrees less than the Vegas Strip. In the winter you’ll find the mountains packed with snow. Yes, it’s amazing that you can go skiing or snowboarding so close to Vegas. During the summer the mountains are a nice respite to the desert heat. The beauty of the mountains is wonderful no matter what the season.

Laughlin, Nevada is probably the most popular day trip destination from Las Vegas. The drive through the desert is just under 2 hours long but goes pretty quickly since it’s so desolate. Laughlin is similar to Las Vegas because it has a designated strip where you’ll find most of the casinos. Despite the older feel of the casino decor many enjoy the fact that they’re right on the Colorado River. The more laid back nature of being on such a beautiful body of water goes right into the casino. If you have some time on your overnighter to Laughlin from Las Vegas make sure you stop in Searchlight, NV for a unique western experience.

5 Free Things to Do on The Las Vegas Strip

Thursday, 20 March 2014 by Blog Category: Entertainment.

Last week we looked at 6 free things to do off the Vegas Strip for people looking for something off the beaten path when they visit Las Vegas. We understand that not everybody is renting a car when they visit Vegas so this week we look at free things you can do on the Vegas Strip but still off the beaten path. Over the past year we’ve mentioned some of the more popular free activities on the Vegas Strip but we’re digging a little deeper today. You may be aware of some of these free activities on the Vegas Strip but there are some you may not even know existed. Here are 5 free things to do on the Vegas Strip.

CBS Research (MGM Grand) – Ever wonder how some shows get on television? Well, if they’re on CBS they probably run through focus groups at CBS Research at MGM Grand. You’ll sit down and watch a new TV show and share your thoughts with executives from the network. CBS is owned by Viacom so you’ll be treated to TV shows that may air on CBS, MTV, BET, CMT, Showtime or one of their other channels. It’s an interesting way to spend a couple hours in the afternoon. It’s also a good way to get out of the summer heat.

Fashion Show Mall (Across from Wynn Las Vegas) – The Fashion Show Mall is the easiest mall to access on the Vegas Strip (you can head south on the strip to Town Square but most people don’t consider that to be the Vegas Strip). The mall has plenty of shops but it gets its name from the 80-foot runway which has shows every hour between 12pm and 5pm. The runway is practical as they show off the newest clothing from their stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

This Week in Vegas News 3-14-2014

Friday, 14 March 2014 by Blog Category: Weekly News.

A Vegas legend passed away this week. Jackie Gaughan passed away at 84 years of age. Mr. Gaughan has been a staple in the Las Vegas casino business since the 50’s but you may probably know him for his ownership of the El Cortez, where he resided until his death on March 12. Mr. Gaughan was a regular in the El Cortez poker room until it closed earlier this year. The Stiffs & Georges blog looks back on his life.

The Elvis exhibit at Binions, King’s Ransom, will be closing at the end of March. The exhibit opened at Binions in August charging $10, then became a free exhibit and will soon be gone. Since King’s Ransom was previously at Imperial Palace (not The Quad) it could relocate again but there are no rumors. We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything.

Taylor Hicks will also be “Leaving Las Vegas”. His residency at Paris ends on April 8th so there’s still a few weeks to catch the show. Sheryl Crow will not be leaving Las Vegas. She’s actually coming to Las Vegas and will be performing outside at the new Downtown Container Park on April 4th. There will be under 1,000 tickets available and they’re under $40 on Eventbrite.

6 Free Things To Do Off The Las Vegas Strip

Thursday, 13 March 2014 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

There are never too many things to do in Vegas – especially when they’re free! There are a lot of things to do in Vegas for little money (here are 15 under $20) but if you have a rental car there are a lot of free things to do just a few minutes off the beaten path. Here are 6 free activities to enjoy off the Vegas Strip.

1. Pinball Hall Of Fame – The Pinball Hall Of Fame isn’t as much a museum as it is a play space with games throughout history for you to learn about and explore. The Pinball Hall Of Fame is 10,000 square feet made of of pinball and arcade games that you can play. There are games as “new” as Super Mario Brothers from 1985 along with wooden pinball games from the 1940’s. This is a fun way to spend a day off the beaten path. Any profits made from the games goes right back into the Hall of Fame.

2. Aquarium (Silverton) – The Aquarium at Silverton Casino is a few miles south of the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef exhibit and totally free to watch. It’s a cool place to visit when you’re hanging out in the casino but the daily fish feeding (1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.) and mermaid show (about every 30 minutes) offer some fun to the giant fish tank in the middle of the casino. The Shark Reef may be a mammoth exhibit but the Aquarium at Silverton is free, interactive and right on the casino floor.

1. Mix (The Hotel/Delano/Mandalay Bay) – The panoramic views at the south end of the strip inside Mix restaurant and lounge are unparalleled. Sure you’ll be able to get great views of Las Vegas elsewhere but none have the cuisine that Mix offers. Mix has been AAA Four Diamond Award winner two years in a row now. If you’re into really unique views you might enjoy the floor to ceilings in the restroom. Seriously, this is unique and something you’ll only experience in Vegas.

2. Foundation Room (Mandalay Bay) – The Foundation room is located near Mix but is exclusively a lounge. There is a limited menu until 10pm or 11pm if you want to grab a snack. The patio at the Foundation Room is why most people visit this lounge. The patio offers one of the most iconic views of the Vegas Strip.

3. Mandarin Bar (Mandarin Oriental) – Mandarin Bar is located on the 23rd floor in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. This serves as their lobby bar since it’s just off their sky lobby. The setup of the hotel is unique and even if there weren’t amazing views of the Vegas Strip this would be one of the most swank places to get a drink on the Vegas Strip. Mandarin Oriental isn’t for everyone. This is a luxury hotel and the price tag that you’ll find with the food and drink here are among the most expensive you’ll find.

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