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Las Vegas vacation special - read all about it

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Also read on Las Vegas Vacation special fun...
Flush Me - is the Bellagio what it used to be?
Downtown Bliss - giving downtown the chance it deserves.
Bar None - great place to take a date.

Outdoor Las Vegas Vacation special fun! Outdoor Vegas profit?
By Claudia Maria

The Carnival Court Bar at the recently renovated and expanded Harrahs Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is one of the few places in town to party outside. The now seemingly defunct Drink committed suicide with the covering of their open atrium night club, which one would think would not have such a powerful effect on a Vegas party, but it did.  Harrahs must also agree with the construction of their outdoor "club".  The Carnival Court has a circular bar as its centerpiece with blackjack tables encompassing one third of the circular layout with cocktail tables and other standard outdoor patio furniture, the uncomfortable metal mesh, taking up another third of the space. The last third is occupied by the dance floor and the stage that offers local Las Vegas rock bands and the one-man band types. 

The Vegas vacation weekend crowd at Harrah's is primarily tourists, but not the So Cal types that enjoy waiting in line and paying a $20 cover to go to a club with a playlist of overplayed pop dance re-mixes recycled through by setting the sound system on the Friday night button. The Vegas crowd is down to earth and can maybe be generalized with being a crowd out of the mid-west, however we did run into a few Brits.

The vegas vacation crowds at Harrah's during the week tend to be the supporters of the local Las Vegas music scene and those whose weekend falls on a Tuesday or a Wednesday and are looking for their Friday night party with a little twist.

In a nutshell, the Carnival Court is something out of a low-budget film with bartenders attempting to juggle bottles of liquor, the weekend entertainment is cheap and cheesy with the likes of Chippendalesque "singers" but everyone seems to be having the best time of their lives dancing to the music and drinking the night away into the wee hours of the Vegas vacation morning.

And when the Vegas morning sun rises after a busy week in Las Vegas, one would think the profit at Harrahs would rise as well. This outdoor attraction seems to play a very large roll in capturing the numerous pedestrians walking along Las Vegas Blvd.  It is such an eye catcher on the stroll along the strip that it seems to be just as interesting as watching the volcano erupt at the Mirage or the Treasure Island's pirate battle.  Better yet, it is an attraction where Harrahs can collect money.

My hat is off to Harrahs!  They have taken the concept that the Mirage invented on the Strip and turned it into a profit center versus a loss leader with people being the main attraction.  What's more fun than that?

Vegas Cabaret is Back!
by Michael Wallace
Remember the days when almost every restaurant and lounge, not just the casinos offered live entertainment?  Well, the Bootlegger remembers and they brought it back to Las Vegas full tilt from nice easy jazz on Mondays from 7:30pm to Tuesdays which picks it up a notch with some pop/rock starting a 10pm. Both nights are completely sublime, but Fridays and Saturdays are the real treat.  Stop in for a cocktail or sit down for dinner because Blackie and Sonny will not only make you want to stay, but they'll inspire you to start your own Las Vegas singing career.  However, if their inspiration does invoke a career change, keep your day job, 'cause they've got this stage locked up!  The Bootlegger Bistro is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and 24 hours for cocktails and late night Italian specialties. 
For more information visit their web site:
http://www.bootleggerlasvegas.com

Vacation at the Trop Las Vegas
By Michael Wallace
A recent vacation to the Trop's Comedy Stop offered much in the way of quality entertainment and little in the way of disappointments.  The Tropicana is still good for one thing, and that's comedy.  Tony Daro, Phil Palis, and Grag Morton were in company and they would lead you, set it up and whop a doozy on the audience, one after the other! One thing that did not sit well with me and these comedians was their indulgence of flirtation around the sad events of our country. Either way, by the end of the night, the audience was beat to a pulp in laughter.  Even with the stiff competition in the Las Vegas comedy scene, the Trop's pursuit of excellence with the Comedy Stop is second to none. Even the bartenders will give you a laugh with their paltry selection of libations, but hey it's still the Trop ya know.

 

 

Las Vegas Vacation Package at the Bay 
By Claudia Marie

Mandalay Bay from the moment it opened its doors has been one of the top places to stay for a Las Vegas vacation.  From the plethora of eating and drinking establishments to the top-notch entertainment, gaming here seems to be just one of the many places to spend some leisure time.  Located at the "South Strip", the Bay as locals and cabbies call it offers more adult pleasure than any other Las Vegas resort.  Mandalay Bay always has a constant flow of  beautiful people, and where there are beautiful people, there is action!
The action starts as one checks into the resort hotel.  Scantily clad bird keepers entertain those checking in with parrots, macaws, and a few other species of tropical birds, but the rooms are anything but meager.  Rooms are spacious with marble and brass appointments and if one is lucky enough to get a Strip view, they may end up doing a lot of site seeing from the guest room.  Rates are on the higher end of the scale, but the amenities and services available rival those of the Four Seasons coincidentally connected to Mandalay Bay.

As one wanders around the edges of the casino, the property boasts hot spots such as Red Square, Rum Jungle, the famed Aureole, and the House of Blues, just to name a few. Red Square is a Moscow themed food and beverage establishment with a be-headed statue of Lenin. The restaurant has a mixed crowd of party-goers and diners.  The party-goers stay at the bar that has a lining of ice running down the length of it. Drinks stay cool at this standing room only bar, but the dining is comfortable and cozy with plenty of big plates of comfort foods.  The dining room is also much quieter than the bar area and offers a romantic atmosphere for those wanting some quieter times.

Rum Jungle is more of a night-club than a restaurant with its fire-wall and go-go dancers, but there is a restaurant within the night spot.  This night spot destination is usually very crowded with a line that takes about 20 minutes to successfully maneuver.  Rum Jungle offers plenty of singles, both men and women, great house music, and a stiff cover charge.  The good thing is that hotel guests are afforded the luxury of VIP status with the showing of the room key.

While one is still partying, there are often music events at reasonable prices at the intimate House of Blues. This venue will contain a few thousand concert goers on any given night listening to the likes of Lenny Kravitz or even Etta James.  However, one thing that Mandalay Bay has not figured out though with this venue is to successfully get concert-goers back through the casino and to their cars.  Unless that infamous room key card is flashed to security, concert-goers will be forced to walk outside around the entire resort complex back into the parking entrance.  This seems a bit inhospitable for a hospitality company. If one though can turn their cheek to this poor service in one area of the resort, as it seems Triple A did, you'll also probably rate this resort overall with 4 diamonds.

4 diamonds is a great rating when it comes to hotels, but when it comes to dining, 24 is great on the Zagat rating for the famed Aureole. Mandalay Bay definitely succeeded in courting the NYC transplant to its property and Aureole is continually rated top for food, service and décor, and is rated even better for its wine selection. Some view it over-rated, as others find it just fabulous, and I found it marginal for the price. Chef Charlie Palmer will need to stay on his toes in this town, as the competition has heated-up and he's got to be able to justify his high prices with more than flashy architecture.

Come to Las Vegas, enjoy the offerings of Mandalay Bay, spend a few days just at this resort, and let us know what you think.

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What is this Package?
by Michael Wallace

La Femme now showing at the MGM Grand, twice nightly and dark Tuesday, is what seems to be a blatant message to Vegas visitors that you should keep the kids at home.  The original version of this show has been emulated a number of times here in Vegas, but not until now, an actual replicate of the original from Paris' Crazy Horse, founded in 1951.

Half a century old, the original is billed as more risque than what MGM executives have tempered for their audience, however the show is plenty of what Vegas loves; a lot of skin.  The dancers wear "wigs" to give the perception of full nudity, but artistically the show is a bit of a disappointment.  There is one number that is both sexy and very artistic, in which one showgirl performs a wonderfully choreographed part and even better execution with some impressive dancing.  For the most part, the dancing is not what most would call dancing, unless you're from Vegas.  The special effects however seem to strike a positive chord with most of the conversations heard after watching La Femme.  The effects of the lights and screens seem to impress most of the audience, and rightly so.  La Femme is about fifty bucks a pop and the drinks are about 5 bucks, but as in most shows, spending too much on drinks won't be a problem as the service here is the norm for a Vegas show.  It is what it is.

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Also read on more Las Vegas Vacation special package fun...
Flush Me - is the Bellagio what it used to be?
Downtown Bliss - giving downtown the chance it deserves.
Bar None - great place to take a date.

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