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Vegas Uncovered a guide to the Las Vegas Strip

The Venetian, Las Vegas my Review

3355 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas
NV 81909
(+1) 702 414 1000

Location Built in the site of the legendary Sands, a place in the sun. The Venetian was the last casino North on the centre strip but now it has Wynn and then Encore to its North. It is connected to Palazzo and there is a bridge to Wynn. The location is not bad.

Theme Obvious isn’t it ?? Venice and my have they don it well you walk over the canal and into Doge’s Palace to enter the casino with a big tower that looks like it should be in Italy on your right, as you enter there are great marble floors and a ceiling that could have been done by Michangelo. The whole place is very well done with no expense spared you walk down to Canal Shops and on to St Marks Square you will only realize that you are not in Venice by the price of the coffee. There is of course a canal with authentic gondolas and the gondoliers will serenade you, you will be pleased to know that it does not smell like Venice.

Rooms, the rooms are all suites, you need to be aware that a Suite in Vegas can be and often is a big room with a seating area in Venetian all the rooms are suites and these are big rooms with a sunken seating area. The seating area is great big corner sofas and a nice table and amore with TV in. The rooms here are lovely though maybe a little dark, the bathrooms are big and have a separate tub and shower and little room with the WC in it, two sinks and lovely bitter orange toiletries. Housekeeping was not great at the Venetian when we arrive (9pm) the room had not been made up properly and we had to get housekeeping to address this which they did quickly, on two other occasions the room was not cleaned or made up properly and we had to get housekeeping to sort this out which they did.

Attractions Well I guess I have listed the main ones above however Madame Tussuards is here it may not be as big as the one in Baker Street, but good never the less and with many castings of Vegas legends it is a must. Oh time traveler is a of simulation ride, there are better ones on the Strip at Luxor. Venetian is home to Phantom of the Opera and this is performed in a theater builtsoley for this show ! Venetian is home to the Canyon ranch Spa which is up there with the best of the Spas in Las Vegas.

Shopping Good the canal shops are well themed and generally see goods of an Italian nature and like anything in the US if its imported its expensive and this is no exception. There is also a little bit added on to buy Italian goods in an Italian location !  Fashion show Mall is also just across the road if you cant get what you want here.

Dining There is no buffet here its not that sort of joint however the selection of top draw eating establishments is immense with no fewer than 13 places to fill you tummies up. There are Mexicans, Italians, Seafood, Chinese and a Steakhouse. The only place that we can afford to eat is the Café Lux this is very posh 24hr coffee shop and like everything else here it is good but priced accordingly and still half the price of its counterpart in Italy. The food court is small but has a couple of good delis however like everything else it is not cheap.

Gaming 100,000 sq ft of upper class gaming space to be honest some of the newer and louder machines do look out of place in these surroundings, to my surprise there were a fair amount of nickel machines included in the 2,500 that go right up to $500 per pull !! There are over 50 table games reportedly with minimum limits usually around of $15. The casino is lovely and has a well heeled feel to it but it does feel slightly cold. The patrons are a mix of T-shirt tourists (like ourselves) coming to look and marvel, and the well heeled well dressed but non flash guests of the hotel. Weekend nights however there are groups of 20 something’s who think that they are rock stars rolling around drunk and acting like a-holes, this ruins the place enough to make my mind up never stay there again, security do nothing about them even when reported.

Drinks Service When we were playing on the nickel machines it was not too hot however once we moved to the quarter machines this improved good service and nice drinks,
strong G & T at 10am may not be the best start to the day but at least they were willing.

Best Thing The rooms are lovely and the Grand Lux Café has great food and great service

Worst Thing The fact that drunk 20+’s seem to rule everything at the weekends and ruin it for everyone else and the resort seems to think that this is OK. Everything is expensive this does not mean it is not good value but on our budget we can’t afford to spend too much time at the Venetian

Overall This is a classy joint filled with classy things the theme is great and well thought out it feels much more like Venice than many of the other theme casinos and their respective models, however it is not up to the same levels as Wynn, Encore or Bellagio.  If you are on the Strip you must visit Venice just make sure it is not at a weekend evening.

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April 17, 2009 Posted by | buffets, Chapter 11, entertainment, Las Vegas, shows, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas shows, vegas spa | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Venetian and Palazzo Owners in Bankruptcy Fears

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. has casinos in all areas of the world. They have been a leader in the casino industry for many years, but that leadership may soon be coming to a screeching halt.

The company, which is under the control of billionaire Sheldon Adelson, saw their stocks drop over thirty three percent on Thursday. The drop came after investors began to worry about the possibility the company is heading towards bankruptcy.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands were down $3.81. They closed at $7.85. Although that is not the lowest the shares have been this year. A month ago the stock hit bottom at $4.32. Now, the company is trying to figure out a way to avoid bankruptcy.

The sudden dip in the stock may not be a surprise based on the current state of the market, but when compared to a year ago, it seems inconceivable the stock could have dropped this far. Last year, the stock hit a high of $150.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is the companies auditor and they have admitted that if the company does not come up with addition funding, there is a chance that lenders could come looking for their money sooner rather than later.

The key for Sands at this point is to find a way not to default on debt covenants. If they do default, lenders would then have the right to demand payment sooner than the originally scheduled dates.

“The good times for the gaming industry are over, at least in the short term outlook. As we see with Las Vegas Sands, even the titans of the industry are having to make major concessions with respect to their financial structures, development plans, and operations. The industry is not for the timid right now,” said Senior Vice President at Spectrum Gaming, Joseph Weinert.

More on this here

November 7, 2008 Posted by | Casinos, Chapter 11, entertainment, events, gaming, Holiday, hotel upgrades, Las Vegas, MGM, news, tipping, Travel, Vegas, vegas tips | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Review of Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Caesars PalaceCaesars

3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas
NV 89109
+1 (702) 731 7110

Location Dead centre Strip; this is the marker for other casino’s location. The only problem is that when Caesars was built no one walked on the Strip; all travel was done by car. As a result the casino entrance is about 500 yards back from the Strip. Don’t worry though the good folks at Caesars have put in a series of moving walkways to get you to their machines quicker.

Theme It’s Rome, ancient Rome from the spectacular fountains, delightful statues and cypress trees that you pass on your way to the casino to the toga costumes the staff wear. This certainly is ancient Rome with electricity and air conditioning. It is a very Grand Rome with loads of marble and gold, everything that can be gold and glittery is gold and glittery. The theme like most of Vegas is completely over the top; but in the best possible way. If there was a casino themed on Las Vegas, Caesars would be it. Las Vegas at its best.

Attractions Well there are the wonderful, if slightly dated magical statues in the Forum shops these are robotic statues that come alive with the aid of smoke and lights and act out Roman and mystical type tales; free and great for the kids. The race for Atlantis IMAX 3d simulation ride, the Omnimax movie theatre where the film actually seems to surround you and several amusements arcades. To be fair the whole of the forum shops could be counted as an attraction with plenty to see. For the older children the Pussy Cat Dolls casino has dealers in their underwear and dancers wearing little more strutting their stuff between the tables. The shopping at the Forum Shops is arguably the best in Vegas this really is an attraction on its own.

Pool The pools at Caesars are great posh and posher with many beautiful people around them. One of the pools allows “European” sunbathing which means topless and apparently is a big deal in the USA.

Shows and Entertainment Caesars generally have some of the biggest headliners in town Celine Dione made Caesars her home for many years whilst Elton John filled in for her holidays. Caesars is going through a bit of a transitional stage at the moment where Bette Midler and Cher are the two house acts it will be interesting to see where this goes

Dining La Piazza Food Court is my favourite on the Strip; you enter together, you chose your different food Caesars Outside(Pizza, Salads, Hot Dogs, Chinese etc) get your drinks together and pay together. No queuing up separately just because one of you wants Pasta and the other Chinese. The seating area is lovely, on the edge of the casino allowing you to see the action, sort of inside the branches of a big tree. There is a very small buffet with very long queues and quite high prices (B$15.50 L$17.50 D$23.50, Sunday Brunch $23.50 or $33.50 with champagne) which I have not tried. There are several other high quality restaurants including Hyakumi – Japanese, Bacchanal – a six course Roman feast and Café Roma the 24hr coffee shop. General reports of food at these restaurants are good.

Gaming Caesars has a colossus of gaming space in fact over 118,000 sq ft containing over 2000 slot and video machines, over 70 tables and 13 roulette wheels. Surprisingly there is a very good range of nickel machines here, table limits can be a low $5 minimum but this is only ever one or two tables and only when trade is slow. The layout of the casino is very odd; it seems bitty; like some bits were added on rather as a second thought. Parts of the casino are very dark and others very light. The way in which the floors are arranged makes you very disorientated. I am not sure if this is deliberate or not, but this, along with the expedition back to the Strip does seem to make you stay longer than planned.

Drinks service I found the drink service to be quite good, although I think that depends on where you sit as there are many nooks and crannies which probably do not receive such good service. I always make sure that any cocktail waitress who passes within 20 foot of me knows I want a drink and this obviously helps a great deal.

Overall If you ask anyone to name a casino (with possibly the exception of Bob Stupak and Steve Wynn)Bellagio they will say Caesars Palace. Caesars is Vegas and Vegas is Caesars. You get a chance to see “whales” (high rollers) at play and yet still feel like you are a million dollars putting your nickels into the slots. If you are in Vegas and you can only go to one casino, this has to be it, you will not be disappointed.

Good points Just the whole over the top “we have got it and boy are we going to flaunt it” atmosphere. The forum shops are the best set of shops in Strip the $20 upgrade trick seems to work well here.

Bad points The casino does not feel like one building and the layout can make navigating the casino confusing, you also experience bottle necks and it gets very crowded. Caesars is not quite up to the levelof Bellagio or Wynn but it does seem to think it is.

Top Tip Allow plnety of time to get around Caesars is the easiset resort on the Strip toget lost in this along with being the most crowded means that everything takes longer than it should

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May 23, 2008 Posted by | 20 dollar trick, boxing, buffets, Casinos, Chapter 11, cirque de soleil, cocktail waitress, cocktails, cotto, Dumb, Excalibur, free drinks, gaming, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, MGM Grand, MGM GRand Arena, MGM Grand Garden Arena, shows, slots, Spa, tipping, Treasure Island, Uncategorized, vegas buffets, vegas comps, vegas pools, vegas shows, vegas spa, vegas tips, WSOP, xxx | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tropicana Entertainment – files for Chapter 11 protection

Tropicana, Las VegasToday’s news that Tropicana Entertainment is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection comes on the heels of a much-publicized slowdown that has uncovered the myth that gaming is a recession-proof industry.

And yet, the bankruptcy petition has little to do with the economy and isn’t for reasons a handful of casinos in years past have been forced into bankruptcy.

Tropicana Entertainment, which owns the Tropicana casino in Las Vegas, lost its biggest asset when New Jersey regulators removed the company’s gaming license at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, which is in the process of being sold. That triggered a lawsuit by bondholders seeking immediate repayment.

Without the Atlantic City casino, the company says it can’t afford to pay its debt obligations. Bankruptcy will give the company some relief.

“There were other alternatives but this is the best one,” Tropicana President Scott Butera said. “People feel the assets are valuable and the way you maximize value is to work through a restructuring process.” As an executive with Trump’s casino company, Butera organized the restructuring of that company out of bankruptcy a few years ago.

By contrast, the Trump casinos in Atlantic City, as well as the Aladdin and the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, filed bankruptcy for reasons many other businesses do – because they lost money.

Butera said the company is still generating positive cash flow from its casinos and has lined up $67 million in financing to run its operations. Casino operations will be “business as usual” during the restructuring process, he said.

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May 7, 2008 Posted by | 20 dollar trick, Casinos, Chapter 11, cocktails, entertainment, events, Excalibur, free drinks, Holiday, Las Vegas, Luxor, Mandalay bay, MGM, Monte Carlo, news, resturaunts, shows, Stratosphere, Travel, Uncategorized, Vegas, vegas buffets, Vegas Strip | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment