Veer Towers Open at CityCenter

The Veer Towers at CityCenter opened this week.  The towers are the kind of cool, crooked looking condo buildings at CityCenter.  About 100 of the 600 units have been sold and closed with just 6 having moved in.  The Las Vegas Sun looks at overall condo sales at CityCenter.

With no casino and no gambling, I don’t see myself reading and sharing much about Veer Towers.  Keep up with the towers at their website.

Wanna Be In PeepShow?

Of course you want to be on stage during “Peepshow.”  E! & Planet Hollywood are giving away a pretty cool prize in conjunction with “Peepshow” and “Holly’s World.”

  • 3 Day/2 night stay at Planet Hollywood
  • Meet Holly Madison
  • Appear on stage for part of “Peepshow” in a walk on role

For full details and to enter, click on the image below.  If you win, do be weird.  Good luck.

NBA Team Coming To Las Vegas?

There have been rumors about an NBA team moving to Las Vegas for at least five years.  Those rumors are fueled again with talks of a deal being in place if Las Vegas builds a new arena for a team.

“We have an NBA team under contract,” Milam (Chris Milam, CEO of International Development Management LLC) said, declining to name the franchise. But the deal will take effect only if “other pieces of the puzzle fall into place: One of those pieces will be that a building (arena) is approved,” he said.

SB Nation looks at which team may be on the move.

Detroit Pistons: The Pistons are mentioned specifically in the article because Karen Davidson, the widow of the long-time owner Bill Davidson, has said the team is for sale. Detroit’s economy, of course, is getting killed, and that, combined with the team’s increased struggles, has caused the Palace of Auburn Hills to be sparsely populated, even though it’s outside of the city. Odds: 3-1

New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets’ money problems are no secret, and they just fired the very competent Jeff Bower as their GM. Oh, and they might trade away their best asset in Chris Paul. Also, they’re probably for sale, though you never know with George Shinn. Odds: 3-1

Continue reading “NBA Team Coming To Las Vegas?”

Solo Travel – Las Vegas

My trip in April to Las Vegas was my first alone.  I don’t vacation much alone, bu I decided that this trip was meant to be – friends or not. As it turned out, my buddy bailed on me.

It wasn’t until last year where I realized that solo travel was a “thing”.  I met Gray from Solo Friendly and now vegassolo on twitter and have slowly learned about it.  Gray and I even contributed our solo experiences to each others blog.

My solo trip to Atlantic City
Prepping for a Vegas Adventure

I learned a few things on this trip to Las Vegas alone.  First and foremost, Las Vegas is a great place to travel alone.  I figured that I wouldn’t have a shortage of things to do and i didn’t.  I gambled, napped, ate, laptopped, drank and gambled whenever I wanted.

Sleeping, Gambling & Drinking

Since I don’t sleep much, I’m used to gambling alone to start the day.  However, things got a little more sketchy as the day went on and as the drinks flowed.  I had a pretty awful run at 3 card poker at Planet Hollywood one afternoon, but it didn’t bother me too much as I proceeded to have way too many Grey Goose & Soda’s.  This lead to a “nap” from about 6-9pm.  I wouldn’t normally have done this if I was with friends as we probably would have had dinner planned in that time frame.  Traveling alone made this not a big deal.  I didn’t have to be anywhere and had nobody waiting on me.  That was kind of freeing.

On a related note, Earl of Sandwich is an excellent spot to get a quick bite to eat at Planet Hollywood.  It reminded me of Quizno’s.  Not bad, but not the best sandwiches on the earth.  I’m a New Yorker and nothing beats a New York deli sandwich. I’m a bit of a snob about that.

Eating

I’ve mentioned in previous trip reports that I like to share excellent meals with friends, but when I’m alone I really don’t worry about what I eat and where I eat.  This solo trip proved that as I ate at Grand Lux a lot since it was in the hotel I was staying.  The only trip I made for food was to Burger Bar, where I ate at the bar.  The other meals I had were overpriced fast food.  Never again will I allow myself to fall prey to the $15 hot dog combo at Nathan’s at the Venetian.  Which leads me to…

Planning

I was stoked to have nobody with me which lead to me not planning anything.  I’m not an over planner, but I do like to make sure I maximize a trip.  For example, my trip in December had a night planned at Wynn.  My friends and I planned a night at the casino based around dinner at SW.  Simple plans like this allowed me to get to specific casinos.  I realize that without a plan it’s much easier to be lazy about leaving home base.  For future solo trips I’ll make sure to plan things out a little.  I’m not best left to my own devices. 🙂

Twitter

If you follow me on twitter you know that I love to tweet.  I found twitter to be an asset for traveling alone.  I shared tales of where I was visiting or checked out special events at the casinos, stayed in touch with people I had met on twitter that lived in Las Vegas and more.  It also provided me with a fun way to walk the strip.  I stopped at every casino between Palazzo and Planet Hollywood and tweeted.  It was a good excuse to stop and take in the sites.

Overall

Overall, I had a blast solo tripping to Las Vegas and it’s something I see myself doing again.  I’ve learned a little on how to maximize my stay without adding stress.  If you need some time away from the world Vegas is a great place to explore and have a good time alone – whether you gamble or don’t.  Feel free to comment or email or tweet with any questions.  I only grazed over the trip here.

Riviera Files For Chapter 11; Starwood Takes Over

To no surprise the Riviera (hotel and owners) filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization yesterday.

…because this is a Chapter 11 filing backed by the key creditors, it’s likely the Riviera Las Vegas and the Riviera Black Hawk will operate normally through the bankrupty process.

This is backed by the bulk of the companies creditors, so don’t expect Riviera to go away too quickly.  Hopefully this reorganization includes renovations and cleaning up of one of the last remaining casinos from the old strip.  Sometimes I’m nostalgic.

Photo: Las Vegas Sun

Update: It seems as if Starwood will be taking over the Riviera.  Vegas Tripping has the quick and dirty.

Nongaming Revenue Las Vegas vs. Atlantic City

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Las Vegas earns more than Atlantic City on things other than gambling.  However, it’s a little shocking – not surprising – to see how much Las Vegas’ percentage of revenue comes from sources outside of gambling versus Atlantic City.

…But Atlantic City still has a long way to go before it can reach Las Vegas’ level, where about 60 percent of revenue comes from nongaming ventures, said Cory Morowitz, of Morowitz Gaming Advisors LLC, in Galloway Township.

Last year, nongaming revenue in Atlantic City was probably less than 10 percent after discounting comped goods, Morowitz said.

“I don’t think we can get to 60 percent,” he added. “We just don’t have the room size that Las Vegas has. Rooms are the biggest driver.”

As I mentioned there’s no surprise that the nongaming revenues are greater in Las Vegas than Atlantic City.  Las Vegas has put a lot of effort into creating those revenue streams for better or worse.

Borgata was the first casino to really put effort into creating nongaming revenues and Harrah’s Resort and Tropicana have followed suit by enhancing their club experiences.  Bally’s is starting down that road by renovating their properties (Claridge and Wild Wild West) and Harrah’s is considering rebranding Showboat.

These are all good steps to separating Atlantic City from the rest of the East Coast casinos that have been popping up over the past few years.

In addition to expanding their club scene I think (actually, I know) that better restaurants and more shows need to follow to grow this revenue stream and separate Atlantic City from the rest of the casinos.

Gwen Stefani - No Doubt - Borgata

Photo: Flickr: woundsarebleeding

Bills Gambling Hall Getting Cleaned Up

Bill’s Gambling Hall & Saloon, formerly Barbary Coast, is getting cleaned up and rebranded by Harrah’s or maybe even another company.

I’m (Robin Leach) hearing exclusively from very reliable sources that the 4.3-acre property is part of a staggering deal with a major nightlife entertainment force, and everything including the 17,200-square-foot casino will get a major overhaul from top to bottom. When the news is officially announced, it will rock the nightlife scene.

Bills/Barbary Coast has never gotten my interest.  In fact, the only time anyone mentions this place is because of Drai’s.  A makeover to fit that crowd might make a lot of sense.  Since there isn’t a hotel component, I can see Bills being changed into a building with multiple clubs and gambling.

**UPDATE: Thanks for the heads up that there are actually hotel rooms at Bill’s.  I’ve never been, but now I know better.

Cosmopolitan Roundup

There has been a lot of excitement with the Cosmopolitan starting their grand opening marketing campaign.  I love what’s going on and instead of multiple posts about it I’ll share what I’ve found online in the past week.

  • Cosmopolitan website launches.  Looks good.  Not much about the casino though.  Vegas Tripping has an opinion.  Of course.
  • Steve Friess from The Strip Podcast (which is awesome) shows why the Cosmo flash site isn’t good for those of us with macs or ipads or iphones.
  • The Cosmo has a flickr page with some nice pictures.
  • West Vegas has a slew of pictures of the Cosmo. The touch ups make some look like paintings, but that’s kind of cool.
  • MSNBC sees the site and reports that reservations are now being taken.  So does the Las Vegas Sun but they have more info.
  • Vegas Tripping looks at the rooms.  NOT into a window view of the toilet.  Way too hip for me.
  • Stiffs and Georges shows that there may be a little doubt that The Cosmo will succeed.  It’s nice to see a different opinion.  It’s too early to tell if this is on point, but I think it may be close.
  • Vegas Chatter also looks at the rooms.  Again no toilet talk.  I had to comment.
  • New pictures of Cosmo pool area at Vegas Today and Tomorrow.
  • Here are some other ECG blogs on the Cosmo.

Photo: Flickr: Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Rumor: Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas Hilton For Sale?

Robin Leach has been on fire with somewhat interesting rumors this past week.  One of his quick hits this week is that Mandalay Bay and Las Vegas Hilton may have new owners soon.

I’m hearing that a group of well-heeled moneymen has decided that it’s time to start buying again in Las Vegas, and they have started discussions to bid on Mandalay Bay or the Las Vegas Hilton

There seems to be a few investors looking to get into Las Vegas casinos with properties being available at bottom dollar.  Investor John Paulson has been the most recent money man getting in on the action, purchasing almost 10% of Harrah’s.

This is only rumor and it’s from Robin Leach, so I’m not going spend much thought on what the future may hold for the properties.  I wonder who else is sniffing around.

Kardashian Khaos: Kim’s and Koutrtney’s Oh My!

Big news in Las Vegas this week is Kardashian Khaos opening in August at Mirage.

Photo: Las Vegas Sun

I’m amazed that people are still into the Kardashian thing enough to open a store for them.  This is another place I don’t need to visit.  Thankfully it’s a klothing store and I can easily avoid it…unless Kim is in the house.