You Have To Love The “Month Of Honor” Promotion At Station Casinos

Medal of Honor Poker Table at Station Casinos Las Vegas
Medal of Honor Poker Table at Station Casinos

When I first moved to Las Vegas I had a choice of 3 casinos to call home. Red Rock Resort, Suncoast and Rampart are all within the length of a song of where I live. I chose Red Rock for a few reasons (there’s an old blog post on it somewhere) but you probably know one of the major reasons is because the sportsbook bar is almost like my local bar.

Station Casinos has also been involved with the community in a very public way since I moved here. In the past they’ve offered veterans free buffets and have donated to the Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure” fund. Sure these are marketing ploys to get people in the door but they’re offering real value to the community.

This kind of philanthropy is almost as endearing as their 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker. I feel a little less awful when I lose money with Station Casinos. Just a little.

The “Month of Honor” promotion with Veterans Village is a huge expansion on the offers they’ve given to military persons in the past. Instead of trying to paraphrase the information I’ll offer the details in the HUGE press release:

LAS VEGAS (April 27, 2015)- Station Casinos will launch a month-long fundraising effort to raise awareness and funds for homeless veterans and their families who reside at Veterans Village located in Downtown Las Vegas. Proceeds raised throughout May will benefit Southern Nevada’s only 24/7 crisis intervention and housing facility that cares for our local homeless veterans and their families. From May 1-31, all 19 Station Casinos properties and venues including the cafes, casino bars, bingo rooms, spas and gaming areas including designated slot machines, designated blackjack and poker tables will be themed patriotic to signify where the Company will donate a portion of its proceeds and gaming winnings.

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XS, Hakkasan, Marquee, Tao Top Nightclubs In America

Steve Aoki At Hakkasan Las Vegas top nightclubs in Las Vegas
Steve Aoki At Hakkasan

XS, Hakkasan, Marquee and Tao were the top 4 nightclubs in America in terms of gross revenue in 2014. In fact, 7 of the top 10 grossing nightclubs and bars were in Vegas and 15 of the top 100. Not too shabby.

If you’ve ever wondered where to party in Vegas then here’s a good place to start. Below is a breakdown of all of the Vegas nightclubs and bars on the Top 100 list from Nightclub.com.

1. XS Nightclub, Encore
2. Hakkasan, MGM Grand
3. Marquee Nightclub, Cosmopolitan
4. Tao Nightclub, Venetian
6. Surrender Nightclub, Encore
9. Hyde, Bellagio
10. Lavo, Palazzo
17. Chandelier Bar, Cosmopolitan
18. Tryst Nightclub, Wynn
28. Chateau Nightclub & Rooftop, Paris Las Vegas
48. Ghostbar, Palms
55. Lagasse’s Stadium, Palazzo
66. Bond Bar, Cosmopolitan
67. Vesper Bar, Cosmopolitan
68. The Bourbon Room, Venetian

4 of the top 100 bars and nightclubs in America are at the Cosmopolitan. That’s not surprising because the Cosmo is my favorite bar on the Vegas Strip. Chandelier Bar (floor level) is one of my favorite bars to sip on a drink and hang out in all of Vegas. Last year they added video poker to this beautiful bar so you can get excellent comp drinks while you gamble. WIN!

What is surprising is that Chateau at Paris, Lagasse’s Stadium at Palazzo and The Bourbon Room at Venetian are in this list generating between $5 million and $15 million in 2014. To be honest I didn’t know Chateau was still open, I thought Lagasse’s Stadium was considered a restaurant and had no idea people went to The Bourbon Room en masse.

Live and learn!

2nd Umami Burger Was Even Better Than The First

Lunch At Umami Burger At SLS Las Vegas
Lunch At Umami Burger

If you follow me on twitter or facebook you know that I had lunch at Umami Burger at SLS Las Vegas the other day. This was my second visit to Umami Burger. My first visit was on the first day SLS Las Vegas was open. While I really liked the first burger and fries I wasn’t paying close attention to the food. I was busy drinking, chatting, playing video poker and just looking around. This time around I was alone and more focused on my burger than checking out the new restaurant/sportsbook/beer garden.

On my first visit I split half of the Manly Burger and really enjoyed it although I thought it was almost too flavorful. The beef flavor was almost overpowered by the beer-cheddar cheese, bacon lardo and smoked salt (fried) onion strips. Not to mention a mustard spread and house ketchup on the side.

A wise man recommended that I try one of the truffle burgers. I went into lunch with this and mind but was in the mood for bacon. None of the truffle burgers on the Umami Burger menu have bacon so I went back to the Manly Burger you see in the picture above. I added the off the menu cheesy tater tots for $5. Before diving into the burger I just want to say that you should ALWAYS ORDER THE TATER TOTS.

This Manly Burger tasted a bit more mellow than my first one. This time the ingredients we much more in balance than the first burger. If we were running this burger through a photo editor the beef flavor was enhanced, the cheese was dialed down and the bacon and onion rings provided a perfect accent. The flavors of the burger and toppings were in perfect harmony. I had a Rogue Dead Guy ale which complimented all of the flavors perfectly.

Looking back at both burgers I think that the sharpness of cheddar cheese is what was a little shocking on the first burger. Keep that in mind if you have a gentle tongue. The burger with less cheese spread really tasted much more like a burger. Call me crazy but when I order a burger I want to taste the burger.

Video Poker at Umami Burger Straight Flush
Thanks for lunch Umami Burger!

I ate at the bar because I wanted to play a little video poker and have a couple of beers. The restaurant side of the bar only had the 3 play machines (the casino side has a few 1 line games). While waiting for my burger to arrive I snagged this sweet straight flush. The straight flush covered my lunch bill which was under $20 ($13 burger, $5 tots) and gave me a couple more dollars to spend on my next visit.

As I mentioned in my full overview of the Umami Burger restaurant/sportsbook at Vegas Chatter playing video poker while you eat allows you complimentary drinks. Not only did I make a few bucks with the straight flush but I had a couple “free” $9 beers.

It’s a nice touch that the bar on the restaurant side has more bar space to eat in front of the video poker machines. It makes eating easier than on the casino side although the video poker is a bit far.

I find it hard to choose a best of any food category but the burgers at Umami Burger are definitely among the best on the Vegas Strip. The service at the bar is great and I really like the sportsbook/sports bar setup. Umami Burger has definitely become one of my new hangouts on Vegas Strip.

Caesars Happy Hour Deals In Vegas

Caesars Happy Hour At Fizz Las Vegas
Caesars Happy Hour At Fizz

Caesars just released happy hour deals at some of their Vegas bars and restaurants. Happy Hour in Vegas is a great way to save money and get the night started or just try something new.

I’m not a champagne drinker but the $36 All You Can Drink deal at Fizz sounds like something I’d like to try one night. It’s a good excuse to try something different. Plus I can drink champagne fast.

I highlighted names of the restaurants and hotels where you can find them. On a related note, if you need discount codes for Caesars hotels in Vegas there are various discounts to the right. I also just got this “up to 40% off” deal.

  • FIZZ, the lavish champagne lounge and bar inside Caesars Palace, is now hosting Bottomless Bubbles, a daily bottomless champagne event, where for $36 per person, guests can drink all the bubbles they can within the 5 to 7 p.m. or 7 to 9 p.m. windows.
  • With a recently expanded dining room and outdoor patio, including a full-service bar and 26-ft. tall Tiffany-style lamp, Serendipity 3 at Caesars Palace is now hosting a special $5 happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. daily. The menu features a variety of beers, well cocktails and house-made sangria. Also featured are small bites like soft pretzels with nacho cheese and honey mustard, two bbq pulled pork sliders and mini-sundaes.
  • Las Vegas’ favorite pub experience, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace, has introduced a very special Hell’s Kitchen Happy Hour, in honor of Ramsay’s hit FOX reality series. Happy hour offerings include $5 13oz draft beers, with a $2 upgrade for a 20oz pint, $5 draft wines, and $5 pub snacks, which include house-made pretzels, Devils on Horseback, truffle chips and Deviled Eggs. Guests can experience these special offerings Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Overlooking the world-famous Strip, Las Vegas’ only Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Harrah’s Las Vegas, is now hosting a daily Sizzle, Swizzle & Swirl Happy Hour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Premium cocktails and menu items are offered throughout this time, including: Prime Burger with fries, Steak Sandwich with fries, Seared Ahi Tuna, Spicy Lobster, Bluberry Mojito, La Paloma, Manhattan Eastside and selection of wines.
  • Carnaval Court at Harrah’s Las Vegas joins in the happy hour fun, offering a daily special of $4 Miller/Coors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, $8 call drinks are available as well.
  • Harrah’s Las Vegas country music party spot, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, hosts its own brand of happy hour Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a variety of food and drink specials. Guests can buy one draft beer in a 32oz. Mason Jar for $9 and get one free. Food specials are available for $11 and include pulled pork sliders, hot link hoagies and the Honky Tonk meatloaf sandwich and more.
  • The sophisticated New York City import, BLT Steak at Bally’s Las Vegas, boasts a stylish bar with elegant fixtures and signature cocktail staples, including the Watermelon Basil and the Cool Woodford with Woodford Reserve and Ginger Beer. Guests can enjoy these cocktails and more half-priced at the bar from 4 to 7 p.m. daily.
  • Offering a French interpretation on American classics, Burger Brasserie at Paris Las Vegas hosts a daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. with 2-for-1 on any drinks in the bar area.
  • Flamingo Las Vegas’ cool and casual steak house, Center Cut, is hosting an all-new happy hour that includes swanky bites such as signature Poutine, bacon two ways, truffle mac and cheese, as well as Giggle Water cocktails such as Spice Pear Mojito, New Fashioned and Patron Pomegranate Cocktail. Center Cut’s happy hour is offered daily with drinks available from 4 to 7:30 p.m. and bites available 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino hosts casino-wide happy hour with happy hour specials at several casino bars:
    • Shutters hosts happy hour Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., offering guests
      Sauza Silver Margaritas in 16oz. souvenir shakers for $12, $6 Jack Daniel’s or Jim Beam “You Call Its” and $10 Coors Light or Miller Lite bottle with a shot of Jack Daniel’s or Jim Beam.
    • Village Bar’s happy hour is Sunday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. with $12 Sauza Silver Margaritas in 16oz. souvenir shakers, $6 Skyy Cosmos and $6 shot specials.

Photo: Vegas News

The Quad Is Out. The Linq Hotel Is In

The Linq Hotel Room
The Linq Hotel Room

The Quad replaced Imperial Palace less than two years ago. In late October The Quad name will go away and the hotel next to the Flamingo will be called The Linq Hotel and Casino. The change has been rumored for a while since the hotel flanks The Linq mall/promenade.

As far as name changes go The Linq Hotel makes a lot of sense. The Linq Hotel will finish the remodel of the old Imperial Palace that began with The Quad. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Casino renovations have already begun and will be complete when The Linq Hotel opens October 30.
  • Rooftop pool renovation.
  • Renovated hotel rooms. Caesars Entertainment made sure to renovate bathrooms unlike Flamingo Fab rooms.
  • Cabana suites with private access to the pool.
  • Slow elevators, plumbing and other infrastructure will not be updated.
  • Property-wide wifi.
  • Lots of bars. TAG Bar is an awesome beer bar. Check my Vegas Chatter article.
  • Automated check-in and concierge.
  • All Asian theming from Imperial Palace will be gone.
  • HOTEL ROOM PRICE INCREASE. Room rates are currently around $29 but will start at $89 when the name changes.

Here’s The Linq Hotel promo video to get you stoked.

Downtown Vegas Is Taking Me Away From Casinos And I Don’t Like It

Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience Downtown Las Vegas
Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience

It’s funny, gamblers always say that the Vegas Strip can learn something about keeping gamblers in their casino by offering better odds like Downtown Vegas casinos. I think it may be the other way around. Maybe the Downtown Vegas casinos need to improve their bars and restaurants like their counterparts on the Vegas Strip to keep gamblers like me happy.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day and night in Downtown Vegas. I stayed at the Fremont Hotel because they always offer low room rates and no resort fee. My hotel room for the night was $32 after taxes. Not bad.

I went into this day away with no plan. My solo trips to Downtown Vegas have always been similar to someone going on a bender. I’d eat, drink and gamble way too much for a 24 hour period. This time my night in Downtown Vegas was different. I had a great time but it was a different kind of great time.

If you read this blog last week you saw daily updates of where I spent my time in Downtown Vegas.

  • I had a beer and chicken parm sliders for dinner at Triple George.
  • I grabbed a few beers and had some fun conversation at Nacho Daddy.
  • I had a flight of beer and then some at Banger Brewing.

Wow, I drank a lot of beer. There’s one thing missing from my night in Downtown Vegas. I hardly spent time in a casino and I barely gambled! This is very unlike me and I reflected on this on my drive back home to the burbs.

The casinos on the Vegas Strip are re-inventing themselves with new restaurantsbars and clubs to keep you on their property. My visits to the Vegas Strip haven’t changed. New restaurants and bars draw me to casinos on the Vegas Strip where I’ll inevitably end up gambling a little.

Eat, Drink, Gamble in one place – that’s my kind of fun. Let’s go back to Downtown Vegas.

Most of the new bars and restaurants are outside of the Downtown Vegas casinos. When I’m eating a great burger and drinking great beer at Pizza Rock there isn’t anything that says that I must go back out to the casino and gamble. The casinos in Downtown Vegas feel as though they’re becoming less relevant to me. They’re out of sight while I’m having fun eating and drinking and that puts them on the back burner.

Besides Andiamo Steakhouse at The D and Du-Pars at Golden Gate there really isn’t a restaurant destination inside of a Downtown Vegas casino that I feel like I ever need to visit. On the flip side every bar and restaurant I visited on my last trip to Downtown Vegas will be visited again.

As Downtown Vegas continues to re-invent itself the casinos may need to take note from the Golden Nugget and refresh their restaurants and bars every couple of years to keep old customers like me and attract new customers.

Many of my favorite casinos to gamble are in Downtown Vegas so it’s not like I’ll be avoiding the casinos there but I will certainly spend less money in those casinos when there are better bars and restaurants a short walk away.

It’s funny, gamblers always say that the Vegas Strip can learn something about keeping gamblers in their casino by offering better odds like Downtown Vegas. I think it may be the other way around. Maybe the Downtown Vegas casinos need to improve their bars and restaurants like their counterparts on the Vegas Strip to keep gamblers like me happy.

Celebrate Sailor Jerry Day June 12 at Hog & Heifers

Hogs And Heifers Downtown Las Vegas
Hogs And Heifers

I’m not a fan of Hogs And Heifers because it’s crazy smokey and I don’t like country music or bartenders yelling into a megaphone (GOML). That being said, I’m always looking for an excuse to use this picture that I snapped of Hogs And Heifers in Downtown Vegas at 11am. The place was bumpin and I couldn’t even fit all of the motorcycles into the frame of this picture. People love Hogs And Heifers and it’s always a party.

With that in mind this event is a perfect fit for those of you who are into the HnH, tattoos and Sailor Jerry – the booze and the man. Here are the details:

Continue reading “Celebrate Sailor Jerry Day June 12 at Hog & Heifers”

Free Comedy Shows At M Resort

M Resort Las Vegas Pool
M Resort Pool

I like comedians. In fact I spent my lunch break today watching the hysterical new hour-long special from Jim Gaffigan that premiered on Comedy Central last night, Obsessed (buy at Amazon). I also like M Resort but don’t make it out that way too often. I live on the opposite side of  Las Vegas and I’m lazy. 🙂

M Resort has comedians performing for free (free admission but 2 drink minimum) at Ravello in May that could change things. Here’s the schedule for May.

May 2
9:30-11pm – Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show

May 9
9:30-11pm – Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show

May 16
9:30-11pm – Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show

May 23
9:30-11pm – Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show

May 30
9:30-11pm – Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show

Ravello Lounge offers live music in an intimate, energetic venue overlooking the famous Las Vegas Strip. Guests can enjoy the social atmosphere, lively entertainment, attractive cocktails and bottle service on Friday and Saturday nights. There is no cover charge with a two drink minimum purchase. There is more free entertainment at Ravello that you can find here.

If you prefer seeing free music in Las Vegas you can visit Hostile Grape at M Resort.

MGM Las Vegas Specials And Happy Hours

Stella Artois Video Poker Bar At Red Rock Las Vegas
mmm….beer

I don’t normally write about individual casino specials but the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas have too much going on to share with a single tweet and the info is worth sharing. The first thing I learned is that Aria has a blog called Taste Of Aria. Taste of Aria isn’t necessary reading per se, but it has good info if you’re planning to visit Aria or Las Vegas. Earlier this week they detailed all of the Happy Hour deals at Aria. Here’s the only one with a price attached.

Nothing compliments a mouth-watering slice of pizza like an ice cold beer and Five50’s Happy Hour brings the two together in perfect harmony. Starting at 5:00 pm, a specialty beer will be $.50 until 5:50 pm daily!

Since there are no specialty beers mentioned by name I’d assume Aria means Miller Light (UPDATE: Vegas Chatter says that it’s Goose Island beer. Not bad!). Still, it’s a beer for 50 cents. You don’t see many deals like that for any kind of beer on the Vegas Strip.

MGM Resorts International still uses the MGM-Mirage URL for their blog and recently posted locals discounts for Vegas residents and their various Happy Hour deals. Here’s a look at Mandalay Bay. You can see the other MGM Resorts specials here.

Happy Hours

  • Stripsteak 4pm – 6pm daily. $7 food items, $3 Beer and $6 Well Cocktails.

  • Fleur by Hubert Keller 4pm – 6pm daily. $4 domestic select beer, $6 house wine, and $6 well cocktails.

  • Aureole 5:30pm – 7pm. $4 domestic select beer, $6 house wine, and $6 well cocktails.

  • miX Lounge 5pm-7pm. 25% off lounge food and drink menus.

  • House of Blues 2pm – 5pm daily. $3 domestic beer, $4 house wine, and $5 call cocktails.

  • RM Seafood downstairs lounge 3pm-7pm, $3 domestic beer, $7 well drinks, ½ priced seasonal cocktail specials & select sushi.

  • RM Seafood upstairs lounge 5:30pm-7pm Tues-Sat. $4-$9 unique small bites, $4 craft beers, and $8 signature cocktails.

  • Mizuya 2pm – 5pm daily. $8 selected sushi, $3 beer, and $7 cocktails.

  • Charlie Palmer Steak 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Tues-Sat. Complimentary Sommelier’s choice wine pairing with purchase of any small plate.

  • Verandah 4pm-7pm daily. Choose from five specialty cocktails & five small plates for $5 each.

  • Burger Bar 4pm-7pm Sun-Thur. $3 beer selection, $6.95 food selection and $6 cocktail selection.

  • Slice of Vegas 3pm-6pm Mon-Thur. $4 PBR Pints, $4 Absolut Captain Morgan and Jameson Cocktails.

  • Hussong’s Cantina 4pm-6pm Mon-Thur. Buy One, Get One draft Beer. Buy One, Get One Traditional Margaritas.

  • Rira Irish Pub 3pm-6pm Mon-Fri. $4 Carlsberg & Heineken drafts, $3 domestic bottles, $5 house wine and $6 Smirnoff cosmopolitans.

Some of these Happy Hour’s and discounts are better than others but it’s a nice excuse to add a visit to any of the specific hotels. When I used to vacation in Vegas the only plans I’d make with friends were around dinner so we could spend an hour together catching up on the events of the last 24 hours. These specials are a good way to get the night started a little early. Viva Las Vegas!

Best Places In Las Vegas To See Live Music

Queens Of The Stoneage At Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
Queens Of The Stoneage

One of the first people I met when I moved to Las Vegas was Craig Nyman. He does a lot of things but his passion for music is something that I haven’t found in many people in this town and it’s awesome. He has a blog called Do You Hear The Music and has written concert reviews for a couple other outlets.

People often ask me where the best places to see bands in Vegas are so I figured I’d go to someone who’s out seeing bands much more often than me. Craig hit the places that I would recommend and then some. Enjoy and follow him on twitter.

It just so happens that I live in the city known as the Entertainment Capital of the World. And as such, I will never pass up the opportunity to catch live music in Las Vegas. Here’s a list of some of the spots I frequent.

House of Blues

House of Blues Las Vegas

When Mandalay Bay opened in 1999 and brought the House of Blues to Las Vegas, a new era for live music in the city was born. Today, HOB is still regarded as one of the top venues in town to see a concert continuously booking a multitude of acts ranging from rock and blues to metal and electronic artists, no genre of music is shunned. (Photo: UrbanPhotos)

Hard Rock Hotel: The Joint and Vinyl

The Joint at Hard Rock Casino Las Vegas

The “new” Joint has put itself on the map as one of the best concert venues in the country and at a max capacity 4,000 you regularly have the chance to see major bands that typically play 12,000-15,000 seat arenas in an intimate setting. Plus the acoustics and sight lines are second to none so you’re going to have an incredible experience at The Joint. (Photo: Sceno Plus)

The newest live music venue, Vinyl is by far one of the best places to catch a show in Las Vegas. The tiny spot gets rocking with a killer sound system and bands seem to respond well to the intimate confines and getting up close and personal with fans.

Quintuplet threat at The Cosmopolitan

Boulevard Pool Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

You’ve got the BLVD Pool, The Chelsea, Chandelier, Book & Stage and BOND. All five spots play host to live music from rocking concerts under the neon glow of the Las Vegas Strip to a jazz quartet at the sultry Chandelier, you can’t go wrong. I’ve seen some of my favorite concerts at this hotel. I could list them all but it’d go on for too long. Instead just visit my blog www.doyouhearthemusic.com and do a search. (Photo: Vegas News)

The Pearl at Palms

The Pearl at Palms Las Vegas

Real simple, great acoustics, solid sight lines, amazing shows in a small venue. With the ability to scale from 1,100 to 2,400 every show I’ve seen at The Pearl has been great. Cool fact, the venue is hard-wired into the recording studio upstairs at Palms; so you never know if that concert you attended may just be released as a live album by your favorite artist.

Hard Rock Café on The Strip

Hard Rock Cafe On The Strip Las Vegas

Chances are you haven’t been and that’s your first mistake. This 1,000 cap venue in the middle of The Strip gets some rocking shows and is a great room to catch a concert.

Double Down

Double Down Las Vegas

A 24/7 Institution. Grab yourself a Bacon Martini or some Ass Juice and embrace the legendary Double Down. Always open and always a good time with a slew of bands performing each night the only thing guaranteed is really not knowing what will happen when you step foot inside the happiest place on earth! (Photo: Vegas Seven)

Downtown Spots

Beauty Bar Las Vegas

  • Beauty Bar: Until recently, Beauty Bar was THE up and coming indie acts and while the competition has been getting a little fierce, the venue still does a kick ass job of bringing in the stars of tomorrow before. With an intimate stage inside and a backyard patio outside, you get two different experiences at Beauty Bar.
  • Commonwealth: The new kids on Fremont are cracking into live music with Sundays devoted to performances from talented local musicians. Add in the regular appearances by some awesome DJs and Commonwealth is quickly becoming a place to see sheer talent.
  • Insert Coin(s): Awesome DJs, video games and stiff drinks – in just two years IC has marked its place on the map for entertainment in Las Vegas.
  • Artifice: I love this place, what else can I say. It’s cozy, the staff is awesome and you can see some kick ass shows in this spot.
  • The Bunkhouse: If you’ve never been, put this on your list pronto.