There are about as many good cheapblackjack games on the Vegas Strip as you might have expected. In other words, there aren’t many. Where you do find good cheap blackjack you should expect that there are only one or two of these tables at most of the casinos listed below. They should be easy to spot since you’ll probably see a large crowd at these tables so you might have to wait for a seat.
For simplicity, I’m using $15 as the cut off for cheapblackjack and just listing the house edge of the games. I’m also listing the casinos alphabetically, and not by the smallest house edge. You can see the full survey here. The list is great and has information on all blackjack at every casino in Las Vegas.
Bally’s – House Edge: 0.57 Caesars Palace – House Edge: 0.57 The Cromwell – House Edge: 0.57 Excalibur – House Edge: 0.66 Flamingo (and Margaritaville) – House Edge: 0.57 The Linq – House Edge: 0.57 Harrah’s – House Edge: 0.55 New York – New York – House Edge: 0.48 Paris – House Edge: 0.57 Planet Hollywood – House Edge: 0.57 SLS Las Vegas – House Edge: 0.48 Treasure Island – House Edge: 0.46 and 0.48 Tropicana – House Edge: 0.57
There are so many rumors about Monte Carlo that it’s hard to keep up with what I actually post. Last week I posted that a new theater would be built at Monte Carlo to replace the current Blue Man Group Theater. MGM Resorts confirmed that rumor today and also revealed where Blue Man Group would be moving.
LAS VEGAS, July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), one of the world’s leading presenters of live entertainment, today announced plans for an approximately 5,000-seat theater at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. The new concert venue will amplify the vibrant entertainment district taking shape on the west side of the Las Vegas Strip with a robust calendar featuring special engagements by many of the music industry’s most-celebrated performers.
With more than 7 million entertainment tickets sold in 2014 alone, MGM Resorts’ offerings are unrivaled. The Company owns and operates two arenas; two Las Vegas Strip festival lots (62 acres); seven theaters housing Cirque du Soleil production shows; 14 theaters for concerts, headliners and comedy performances; and more than two dozen lounges and nightclubs. Additionally, it is currently developing a new world-class Las Vegas arena as well as integrated resort projects in Macau and National Harbor, Maryland, each of which will feature entertainment venues as central amenities.
Monte Carlo has undergone some major changes with its Vegas Strip frontage and now they’re moving to the side leading to the arena. Similarly (but not the same) the Cosmo is renovating its casino floor. Here’s the juice I’m hearing:
If this rumor is true it wouldn’t be surprising to see the poker room also close and move. The sportsbook and poker room occupy the same side of the casino so it might make sense to see both shuttered to make way for the planned restaurants and bars.
Possibility: Both make sense and sound logical.
Last month I wrote about the rumor that Cosmopolitan may be getting a poker room on Vegas Chatter. That still hasn’t come to fruition but there’s another rumor about their tiny CG Technology sportsbook.
Word is that the sportsbook will be moving from the second floor to the first floor with the other casino gaming. I reached out to a CG Technology rep on twitter and didn’t receive a response like I have every other question I’ve asked.
Possibility: Not sure the majority of customers would care about either. I could make a case for both but I can also see bean counters not caring about such a small piece of gaming revenue (about 2%-3% total).
Rumors are a hit and miss proposition. Sometimes they’re true and sometimes they’re not. The success rate I’ve had with rumors that make sense is about 50%. If that holds true here then we should see two of the rumors mentioned above come true. Time will tell as construction is progressing at Monte Carlo and Cosmo is quietly making changes to their property.
I’m easily amused. I find random information like the infographic above and the notes below fun and relatively useful. Thanks to this blog post you can now amaze your friends with useless Vegas knowledge from MGM Resorts like:
“Hey, did you know that Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York served 100,000 pints of Guinness?”
7,982,550 pillows fluffed at MGM Grand
3.2 million people who visited The Adventuredome at Circus Circus
1 million Hershey’s Kisses distributed across Las Vegas to celebrate the opening of Hershey’s Chocolate World at New York-New York
729,753 pizza slices served at Shawn McClain’s FIVE50 Pizza Bar at ARIA
267,436 toilet paper rolls used by the Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo
100,000 pints of Guinness gulped at New York-New York’s Nine Fine Irishmen
96,719 pounds of crab legs cracked at The Buffet at ARIA
52,640 massages and facials enjoyed at Spa Bellagio
46,363 margaritas sipped at Hecho en Vegas at MGM Grand
34,580 costume changes by the Jabbawockeez at Luxor
11,336 shows performed by The Fountains of Bellagio
8,464 ice cream flavor combinations offered at BLVD Creamery since its May 2014 opening at Monte Carlo
5,704 corks collected at Rock ‘n Roll Wine Amplified Festival at MGM Resorts Village
5,472 roses distributed by Boyz II Men during “I’ll Make Love to You” at The Mirage
$5,000 – The most expensive dish purchased; 26 Fleurburgers sold at Fleur in Mandalay Bay
1,117 ice buckets in the shape of FDR’s hat box, in the suites at Delano Las Vegas
520 victories at Excalibur’sTournament of Kings
360 pounds of caviar spooned at The Buffet Bellagio
3 new white lion cubs at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage
Shake Shack Las Vegas just opened at New York-New York and the burgers are pretty much what you’d expect. The design and layout of the restaurant are very cool and I’ll get to that another day.
I just want to focus on the food today. Specifically the famous ShackBurger.
The buzz on Shake Shack opening in Vegas was heard all around the country. People that have visited Shake Shack in other parts of the country compare the burgers to In and Out Burger. A fair comparison as they’re both fast food burgers and use fresh high quality ingredients.
The Vegas Shake Shack Las Vegas location offers a much larger menu than a In and Out Burger or normal fast food or quick serve restaurant. So it’s important just to focus on the burgers (and shakes, the restaurant is called Shake Shack). Okay, on to the food.
Nothing fancy here. I wanted my first meal to cover the basics so I ordered a ShackBurger, fries and their Shack-Made lemonade to drink. Before discussing the ShackBurger I need to talk about the star of my meal – them fries.
The crinkle cut fries are thicker AND crispier than any fast food fries I’ve had before. After a little googling and I found out that these fries were brought back late last year because of customer demand. I also learned that each batch is double fried and that helps with the crispness. Here’s a close up of the light, crispy french fries. I’m not much of a fry guy but they were gone before the burger. That never happens.
Believe it or not, there is a burger hiding under the lettuce in the photo above. Here’s a better picture of the ShackBurger.
It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about having a burger in Las Vegas. That changes today as the first Shake Shack opens on the west coast. Shake Shack Las Vegas opened today at New York-New York.
My expectations are in check. Shake Shack makes a fast food burger that compares to In N Out Burger. Here’s a preview from allsandwich.com that reiterates that thought.
Why get excited about a fast food burger? Because it’s new to me. I’ll check it out in the new year and post a review somewhere. Details of Shake Shack Las Vegas are below in the press release:
The highly anticipated Las Vegas Shack is perfectly situated on The Strip adjacent to The Park at the foot of the renowned New York-New York Hotel & Casino.
Founded by famed restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), Shake Shack is a critically acclaimed, modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers, griddled-crisp flat-top dogs, fresh-made frozen custard, crinkle cut fries, craft beer and wine, and more. A fun, lively, fine-casual restaurant with widespread appeal, over the past decade Shake Shack has earned a cult-like following around the world.
The Vegas Shack will feature an expansive outdoor patio prominently overlooking The Strip. Capturing the essence and origins of Shake Shack, which was born in New York City’s Madison Square Park in 2004, the restaurant will also neighbor a future park environment developed by MGM Resorts International. The Park, the first of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip, will feature dining pavilions and performance spaces complemented by areas for quiet relaxation.
“We’re thrilled to be opening on the Las Vegas Strip,” said Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti. “Being located right in front of the New York-New York and next to the future location of The Strip’s first-ever park is an unbelievable opportunity and creates a fun hangout and community-gathering place unlike anywhere else in Vegas.”
“We continue to deliver exclusive, fun and unique choices to our guests on New York-New York’s newly developed plaza. The arrival of Shake Shack is yet another extraordinary moment for our resort,” said New York-New York President and COO Cynthia Kiser Murphey. “The inclusion of Shake Shack will continue to elevate the high-energy activity in this area and will provide our guests with engaging experiences. Danny, Randy and team have created a fun and friendly restaurant with delicious food, great customer service and convenient strip-side accessibility. We cannot wait to see this one-of-a-kind, must-see destination in Las Vegas come to life.”
In addition to all the Shack favorites, the Las Vegas menu will celebrate the glitz and over-the-top energy of the city with exclusive menu items. The Las Vegas Shack’s location-specific frozen custard concretes include: All Shook Up (vanilla frozen custard and chocolate toffee bits blended with a slice of banana peanut butter cheesecake from local bakery Gimme Some Sugar) andJackpot (vanilla frozen custard, Belgian waffles, strawberry purée, marshmallow sauce and rainbow sprinkles). The Shack Attack (chocolate custard, fudge sauce and chocolate truffle cookie dough, Mast Brothers dark chocolate chunks and chocolate sprinkles), a classic Shack fan favorite that originated at Shake Shack’s flagship location in NYC’s Madison Square Park, will be available as well. Diners can also enjoy the Shackapalooza, a colossal, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-style frozen custard dessert with premium mix-ins — meant for sharing.
Finally, beginning January 1, 2015 at all US Shacks (with the exception of JFK airport and ballparks) Shake Shack will feature a special off-the-menu item, the ShackMeister Burger™ — a 100% all-natural Angus beef cheeseburger with crispy ShackMeister Ale-marinated shallots and ShackSauce. The ShackMeister Burger will be available for a limited time.
The Vegas Shack will have an expanded beer and wine selection — both on tap. Guests can kick back with a ShackMeister Ale®, a beer designed to complement the ShackBurger that is brewed just for Shake Shack by Brooklyn Brewery. Beers from local breweries will include Bad Beat and Tenaya Creek among others. All beers are available as a pint, pitcher, or custom Shake Shack “Roadie” (32 oz.). The wine list will feature a range of varietals including house wines Shack Red and Shack White — made exclusively for Shake Shack by Frog’s Leap in Napa Valley, California. For those seeking a non-alcoholic beverage, the menu will feature Shack-made lemonade, bottled Stumptown iced coffee, draught root beer from Abita Brewing Co. in Louisiana, fresh brewed iced tea and more. All beer and wine can be ordered via a special express line at the outdoor walk-up window.
As part of its community outreach efforts and mission to Stand For Something Good®, the Las Vegas Shack is partnering with First Friday Foundation Las Vegas, which advances local artists and inspires civic art in Las Vegas. Five percent of sales from the All Shook Up concrete will benefit First Friday Foundation Las Vegas, and Shake Shack team members will volunteer at the Foundation’s special events.
In keeping with Shake Shack’s commitment to green architecture and eco-friendly construction, the new location incorporates a variety of recycled and sustainable materials and features energy-efficient kitchen equipment and lighting. Custom chairs and booths are constructed from lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and stools have been upcycled from Pacific NW telephone poles. The Vegas Shack’s interior walls are made from Wyoming Snowfence reclaimed timber, and also clad in reclaimed barn siding from eastern US farming states. As in several Shake Shack locations, tabletops are made from reclaimed bowling alley lanes designed in Brooklyn, New York.
Shake Shack will be open from 11:00 AM until midnight, Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 AM until 2:00 AM Friday and Saturday.
Take 10 minutes and watch the Hershey’s Chocolate World ride in Hershey, PA that I grew up with. I think I rode this every year for about 10 years. The end is still spectacular. I love the internet for having this.
I love Vegas but I don’t love masses of humanity in my way. I’m a New Yorker and always in a rush even when I don’t have somewhere to be. The Vegas Strip is already too crowded with slow walkers and tourists just stopping for no reason. Blech.
Vegas Chatter dug up some of the fancy flea market vendors that will be at the Grand Bazaar Shopsand they’re exactly what you might expect from a flea market – jewelry, handbags, sunglasses and other stuff you’d find at a rest stop in New Jersey.
Check out these hideous renderings of the Grand Bazaar Shop.
On a side note, who let Caesars artists into a Bellagio to sketch that point of view?
While people stop on the, already crowded, Vegas Strip to look and decide whether or not to check out the “stores” they’ll just be in standing in the middle of the sidewalk clogging traffic. At least the Park area in between Monte Carlo and New York-New York and The Linq are designed to draw people away from the Vegas Stip.
The sidewalks can’t be widened because there’s already too much car traffic on the Vegas Strip so the human traffic will only get worse. The only way to avoid traffic in the middle of the strip is to avoid it.
Thankfully Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay will complete renovations soon. Some of the hotel rooms at Delano Las Vegas are already finished. We should expect the public spaces to be completed on time. SLS Las Vegas is working 24/7 to ensure that they will be opening at the end of summer. Both of these hotels on opposite ends of the Vegas Strip give a good excuse for someone like me to avoid the middle of the crush of people in the middle.
I understand that not everyone is like me. There are people who actually like to do things other than eat, drink and gamble when they’re in Vegas. GASP! I understand the Vegas Strip’s need to evolve but I’m happy that there will still be new hotels and casinos for people like me to enjoy.
If you’ve been to the Vegas Strip over the past year you probably noticed the construction at New York New York and Monte Carlo. The overall vision is to update each hotel and create a park-like environment in between the two which leads to an arena that will be built behind the two. MGM Resorts, which owns both properties has updated the plans for The Park (below). Highlight: there is outdoor drinking for every palate (wine, rum, beer, coffee)
The concept is very similar to The Linq without the cheap airport kiosk type shops selling sunglasses and hats. When complete this should be a really nice addition to the Vegas Strip and just like The Linq it’s a great use of what used to be dead space.
Details, pictures and video below.
Press release highlights:
A Glimpse into The Park:
Experience: The Park re-envisions the traditional pedestrian experience in Las Vegas. It will draw passersby from the hustle and bustle of The Strip into an oasis offering unique opportunities to experience Las Vegas outdoors and at one’s leisure, only steps from one of the largest urban boulevards in the world. Inspired by the iconic plazas, promenades and squares that have served as important public gathering destinations within the world’s great cities throughout history, The Park will offer an array of common spaces for socializing, relaxing, exploring and sampling the surrounding tastes, sights and sounds.
By day, visitors will be able to bask in pockets of sun or enjoy shade beneath mature trees or one of the stunning, tulip-like shade structures towering more than 50 feet above. Patio-style seating will encourage an interactive social environment, while seating alcoves tucked into large planters will provide areas for respite.
Unique water features, including water walls stretching more than 100 feet in length along the entrance will add unexpected visuals, as will dramatic plantings incorporating a variety of beautiful desert blooms. Exploring The Park, guests will encounter spontaneous live entertainers, such as acoustic guitarists and street performers.
As the sun sets, illuminated elements of The Park’s landscaping will create a dramatic setting. The shade structures, a work of art in and of themselves, will emit marvelous LED sequences from high above, captivating guests below. Sounds of live music, clinking glasses and laughter from bordering open-air venues will saturate The Park with energy, giving guests an entirely new way to experience Las Vegas beneath the stars.
Dining Under the Sun and Stars: Not unlike the small cafes and bistros that spill onto iconic promenades, clusters of casual restaurants and bars with outdoor seating will open each resort to The Park creating a colorful patio ambiance. Ranging from fast-casual to mid-level, each offering will be a unique-to-market, up-and-coming brand. Below is a first peek, with additional partners to be announced in the coming months:
· Shake Shack – Boasting patios overlooking The Park and New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, the much-beloved Shake Shack will introduce its first West Coast location when it opens in December 2014. Established in 2004 in NYC’s Madison Square Park, Shake Shack® is a modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its all-natural burgers, flat-top dogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more. With its fresh, simple, high-quality food at a great value, Shake Shack is a fun and lively community gathering place with widespread appeal.
· Bruxie – The fast-casual, gourmet waffle restaurant born out of Orange County will serve up its signature takes on The Sandwich. Bruxie’s next-generation sandwiches use a light, airy authentic Brussels Waffle as the “Bold Fold”. The Waffle is crisp, lightly yeasty and not sweet – reminiscent of freshly baked bread. Bruxie Waffles are paired with quality seasonal ingredients, offering both savory choices like Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Chili Honey and Cider Slaw as well as a variety of sweet options such as Strawberry Crème Brûlée.
· Sake Rok – This theatrical hotspot open for lunch, dinner and a late-night bar/lounge, will thrill guests with more than just its array of delicious sushi, Japanese cuisine and private sake label. By night, Sake Rok will transform into a high-profile social dining extravaganza, immersing guests in an experience part culinary, part performance and completely unexpected. Inspired by Japan’s vibrant pop culture and fashion movements, interactive servers will invite guests to partake in restaurant-wide sake bombs while doubling as entertainers, spontaneously breaking into dance and lip-sync serenades. The emcee – a six-foot man dressed in traditional Geisha attire – will keep the energy and the sake flowing late into the night as Sake Rok transitions into a chic bar and lounge.
· Beer Garden – This fun and approachable beer garden will be highlighted by its outdoor spaces and vantage points of all The Park’s activity. Guests will be able to indulge in sustainably raised farm-to-table meats, an impressive craft beer list, live music and, of course, games to get any social gathering started – bocce ball, darts and outdoor ping pong. Central to the design will be the restaurant’s signature open roasting area.
· A Robert Mondavi Jr. Wine Experience – Robert Mondavi Jr.’s restaurant, lounge and wine bar concept will transport guests to Napa Valley, infusing each element of the experience with the signature warmth and inviting essence of the famous sun-soaked rolling vineyards where Mondavi Family wine production originated. Anchored by an extensive wine program, the venue will boast 100+ wines by the glass and a variety of formats including flights, quartinos, carafes, large formats and more, accompanied by gourmet wine country cuisine. Inside, guests will savor the sights and sounds from the partially open-format kitchen, while an open-air patio will evoke the feeling of a festive outdoor dinner party.
· Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row – Country star Dierks Bentley will introduce his contemporary country bar and restaurant concept offering American gastropub fare, plenty of brews on tap, a specialty menu of “Boilermakers” – a shot of whiskey (from a menu featuring more than 40 options) dropped into a glass of beer – and live music by night. The cuisine will feature organic meats, locally farmed produce and a dessert menu to satisfy any sweet tooth.
· Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar – Two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Guillermo Pernot will heat up Las Vegas with his East Coast sensation Cuba Libre and its Havana-style restaurant, bar and high-energy Latin night spot. The restaurant’s atmosphere will offer a unique combination of Latin flavor, warmth and splendor. Specializing in rum, Cuba Libre will offer more than 100 premium and flavored varieties and specialty cocktails crafted from the freshest ingredients.
Design: The design for The Park is a collaborative effort led by MGM Resorts International with master planner Cooper, Robertson & Partners, leading landscape architecture and urban design firm !melk, and Marnell Architecture. Envisioned as the connective tissue between New York-New York and Monte Carlo, The Park’s unique design elements include:
· Natural landscaping: Landscape design will utilize native and desert-adaptive species of plants, which are able to thrive in hot and dry environments with minimal water. Large planters with inset seating will feature dramatic plant life displays created by the juxtaposition of cloud-like plants (santolina, apache plum, mormon fir, etc.) alongside vibrant shoots (red yucca, torch lily, desert bear grass, etc.), lush grasses (Mexican feather grass, fountain grass, orange sedge, etc.) and spikes (blue agave, golf tooth aloe, horsetail, etc.)