Blondies At Planet Hollywood Is Still A Great Bar For NFL Games

Blondies at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas
Blondies at Planet Hollywood

There are a lot of great places to watch NFL games in Vegas today. It wasn’t always that way and it feels like forever since I first started going to Blondies at Planet Hollywood to watch NFL games on a Sunday. Blondies is tucked away in the back of the Miracle Mile Shops and even though it’s always packed for NFL games it seems as if people still don’t know that it exists.

Blondies is an old school sports bar with booze, food, beer pong and lots of TV’s. Blondies isn’t a sportsbook so you’ll have walk about 2 minutes into the Planet Hollywood casino to make a bet if you don’t have an app on your mobile phone.

Blondies has become so popular in the past couple of years that they’ve started charging table minimums for watching games on busy days (like NFL Sunday). You can reserve a table for however many you want for the different time frames of games. There are different costs for different events.

We had to make a $100 deposit to reserve for a table for 4 people to watch the 10am games. The $100 deposit would come off of our bill. Four people eating and drinking $100 over a 3 hour period isn’t much of a challenge so the table minimum isn’t a big deal.

Having a guaranteed seat to watch all of the games with food and drink service is much more appealing to me than waking up early and squatting at a sports book. 

The food is fine but not great. The waitress service is on point and there are lots of football fans wearing jersey’s and cheering for their favorite teams. Most importantly there more TV’s than may be necessary. There are so many TV’s that they have extras to show stuff like international soccer while football is going on. The ability to reserve a table might be the best feature.

Watching the games at Blondies almost feels like you’re not on the Vegas Strip. There’s a hometown bar feel. You might notice flags for all Philadelphia teams to the left in the picture. If you’re looking for a sports bar where you can guarantee your seat so you can eat and drink while your watch the games after you place your bets Blondies is a great option.

First Impressions Of SLS Las Vegas

SLS Las Vegas Carpet
SLS Las Vegas Carpet

My first impression of SLS Las Vegas is positive but not perfect. Nothing is perfect as far as I’m concerned. I’ve already detailed some of the flaws from the first few days of business in a separate post.

1. The Setup

The pre-opening moniker SLS Las Vegas used to describe the property was “affordable luxury”. That set up for the hotel to be fancy on a budget. For example there’s no way to make Ikea furniture feel luxurious but it can look nice. With that in mind I went in with limited expectations.

2. Casino Layout

SLS Las Vegas Casino
SLS Las Vegas Casino

I care more about the casino than most of SLS Las Vegas. The floor plan is only 60,000 square feet. If you ever visited Sahara this is 20,000 square feet less. The floor plan is small, which is fine but there are choke points that make it almost impossible to go to certain parts of the casino. The high traffic walkway by table area near the players club and The Griddle is tight and will always be busy. There are similar choke points on the slot floor that will be impossible to walk through because machines are packed so closely. Just scope out areas before sitting down at a table or machine.

Layout aside there are ample 3:2 blackjack games for $5 and $10. Craps has $10 minimums. There is decent video poker and all new slot machines. I dig all of this and wouldn’t mind gambling here. US Poker has a breakdown of most of the games.

Parts of the casino floor seem dark and that can make the tight casino feel almost claustrophobic on busy nights. This feels like a casino I’d visit during the day more than at night.

3. Umami Burger – Sportsbook – Beer Garden

Umami Burger Entrance At SLS Las Vegas
Umami Burger Entrance

This is the part of the casino I was most looking forward to. A sportsbook that serves good burgers and good beer? This might be heaven. It is and it isn’t. This isn’t a sportsbook.

Umami Burger a sports bar/restaurant with a patio and a place to bet on sports. Burger prices are between $12 and $15. Not too bad for the Vegas Strip. Draft beers are around $9-10 and bottles start at $5. There are no drink tickets from William Hill for sports bets as of opening but I think that will change. If you drink/eat at the video poker bar your drinks will be comp’d while you have money in play.

Umami Burger Bar At SLS Las Vegas
Umami Burger Bar

I really like this as a restaurant. Like I said in Vegas Chatter this is a good sports bar/restaurant but it’s not a traditional sportsbook. It should be packed with sports fans for big events but expect to see kids and families in the mix on other days. Even thought it’s not a traditional sportsbook this is my favorite spot at SLS Las Vegas.

Note, you can still sit and watch games without spending any money. However, if there are paying customers for Umami Burger you’ll politely be asked to leave if you’re not spending money.

4. Dining and High Priced Drinks

Continue reading “First Impressions Of SLS Las Vegas”

Rumor: William Hill To Operate Caesars Palace Sportsbook

Caesars Palace Las Vegas Sportsbook
Caesars Palace Sportsbook

While I was away on vacation last week I received an interesting tip from a trusted source:

William Hill would take over operations of the Caesars Palace sportsbook once the current renovations are complete.

This will essentially be a trial run for William Hill only at Caesars Palace. No other Caesars Entertainment properties will be a part of this initial trial run. If all goes well at Caesars Palace then William Hill will take over operations of all Caesars Entertainment sportsbooks.

Caesars Entertainment operates the casino and sportsbooks at Bally’s, The Cromwell (kiosks only), Flamingo, Harrah’s, Paris, Planet Hollywood, The Quad and Rio in Las Vegas in addition to Caesars Palace.

This isn’t the first time that there has been discussion about an outside sportsbook operator taking over activity for Caesars Entertainment. Back in 2011 and 2012 there were heavy rumors that Cantor Gaming (now CG Technologies) would take over operations. That ended with legal problems at Cantor Gaming.

I asked William Hill for a comment and they said “We don’t comment on rumors.” I’ll pass on more details as I hear them.

Photo: Xfinity

Rumor: LVH Sold To Westgate For Only $150 Million

LVH Las Vegas Hotel And Casino
Sweet pic of LVH

Update: Looks like the deal is done and only one tower will become timeshares.

LVH has been on the market for a while now with rumblings on who will buy it. Over the past few weeks the rumblings have gotten louder that Westgate, the timeshare company, would be purchasing LVH.

Since the only people reporting this are gossip columnists like Johnny Kats, Norm Clarke and Robin Leach I wouldn’t consider this a done deal just yet. These aren’t traditional reporters as much as they’re gossip gatherers and rumor mongers. This sale could be true but their job is to share rumors, not report facts.

The rumor that the LVH was sold for $150 million is a bit of a surprise on the low side. For reference, the beautiful Cosmopolitan was sold to Blackstone for 10x that amount, $1.7 billion. The comparison isn’t apples to apples just a point of reference. Since these are just rumors there isn’t any real information about the sale.

Westgate is a timeshare company and not a casino operator. Westgate currently operates the timeshare behind the Flamingo. They took a big swing at opening the 2nd tower at Planet Hollywood but the recession killed that after a short run. It’s now called Elara.

Timeshare’s are typically livable apartments with kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms. They’re not outdated hotel rooms with minimal amenities and a casino with a few restaurants. If the idea is to make LVH into 100% timeshare units Westgate might have to close the hotel and combine two hotel rooms to make one giant suite. That’s a lot of work and a lot of money.

This is an interesting move for Westgate. Will they close the casino and hotel and renovate all of the rooms and casino floor? Will they find a partner to operate the casino and a hotel tower? With the connection to the Las Vegas Convention Center will they operate LVH as a traditional hotel only property?

There really are a lot of options for Westgate if this rumor is true.

Photo: Wikipedia

Uh Oh, “The Whiskey Apocalypse Is Coming”

Whiskey And Dice
Whiskey And Dice

I’d been looking for a sipping drink for when I gamble for a couple of years. In December I took a week to experiment with the different brown boozes. I was on the Vegas Strip and sampled a variety of bourbon, whiskey and scotch. I did a lot of taste testing on casino comps while I gambled (see Vegas Chatter post) but paid for some top shelf liquor that was recommended and only available at bars and restaurants.

The combination of drinking on casino comps and cash was an economically efficient way to try something I wasn’t sure I’d like. Over the week-long experiment I found that I really like Macallan. Macallan has become my go to brown booze to sip on when I’m gambling. I’ve been sucked into the brown booze world and now keep a bottle at home at all times.

With that in mind, I had a little freak out when I saw the headline “The U.S. is on the Brink of a Whiskey Crisis“. Say whaaaaa?! It’s kind of my fault. With so many people trying whiskey and brown booze for the first time the demand is high and supply can’t even come close to matching it.

Despite the increase in distillation over the past few years, bourbon demand still outpaces supply. The overall bourbon category is experiencing 5% growth, but premium brands are up nearly 20% from last year… The increase in sales, coupled with the aging process and evaporation loss, leads to a shortage with no end in sight.

Furthermore, as distilleries increase output the quality of the whiskey goes down. This happens with most industries but as it pertains to whiskey this may lead to shortages and hefty price increases.  This is a serious problem and it seems as though it won’t be corrected any time soon.

As it relates to Vegas casinos you can expect quality of whiskey offered as comps to decrease. I won’t be surprised if Planet Hollywood no longer comps Macallan (12) by the time I visit again. I’ll have to look for some less expensive alternatives to sip on when I’m in the casino.

Feel free to shoot over any recommendations. I’m always keeping an eye on alternatives. 

Photo:  hd2wallpapers.com

2 More Years For Britney Spears In Vegas!

Britney Spears "Piece of Me"
Britney Spears “Piece of Me”

Britney Spears is my girl. We go way back, just click on the tag to see. Her “Piece of Me” show is awesome if you like Britney Spears a lot. If you’re a marginal fan or think that you can become a fan by seeing this show you should probably save your money. The show is for her fans and 80’s pop nostalgists. Here’s my 2 cents on Vegas Chatter.

I’ve said that I’d pay to see Britney Spears “Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood again and I’ll have two more years to do it! After a weekend of rumors that “Piece of Me” would be extended Caesars Entertainment confirmed that the show will go on for two years after the initial contract was set to run out.

Enjoy the show’s playlist while you read the press release with more info and new shows that have been added.

As Britney Spears wraps up another round of sold-out performances during the spring run of “Britney: Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, tickets to new show dates for the legendary pop icon’s wildly popular Las Vegas resident show have been added and will go on sale this Friday, May 16. Because all of Britney’s shows to date have been sold out, and due to rapid sales of her existing August and September 2014 dates, additional performances have been added in August and September, as well as shows in October and November, New Year’s Eve weekend and February 2015. The addition of these performances marks an increased number of shows over those Britney was previously scheduled to perform throughout her two-year Las Vegas residency.

Special pre-sales for “Britney: Piece of Me” will be held for American Express cardholders and Total Rewards members, the loyalty program of Planet Hollywood’s parent company Caesars Entertainment, starting Tuesday, May 13 at 10 a.m. PT. With the new show dates added, and inclusive of the shows currently on sale, the following dates are all available for sale to the public on Friday, May 16 at 10 a.m. PT:

  • Aug.: 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 27, 28, 30, 31
  • Sept.: 3, 5, 6, 10
  • Oct.: 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 22, 24, 25, 29, 31
  • Nov.: 1, 5, 7, 8
  • Dec.: 27, 28, 30, 31
  • Jan.: 28, 30, 31
  • Feb.: 4, 6, 7, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 25, 27, 28

 Dazzling fans with show-stopping performances for more than 15 years, Britney has truly brought her most spectacular show ever to Las Vegas. A celebration of one of the most illustrious careers in music history, the jaw-dropping production is a compilation of more than 20 of Britney’s worldwide hits, including “Baby One More Time,” “Oops I Did It Again,” “Toxic,” “Circus,” “Womanizer” and “Slave 4 U,” as well as new material from her recently-released album “Britney Jean.”

“Britney: Piece of Me” is the most cutting-edge pop concert experience ever produced for Las Vegas, featuring a four-piece band, 14 dancers, elaborate sets, unforgettable costumes and state-of-the-art, never-before-seen technology. Directed by one of the industry’s most well-respected creative directors for live stage entertainment, Baz Halpin, the show’s creative team also includes assistant creative director Melissa Garcia, multimedia designer GEODEZIK, choreographers The Squared Division and costume designer Marco Marco.

Britney is the first artist-in-residence housed in The AXIS, Planet Hollywood’s newly-renovated theater which features one of the largest indoor video and projection installations in the world. With its innovative dance floor and exclusive table and bottle service provided by Drai’s Management Group, The AXIS is part nightclub and part theater, setting it apart from any other venue in Las Vegas. The 4,600-seat, intimately-sized theater allows Britney’s fans to see her as they’ve never seen her before.

 

Britney Spears “Piece Of Me” Playlist

Britney Spears "Piece of Me"
Britney Spears “Piece of Me”

I’ll have a review of Britney Spears “Piece Of Me” show at Planet Hollywood later this week but if you follow me on tumblr or twitter you know I loved it. Tumblr has pics from the show.

Here’s a vine of “Stronger”. This was the beginning to an awesome ending to the show.

I decided to make a spotify playlist because I need to relive the night and want share it with others. Enjoy and feel free to pass it on.

Britney Vegas

A playlist featuring Britney Spears


Biggest Disappointment This Week: Britney Spears, Jacoby Ellsbury or Snow?

Britney Spears, Jacoby Ellsbury And Snow
Britney Spears, Jacoby Ellsbury And Snow

Britney – Part 1

Tuesday started out with excitement as the new Britney Spears album Britney Jean was released. It’s awful. I mean it’s really bad. It’s worse than I could ever imagine. It should be sent to Guantanamo Bay and used to torture people. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that Britney and I go way back. We have (had?) something special. I had to listen to four Faith No More albums to get that out of my head. When I reached “Cuckoo For Caca” I was able to move on.

Britney – Part 2

Sometime around 5pm Britney Spears “arrived” in Las Vegas to promote her show at Planet Hollywood. Caesars Entertainment closed of the Vegas Strip for a while, had showgirls, carnival people, etc. There were a few hundred people who may have been paid or promised to be on TV “welcoming” her with “hand written signs” that all had the same penmanship. She said 2 sentences and left. Britney is/was my girl. This was sad to see.

Jacoby

Later in the evening there was rumor that the New York Yankees would sign Jacoby Ellsbury as a free agent. The signing was confirmed shortly after it was a rumor. It was a huge disappointment to see them lock up a guy that’s never played two consecutive complete seasons to a seven-year contract with a no-trade clause. Forget that he may make as much money in this deal as the great Mariano Rivera made in his career. This brings me back to the late 80’s and early 90’s as a Yankees fan when they just signed players no matter the cost. If he’s healthy he should be good. That’s a big if. I’m close to becoming a Padres fan.

Snow

The late local news started with talk about snow this weekend where I live in Las Vegas (not the Vegas strip). I don’t mind snow but, technically, it’s not even winter. I’m not ready for it. I moved west to leave the snow. Snow in Vegas is more common than you’d think. The Las Vegas drivers can’t handle rain – let alone snow. I usually stay hidden in AC2LV HQ until the roads dry. Somewhat seriously, these people are awful drivers. I don’t want to deal with an accident. I have more important things to do.

Loser

I don’t have a conclusion on the biggest disappointment was this week. What do you think? I’m gonna make some coffee and move forward and hope the rest of the week gets better. After all it’s hump day.

The Average Ticket Price To See Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood Will Be Around $113

Britney Spears "Work Bitch" Single Art
Britney Spears “Work Bitch”

Britney Spears and I go way back. I first saw Britney at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. It was fun be Britney Spears and I didn’t have a special connection until I saw her at Rain at Palms in Las Vegas. Brit and I had a special connection from that night moving forward.

It was an amazing night that I barely remember. The two memories I have of that night were my friend kissing or being kissed on the cheek by Paris Hilton and Britney Spears’ 3 song performance that I was just a few feet away from. It may have been the vodka (it probably was) but something happened.

Now, Britney Spears is coming to Las Vegas for a 48 show per year residency at Planet Hollywood for the next two years.

Britney Spears will be raking in HUGE STACKS in Vegas this winter — a ridiculous $310,000 per show … nearly $15 million per year — but she still doesn’t hold a candle to Celine Dion.

TMZ is privy to the financial details of Britney’s deal.  The 2-year contract calls for 48 shows a year at Planet Hollywood.   According to the contract, Britney will earn $310,000 per show. 

TMZ also looks deeper into the contract.

Britney’s cut of the gate is huge — projected sales per show are $508,514, meaning Brit will be snagging more than 60%.

If the projected gate for the show is correct and the 4,500 seats that the PH Theater now has (according to Johnny Kats) is correct then simple math says that the average ticket price to see Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood will be $113.

The price to see Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood is a little high but it’s not outlandish given today’s ticket prices for shows on the Vegas Strip. For comparison tickets to see Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at The Venetian begin at $187.50 on Vegas.com while tickets to see Celine Dion at Caesars Palace begin at $102.

I’m pretty sure the only way I’ll see this Britney show is if someone gives me a free ticket but you never know. This is Las Vegas and things happen. I’m sure I’ll love the show because I love me some Britney but her new song is a steaming pile of dog crap. Maybe I’m just old. Get off my lawn. Bitch.

Photo: MTV 

Meatloaf Residency At Planet Hollywood 20% Off

Meat Loaf Las Vegas Show Tickets On Sale
Meat Loaf Tickets On Sale

Last night Planet Hollywood sent out a 20% off code for Meatloaf performing as part of Rocktellz and Cocktails. Rocktellz and Cocktails with Meatloaf was officially announced just a couple of weeks ago and the show doesn’t begin until September 26.

If Caesars is already discounting tickets by 20% you have to imagine that initial response to this residency at Planet Hollywood is as good as Meatloaf’s music. 

I love the concept of a VH1 Storyteller’s type show like Rocktellz and Cocktails but I cannot stand Meatloaf. I just hope he does enough ticket sales so that the idea isn’t discontinued before a good musician performs as part of the show.

Unrelated to good musicians: Can we just get to the Britney Spears residency at Planet Hollywood already!?

If you feel differently about Meatloaf and didn’t receive the email the promo code is TOTAL and you can get tickets from ticketmaster. Below is a video of Alton Brown the kind of meatloaf I prefer.