Thursday, July 31, 2014

Movie Sign!

Still time to check out Town Square's free summer "Movies in the Square" series, Thursday nights after sundown. Bring the family to check out Free Birds (appropriately enough) and other titles through August 21. Check out the schedule here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meet the Goo Goo Dolls Friday - or Win a Trip to iHeart Radio Festival!

Station Casinos are giving away tickets and a meet-and-greet with Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry and Plain White T's this Friday! Show is at the Sandbar at Red Rocks Resort, 7:30 p.m., August Friday 1st. Sign up here!

Meanwhile, tickets may be pretty much sold out already for the iHeartRadio Festival (except possibly for some shows at the iHeartRadio Village), but how about tickets and a trip to get there? If you can post a 15-second video on Instagram, then you can enter here through August 4. Airfare, two nights at the MGM Grand, and a chance to see the likes of Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Mötley Crüe, Lorde, Paramore, Zac Brown Band and Iggy Azalea? Seems worth a shot.

(Don't need a flight to Vegas? USA Today Travel is giving away iHeart Radio Festival tickets...and you can enter daily through August 29.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Downtown Taco Update

99-cent tacos: Now they're not just for Tuesday anymore, either. The Commissary at the Downtown Grand is now offering their 99-cent taco special all week long. They're now available at the original hours (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Sunday through Thursday, and Friday & Saturday from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Win A Zarkana Getaway

Travel & Leisure is giving away a trip to see Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana at Aria. The lucky winner will get airfare for two, a two-night stay at Aria Resort & Casino, two VIP tickets to Zarkana, and a Zarkana gift bag. Enter here daily through July 31.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Celebrate the Best of Vegas...Again

Ah, it seems as if every time you turn around someone is unveiling their picks for Best of Las Vegas. This time Vegas Seven is celebrating the 2014 Best of the City awards...and you're invited! Festivities get under way 10 p.m. Friday, August 1, at Mandalay Bay's Foundation Room. For details including how to RSVP for your complimentary admisison, click here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Win Show Tickets from The Palms

Want seats to see comic-actor-producer Russell Peters at The Palms' Pearl Theater? The Palms is having a drawing for 2 tickets to the August 2 show, and you can enter here through July 31. We'll always remember Peters best for his role as "Pervius" in The Legend of Awesomest Maximus, of course.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Want to party with Steve Aoki? The superstar DJ is giving away a flyaway to Las Vegas, including two nights at the MGM Grand (with a $200 room credit) and free admission to Hakkasan, where you and Aoki can party your ***es off (it says here). Enter to win here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Good Burger

Let's say you're not up to shelling out for the gourmet burgers at those trendy new places on the Strip. The Cafe Cortez at the El Cortez is always ready with their daily special: a half-pound burger, a big pile of potato chips, and a draft beer, all for five bucks. That's a darned good deal, and it is one tasty burger. While you're there, peruse the vintage photographs in their menu.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Return of Mr. Warmth

Oh, look, Don Rickles is coming back to The Orleans on August 16th & 17th. Okay, I'm not having another birthday in August. But my dad is. I'm just sayin'. Tickets start at $79.95; don't forget the American Casino Guide has a two-for-one on Orleans showroom tickets, and discount coupons do occasionally appear in some of the local magazines. In fact, Rickles is quite the Orleans regular, and will be appearing there again in October. Presale tickets are available; just be sure to use the code MRWARMTH. Not making that up.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Up on the Roof

It's another free Downtown summer concert event! The Downtown Grand's rooftop pool party, Picnic, plays host to blues guitar phenom Matthew Curry. Enjoy the tunes starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 1.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Best Medicine In Life Is Free: Laughs in the Valley

Just because you lot are too cheap to shell out for Don Rickles tickets for your favorite blogger's birthday doesn't mean you can't still take in some of the top comics-about-town. Free comedy nights abound at several locales in Vegas, from neighborhood bars and restaurants to your high-toned casinos. A typical line-up has a gaggle of up-and-coming locals opening for a nationally touring headliner, and sometimes you can see the same comics who are playing the big-money comedy clubs on the Strip...sometimes even the same night!

"Free" has a fungible definition here: some venues might require you to buy a drink or two, or at least have an unspoken understanding with you on that score, but if you're going to a bar and not buying drinks: What's with that, anyway? As the stand-ups would say. Look at it this way: At Bonerz on Saturday night you'll pay as much for two drinks as you would to buy tickets for the Riviera Comedy Club and then sit there getting drymouth for two hours. (Of course, if you're like me, you can just sit there looking desperate and pathetic and, apparently, no cocktail waitress will bother with you.)

A real trouper, Torris Fairley dashes from hosting "Freakin' Funny Comedy" at the Freakin' Frog (4700 S. Maryland Parkway) to his next gig, hosting the Wednesday comedy night at Lucie's Lounge  (Charleston at I-515), kicking off at 11'ish. It's a neighborhood bar which gives you a chance to see local up-and-coming comics as well as a nationally touring headliner in an intimate setting where many of the comics and their audience know each other. You might also see the headliner leave the stage to go have it out with the loud-mouthed drunk at the end of the bar who wouldn't shut up during his set. That's club comedy in its rawest form, people. Headliners have included Jeffrey Pearson, "The 4:20 Comic," on his way to a gig opening for Cheech & Chong in Denver, and actor/comic Gerry Bednob (whose face you know from The 40-Year-Old Virgin).

Thursday at 9 p.m., it's "Jokes With Friends" at Nacho Daddy's Henderson (9925 S. Eastern). Local comics are challenged to improvise five minutes of schtick incorporating randomly assigned topics (Kanye West! Detention! Country Music! Twerking!) while the audience picks contestants with a show of applause and cheers (this of course necessitates an applause meter, and apparently there's an app for that now). Before the finals they trot out the night's featured comic...or in the case of one show, wheel him out: California's Lamond Sheppard, AKA "Comedy on Wheels." (Sample quip: "I was diagnosed with rolling pneumonia.")

Weekends, the comedy action starts at Mob Bar at the Downtown Grand with their edition of Bonerz Comedy Club, Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. It's an intimate venue that gives you a chance to get up close and personal with the comics. Another way of saying that is...It's a small room. Our headliner, LOGO star Jason Dudey, made no bones about it as he awrily eyed the tiny platform they left him standing atop: "I love my agent. She's getting 15 percent of this." He went on to kill it, getting king-sized laughs that belied the size of the venue.

The casino that's about as far South as you can get without hitting Primm, the M Resort, is home to Laugh Out Loud Fridays, 9 p.m. in the Ravello Lounge. Your host Sean introduces a line-up of side-splitting talent from across the country in a lounge where the surroundings are a little more upscale and a good-sized crowd keeps laughs keep coming. At a recent show, local Ryan Cole was so hilarious I didn't see how the headliner could possibly top him, but actor/comic The Greg Wilson gave him a real run for his money.

Night-owls who still haven't satisfied their laugh craving can hop north on Las Vegas Blvd. to South Point, where the Dirty at 12:30 show recently celebrated its first year with an all-star special. Friday after midnight in the Grandview Lounge, Gabe Lopez hosts this early morning of uncensored comedy, with backing from "Last Comic Standing" vet Ralphie May.

Caveat: It's always worth checking before going to a show, in case they're charging admission for a special guest or event.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Cause That Can Always Use Support

Benefiting AFAN and the Burlesque Hall of Fame, Absinthe at Caesars Palace plays host to the Shoot 'Em Up! Bang! Bang! Wild West Burlesque Show July 22 at 10:30 p.m. Absinthe cast members will share the stage with burlesque legends including Miss Exotic World Dirty Martini, World Champion Trick Roper Chris McDaniel, and the death-defying crossbow stunts of Mr. and Mrs. G. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Because Everybody Likes A Free Show

Sam's Town advertises it as "the best free show in Vegas" so seems worth checking out: "Variety Toast of the Town" plays weekends at Sam's Town Live, with past guests including Roy Hamilton Jr., Clint Holmes, the Jubilee Dancers and many more. Shows are at 1:00 p.m., usually on Sunday but occasionally on Saturday, so check their schedule.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Festival with Some Twang To It

Another music festival is coming to Vegas: Live Nation and MGM Resorts are partnering for the  three-day Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival,  October 3-5 next to Mandalay Bay. Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean head a line-up that also features the likes of Dierks Bentley and Dwight Yoakam. Tickets go on sale August 1; sign up here for early bird passes and save yourself a few bucks.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Best Things in Vegas Are Free

The Las Vegas WEEKLY is celebrating the winners of the 2014 "Best of Vegas" awards...and you're invited! Festivities kick off at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 24, at Hakkasan in the MGM Grand. RSVP here and you and up to three guests can enjoy complimentary admission and Ketel One Cocktails. As a bonus, of course, you'll learn all the cool places you should be going for the rest of the year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Night of a Whole Bunch of Stars

Want to catch a couple of Vegas legends live? Clint Holmes and none other than herself Pia Zaodra will be headlining the star-studded Mondays Dark at Vinyl inside the Hard Rock, Monday July 21st at 9:30 p.m. If you just can't wait to satisfy your Pia fix, she performs Fridays and Saturdays at Piero's.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Winning Giada

I hear there's quite a long wait for a reservation at Giada De Laurentiis's first restaurant venture, at The how'd you like to be guaranteed a table for free? PARADE Magazine is giving one lucky winner two nights at The Cromwell and dinner for two at Giada. You can enter through July 18, so why not take your best shot?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Still Alive at the South Point

1970's songwriting icon Paul Williams was in the news again as the subject of the 2011 documentary Paul Williams: Still Alive, which was noteworthy mainly for his graciousness during the filmmaker's rather annoying intrusion into his life. Since then, Williams continues to perform, write new material, and appear as he will July 19-20 at South Point (tickets start at $25). Williams won an Oscar along with Barbra Streisand for the song "Evergreen," from A Star Is Born, although many of us felt he deserved another for his songs from The Muppet Movie. Or perhaps Ishtar. Even if you remember him most for his recurring role in the Smokey and the Bandit movies, some of us have followed him since his "Rainy Days and Mondays," so check him out.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cheap Eats Galore

99-cent tacos? Not just for Wednesdays anymore. The Commissary at Downtown Grand has them on Tuesdays only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. That's just one of the cheap meal deals Anthony Curtis has found for you; he has the rundown at Vegas Seven. The Commissary has great deals all the time actually, so it's a great place to head with that food comp.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Vegas Days Gone By: The Man With The Golden Arm

The California casino and hotel downtown is reportedly quite popular with visitors from Hawaii; not sure how much of that is due to the fact that one of their own, in 1989, set a record for the longest roll at a craps table. You can read all about Stanley Fujitake's remarkable feat here, from two of the casino employees who witnessed it. John Scoblete, in his book The Virgin Kiss, questions which is the longest roll in term of the number of actual passes, but Fujitake's record still stands. Think you can beat it? The California is still open for business.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together

As my faithful readers might have inferred, few things tickle me as much as the phrase "All You Can Eat BBQ or Sushi." Well, the Cannery has you hooked up: Every Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m., their Hawaiian BBQ & Sushi Buffet is only $13.99 with your CAN card...or free if you earn 400 base points on your card that same day.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Make Any Date A Cheap Date!

There's a new drink-and-drown special in town: The Monte Carlo's Double Barrel Roadhouse has a $25 all-you-can-drink deal, entitling you to a wide variety of draft beers and well drinks, all you can down between 10 p.m. and midnight. Considering that The Stratosphere's ground-level C Bar already has a $19.99 daily bottomless happy hour, offering all the drafts, margaritas and martinis you can drink between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. .... Hmmm. That means you could polish one off and move right on the the other. Just don't drive.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ride, Boldy Ride!

With El Sombrero gone, where are you going to go for quality Mexican food in a sketchy part of town? Fat Bar co-owner Darin Feinstein and VegasGoodBuys CEO Brett Talla come to the rescue with El Dorado Cantina, which will be having a Grand Opening celebration July 24 at 3015 S. Industrial Road, which is, as we all know, one of my favorite streets in the world. Feinstein describes the place as "upscale" and promises to source sustainably-raised products from U.S. farms that eschew antibiotics, pesticides and steroids. The menu will feature everything from street tacos to regional favorites like Yucatan conchinita pibil (pictured), while you can wet your whistle with your choice of everything from horchata and fresh juices to 100 brands of tequila. Meanwhile, entertainment nightly from live musicians and DJ's puts the cherry on the flan.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Another LINQ in the Chain

It's been less than two years since Caesars Entertainment rechristened the Imperial Palace as The Quad and began giving it a major overhaul (although this rear view courtesy of the monorail shows that as recently as this year some vestiges of the Imperial Palace design still remained). Now the property is getting another facelift and a new name: The LINQ Hotel & Casino, to better associate it with the dining, shopping and entertaining complex that runs along the corridor between it and the Flamingo. Updates will include renovated rooms, cabana suites, and a rooftop deck, a la the Cromwell.

Speaking of the LINQ: To celebrate its first 100 days, the High Roller will offer free rides to the first 100 visitors today, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Monday, July 7, 2014

All I Want Is A Room Somewhere...Cheap

I think some potential visitors to Vegas don't appreciate just how inexpensive rooms can be here, particularly if you visit during the "off-season," like, about now. The Las Vegas Advisor's Anthony Curtis reports on his annual July canvas of room rates, and among other finds: eight with rates under $20. Considering some properties throw in bonuses like food credits and free play, the effective room rate gets even lower. And as my long-term readers may recall, the more often you stay, the more often they'll contact you with discounted or free rooms ( except for those pesky resort fees, in most cases).

Sunday, July 6, 2014

It's, Like, Crosstown Traffic

Boy, traffic for the morning commute was sure snarled up the Monday after Electric Daisy Carnival. Oh, how would I know? Because if you follow the local TV news stations on Twitter, you'll get up-to-the-minute info on all the latest traffic mishaps and jams. Try following  @VegasMyNews3, @8NewsNow and @KTNV. I can't tell you how many times checking this first thing in the morning has potentially saved me a tardy slip at the office.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bad Beats for a Good Cause

Want to go heads-up against some of the legendary greats in the poker game, and not feel a twinge of guilt about it? Sunday, July 6 at 5 p.m., Planet Hollywood hosts the first Charity Series of Poker. Buy-in is $260+40 with $100 re-buys and add-ons...and 50% of the prize pool will be donated to the Three Square Food Bank. You, on the other hand, may be squaring off against the likes of will include Chris Moneymaker, Carlos Mortensen, Ryan Riess, Greg Merson, Mike Matusow, Mike Mizrachi, Gavin Smith, Annette Obrestad, Will Failla, and Tony Dunst...hey, as a bonus, maybe you can get a live critique of your last hand! Or not.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Your Two Cents' Worth Could Be Worth Something

Happy Fourth, everybody! Who wants to celebrate with a chance to win prizes? WHAT'S ON Magazine is hosting its 2014 Visitors Choice Awards, and casting your vote every week between now and August 1 gets you a chance to win weekly prizes, as well as the Grand Prize giveaway of a Las Vegas New Year's Eve package! This week's category, "The Plate," asks for your favorite dining options, and this week's prize is a restaurant gift certificate. Get ready to play some favorites!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Time to Hit the Books, Poker Pros

His name is almost synonymous with the poker boom, and now Chris Moneymaker, famed as the then-amateur who took down the World Series of Poker main event in 2003, is the subject of Eric Raksin's book The Moneymaker Effect. On Monday, July 7, Moneymaker and other players in that story will be signing copies on the  WSOP main stage at the Rio, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Another Day On Paradise

Yesterday, Westgate Resorts Ltd. officially announced its acquisition of the LVH - formerly the Las Vegas Hilton, and before that the International Hotel, back when Elvis played there in the Sixties. Westgate, the baby of timeshare king David Siegel, will convert the property into the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the largest timeshare resort in town. Workers immediately began removing the "LVH" letters from the iconic sign, at one time reputedly the largest free-standing sign in the world. (At least, so a dealer there told me back in its Hilton days.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Rat Pack Riot

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies bring their ska-swing sound to the Silverton's Veil Pavilion on Saturday, July 5. The "Zoot Suit Riot" guys are touring in support of their ninth album, Please Return the Evening: The Cherry Poppin' Daddies Salute the Music of the Rat Pack, so expect your swing with a little ring-a-ding-ding, as the band mix up their usual repertoire with a selection of Frankie, Dean and Sammy covers. This one's a 21-and-over show, kids.