Las Vegas (11/23 - 11/27/04) Part II

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Thursday, December 2, 2004 1:50 PM
I can't think of the street but I think it is one of the casino names, seriously though the food at Ellis Island was pretty good and really cheap.

We also ate at the Rio breakfast buffet (30 bucks for both of us) but it was the best breakfast I ever had.

The Fremont Street Casino has a pretty good buffet as well as Palace Station (I think that is the one over by Palms and Rio).

Another good deal is dollar foot long hot dogs at Slots of Fun with dollar Heinekens if you like beer.

Thursday, December 2, 2004 2:00 PM
My cousin (whose house we stayed at) recommended the Rio buffet as very good bur pricey. Actually, we're not too big on the idea of buffets but the regular restaurants you mentioned sound good. We'll be checking out a few of them next time since we can go out to Outbacks here in NJ!
Thursday, December 2, 2004 2:28 PM
I enjoyed your part II TR. The hubby and I went to vegas every 6 months for several years until he lost his job.

ProgRay hit most of our favorite places to eat on Freemont Street. The Nugget is our hotel of choice when we go, so we tend to eat downtown most of the time.

Friday and Saturday nights sometimes provide live entertainment on Freemont Street as well. On one of my last trips they had The Guess Who and Paul Revere and the Raiders (yeah, I'm an old fart so I enjoyed the free concerts).

Other great places to eat on the strip, or just off...

The Rio Round the World buffet for lunch is a great deal and so is the Seafood Buffet, but again, I'd suggest lunch...or closer to 3 pm where you get the end of lunch and the beginning of dinner at lunch prices.

We've also enjoyed the buffet at Mirage.

Mandalay Bay has the China Grill which serves asian dishes...not necessarily chinese...and are meant to be shared. A little pricey, but the food was fabulous.

If you like food with a south american/mexican flare, Taqueria Canonita in the Venetian was also great. Their tamales, rather than being wrapped in corn husks, were steamed in banana leaves. YUM! And it's located along the canal so we were entertained by the gondola singers as well. Moderate pricing for this one.

Thursday, December 2, 2004 2:54 PM
When Harrah's took over Binion's after the big Federal Raid that took place last year, they got rid of their world-famous Binion Burgers... which will sadly be missed by me. They were greasy, filling, and cheap!

In March, Binion's Horseshoe will simply be called Binion's as MTR Gaming (owners of West Virginia's Mountaineer Gaming Resort) takes over the property, so I don't expect the burgers to make a comeback. It's a shame because there was nothing more "old school" than sitting with a bunch of down and out gamblers on the stools surrounding the snack bar. Ahhh... good times!

Downtown Vegas rocks! :)

Ray P.

Thursday, December 2, 2004 2:58 PM
MTR gaming, huh?

No comment...;)

Thursday, December 2, 2004 3:10 PM
Mandalay Bay seemed to have a rather nice collection of premium restaurants. Too bad I'm normally a meat & potatoes kinda guy ;)

The government closed Binion Burgers down? I can't envision burgers being guilty of tax evasion, but it seems that just about anything is possible in Vegas. Even the food sins.

I had no idea that MTR had two locations... unless he is now so well-regarded that no single state can contain him.

Thursday, December 2, 2004 3:18 PM
Actually Rob, the government closed down the whole Binion's Horseshoe casino last year when Becky Behnen (the owner and if I'm not mistaken, daughter of the original owner Benny Binion) was over $1,000,000 behind in taxes and there were also problems with the employees being paid. The casino, which was once considered THE place for high rollers, was closed for about 2 weeks before Harrah's came in and re-opened the place. Turns out Harrah's wanted nothing to do with a downtown property and just wanted to get the rights to the "Horseshoe" name and also the rights to the World Series of Poker. When MTR takes over next year (they also own a casino in Reno if I recall), they will no longer have the World Series of poker held there. Harrah's will probably take it to the Rio or Caesar's (if the merger goes through).

And 'gator, I assume you're not a big fan of Ted Arnieault and his fine racetrack/slot machine complex in Chester, WV? ;)

Ray P. (who had a funny visual of Federal Agents raiding the Binion's Snack Counter!)

Thursday, December 2, 2004 3:26 PM
Seems that none of the big casino operator want anything to do with the downtown casinos. None of the players on the Strip has anything to do with the Fremont Street properties, right?

Didn't Mirage start out with the Golden Nugget, or am I getting my facts screwed up?

I know that the World Series of Poker has made Binions a big name again so hopefully it does okay once it moves to one of Harrah's larger casinos (which I assume will go through since the company has already started selling some of its Atlantic City properties to avoid the Feds coming in and accusing them of potentially controlling the market).

That is a funny visual... "Drop the burger. We have the place surrounded."

*** Edited 12/2/2004 8:27:19 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***

Thursday, December 2, 2004 3:53 PM
Rob Ascough said:

That is a funny visual... "Drop the burger. We have the place surrounded."

I'm trying not to pee my pants on that, just add some coffee and donuts, oh my, I have to go to the bathroom now.

Thursday, December 2, 2004 4:04 PM
All we need is one of the Feds to be dressed as Elvis and it would be just about perfect.
Thursday, December 2, 2004 4:17 PM
Actually, the WSOP (world series of poker) will be held at the RIO with the final round of the main event being held at the Horseshoe. (Not to be confused with the new World Series of Poker Series, which will be held at various Harrah's properties around the country).

The Binion family has some great stories and some of them are told in "Positively fifth Street" - a great poker/Vegas/casino book.

Anyway, I was last in Vegas in August and am going back in February (really excited because this time we are staying at the Bellagio).

The TI Sirens show is the stupidest show on the strip (the original show wasn't much better), although you cannot complain because it is free. If you stay at any of the MGM/Mirage properties you will see/hear the ad for that show so much you will never be able to get the voice saying "We're the Sirens of TI!" out of your head.

Thursday, December 2, 2004 4:28 PM
I'll have to check out that book. Sounds interesting.

I was always under the impression that the Treasure Island show was always a spectacle worthy of waiting for. Now I'm beginning to get the impression that they replaced one bad show with another.

Have fun at the Bellagio... I'd love to stay there one day!

Thursday, December 2, 2004 5:22 PM
That's another thing I like about Las Vegas so much- you really can't walk more than 50 feet without bumping into an Elvis impersonator! There's one at the Westward Ho that starts his "show" with a disclaimer that he is not trying to look or sound like Elvis... so why is he on stage with a pompadour hairdo, sideburns, and a sequined white jumpsuit? His part about not sounding like Elvis is dead-on though. The guy is just laughably bad! Cheesy lounge acts are one of my favorite forms of entertainment in Vegas.

And Rob, you are correct about MGM-Mirage owning the Golden Nugget. Steve Wynn purchased the casino in the early 90's and renovated it into the casino we see today. When Wynn sold his properties to MGM, MGM-Mirage owned it for approximately 2 or 3 years. They then sold it just last year to those two guys (can't think of their names off hand) who promptly made a spectacle of themselves and the casino with the Fox TV show "The Casino".

Downtown has been trying to make a comeback for years. Along with the sale of the Nugget, newcomers Barrick Gaming recently purchased the Plaza, Las Vegas Club and Gold Spike with the intentions of renovating them and drawing guests back to Fremont Street (although the Spike may be beyond help!), MTR purchased Binion's, and Fitzgerald's recently got new owners as well. I wish them nothing but the best as downtown is my favorite place to play and stay.

Ray P. (who really needs to stop talking so much about Las Vegas!)

Friday, December 3, 2004 11:58 AM
Rob Ascough said:
All we need is one of the Feds to be dressed as Elvis and it would be just about perfect.

And then for him to say "Thank you thank you very much"

Friday, December 3, 2004 12:12 PM
Hrm...Guess I shouldn't mention the hubby and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary next year and plan to do it in style:

A trip to vegas to renew our vows on Speed:The Ride with an Elvis impersonator presiding over the vow renewal. The only problem is I want a full size Elvis and the hubby wants a midget elvis preacher.

Friday, December 3, 2004 12:20 PM
"Young" Elvis or "Fat" Elvis?
Friday, December 3, 2004 12:56 PM
CPLady, you can always go to the Barbary Coast and see if "Fat Elvis" is available for weddings! ;)

Ray P. (who thinks that Fat Elvis is one of the best Elvis impersonators he has seen)

Wednesday, December 8, 2004 11:32 AM
Come to think of it, we didn't see one Elvis impersonator the entire time we were there! And no, we didn't walk around with blinders on. They must have gone home to Graceland for the holiday.

Thanks for clearing up the ownership of the downtown casinos. Next time we go, I want to spend a little more time there, especially if the light show changes by the hour!

Feds dressed as Elvis saying "thank you very much"... priceless!

Wednesday, December 8, 2004 11:42 AM

We didn't see any Elvis sightings anywhere, but I did see Vanna White downtown (Wheel of Forture was doing some shooting so if you watch that I am in the background cheering with about 200 other people)


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