Buddy V’s At Venetian

Sunday Gravy At Buddy Vs at Venetian Las Vegas

Sunday Gravy At Buddy Vs

I had some friends in Vegas last night and recommended we go to Buddy V’s at Venetian. Reviews have all been positive so this seemed like a safe bet. And it was a safe bet. The food wasn’t anything special but it’s not made to be special. It was just good and tasted like food that a friend’s grandmother would make. Again, that’s the idea.

I had Grandma’s Sunday Gravy because it was Sunday and recommended. The dish was a pot of meatballs, sausage, lamb and beef with a nice sized plate of rigatoni. Most pasta dishes at Buddy V’s were around $20 but Sunday Gravy was $25 because of all of the meat. It was very good and the most full I’ve been in a long time. I didn’t even finish all of the meats. One of each (ok, 2 meatballs) was enough.

With appetizers and a couple of bottles of wine dinner came out to about $62 a person before tip. The food is on par with other good mid-range Italian restaurants on the strip like Carmine’s at Caesars Palace. I’d return if someone wanted to have Italian but wouldn’t go out of my way. It’s good but, again, nothing special. If you spend about $10 more per dish you’ll have better food with a better view at Lavo.

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 

Happy Birthday Caesars Palace

Classic Photo Of Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Caesars Palace

Every day I wake up and check the tweets from overnight and early morning. It’s the most peaceful time of the day on twitter because there’s usually no breaking news at 6am in Las Vegas. It allows me to learn a little and catch up with people. This morning’s education came from Caesars Palace.

When I was growing up Caesars Palace always seemed like the most grand place I could stay in Las Vegas. I stayed at Caesars Palace once and realized that I didn’t like the layout and have only returned once. The hotel and casino have expanded and been renovated so much, and in such a mish mosh pattern, over the years it’s difficult to really get a good vibe.

I did enjoy my stay in the Augustus Tower but that’s because I felt like I wasn’t staying at Caesars Palace. The Augustus Tower almost feels closer to Bellagio, across the street, than to the Caesars Palace casino. That’s probably a good thing, but I digress.

Caesars Palace has stood the test of time and is still seen as one of the best hotels in Las Vegas. While I may not agree with the general opinion there’s something to be said for that kind of longevity in this fickle city.

I think I’ll celebrate Caesars Palace with some chicken parm at Carmine’s in the Forum Shops! HUZZAH!

Photo: Caesars Palace 

Aria Marquee Is A Symbol Of The Changing Vegas Strip

Aria Marquee At Night

Aria Marquee At Night

I find a lot of things in the Vegas media funny. Las Vegas is the #42 television market but plenty of people in the media and marketing departments acts as if Vegas is a top 5 market. When I saw press releases and news stories about the Aria marquee I laughed. It’s a sign. In what major market does mainstream (and non-mainstream) media go nuts over a sign? None.

I’ve seen the Aria marquee a handful of times and just thought it was another sign and nothing really special. It’s just a sign but how I thought about the Aria marquee changed a few weeks ago when I was driving to New York-New York to meet a friend for a drink. I was passing the Aria marquee around dusk and it was almost magical.

The mall across the street on the Harmon Corner has a bright huge sign that’s more annoying than useful or interesting since it’s all advertising. I don’t need or want to see advertising that big. It’s distracting and dangerous. The Cosmopolitan has a pretty cool marquee by the boulevard pool but that’s because the content on it is interesting. Sometimes you’ll see ads for the hotel and other times you can see concerts. The concept is great but the marquee is tiny compared to the Aria marquee. You can fit about 4 marquees from the Cosmo inside of the Aria marquee.

The Aria marquee is huge and juts out onto the strip. When I passed by the Aria marquee it was showing casino chips and other cool video snippets like the astronaut above. There was nothing obscene or overly promotional on the sign. It’s just a cool big sign that’s as obnoxiously large as you’d expect from the Vegas Strip (for better or worse).

The Aria marquee isn’t the dawn of the new Vegas strip but it is a sign (pun intended) that a new strip is coming.

Between the giant ferris wheel of The Linq being built across the street from Caesars PalaceThe Quad vortex lighting being installed right now, Gansevoort construction across the street from Bally’s and the park area in between New York-New York and Monte Carlo there is a lot of construction on the Vegas strip. This doesn’t even touch on the north strip construction going on.

The Aria marquee reminded me about all of this and also reminded me that the way see the strip will change drastically over the next few years. Enjoy the memory of the Vegas strip you grew up with because it will be drastically different by this time next year.

Bill’s To Become Gansevoort Las Vegas

Bill’s Gambling Hall closed in February so that Caesars Entertainment could renovate the property. The talk was that the property would cater to a younger, club going crowd and it seems like that will be the case with Bill’s becoming Gansevoort Las Vegas. Here’s the info straight from a Caesars press release I just received.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced today the collaboration with New York-based luxury hotel brand Gansevoort Hotel Group and nightlife impresario Victor Drai to launch a never before seen Las Vegas experience creating an intimate urban resort at the location of Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon. 

As the only standalone boutique resort, perfectly situated at the center of the Strip, Gansevoort Las Vegas’ exceptionally high standard of style and service will redefine the boutique hotel experience. Glitterati and everyday guests alike will receive the ultimate in VIP treatment and unique social experiences.

Gansevoort Las Vegas will be the fourth installment of the luxury hospitality brand following the recent success of Gansevoort Park Avenue in New York. Following a $185 million renovation, Gansevoort’s iconic style will completely reimagine the hotel experience in Las Vegas, creating the only intimate property among the Strip’s towering skyscrapers.  Gansevoort Las Vegas will feature 188 Parisian apartment-style guest rooms including 19 suites, designed by Tandem Las Vegas. An intimate lobby space will welcome guests upon arrival, with a redesigned lobby bar, ultra-lounge, retail outlets, and 40,000 square-foot casino providing a unique upscale energy. A destination restaurant overlooking the Strip will round out the guest experience.

Caesars Entertainment hasn’t created anything original in years so it’s no surprise that they would partner with a company (actually two companies with Victor Drai) to bring some sort of celebrity cool to their Las Vegas portfolio. USA Today was the first to report that the Gansevoort partnership was happening last week and I’m not very impressed with the initial renderings.

Of course, they are just renderings but the Gansvoort website looks like a 1990′s real estate website which is equally unipressive. I guess the “glitterati” don’t really care about that. Vegas Chatter has some useful information on Gansvoort Las Vegas:

  • Rooms will start at $249
  • Gansvoort Las Vegas will be part of Total Rewards (Bill’s wasn’t)
  • Beyonce, Prince, Brangelina are customers of Gansvoort

$249 seems to be the new price point for luxury hotels with Cosmopolitan and the Nobu Tower at Caesars Palace both charging prices in that range. Total Rewards players usually get better pricing so if you’re a gambler expect a small discount.

Gansvoort Las Vegas is exactly what I expected Bill’s to become and I’m curious to see how it develops.

Photo: USA Today

Checking Out Trevi At Caesars Palace Forum Shops

You may remember the blogger meat up I wrote about last year from Ranch House. These meetups are always a good time with good people and sometimes include good food and good drinks. This time it was all of the above. We met up at Trevi which is inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Trevi is one of the first restaurants you’ll see when you walk into the Forum Shops from the Caesars Palace casino.

Trevi at Caesars Palace

I’ve been to the Forum Shops over a hundred times and never noticed Trevi but I’ve walked by it every time I’ve been there. To my defense I’m usually in a rush heading somewhere in the netherworld deep inside the Forum Shops. I get lost almost every time I’m at the Forum Shops because I don’t pay close attention and I’m not directionally inclined. Back to Trevi.

Trevi has dining inside and “outside” of the restaurant. The “outside” dining is a fenced of part of the forum shops which seats you close to the pretty fountains. If you sit too close to the fountains you’ll realize how loud they can be. The airy feeling is nice but head inside if you don’t want to be seen or would prefer less noise.

Grey Goose Trevi at Caesars Palace

While everyone else was sampling the fancy cocktails or some wine I decided to fix a craving I had with a perfectly made Grey Goose Orange and Soda. This picture looks so good that I want two or three more like I had at Trevi. Right. Now. This was the perfect way to begin the night.

Meatballs at Trevi at Caesars Palace

We ate family style and the first course brought the excellent meatballs at the top of the page and this very cool chicken parmesan appetizer. What could make chicken parm cool? Look at the picture…the cheese is in the middle. There was little sauce which is just the way I like it and this made the dish very neat and easy to manage. That’s not always the case with chicken parm.

Dessert Trevi Caesars Palace

Between the meatballs and chicken parm I barely touched the main courses. I wanted to keep room for dessert and I dipped into something called gooey chocolate cake. The outside may look dry but when I dove inside and grabbed some of that hot fudge everything was all good. The fresh berries made for a perfect palate cleanser.

The small plates above shared with a friend would make for a perfect happy hour. Trevi’s happy hour is called Trevi Time and they offer similar plates for $6. Not bad.

Happy Hour At Trevi At Caesars Palace

This wasn’t an ordinary day on the Vegas strip. You may remember the tragic shootout last week where three people died and a car blew up. That closed part of the strip so I decided to cut my travel during the day in two. This is why traffic didn’t seem too bad.

I worked from The Venetian food court for a couple hours before heading to dinner. While drinking one of the best latte’s ever I noticed this incredibly animated dude sitting across from me. Unfortunately he took off shortly after I took this picture and we didn’t meet but I think I’d like to play craps with him some day.

This Guy At The Venetian Food Court

Note: The food and drink were complimentary but my thoughts are my own. If you want to see more pictures from dinner at Trevi, check out the tumblr.

 

Hate Resort Fees? Stay at Casino Royale

With Caesars Entertainment adding a resort fee to all of there hotels in Las Vegas beginning March 1, almost every casino on the Vegas strip has a resort fee. That is except for one.

The Best Western at Casino Royal is the only hotel with a casino on the Vegas strip that doesn’t have a resort fee. The rooms at the Best Western have recently been renovated so they should be what you’d expect at a top notch Best Western.

So, if you want to take a stand on resort fees but still want to stay on the Vegas strip Casino Royale is your only option.

Personally, I don’t care about much resort fees specifically (although I got a little cranky when I saw a $7 resort fee on my $35 room at Silverton). I care about the bottom line. The total cost of the room. The Caesars resort fees will raise all of their room rates by $10-$25 or somewhere from 10% to 40% depending on when and where you stay.

Adding $25 to a $250 room at Caesars Palace this may not be much of a big deal but if you’re staying at The Quad, for example, $10 is about a 25%-40% increase. That’s a hefty increase for a budget hotel.

When all is said and done Bally’s and Harrah’s may still be among the better bargains on the strip along with Monte Carlo and Luxor. Time will tell.

If you reserve rooms with now on the Caesars Semi-Annual sale you won’t be charged a resort fee and you’ll get a discount of 10%-25%.

Tweet me @eastcoastgamblr

 

Boom Goes The Vegas Strip This Morning!

Warning: The video takes time to load and may not work on Chrome, but otherwise it’s worth the 2 minutes.

My morning routine usually consists of enjoying a cup of coffee while listening to the Dan Patrick Show on TV and checking twitter and facebook. Nothing fancy. The Dan Patrick Show wasn’t on TV this morning so I switched to the local news to see what’s happening in Las Vegas. There’s usually nothing happening but it’s noise. Today was different. Different in a big way!

There was a shootout down the Vegas strip that ended with three people dead and cars exploding. This was straight out of a movie.

8 News NOW

This ended at the corner of Flamingo and the strip. That corner of the strip is near Bellagio, Bill’s, Bally’s, Caesars Palace and Flamingo and will be closed until noon or so day.

The news keeps calling this a “rolling shootout” and all I can think of is Rage Against The Machine.

Photo: 8 News Now

Get Ready For Caesars Resort Fees In Las Vegas

After trumpeting they have “No Resort Fee’s” for a couple of year Caesars Entertainment decided to join every other casino hotel on the Vegas strip, except one, by adding a resort fee in March.

Yesterday, Caesars Entertainment, which had been promoting itself for some time as the hotel group with “no resort fees,” notified online travel agencies that mandatory nightly surcharge will be applied on all bookings made for stays at its Nevada properties that begin on or after March 1.

The only casino hotel on the Vegas strip without a resort fee is Best Western at Casino Royale. If nothing else this puts all the casinos on the strip on a level playing field. I guess the economy is looking up. The Caesars properties will have a different resort fee based on how clean they are.

  • $25 – Caesars Palace
  • $20 – Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood
  • $18 - Flamingo, Harrah’s and Rio
  • $10 – The Quad

The cancellation policies are great at the Caesars properties (you can usually cancel with a two day advance notice without  being charged) are pretty good so I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you to take advantage the the semi-annual sale happening now and you may be able to avoid the resort fee added to your reservation. Check the reservation cancellation policy when making reservations just to be safe. Leave a comment if the policy has changed this year, I haven’t stayed at a Caesars property yet.

Tweet me @eastcoastgamblr

 

It’s Britney Time!

My love for Britney Spears is no secret. That’s my girl. A Britney Spears residency in Las Vegas has been rumored for a while and it looks as if the rumors are finally true!

Extra” exclusively confirms that Britney Spears’s Las Vegas show will in fact be held at one of Caesars Entertainment Group’s properties.

Sources told “Extra” the show would most likely take place at Planet Hollywood, where “Extra’s” Las Vegas bureau is located.

This rumor has heated up in the past few months and it was easy to tell that it would be true this time because it came from a source that wasn’t Robin Leach, who’s about 50/50 with rumors. In typical mainstream marketing this was dragged on to include all of Caesars’ Las Vegas properties to make it seem that she’ll be potentially sharing the stage with Celine and Shania at Caesars Palace. That never made sense, aesthetically, since she does not share an audience with either performer.

Planet Hollywood was always the landing spot for Britney. It makes too much sense for it not to be. There’s a 4,500 seat venue available, the casino markets celebrity culture and when people decide that they don’t care anymore she can segue to Peepshow.

Seriously, I’m stoked for this to finally happen and can’t wait for details.

Photo – Celebritytoob.com