Las Vegas Trip Report – Viva Elvis, “New” Tropicana, Nikki Cafe, Ellis Island Food Specials, More!

I just got back from my annual trip to Vegas. My two sons and brother came with me for the second year in a row, my sons really enjoy the city!

I would like to share some of my experiences with your readers. At the top of my list is the “Viva Elvis” cirque show. It was fantastic!! Great musicians, singers, performers, and sets. It shows Elvis great respect, and honors him and his music in a modern way. My sons, ages 23 and 22, also enjoyed the show very much. The one thing that bothered me was seeing empty seats. I hope everyone sees this remarkable show, so that it is around for a long time.

We visited Sahara casino. The dealers and staff were very nice and friendly. I was expecting some hard feelings with the recent announcement of it’s closing. Dealers were friendlier than most other places. Although I must say that overall the dealers were much friendlier this trip compared to last year at all of the casinos.

We stayed at the Tropicana, it was very nice. Much better than several years ago. Casino is beautiful! Our room was very nice, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The Nikki cafe has excellent food.

I always enjoy the breakfasts at Ellis Island and La Salsa Cantina. Inexpensive and good. We love the $3.95 breakfast special at La Salsa especially.

Last thing, we flew Southwest airlines. Everything was great, I recommend paying the additional $10 to receive an early boarding pass grouping!! Viva Las Vegas!! Viva Elvis!!!!!


Gary from Northern Illinois


Ted Responds:

Viva Elvis (tickets) has gotten nothing but rave reviews from our readers. No question that the fact it is a different kind of Cirque show, the glut of Cirque shows in town, and the Aria location are affecting attendance. I believe it will be around quite some time. CityCenter is slowly gaining momentum, people who stay there really enjoy it, and convention bookings (making up those likely to stay in CityCenter) are showing a nice rise throughout the next couple of years.

It is very unfortunate that (so far) The Sahara hasn’t undergone a Trop-style renovation. We’ve been over to the Tropicana twice in the past week or so and no question, it is super-nice, new-feeling, clean, updated, upgraded and well worth checking out. Nikki Cafe is a really pleasant place to eat or just have a drink. Especially their back patio now that the weather is warm. Note to smokers: They have an outdoor seating area where smoking is permitted as you dine.

Ellis Island (Koval and Flamingo, kitty-corner from The Westin) has some great specials. Most famous — their complete steak dinner (10 ounce steak, potato, bread, veggies, and a beer) — is only $7.99 and served 24/7. It isn’t on the menu, so you must ask for it. Note: Ellis probably isn’t a place you want to be once it really starts getting late. If you want to hear a LOT more about this place (both an overview/review and some pretty interesting late-night stories), make sure to head over and watch Living In Las Vegas Episode 101 – A Different Kind Of Island

Happy to hear that the roof of your Southwest plane stayed on!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Comments on this topic? We want your opinion! Leave it below. Comments, questions or Vegas suggestions on other topics? Email us at [email protected]

Las Vegas Trip Report – Vegas Sign, Good Weather, Smoking In Casinos, Photo Takers, Hotel Ads

We just got back from a fantastic time in Las Vegas! We stayed at the Mirage and it was very nice. The weather was beautiful! Being outside everyday in the sun was great. I could easily live there all year long.

My question is this, why do they interrupt shows and ruin people’s good times with those people that take pictures of audience members in their seats? They’re nothing more than hucksters that say nice things to get people to get their pictures taken in their seats. The worst part is, they never know when to stop. We saw Donny & Marie , and The Beatle’s Love show, and these people were at both shows. They kept clicking away even as the shows were starting! What’s the story with them? Do the casinos get some money out of this? It’s very annoying.

At Donny & Marie’s show you can have a ‘meet and greet’ with them after the show. I was going to do this, but then I heard that they take several pictures of you as you talk with Donny & Marie, and they set you up as a lifetime customer buying the pictures! This sounds like that old scam years ago when tricky salesman would sign people up for lifetime dance lessons! I didn’t want a lifetime commitment, just a few pictures with Donny & Marie! What’s the story with this? Do Donny & Marie get something for this, or does the casino? Why can’t we meet them and take our own pictures? Why does everything have to come with a price?

Also, what’s up with the TVs in the hotel rooms? We stayed at the Mirage, and every time we turned on the TV instead of getting a TV channel, it went right to ads for the Mirage? Is this something new? They even send messages on the phone with ads for things to do.

One last thing, will there ever be non-smoking sections in Las Vegas casinos? I can’t speak for all of them, but the Mirage didn’t have any non-smoking sections at all.

Also, a big shout out to the Yellow Cab drivers we had. They were always honest, and helpful, and they took us the shortest and cheapest ways to our destinations. The one even waited when we went to see the Vegas sign. One thing more about that sign, it’s not a few blocks from Mandalay Bay. It’s a lot farther away and the hotels shouldn’t tell people this. I think these people at the hotel have never been there themselves.

I enjoy your emails, keep up the great work!

William Affleck

Ted Responds:

As for the photo takers, that has been going on as long as I remember during certain shows. It isn’t limited to Las Vegas. Restaurants and nightclubs have been engaging in this practice forever in many tourism destinations. They want to take a photo and then sell it to you.

My advice? Now that everyone has (relatively) inexpensive digital cameras and/or the one built into your phone, take your own pictures. If for some reason that is prohibited and only the “official” photographer can take photos, write the entertainer (care of the hotel) and also write the hotel General Manager (write both letters) and complain. Nothing gets changed unless customers speak up!

Having a hotel TV turn on to the hotel’s channel is also very common in resorts just about everywhere. They want you to know what they offer! Per the phone messages that are ads, this is also getting to be a pretty common trick. I’m simply not sure one can do much about this nor will the resorts change their ways. Since people who need to get in touch with my have my cell number, I just ignore the flashing message light on the phone.

Unless you are staying at Mandalay Bay, the Las Vegas sign is going to be a bit of a hike. (It is located just a few blocks south of Mandalay Bay). Taxi waiting time is something like 50 cents a minute, which isn’t bad if you consider that you’ll only be at the sign 5-10 minutes tops. I agree that going to visit it and getting your picture taken in front of it is a “must do” for someone with a few Vegas visits under their belt!

Various Las Vegas and Laughlin hotels have tried non-smoking sections. About 10 years ago (maybe more… I’ve been in town a LONG time), the Silver City Casino (which no longer exists) went completely non-smoking. Guess what? There was no demand. Play at the Silver City went down and they discontinued the policy. Same with non-smoking casino areas.

The good news? Air flow technology has improved over the years and most of the newer properties do not smell like smoke. I’m not a fan of the smell of cigarette smoke, but I simply consider it a part of life whether visiting a casino or a bar or going to see some live music at smaller venues that allow smoking. I wouldn’t hold your breath (no pun intended) for any changes soon. Smokers tend to gamble more, making up for those who skip gambling because of the smoke.

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Comments on this topic? We want your opinion! Leave it below. Comments, questions or Vegas suggestions on other topics? Email us at [email protected]

Las Vegas Trip Report: Wynn’s Le Cave, Panavino, Triumph (show), Zen Magic, More!

I just had to write to tell you we just returned home to New Jersey from Vegas. We were there visiting my daughter from Dec. 20, 2010 to Jan. 4, 2011. We go every year and this year we enjoyed ourselves more then ever. My daughter and husband took us to so many places. They are performers, daughter is in American Superstars as a dancer and her husband is in Zen Magic at Planet Hollywood and Triumph at the Hilton.

Both American Superstars and Zen are great shows if you haven’t seen them. Zen was a different magic show then we have seen before since it was more of a production with dancing, acrobats, silks and the hoop. Ai and Yuki are the cutest ever. We didn’t get to see Triumph since it was dark during the holidays and will be back the middle to end of this month and we hope to see it next time. We also saw the Sinatra show and it was fantastic.

We really didn’t expect the cold that you had but when we saw what back home in Jersey was going through we figured we still came out ahead. đŸ˜‰

We went to some new restaurants this year and one was really special called Panevino (246 Via Antonio Avenue, Las Vegas). We went in the evening and the view was beautiful and the service exceptional. I used to work in New York City and have been to many good restaurants but I have to tell you the food, service and atmosphere here was exceptional.

Another place we liked was Le Cave which is in the Wynn. It is like a small winery and my daughter loved it. I think it was made better for the waiter we had. I don’t know his name but he was from Poland. It did not outdo the Panevino though, I think it is going to be hard to top that place in my mind. đŸ˜‰

Anyway, just thought I drop a line and tell you we love visiting Vegas and who knows maybe might end up moving there one day. It is a very nice city, from the strip to the mountains. The views you have are beautiful. The people are also very friendly.

Thank you for your newsletters, I enjoy reading them and want to wish you a very happy and prosperous new year.

Enjoy and be happy,


Ted Responds:

Wow, thanks for the detailed report! I’ve indeed dined at Panavino. In addition to the great food and service, the distant view (about 2 miles from Mandalay Bay) of The Strip is incredible, especially around the time the sun sets.

Have not been to La Cave at Wynn, but it is getting rave reviews from all who go and is on our short list to check out.

Fortunately, the unusual cold we had around the end of the year has ended. Unfortunately, not in time for your visit. But let’s hope for better weather on your next trip!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Trip Report – Elvis, Rio, Slots, Are Las Vegas Shows Running Around Christmas?

Just arrived back home from 7 days in Vegas. Had a great time!!!! Watch the Elvis program at Aria and it was excellent. I tried the $20.00 trick to the desk clerk and it worked, had a room facing the strip on a HIGH floor and she was so sweet to me during check in process, even wished me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! (stayed at The Rio).

I found the slots machines were really tight, until Friday night. I also found that Vegas was very very busy! Hopefully that is good sign that things are moving back up! We are going back for Christmas this year and never been there during that time. Are most of the shows running during the week of Christmas? How is the weather during that time?

Thanks for your wonderful info!

Connie from Florida

Ted Responds:

Very happy to hear you enjoyed your stay! It never hurts to mention a special occasion upon check-in and combined with a try at the “$20 Trick” (putting a folded up $20 bill between your ID and credit card and asking in there is a higher floor or preferred view available) probably has a good chance at success. They return the bill to you if they can’t accomodate you.

I do want to squelch a misconception many visitors have: It was long throught that the casinos loosened up their slots during the week, then tightened them up on weekends to “stick it” to the weekend visitors (who are paying higher room rates and airfare to fly in for weekends, a time of higher demand). Not true. The vast majority of slot machines have a computer chip in them to determine payouts, and that chip must be manually swapped out to change the odds. Doing this twice each week would be cost-prohibitive.

So, it was interesting to see that you actually experienced looser slots on Friday. The reason? Lady Luck. Hot and cold streaks and happen at any time. Glad you caught an upturn with your luck.

Las Vegas experiences the slowest two weeks of the year from the time National Finals Rodeo ends (Dec. 11 of this year) until Christmas. Christmas Eve falls on a Friday this year, so I expect a pretty good influx for the Christmas weekend. Traditional “family holiday” weekends like Thanksgiving and Christmas have seen a real uptick here over the past few years as far-flung family members agree to meet in Las Vegas.

To answer your question: Many (if not the majority) of shows choose to take this slow period and use it for vacation. You’ll still have a selection of shows, but it will be significantly reduced. Look at the bright side: Being here during the slowest time of the year means fewer (or no) lines, often lower gambling limits, less crowded tables and slots, a rare chance to almost feel like you have Las Vegas to yourself!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

5 Night Vegas Trip – Cher, Criss Angel, Valley of Fire Tour, Stratosphere Tower

I just returned from 5 wonderful nights in Las Vegas. I have vacationed there the last 11 years. One of my favorite things to do WAS go up on the Stratosphere Tower to watch the lights. I was really disappointed this year with the addition of the new attraction. What was once a beautiful view (inside & outside) is now ruined. I didn’t enjoy looking thru the beams and cables in direct view of the Strip. What the heck are they thinking??? Unfortunately the Strat will probably be crossed off of my things to do for future trips. I would love to hear from other readers how they feel about this.

All in all the rest of my vacation was great. The weather was beautiful with temps 92 – 96 with a nice breeze. We did the Pink Jeep Tour to Valley of Fire. Wonderful trip, highly recommend. Two shows we saw were Cher & Criss Angel. Cher was very good, but would not recommend Criss Angel. Glad we saw it but would not recommend it. I will have to stick to his MindFreak TV show to be amazed.

Thank you for a great Vegas newsletter. Love all the helpful tips. Keep up the good work.

I am already looking forward to next year’s trip.

bvmlr (screen name)

Ted Responds:

I do miss the Stratosphere before there were so many rides. You used to be able to walk all the way (360 degrees) around the outside deck in the open air. The view is still enjoyable (and you can still walk all the way around the inside viewing deck) but not like it used to be.

You hit the right time as the weather has warmed into the 100’s F and will stay that way until about Labor Day. Fortunately, we have not had anything go over 110 yet!

The Valley of Fire is breathtakingly beautiful and beyond unique. And… it is only about an hour from town so you really have some time to enjoy it while they have you out there. For those interested, check out our Valley of Fire Tours page. Side Note: Don’t take this tour in June, July, or August when it is hot!

Cher gets mixed reviews. Either you like her, or you don’t. But… she’s well known enough that people should know what they are getting into. She’s certainly irreverent. Criss Angel’s show Believe has drawn comments such as “I can’t BELIEVE it was such a bad show” and “I can’t BELIEVE that they gave him a 10 year contract”. Obviously, you are a Criss Angel fan and if you want to see him, by all means go. It sounds like you enjoyed that part of it. But if someone wants to just see a Cirque show, I’d suggest Mystere or O by Cirque du Soleil for your first one. Our readers are loving Viva Elvis as well!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Las Vegas Trip Report: THE Hotel, Blue Man Group, So Much To Do And See, What Next Time?

I really enjoyed reading your ‘column’ before our (my husband and I) trip to Vegas. We arrived on April 17th and left on the 22nd. It was my first time on a plane; so that was an experience all by itself.

We stayed at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. A very quiet and comfortable room but we had a bunch of little ‘issues’ such as a ‘whistling’ shower and not being able to get in our room after a 14 hour Grand Canyon Tour (get this, the batteries to the room lock died!! ). But, we were determined to enjoy our time there in spite of the little blips along the way. We liked it enough that we are planning on bringing the kids with us next year.

The issue with us was that we were so overwhelmed on what to do. We had Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday to do all that we wanted to do. We managed to see The Blue Man Group (awesome show!), The Tournament of The Kings and Defending The Caveman. We had our Grand Canyon Tour on Monday which took all day. In between all that, we only managed to walk the strip and maybe walk into a casino or more it was through a casino and play a few slots here or there.

We wanted to go to the Stratosphere, see the dolphins, go up the Eiffel Tower; it just seemed like too much ‘strip’ and not enough time (or energy for that matter). If you were us, and you had three kids (one in the 20’s, a 12 yr old and a 3 yr old) and a 10 day vacation in Las Vegas, what would you do? Any advice you can offer to help us plan in the upcoming months wold be great. Thank you!!

Cathy in Massachusetts

Ted Responds:

Wow… you did pack a lot a lot into your visit! That is what hooks people about Las Vegas: You come for a number of days and realize that you didn’t begin to be able to see and do everything you wanted!

No question, you saw some great shows. Aren’t the Blue Man Group a trip?

Seeing the Grand Canyon is great. The downside? If you do it by motorcoach (bus), it takes all day. As you found out, ALL DAY. We strongly suggest people look into Maverick Helicopter Tours (click to see video). It only takes 1/2 a day, the views are unparalleled, and they actually have one tour that lands you in the bottom of the Grand Canyon!

We shy away from suggesting itineraries only because everyone has different tastes and there is SO much to do and see. Basically, just keep an eye on the newsletter (where we cover it all). Also, if you go to the newsletter archives and scroll down the right sidebar, you’ll find links to past months (and years) issues. Scan though the past 3-4 years and you’ll pick up plenty of info!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Las Vegas Trip Report: Visit Often, Loved Terry Fator, Didn’t Like CityCenter At All

Just returned from a 9 day stay in Vegas. Went to CityCenter twice. What a total waste of money. This was obviously built for the filthy rich. It looks too antiseptic. A long walk to everything. Walk through the Bellagio stores. They are close together and there are plenty of people around. You are not uncomfortable entering any store. Not like that in CityCenter. It is like entering a hospital or morgue! Last few days we crossed the street to avoid the place. No desire to ever stay there, gamble there or shop there. This is no place for a working man or woman. A total waste of money and space.

On the other hand, I was very impressed with the changes to the Tropicana. It is roomy, bright and inviting as are the workers. What a wonderful place!

If you have not yet seen Terry Fator — what are you waiting for? He is the 11’th wonder of the world. What talent! He is amazing! There is no entertainer like him. Worth every penny.

Been to Vegas at least once a year for over 20 years. It is the best city in the world.

John from
Swanton, VT

Ted Responds:

Thanks for the great feedback! I concur with some of your CityCenter statements. And it isn’t just a “for the rich” thing. Bellagio is “for the rich” but like you said, it just has a great feel to it.

We’re heard numerous reports of people who are staying at CityCenter actually cancel the rest of their reservations and move over to Bellagio.

CityCenter (MGM Grand) CEO wanted to bring New York to Las Vegas. He thought that “trashy” Vegas needed New York City class. Time will tell. I will say this: Few are lukewarm about it. Either they absolutely love the recreated city feel, or they find it abrasive and won’t be returning.

Tropicana is going to be just amazing. They have a great management team and are doing something that I’ve suggested Las Vegas could use for most of the 17 years I’ve lived here: Go for a true South Beach feel.

Thanks so much for the report. Glad you enjoyed your trip!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Pumped In Perfume Smell Inside Las Vegas Casino Hotels?

I just got back from my annual (sometime bi-annual) run to Vegas. Got a real bad shock when I went to my always favorite Venetian and the smell of after shave or whatever was so strong I almost turned around and left. But assumed instead that there was a horrible accident and a bottle had been spilled or broken. I knew if I just went down to the casino floor it would be all better. Wrong, everywhere I tried to go it was just as strong which means they were for some reason stinkin’ up the place.

I quickly got a huge headache and ran as fast as I could for an exit. I don’t expect to return (they are dead to me now). I didn’t even try Palazzo since it would be the same. I will watch your newsletter to see if you mention that they saw the pure stupidity of this and discontinued it.

I also visited Aria and have to say it is a nice place. But…

Why would they put it so far back off the strip? I will probably just skip it as its not convenient to walking. Otherwise I greatly enjoyed my trip. I didn’t win anything as always but just consider it the cost of entertainment. Since I was alone didn’t see any shows but when my wife joins me there are always many good shows to see.

R. Swaim

Ted Responds:

You aren’t the first nor will be the last to talk about the heavy scent that is pumped into the casino at The Venetian. People have been complaining about it (healthy people, not those who may be allergic to scents) for some time, but for some reason The Venetian still continues to let it rip.

Other casinos do the same, and I believe it was started with the faint coconut scent that they use at The Mirage. Most casinos just want to add a little bit of a compliment to their theme and add to the experience. They also do it (to a point) as a way of masking the smell of smoke. For some reason, The Venetian really pushes it to the limit!

Per CityCenter and Aria Las Vegas, I’m not really sure why the nature of the way it was designed. Usually, casinos and main hotel areas are situated as the first thing you’ll encounter. Part of it may have been done to give the hotel guests the “city” feel as when you are back into the complex at the entrance to Aria, you are pretty much surrounded by this city feel (all of the tall buildings shooting up all around you).

I agree that they could really use a way to get people back in there. Moving sidewalks, maybe a tram (like they have at amusement parks to get you from the parking area to the main gate). There is a monorail that connects it with Monte Carlo Las Vegas and Bellagio Hotel Casino, but you have to walk WAY to the BACK of either of those hotels to get on it. You might as well just walk from The Strip up to Aria at that rate!

Thanks for the great report!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Enjoyed Our Las Vegas Trip, Show and Tour Reports, Parents Don’t Bring Your Kids

My wife Nancy and I just returned from our 13th consecutive year to “Sin City.” As usual, we had a marvelous time (saw shows Ka – Cirque du Soleil, Terry Fator, the very funny Vinnie Favorito and The Improv). Also did three hours of dune buggying in the Valley of Fire — what a terrific time (intend to do it again). Contrary to our uninformed friends back home, Vegas is much more than gambling. We enjoy the shows, food, tours and the general adventure along with a very accommodating employees found nearly everywhere (far contrast to morbid Atlantic City which is a short hours drive from our home but rarely visit).

Our only regret (if that is the correct observation) was our decision to visit during Spring Break. I assumed Vegas would have its usual share of college age and even high school aged visitors but was overwhelmed by the number of infants and very young children being tugged along by their moronic parents. Vegas should not be a desired vacation spot for simpleton parents who drag their little smurfs into locales where smoking, drinking, gambling and other “visual” vices are so prevalent. This is not the atmosphere I would recommend for those younger than 18. Let them go to the theme parks and resorts developed for families — not Vegas!

I realize the hotels are looking for any dollar they can grab, but why encourage this type of patronize? In the future, we will avoid holidays in Vegas where the probability of running into the path of these small dazed lifeforms is higher than the other dates.

Anyway, Viva Las Vegas! We shall return (hopefully, sans the multitude of small people).

Best regards from NJ,

Gene Muccolini

Ted Responds:

You obviously know the right stuff to see and do while in Las Vegas, and I’m happy that our free Las Vegas newsletter helped you along the way. I truly believe that our readers are the most informed visitors out there. When I see visitors with that “lost” look on their faces, trying to figure out what to see and do, I know they aren’t one of my readers!

You hit a the Superfecta when it came to shows. Every one you saw is a highly regarded show that we only get good feedback about. (Readers, scroll up and click on the name of any of the shows he listed to learn more or buy tickets). Vinnie Favorito in particular just got a multi-year extension. Not for those easily offended (think a younger Don Rickles).

The Valley of Fire is amazing (Valley of Fire State Park Pictures), and so many don’t realize how close it is to Las Vegas! Seeing it in a dune buggy is even better because they can get you to where the real views are. For those interested, more info: Valley Of Fire Buggy Tour (Note: Don’t do this tour between Memorial Day and Labor day… too hot. But a great tour any other time of the year)!

I couldn’t agree with you more about young kids in Las Vegas. A few weeks ago when we filmed March Madness.

I nearly tripped over two strollers that were parked just next to the stage. Parents, watch the video (sexy dancers, rock bands, crowds) then ask yourself if you need to have your young kids in this atmosphere.

Look… Las Vegas is DIRT cheap right now. But it isn’t the place for a family vacation. Bare female butts are on taxi cabs and billboards, people hand out “Girls To Your Room” cards that are R-rated, people are drinking and partying (and using adult language) 24/7.

Leave the kids with friends or a trusted relative and take your sweetie here for some real “alone” time. (After all… things aren’t going to get frisky when you have the kids in your room). Las Vegas is an amazing place to rekindle romance. But a lousy place for younger children.

Thanks for the great trip report!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Family Celebrates Kid’s 21’st Birthday In Las Vegas – Do It!

Just want to tell parents that if they have someone in the family turning 21 this year, Vegas is a great place to celebrate this big event! It is even greater when friends and relatives can go along to help celebrate the occasion! I had always promised my son, that on his 21st Birthday we would go to Vegas! (This started when he was about 5 years old, and although I always told him, we really sort of forgot about it and all of a sudden it was 6 months before his 21st birthday!) We started shopping for hotels and plane tickets, his girlfriend went, and other family members joined us after arrival! We paid his plane ticket and Hotel Room, bought him some Luggage, and told him he had to put away his own money for gambling and clubs!

Well, he started saving, and we gave him $100+ and it was the best thing we could have done!! We all had a great time…flew in the day before his 21st…walked the strip, ate at several restaurants…looked over the Casino’s, and at Midnight, we turned him loose!

At home we would have worried about him partying, and drinking too much, and not using good sense..would have worried all night….In Vegas, he gambled, ate, drank, went to shows, and Clubs, for 3 days and truly celebrated turning of age in “Sin City”!

We knew he was having a great time, with younger family members and girl friend, also had to rely on his own feet or Bus or Taxi….Mom and Dad were doing their own thing….and we saw him the next morning! What we shared and laughed at over Coffee and Doughnuts, then Breakfast, and all the stories we told, is a wonderful memory…

That was 7 years ago and he still talks about his 21st Birthday! (He and the girl friend married others, but all get along and still remain friends) So Parents, consider Vegas as a option…it is truly a way to “let go” of your babies!

Sherrie Brickey

Ted Responds:

Thanks for the great note. No question that Las Vegas is the best place in the world to celebrate your 21’st birthday (legal drinking and gambling age here). But I never thought about the benefits that you mentioned:

You knew that he would always be around hotels and clubs and casinos where there is plenty of security and police (and help if something goes wrong plus the incentive to not do anything way too stupid).

You knew that he wouldn’t be drinking and driving.

The 24/7 liquor service here actually helps people from over-indulging at the last minute. No one is trying to ram down those three last shots before closing time before the get in their cars.

You could all go do your own thing completely separate, but meet up the next day to spend a little time together. This is perfect for families because let’s face it: Spending some time with your family is great. Being tied at the hip during a vacation can get tiring on everyone invloved.

In fact, you hit on something that I’ve always touted: Las Vegas is a great place to bring extended family (no young kids) or extended groups of far-flung friends together for a few days. In fact, this has made Thanksgiving a busy time here in Las Vegas.

There is so much to do and see, and such a variety of activities that literally everybody will find plenty of things they enjoy doing separately but the group can still schedule enough “together” time (meals are best for this). In fact, our world famous buffets are prefect because just about any group (at least maybe up to 20 people) can be seated with no hassle and everybody can find what they enjoy eating.

Thanks for the note!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor