Friday, April 15, 2011

In Vegas, Woe Is Thee Who Relies On Google Maps

Take a good look at the images in this post. Click on them to enlarge and look closer. You'll be utterly amazed. I am.

I know others have taken note of strange glitches of Google Maps -- I believe Excalibur used to show up in the middle of the Wynn Golf Course -- but this is just insane. On the map above, Aria is north of Cosmo, the Crystals is south of Veer and there's a make-believe road called Business Lane.

At least those places are in the right vague vicinity on that one. Treasure Island... north of Circus Circus! How unfortunate for them!

I feel for anyone who went out to this lonely spot to buy Lion King tickets...

...or thought they'd find the Las Vegas Strip east of Hooters...

...or looked for the Palazzo south of The Venetian...

...or tried to decide why there are two Wynn Las Vegases so they could get to their table at Alex:

Anyone else stumped as to where they got the name "Emerald Green Golf Course" for Bali Hai...

...or when anyone has ever referred to Interstate 15 as... either the Mojave Freeway or the Barstow Freeway?

As for Vdara, which is what I was looking up in the first place, it's particularly alarming that their own paid Google ad provides this map...

...putting the hotel, umm, east of Eastern Avenue. Also, Google thinks...

...Aria is there, too. Hmmm. That could explain a lot about the hotel's occupancy, doesn't it?

CityCenter Comes To Their Senses?

I know there's a ton of big Vegas news out there -- Kirk leaving MGM, Wynn's newest best friends being indicted, dipsticks finally getting their comeuppance -- but I've got a project to contend with so I can only handle minor blog posts right now. So thanks to Amy for lobbing this one right over my plate:

Could it be they're taking this monstrosity down?

Probably not. I predict they've just realized this one doesn't stay up right and, like a horror film monster, this thing will be back and uglier and more insulting to the Cesar Pelli than ever.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

LVW Col: For Whom The Tillerman Tolled

Sometimes columns come from trying to go out to eat. See? -sf

Longtime Vegas restaurant the Tillerman quietly disappears
By Steve Friess


I hadn’t been by in at least a decade, so this may partly be my fault. But I had a coupon and we couldn’t agree on anything else, so Amy and I decided to meet at the Tillerman. It’s one of those Old Vegas haunts everybody should try once, I insisted.

We were too late. The notice on those heavy wood doors read “TEMPORARILY CLOSED,” but a real estate sign announced the vacancy. The Tillerman’s last Facebook status update, on February 16, says it “closed due to the economy and a greedy landlord.”

Around the same time, our foodie press agonized over the sudden demise of Wynn Las Vegas’ Alex, which, it could be said, could use the same Facebook status. Much was made of what the loss of Alex meant to the Strip.

Nobody noticed, however, when, after an underwhelming Valentine’s Day, the owner closed a 31-year-old institution that once defined fine dining in a less-sophisticated, pre-celebuchef era.

Read the rest at LasVegasWeekly.Com

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little Did We Know...

As I mentioned last week, I'm updating one of my Vegas guidebooks for a new edition right now and look at what we published a scant four years ago:

The North Strip is undergoing a rebirth that began with the ritzy and vast resort Wynn Las Vegas and, by decade’s end, it will see more than $10 billion in new high-end resort construction.

Sigh. Maybe next decade.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Irresistible Press Release Of The Month: Bellagio's Space Bunnies!

Classic. How long until Maury get to do the entire Bellagio Conservatory?!? -sf


Renowned Pastry Chef Jean-Philippe Maury Showcases Otherworldly Skills with Debut of Giant “Space Bunnies” at Bellagio’s Jean Philippe Pâtisserie

Click to tweet: Breaking News: Giant Chocolate Space Bunnies Invade @BellagioLV in #Vegas! #Easter

LAS VEGAS – April 12, 2011 – World renowned pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury has raised the bar once again with the debut of larger-than life Space Bunnies at Bellagio’s Jean Philippe Pâtisserie, on display through Easter.

Sitting in a chocolate spaceship measuring eight feet in circumference, two Space Bunnies are dressed in edible flight suits and ready to operate flight controls that will take them to a dimension of the chocolate kind. Made from the finest Swiss chocolate, the only non-edible ingredients are working blinking lights that adorn the spacecraft. The out-of-this-world creation took Jean-Philippe and his team a month to complete.

Complementing his incredible Easter display, Jean-Philippe also is unveiling more than 45 Easter creations at Jean Philippe Pâtisserie in both ARIA Resort & Casino and Bellagio, including:

· Available in boy or girl versions, Jean-Philippe’s Bunny Cakes are a unique way to decorate the table while satisfying a sweet tooth. The boy is chocolate and the girl is fruitcake; they are available April 17 – April 24.

· Don’t forget about the sports fans. The Chocolate Basketball Bunny and his white chocolate ball are a slam dunk for Easter baskets. A Sports Bunny is also available for loved ones who cheer for multiple teams.

· It’s not all about the Easter Bunny this year; Jean-Philippe also has created a hand-shaped Chocolate Monkey and even a Hippopotamus. These hand-molded chocolates are the perfect gift for any unique Easter basket.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Strip is Live tonight at 8 pm PT

Who are those people who stand in those lines to get into Vegas nightclubs? Where does all this money come from? What sort of business do these places need to do to justify their $60 million construction? This week, we speak with one of the owners of Tao Group, who gets surprisingly specific about the inner workings of this increasingly important component of Vegas tourism.

Plus, news from Vegas, a new trivia question, the poll, listener feedback and a special interview edition of the Top Secret Tourist Tip of the Week.

Join, watch and hear us at at 8 p.m. PT. Or you can subscribe to The Strip (it's free!) in iTunes or Zune to get the latest show and various specials. your call.