The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast

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Darkest Before The Dawn

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A lot has changed in Las Vegas since I released my last regular episode; Hell, a lot has changed in the 3 weeks since I released the last SPECIAL episode.

As such, I thought it might be a good time to jump back on with a brand new episode to provide some news on what's happening in the city & share some of my predictions of what a re-opening of Las Vegas might look like.  I also wanted to check in with everyone & let you know what's going on in my life, what's happening with my friends living in Vegas, what the future of the podcast looks like and - most importantly - reach out to everyone to find out how all of YOU are doing.

And don't forget: If you need someone to talk to during these difficult and - frankly - weird times, feel free to reach out and send me a direct message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  I'm always here and willing to connect!

Girls Gone Vegas

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I recently had a request from a listener who wanted a few suggestions for planning a "girls vacation" to Las Vegas.  Since I'm a 44 year-old married man who usually travels with Vegas either solo or with my wife, I felt I was drastically unqualified to assist - which is why I reached out to my guests for this episode of the podcast...

MJ & Bree are the hosts of the Keeping It Casual Podcast, a sex-positive dating & relationship advice podcast based in Las Vegas.  Whenever I'd listen to their show, they'd talk about all the cool spots they were hitting in Vegas so I thought they'd be perfect to help me plan out the Ultimate Girls Trip!

We covered all the important stuff - including hotels, restaurants, clubs and spas - plus we covered how to avoid "drama" on a girls trip and how to keep yourself safe in Sin City.

The ladies also hit me with a few questions they like to ask the guests on their podcast, which was an absolute blast!

If you'd like to check out the Keeping It Casual Podcast you can get it wherever you find your favourite podcasts of visit their website - where you can also get info on live appearances & merchandise.  And be sure to connect with both MJ & Bree on social media where you can "slide into their DM's" for Vegas hook-up's:

Follow @MJRadioDiva and @Breemixed on Twitter

The January Trip Report

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Welcome to another world famous Jeff Does Vegas Trip Report chronicling my most recent trip to Vegas - my first of 2020 - from January 11-14.

This time around I've got a brief review of my stay at The Flamingo plus my experience of trying to add a night to my original booking at the Linq.  I've also got quick reviews of the restaurants I hit up this time around including Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar at the Linq, Ri-Ra Irish Pub at Mandalay Bay, Gordon Ramsay Burger at Planet Hollywood and Evel Pie downtown.

Also on this trip, I visited The Mob Museum, hung out at Downtown Container Park with MJ & Bree from the Keeping It Casual Podcast (watch for them to appear in an upcoming episode of the podcast) and learned how to play Craps in a YouTube Live Stream with past guest & friend Heather Ferris from Vegas Aces.

I also got to experience my very first Vegas Jackpot/Handpay Slot Win on this trip...and got the experience the fun of having the government take 30% of the win <insert sad face emoji here>.

Pinball Hall Of Fame

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If you're of a certain generation, chances are that you spent a fair portion of your youth wasting time at the local arcade, hanging with your friends and dropping quarters into your favorite video games & pinball machines.  And if you're planning on visiting Las Vegas anytime soon, you can re-live those memories at the Pinball Hall of Fame.

My guest for this episode of the podcast is Tim Arnold, the founder of the Pinball Hall of Fame - which is always ranked as one of Vegas's top attractions & is always at the top of my list of recommendations for folks headed to Las Vegas.

During one of my recent Vegas trips, I headed over to see Tim at the Pinball Hall of Fame where he took a break from working on a vintage machine to sit and chat with me.  We talked about his start in the arcade business, the beginnings of the Pinball Hall of Fame and the future plans for the Hall of Fame - including a new building south of the strip, set to begin construction this year.

To learn more about the Pinball Hall of Fame - including location, hours and history - be sure to visit their official website.

The December Trip Report

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Welcome to another world famous Jeff Does Vegas Trip Report featuring a recap of my most recent trip to Las Vegas - my EIGHTH of the year - from December 15-19, 2019.

My wife was along for this trip and this time around, I've got reviews of our stay at Bally's as well as meals at La Pizza e La Pasta in Eataly at Park MGM, Le Thai on Fremont Street, Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace and the legendary Golden Steer Steakhouse.  We were also lucky enough to take in a few shows including Atomic Saloon at the Venetian, Carrot Top at the Luxor and Bronx Wanderers at the Linq.

I've also got thoughts on three major trends happening in Las Vegas and why/how pigeons are better behaved than the tourists.

The Full Reveal - The Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum

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When people think of "Burlesque", they usually think of scantily clad - or perhaps even topless - women, titillating & teasing crowds with their seductive dance moves.  But there's way more to it than that...as you're about to learn.

My guest for this episode of the podcast is Dustin Wax of The Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum in Las Vegas - which, by the way, is the ONLY burlesque museum in the world.  Dustin and I chatted all about the history of the museum, their annual Miss Exotic World Pageant & Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend as well as the history, evolution and recent resurgence in the popularity of burlesque performances.

If you want information about The Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum, be sure to check out their official website and also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

KABOOM! The National Atomic Testing Museum

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It's a little-known fact that just over 60 miles away from the glitz & glamour of the Las Vegas Strip, the US government used to test Atomic Weapons!

Just as the Cold War was starting to heat up, the US Department of Energy began the testing of Nuclear Bombs in the Nevada desert.  The blasts would light up the early morning sky and the mushroom clouds could be seen from miles away on the rooftops of the downtown hotels.

Helping to keep this history alive is one of my favourite attractions, The National Atomic Testing Museum.

My guest on this episode is Michael Hall, the museum's Executive Director.  Michael and I discussed the United States' Atomic Testing program, the effects it had on Las Vegas as well as the incredible exhibits on display at the museum.

For tickets and information on The National Atomic Testing Museum visit their website & be sure to check them out on Twitter and Instagram.

Viva Scare Vegas - Las Vegas Ghost Tours

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I have a very simple question for you:  Do you believe in ghosts?

If your answer is "Yes", then you're going to love this episode.  Honestly, even if your answer is "No" you're STILL going to love this episode!

With Las Vegas's shady past, it should come as no surprise that Sin City is blessed with its own share of spookiness.  A quick Google search reveals multiple spots both on and off the famous strip that are believed to be haunted by the famous, the infamous and the not-so-famous.

Just in time for Halloween, I'm joined by Josef Kruger of Las Vegas Ghost Tours who's here to share some of the creepiest tales of Las Vegas spooks & spectres.

For example...Which hotel was ravaged by a fire that killed 85 of its guests, some of whom haven't quite "checked out"?  What resort is haunted by its infamous mobster former owner?  And where can you go in Las Vegas to hang out with the ghost of a murdered rap superstar?

For the answers to these - and other - terrifying questions start listening now!

And for tickets to join Las Vegas Ghost Tours, visit their website or start following them on Facebook.

 

Bright Lights, Big City - The Neon Museum Las Vegas

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One of the things Las Vegas is perhaps most famous for are the bright neon lights of the World Famous Vegas Strip.  But as resorts close down or signs are replaced with massive HD LED video screens, what happens to those iconic neon signs?

Amanda Riley of the Neon Museum Las Vegas joins me on this episode to answer that question!

We talked about museum's mission to preserve Las Vegas' history, some of the unique & interesting signs in the museum's collection, their plans for future expansion and a very special exhibit/collaboration involving a major Hollywood director.

For tickets and information on the Neon Museum Las Vegas you can visit their website.  Also, be sure to follow the Neon Museum on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

Going To The Chapel

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There's no question that Las Vegas is the wedding capital of the world.  Every day, an average of 330 couples tie the not - which equals out to approximately 120,000 weddings every year!

But why?  How is it that a city known as "Sin City" is also the most popular place on the planet to get hitched?

To answer that question - and many more - I'm joined by a Las Vegas legend:  Charolette Richards, the owner of A Little White Wedding Chapel.

There are literally dozens of wedding chapels up and down the Vegas strip but A Little White Wedding Chapel is easily one of the most famous and recognizable.  In the almost-60 years that Charolette has been running the place, hundreds of thousands of couples have pledged their love for each other with Charolette herself personally officiating tens of thousands of weddings.

Charolette shared the story of how she ended up in Las Vegas & how she ended up working in the Las Vegas wedding world as well as her tips & tricks to a long and happy marriage.

If you want to plan your own Las Vegas wedding & you've got questions, check out this handy link full of info from the folks at Vegas.com - and when you're ready to tie the knot, get ahold of Charolette and the folks at A Little White Wedding Chapel.

 

Kids In Las Vegas 2 - The Sequel

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My guest for this episode of the show is my very good friend & fellow frequent Vegas visitor, Adam West.  Adam is the Midday Host & Program Director for Hot 100.5 FM in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  Adam & I have been friends for over 20 years now; we worked together - and against each other - in the world of radio, we were temporary roommates at one time and we've even travelled to Las Vegas together.

Adam also has the distinct honour of being the first "repeat guest" on the podcast; he was one of the people I talked to back on Episode #8 of the show where we discussed the topic of bringing kids to Vegas.

Since appearing on the podcast, Adam and his wife took their kids to Las Vegas and I asked him to share the experience with me.  We talked about the decision to do Las Vegas as a family vacation, the planning process involved in organizing the trip and he shared some great tips & tricks for attractions, accommodations and budget-friendly meals. 

The Truth Is Out There - Las Vegas & Area 51

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Area 51...

We've all heard the stories and seen it depicted in movies & television.  If pop culture & rumours are to be believed, it's a top secret installation in the Nevada desert where the United States military conducts classified activities - including research on alien spacecraft & technology as well as extraterrestrial beings.

What's the Las Vegas connection to Area 51?  It's two-fold:

First, it's well known that many Las Vegas residents work at Area 51, making the commute via Janet Airlines (they're the non-descript white planes with a red stripe that you've probably seen taking off & landing at McCarran International Airport).

Secondly, due to Area 51's proximity to Las Vegas (it's only a 2-3 hour drive away), thousands of people each year make the drive out to see the gates and maybe get a glimpse of something...bizarre.

Friend of the show & fellow Vegas Podcaster, Chris Kim, the host of Faces and Aces Las Vegas had the opportunity to talk to Braden & Dan who are the hosts of the Alien Theorists Theorizing Podcast about their journey to Area 51...as well as some of the "weirdness" they experienced on their trek to the gates.

Chris was gracious enough to allow me to share the interview on my podcast...enjoy!

Be sure to follow Alien Theorists Theorizing on Twitter & Instagram and take a listen to their show.

For even more Vegas-related content, follow Faces And Aces Las Vegas on Twitter & Instagram and be sure to listen to the podcast.

If you want to plan your own trek out to the fabled Area 51, check out this great article that outlines the best way to get to & from the back gate...and what to see along the way.

 

Mob Rules

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It's no secret that Las Vegas has a somewhat shady past...and that can pretty much 100% be attributed to the Mob's history in Las Vegas.

There are a lot of myths & legends surrounding Vegas' association with the world of organized crime and I wanted to get to the bottom of it all, so I turned to the experts.

The Mob Museum is one of my favorite Las Vegas attractions.  It's the definitive authority on Mob history, not just in Las Vegas but all across the US & around the world.  The Mob Museum is always on my to-do list when I'm in town and it's always one of my top recommendations for people travelling to Las Vegas.

My guest on this episode of the podcast is Geoff Schumacher, the Senior Director of Content for The Mob Museum.  We talked about Las Vegas' humble history as a stop on the railway line, the growth of gambling & the connection to organized crime and Geoff helped to separate fact from fiction when it comes to some of those legendary stories of the mob's involvement in the building of Las Vegas.

Keep up with the Mob Museum by following them on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.  Get your tickets to visit the Mob Museum here.

 

Vegas’ Most Overrated & Underrated

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Las Vegas is the official city of HYPE!  Everything in Sin City is EXCITING AND AMAZING...or is it?

There's nothing worse than being amped up for an experience only to end up being horribly disappointed.  But at the same time, it's always fun to come across those "hidden gems" that nobody else knows about.

That's what this episode is all about - Vegas' Most Overrated and Underrated!  

Are those celebrity chef restaurants worth the hype?  Should you stay at one of the big-name mega-resorts...or pick a smaller off-strip spot?  How many Cirque shows is TOO MANY Cirque Shows?  This episode will answer those questions - and more!

Thanks to this week's guest contributors:

 - Sam Novak from "Vegas Unfiltered", the Las Vegas blog that's just that - unfiltered!  Sam is never afraid to speak his mind on the goings-on in Sin City...and he gives us his picks for Vegas' Most Overrated & Underrated.  Be sure to follow Sam on Facebook and Twitter.

 - Jenna Nye from "Off The Strip", where the motto is "There's More To Vegas".  Jenna joins us live from Las Vegas and shares some of her favourite underrated hidden gems away from the insanity of the Vegas strip.  Find Off The Strip on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

The Solo Trip

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The inspiration for this episode came from a post on one of my favourite Vegas-related Facebook pages, "Talk Las Vegas", where a gentleman named Michael was asking about whether or not he should do a solo trip to Las Vegas after his travel partner cancelled on him.

I myself have done numerous solo trips and have a blast every single time.  So, I thought I'd share my thoughts on travelling alone to Vegas as well as a few tips & tricks on things to do, where to eat and - most importantly - how to stay safe when travelling solo!

If you're planning on a solo trip to Vegas, check out these links:

- The Vegas Solo...The definitive website for solo travellers headed to Vegas

- Vegas Bright's guide for female solo travellers headed to Vegas - including some great safety tips

- Frontdesk Tip's complete guide to visiting Vegas as a solo traveller

 

Bringing Kids To Vegas

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This week's episode is about a topic that always manages to get people going online - whether it's on Facebook, TripAdvisor or any of the thousands of other Vegas-related blogs or websites out there:

BRINGING KIDS TO VEGAS 

Big thanks to my guests who joined me to talk about this very polarizing topic:

- Jessica aka "Vegas Princess Bella" - She's a long-time Las Vegas visitor who runs Las Vegas Pics and Tricks on Facebook and a mom, who recently took her 8 & 10 year-old children to Vegas.

- My good friend Adam West, Midday Host & Program Director at Hot 100.5 FM in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - He's a frequent Vegas visitor and a dad of 3 who has some strong yet valid opinions about the PARENTS who bring their kids to Las Vegas.  Find him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

- And Maria-Leena Kerr - She's the owner of DanishTourGuide.com, an online concierge platform and sightseeing company.  Maria also provides tour services in Las Vegas and helps families organize their trips to Vegas.  Reach out to her on Twitter and Instagram

Listen in for great insight on bringing children to Las Vegas.

The Crossover Follow-Up - We THOUGHT We’d Done Vegas

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This week's episode is a nice little follow-up to last week's crossover with Faces And Aces: Las Vegas and the "So You Think You've Done Vegas" episode.

After we posted our episodes on-line, Chris and I got talking about some of the things we missed on our lists (including a couple of REALLY embarrassing ones...ha ha!).  Then after we Tweeted out about the show, our followers starting sending us messages with their suggestions for things to add to the list.

So, in no particular order, presented within this episode are a few "honourable mentions" for things you need to do in Vegas to officially say you've "done Vegas".

Thanks so much for listening!

 

The Faces & Aces LV Crossover - So You Think You’ve Done Vegas?

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There have been so many EPIC crossovers in history; The Flintstones & The Jetsons, Family Guy & The Simpsons, Power Rangers & TMNT, Full House & Family Matters...and now you can add ANOTHER one to the list:

The Faces And Aces Las Vegas Podcast & The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast!

After much brainstorming, Chris & I managed to get together via Skype and put together what I think is a pretty great episode for both of our podcasts!

We're both regular visitors to Las Vegas and in all those visits, we determined that there are certain things you have to do in order to say you've "done Vegas"...so in this crossover episode, we present our lists - but with a bit of a twist:

If you want to hear our discussion & thoughts on the COMPLETE lists, you need to listen to BOTH of our podcasts!  Numbers 10 through 6 are over at Faces And Aces Las Vegas & Number 5 through 1 are heard here in my podcast.

If you really can't wait to listen to both episodes of the podcasts, then here's my complete list of the Top 10 Things You Have To Do To Say You've "Done Vegas":

10) Get a photo with a showgirl or character on the street
9) Visit Fremont Street/Downtown Las Vegas
8) See a Cirque du Soleil Show
7) Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel
6) Ride the Linq High Roller
5) Do a Gondola Ride at the Venetian
4) Go to a strip club (or at the very least, a topless show)
3) Get bottle service/VIP table service at a night club
2) Take a helicopter ride over The Strip
1) Visit the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign

Thanks so much for listening and checking out The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast!

Don't forget to give us a follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

The Debut Episode - The November Trip Report

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED DECEMBER 1/2018 - Welcome to the debut episode of The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast! For the debut show, it's a trip report from my most recent trip to Sin City from November 12-14, 2018. I recap my experience at The Flamingo Hotel, talk about some of the great restaurants I checked out and talk about a "hidden gem" off the strip - the National Atomic Testing Museum.

So sit back, relax and enjoy this audio trip to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada!