The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast

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EP#35: My Special Guest - Jimmy Denning

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For almost 3 years, Tenors Of Rock have been headlining on the Las Vegas Strip, performing Classic Rock...with a twist.  They made their Vegas debut at Harrah's in January 2017 and have since made the move to Planet Hollywood, performing 7 nights per week.

My special guest for this episode of the podcast is Jimmy Denning, one of the founding members of Tenors Of Rock.

Jimmy and I connected backstage at the Sin City Theater before a show where we chatted about his musical career, the formation & history of Tenors of Rock, life in Las Vegas and some of the side projects he's picked up since moving to Vegas - including his jump into the podcast world.  He also shared a random David Hasselhoff anecdote and I made things awkward by telling him that my wife loves him.

If you're headed to Las Vegas, be sure to get your tickets to check out Tenors of Rock LIVE!  And if you're a boxing fan, check out Jimmy's podcast Sin City Sluggers and follow the show on Twitter to find out which boxing legend he'll be chatting with next.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- Barry Manilow has extended his residency at the Westgate

- Watch out for new fees being tacked onto food & drink at various Vegas properties including Park MGM & the Sahara

- And Diamond Dave is headed to House of Blues for a residency in 2020

EP#33: The Good Old Hockey Game

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June 22, 2016 was a huge day for sports fans in Vegas - specifically hockey fans.  That was the day that the NHL announced they'd approved plans for professional hockey to come to the Nevada desert, paving the way for the Vegas Golden Knights to officially become the first major professional sports franchise to call Las Vegas home.

As the Vegas Golden Knights get set to kick off their third season at T-Mobile Arena, my special guest for this episode of the podcast is Ken Boehlke - one of the creators and hosts of the SinBin Vegas Podcast.  Along with his partner Jason, the pair have been podcasting about pro hockey in Vegas since long before there was actually pro hockey in Vegas.

Ken and I talked about the Golden Knights Cinderella-story inaugural season, how & why hockey seems to working in Vegas as compared to other "non-traditional" hockey markets, what effect - if any - the Raiders & the NFL coming to town will have on the Golden Knights and Ken shared his thoughts on the team's chances in the upcoming 2019-2020 NHL season.

Check out the SinBin Vegas Podcast on your favourite podcast platform or via their website at SinBin.Vegas.  Also, be sure to follow SinBin Vegas on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Don't forget: The Vegas Golden Knights play their first game of the regular season on October 2nd at T-Mobile Arena vs the San Jose Sharks!

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- Hooters Casino Hotel will be making a big change by the end of 2019

- Excalibur is upping their restaurant game with a new spot called Vagabond

- And The Cosmopolitan has launched a new charity program to help slot players get rid of their change

EP#32: Lights, Camera…VEGAS!!!

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I don't know about you, but one of my favourite ways to pass the time between trips to Las Vegas is to watch movies featuring Las Vegas - and the list of possibilities is pretty much endless!  From classics like the original "Oceans 11" & "Viva Las Vegas" to critically acclaimed films like "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" & "Rain Man" to blockbuster hits like "Honeymoon in Vegas" and "The Hangover".

My guest for this episode of the show is David Rosen, the host of Piecing It Together, a movie podcast with a bit of a twist (which David explains in our conversation).  I asked David to join me on my podcast to talk about Vegas movies; we discussed the best & worst of Vegas-related movies and shared some of our own personal favourites.

Be sure to follow David & Piecing It Together on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- The MSG Sphere is facing possible MASSIVE cost overruns

- If you were in Vegas between August 1st & 6th you may have been exposed to measles

- And Jason Aldean has 3 Las Vegas shows planned for December.

EP#30: AirBNB in Las Vegas

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With visitors to Las Vegas getting hit with what seems like a never-ending parade of fees, it's no surprise that people are trying to find new ways to avoid getting beaten up in the pocketbook.  And with the recent increase to Resort Fees at several strip-properties, one of the methods being used to save a few bucks is to head off the strip and book with AirBNB.

I personally have never used AirBNB in Las Vegas but I know someone who has: Chris Kim, the host of the Faces And Aces Las Vegas Podcast.

Chris is a frequent Vegas-visitor who's been podcasting about Las Vegas for several years now & he was willing to jump on my podcast talk about the pros & cons of using AirBNB rather than a hotel.  He also shared a few stories of the good, the bad & the ugly of staying in a complete stranger's home.

Take a listen to the Faces and Aces Las Vegas Podcast and be sure to follow Chris on Twitter & Instagram.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- Raiders Stadium officially has a new name - Allegiant Stadium

- Caesars CEO says hotels need to be cautious with resort fees

- And Vegas icon Frank Marino is returning to the strip for a limited engagement

EP#29: 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. 

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- Treasure Island is joining the Radisson Family of hotels

- Legendary rockers Journey have extended their stay in Vegas

- Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Harrah's is closed for upgrades

EP#27: My Special Guest - Christina Ellis

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My special guest for this episode of the podcast is Christina Ellis, the Director of Marketing for Ellis Island Casino & Brewery in Las Vegas.

Ellis Island is one of the coolest spots in Las Vegas & a favourite for both locals and tourists alike.  Located a block east of the strip on Koval Lane, it's been a landmark in Las Vegas for just over 50 years.  Ellis Island is unique in that it's a family-owned & family-run and in being so, they've been able to keep it "all about the customer".

Christina & I talked about the history of Ellis Island, the challenges of working with family, how Ellis Island has survived the ups & downs Las Vegas has faced in the last several years and plans for the future of Ellis Island.  And of course, we also talked about the amazing food & drinks they serve including their famous Prime Rib, the $6.99 Steak & Eggs special and the $2.50 beers.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use including:

- UK Pop Star Robbie Williams is rumoured to be signing a HUGE deal with The Wynn

- The Hard Rock Hotel/soon-to-be Virgin Hotel Las Vegas has inked an agreement with a major events producer

- And some interesting facts & figures for the month of May courtesy of the Las Vegas Convention Authority

EP#25: My Special Guest - Steve Cyr

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My special guest for this episode of the podcast is Steve Cyr.  

Steve is a Casino Host in Las Vegas, but he's not just any Casino Host.  Steve Cyr is a member of a very elite group of Casino Hosts who deal exclusively with "Whales".

For the uninitiated, "Whales" are the people who come to Sin City to gamble massive sums of money; it's not uncommon for them to drop upwards of a million dollars over the course of a weekend in Vegas.  To get them to come to town - along with their giant bank accounts - Casino Hosts will hook them up with lavish comps...like flights on private jets, limo service to & from the casino, high-end suites & villas, ringside seats to UFC fights and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Steve Cyr is the guy makes all of that happen - and so much more.

Steve was gracious enough to invite me into his home for our conversation.  We talked about everything from his start in the casino business to how he re-invented the way hosting was being done to some of the more bizarre requests he's gotten from his Whales.

If you want to know more about Steve Cyr, check out his website and be sure to follow him on Twitter & Instagram.  Also, be sure to pick up a copy of the book, "Whale Hunting In The Desert: Secrets of a Vegas Superhost" by Deke Castleman, which chronicles Steve's rise to become one of the top hosts in Las Vegas.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- A massive sale as Eldorado Resorts enters into an agreement to purchase Caesars Entertainment

- It's official: The SLS will become The Sahara...again

- Record passenger numbers pass through Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport in the month of May

EP#23: A Cut Above The Rest

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If you're not drooling by the end of this episode, you should probably check your pulse to see if you're still alive.  This time around, we're talking about a Las Vegas staple: PRIME RIB!

My guest for this episode of the show is Kristen DeSilva.  By day, she's a content producer for a Las Vegas TV station...but off the clock, she's a Prime Rib aficionado who's made it her goal to eat as many different Prime Rib dinners around Las Vegas as possible.  If you follow Kristen on Twitter or Instagram, you can track her progress with photos of her amazing meals.

If you want to share in Kristen's experience, here's her list of Prime Rib picks:

Primarily Prime Rib at South Point Hotel & Casino, Lawry's Las Vegas, Village Pub & Cafe at Ellis Island, Bob Taylor's Original Ranch House, Siegel's 1941 at El Cortez Hotel & Casino, Marilyn's Cafe at Tuscany Suites & Casino, Golden Steer Steakhouse and Jerry's Famous Coffeeshop at Jerry's Nugget Casino.

Also in this episode...Vegas News You Can Use:

- Lots of rumours floating around surrounding the SLS including new entertainment & a possible name change

- A big winner at the Venetian becomes Vegas' latest millionaire

- And the Neon Museum is set to undergo a big expansion

 

EP#22: Mob Rules

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 News You Can Use:

- An update about the Pinball Hall Fame & their application to build a new facility

- "Dynamic Pricing" is coming to MGM Resorts in Las Vegas

- And The Cosmopolitan has announced this summer's line-up for Dive Inn Movies

 

EP#21: Kill Resort Fees!

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The topic of discussion for this episode of the podcast is one that affects pretty much anyone who visits Las Vegas: RESORT FEES!

For those unfamiliar with the concept, "Resort Fees" are extra fees that most Vegas hotels will charge guests in addition to the actual room rate.  Depending on the hotel you're staying at, those fees range anywhere from an additional $25-$45 per night and for lower-end hotels, the resort fee is actually HIGHER than the published room rate.

And what do you get for that extra cash?  The hotels try to claim they're giving you access to the pool, resort wi-fi, the fitness center, free local calls and other goodies.  In fact, what they're actually giving you is nothing.

Joining me for this episode of the podcast is Lauren Wolfe, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer who, like a lot of other who travel to Las Vegas - and elsewhere in the US where the Resort Fee Plague is spreading - got tired of paying this so-called mandatory fee in exchange for, essentially, nothing.  So, she decided to do something about it.

Lauren is the founder & creator of Kill Resort Fees, a website not only devoted to eliminating resort fees entirely, but educating people on how to avoid resort fees, how to get their resort fees refunded and how to force the government to take action against this illegal practice.

In addition to checking out the website, you can follow Kill Resort Fees on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Also in this episode...Vegas News You Can Use:

- Work has begun on the Viva Vision upgrade at the Fremont Street Experience

- The Pinball Hall of Fame & Museum has taken the first step towards getting their new location

- And another week means another residency announcement...Paula Abdul is coming to the Flamingo