The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast

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EP#43: 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.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- Two big restaurants shut down in Mandalay Bay & The Mirage

- What might be missing from the new Virgin Hotel Las Vegas?

- And Gordon Ramsay gets set to open ANOTHER restaurant on The Strip

And don't forget: I want your feedback...be sure to fill out the Audience Survey!

EP#42: Long Live The King - Elvis In Vegas

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July 31, 1969 was a day that changed Las Vegas forever.

It was on that day that Elvis Presley stepped onto the stage at the newly-opened International Hotel to kick off a four-week engagement in their massive new 2000-seat showroom.  At the time, Elvis was thought to be "over the hill" and "washed up" but the run of concerts didn't just revive the King of Rock N' Roll's career...it helped revive Las Vegas.

My guest for this episode of the podcast is Richard Zoglin, author of the book Elvis In Vegas: How The King Reinvented The Las Vegas Show.

Richard and I talked about Elvis's first appearance in Las Vegas in 1956, the leisure time Elvis spent in Vegas & the "unlikely" friendships he made along the way, the toll Elvis's Las Vegas performances took on his health and the effect that Elvis had on Las Vegas - from the doors he opened for future entertainers to the presence he still maintains in the city.

If you'd like to order your own copy of Elvis In Vegas: How The King Reinvented The Las Vegas Show head to Richard Zoglin's website or visit your favorite bookseller.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- The original American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, has announced a 2020 residency in Las Vegas

- R.U.N. at the Luxor has a memorable-for-the-wrong-reasons opening at Luxor

- And KAOS at the Palms has shut its doors after just 8 months in operation

And don't forget to hit the Audience Survey link to share your thoughts on the show! 

EP#41: 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.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- Legendary prop-comic Carrot Top signs a contract extension

- Two big shows on the Strip hit major milestones

- And The Mob Museum celebrates a piece of Vegas history with free admissions.

Also, don't forget to take part in the Audience Survey where you can share your feedback on the podcast!

 

 

EP#39: Vegas For The Low Roller

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The topic for this episode of the show comes courtesy of listener, Jacob Kehl from Denmark.  Jacob really wanted to me to do an episode featuring tips & tricks for the Vegas Low Roller.

Jacob, your wish is my command!

And joining me to talk about the right way to Low Roll in Las Vegas is friend of the show, making his second appearance on the podcast, Sergio Portesan - the creator of the website Viva Las Value!  Sergio and I talked about the best websites to find discount Vegas hook-up's, suggestions for low roller hotels, restaurants & bars and how to make your bankroll last longer when hitting the tables & machines.

For all the details, check out Sergio's website, Viva Las Value and be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook! And if you want to learn the story behind the creation of Viva Las Value, go back in the archives and check out EP#14: Viva Las Value.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- Caesars hikes resort fees at three of its Vegas properties

- Raiding The Rock Vault makes a move to west of the The Strip

- And golf is back on the Vegas Strip...and it's very VERY expensive

Don't forget - if you have a few moments, please fill out the Audience Survey!

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 vs Hotels

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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