The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast

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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#26: 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.

Also, in this episode's Vegas News You Can Use:

- A long-time Vegas hotspot has shut down

- If you're in the mood for a cupcake, you'll have to go hunting somewhere other than the Linq Promenade

- And more potential changes to the Las Vegas Strip as a piece of prime real estate gets sold

EP#24: The June Trip Report

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I've freshly returned from trip #4 of 2019 and it's time for another world famous Jeff Does Vegas Trip Report!

This episode features reviews of my stay at Bally's as well as meals at Village Cafe at Ellis Island, PizzaRev, Yard House at Linq Promenade, The Still at The Mirage and Ri-Ra at Mandalay Bay.  I also managed to (finally) check out Don't Tell Mama on Fremont Street and - of course - I took in another awesome Mondays Dark at The Space.

From the world of Vegas News You Can Use:

- Shania Twain has announced a new Las Vegas residency

- Guns N' Roses are headed back to rock Sin City in November 2019

- And the National Atomic Testing Museum is on the hunt for a new home

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#20: My Special Guest - Lisa Marie Smith

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Credit: Lisa Marie Smith on Facebook

My special guest for this episode is Lisa Marie Smith.  Lisa is a Las Vegas-based singer, dancer & model.  She's appeared as a headliner in shows on the Vegas strip at the Stratosphere and the Palazzo.  Just last year, she signed her first record deal with Fervor Records and in November 2018, she released her debut self-titled EP featuring her single, "Get Closer To Me".  Lisa is currently in the process of launching her new band project, LMS.

Lisa is also one of my closest friends.  In the time we've known each other, she's become like a sister to me.  I've introduced her to Canadian delicacies like All-Dressed & Ketchup Chips, Buttertarts and Nanaimo Bars and she's taken me and my wife out to some awesome Vegas restaurants, bars and shows.  Lisa has been there for me during some very tough times and I've been fortunate enough to be able to do the same for her.

During our podcast conversation we talked about growing up in Las Vegas, touring around the world performing on cruise ships, her charity work, her vocal teaching and we also talked about some of her recent personal physical struggles.

Follow Lisa on FacebookTwitter & Instagram.  Stream her EP on Apple Music and Spotify or download from iTunes.

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

- Wynn has announced they're eliminating parking fees for guests of The Wynn & Encore Resorts

- Jimmy Kimmel's new comedy club is open in Las Vegas

- And Mariah Carey is coming back to The Collosseum at Caesars Palace

 

EP#17: The April Trip Report

Back home from trip #3 of 2019, I've got another Jeff Does Vegas Trip Report all ready to go!

(Don't adjust your podcast player...the nasally sound of my voice on this episode is the result of a massive head cold that decided to hit me right before recording, so I do apologize!)

This trip report features reviews of my stay at Luxor, meals at Tilted Kilt, Dick's Last Resort at the Excalibur and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at the Flamingo as well my horrible experience with Robert Irvine's Public House at the Tropicana.

I share my thoughts on attending conventions in Las Vegas (I was in town for NABShow 2019) and I also happened to be in town for a Mondays Dark, so I was able to take in that show and spend time with my Vegas family.

From the Vegas News You Can Use desk:

- Caesars Palace Colosseum will be shutting down in the summer months to do some massive renovations

- Rumors are flying that P!nk is getting set for a Vegas residency at the Park Theater at ParkMGM

- And Mr. Las Vegas, Wayne Newton is taking time off to recover from back surgery

 

EP#16: Classic Vegas Mistakes

Las Vegas attracts over 42 million visitors every year from all over the world with a good number of those people making their first ever trip to Sin City.  Las Vegas is one of those places that can be very overwhelming for a first-timer.  But don't worry...your friends will help with suggestions on places to stay, where to eat, what shows to see and what attractions to go to.  

What your friends probably won't tell you about are all the things they did WRONG on their trips to Las Vegas; mistakes that can literally make or break your vacation.  To do that, I've enlisted the help of an expert who - quite literally - wrote the book on "Classic Vegas Mistakes."

This episode, I chat with David Demontmollin, a 20-year casino industry veteran who's worked for both Strip and Off-Strip properties in Las Vegas.  He starred in Discovery Channel's smash hit, "American Casino" and has appeared on multiple TV & radio shows, talking about casino travel.  David has also channeled his expertise into several books including "Las Vegas' Little Black Book: A Guys Guide To The Perfect Vegas Weekend" and "Classic Vegas Mistakes" - both of which are available on Amazon.

David and I talked about his experience in the industry, recent changes in the casino & gaming business - including those dreaded Resort Fees - and those Classic Vegas Mistakes.  If you want more Classic Vegas Mistakes, head over and follow David on Twitter.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- The Eagles are coming to Las Vegas in September for two special live performances of the album, Hotel California

- A timeline has been released for the changeover of the Hard Rock Hotel to the Virgin Hotel Las Vegas

- And the Las Vegas Aviators triple-a baseball team is getting set for take-off!

 

EP#15: The March Trip Report

Freshly back from Vegas Trip #2 of 2019, it's time for another Jeff Does Vegas Trip Report!

And I'm trying something a little different for the trip report this time around; rather than a blow-by-blow, day-by-day report, I'm going to hit the high spots of the trip, share some reviews and share my experiences with you.  You know that feeling of dread you get when your friends drag out the photo album and make you look at every single vacation photo?  Yeah...that's what I'm trying to avoid.

This Trip Report features reviews of The Park MGM, Tom's Urban at New York New York, The Henry at The Cosmopolitan and Marilyn's Cafe at The Tuscany.  My wife and I also had the pleasure of hanging out at the Piazza Lounge in The Tuscany for Kenny Davidsen's Celebrity Piano Bar and we took in some NHL Hockey action at T-Mobile Arena as the Vegas Golden Knights played host to the Winnipeg Jets.  Also in this episode...

Vegas News You Can Use:

- Donnie & Marie announce the end of their residency at The Flamingo

- Cirque Du Soleil faces layoffs at their MGM Resort shows

- And some Vegas resorts make changes in the face of backlash over resort fees

 

EP#14: Viva Las Value!

Money is always a tricky topic when it comes to planning for a Las Vegas trip or when giving advice to Vegas visitors.  As I've talked about in previous episodes, Vegas is one of those rare vacation destinations where you can literally make it whatever you want it to be; whether you want to play "high roller" and drop stacks of cash wherever you go or you want to play it sensible and actually take some of your money home with you, both are viable options.

Viva Las Value is a new website designed to help you do Vegas like a high roller...without breaking the bank.  The site is jammed full of amazing tips & tricks for the Vegas visitor including everything from how to score free drinks while playing slots to how to NOT be overwhelmed on your first trip to the casino to how to earn comps just for playing "pretend" slots on Facebook.  I tracked down Sergio Portesan, the founder and creator of Viva Las Value to get his story & find out the inspiration behind creating the site.

Be sure to give Viva Las Value a follow on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to interact.

Also In This Episode:

- Updates on a few big-name comedians who are coming to Vegas over the next couple of months including Craig Ferguson, Kevin McDonald, Jim Gaffigan and Sebastian Maniscalo

- And POOL SEASON IS HERE!  Resorts up and down the strip are gearing up for the summer of 2019 with exciting announcements for poolside entertainment!