If you've ever been to Las Vegas, you're well aware of the unique scents of the various casinos & hotels up and down The Strip. In fact, if you ask people what one of their favorite parts of Vegas is, they'll tell you "it's the smell inside the casinos". And it seems that everyone has their own preferred scent - so much so, that there are thousands of posts online from people asking how to either purchase or duplicate their favorite casino scent.
But what's the big deal about smell? Why is the scent of a casino so important that the companies that own them spend MILLIONS of dollars on creating these so-called "signature scents"?
To get the answer, I decided to talk to an expert...
My guest for this episode is Dr. Rachel Herz, a world-renowned expert on the psychological science of smell. Dr. Herz is a cognitive neuroscientist, a TED-X speaker and a published author of both numerous research publications and several books on the topic of the science of smell.
We discussed what piqued her interest in the psychology of scent, the connection between scent and emotion & memory and how businesses use scent to affect customer behavior.
To learn more about the science and psychology of scent, visit Dr. Herz's website or follow her on Twitter. You can also pick up one of her books:
And if you want your home to smell exactly like your favorite Vegas casino, visit Aroma Retail's website and check out their "Resort Collection" which includes scents from the Bellagio, Aria, the Cosmopolitan, Luxor, the Flamingo, Mandalay Bay, Wynn and many others!
December 15, 1952 saw the opening of one of the most iconic hotels in the history of Las Vegas:
The Sands Hotel & Casino
During its heyday, it played host to some of the biggest names in entertainment of the day, most notably the legendary "Rat Pack" featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin & Sammy Davis Jr. And although that might be what the Sands is best known for, there's way more to the story than that - and that's where my guest for this episode steps in.
David Schwartz is the author of "At The Sands", a new book that takes readers on a deep dive into the history of The Sands. Dave and I talked about inspired him to write a book about The Sands, how "mobbed up" the Sands was compared to other Vegas hotels, Frank Sinatra's involvement in the project, Howard Hughes' purchase of the famed resort & his plans for the future, and what led to the eventual downfall of the Sands (both figuratively and literally).
"At The Sands" by David Schwartz is available in both Kindle and Paperback formats on Amazon.
I have to be honest. This is an episode that I hoped I wouldn't have to record for a very long time - if ever at all.
As you've probably guessed from the title of this episode, I've made the decision to put the podcast on a temporary hiatus. For how long? I'm not exactly sure as of yet. That being said, I thought I owed you - the loyal listeners & supporters of the podcast - an explanation as to why I've made this decision.
I'll still be providing Las Vegas news & travel updates on my various social media channels - including Facebook & Twitter - so I can keep you in the loop on what's happening in the city.
I'm also in the process of launching a new spin-off podcast called Sin City Stories which I invite you to check out & subscribe to (wherever you get your podcasts).
In the meantime, please stay safe & stay healthy.
Fred Hazelton & Seb Gagnon are the hosts of a brand new Las Vegas podcast called The Unofficial Vegas Podcast. Fred is a Vegas veteran who visits annually as part of his gig with The Unofficial Vegas Guide and Seb is his good friend & co-host who's only had the opportunity to visit Vegas a couple of times.
I reached out to the guys to see if they'd be interested in joining me on the podcast to talk about their show as well as share some of their own personal Las Vegas picks, tips and tricks!
If you want to take a listen to The Unofficial Vegas Podcast you can find them on Apple Podcasts and Spotify or check them out on Anchor! And be sure to give the boys a follow on social media...find them on Twitter and Instagram!
Big thanks to Noe Perez from The Noe Perez Pod for having me on his podcast to chat. I had an absolute blast talking to Noe about my time growing up in Canada, working in radio, getting into podcasting and sharing some of my own personal Vegas tips & tricks. Be sure to check out the episode and subscribe to the show!
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!
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 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.
For this episode of the podcast, I've put together a little something I'm calling Vegas FAQ.
The concept is pretty simple; I've gathered up all the Vegas-related questions that I see asked most frequently on Twitter & Facebook - and even the ones I personally get asked most often - and I'm going to attempt to answer all of them here in this episode.
I'm going to cover a TON of material here - including questions about money & budgets, getting around Las Vegas, what the weather is like at different times of the year and even those totally subjective questions about hotels, restaurants & shows. And you can't have "Sin City" with the "Sin" so I'm even going to discuss liquor laws, marijuana laws & prostitution laws.
And because there's so much info in this episode, I've made my notes available to you - Click here to download the PDF file!
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.
And big thanks to Vegas Podtoons for animating Chris & I into our very own episode - Check it out on the Vegas Podtoons YouTube Channel!
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.
"Opinions are like a**holes...everyone has one."
For this episode of the podcast, I'm playing a little game called Unpopular Vegas Opinions, where I'll share some of my own personal opinions about Las Vegas that other people - LOTS of other people - don't seem to share. The genesis of this episode came from me sharing my thoughts on a well-known restaurant on a Vegas-related Facebook page and getting absolutely crucified for it.
While licking my wounds, I thought to myself, "Hey...this might make a fun podcast episode!" So, here we are!
Hash House A Go Go, tipping, Secret Pizza and resort fees are all targets of my Unpopular Vegas Opinions...enjoy! Plus, I share some of YOUR Unpopular Vegas Opinions as posted on Twitter!
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.
Here's the scenario: You're walking down the strip with your significant other enjoying the scenery, taking in the sights and sounds just minding your own business when a total stranger approaches you and says, "What a lovely couple! How'd you like free tickets to a show?"
The first-timers and newbies are thinking, "Sure...I'd LOVE free tickets to a show!" meanwhile the Vegas veterans are thinking, "RUN! RUN AS FAST YOU CAN! DON'T ENGAGE! DON'T TALK! JUST RUN!" Nothing in Vegas is free...and the price for those "free tickets" is sitting through the dreaded TIME SHARE PRESENTATION!
To navigate the murky waters of Time Shares, I've enlisted the help of an expert: Lisa Ann Schreier - aka The Time Share Crusader - is a consumer advocate who's been involved in the time share community for over 20 years. She's an author & blogger who works to keep people up to date on the time share industry as well as the questionable companies and practices out there.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
The topic for this episode comes from one of our listeners: Brandon dropped me a note on Facebook wondering about my thoughts on staying on at a hotel/resort ON The Strip vs staying at a hotel/resort OFF The Strip. I thought that was a great idea...so here we go!
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.
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!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED DECEMBER 24/2018 - Welcome to Episode #4 of The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast!
This episode is an in-depth trip report of my most recent getaway to Las Vegas from December 16-20, 2018 featuring:
- A review of my first ever stay at Caesars Palace
- My experience trying to take an Uber from Caesars to the Hard Rock Hotel
- Meals at Nine Fine Irishmen at New York New York, Mon Ami Gabi at Paris, Culinary Dropout at the Hard Rock Hotel and Yardbird & Black Tap both at The Venetian
- A recap of the Mondays Dark 5th Anniversary Celebration
- And a review of Human Nature: Jukebox at the Venetian
So sit back, relax and enjoy this audio trip to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada!
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!