The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast

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20 Years Of X

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2022 marks the 20th Anniversary of one of the hottest shows on the Vegas Strip:

X Burlesque

Having opened back in 2002 at the Aladdin, the show now calls Bugsy's Cabaret home inside the legendary Flamingo Hotel.

Joining me for this episode of the podcast are Matt & Angela Stabile of Stabile Productions.  Matt & Angela are the husband & wife team who created & produce X Burlesque.  We talked about their early life in Vegas with Angela's involvement in several Las Vegas shows & Matt's family managing the career of a comedy legend.  We also discussed the inspiration behind the creation of X Burlesque, and some of the challenges X Burlesque has faced over its two decades in Sin City.

For more information on X Burlesque - including tickets and show dates & times - visit the Flamingo Las Vegas online and be sure to follow X Burlesque on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

What Was & What Will Be

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Welcome to a fun-sized bonus episode of the podcast!

This time around, I just wanted to take a moment to drop into the feed to send out a few quick shout-out's and "thank you's" for what's been going on over the last few weeks and share some announcements about what's coming up on the show over the next little while.

There's LOTS of awesome stuff coming up in the next few weeks, so be sure to keep an ear out for that and in the meantime, be sure to check out some of the recently released episodes including:

I also want to give a special shout-out to Ron Wrobel aka "@TrekkerRon" for inviting me on his podcast, "Con Pod: A Star Trek Convention Podcast".  This year, Las Vegas's annual Star Trek Convention is making the move from off-strip at the Rio to on-strip at Bally's.  Ron and I talked about what it's going to be like for Trekkies attending this year's convention to be smack-dab in the middle of the action.  To check out the episode, follow the show on Twitter at @TrekConPod, listen to it here or find it wherever you get your podcasts.

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Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

LIGHTS OUT! F1 On The Vegas Strip

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Formula 1 is considered to be one of the premier forms of auto racing.  The cars are the fastest regulated road-racing cars in the world with top speeds upwards of 350 km/h (215 mph).

F1 is also one of the richest sports in the world; with 22 races scattered across the globe, F1 reported over $2.1 BILLION in revenue in 2021 and it's not uncommon for the top drivers in the sport to earn well over $100 Million per year in salary alone.

So with all that money flying around, is it any wonder that Las Vegas wants a piece of that pie?

On March 30, 2022 the FIA and Formula 1, along with the City of Las Vegas & the State of Nevada, announced one of the worst kept secrets in motorsports:  Formula 1 would be hitting Sin City in 2023.

My guest for this episode of the podcast is Todd McCandless (aka "Negative Camber" aka "the Chief Opinion Officer") from The Parc Ferme Podcast, a long-running F1-centered podcast that goes in-depth into the world of Formula 1.

Todd and I talked about the rising interest in F1 in the United States, the so-called "Drive to Survive" effect on the sport and we took a deep dive into the upcoming F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, sharing our opinions on the track layout as well as the impact the race will have on the city - both positive and negative.

For all the latest from the world of Formula 1 Racing, go check out the Parc Ferme website, follow the Parc Ferme on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, and check out the Parc Ferme Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

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Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

 

Hoop Dreams

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The WNBA was founded back in 1996 as the women's counterpart to the NBA and started league play in 1997.  Originating with just 8 teams, the league has since grown to a total of 12 teams, one of which calls Las Vegas home.

The Las Vegas Aces have been playing ball since 2018 but their history goes back much further than that, and joining me on this episode to talk about that - and much more - is John Maxwell, the team's Director of Media Relations.

John & I sat down during my most recent trip to Vegas to talk about the team's arrival in the city & how they were received, what made Las Vegas an attractive market for the WNBA, and the Aces' passionate & loyal fan base.

If you want to keep up with the Las Vegas Aces, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  For tickets, game schedule, merchandise and other information, visit the official Las Vegas Aces website.

__________________________________________________________________________

Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

My Special Guest: Carrot Top

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My very special guest for this episode has been in the comedy business for over three decades.  He's been on stage all over the world and has been on hundreds of TV shows including Live with Regis & Kelly, Gene Simmons' Family Jewels, Scrubs, CSI and he's made over THIRTY appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Carrot Top has been headlining his own show at the Luxor in Las Vegas for the last 16 years and recently signed an extension that will keep him there through to 2025.

Carrot Top and I talked about his early days of prop comedy, how he comes up with his material, the current state of comedy, his apprehension when he first signed on at the Luxor and much more!

Carrot Top performs in the Atrium Showroom at the Luxor Las Vegas 6 nights a week.  Visit the Luxor's website for tickets and showtimes.  To find out if Carrot Top is touring to a city near you, visit his official website and give him a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

The March Trip Report

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Welcome to another World Famous Jeff Does Vegas Trip Report!  This time around, we're chronicling my most recent trip to Vegas, from March 20th-23rd, 2022.

This episode includes reviews of my stay at Bally's as well as some of the great food I was able to partake in at Ri-Ra Irish Pub in Mandalay Bay, Tilted Kilt at the Linq Promenade, Village Cafe at Ellis IslandMakers & Finders in the Arts District, Home Plate Grill & Bar at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard, and Water Grill at the Forum Shoppes at Caesars Palace.

I also share a few observations on the cost of ride share, restaurants & shops closing early, and how Vegas is "back".

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Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

Going Through Changes

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Anyone who's a frequent visitor to Las Vegas knows it's a city in a constant state of flux and, thanks to some changes in resort ownership along with a few re-brands & major overhauls, the Vegas strip is likely going to look very different in the coming years.

Joining me for this episode to discuss some of these upcoming changes is fellow creator and travel blogger, Adam Bauer - aka "Travel Fanboy".  Adam got his start blogging about Las Vegas and has since expanded his horizons to include travel in general.

Adam & I shared our opinions on what we think the effects of these changes will be, what a volcano-less strip would look like, and we even dove into unfamiliar territory - rumours and speculation - regarding potential changes at the Tropicana.

Make sure you go ahead and follow Adam on Twitter & Facebook and be sure to check out the official Travel Fanboy website. 

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Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

Vegas FAQ 2.0

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Shortly after I launched this podcast, I put together an episode called Vegas FAQ, where I gathered together some of the more common questions that I saw being asked about Las Vegas and attempted to answer them.

It's been over 2 years since I released the original Vegas FAQ and in that time, the city has gone through some big changes.  As such, some of the information covered in that episode is no longer accurate & the LAST thing I want to be doing is sharing incorrect advice.  Plus, with the easing/removal of COVID-related restrictions, there's a large segment of the population that might be making their first ever trip to Vegas and I'd love to help make that trip a little more enjoyable.

I go over A LOT of material in this episode - including money & budgets, getting around the city, how to choose hotels, restaurants & shows and I'll also be covering the "sin" in "Sin City" (alcohol, drugs & prostitution).

And because there's so much information jammed into this episode, I've made my notes available to you to as a downloadable PDF file.

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Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

Spectacle: Las Vegas

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* This episode contains paid promotional content

Long-time listeners know that I'm a total Vegas history nerd.  There's nothing I love more than digging into the history of Las Vegas and sharing those stories - and based on how well all of the Vegas history episodes I've done have been received, I'd say it's a fair statement to say that you guys enjoy it too.

As such, I'm happy to share news with you about a new podcast that I think you're really going to enjoy.

Pop culture podcast, Spectacle is back for its second season and this time around they're taking a deep dive into your favorite city and mine...LAS VEGAS!

Your host is journalist, artist and cultural critic, Brent Holmes - who also happens to be the son of longtime Vegas headliner & performer, Clint Holmes.  In this series, Brent examines "Sin City" through the lens of pop culture.  From mob movies to Elvis weddings and much more, each episode explores the story & impact of America's most unforgettable city.

To check out all of season 2 of Spectacle: Las Vegas, subscribe and listen on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

My Special Guest - Enoch Augustus Scott

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My guest for this episode of the podcast has been a part of the Vegas performance scene for close to twenty years.

Enoch Augustus Scott got his start in Las Vegas with the classic show, Tony & Tina's Wedding.  He currently stars as "Zenoch", the Host & MC of Zombie Burlesque at the V-Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

Enoch & I discussed what initially got him interested in entertaining, some of his early Vegas gigs, his pandemic project (The Tiger Thing), and he shared what might be the most "only in Vegas" story ever.

Start following Enoch on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and be sure to visit the official Zombie Burlesque website for tickets & show info.

Also, check out the original Tiger Thing concept videos on YouTube.

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Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

Another Damn Clip Show

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Back in March 2021, for various reasons, I put this podcast on a hiatus.  However, I noticed people were still listening and downloading past episodes.  As I watched the numbers grow, I made a commitment that when I hit 100,000 total downloads, I'd start releasing new episodes again.

I hit that mark in September of 2021 and since then, I've had the chance to have some great conversations with some incredible guests.

As I reach another milestone - Episode #100 - I thought it would be fun to go back and re-share some highlights from a few of those recent conversations.

If you want to check out the complete conversations, check out (in order of appearance):

- Episode #88: My Special Guest - Jonathan Jossel

- Episode #96: Show Me Vegas

- Episode #89: Vegas Unfiltered with Sam Novak

- Episode #94: Guys Gone Vegas

- Episode #91: Crime & Punishment - Mayhem in the Desert

- Episode #93: Beneath the Neon - The Tunnels of Las Vegas

- Episode #95: My Special Guest - David Perrico

- Episode #92: Reinvention - The Family-Friendly Era

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Don't forget: Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

The December Trip Report

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Welcome to another world famous Jeff Does Vegas Trip Report!  This is an episode that's been almost 2 years in the making, chronicling my & my wife's most recent trip to Las Vegas, from December 11th-18th, 2021.  This was also my first trip to Vegas since January 2020, which was right before COVID-19 shut down the world.

Being that this was our first trip in a very long time, we covered a lot of ground on this trip - meaning this is a king-sized trip report!

This episode includes reviews of our experience staying at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as well as meals at Hussong's Cantina in the Shoppes at Mandalay Bay, Noodle Den at the Sahara, District and Lardo at the Block 16 Urban Food Hall at the Cosmo, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at the Venetian, Maxie's at the Linq Promenade, Ri-Ra in the Shoppes at Mandalay Bay, The Henry at the Cosmo, Village Pub & Cafe at Ellis Island, and Oscar's Steakhouse at The Plaza in Downtown Las Vegas.

I've also got reviews on the shows we checked out including Fantasy at the Luxor, the Magic of Jen Kramer at the Westgate, the Bronx Wanderers at the Westgate, America's Got Talent Las Vegas Live at the Luxor and the Mondays Dark 8th Anniversary at the Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

And, as always, I've got a few extra thoughts to share as well as a few tips & tricks that might make your next Vegas vacation just a little more enjoyable!

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Don't forget: Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

The Fabulous Flamingo

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Admittedly, this episode is a bit of a "cheater", in that it's not a really a new episode per se; it's a slightly repackaged version of one of my favorite episodes from my spin-off podcast, Sin City Stories, where I take deep dives into Las Vegas history.

So why am I doing this?  Well, I'll tell you...

December 26, 2021 marks the 75th Anniversary of the opening of one of the most iconic resorts in Las Vegas...The Flamingo.

Part of the Vegas landscape since 1946, it was the brainchild of a LA-based nightclub owner, restaurant owner and entertainment news publisher who wanted to create one of the most luxurious hotels & casinos Las Vegas had ever seen.

But that's not what legend & pop culture would have you believe.  And, as you're about to find out, sometimes the truth is WAY more interesting than fiction.

If you want to go more in-depth on the history of The Flamingo, visit the official Sin City Stories website for photos, news articles and more!

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Don't forget: Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

Sin City…Silver Screen

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Sin City has served as the setting for dozens of movies over the last 75 years.  Drama, comedy, horror, action...films of every genre have used Las Vegas as a backdrop.  And if you've ever wanted to visit the spots where some of your favorite Vegas movie scenes were filmed and get the backstory on those scenes, my guest for this episode of the podcast has you covered.

Chris Ramirez is the CEO and founder of Las Vegas Movie Tours, a brand new tour experience that takes riders along the famed Vegas Strip, through the arts district and into Downtown Las Vegas showing off the spots that served as the settings for films like The Hangover & The Hangover Part III, Austin Powers, Jason Bourne, Oceans Eleven, and many others.

Chris and I discussed his background in the movie industry, what attracts film makers to Las Vegas and the inspiration behind the creation of Las Vegas Movie Tours.

If you'd like more info on Las Vegas Movie Tours and want to book your place on the tour, visit their website and secure your spot today!  You can also follow Las Vegas Movie Tours on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Don't forget: Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

Show Me Vegas

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I love having other Vegas content creators on the podcast.  It's always a blast having conversations with people are as equally - or even more - passionate about Las Vegas as I am.

My guests for this episode are Jordan & Ashden, the creators of Show Me Vegas on YouTube.

Hailing from Missouri, the couple makes frequent trips to Las Vegas, sharing their adventures with their 3500+ subscribers.  They do live streams, room & hotel tours, restaurant & show reviews, and have recently launched a weekly Vegas news video series titled, This Week In Vegas.

We talked about what sparked their love of Las Vegas, what inspired them to start vlogging their Vegas trips, some of their favorite spots to stay & play, and much more.

Subscribe to their videos on YouTube and follow them on Facebook for exclusive content.

And, check out Jordan & Ashden's video review of Aria that got them a whole lot of attention!

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Don't forget: Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

My Special Guest - David Perrico

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My guest for this episode of the podcast is "Best of Vegas" award-winning trumpeter, composer, producer and conductor, David Perrico.

If you've ever spent any time at the legendary Cleopatra's Barge in Caesars Palace, there's a very good chance you've seen David performing with his Pop Strings Orchestra, in which he takes some of the best musicians in Las Vegas and fuses together Pop Music with Classical Music.  And, in addition to Pop Strings Orchestra, David is also the creator & arranger of Pop Evolution, a mash-up of Pop & Big Band music.

Just this year, David landed what might be the most amazing gig ever: House Band at Allegiant Stadium for the Las Vegas Raiders.

David and I talked about what it's like performing in front of 65,000 screaming NFL fans, the inspiration behind creating Pop Strings Orchestra & Pop Evolution, other projects he's working on and much more.

Find out where David is going to be performing next, by visiting his website or following him on Facebook & Instagram.

And, if you want a sample of what Pop Evolution and Pop Strings Orchestra are all about, check these out!

Pop Strings Evolution performing Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher" (YouTube)

Pop Strings Orchestra performing Journey's "Separate Ways" (YouTube)

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Don't forget: Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

 

Guys Gone Vegas

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"VEGAS BABY!!!"

That's the battle-cry heard in pretty much every airport around the world, as groups of guys get set to board their flights for what they hope will be the ULTIMATE guys' trip to Las Vegas.  But will it be a trip to remember for all the WRONG reasons?  My guest for this episode is here to help make sure that's NOT the case.

David Demontmollin is a 20-plus-year casino industry veteran, star of Discovery Channel's series "American Casino" and the author of "The Las Vegas Little Black Book: A Guys Guide To The Perfect Vegas Weekend".

David and I discussed how to plan an amazing trip to Vegas for you and your pals, covering everything from the perfect time of the year to travel, to picking your hotel, to how to get into nightclubs and much MUCH more.

Order "The Las Vegas Little Black Book: A Guys Guide To The Perfect Vegas Weekend" on Amazon (along with David's other book, "Classic Vegas Mistakes") and be sure to follow Classic Vegas Mistakes on Twitter.

Also, check out David's past appearance on the podcast on Episode #16 - "Classic Vegas Mistakes".

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Don't forget: Jeff Does Vegas is an official Vegas.com affiliate! 

Help support the podcast & get exclusive deals by booking your hotel stays, shows, attractions, tours, clubs and even complete vacation packages (including air & hotel) with our special link!

 

Vegas From Across The Pond

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I always love having other "Vegas fanatics" on the podcast, and my guest for this episode definitely falls into that category!

Joining me from "across the pond" is Steve White, better known on Twitter as @LasVegasUK.  If you've ever listened to the ZorkCast presented by TravelZork, you'll recognize Steve as the British half of the show.  Steve is also extremely well-versed in all things Vegas.

Steve & I chatted about everything from our predictions on potential changes coming to Las Vegas, to our very first trips to Vegas, to the unique Vegas guide that Steve is in the process of writing.  Also, being that Steve is in the UK under full-on lockdown and I'm in Canada facing extremely strict rules surrounding travel, we thought it was worth having a discussion about travel restrictions & the impact they're having on international travellers.

Start following Steve on Twitter right now and be sure to check out ZorkCast, the official TravelZork podcast, for great Las Vegas advice - and travel advice, in general.

My Special Guest - Dani Elizabeth

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My guest for this episode is a Vegas Showgirl - and I'm not talking about the "showgirls" you see strolling the strip, posing for pictures with tourists.  I mean, a LEGIT Las Vegas Showgirl.

Dani Elizabeth began dancing as a small child - and she just never really stopped.

Growing up in upstate New York, Dani studied marketing & advertising in University and continued to dance through her college years with her school's dance team, an arena football team and even performing as a superhero at a Six Flags theme park.  From there, she was off to Los Angeles, where she had the opportunity to train with a world-renowned Broadway dancer & choreographer.

From LA, she headed to Vegas where she joined the cast of of one of the most legendary shows in Las Vegas history: Donn Arden's "Jubilee" at Bally's.  She performed there until the show's closure in 2016, following which she joined the cast of yet another legendary Vegas show, "Crazy Girls" at Planet Hollywood, where she's since worked as a dancer in the production and now serves as the show's host.

Dani & I talked about all of this during our conversation, as well as how she's been staying busy during the COVID-19 shutdown - including launching a new business with her fiancee, who also happens to be another Vegas headliner.

If you want to keep up with what Dani is up to, be sure to follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  To see Dani performing live in Crazy Girls, visit the show's official website for tickets & info!

Closed For Business

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Only twice in recent history, has Las Vegas seen a so-called "shutdown" of the famed Vegas Strip.

In November 1963, casinos closed their doors for a National Day of Mourning following the assassination of then-US President John F. Kennedy.  That closure lasted about 17 hours and even then, only a few casinos took part with several just shutting down their gaming areas for the duration of the funeral - about 3 hours.

The next shutdown would happen 57 years later...and last much MUCH longer.

Due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued a directive ordering a month-long closure of all non-essential businesses as well as a freeze on all gaming & gambling, effective March 18, 2020.  This essentially brought Las Vegas to a screeching halt.

Originally slated to last 30 days, the total shutdown lasted almost 90 days.

To say the effects of the closure were "devastating" for the people who live & work in Las Vegas would be the understatement of the century.  And, due to ongoing restrictions & limitations, the effects are still being felt to this day - almost 10 months later.

Joining me for this episode of the podcast is C. Regi Rodgers, the Managing Partner & Director of Entertainment for Connoisseur Entertainment and Action Shot Productions.  Regi & his partner, Stephen Cibo are behind a new documentary called "Closed For Business", which gets up close & personal with the people who've been hit hardest by COVID-19 in Las Vegas.

Regi & I chatted about the inspiration behind the production, some of the stories shared by people appearing in the documentary and much more.

Be sure to check out the trailer for "Closed For Business" and follow Regi & his team on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

And if you'd like to help get "Closed For Business" completed & released, become a backer on INDIEGOGO.

My Special Guest - Jen Kramer

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Las Vegas is officially the magic capital of the world, currently playing host to multiple magic shows - not to mention some of the legendary performers who've graced the Vegas Strip throughout its history.

My guest for this episode of the podcast is Jen Kramer, who's currently headlining "The Magic of Jen Kramer" at the famed Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, which she opened in May 2018.

Named "Female Magician of the Year" by the International Magicians Society and recognized as a 40 Under 40 honoree by VEGAS INC, Jen has also appeared on Penn & Teller's "Fool Us", Penn & Teller's "Try This At Home" and "Masters of Illusion".

Jen joined me for the podcast to talk about how she became interested in magic, the time she spent attending Yale & founding the Yale Magic Society, her charity work with Magicians Without Borders, how she landed her Vegas headlining gig...and much more!

If you want to learn more about Jen and check out some her amazing illusions, you can visit her official website, subscribe to her YouTube Channel or follow her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Vegas FAQ - COVID-19 Edition

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Back in September 2019, I released an episode titled "Vegas FAQ", which was essentially a round up of the Vegas-related questions that I was seeing posted over and over again on Twitter & Facebook as well as the questions that I personally was being asked most often.

I covered a ton of material in that episode; everything from money & budgets to booze, week & prostitution laws.

Here we are, a little over a year later, and the world is a VERY different place.  And, thanks to "the 'Rona", the questions being posed now have changed A LOT.

As such, I thought it might be useful to release an updated version of "Vegas FAQ" with answers to several of the most popular Vegas/COVID-related questions.  This episode covers everything from mask guidelines & mandates to capacity restrictions in restaurants to transportation options and much more.

I'm also going to share my opinion on whether or not it's possible to "have fun" in Las Vegas right now - which seems to be the #1 most-asked question.

This episode does come with a bit of a caveat: All the info presented here is accurate & correct as of the time of recording/publishing.  However, if the last 10 months have taught us anything, it's that things can change - literally - overnight.  If you do decide to take a trip to Las Vegas, I'd highly recommend doing your own research into rules, restrictions & guidelines.

For the latest information on Las Vegas & COVID-19, visit the following resources:

City of Las Vegas - Coronavirus Update

Southern Nevada Health District - COVID-19

Clark County - COVID-19 Updates

Nevada Health Response - COVID-19

For information regarding travel restrictions, testing requirements or guidelines for entry to the United States, please visit the US Department of State's Travel page and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website for the most recent updates.  If you are planning to visit Las Vegas from outside the United States, be sure to consult your own country's travel guidelines for any restrictions or requirements to re-enter your home country.

If you have questions regarding hotel closures or limitations on reservations, please reach out directly the property affected as they will have the most recent & updated information.  If you've booked through a third-party or you've booked a package (including air & hotel reservations) you may need to contact the booking agency.

For information on transportation options in Las Vegas, visit the following providers:

Uber

Lyft

Nevada Taxicab Authority

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC)

 

A Place In The Sun

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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.

The Show Goes On…

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There's no question that the COVID-19 outbreak, lockdown and the subsequent limitations on re-openings have been extremely tough on everyone in Las Vegas.  But one of the hardest hit segments are the people involved in the entertainment industry.

After 7 long months, shows are finally starting to re-open along The Strip and my guest for this episode is one of those people who's found himself trying to sort out performing during a pandemic.

Vin A. from The Bronx Wanderers is back to chat with me once again.  Since the last time we talked, A LOT has changed.  Early in 2020, the band made the move from the Linq to Harrah's and then shortly after that, the world closed down and they were forced to figure out what came next.

Vin & I discussed the various projects he's had the chance to work on during the shutdown as well as how he - and other Vegas performers - adapted to stay busy & stay in front of their audiences.  Vin also shared his thoughts on what the future may hold for entertainment in Las Vegas from the business side, the performer side and the audience side.

You can stream Vin A's latest original tracks, "Know Where (To Begin)" and "Mantra" on Apple Music & Spotify and be sure to check out all the videos from his VINDemic sessions on his YouTube Channel - including the incredible video for "Know Where (To Begin)".

Perception Is Reality - Part 2: A Local’s Point Of View

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As important as it was for me to get the "tourist point of view" on what's been happening in Las Vegas as of late, I felt it was equally as important to get the local's point of view as well.

So, my guest for for this episode is Jake Gallen, the host of a podcast called The Guest List which focuses on the stories of Las Vegas locals.  Jake is one of those rare "unicorns" who was both born & raised in Vegas.  He's lived in the city his whole life and he's been lucky enough to work at pools & clubs on the Strip as well as be involved in other business ventures.

Jake & I talked about his background & growing up in Las Vegas, the insanity of working at one of the most famous nightclubs in the world and the inspiration behind launching The Guest List. 

But my main reason for getting Jake on the podcast was to get his take on what's been happening in Vegas over the past few months; I wanted to know how the locals were handling recent events and if the reported uptick in crime (including shootings, stabbings, fights, etc) was reality or if it was just another case of Social Media "exaggerating" things.

Follow Jake Gallen & The Guest List on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and make sure you subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.  You can also watch & subscribe to The Guest List on YouTube. 

Perception Is Reality - Part 1: A Visitor’s Point Of View

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Needless to say, Las Vegas is going through some very weird times.

We're not really "post-COVID", in that COVID-19 is still "a thing" and a concern in Las Vegas & around the world.  However, over the course of the last few months, Vegas has been slowly opening back up to tourists and, as great as it's been to see people going back, the re-opening hasn't been without "hiccups".

The biggest issue that seems to be facing Las Vegas as of late is an increase in crime on the Vegas Strip.  There have been multiple reports of shootings, stabbings, fights - both inside & outside casinos - and the infamous "scooter gangs".

But is what's being portrayed in the media & online what's actually happening?  And, does it really matter?  After all, as the saying goes, "perception is reality" - and if people perceive Vegas as "unsafe", that's the reality in their minds and it's going to hurt tourism.

Since I'm still stuck in Canada & unable to get to Las Vegas, I wanted to talk to someone who's been the city recently and experienced what's going on in Vegas right now.

My guests for this episode are Dave & Michelle, the hosts of "We Work To Visit Vegas" on YouTube.  The couple have been regular Vegas visitors for the past few years and have been posting videos since 2017.

I talked to them about the inspiration behind their decision to start vlogging and we chatted about what keeps bringing them back to Las Vegas.  Most importantly though, I wanted to hear about their most recent trip to Las Vegas (at the end of September 2020) and how it differed from their previous trips.

Follow We Work To Visit Vegas on Twitter & Instagram and be sure to subscribe to their YouTube Channel.

Viva Live Vegas

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Currently, as a Canadian, I still can't really travel to Las Vegas.  Borders are technically closed and even if I did manage to "sneak down", I'd have to quarantine upon my return home.  Not exactly an ideal situation.

One of the things I'm missing the most about going to Vegas is the ability to check out shows and see world class live entertainment.  But just because I can't go to Vegas, doesn't mean I can't enjoy a little piece of Las Vegas right here at home.

One of my favourite ways to do that is by sitting down, popping on my headphones and pressing play on one of the many live albums that have been recorded in Las Vegas.  And my personal faves are the CLASSIC albums that were recorded in Vegas, so for this episode of the podcast, I thought I'd share some thoughts & opinions about some of those great albums, including:

- Tom Jones - Live In Vegas (Apple Music / Spotify)
- Elvis - Live 1969 (Apple Music / Spotify)
- The Rat Pack: Live At The Sands (Apple Music / Spotify)

And if you're after a few more great live albums recorded in Las Vegas, check out this awesome list from Steve Bornfeld at Las Vegas Magazine.

 

Pressing Pause

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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.

- Jeff

Vegas…Unofficially

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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!

Side Note:

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!

The Clip Show

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The very first episode of the podcast was released all the way back on December 1, 2018.  When I launched the podcast, I was simply looking for a creative outlet and a way to share my love for Las Vegas.

I've had the opportunity to talk to & meet with some amazing people - including entertainers, fellow podcasters and Vegas-related experts - and share these conversations with an amazing audience all over the world who are just as passionate about Vegas as I am.

18 months, 68 episodes and over 55,000 downloads later, I thought it might be fun to take a trip back and share clips of some of my favourite podcast conversations...so welcome to the first ever Jeff Does Vegas Clip Show!

And, in order of appearance, here are links to the complete episodes I pulled each of the clips from:

EP#45: My Special Guest - Mark Shunock

EP#43: KABOOM!  The National Atomic Testing Museum

EP#13: Leaving It All On The Table

EP#19: Here's The (Time Share) Pitch

EP#35: My Special Guest - Jimmy Denning

EP#52: Superstitious Feeling

EP#49: Pinball Hall of Fame

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

EP#21: Kill Resort Fees

EP#48: My Special Guest - Vin A.

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