Later this year the Treasure Island or TI as its also known will become a Radisson Hotel with the 3,000 room resort becoming the first Radisson on the Las Vegas Strip. Members of the Radisson Rewards program will be able to earn and redeem points at the property sometime in 2020.
Room rates at the Treasure Island can vary a lot with sometimes as low as $50 a night to over $200 a night on weekends and peak times plus the pesky resort fee. Many people are big fans of Treasure Island its just not a property I spend a lot of time at but its in a prime location on the Strip and, should be a big plus for Radisson Reward members.
Treasure Island is home to a Marvel Avengers exhibit as well as a long running Cirque Du Soleil show called Mystere which gets good reviews.
Tonight is the opening of the Apache Hotel which is the new boutique hotel at Binion’s in Downtown Las Vegas. The new hotel comprises of 81 former Binion’s rooms that have been remodeled with vintage 1930’s furnishings as well as stained glass windows and hardwood floors. The hotel lobby has been remodeled as well with a new front desk for guests at the new boutique hotel.
I have stayed at Binion’s in the past when the original hotel was open and, had a good experience but the rooms themselves were always on the small side. Downtown Las Vegas is adding more rooms in the not too distant future with the under construction Circa and planned Fremont expansion; So reopening the Binion’s hotel as before with their smaller rooms would be a hard sell but by making it a vintage themed boutique hotel makes sense.
Ambra Italian Kitchen & Bar is due to open later this month in the space of another former Italian restaurant the long time Fiamma which closed in March this year. The name Ambra means amber in Italian and the new restaurant is expected to seat about 400 people when it opens.
There is not a lot of details about the menu although I would expect the food will be gourmet and higher end than your neighborhood Italian restaurant. Myself i love Italian food but would prefer a neighborhood restaurant with good comfort Italian food than fancier food with more exotic ingredients but thats me.
I thought this trend was slowing down but as part of the new restaurant will be a hidden room called Privata which according to MGM will be a speakeasy serving higher end drinks.
A very highly anticipated restaurant opening is Water Grill at the Forum Shops, well the good news is the restaurant has finally opened. The restaurant is in the long time Spago space which was closed in January of 2018 so the restaurant could move over to the Bellagio.
The Southern California based Water Grill is one of my favorite restaurants and is known for its amazing seafood, the chain has four restaurants in Southern California and one in Dallas and now the Las Vegas location.
The menu has 16 varieties of oysters, live lobster and crab as well as whole wild fish by the pound including Dover Sole, black sea bass, as well as pink bream with prices in the $33 to $48 per pound price with fresh fish delivered twice a day. A person favorite of mine is fish and chips and they also have some steaks and some chicken but i would skip those as its the seafood that shines at this restaurant.
The restaurant took a while to open as the companies owner Kings Seafood Company has spent millions on the new location with an olde wood ship decor with heavy beams and a plank floor with the room decorated with antique fishing roods as well as details such as a copper bar and a chandelier with 14,000 oyster shells. . The restaurant also has a large patio area that opens out on to the Forum Shoppes which also might be a good option for your meal.
Another food opinion has been added to the Palm’s Food Court with the opening a location of Freshii a healthier fast food chain from our Canadian friends. The chain was founded in Toronto in 2005 and, has over 450 locations in North and South America as well as Europe and the Middle East.
The new restaurant will be open 24 hours a day and sells a menu of salads, wraps, bowls as well as juice, smoothies, burritos, soups as well as a breakfast menu so a little bit of everything. Las Vegas is a city of not always the healthiest food so it will be interesting to see how a more healthy food restaurant does in a city of endless buffets.
I do visit the Palms Food Court often for the Earl Of Sandwich snd the Coffee Bean located there so on my next trip i will check out Freshii if you have been to one of their locations outside Las Vegas or new location share your experience in the comments.
Las Vegas still has thousands of taxi cabs but in recent years ride sharing apps such Uber and Lyft have taken a big chuck of their business; You will still see lines of taxis out front of the big Strip resorts but you will also often see signs around the properties for Uber and Lyft pick up locations.
What is ride sharing? Not everyone has used one of these two services so let me explain a little how they work first you need to download one of their apps from the Apple or Google Play Store on your phone and set up an account with a credit card attached; After you have done this open the app and select their pickup location and destination then the type of vehicle required the app will give you a price and after you agree dispatch a nearby vehicle to you with the expected wait time.
All the vehicles are usually are less than five years old with the drivers using their private cars and the apps are location based which link you with the driver so you can you can see each others location to make a easy pick up.
Surge Pricing: Generally Uber and Lyft are much cheaper than the taxis although during high demand periods such as for example a big conference in town, early evening when everyone wants to go to dinner or a show or other times of higher demand prices go up. When surge pricing is in effect prices can be much higher than a taxis so at such times it might be better to explore taxis or other options.
Airport Pickup Locations: Yes you can use Uber and Lyft at the airport with the pickup locations in the parking garages so you will have to take your luggage their to get picked up; The locations are in Terminal 1 at Level 2M or at Terminal 3 its at Level V for valet. When you depart Mc Carren Airport, Uber and Lyft drivers are allowed to drop you off on the departures level where you can check your bags or carry in to the terminal easily.
Hotel Pickup Locations: Most large Strip resorts as you can see in the sign above have designated pickup locations on the property for Uber or Lyft. The locations might take a bit of waking but generally aren’t too remote but might take a bit of walking. On smaller properties on the Strip or Downtown if you don’t see the sign i would ask at the hotels front desk.
Which Company To Choose? If you use Uber or Lyft generally you get very good reasonably priced out side of surge pricing and, convenient service which one you use is up to you. The prices between the two do vary so having both apps might not be a bad idea and both companies offer larger or higher end vehicle options too, Globally Uber is the much bigger company but in Las Vegas Lyft has a strong following but both provide similar experiences.
Is Ride Sharing Good For Las Vegas: This is where i get all the comments from the taxi drivers who are not fans of Uber or Lyft to say the least. Taxi drivers will argue that you are safer with them because they have to follow strict licensing requirements which Uber and Lyft drivers do not although ride share drivers are back ground checked.
Could your driver not be a good person yes even with background checks and licensing its possible but unlikely if i was traveling with a group of people i wouldn’t be too concerned. If i was a single person especially at night I would be careful but thats a good idea anyways.
Before ride sharing came to Las Vegas there was fixed high regulated taxi fees although not as expensive as some other tourist cities. Now with Uber and Lyft you have an often less expensive option to get around Las Vegas which uses location based technology which makes the services very convenient for customers.
The taxis companies in the past have used their might to block customer friendly things such as extending the monorail to the airport to protect their lucrative airport runs so it’s a bit hard to feel sorry for them. Taxis are not going away not everyone will use ride sharing apps and during surge pricing its often less expensive to use taxis and many people are just going to walk out of the hotel or airport and jump in a taxis.
Uber and Lyft have brought competition to Las Vegas which is good for locals and visitors alike although with both companies burning through money especially Uber its unknown how long the lower prices might last but while they do competition is good for the consumer.
The Wynn Las Vegas has announced that 130 acre golf course will reopen October 11th after being closed since December 2017. The course is beautiful and was ranked number nine on Golf Week’s Best Casino Courses with green fees before the closure running up to $500 a round.
The course was originally closed down to make way for Paradise Park a proposed resort by Steve Wynn which was cancelled but the plans included a hotel tower next to a large lake. Starting today if you have a room reservation at the Wynn or the Encore you can reserve a tee time up to 90 days in advance and even at the high cost the most popular tee times should fill up fairly quickly.
If you are not a golfer or maybe the green fees aren’t in your budget you can get a view of the course from the Monorail which goes by the course which isn’t quite the same but its a lot less expensive.
The former space of the Mob Bar in Downtown Las Vegas at the Downtown Grand has been converted in to a 100 seat entertainment venue called The Spare Room. The space near the Art Bar will host Don Barnhart’s Hypnomania at 7pm followed by Delirious Stand Up Comedy at 9pm with shows Wednesdays through Sundays.
Tickets for the shows are $29.99 each plus the usual fees and taxes are available at downtowngrand.com/shows. The Downtown Grand is a a block off the Fremont Street Experience so not every visitor to Downtown Las Vegas walks over to the resort which is a shame because its a nice property; Hopefully the new entertainment venue brings more people to the resort as well as very good nearby restaurants.
Recently Sprinkles Cupcakes closed its prime location at the Linq next to the fountain and, now we have news what will replace Sprinkles with news that Minus Five Degrees Icebar with open there in what will be its third location in Las Vegas.
If your not familiar with Minus Five Degrees Ice Experience its where for a cover charge you can enter a bar made completely out of ice including the bar itself and the walls, seats, chandeliers, glasses and the room also includes ice sculptures.
The basic admission charge is $17 for gloves and a parka but there is also an upgrade price for $45 instead for a faux fur coat which also includes one cocktail.
I visited the Mandalay Bay location several years ago and, its a cool experience walking in to basically a big freezer surrounded by ice; The experience was cool no pun intended but i don’t know if I would try it again but as they are adding a third location it seems they are doing well.
If you want to visit one of the existing locations they are at the Mandalay Bay as well as the Canal Shoppes at the Venetian with the new location at the Linq due to open sometime in November.
In good news for guests at the Venetian, the main pool has reopened after being closed for months while it was being remodeled. The make over started last September and, cost millions of dollars but after nine months its ready for the hot Summer season where temperatures often get above 100 degrees in Las Vegas.