The Jeff Does Vegas Podcast

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EP#48: My Special Guest - Vin A.

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My special guest for this episode of the podcast is Vin A. of The Bronx Wanderers...

The Bronx Wanderers have been headlining on the Las Vegas Strip for the last 3 years and at the end of 2019, they celebrated their 1000th Vegas show.  Fronted by dad Vinny Adinolfi - a recording industry legend in his own right - the band features sons Nicky & Vin A. as well as several of Vin's high school friends.

Vin and I sat down for a conversation during one of my recent Las Vegas trips.  We chatted about the history of the Bronx Wanderers, what it's like performing & touring with family and what life is like in Vegas.  Vin also took us "behind the curtain" on the topic of producing a show in Las Vegas & also did a great job explaining the high turnover on shows on the Vegas strip.

For information, tickets and showtimes visit The Bronx Wanderers website.  Also, be sure to check out Vin A's podcast "What The Cl#ck?!?".  Check it out on Apple Podcasts OR check out the video version!

EP#47: The December Trip Report

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Welcome to another world famous Jeff Does Vegas Trip Report featuring a recap of my most recent trip to Las Vegas - my EIGHTH of the year - from December 15-19, 2019.

My wife was along for this trip and this time around, I've got reviews of our stay at Bally's as well as meals at La Pizza e La Pasta in Eataly at Park MGM, Le Thai on Fremont Street, Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace and the legendary Golden Steer Steakhouse.  We were also lucky enough to take in a few shows including Atomic Saloon at the Venetian, Carrot Top at the Luxor and Bronx Wanderers at the Linq.

I've also got thoughts on three major trends happening in Las Vegas and why/how pigeons are better behaved than the tourists.

EP#46: The Full Reveal - The Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum

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When people think of "Burlesque", they usually think of scantily clad - or perhaps even topless - women, titillating & teasing crowds with their seductive dance moves.  But there's way more to it than that...as you're about to learn.

My guest for this episode of the podcast is Dustin Wax of The Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum in Las Vegas - which, by the way, is the ONLY burlesque museum in the world.  Dustin and I chatted all about the history of the museum, their annual Miss Exotic World Pageant & Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend as well as the history, evolution and recent resurgence in the popularity of burlesque performances.

If you want information about The Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum, be sure to check out their official website and also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

EP#45: My Special Guest - Mark Shunock

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My special guest for this episode of the podcast is someone who I've talked about a lot in past episodes of the show; in fact, some of you think I talk about him a bit too much...but I'm hoping that by having him on, you'll understand why I spend so much time talking about him & the events he puts together.

Mark Shunock is the creator & host of Mondays Dark, a twice-monthly charity event that raises $10,000 in 90 minutes for local Las Vegas charities.  For just $20, people have the chance to head to Mark's off-strip venue, The Space, to see some of Vegas's top talent donate their time for some amazing causes.

More than that though, Mark is a friend.  In fact, in the 6 years that I've known him, he's become one my closest friends.  He's been there to support my wife and I through some tough times and when I told him I wanted to launch this podcast a year ago, without hesitation he offered to help in any way he could.

In fact, without Mark, this podcast might not even exist; many of the conversations I've had on this podcast are because of connections I've made through him, Mondays Dark and The Space.

Mark was kind enough to take time to sit & chat with me to share the story of the origin & evolution of Mondays Dark, talk about how he & his wife Cheryl have made Las Vegas their home and some of the big projects he's been able to put together at The Space.

Mondays Dark will be celebrating its 6th Anniversary on Monday, December 9th at the Pearl Theater at The Palms - but beyond that they'll be reaching a major milestone as they get set to partner with their 100th charity marking ONE MILLION DOLLARS raised for local Las Vegas charities!

For information & tickets to the Mondays Dark 6th Anniversary show, visit the Mondays Dark website.

Be sure to follow Mondays Dark on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates on upcoming shows & events.

Also, follow Mark Shunock on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

EP#44: The November Trip Report

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Freshly returned from another Las Vegas trip - my seventh of 2019 - I'm here to share another World Famous Jeff Does Vegas Trip Report!

This time around, I've got a review of my Ultra-Hip room at Planet Hollywood as well as meals at Eggslut, Herbs & Rye, Grand Lux Cafe at the Venetian, Ri-Ra Irish Pub at Mandalay Bay and the opening of The Front Yard at Ellis Island.  

I've also got thoughts on the in-game experience at T-Mobile Arena with the Vegas Golden Knights, why Rock N' Roll Marathon weekend is a terrible time to arrive in Vegas and I'm re-sharing my advice on how to cross the road in Las Vegas.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- Another big residency announcement as CeeLo Green gets set to hit the Flamingo

- Upscale Karaoke is coming to the Las Vegas Strip

- And big plans for the site of a former off-strip nightclub that was the setting for a bad reality show.

And don't forget to share your thoughts & opinions on the show by completing the Audience Survey

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#40: Bright Lights, Big City - The Neon Museum Las Vegas

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One of the things Las Vegas is perhaps most famous for are the bright neon lights of the World Famous Vegas Strip.  But as resorts close down or signs are replaced with massive HD LED video screens, what happens to those iconic neon signs?

Amanda Riley of the Neon Museum Las Vegas joins me on this episode to answer that question!

We talked about museum's mission to preserve Las Vegas' history, some of the unique & interesting signs in the museum's collection, their plans for future expansion and a very special exhibit/collaboration involving a major Hollywood director.

For tickets and information on the Neon Museum Las Vegas you can visit their website.  Also, be sure to follow the Neon Museum on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Also in this episode, Vegas News You Can Use:

- Huge news involving the sale of TWO major Las Vegas Strip resorts

- High-speed rail between Vegas & LA is one step closer to reality

- And there's a delay on a major project to help people get around Las Vegas more safely

And don't forget to take part in the Audience Survey to share your thoughts & opinions 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.

 

EP#38: Going To The Chapel

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There's no question that Las Vegas is the wedding capital of the world.  Every day, an average of 330 couples tie the not - which equals out to approximately 120,000 weddings every year!

But why?  How is it that a city known as "Sin City" is also the most popular place on the planet to get hitched?

To answer that question - and many more - I'm joined by a Las Vegas legend:  Charolette Richards, the owner of A Little White Wedding Chapel.

There are literally dozens of wedding chapels up and down the Vegas strip but A Little White Wedding Chapel is easily one of the most famous and recognizable.  In the almost-60 years that Charolette has been running the place, hundreds of thousands of couples have pledged their love for each other with Charolette herself personally officiating tens of thousands of weddings.

Charolette shared the story of how she ended up in Las Vegas & how she ended up working in the Las Vegas wedding world as well as her tips & tricks to a long and happy marriage.

If you want to plan your own Las Vegas wedding & you've got questions, check out this handy link full of info from the folks at Vegas.com - and when you're ready to tie the knot, get ahold of Charolette and the folks at A Little White Wedding Chapel.

 

EP#37: 10/01/17 #VegasStrong

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This episode of the podcast is quite different in tone & tenor from any of the previous episodes I've released; there's no fanfare, no music, no sound effects...and there's a reason for that.

I'm releasing this episode on the eve of the second anniversary of the worst mass shooting in US history - the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on October 1, 2017.

In this episode, I share my thoughts & feelings, talk about how the city of Las Vegas came together in the days & weeks following the tragedy and pay tribute to the 58 people who lost their lives enjoying something they loved.

EP#36: Sports Betting For Dummies

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For this episode, I've decided to tackle a topic people have been asking about almost since I started doing the podcast:  Sports Gambling.  Honestly though, I know absolutely NOTHING about betting on sports...so I decided to call in an expert!

My special guest this time around is Minty Bets.  Minty is a Las Vegas local who shares her tips & tricks on her Twitter & Instagram pages and she's also a member of the team at WagerTalk TV, where she - along with the rest of the crew - make their weekly picks.

We talked about how and why Minty got into sports betting, we covered common terminology, the different types of wagers that can be made and she shared some tips & tricks and do's & don't's for first-timers.

Follow Minty Bets on Twitter & Instagram and subscribe to WagerTalk TV on YouTube.

 

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.

 

EP#34: Vegas FAQ

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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!

 

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.

 

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

 

EP#31: The August Trip Report

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I'm back from another Las Vegas trip - my fifth of 2019 - it's time for another World Famous Jeff Does Vegas Trip Report!

This time around, I've got a review of my newly renovated Flamingo Room at - you guessed it - The Flamingo as well as meals at Bootlegger Italian Bistro, Flights at Planet Hollywood, Trustworthy Brewing Co & BBQ at the Palazzo and Crack Shack at Park MGM.  I've also got a heads-up for anyone planning on taking sneaky Showgirl photos and some fashion "suggestions" for the guys.

 

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.

And big thanks to Vegas Podtoons for animating Chris & I into our very own episode - Check it out on the Vegas Podtoons YouTube Channel!

 

 

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. 

EP#28: Unpopular Vegas Opinions

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"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!

 

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.

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.

 

EP#25: My Special Guest - Steve Cyr

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My special guest for this episode of the podcast is Steve Cyr.  

Steve is a Casino Host in Las Vegas, but he's not just any Casino Host.  Steve Cyr is a member of a very elite group of Casino Hosts who deal exclusively with "Whales".

For the uninitiated, "Whales" are the people who come to Sin City to gamble massive sums of money; it's not uncommon for them to drop upwards of a million dollars over the course of a weekend in Vegas.  To get them to come to town - along with their giant bank accounts - Casino Hosts will hook them up with lavish comps...like flights on private jets, limo service to & from the casino, high-end suites & villas, ringside seats to UFC fights and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Steve Cyr is the guy makes all of that happen - and so much more.

Steve was gracious enough to invite me into his home for our conversation.  We talked about everything from his start in the casino business to how he re-invented the way hosting was being done to some of the more bizarre requests he's gotten from his Whales.

If you want to know more about Steve Cyr, check out his website and be sure to follow him on Twitter & Instagram.  Also, be sure to pick up a copy of the book, "Whale Hunting In The Desert: Secrets of a Vegas Superhost" by Deke Castleman, which chronicles Steve's rise to become one of the top hosts in Las Vegas.

 

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.