Saturday, September 12, 2015

MGM Signature and Pool Photos

Here are some photos of the MGM Signature Towers and the MGM Grand pool.

The MGM Signature can be a popular choice for those who want a larger, condo-style room in Las Vegas. The downside however is that those towers are a pretty long walk from the MGM Grand and the casino, so that's something to consider when booking a stay there.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Chef Kerry Simon has Passed Away

Sad news out of Las Vegas today, as it has been reported that celebrity chef Kerry Simon has passed away at age 60. Simon had been suffering with Multiple-system atrophy (MSA).

I had previously written about Simon on this blog when he opened KGB: Kerry's Gourmet Burgers at Harrah's. He was also known for his popular eponymous restaurant at Palms Place. Both of those restaurants closed a few months ago as their leases expired and not renewed due to Simon's condition.

His Carson Kitchen restaurant in downtown Las Vegas remains open, as well as a few other restaurants in other locations outside of Vegas.

Before settling in Las Vegas Kerry Simon was dubbed "The Rock n' Roll Chef" by Rolling Stone magazine. He was also a regular on Iron Chef as a contestant and judge over the years.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Britney Extends Planet Hollywood Residency

Britney Spears has announced she's extending her Piece Of Me show for two more years. After much debate about whether she would continue her residency at Planet Hollywood, Britney announced the extension at her September 9, 2015 show.

Planet Hollywood tweeted:


@BritneySpears just announced at her show that she's extending #PieceOfMe for two more years!!!

It seems like Britney Spears has been a pretty good fit for Las Vegas, and certainly goes well with the Planet Hollywood vibe. The show has also gotten pretty good reviews from what I've heard.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Wynn hosting Democratic Presidential Debate

Wynn Las Vegas will be hosting the upcoming Democratic presidential debate on October 13, 2015.

Steve Wynn is a well known republican and has been critical of the current presidential administration. It has even been reported that Steve Wynn has been advising fellow Las Vegas hotel owner Donald Trump on his campaign.

Knowing this, the resort released the following statement:

Ours is a team of great diversity, representing every race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and political philosophy, to have the privilege of being intimately involved in the American political process by hosting this debate is a moment of great pride and excitement for all of us.

Despite his political leanings Steve Wynn likes money and publicity more than any political candidate, and hosting this debate is sure to give his resort much of both.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Wahlburgers at Grand Bazaar Shops

Wahlburgers has been rumored to be coming to Las Vegas for a while - and now it's official. According to a press release Wahlburgers will be opening at the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally's by the end of 2015.

The fast casual burger joint will be located adjacent to the new Starbucks that just opened recently.

Wahlburgers is owned and operated by the Wahlberg family. The franchise originated in the Boston area. Paul is the executive chef while his celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie are there for moral support. The restaurant is also the subject of an A&E reality show by the same name.

I think Wahlburgers will be pretty successful in Las Vegas. Say what you want about the Grand Bazaar Shops but this is a very good location with heavy foot traffic. The celebrity connection will also likely be a draw for tourists. Although the gourmet burger market is pretty saturated on the Strip, I think Wahlburgers should be able to attract more than enough business.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Tryst Nightclub at Wynn Closing

An article in Vegas Seven a few days ago profiled the upcoming post-Halloween closure of Tryst Nightclub at Wynn. Nightclubs come and go constantly but Tryst was a mainstay in Las Vegas nightlife for 10 years, opening in 2005.

The closing of Tryst comes at the same time that original Wynn restaurants Bartolotta and Botero will be closed and re-branded. It's not too surprising - trendy restaurants, much like nightclubs have a limited shelf life.

Tryst will likely close for a period of up to six months before re-opening under a different name. That same tact was successfully used by Caesars Palace when they closed Pure and later reopened as Omnia.

The new club however will be without the services of Jessie Waits. The former managing partner of Tryst and XS has departed Wynn to work for the new Alon resort. It will be somewhat interesting to see if that has any impact on the success of the new nightclub.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Skill Based Gaming

Skill based slot machines have been in the news for the past couple of months, and with G2E coming up I'm guessing they will continue to be a hot topic. I haven't had a chance to blog about skill based slots yet, so I thought now would be a good time.

First let me say that skill based gaming already exists in my mind. Blackjack and Video Poker are both perfect examples of this. If you play perfectly you can see a house edge of as low as around 1% (or even lower for some VP games) - but if you play badly the house edge can balloon up to 10 or even 15% for horrible play.

Skill based slot machines will likely work along these lines. If you are a perfect player they would pay back a higher percentage (let's say 95%). If you're bad at the game your payback would suffer (down to say 90%).

On the other hand a bad player could still win, even a jackpot, while a good player could still get unlucky and lose.

In thinking about what kind of video games could be skill based, a few came to mind. A game like golf where your skill would be a big factor, but the wind or other weather conditions would correct the ball flight to reflect the desired house edge seems like something that would be good for a skill based game.

I also thought about Angry Birds as a perfect skill based slot machine. Your skill would definitely play a factor, but the randomness of the blocks falling would help to smooth out the house edge.