Batali launches farmers market at Palazzo

Whodda thought that the Daily Fiasco, the hot spot for the inside word on everything about the club scene throughout Vegas, would be the online source making a splash with news that Chef Mario Batali kicked off Bet on the Farm at Palazzo.

The idea is to promote sustainable food and wine, showcasing produce from regional growers, bread from local bakers and eco-friendly wine. Batali and Joe Bastianich’s restaurants Carnevino at Palazzo and B&B Ristorante and Enoteca San Marco at The Venetian are the first two Certified Green Restaurants on the Strip, as per the Green Restaurant Association.

(Photo by Erik Kabik | Retna)

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No porta-potty this - Venetian up for best bathroom

Thank you, thank you, to the Las Vegas Sun, without which I would have missed this news (and I'm not being sarcastic - I consider myself quite the bathroom critic).

I highly recommend you click over to the Sun to see which other bathrooms are nominated, and discover how you can help out the Vegas economy by voting Venetian.

Venetian restaurant up for top honors — for bathroom
By Amanda Finnegan · June 1, 2009 · 5:10 PM

The Venetian has won a slew of accolades over the years, including top awards like the AAA Five Diamond Award and Mobil Four Star Award. But soon the luxury property may be adding one of the most bizarre to its lengthy list.

The Venetian’s upscale Italian restaurant, Zeffirino Ristorante, is up for the award. It’s not for the food or the service or the ambiance, but the bathroom. The restaurant’s restroom is one of 10 finalists in the America’s Best Public Restroom contest, presented by Cincinnati-based Cintas Corporation...

Yeeehaw - our British friends can now come to Vegas cheaper and easier

Ben Spillman of the Las Vegas Review Journal reported that British Airways will begin daily non-stop service from Heathrow to McCarran starting in October. Fares will start at $461 r/t.

Great fares, great way for the UK folks (and there are lots, I've noticed, on the various Vegas discussion groups) to get to our favorite city a little faster, a little cheaper. The return trip, you'll notice, leaves at a very civilized 7 pm.

Here's proof Vegas is not too expensive...

We-who-love-Vegas know that it's dirt cheap right now to visit, but there is still a bit of a sting in the hubbub a few months back, about Las Vegas being too much of an upscale destination for business meetings in these cash-strapped times.

The Convention bureau is busy placing articles about why Vegas is a great business destination, and I decided to do my bit too.

Here's proof Vegas is not too opulent:

From the Times of India, a story about a doggie boutique hotel in Los Angeles and in it:

"At 110 dollars a night for the top room, some rates at the sleek establishment outstrip those found at popular tourist destinations. Las Vegas's MGM Grand recently offered rooms at $52 a night."

If it's cheaper to stay at the MGM Grand than to board your dog, then it must be time to place your convention in Las Vegas. Yes?


Getting fit for the World Series of Slots

Thursday, April 9th, 2009 Who knew Vegas casino bosses were so witty - here's a very funny post about the upcoming World Series of Slots being held in Las Vegas...from a fitness point of view.
Before you click over, what exercises would YOU recommend...

Vegas - number 2 in weddings, also number 2 as a tourist attraction

It's not bad enough Vegas takes number 2 slot in weddings, now we find out it's number 2 as an American tourist attraction. From Yahoo! Travel, America's Top 10 Tourist Attractions, written by Forbes Traveler Rob Badeker, we learn that the Las Vegas Strip is second to Times Square in New York with 37.6 million visitors a year.

I bet a lot of those 37.6 people are really from the New York area. Not honest tourists like those that come to Vegas.

The Strip only brings in 30 Million, and if numbers are right, this year it won't meet that number.

Badeker writes:

"The "Neon Trail" that comprises the heart of Sin City is also part of the federal government's National Scenic Byways Program, which designates roads based on "archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities." Hard to say which of these qualities best describes Vegas, but we can disqualify "natural." Last year, total visitors to Las Vegas numbered 37.5 million; a poll by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority found that an average of 80% of visitors had either stayed overnight or gambled on the Strip, giving us our visitor estimate of 30 million."

Source: Forbes Traveler estimate based on figures from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Vegas - number 2 to Istanbul?

Surprise, surprise. I read in Sunset Magazine (Feb 2009) ... that Las Vegas ranks second in the world as the city with the most weddings....right after Istanbul. (for your trivia file: Valentines Day is number one choice in Vegas, New Years Eve is second. Can't speak to number one day in Istanbul)

(ED NOTE: A quick Google search picked up the same stat in the LV Sun, which states: Second in the world only to Istanbul, Turkey, in the number of weddings performed annually, Clark County hosted 108,000 weddings last year, down from 112,000 in 2006, continuing an annual drop that began after nuptials peaked at 128,500 in 2004.)

And btw, in case you missed it in 2006, the license bureau is no longer on a 24/7 schedule.

Hey Day of Vegas Showgirls Gone?

Please tell me it's not because 50 is over the hill!!

We-who-love-Vegas know that the city has changed and reinvented itself many times in the past five decades, so it came as no surprise to read that Les Folie Bergere is closing before the quintessential "Vegas show girl" show at the Tropicana reached its 50th anniversary this year.

Here is my earlier post about the Vegas show girl "thing".

Here is the LA Times blog on the show's closing.

Bellagio Fountain Song List

Need a quick Vegas hit? Here's a link to the Bellagio Fountains Song List - Go to a site (my fave is Audiolizer) and create yourself a play list, and pretend that you're standing there watching those lovely dancing waters

Jazz Lovers Take Note

I love jazz - volunteer at the San Jose Jazz Festival - and have somehow never seen Mike Jones while in Vegas. Thanks to Richard Abowitz & the Movable Feast for posting this note that Jones has clips up on You Tube....oh, so worth listening to.

From Movable Feast...Jones has a handful of discs on the jazz label Chiaroscuro. But if you want just one tiny reason why Penn & Teller offer the best show in Vegas, Mike Jones springs to mind. The duo easily could opt not have an opening act, or they could play taped music while the audience is seated. Most shows do that. Instead, being music fans, they have hired one of the most talented players around to give audience members an extraordinary 60 minutes of entertainment as they take their the rest

And now the clip:
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Trippies In

Best and worst of Vegas awards for 2008 are in - the Trippies offer a glance at what voters and editors think are the hot ... and not. Casino, room service, slots, comp club, it's all here. And seriously, we love the folks at Vegas Tripping for putting this together. Plenty of good news for Bellagio, Wynn, Encore, and mostly negative for Circus Circus and Harrahs properties. But nothing is absolute. Read them all yourself.