Welcome to the Las Vegas Chapter of the Gangad Irish Heritage Group

GIHG was established as a voluntary organization under the terms and conditions of a Constitution on Saint Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2005, and works with local and national groups to fulfil its ‘Mission Statement’.

GIHG supports the cause of the Irish Diaspora Association of Scotland and indorses An Sceal, the monthly Magazine of the Irish Community in Scotland.

GIHG is a not-for-profit organization and is funded by its members, local Las Vegas and Henderson fundraisers, and operating Irish American owned business of Southern Nevada.
Our mission is to serve the community of Irish living in the Las Vegas and Henderson area. We spotlight business and business owner that help to serve our cause.

We welcome your input and encourage your patronage to those that help and support GIHG with their donations and support.

How Las Vegas Became a Major Music Destination

America’s fastest-growing music destination isn’t Nashville or New York, Branson or Austin or New Orleans. It’s Las Vegas.

While Wayne Newton and Celine Dion are still crooning to older crowds in casino showrooms, they’re now joined by a variety of other performers and concerts—major headliners, artist residencies, festivals, dance clubs and rock bars.

“Vegas didn’t have a music scene a decade and a half ago, but that’s rapidly changing,” saysZoltan Bathory, the guitarist for Las Vegas rock group Five Finger Death Punch, which has sold more than three million records. “This city is becoming what it has never been—a cultural center.”

For years, the gambling enclave was a musical backwater, a graveyard for washed-up stars. Music, often, was on the house or deeply discounted. Now the live-music boom is helping the city diversify its economy, reduce its reliance on gambling, and attract younger visitors.

“The days of gambling—of, ‘We’re going to give you free entertainment to get you here to gamble,’ that’s over,” says music-industry veteran Irving Azoff.

Mr. Azoff is spearheading a high-risk plan, announced last month, to build a 17,500-seat arena for music—about the size of a pro hockey or basketball venue. His partners are Madison Square Garden, casino company Las Vegas Sands and Live Nation Entertainment, a concert promoter which owns Ticketmaster. Just weeks before, MGM Resorts International and Live Nation’s rival, Anschutz Entertainment Group, opened the 20,000-capacity, $375 million T-Mobile Arena, the first new arena in two decades.

Soon Las Vegas may boast five arenas, on par with Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. “Vegas used to be another B-city to stop at and play one date,” Mr. Azoff says. “That’s not how people look at it anymore.”

Hip-hop’s biggest star, Drake, will perform at the T-Mobile Arena in September. Grammy-winning alt-R&B act the Weeknd, pop star Bruno Mars and Latin phenom Pitbull have held residencies in Vegas, joining older acts such as Bette Midler and Elton John. When last year’s inaugural Rock in Rio USA festival picked a site, it was Vegas.

On the nightclub scene, celebrity DJs like Calvin Harris play the 4,500-capacity Omnia, which opened last year. Last month, Hakkasan Group, which owns Omnia, opened a 2,000-capacity club, Jewel. One of the nation’s premier dance festivals, the Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, starts later this month in its sixth year.

The growing importance of music in Las Vegas reflects a shift in the economics of gambling. Amid growing competition from casinos around the country and a sluggish economy, gambling revenue on the Las Vegas Strip has fallen for two straight years to $6.3 billion, compared with 2007’s $6.8 billion peak, according to the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Center for Gaming Research. Twenty years ago, gambling represented 70% of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas-related revenue; now it’s 30%.

Live music, though, is thriving: 2015 was a record year for the North American concert business, with the top 100 tours grossing $3.1 billion, according to Pollstar. In the age of digital music, fans are paying up to see their favorite acts in the flesh, often buying tickets for big, boozy, multiday events such as music festivals, cruises—and Vegas trips.

“There’s been a recent, greater focus and investment in major headliners at the [Vegas] properties,” says Kevin Bagger, lead researcher with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. He says the share of Vegas visitors who went to a show and said they saw a big-name headliner has doubled to 26% in the past two years.

Big names are the draw, but two innovations laid the foundation for Las Vegas becoming a live-music mecca: artist residencies and dance clubs. Residencies, where artists play one venue exclusively instead of touring, have long been perceived as the realm of mature legacy acts and lounge stars, thanks to famous stints by Liberace, Elvis Presley, and Wayne Newton. Before that, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin,Sammy Davis Jr. and other members of the Rat Pack were always welcome, regardless of how their careers were going at the time.

That perception is outdated. Many of today’s residencies—from Prince’s Vegas stint in 2006 to J.Lo’s “All I Have” shows this year—aren’t “Vegas acts” so much as opportunities to see international stars. Instead of being shunned by artists, Vegas residencies are sought after. Drai’s, a Vegas beach club and nightclub, has a resident-artist roster that includes Future, a rapper whose last two records each topped the overall Billboard charts in the past year.

Residencies used to indicate that a musician’s career was in decline. Now they can take careers to the next level by providing established acts, especially DJs, with an international platform—much like music-festival appearances. Residencies also help artists avoid constant touring, an expensive and grueling pursuit which can lead to overexposure.

“In Las Vegas, the world comes to you,” saysBenny Medina, Jennifer Lopez’s manager.J.Lo’s residency at the Axis theater in Planet Hollywood, owned by Caesars Entertainment, has been well-reviewed. During her performances, Ms. Lopez routinely asks fans in the front row where they’re from, and after 20 or so shows, Mr. Medina has heard countless foreign countries.

Older residency acts remain plentiful, but their stints tend to be shorter than a decade ago. Country-music veteran George Strait, who can still fill stadiums, is playing several batches of shows this year and next at T-Mobile Arena, a space larger than is typical for a residency.

Las Vegas always had nightclubs, places where gamblers could have drinks and hear music, but dancing was considered a distraction. That’s changed radically: Vegas’ music scene now owes much to the intense popularity of electronic-dance music, nightclubs and celebrity DJs.

At Jewel, “the programming policy is based on diversity,” says James Algate, vice president of music at Hakkasan Group. If it’s EDM in one room, another might have hip-hop or pop.

Las Vegas’ local scene is also growing. In the past decade Vegas acts the Killers, Panic! At the Disco, Five Finger Death Punch, Imagine Dragons, Jenny Lewis and Shamir have gone national. Five Finger’s latest record hit No. 2 on the Billboard chart in September, riding a current resurgence in the hard-rock genre. In October, they will headline a hometown show at T-Mobile Arena.

Las Vegas has a long history of reinvention, and music isn’t the only way it is diversifying. As recently as the 1980s many dining options in Vegas were little more than $9.99 all-you-can-eat buffets. Now the Strip is loaded with celebrity-chef gourmet spots. Business conventions are still a key driver, and the city is trying to bring in major-league sports franchises. The National Hockey League is expected to announce the addition of a Las Vegas team later this month.

The evolution of this desert city from gambling getaway to music destination dates from casino magnate Steve Wynn’s opening of the Mirage resort in 1989, which placed a greater focus on entertainment, including the huge success of Cirque du Soleil. Then, in 2003, near the height of her fame, singer Celine Dion started the first modern residency at Caesars Palace’s 4,000 capacity Colosseum. She has since done nearly 1,000 shows and grossed more than $550 million in ticket sales, according to Billboard.

After taking a big hit in the recession, the population of Clark County—one of the nation’s fastest-growing before the recession—is expanding again, some 8% between 2010 and 2015, according to demographer Ken Johnson at the University of New Hampshire. That population growth is creating a more supportive environment for local bands and shows. There’s an audience even if tourists aren’t always interested, says Vegas local Mr. Bathory of Five Finger.

Music venues such as Count’s Vamp’d off the Vegas Strip serve a healthy local ’80s rock scene. The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino recently hosted residencies by Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard and Guns N’ Roses. Some older rockers from L.A.’s Sunset Strip have actually relocated to Vegas, where homes are more affordable.

“Vegas is becoming the new L.A.,” says Stacey Blades, a guitarist who plays with “Let It Rawk,” an ’80s rock show that has performed at Count’s Vamp’d.

Vegas’ visitors continue pouring in. A record 42.3 million tourists came last year, up more than 1 million from 2014. “You’ve got a different audience every day,” says Bill Hornbuckle, the president of MGM Resorts. Visitors are skewing younger, and with more cash to spend. The average age of a Vegas visitor has been falling—even as America gets older—hitting 47.7 years old last year, from 50 in 2009. Over 25% of visitors reported incomes over $100,000 last year, up from 15% a year before, according to Mr. Bagger of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

If big, expensive music festivals such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival are becoming more Vegas-like with their resort atmosphere, Las Vegas is becoming, at least for some visitors, a kind of permanent music festival—a pricey music vacation, with good food, and maybe some games of chance thrown in.


Going to the chapel

There must be something magical about Las Vegas for lovers, because a blushing couple ties the knot there every five minutes. In fact, a jaw-dropping one out of every 20 marriages in America happens in Las Vegas.

Scores of celebrity couples have exchanged vows in Sin City, from Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu to Sammy Davis Jr and Swedish model May Britt to Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Why not you and your intended, too?

After all, the 50-50 odds of a marriage surviving ’till death us do part’ start to look pretty good in comparison to the chances of hitting a royal flush at the poker table. (You don’t have to be sober to get married in Vegas either – that helps some folks a lot.)

Choices for the perfect spot to say ‘I do’ are endless. Weddings are performed in gondolas at the Venetian or atop the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. You can hire an Elvis impersonator to serenade you with ‘Blue Hawaii’, or you could dress up like Marilyn Monroe. Getting married after a dramatic helicopter landing on the floor of the Grand Canyon is also an option.

But to be truthful, the more Vegas wedding chapels you see, the less you may be inclined to entrust them with the happiest day of your life.

Many are pretty tacky: full of plastic flowers, fake stained-glass windows and doll’s-house pews. You may feel rushed, as these places crank out dozens of weddings every day. Expect to pay upwards of $200 for a basic service, including a chintzy limo ride to the chapel.

Before you get hitched at a wedding chapel, stop by the Clark County’s Marriage Bureau for a licence. Overseas visitors should check back home first if they’ll need any additional documentation to ‘make it official’.

It’s the low licence fee that attracts a lot of couples, as well as the no-wait period and lack of blood-test requirements that are often advertised. The services themselves range from a ten-minute drive-through with a streaming internet simulcast to a big function at a megaresort (more than two dozen casino hotels have wedding chapels).

Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Day are crush times for Vegas wedding chapels; if you want to say your vows at peak times, apply for a licence online, up to a year in advance. Make wedding-chapel reservations as far in advance as possible, too. Otherwise, civil courthouse ceremonies are performed from 8am to 10pm daily.

Several shops around Las Vegas rent tuxedos and wedding gowns for the occasion; some casinos have high-end jewellery shops that stay open late, even 24 hours. Many day spas and beauty salons offer beauty treatments and up-dos for the brides, and there are even bakeries that sell same-day wedding cakes and fresh flowers.

However, you don’t have to elope to find romance in Sin City. Steal a kiss over mega martinis atop the Stratosphere Tower, clasp hands as you watch the Bellagio’s dancing fountains or hide out with your paramour in a deluxe suite all weekend. Room-service menus feature champagne, gourmet chocolate and X-rated goodies to spice up your love life.

Source: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/las-vegas/travel-tips-and-articles/75842

On the edge of the Grand Canyon

No matter how many pictures you may have seen of the Grand Canyon, nothing compares to the first real glimpse of this natural wonder of the world. The immense depth, the rocks in all different shades of red, and the glistening Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon all make for an unforgettable experience. The vast size of the canyon can only be truly appreciated by standing on the edge. And even then you are only seeing a fraction of this natural phenomenon.

Nobody knows exactly how old the Grand Canyon is, but estimates indicate that the stone at the bottom of the canyon dates back to 1.8 billion years ago. From Las Vegas you can make a day trip by plane or helicopter, but to really experience the Grand Canyon it is best to travel by car and spend the night in one of the many park lodges. A sunset in the Grand Canyon is a truly memorable moment.

On foot

The many hiking trails in the Grand Canyon offer ideal opportunities to explore this natural wonder on foot. You can also hike all the way down to the Colorado River but this requires a fair amount of preparation. Friendly rangers in the visitor’s centres are on hand to recommend the most appropriate hikes. The easiest route is the Rim Walk: a walk of several kilometres along the edge of the canyon which offers spectacular views. Those who prefer a short descent may opt for the South Kaibab Trail. The first descent along the canyon wall is quite steep, but you will quickly be rewarded by great views into the canyon. The South Kaibab Trail continues all the way to the Colorado River, and you can make the hike as long or as short as you like. Fit hikers can take the trail all the way to the end and spend the night at the Bright Angel Campground.

The view from the air

The only way to get a panoramic view of the canyon is from the air. You can fly over by plane, but a helicopter flight is much more spectacular. Through the large glass windows you will have an amazing view of the dizzying depths of the canyon and the Colorado River. The highlight is the flight through the Dragon Corridor on the South Rim, the widest and deepest part of the canyon.

From the skywalk

For another aerial view without your feet even leaving the ground, take the time to visit the Skywalk. This glass walkway was opened in 2007 in Grand Canyon West. The land belongs to the Hualapai Indians, and you must pay to access the Skywalk and to enter Grand Canyon West itself. The glass floor walkway protrudes approximately 21 meters from the canyon wall, allowing you to stare straight into the very depths of the canyon.

Source: https://www.klm.com/destinations/ph/en/article/on-the-edge-of-the-grand-canyon

National Finals Rodeo: where the cowboys roam, rope and ride

Location: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, USA

Dates: Starts in the first full week of December

Level of participation: 3 – attend the hoedown and gift show and hope for the rare chance to attend the rodeo

It could be argued that Las Vegas is a never-ending festival, a glorified fairground where the lights never go down. But there are moments when even Vegas outshines itself, and the 10-day National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is prime among them.

The big bronc of rodeo competitions, the NFR sees Vegas taken over by cowboys ready to ride and wrestle their way towards immortality. Known on the circuit as the ‘Superbowl of Rodeo’, NFR ropes in the season’s top 15 competitors (based on the ProRodeo world standings) in each of professional rodeo’s seven events: bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping and barrel racing. At stake are not just their bones and pride, but around US$5.5 million in prize money, which even by Vegas standards is real currency.

Since 1958, the NFR spent almost three decades being hosted by different US cities. In 1984 it was held at the Thomas and Mack Center for the first time and has been staged there every year since.

Running in conjunction with the rodeo is the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center. No simple gift shop, the show contains around 400 stalls to help transform you into the cowboy or cowgirl of your rustling dreams. You’ll find boots, spurs, belt buckles as big as saucepans, and hats large enough to house small families. There’s also the Downtown Hoedown, a free honky-tonk party at the Fremont Street Experience, staged on the eve of NFR and featuring a host of big-name country musicians.

The toughest thing about NFR is not the cowboys but getting a ticket. Most tickets (around 100,000 of them) are allocated to riders and sponsors, leaving little more than 40,000 for the public. Such is the demand that tickets sell out more than a year in advance. It’s said that around one in 25 people who apply for tickets are successful.

Essentials: The rodeo is held nightly, beginning at 5.45pm or 6.45pm. If you missed out in the ticket ballot, the box office sells returned same-day tickets starting each morning around 10am. Cheaper ‘Mad Dash’ find-a-seat tickets let you scramble around to find no-show seats in the balcony area, with at least a guaranteed view of the action from the standing-room-only concourse.

Local attractions: The Strip is hedonic heaven and you can spend days bouncing from casino to casino. If central Vegas gets too much, head toRed Rock Canyon, an outdoor playground for local climbers and cyclists.

More info: www.nfr-rodeo.com

Source: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/las-vegas/travel-tips-and-articles/77563

Adrenaline Vegas: an experience of Sin City extremes

You’ve bet (and lost) your shirt at the roulette table. You’ve eaten yourself into a coma at one of the legendary buffets. You’ve driven down the Strip blinking in awe at the shimmering neon. So now what? To find Vegas experiences outside the casinos but still guaranteed to get the pulse racing, our Destination Editor Alexander Howard went beyond the call of duty and reports back from the front line.

Get behind the wheel

I am not, it seems, a very good race car driver. At least not in the simulator. Robbie, my instructor, stands with his elbow resting on the roll-cage around me, waiting for me to find the right spot on the digitized track to make a turn. ‘You’re missing the apex’, he says, which is true, because at this point I’m off the track and driving over the pixelated gravel. The racing simulator is like something out of a video game arcade, and I’ve missed the apex nearly every time. ‘You’re braking too soon’, Robbie says with a hint of frustration.

The instructors promise that the simulator is harder than driving the actual track. Driving a race car requires depth perception, which is tough to replicate on a 2-d monitor, and the mind has a difficult time gauging when to turn and brake without the sensation of g-forces. I, for one, hope that’s true, and I sense that Robbie feels the same way.

It turns out, they’re right. After donning a helmet and a racing onesie, I’m squished into the driver’s seat of a Ferrari F430 GT. The ignition, a flip switch and a quarter-sized red button, brings the engine roaring to life. I snake out of the pit area and gun it onto the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the throaty sound of the V8 behind me overwhelming the car. Nearing a turn, my instructor’s Italian-accented voice comes through a pair of helmet-mounted speakers: ‘Brake hard’. I happily oblige, because this is the fastest I’ve ever driven – the car feels as though it’ll be ripped from the track, but I quickly sense the tires’ grip on the road.

The Ferrari F430 GT is a proper race car, fitted with a front splitter, a rear wing and a rear diffuser, all of which function to hold the car to the ground. The effect is immense. The 19in racing-slick tires magically stay on the track. This is not your average Ford Focus.

‘Go, go, go!’ my instructor is saying. I’ve left the turn and the track is open in front of me. I press hard on the accelerator, seeking the apex of the next turn.

Top tip: Book a time around noon, when the sun is high. The glare of a low sun can effectively blind a driver. And for an additional fee, Dream Racing (dreamracing.com) will time your laps – a necessary bit of info when you can hardly look away from the road to glance at the speedometer.

Fire automatic weapons

The cracks of gunfire stutter out of a small brick building. I have arrived at Machine Gun Vegas (machinegunsvegas.com), and the violent sounds emanating from indoors are enough to get the blood flowing. But this isn’t your typical gun range: the arsenal here includes everything from small handguns to automatic rifles to lightweight machine guns (plus a minigun). This is, according to the party of young men next to me, a chance to live out your favorite Schwarzenegger moments.

My range safety officer, a former Navy servicewoman named Jackie, explains the proper use of my first weapon – a semi-automatic pistol similar to ones used in militaries and police departments around the world. Safety is clearly a priority here. Each range stall is managed by an instructor who’s never more than a foot away from the shooter.

I pop off a few rounds, and the effect is immediate: I’m grinning like a schoolboy. Once my magazine is empty, Jackie flips a switch that brings my paper target fluttering into view – 10 shots mostly placed where they were meant to go.

Next up is a powerful tactical shotgun that obliterates a zombie silhouette I’d picked to disperse next. All this destruction is not without a twinge of discomfort. The gun tourism industry has come under intense scrutiny since a 9-year-old was given a fully automatic Uzi (which allow multiple shots to be fired by a single squeeze of a trigger) in Arizona, resulting in an accident that left a safety instructor dead. In spite of the danger, gun tourism is rising in popularity, and gun ranges across the US are drawing visitors from gun-restricted countries, as well as domestic tourists seeking the rush of firing 50 rounds out of a lightweight machine gun.

Whatever your stance on America’s gun culture, Machine Gun Vegas is a chance to embed yourself right in the thick of it.

Top tip: Wear close-toed shoes, properly laced. A hot shell casing can burn bare skin. Also: listen to the instructor, and follow standard gun safety rules. The range isn’t a time for showy bravado. You may know your guns, but the instructor knows them better.

Fly an aerobatic plane

‘How hard do you want to take this?’ Denis, my pilot at Sky Combat Ace (skycombatace.com), asks. Denis’ call sign is ‘Smokey’, which I’m hoping wasn’t a name bestowed as a result of a malfunction or aeronautical accident.

‘Let’s crank it up to 11,’ I say. A mistake, probably, fuelled by the macho aura of the fighter-jet hangar. Waiting around in the hangar in a borrowed, black flight suit has left me itchy, hungry to get into the air.

As we taxi out to the runway, Denis weaves the plane over the tarmac like a drunk swaying home after a long night out (he later tells me he does this to see over the engine cowl). He oscillates between chatty energy with me and cool professionalism with air traffic control.

Soon we are rushing down the runway, the plane’s engine like a distant, vibrating hum over the relative quiet of my noise-canceling headset. Without warning, Denis pulls back on the control stick and we are rocketing into the air.

The sky is a crisp, desert blue, sharper in the prism-like curve of the cockpit’s windshield. We fly out to where the Federal Aviation Administration has given Sky Combat Ace a space to work their magic – anything from a simulated dogfight with friends to an easy sunset cruise in an old-fashioned biplane. Today’s exercise is the Top Gun experience, which gives passengers a feel for the aerobatic plane’s abilities. Once over a nondescript space of desert, Denis begins his maneuvers, after which I’m given the opportunity to execute each myself: hammerheads, tail slides, tumbles and something Denis calls ‘The Rockstar’, which swings the horizon in perverse twists and spins.

Back on the ground, the rush of adrenaline subsides and is replaced by county-fair queasiness – my body slowly catching on to what it’s been through. I take a moment to sip from a much-needed can of ginger ale.

Top tip: Blacking out is a very real possibility, especially if you ask your pilot to take it to 11. Body size, age and fitness can affect the chance of blacking out, but tensing your lower extremities can reduce the amount of blood draining out of your head during positive g-forces. Luckily most trips with Sky Combat Ace come with footage from a cockpit-mounted camera, so any blackout-induced memory loss is supplemented by video evidence.

Alexander traveled to Nevada with support from Travel Nevada. Lonely Planet contributors do not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage.

Source: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/las-vegas/travel-tips-and-articles/adrenaline-vegas-an-experience-of-sin-city-extremes

Las Vegas for foodies: top 10 new gourmet restaurants in Sin City

Hungry epicures have been singing ‘Viva Las Vegas’ for the past decade as the decadent spread of this neon-lit city moved from steakhouses and buffets to celebrity-chef destinations. That trend has continued as a slew of eateries offering adventurous cuisine have opened recently.

Some serve the glitzier side of Las Vegas, while others remain indebted to the informal-yet-gluttonous theme that made Sin City famous. All are flavor-forward with mouthwatering menus tailored to your culinary mood.

Perfect your French at Bardot Brasserie

The grand tradition of Gallic fine dining has been an essential aspect ofLas Vegas since its early days as a worldwide travel destination. Michael Mina’s Bardot Brasserie (aria.com/en/restaurants/bardot-brasserie) is the latest inheritor of this gustatory spirit. With a name nod to the voluptuous actress, Bardot brings alive a living slice of classic Parisian appetite and decor in the Aria at CityCenter. In a room of dark-toned paneled walls and incandescent vintage glass fixtures, impeccable French food like tuna tartare Niçoise with quail eggs is served with perfectly paired glasses of wine. The brunch draws fervent crowds.

Get to know the unforgettable Mr. Chow

The arrival of Mr. Chow (caesars.com/caesars-palace/restaurants/mr-chow) in Las Vegas created huge waves of culinary excitement when it opened in the famous Caesars Palace. A star-studded clientele of Hollywood A-listers and business moguls flock to the Chinese-inspired temple of outrageous edibles. Tableside presentation is all part of the show at Mr. Chow, including elegant platters of Peking duck and giant steamed sea bass. The rolling Champagne cart makes bubbly stops at tables, too.

Italian goes to the next level at Carbone

Where do headlining performers go to devour Italian dishes with luxurious gusto when they are not on Las Vegas stages? That would be Carbone (aria.com/en/restaurants/carbone.html), a cavalcade of cuisine in the Aria. In a stunning room of red velvet and golden trim illuminated by glittering chandeliers, gargantuan plates of pasta and more are served. Ravioli are stuffed to the brim with lobster, and tortellini are deluged with robust ragu. The veal chop Parmesan fills a platter like a delectable manhole cover. This is not a restaurant for light eaters in the least.

Cuisine rises to new heights at Rivea

High in the sky, looking out over the glowing Las Vegas skyline and the dramatic mountain peaks beyond, Rivea (delanolasvegas.com/en/restaurants/rivea.html) is like a shimmering modernistic dream. Located on the top floor of the Delano Hotel next toMandalay Bay, the room is filled with eye-catching blown-glass baubles that hover over plates filled with cuisine by the master French chef Alain Ducasse. Entrées such as duck breast in bigarde sauce and wild Alaskan halibut with morels match the view. The adjacent Skyfall lounge is James Bond cool, too.

Gather for dinner at Harvest by Roy Ellamar

Las Vegas has embraced the farm-to-table movement that’s caught fire in foodie culture across the globe. Nowhere along the thrumming Strip is this more apparent than at the vegetable- and viand-filled Harvest by Roy Ellamar (bellagio.com/en/restaurants/harvest.html). A snug nook in the immense Bellagio, Harvest’s menu ranges from vegetarian-friendly farro porridge with wild mushrooms and truffles to meaty rack of lamb with chimichurri. Many visitors signal for the roaming Snack Wagon filled with munchies like housemade charcuterie and condiments including broccoli raab pesto.

The dining is snazzy at Herringbone

Style and cuisine often go hand-in-hand in Las Vegas, and that’s not just for glitzy dress-up, either. Upscale casual food is in high demand among famished travelers here, and Herringbone (herringboneeats.com/las-vegas/) in the Aria is a fittingly snazzy destination. Taking its design cues from coastal Southern California, it features a welcoming and comfortable dining room plus a breezy patio area under Las Vegas’ dramatic evening skies. Experiment with charred whole Spanish octopus in preserved lemons or dig into grilled branzino with shaved fennel.

It’s time for some gustatory Therapy

The ongoing culinary fermentation of gourmet Las Vegas is not just something that’s happening along the Strip in enormous hotels.Downtown is a hive of edible explorations, too. One of the brightest dining spots in Old Vegas is Therapy (therapylv.com). This charming space along funky East Fremont Street contains a gastropub that’s advanced its mission into new territory. Here, sliders are filled with barramundi with truffle-lemon aioli and arugula. Macaroni and cheese croquettes are sided with bacon-tomato jam and red pepper remoulade slaw. You get the comfort food picture.

The culinary scene sparkles at Beauty & Essex

When it comes to entertaining epicureanism, the Las Vegas dining universe shines at Beauty & Essex (beautyandessexlv.com/). Located in the trendy Cosmopolitan, this eatery is a place to imbibe cutting-edge mixology paired with innovative eats. Match a rum-sweet Melon Mojito with paprika-spiced salmon and sriracha-curry cauliflower. Side a bourbon- and maple-flavored Woodsman highball with savory roasted beef marrow bones with Rioja-braised shallot marmalade. Top off your evening with black-bottomed butterscotch pot de crème with coconut chantilly for good measure. Mix in ever present music, and this is dining with a distinct nocturnal vibe.

Branch off for dinner at Alder & Birch

Another segment of Las Vegas that’s seeing tremendous culinary advances is populated by what’s known as ‘locals casinos.’ These off-Strip destinations once mostly favored chain restaurants, and were usually only visited by out-of-towners when they were looking for a deal on lodging rather than fine-dining options. That’s changing, however, especially at establishments like Alder & Birch (orleanscasino.com/dine/alder-and-birch) in The Orleans. In a handsome but relaxed dining room defined by ivory-hued leather booths and darkly lacquered walls, impressive dishes like herbed organic Jidori chicken in pan jus and Wagyu coulotte sirloin with grilled portobellini mushrooms are attracting more and more true foodies.

Journey to Chinatown’s Niu-Gu

Many first-time visitors are surprised to learn that this Mojave metropolis has an immense Chinatown district to the west of the Strip filled with scores of Asian restaurants representing the foodways of many nations. And at compact Niu-Gu (facebook.com/NiuGuLasVegas), this means contemporary gourmet flourishes riffing on the oldest cuisine in the world: Chinese. Mixing inspirations from various provinces, the tiny but capable kitchen produces unexpected delights like glistening squid ink fried rice, lobster-studded tropical fruit salad, fiery double-chili prawns and tender Angus beef short rib slices served on a dramatic leg bone. Niu-Gu is also an incredible deal in comparison to pricey Asian restaurants in the Tourist Corridor.

Source: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/las-vegas/travel-tips-and-articles/las-vegas-for-foodies-top-10-new-gourmet-restaurants-in-sin-city

Best Las Vegas Saloons

Las Vegas left its Deadwood days in the dust long ago. But the big-hatted bull riders of Western lore still come to town, mostly for the rodeos held in fancy, indoor corrals and equestrian centers. And when the steeds are watered and the bulls bedded for the night, even a high-riding rodeo guy and gal need their beer and boogie fix.

These days, Las Vegas is known as much for Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney as it is for Celine and Cirque. The real cowboys, however, head to the Strip’s best saloons — the ones with endless shots of Jack Daniels and line dances that keep you in motion ‘till the cows come home. But don’t call these saloons quaint. Notorious is more like it — with famous names, sexy bartenders and plenty of VIP perks added to the mix. Here are our top picks.

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar

This all-American country saloon, located mid-Strip, at the Mardi Gras-themed Harrah’s, serves Southern comfort food and libations such as “Who’s Your Daddy” margaritas. Additional cocktail options are pricey but definitely imaginative. Try “Whiskey Girl,” a tall glass of Jack Daniels, amaretto, pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine. It’s a great way to wash down the menu’s fried bologna sandwich — a Keith fave. Keith himself is known to drop by when he’s in town and give a spontaneous little late-night concert.


At first glance, this bucking bronco and brawling bar draws a crowd that includes bachelorettes on the loose or company boys out bonding with the boss. Still, cowboy wannabes and real cowboys alike find Gilley’s a convenient gathering spot when the rodeo is in town. And there’s nothing tame about this place. Only the toughest (or most inebriated) of Stetson-wearing talent dares to take on the mechanical bull at Gilley’s. If you can last 8 seconds you’ve already beat the odds. Once a week, the dudes line up for the “Toughest Cowboy” competition and try to stay saddled long enough to win the $200 purse. Ladies also get their turn, during the “Bikini Bull Riding” competition.

Stoney’s Rockin’ Country

This popular country nightclub puts cool into the saloon experience. The colossal 20,000-square-foot nightclub includes 2 bars, a 3-lane bowling alley, a $250,000 sound system and a “cowboy ultra-lounge,” with perks such as a personal cocktail waitress and bouncer-protected entrance just steps away from the dance floor that’s the size of a barn. Free dance lessons allow the shyest cowboy or cowgirl to join the action on the dance floor with energetic, syncopated dance numbers. Live bands take the stage most nights, with top name acts such as Michael Austin and the Thunder Road Band. Toby Keith’s opening act, Flynville Train, has also popped in.

Bonnie Springs Restaurant

For a saloon sans bull riding and two-stepping, head out of town to a mountain spot between Red Rock Canyon and the hamlet of Blue Diamond, about 25 miles west of the Strip. Bonnie Springs Restaurant, a vittles (aka food) venue with a no-ties-allowed saloon has been a working ranch for more than 150 years. More recently, the ground’s have also become a high desert traveler’s attraction with a mini zoo, horseback riding and Old West town recreations. The saloon itself keeps a cozy feel going with a stone fire pit in the bar, while local cowboys, who work on this ranch and others nearby, keep the place hopping.

Dylan’s Dance Hall and Saloon

The logo, says it all: “Dylan’s — Get Bucked.” Just make sure to keep your hat on. You get points on your wager if you don’t lose your Stetson on the mechanical bull. It really is all about the bull here — and the beer: bottomless mugs, served by babes in leather tiny bikinis. Meanwhile, free dance lessons — the Texas two-step, the line dance — ensure you won’t be stepping on any toes. The sounds spin until dawn. And so does the bucking. But relax, the bull riding is free, and since this is a betting town, the wagers extend to the saloon’s pool, air hockey, darts, even beer pong tourneys.

Source: http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/us/nv/las-vegas/articles/best-las-vegas-saloons

The Other Side of Vegas

When you come to Las Vegas, it’s easy to be seduced by the draw of the Strip. However, if you take a deeper look, there are many fringe activities in Vegas that really make the city a wonderful place to live. Many visitors to the Entertainment Capital of the World miss the historic downtown area, but it offers some of the most exciting options for couples, singles, business travelers and families.

While there are countless attractions in Vegas worth mentioning, like Lake Mead, the Red Rock Canyon and nearby Hoover Dam, there’s plenty to see that’s often overlooked. On your next trip to this spectacular city, take a little time to explore the historic elements of Las Vegas, as well as some of the new, hip parts of the city that have been embraced by the city’s burgeoning tech crowd.

Source: http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/us/nv/las-vegas/articles/the-other-side-of-vegas

Fabulous Las Vegas Spots for a Perfect Marriage Proposal

When you are looking for a place to tie the knot, one place will always outstands in your mind and that’s no other than the Sin City, Las Vegas. Yes, Vegas has been known to be the best place to get married but it doesn’t stop there. If it’s good for getting hitched then of course, it’s the top-of-the-notch city as well to propose. Thus, if you’re thinking of where to pop the question then we have these absolute gorgeous spots in the Sin City to do it.

1. Propose along the Strip

A public proposal is one of the sweetest ways to do it because of the people that can witness that special event in your life, right? And of course, there’s no better way to do but along the Strip of Las Vegas. All the beautiful lights, awesome hotel structures and the fabulous performers and audiences on the street, your moment of popping the question will not be romantic but legendary, surely one for the books.

2. Romantic Hotel Marriage Proposal

If you’re the intimate and private kind of couple and you just want to savor the moment all by yourselves then you can do it so in a higher level at the location of your choice. You can choose from so many luxurious and exquisite hotels in Las Vegas and you can prefer something unique, themed, budget-friendly, etc. The room you’ll choose will be decorated with flowers, candle lights, rose petals and pictures of you and your love one. You can a bottle of champagne too for that celebratory toast after she said yes.

3. Amazing Proposal at the Gondola

Gondola ride is always sweet and romantic and it becomes better when it’s made private with chocolates, bouquet of flowers and a live serenade by a personal gondolier. Asking your partner while riding in this fantastic gondola ride will surely make her answer you with her special yes.

4. Las Vegas Strip Flash Mob Proposal

For sure you’re now familiar with flash mobs and how they tend to be so unique, amazing and romantic all at the same time. Imagine all those people that will instantly emerge from anywhere and will surprise your partner then you’ll ask that magical question. Well, you can have that too! You can select a location along the strip and a spontaneous flash mob can happen especially made for you and your partner. Surely, this will be the perfect moment for you to propose.

Popping the question in Las Vegas is already special but you can make it more appealing and even more romantic by following these steps and by proposing in these certain spots in the city. The places alone will make her say yes.

Great Las Vegas Honeymoons

Great Las Vegas Honeymoons

Weddings are big hits in the Sin City, this is the place where everyone seems to love the idea of getting hitched. That is also the reason why there are tons of awesome weddings venues in the city, beautiful chapels and so many weddings reception places. Nevertheless the romance doesn’t stop there because if you just tied the knot in Vegas then why not max your stay and do your honeymoon in the city. You have tons of choices how to celebrate the wedding you just had and brace yourself because Las Vegas honeymoon ideas are just absolutely for the books.

Romantic Honeymoon Ideas in Vegas

1. Sweet honeymoon staycation

You can never say no to a homey staycation at one of the most elegant hotels in the Sin City. You can stay at rooms of your own theme preference and of course, enjoy all the amenities. You can also fill your hunger with enormous set of scrumptious meals from various restaurants in the Strip. To make it more romantic, hotels offer relaxing couple spas and massages that will surely make you and your love one relaxed and feel refreshed while you’re on your vacation.

2. Adrenaline-rush honeymoon tour

Are you a couple who wants adrenaline-rush for your first dates as a newly-wed couple? Well, you can have them all in the Sin City. You can choose from different day tours consists of so many activities that are all extreme yet enjoyable. You can savor that wanderer in you by taking zip lines, driving 4×4 and ATVs, shout your heart in the roller coaster ride and so much more. If you want to take it to a higher level then why not ride a helicopter while enjoying the view of Grand Canyon and some more lakes. These tours are exclusive in Vegas and that’s the top reason why you should experience in on your honeymoon.

3. Watch various awesome shows

Are you both fans of musicals, acrobatic shows, dramas, comedy skits, etc.? Well, why not go on a full swing at the Strip and watch as many shows as you can. Only here in Vegas that you’ll have tons of opportunities to watch numerous attractions in just one place. You can also witness so many performers on the street for free and there are those that come with tickets but the performances are totally and surely spectacular. Vegas is the place on earth where the performers are all exquisite and they came from different parts of the world.

If you want to have a honeymoon of a lifetime then there’s no better place than Las Vegas. You have here all the honeymoon preferences you can think of and surely whatever you choose, you’ll have the time of your life. Happy honeymoon!