Hanging Out with SmileyJoe Wiley (video)

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When my friend Joni from LV Wedding Connections told me she had a great comedian I needed to meet, she was right, like always. Comedian SmileyJoe Wiley is his name and he has a new gig I think you are going to like. (Checkout LV Wedding Connections)

His show is on a party bus. Yes, a party bus, so it’s an intimate (socially distanced) even with a few friends or coworkers, maybe the family and such. But you will definitely enjoy the show and the ride! There can even be a stop at the Mini-Gran Prix!  (Checkout Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix)

For me, all I can say is that I was surprised at how much fun it was to ride along in the party bus and be well entertained! SmileyJoe is a consummate entertainer and a very positive and fun person to be around. You will walk away smiling for the rest of your day.  He explains it much better than I can in the video!
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The Interview that Wasn’t

I sat down with SmileyJoe Wiley for what was supposed to be a simple interview. But SmileyJoe is too full of life and has too much fun doing what he does. It ended up being a 2-hour conversation of just about everything! Seriously good laughs along the way. Unfortunately, I needed to edit it down to something easier to consume online and focused more on him, the show, and what’s in it for you, the customer.  This is the edited version of that conversation!

 

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259 – Welcome Back Las Vegas (video)

Yes! We have a new podcast up finally.  Episode #259, Welcome Back Las Vegas.  This is not about welcoming YOU back to Las Vegas. It’s more about a few things that are showing us that Las Vegas is coming back and getting ready to welcome you back in full force!  We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it doesn’t look like it’s another train!!

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Crime in Las Vegas?

First.  We need to talk about the supposed “rise” in crime.  Yes, crime in Las Vegas is up.  It’s up a whopping 4%!  That’s it.  About what you get in other cities of almost 3 million people.  The reason for the crime wave being blasted across the world news is that its Vegas!  They like to talk about Vegas and without all the crowds, you are seeing the dreads of humanity you normally didn’t see because you were too busy looking at all the shiny lights and being moved along by all the people on the streets.

Nothing has really changed in that area, you just need to be aware of your surroundings and don’t let your guard down. Just like you would be walking the streets of any other major city! Here, the crowds are gone so people who come here are taking in all the sights they normally can’t see because of the crowds and enjoying the open spaces. So the criminals are easier to spot and get into trouble…
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The criminals are in some ways like the rest of us. They are tired of being locked up in our homes.  They are unemployed, frustrated, and looking for some release.  They have a chance to escape their captivity in Arizona or California, and like you and me, you want to come to Las Vegas for some action.  Wanting to get out, get some movement going, and finding other people to associate with. so they, unfortunately, they hit Las Vegas!

Law Enforcement, Metro, as well as hotel security is being extra vigilant right now. But the resorts are not back to full staff yet, so things are a little more obvious than they were before. The media is looking for some bad news to report and they are finding the pickings a little slim if they want to stay away from politics.  Good or bad, Las Vegas always makes a great headline..

Elvis Returns!

Maybe not the real Elvis.  However, Big Elvis, aka Pete Vallee, is pretty close to the original!  Big Elvis is back and that’s the true sign that life on the Strip is getting back to whatever the new normal will be.  The first regular musical show to reopen and he is back at the Piano Bar at Harrah’s.  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!

Circa Comes to Life

The all-new resort opens October 28 in Downtown las Vegas!  Adults Only, six pools open all year long! The world’s largest sportsbook!  And of course, home to Vegas Vickie!

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Yes! The Allegiant Stadium is Now Open! (video)

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It’s Finally Done and Open!

After waiting almost three years for it to be built, Las Vegas finally got to tare the wrapper off the $2 billion Allegiant Stadium last night!

Not only was it the first event in the brand new stadium, but it was also the first home game of our very own NFL football team.  The Las Vegas Raiders. To add to the special titles of the night, it was also the fiftieth anniversary of the NFL’s Monday Night Football!

Unfortunately, the word “open” is a relative word.  The first game was also the first game without fans in the stands due to the Nevada covid-19 restrictions 🙁
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Thunderbirds flyover las vegas

The Thunderbird Flyover

Being brand new and being in Las Vegas, we needed to start it all off right. In Vegas, we don’t do just a ribbon-cutting and cake.  Nope, in Las Vegas, it has to be on a grand scale. The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, “The Thunderbirds” based out of nearby Nellis Airbase, kicked off the Las Vegas Raiders’ first home game with a flyover during the national anthem performance.

That’s how we do it an dit was just the right thing to do for such an occasion!  I can say it was a beautiful sight to see as the jets came across the Las Vegas strip, across the top of the stadium, and zoom past where we were shooting from.  The crowds on the streets were honking and cheering.  It just made you proud to be an American!

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The Thunderbirds fly over Allegiant Stadium first home game

The Fans Came

Even with the COVID lockdown and the fact that fans were not allowed inside the stadium to watch the game, they came to watch the flyover. Lining the streets and parking lots around the stadium. And in a small way, having all that traffic to watch the Thunderbirds was beneficial.

Even without the fans in the seats, the traffic caused by those wanting to witness the flyover as well as just being “there” for the first game, traffic planners, and others got their first taste of what the crowds will be like once it all opens back up.  Hopefully, seeing how fans react to the events at the stadium without having them be in there, will help them better plan and organize the traffic flows for when they do have games with fans or concerts at the stadium.

The Game Was Hit Too

According to the morning headlines “Monday Night Football’ ratings best in a decade in Las Vegas”, the game is a hit as well.  Monday night’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints drew a 22.1 overnight rating in Las Vegas.

In plain English, that means that 22.1 percent of local households with TVs were tuned in for the game. And for the record books, the Vegas Raiders defeated the New Orleans Saints 34-24!  It was just a winning night all around!
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Photos by Tom Donoghue @photomanlv
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Five Things You Probably Missed Seeing in Las Vegas! (video)

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You have to admit, one of the fun things about visiting Las Vegas is finding all the free things we have here to keep you entertained. Here are five things you probably missed seeing on your last trip to Las Vegas

5) Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Garden
This is the best chocolate experience in Las Vegas, Nevada. With exclusive experiences like premium chocolate and wine tastings, a self-guided factory viewing aisle, a three-acre cactus garden, and a gourmet gift shop.

4) The Shelby Heritage Center
Established in 2013, Shelby Heritage Center is home to over 30 Shelby vehicles and tells the story of Carroll Shelby along with the company he started in 1962. The Heritage Center is constantly revising its vehicle inventory and placement to keep things fresh. Free tours are offered daily. The 15,000 square foot Heritage Center sits adjacent to the 150,000square-foot production facility.

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Tina on a Haley Davidson Las Vegas

3) Las Vegas Harley-Davidson
A fun place to visit and get your HD fix.  Even if you don’t have an HD fix, you will want to see what this place is all about.   Harley-Davidson gear, rentals, tours.  The bikes, the lifestyle, the bikes, the people, and the bikes.  Did I mention the bikes?

2) The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign 
You know you need a picture of this legendary sign!

1) Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum
The main exhibit on Level 2 above the baggage claim at Terminal 1 at McCarran International Airport. Covering approximately 3,000 square feet, exhibits detail the rich aviation history of southern Nevada. Other exhibits are located in the gate areas, ticketing, and along the moving walkway in the C Gates.

What are your five free things to see when visiting Las Vegas?

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50 Million Gets Las Vegas a New Airport (video)

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With over 50 million passengers going through Las Vegas McCarren International airport last year, that triggered a restart for the stalled Ivanpah Valley Airport Project.

That’s right, the long-planned, much needed, and previously stalled plans for a second Las Vegas international airport are back in play and it’s going to be at the very southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard. Serious, the southern end of the road…

The spot for the airport is about thirty miles from where the main airport (McCarren International) is now. It’s actually closer to the California border than it is to the city it will serve. The location is only five miles to the California state line and the border town of Primm, Nevada.

Don’t worry, the planned high-speed rail line already has plans for a terminal to be built there!!

The current airport was opened in 1942 and at the time, many people thought it was too far from Downtown las Vegas!  Now it sits surrounded by homes, businesses, and heavy traffic from both vehicles and aircraft! So back in the 1990’s, they began to figure out plans to replace the airport and they landed on 6,000 acres of open, barren government desert land south of Las Vegas.

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las vegas 2nd airport

The Magic Numbers

In the early 2000’s, Clark County Aviation Department, built terminal three. A reliever terminal for the already crowded terminal one and the totally obsolete terminal two. Terminal three is state of the art, is able to handle the largest of the passenger jets, the Boing 747 and the Airbus A380. As well as being easy to reconfigure as needs change.

Terminal three gave the airport a little more time to max out its capacity at 55 million passengers a year.  The idea was to open a second airport, move the cargo jets, and the long haul/heavy jets out to more open spaces first.  Like Ivanpah Valley.

McCarren International Airport (2019)

  • 8th busiest airport in the United States
  • 30 busiest airport in the world

The planners made the decision that once McCarron hit 95% of its capacity (50 million passengers) then the project for the new airport would kick in.  We hit that mark in 2019 and they were predicting we would pass it in 2020 had the pandemic not hit.

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