New Years Eve Fireworks Las Vegas Strip 2016 | Video


New Years Eve Fireworks on the Las Vegas Strip.  Here is the video for those who missed it or were too caught up in the Twilight Zone Marathon happening at the same time on another channel!!   The marathon showed all Twilight Zone episodes in order from start to finish. It was awesome, Really!

We paused the marathon long enough to catch the final countdown. With a cold bottle of wine and the warmth of our house, we watched it all on the big screen in HD surround sound.  It was just like we were down there with the 330,000 freezing tourists getting toasted on the celebration. Just warmer and probably not as inebriated.

My thanks to the Las Vegas News Bureau for the video.

Revelers from around the world gathered in Las Vegas to ring in 2016 under a sky lit up with a dazzling fireworks extravaganza. While visitors celebrated across the destination — from the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, on Las Vegas Boulevard and under the brilliant canopy of the Fremont Street Experience — the stunning pyrotechnic display was launched from the rooftops of seven iconic resorts. Fireworks by Grucci produced the display, which burst into the sky from atop the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian, and Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower, while hundreds of thousands watched from below.



Why You Are Safe on the Las Vegas Strip

Recently we had a lady plow her car through a pack of tourists on the Las Vegas Strip, killing one and sending many  to the hospital (link).  As always, that starts the discussion boards chattering with fear mongers asking about just how safe is the Las Vegas Strip for tourists? Especially right before a major holiday?

The Answer:  The Las Vegas Strip is always one of the safest tourist corridors in the nation. The problem is that Las Vegas, especially the Strip is always getting media coverage because of its popularity and its history.  You also have millions of tourist in a small area documenting their every move online; “Look, an Elvis sighting” – “Oh, a buffet” and other amusing photos and updates occur every second of the day here.  So when something tragic happens in Las Vegas, in the tourist corridor, it usually  goes viral on social media.

When you think about the Las Vegas Strip and compare it to other tourist corridors, what other tourist area has thousands of people walking it every hour of every day, literally carrying thousands of dollars of cash on them?  It’s Vegas.   As tourist and professional gamblers go from one casino to the next, loaded with cash and other valuables,  you would think they would be sitting targets for thieves and bandits. But they are not.   They walk the Strip in relative safety because they know it’s well protected.

Las vegas is safe

See All The Cameras?

How Protected?

To be honest, when I think about the people walking the strip loaded with cash, I also remind myself that they are also most likely packing some heat.  We have a very liberal conceal carry law here and with that much money floating around, people naturally protect themselves.  So I think knowing that also puts the fear of God or 72 virgins into the minds of some would-be thieves.

Stand on almost any corner on the Strip.  Look up. See the blinking on the light pole? Look closer. See the cameras?  Walk onto any casino property and consider yourself on camera anytime except the bathrooms and your hotel room.   The Bellagio, it is said, has over 8,000 cameras installed on property. These places don’t have just ordinary security cameras.  Nothing is ordinary in Las Vegas.  Pull your car up front of a hotel valet and some of the cameras under the porte-cochere can probably read the school name off your class ring!

Las Vegas security is enhanced because with 40 million tourists coming here annually, we are the testing grounds for declassified military surveillance equipment before it is released to the general public. Not to mention the many retired government police and Military security people who work for the hotel’s security departments are well-trained in what to look for and how to make threats vanish instantly.  If you are the maker of surveillance equipment, where else would you want to burn in and test your most cutting edge technology but a place that is live 24 hours a day with action and activity??

Cameras and sensors are just one part of the security. The bike patrols and people walking around are the other.  From my years as a chauffeur and for general research for this website, I have been told that most of the security force on the Strip is under cover.  You do not even see them.  Do something stupid on the Strip and suddenly you will find yourself being chased by a bike patrol that came from nowhere and will chase you into the hotel.

Have you ever been at a Black Jack table, next to a person being rude, obnoxious or just too fidgety for your own good?  Security noticed.  One minute he is there, the next minute he is gone.  Because of all the noises and distractions, you never noticed he was suddenly removed through a back panel or false wall.

Personal Opinion? I would rather be busted by Metro Police than from Hotel Security. Just too many stories out there about backrooms without cameras that have some very slippery floors!

The incident last night happened right near a posted collection of metro officers and hotel security people.  So they had the scene contained in minutes.  Last summer there was a pool fire at the Cosmopolitan that was quickly put out because the fire department is right underneath the hotel.   We are prepared for it.

Paris Las Vegas Accident Scene

Scene of the accident last night

What’s To Worry? 

Now I am not saying to be lazy about your personal protection.  Las Vegas police are not your nanny.  Keep your guard up, be aware of your surroundings, don’t be too stupid, it’s a busy town.  Just don’t go into panic mode because you saw something on the news about Las Vegas, an accident on the Strip and someone being killed.  It’s not an everyday occurrence, it’s just magnified because of the significance of the location.

What I do warn my tour guests about besides the porn peddlers and the timeshare hustlers, is people pickpocketing. That’s what you have to watch out for.  They usually work in teams and can open your backpack as you are walking and remove just about everything out of it before you realize they were there.  Why are they not caught?  Usually, because they work in pairs. A man and a woman.  If you saw a man walking the strip while digging into a woman’s backpack, you would think they were a couple. So you ignore them. I have seen it happen and I have done it myself to prove my point to my tour group.

So we may make fun of the tourists wearing those ugly black fanny packs on, but as long as they are worn up front, they are being pretty smart about it. If you carry a backpack or case, put a lock on it when you are out and about.  Anything that would stall a thief from getting into it.  The worst are the people who put their bags, purses and coats over the back of the chairs when they sit down to gamble.  That’s just screaming for someone to rob you.

As a Vegas local who spends a lot of his time on the Las Vegas Strip, I can tell you not to freak out every time you see the news about Las Vegas.  Anything Las Vegas related is great for news ratings.  With as many tourists as we have in that small four miles of roadway, it’s a very safe area. Just be aware, be smart and enjoy your Vegas vacation.

Your Thoughts?? 




Kid Rock to Headline Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon

Kid Rock to open Las vegas Marathon

(credit: Ryan Bethke)

Looking at the recent posting for The Vegas Tourist website, it seems I’ve been on some kind of a sports bender or something…  Well, let’s just run with it!

The 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon returns to the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, November 16.  The party begins at 3pm with American rock star Kid Rock headlining a pre-race concert.  The marathon and half-marathon begin at 4:30pm, running on both sides of the Las Vegas Strip at night, under the neon and ending at the Mirage Volcano.

FYI: Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon is the only private event that exclusively shuts down the Las Vegas Strip at night.

From the Press Release

One of the biggest weekends in running just got bigger. American rock star Kid Rock will headline the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & ½ Marathon on Sunday, November 16. The five-time Grammy-nominated artist will perform at the pre-race Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series powered by iHeartRadio at 3:00pm. The marathon and half-marathon begin at 4:30pm, running on both sides of the Las Vegas Strip at night.

Known for his hit songs, including ‘Cowboy,’ ‘Bawitdaba,’ ‘All Summer Long,’ ‘Picture’ and ‘Born Free,’ Kid Rock recently released his tenth studio album “First Kiss” earlier this year. His popular mix of Southern rock, hip‐hop, blues‐and-country‐tinged ballads has sold more than 25 million records during his career.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas has become one of the most anticipated running events of the year and nothing says Rock ‘n’ Roll like a Kid Rock concert in Las Vegas,” said Josh Furlow, President of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “With the energy of running down the Las Vegas Strip at night and to have a true rock star like Kid Rock take over the main stage, this is guaranteed to be an unforgettable event runners won’t want to miss.”

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas returns to Sin City the weekend of November 12-15 as the only private event that exclusively shuts down the Las Vegas Strip at night. Featuring an expanded race weekend illuminated by the Strip’s neon marquees, the race highlights the must-see Vegas sights from the iconic ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign to the Fountains of Bellagio. Both of the marathon and half-marathon routes finish at the base of the Mirage Volcano on the most famous street in the world.

The nighttime race attracts runners of all abilities to experience the one-of-a-kind event with live bands performing along the course, a Run-Thru Wedding for couples to elope on-the-go and the infamous group of Running Elvi. Pre- and post–event parties at Vegas’ top nightlife venues keep the festivities going throughout the weekend.

Las Vegas weekend activities begin with a free three-day Health & Fitness Expo where all participants go to pick up their race number, gear bag and t-shirt. This ultimate running showcase will kick off Thursday, November 12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center featuring more than 100 fitness retailers, exhibits, free samples and interactive clinics.

Returning for its second year in 2015 is the Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K presented by SLS Las Vegas, which will take place at 6:00 pm Saturday, November 14. The 5K allows runners to earn the Las Vegas ‘Remix Challenge’ medal by completing two nights of running.

In true Las Vegas fashion runners have the option of purchasing a VIP package to add to the ultimate Las Vegas experience. VIP packages provide options for runners to gain exclusive marathon access throughout the weekend, including perks such as private packet pick up at the Expo, Start and Finish Line VIP hospitality, upgraded refreshments and more. Limited VIP packages are available at For more information or to register for the event, visit and follow @RunRocknRoll on Twitter.


Geocaching on the Strip

Just for the record: Geocaching is an addictive sport/hobby, whatever you want to call it…  Ok?  Just wanted that out and in the open for anyone interested in trying this out on their next trip to Las Vegas. So don’t blame us when you come to Vegas for a vacation and miss your flight home because you were looking for Gracie!

Now let me explain.  After upgrading my GPS device this weekend, Sazzy and I headed off to the Strip to do something Sazzy talked about a few years ago.  Geocaching.  yes, another Partners in Crime adventure was about to begin.

According to Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices (most new smart phones are GPS equipped). The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online.

Someone hides something somewhere, goes online and logs its coordinates plus leaves a clue or two.  Others log on, get the information and head off to find it.  Each is ranked according to its difficulty and the type of terrain it is located in or near.  Some may look easy until you see it is on the other side of a mountainous ravine or a wall/parking lot, etc…

If you find the caches, there is usually something in it; A toy, a card or a notebook.  Each has its own instructions on what to do when you find it.  Generally when you find it, sign it, record your discovery than return it to where you found it.

Come to find out, Las Vegas is littered with these.  Some are easy, some hard.  I found two on the Strip that looked simple enough.  I grabbed Sazzy and we were off on an adventure.

(The Strip?  On Saturday Night?? We never said we were sane)

The first one was titled “Say Good Night Gracie”.  A tribute to the late George Burns, who played at Caesars Palace.  The cache is supposedly located near the Caesars Palace lower Valet.

After searching and probing for over an hour to no avail, we headed for a second one close by. “Is it a Mirage?”  It was pretty funny because after not finding Gracie, we marched off with this sense of determination.  The need to accomplish, to find and to conquer.  After all, this is Vegas, this is our home turf!!  We were not going to let a little cache stop us in achieving our mission.

Following the clues put us on top of the Mirage parking garage.  After not finding anything that looked like a cache, we called it a night and headed  home without any trophies to speak of. Just a really deep desire to get out there and do it again.

This drove me nuts, not finding a simple cache in a simple parking lot with clues that pretty much told us where it was and coordinates that were very accurate..…. So this morning, I returned to the scenes of the crime.  While hunting around Caesars Valet, I actually ran into another man looking for Gracie.  He had a few thousands finds under his belt and this one had him stumped.  It didn’t help that the signal bounced off the Coliseum.  I think he is still there looking.

Meanwhile, I was determined to have something for this post.  So I headed back over to the Mirage to figure out why we couldn’t find it last night.  Actually it was right where we were standing the night before; I just didn’t take the clue too literal.  “Feel for it”.   Yea, I do canyon tours and know not to reach into dark holes.

Looking right where I looked the night before and there it was;  tiny and hidden.  Hidden, but easy to see once you put some light on the subject.  I pulled it out, opened the capsule, and unrolled the paper inside.  Added our name to it, photographed it and put it back.

I can now say with great pride, The Vegas Tourist, as a team, is no longer Geocache virgins!  The first one is now down with many more on the horizon..

Interested?? Take a look at the geocaches site, look at where the caches are.  Next time you are in Vegas, give us a heads up and maybe we will join you on the search or plant one of our own for you to find!

Bleau is Green

That big blue eye sore at the north end of the strip may soon see some action again.  The fate of Fontainebleau is heading to bankruptcy court on Thursday with several interesting bidders salivating at the court doors.

Fontainebleau sits where the old Wet and Wild water park used to sit.  I miss that place….  And blocks the Sahara’s view of the Strip.  It’s an ugly thing, a big eyesore.  But we kind of got used to having eye sores on the strip lately.

Anyway, last year the bankers yanked its financing with 70% of the building completed.  The developers at the time, shuttered the place and have filed lawsuits against themselves and anyone else involved in the project.  It’s Vegas, the stranger it sounds, the more normal it is.

So now as the clock winds down, you have several interested parties, each with their own colorful background bidding for the glass tank.   Vegas always attracts the weird and the unusual characters, even in BK court.

The cool thing is that all the identified bidders are trying a revolutionary new approach to buying and developing property on the strip.  It’s this amazing invention called CASH!

I know.  These guys are really cutting edge.  Thinking outside the box in order to get this valued piece of real estate.  Who knew such a thing would ever find its way into Las Vegas.  Cash… the new currency!!

First up is Carl Icahn.  You know him.  The guy who bought TWA and other major corporations.  Than guts everything in them including the executive bathroom.  After he cleans out the bank accounts, he lets them do a financial melt down before filing for Bankruptcy.  Yea, That Carl Icahn.

Although he has cleaned up his image a bit in recent years.  He did buy the Stratosphere and a couple of other small casino.  Actually hanging on to them awhile before off loading them onto Goldman Sachs for a  $1Billion profit.

From what he has stated he would do with the property, you can figure one of two things;  The world’s largest Motel 6 or a massive recycling project.  Mainly for the copper in the all the electrical and glass for a new Green Energy, government grant project he’s probably cooking up with the good Senator from Searchlight, Nevada.

The other interesting bidder is Luke Brugnara.  A San Francisco developer with land holding on the Strip.  He bought the Silver City Casino in 1999 for $30 million dollars.  But was refused a license by the Gaming Control Board for some IRS issues.

So he ripped down the casino and put up a Walgreen’s and Ross Dress for Less on the site.  Plus has land in back for future development.  The only thing standing between that land and the Fontainebleau would be the Riviera.  And we all know that property is on everyone’s Monopoly Board as a “Must Have.”

Both bidders claim to have cash in hand and ready to buy it.  Like I said, these guys are trying all the newest ways to buy property.  Neither one says they will open the hotel part right away.  Brugnara wants the retail open to help pay for the future hotel.

Icahn opening bid is $156 million and Brugnara says he has $180 million.  The Las Vegas Sun has an early story out pointing toward Icahn as the winner.  My money is on the other guy.