Walking the Las Vegas Strip Super Bowl Weekend


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On any other Super Bowl weekend, the Las Vegas Strip would be packed with tourists and rabid sports fans. Normally we would have upwards of 300,000 tourists in town. But as we all know, this was not your normal Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas.

Most businesses are capped at 25% occupancy. Even with the capacity cap, the Las Vegas Strip was a lot busier than it has been the last few months. And that was a really nice thing to experience!

So today was the perfect time for me to get out and shoot a little teaser video of what it’s like walking the Strip. And maybe put out a little plug for my walking tours.

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Walking The Vegas Strip

Walking the Strip is always fun. I like to say that people-watching is a sport here in Las Vegas. and so when you walk the Strip for the enjoyment of the walk, you really see it all! The people dressed in every kind of style imaginable. Doing things they would never get to do back home. The excitement, the strange, the unusual. You also see a lot of the history and experience the development of how Las Vegas became the city of entertainment.

Walking the Strip is fun and entertaining. That is true. But there is a lot here that most people never get to see. Even if they walk right by it. And that’s where a walking tour comes in. You get to see it and hear the story behind it. How it came to be what it is. As your knowledgeable and entertaining guide, I fill in the blanks! I answer your questions! And I have had some really strange questions!

My Love for Doing Vegas Tours

When I moved here in 2001, my first gig was as a chauffeur on the Strip. In 2001, Vegas was still booming, still hoping and a lot of things were going on in all areas of town. Driving the limousines, I got a front-row seat to a lot of the action. Either driving the people who were making it happen or watching as it was happening!

That all fed into my love of Modern American History. I found that this little town in the middle of the desert packed a lot of history into its short lifespan. Being founded in 1905, it is one of the few desert towns that refuse to die. And every time you think it’s down or dead, it springs back up in a new form with new opportunities.

When I was burned out from driving the Las Vegas Strip and seeing everything I saw (don’t ask!)and I wanted my sanity back, I switched over to being a tour guide. At first, it was just a job that paid the bills.

But once I sank my teeth into trying to answer the biggest question anyone had on a tour, I was hooked. That question was asked in several different forms, but it always came down to basically this: “Why is (whatever) here?”, In trying to answer that, I found my passion and my calling.

I’m not talking just about Las Vegas. The surrounding area is filled with some amazing history. From the small towns and ghost towns to the abandoned mines, the backroads, the National and State Parks. This little corner of America is alive and kicking with a lot of stories to tell and places people need to see. And I love showing people all that there is out here to see and experience.

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Tours and Touring

So as we now start the climb back to whatever the “New Normal” will be, traveling and touring is changing. Thanks to technology, you can see things like never before. You can take a tour without having to be on the big bus with 50 other strangers. You can even take a tour without leaving home.

Walking Tours

These are fun. Usually two to three hours long. I know, sounds like a long time., but it isn’t. You will think it was too short at the end. Most of my walking tours are on the strip or Downtown. But I’ve done walking tours at Hoover Dam, Death Valley, or even the Grand Canyon and gave my guests a walking tour they will never forget!

It’s private, personal, and an up-close look at things you may have always taken for granted to things you never knew existed. They are fun and tailored to your interest. I have done walking tours of the Strip to show off movie locations, Mob-related events, art and science tours. Yes, there is science on the Strip! I work it around your desires.

Virtual Tours

This is a new area for me. I like to talk with my hands, so getting used to holding a camera is a little strange, but I am adapting!! Being this personal, intimate even (?) has a fun vibe to it. You get a shorter tour, but still informational and educational. Tailored to your desires of course.

Doing a virtual tour is a smart and affordable way to see someplace without having to travel there. You get to experience it before making a commitment to travel there.

Some people who have never been to Las Vegas (shocking, I know) want to see what’s here to experience before making the big commitment to traveling here. I know at least one of my last 10 virtual tours, was like this and they book their first trip to Las Vegas right after our tour!

Another Virtual tour I did last week, all the guests wanted was their “Vegas Fix” so I turned the camera to the strip as we walked and we talked about almost everything from sports to grandkids to how much snow will fall in Minnesota this year. They just wanted to sit back in the living room and “see Vegas Live!”

Private Tours

Imagine, you, family, friends, and a Professional Guide!
Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? By the day, the week? I am pretty knowledgeable on most things Southwest Desert. I love the National Parks, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Bryce, Zion, etc… Hollywood? No problem, old movie buff and love to see the ocean! Let’s talk…

Let’s Do This. Book It Danno!

Walking tours of the Las Vegas Strip are two to three hours long and are $35 per person. The time depends on how much fun we are having and how much of the Strip you really want to see! Also available for Downtown/Fremont Street Experience!

The Virtual walking tours are 75 to 90 minutes long and are $49. Same price for the Fremont Street Experience.
Hit the contact button if interested.

For this clip, I walk through the Shops at the Venetian and out to the Strip. Past the Mirage, Caesars, the Linq Promenade, and down to the Bellagio, plus a dip into the Wynn. I know, it’s not inthe proper order, but the video works!

Finding Redd Foxx

[arve url=”https://youtu.be/qf9gZImZ_D0″ title=”Finding Las Vegas Headliner Redd Foxx’s grave and last residence” description=”The comedian Redd Foxx lived and died in Las Vegas” upload_date=”2020-04-04″ thumbnail=”11782″ loop=”no” muted=”no” /]

Being locked down, quarantine, whatever, I’m not able to get out and do tours… The good news is that I am getting a few things checked off my “to-do” list in the office. And it is a very long list!  One of those things was to find where the late Las Vegas headliner Redd Foxx was buried.

Redd Foxx Does Vegas

For those of you of a certain generation. More specifically my generation.  Redd Foxx was the man who influenced the comedic talents the likes of  Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor.  For those younger people, he was Fred Sanford, of the tv show Sanford and Son.  He also played in a show called The Royal Family.

<< Redd Foxx on Amazon >>

Growing up, my older brother had a Redd Foxx album and I can remember as a teenager listening to it and loving it. So when I started to come to Las Vegas as an adult, Redd Foxx was either at the Stardust or at the plaza, I can’t remember which one but he was headlining at and that was the first Vegas Adult Show that I went to.  And he did not disappoint. He was as raunchy live on stage as he was on the record albums!

Redd died of a heart attack on the set of “Royal Family” in 1991. He was 68 years old.  It was reported that Eddie Murphy is the one who paid for his funeral because Redd was literally broke.

When I first moved to Las Vegas, I used to actually live near his old home and drove by it almost daily.  So I figured today would be a great day to finally do a”catch-up” on him and go out to the Palm Mortuary, to find his grave.  You know it’s his because it has the Red Fox on it.  What I did not know until I saw the gravesite, was that two years later his mother passed away and she is buried right next to her son.

Las Vegas and Redd

In the 1960s, Redd was performing a lot on the Las Vegas Strip, so he had a house built here and he lived here off and on until the end.  Las Vegas was and is his final residence.  Although popular on television and with live shows, Redd was not good with money and was always broke.  So to help with that, Redd had a store. The Fred G Sanford New and Used. Redd sold some of his stuff out of the store. But he used it more for his fans!

In 1989 the IRS came calling.  Apparently, Redd never paid taxes on his $4 million dollars in income the past few years and the IRS wanted close to $750,000 in back taxes, fees, and interest. They pretty much cleaned him out.  Just about the only thing they did not take was the clothes he was wearing and an old 1951 pickup truck he had parked outside the store.  Yes, same the pickup truck that was the one used on the television show Sandford and son.  It was last sold on eBay in 2014 for $28,000.

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Not Leaving Las Vegas

After Redd had passed away,  his house was bought by an Elvis impersonator Jesse Garron. Jesse and his uncle lived there for a very short time before moving out.  Subsequent owners had the same issue.  Moving in than moving out quickly afterward.  It seemed Redd had not left the building!  Redd, they found out from a medium, also was not happy with changes they had made to his home and let them know this by turning lights on or off, opening doors, and other strange things.

The house ended up in the hands of a real estate office and they figured out how to make Redd happy.  In Redd’s world, he is still living and headlining in las Vegas. Coming home at 2 or 3 in the morning, wanting to grab a beer out of the refrigerator in the kitchen and then sitting out by his pool to relax.   In our world, the pool is gone, as well as some other changes in the way the house is laid.

So there is now a red fox on the sign out by the street and they leave the lights on in the kitchen when they leave at night. If they forget, or someone new is working in the office and is the last one to leave, forgetting to leave the lights on, Redd will leave them a mess to clean up when they open the office in the morning.

So yeah, some people love Las Vegas more than others! Some actually refuse to leave Las Vegas!  Ya’ Big Dummie!!

 

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Checking out the New FSE Light Show

Last night I went down to what I like to call “the freak zone”, other people call it by its actual title: The Fremont Street Experience. The reason I went there was to see the new, improved and ultra amazing light show. In the last couple of months, they have been hard at work trying to get the new lighting system up and running before New Year’s Eve.  And they are pretty much done.  I have to say that it is an amazing sight to see!

[arve url=”https://youtu.be/QpTpLDtf_7Q” title=”The Fremont Street Experience Light Show” description=”The FSE Viva Vision Light Show has 49 Million LED’s! ” upload_date=”nov 21, 2019″ /]

The Fremont Experience (FSE) opened in 1995. The canopy originally had 4 million LED’s. At that time, we all thought that was a Lot!! The total cost for the lighted canopy was $10 million.  In 2004, they did a major $70 million upgrade to bring it up to 12 million LED’s with 220 speakers pumping out 250,000 watts of sound. People again were amazed and thought that it was amazing!

Well, wait until you see the newest version of what they call “Viva Vision” This new upgrade was $70 million and the canopy light show is now at 49 million LED’s! Yes. Think 4K video on steroids. This will really get your game on watching the new shows like this.

The bad news is that with the new lighting power, they can run it all day as well as into the night.  Meaning more advertising, more noise, more freakiness.  Oh, well. Progress, I guess.  However. After seeing the show I did last night? I say “Bring it on!!”.  The shows at night are mind-boggling! Can’t wait to see what it’s like when they simulcast the rodeo or the races on this screen. It will give you the feel of being “right there” without the smell or the danger. Except for a crooked neck looking up and watching it too long!

Carl "Safe Sax" Ferris

Safe Sax

Of course, any trip to the Fremont Street Experience has got to include stopping by to see my friend and the man who’s music we use for our podcasts; Carl “Safe Sax” Ferris. Amidst all this chaos and freakiness down here, it’s nice to see a little bit of sanity and listen to the man who can play some really nice sounding Smooth Jazz and get you back in the game!  Did you know that he is the only remaining street performer on the Fremont Street Experience who was there at the beginning?  He’s da’ Man!

In Conclusion

This definitely makes it a “Must See”.  Even as the Fremont Street Experience is getting more like an inner-city ghetto with the riff-raff and money-grubbing “street performers” who are more like street hookers on an all nite binge, this is a sight to really see before you leave town!

Have you seen the new light show?  Your thoughts??

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How Far To to the Strip?

Recently, on one of the Las Vegas online discussion groups, the question came up about staying at the Trump Hotel. Some of the commenters were stating that it was a nice place to stay but was too far off the Strip.  That staying there, you would need to take a taxicab or Uber to get to the Strip!  Oh Really?

So I started to think about that.  A long walk to the Strip?  Has anyone ever thought about just how long of a walk it is from other resorts to the Las Vegas Strip?  Some of these other resorts are pretty large and the elevators are tucked away behind the casino, the showrooms, and the shopping.  So, just how long of a walk is it to the Strip??

[arve url=”https://youtu.be/IZvVzcE-CKc” title=”Just how far is it from your hotel to the las vegas strip?” description=”Walking from your hotel room in Las Vegas to the Strip can be a long walk!” /]

The Long Walk

I decided to actually answer my own question and measure the distance.  I have a Samsung Galaxy 10 smartphone with the Google “My Tacks” app.  Yes, I know they depreciated it. But it still works for measuring and mapping distances.

To be consistent in the measurements and to avoid having to deal with hotel security or front desk management, I started each measurement from the closest guest elevators and measured using the most common path out of the resort to the street. Noting my time and distance.  I’ve been told I have long legs, so my time will be different than yours, but not the distance.

This does NOT include the walk from your hotel room to the elevator. That can add another 1,000 steps in some of these resorts.  I started from the closest commonly used elevator to the street. I did not stop for a coffee or to see what the MegaBucks machine was sitting at. It was just a straight walk from the elevator to the Las Vegas Boulevard.

FYI: Las Vegas Boulevard is the actual name of the street most people refer to as the Las Vegas Strip.
Distance: The distance is from the guest elevator or bank of elevators that are closest to the public exit to the street, walking the most common route out of the resort to the Las Vegas Strip. Not including VIP or private guest elevators.
Time: How long it took me to leisurely walk uninterrupted from the elevator to the actual street using the most common pathway.

 

Trump International Towers

Trump Towers from the Strip

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The one that started the debate!  People love this hotel for its lack of a casino, it’s 5-star (without the 5-star price) amenities and its easy in and out. It sits right across the street from the Fashion Show Mall.  Currently sits behind an empty lot that faces the Las Vegas Strip (former home to the Last Frontier).  The empty lot was recently purchased by The Wynn Resorts for future expansion.

Distance: 564 meters / 1850 feet
Time: 5:44
Altitude:  618 meters /2027 feet

 

 

The Venetian Resort

How far to walk to the Las Vegas Strip?


The Venetian and the Palazzo is a popular, high-end resort with world-class dining and shopping.  This sits where the Sands Resort used to sit and is almost center Strip.   

The Venetian Tower
Distance
: 110 meters/360 feet
Time: 3:21

 

 

The Mirage

The Mirage Las Vegas

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Of course, who can forget the scene in the movie Vegas Vacation when the front desk clerk tried to give directions to Chevy Chase on how to get to the elevators?  Classic Vegas!!  In reality, it’s really not THAT bad of a walk. It may only seem like it is.  Actually, it’s one of the shorter ones…

Distance: 352 meters / 1154 feet
Time: 4:39

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Caesars Palace

The Pools at Caesars Palace las Vegas

Caesars Palace is probably the most famous of the Las Vegas resorts. Also one of the largest with multiple towers, a boutique hotel in a hotel and of course, their famous pools!!

From the Julius Tower
Distance: 306 meters / 1003 feet
Time: 3:28

 

 

The Bellagio

Bellagio Resort Las Vegas

My favorite Las Vegas Resort.  Home of the Bellagio Conservatory, chocolate crepes and great people watching in front of the Bellagio Fountains

From the Spa Tower
Distance: 498 meters / 1633 feet
Time: 7:00
Altitude:  621 meters /2037 feet

 

MGM Grand

MGM Grand Las Vegas
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MGM Grand, the world’s largest hotel with over 5,000 rooms in one structure!

From The Grand Tower
Distance:
351 meters / 1151 feet
Time: 4:14
Altitude: 616 meters /2021 feet

 

Bonus!!

MGM Grand Hallway Walk!

MGM Grand Hallway walk
The MGM Grand Tower, the long side of the building. Going from the Las Vegas Strip, east towards the parking structure.  If you have a room there and want to get some exercise, ask for a corner room.  The hallway is almost a quarter-mile long!

Distance: 334 meters long 1,095 feet (.207 miles)

 

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Wrap it up!

Shortest to longest:

  • The Venetian to the Strip: 360 feet
  • Caesars to the Strip: 1003 feet
  • MGM Grand to the Strip: 1151 feet
  • The Mirage to the Strip: 1154 feet
  • The Bellagio to the Strip: 1633 feet
  • The Trump Towers to the Strip: 1850 feet

 

Remember: Your mileage may vary depending on where your hotel room is, the walk to the elevators as well as if the resort has multiple elevator locations.

 

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Congrats “Marriage Can Be Murder” 20 Year Anniversary

Serious Kudos to the cast and crew for being here for 20 years!! Congrats!!
Marriage Can Be Murder 20 Year Celbration

Last Night we were at The D Resort on the Fremont Street Experience to help celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the hot Murder Mystery dinner show “Marriage Can Be Murder”! Not many shows in Las Vegas can claim they have been here twenty years! Not only have they survived for twenty years, but they have also been awarded many “Best of” awards including “Best Date Night” show!

It’s a great dinner show. Very audience interactive and a lot of the comedy from the cast comes from interaction with the audience. So no two shows are ever alike.

I first got to meet the dynamic duo behind the popular show when I interviewed them last year for the Las Vegas Territory Podcasts.  Eric and Jayne Post are not only the writers and producers, they perform in it and they are also real-life husband and wife!!

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzGJTY04sjU&t=24s” title=” Meet the Dynamic Duo behind the longest running dinner show in Las Vegas, Marriage Can Be Murder” description=”Marriage Can Be Murder celebrates 20 years in Las Vegas! ” /]

It’s a Murder Mystery Dinner show. Plays at the Showroom in the D Resort on the Fremont Street Experience (Free Valet!). The show plays 7 days a week.

Click Here for Tickets and show information!