Two weeks ago I visited one of my favorite haunts, Las Vegas...
Naturally, I took Black Barbie (Monique) with me and we stayed at the Bellagio. The good news is Vegas was packed – I mean wall to wall. It was Final Four weekend, actually, the Elite Eight. More important it was Spring Break and Arizona State, University of Arizona, UCLA and tons of other school’s hipsters were all over the place.
You had to wait in line for almost everything, even in the coffee shops.
Sure the event weekend upped the crowd sizes, but the trusty cab drivers all told me, "Things are on the upswing…big time." I was told weekdays had even picked up quite a bit. All the major hotels were sold out. The shows were sold out. Hey, I stayed through Monday and even Sunday day and night was packed.
Last time I was there was in Chiefs season on a Sunday, and even with the NFL it was very slow.
Is this a good sign for the U.S. economy? I think it is.
Another reason I went at this time was to see a couple of my pals. Comedy now totally dominates the big Vegas showrooms and Carlos Mencia was at Treasure Island, Kevin Hart was at Mandalay Bay and my good friend, Frank Caliendo had the Venetian. All Stanford’s guys from the 90’s and early 2000’s.
Monique wanted to see Kevin Hart, but I’m closer with Frank, so we did his show on Saturday night. Frank had us back stage to the green room before the show. He took great care of us and even had us sit by his parents in the audience. When we walked into his dressing room area he had his crew with him, and started doing Craig Glazer stories in my voice (Frank’s a voice impressionist as you know).
He was doing me as we walked in: "So Frank, I know you told me not to promote the fact you just got hired to be on Mad TV this fall, but I had to make sure we sold out…So I gotta tell ya, I put your picture on a big billboard in Westport and under the photo of you it says, MAD TV. Are you pissed?"
Caliendo is pretty G-rated and he had that type of Jeff Foxworthy crowd watching his show, so it was fun. He did my voice for a minute on stage and made me look good. Sadly I didn’t get to see Mencia, that was his last night at Treasure Island. Mencia had performed at Stanford’s earlier this past year. Great guy. Monique didn’t know who Frank was until we pulled up to the Venetian and she saw his large posters and billboards and then said, "Oh, the John Madden guy."
Yes sir, the money was flowing. It didn’t look like we were in an economic crisis anymore.
Even the nightclubs had waits to get in – not like last time when they were giving away free passes. I know it was a special weekend, but staffers told me it had been like this for a few months. Damn. Even the pools had waits on chairs and it was about 80 degrees all three days.
Security was at an all time high though.
Every elevator had guards wanting to see your room key 24 hours. This is not new, but usually it slows or stops in the daytime. Not now.
I noticed far less hookers at the main hotels. The bartenders said they were doing a big crack down – new Sheriff in town.
And they’d been busting the bigger hotels for press. Undercover cops were all over the place. Yes, there were still hookers to be found, but nothing like the usual.
How busy was Vegas?
Here’s my snapshot. My flight got in at midnight, and the wait for a cab had a line AROUND THE AIRPORT that had to be over a mile long. For real. I had to rent a limo for 80 bucks to get the hell out of there before our vacation was over. Damn. And the ride from the airport is only about four miles.
Sadly a few of the nice hotels had taken a beating as of late. Even the Venetian, one of my favorites, was a bit worn in the casino area and in need of an update. The Bellagio had already been redone in most of its rooms and the casino area. The newer Encore was jammed as well.
I have to admit I was glad to see Vegas on such a big upswing because lots of KC folks go out there and often.
Monique and I were walking down the big runway at Venetian when a group yelled out, "Hey isn’t that Craig Glazer?" That made me feel and look good. And a few moments later another group yelled, "Hey man that’s Craig Glazer, what an asshole!"
Must have been some knucklehead KC Confidential readers from the comments section, huh?
By the way, yes, I won a bit and I took a new stance. I Played black jack and craps for short periods. Then when I got up two or three hundred I quit and cashed in my chips. I normally play Texas Hold ’em, but with a date, that’s kinda tough because they get bored waiting three hours on your game.
So I won just over a grand, which didn’t come close to paying for the trip but was better than losing.
I bet a decent amount on KU, they covered on North Carolina. Did a decent wager on the Royals and the over – their magic number is 78 1/2 and I like them to do better.
They had a fun bet on Eric Hosmer – his magic number on home runs is 25 1/2.
But I didn’t go nuts like I did last season on the Chiefs on the under. This year the Chief’s magic number is 9, and I and think that’s about where they will be, so its not a safe bet either way. That’s why I didn’t bet that one.
It was kinda weird to come back home and go to the Hollywood Casino at Legends.
Was there this past weekend and it was busy too. Not nearly the same vibe as Vegas though. Ran into my radio pal, Johnny Dare and he and his crew were playing the 1 cent slots. Very conservative. I joked about how boring the slots are and went and played black jack and lost two hundred bucks. Then I went back to see what Dare was up too, and can you believe it? He won over a hundred bucks on that damn slot machine.
Guess he is smarter than I am.