MR VEGAS Steve Cyr, Las Vegas casino host.
Steve Cyr, the casino host infamous for luring in the biggest players by any means possible. He will even send the wife on a $10,000 complimentary shopping spree - just as long as her other half is prepared to shed $250,000. ‘Wives can be the kill when a guy is playing great so we drive them to the spa or the Grand Canyon for lunch,’ he says. ‘Sometimes I just tell them we’re taking their husband to play golf when he’s really downstairs in the private room gambling. Anything just to get them out.’ Known as The Whale Hunter, he’s a cunning strategist who traps the industry’s highest rollers — whales as they are called in the casino world — to wager millions of dollars a night at the world’s most exclusive resorts. Promised commissioned of his clients losses by the casinos, he uses a combination of charm, salesmanship and amazing comps as bait. With private jets, the best penthouse suites and the most beautiful women on the planet at his disposal, Cyr rarely misses his target. Biggest high roller? “It took me about a year to land Larry Flynt. I sent him a fruit basket every Monday for six months, like Bud Fox in Wall Street. We offered him a great deal, the 15,000 square foot Sky Villa, the largest in Vegas. I finally landed Larry and he is one of my biggest high rollers to this very day.
“The high rollers care about the deal, the appearance fees, discounts, the Super Bowl tickets, the shopping, they get it all, the mega suites, palazzos, mansions, villas, bungalows, the food, the booze, the service, they become the kings and queens of the casino. The biggest bet I ever saw was $245,000 in one roll of the dice. Biggest win or loss? $9 million. Biggest tip I ever saw? $100,000, a single chip toke. Basketball legend Michael Jordan is one of his big name clients, however, most of his high rollers aren’t famous. ‘Stars are stiffs and you can quote me on that,’ he says. ‘They don’t gamble enough. You would never know my clients. They own restaurants, strip clubs and car washes. The great thing about Vegas is that anyone can be a star there as long as they gamble big.’ Cyr is a super-host. He never says die, and he benefits from working at a casinos notorious for cool parties and concerts, drawing more than their share of attractive young women. But even he acknowledges that the tide has turned -- at least for now. A whale, Cyr says, had once been a million-dollar player. These days, somebody who’s willing to lose $250,000 gets the title -- and milks it for all it’s worth. “Vegas used to be a place where there was a lot to go around,” he says. “Now it’s no longer the casino’s market. For the first time in a long time, the player has the upper hand.”
‘I had to kick Bill Gates out of his $10,000 hotel suite the other night because one of my players had come to town. I told him “The most I can make from you is $10,000 a night — my guy bets that on his first hand. You can move now or security will be here in an hour.”‘
FOYER RECOMMENDS Bellagio fountains.
Every half-hour between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and every 15 minutes from then ‘til midnight, an 8.5 acre lake in the middle of the desert explodes with 1,214 spritzers shooting water up to 460 feet in the air — the water rockets and dances, perfectly choreographed to Frank Sinatra or Gene Kelly or “One Singular Sensation” from A Chorus Line. And yet, for some reason, it doesn’t feel all that gay, which is quite a feat.
At the Mandalay Bay, even at $16, a good one: half-outdoors, half-indoors, with rays, sea turtles, crocodiles, lots of sharks and, as of recently, a komodo dragon. If you’re staying at the Mandalay Bay, you can turn to the Shark Reef channel and watch sharks live 24 hours a day on TV, which is pretty awesome at 4 a.m. when you’re totally wasted.
North-west of town, offers a different taste of old Vegas. Take the bus as far as the US 95 to the historic Las Vegas Springs Preserve, a huge site given over to botanical gardens, nature trails and museum exhibits. It takes a while to adjust the eyes to the unwonted green.
Taken a helicopter, an aeroplane and even a motorcycle to the Grand Canyon. Soar over Grand Canyon National park in a helicopter or hug the turns right beside the canyons on a Harley Davidson. It’s a big hole in the ground but it is pretty impressive.
Here you’ll find tons of retired legendary signs, many from businesses that are no more, while others were replaced by more modern signs. Tours are offered daily, although I recommend doing an evening tour of the Neon Museum and Boneyard.
While the Golden Nugget has long called downtown Las Vegas home, it’s only been
recently that visitors have been able to tour the shark tank. After your tour, take a slide down the three-story water slide.
Pinball Hall of Fame
You’ll find a mix of both pinball machines and class arcade games at the Pinball Hall of Fame, each of which just require a couple quarters to start reliving your glory days. Who said that gaming in Vegas had to be expensive?
Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is one of the most renowned climbing spots in the Southwest U.S., known for its ominous and unique rock formations and vivid colours. There are also hiking trails for the less adventurous. It’s just a half-hour from the strip.
Located on the border of Arizona and Nevada, standing at over 700 feet tall and over 1,200 feet long. While you’ll need a car for the drive that typically takes 45 minutes to an hour, there are also numerous Las Vegas outfitters that do tours, including some tours by air, either in a helicopter or plane.
Chinatown Plaza, located on Spring Mountain Road, is less residential (like most Chinatowns around the world), and more of a shopping strip with Asian restaurants.
Fremont Street Experience
The Fremont Street Experience is downtown Las Vegas to most people. Visitors wanting a break from the Vegas Strip usually come here, whether it’s to see the light show in action, grab a cheaper drink, hit the tables for a cheaper price, or just people watch.
There are numerous hot springs surrounding Las Vegas, some of the closest being near the Hoover Dam along the Colorado River, including Gold Strike Canyon. During the
summer months, the National Park Service recommends against visiting many of the hot springs near Hoover Dam because of the high temperatures.
Atomic Testing Museum
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, the National Atomic Testing Museum isn’t detonating anything, but rather documenting the history of nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site in the desert north of Las Vegas. Located just east of the Las Vegas Strip, the museum is open daily for guided or selfguided tours.
Town square is on Las Vegas Boulevard about a mile and a half south of Mandalay Bay. It is an outdoor mall with tons of restaurants and bars.
Only a half hour drive Southeast of Las Vegas on Rt. 95, Boulder City was originally developed as housing for the people building the Hoover Dam. There are a lot of historical things to see around Boulder City. There is a railroad museum, historic downtown Boulder, and the Hoover Dam museum. There is also a historic railroad tunnel trail where you can actually see the pioneer trails.
Even though it is man made, Lake Mead is a beautiful lake with plenty of opportunities for boating and camping. It is about an hour drive to Callville Bay from the Las Vegas strip. The bay provides houseboat and powerboat rentals in case you want to check out the lake.
Pure tourist cheese (but that can be fun), Bonnie Springs Ranch is a former mining town that is now a “ghost town” where you can experience life in the old west, ride horses, and watch reenacted gunfights.
PAWN STARS Pawn Stars is an American reality television series, shown on History, and produced by Leftfield Pictures. The series is filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada, where it chronicles the daily activities at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, a 24 hour family business opened in 1989 and operated by patriarch Richard “Old Man” Harrison, his son Rick Harrison, Rick’s son Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, and Corey’s childhood friend, Austin “Chumlee” Russell. The show, which became the network’s highest rated show, and the No. 2 reality show behind Jersey Shore, debuted on July 26, 2009. The series depicts the staff’s interactions with customers, who bring in a variety of artefacts to sell or pawn and who are shown haggling over the price and discussing its historical background, with narration provided by either the Harrisons or Chumlee. The series also follows the interpersonal conflicts among the cast. One reviewer referencing these conflicts described the show as a version of Antiques Roadshow “hijacked by American Chopper’s” Teutul family. TV Guide has offered a similar description, calling the show “one part Antiques Roadshow, a pinch of LA Ink and a dash of COPS”
REALITY TV LAS VEGAS COUNTING CARS Counting Cars is an American reality television series, shown on History, and produced by Leftfield Pictures. The series, which is the third spin off of Pawn Stars, the first was Rick’s Restorations, is filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada, where it chronicles the daily activities at Count’s Kustoms, an automobile restoration and customisation company owned and operated by Danny Koker, who previously appeared as a recurring expert on Pawn Stars. In a format similar to another Pawn Stars spin off, American Restoration, the series follows Koker and his staff as they restore and modify classic automobiles and motorcycles. Guest appearances have been made by Rick Harrison of Pawn Stars, Ziggy Marley, and Cassandra Peterson (aka Elvira, Mistress of the Dark).
BAD INK Set against the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas – the mistake capital of the world – Bad Ink is a buddy comedy featuring tattoo artist Dirk Vermin and his band mate and best friend of 20 years, Rob Ruckus. Dirk and Ruckus are Las Vegas’ unofficial aficionados of terrible tattoos and like nothing more than taking their fedoras out onto Strip, ambushing convention goers, tourists and locals alike, and laughing at the worst tattoos they can find. For a lucky few, Dirk will be able to cover up their lapses of judgement and transform their terrible blunders into body art they can be proud of. In the city without shame, we get to see cringe worthy tattoos and hear the unbelievable stories behind these garish errors. There are unexpected family moments along the way, too, as Dirk raises two young daughters as a single dad and punk rock ‘soccer Mum.’ This is Dirk and Ruckus’ guide to the bright lights of Las Vegas as these two larger-than-life characters take us on their wild ride to rid the city of bad ink.
LAS VEGAS SKI AND SNOWBOARD RESORT Is all that gambling, partying and eating getting too much? Get out of town, you are only 45 minutes away from hitting the slopes. Very surreal to think you are so close to a ski resort whilst basking in the Las Vegas sun. As you drive north on Freeway 95 the hustle and bustle of Vegas disappears, the buildings become scarce you are then faced with a typical desert landscape with soaring snow capped mountains on the horizon. As you head up Mount Charleston the warm comforting sun turns into a sky full of snow clouds, sending flurries of the white stuff onto the mountain. If you are like me, I get very excited of the prospect of throwing myself down a ski slope at any opportunity, an opportunity that I
would have never guessed could come whilst having a flutter in the casinos. The staff here are amazingly friendly, the equipment for hire is some of the most up to date I have seen in many European ski resorts so there is no need to overload you case with ski gear (you just need gloves). One of the best things about this resort is that they offer complimentary coaching for skiers & boarders, something unheard on the slopes. Private lessons are also available. The skiing here is fantastic, there are 3 main slopes with aprox 17 trails you can follow off piste, a
snow park featuring jumps and rails, for the more adventurous there are numerous runs but you will need to do a little hiking to reach them. In years to come as the resort develops the skiing areas will grow and grow, there are already plans in place to construct more lifts, at this moment in time advanced skiers or boarders may get a little bored after a days break from Vegas strip, however for beginners and intermediates who want to brush up on their skills you will not be disappointed. I can now say I have gone snowboarding in Las Vegas,
FOYERâ€™S FAVORITES For families with kids, these hotels have arcade areas which are great fun and keep the little ones amused: Circus Circus (Also has theme park inside) New York New York (Has its own roller coaster) Excalibur (Set inside a medieval castle) For couples looking for romance: The Venetian, this has to be the most romantic hotel on the strip. Take a gondola ride through the hotel. The Paris Hotel, have a romantic meal inside the Eiffel Tower. For that little bit of class:
There are of course many budget hotels but stand-
Caesars Palace, this is one of my personal
ards do vary even on the strip. Have a read of our
best hotels, it oozes class, has some of the best
experience at one of the Caesar group hotels, not
restaurants in Vegas and hosts some of the biggest
what you would expect in a downtown motel let
names in showbiz.
alone a strip hotel.
The Bellagio, with rooms overlooking the superb fountain show.
Always do your research before booking.
‘YOU CAN’T POLISH A TURD’ The Quad Las Vegas Positives about this hotel are pretty much limited to one, the location, slap bang in the middle of the strip opposite Caesars. I do not like giving negative reviews unless totally necessary, I had known about a new place opening in Vegas called The Linq, owned and run by the Caesars Group, this was not fully opened but promises to be a hub for entertainment. With a massive big wheel as the focal point this will without doubt be a great area to visit. The Quad hotel is at the centre of this, hence the review, I understand the rooms at this hotel are to be renovated pretty soon as they are a little dated, this isn’t much of a concern as I have stayed in a 15th century castle and you do not get much more dated than that. They are roomy with adequate facilities. The problem however comes with the cleanliness of the hotel, what makes it even worse is that the hotel had been informed that I would be writing a review, weeks before my stay so you would have thought they would have been extra cautious (I only hope they didn’t try extra hard to please me as this would make everything 100 times worse), this information got passed on to a company called LVCVA (Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority), I was promptly told that as Foyer is a new publication I do not warrant any assistance in regards to the review, what do I need assistance for? Bit of an old boys club this organization so if the face doesn’t fit…………. You do not have to look hard at the layer of dust and hair that is very evident in the bathroom, this is not a day or two but has been built up over a long period of time, this is very poor basic housekeeping, the biggest problem is the following…. The first day I accidently knocked over a cup of coffee, so best that I
could I cleaned up with a small hand towel then was hoping that the housekeeping team finished the job, how wrong could I have been. Come Wednesday the coffee soaked towel and spilt coffee were still on the floor, not hidden but in a very clear view. I decided to speak with a hotel manager, reception were very friendly and helpful and managed to get me a supervisor of sorts, only to be told that there is not a manager available, this is Vegas, if you want to speak with a manager you usually can. I told her of my complaint albeit in a polite way, she offered me $30 restaurant credit, which I turned down, and was told she would get the problem sorted. By the way, cleaners had been in to my room everyday so there is no excuse for the mess to not be cleared up. Now, come Thursday evening I return from A trip out only to discover the mess is still there, again I go to reception, this time I get to speak with a hotel manager, again offering me hotel credit which I turn down. She eventually gets housekeeping to clean up the mess, not that they cleaned it up just picked the towel up and left a wet patch of coffee on the carpet. Unless the staff are sent on a retraining course or they completely change them the renovation of the rooms will be pretty much pointless, coming to Vegas and having to sleep in a room that is dirtier than a dogs kennel is not an experience I would wish on anybody. Well, as the old saying goes : ‘ You Can’t Polish A Turd’