Feel the romance of Venice mixed with the vibrant night life of Las Vegas at the Venetian Resort & Casino, which is an award winning luxury hotel situated between Harrah’s and The Palazzo on the eastern part of the Las Vegas Strip
Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands in talks to sell Vegas Strip properties
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 66%. (I'm a bot)
LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas Sands Corp. is considering selling its two hotel-casinos on The Strip, the company confirmed to the Reno Gazette Journal Monday. News of the potential sale comes at a time when Las Vegas Strip properties are struggling to attract visitors due to COVID-19 travel fallout. Las Vegas Sands Corp last week reported a third-quarter loss of $565 million, after reporting a profit in the same quarter last year. Following Bloomberg's report, the company's stock jumped more than 3%.'We're in a world of hurt'The disappearance of conventions in the wake of COVID-19 contributed to a second quarter loss of almost $1 billion for Las Vegas Sands. "Las Vegas cannot perform without return of these segments," said Las Vegas Sands President and COO Rob Goldstein in a July earnings call. His Las Vegas Sands Corp. is one of the largest casino and resort companies in the world with the Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Strip and lucrative casinos in Macau.
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List of Las Vegas casinos that never opened Over the years there have been several casinos and resorts planned for the Las Vegas Valley that never opened. The stages of planning may have been just an announcement or groundbreaking. Asia Resort and Casino Where the Palazzo Casino and Resort currently stands (adjacent to the Venetian Hotel and Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center), an Asian themed casino was proposed but was rejected for the present Palazzo project. Alon Las Vegas A proposed luxury hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip on the former site of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, announced in 2015. The project was put in doubt after Crown Resorts announced in late 2016 it was suspending its involvement in the development. Crown announced in December 2016 that it was halting the project and seeking to sell its investment. The remaining partner Andrew Pascal announced he was seeking other partners to proceed with the project. However in May 2017, the land went up for sale. The land was later purchased by Steve Wynn. Beau Rivage Steve Wynn, who had purchased and demolished the Dunes hotel-casino, had originally planned to build a modern hotel in the middle of a man-made lake. He later built the Bellagio with a man-made lake in the front of the hotel. The name was later used by Wynn for a resort built in Biloxi, Mississippi. Caribbean Casino In 1988, a sign for a proposed casino was erected on a fenced vacant lot on Flamingo Road. Standing near the sign was a scale model galleon. For several years, that was all that stood on the property. The empty lot was the source of many jokes by the locals until the ship, which was later damaged by a fire started by a homeless person, was torn down in the 1990s and the lot became the site of the Tuscany Suites and Casino co-owned by Charles Heers, who has owned the property since the 1960s. Carnival In 1990, the Radisson group proposed a 3,376-room hotel next to the Dunes, with a casino shaped like a Hershey's Kiss. Cascada A proposed resort that was to have been built on the site of El Rancho Vegas. The parcel is now partially taken by the Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Las Vegas Festival Grounds. City by the Bay Resort and Casino A San Francisco-themed resort was proposed for the site of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. The project was rejected in favor of the Swiss-themed Montreux, which was also eventually cancelled. Countryland USA A country music-themed resort was planned for construction of the site of the former El Rancho Hotel and Casino. For some years, the El Rancho sign stood with the words "Coming Soon - Future Home of Countryland USA." Craig Ranch Station Main article: Craig Ranch Station A Mediterranean-themed hotel-casino for North Las Vegas, proposed by Station Casinos in March 2000. The project faced opposition from nearby residents, which led to the proposed location being changed to a vacant property on the nearby Craig Ranch Golf Course. Residential opposition to the new location led to the project being rejected by the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee in March 2001. Station Casinos still had the option to develop the project on the initial site, but the project was cancelled entirely in July 2001, following a weak financial quarter for the company. Crown Las Vegas Main article: Crown Las Vegas Formerly known as Las Vegas Tower, the Crown Las Vegas was to have been a supertall skyscraper built on the former site of a Wet 'n Wild water park. In March 2008, the project was canceled and the property was put up for sale. Desert Kingdom In 1993, ITT Sheraton purchased the Desert Inn casino, and had announced plans to develop the large parking lot into a Balinese themed resort to complement the Desert Inn. The project was never developed and the site is now the location of Wynn Las Vegas. DeVille Casino After building the Landmark Hotel and Casino on Convention Center Drive and selling it to Howard Hughes, developer Frank Carroll built the DeVille Casino across the street from the Landmark at 900 Convention Center Drive in 1969. Chips were made for the casino (and are sought-after collectibles), but the casino never opened. The building was renovated in 1992 as a race book parlor named Sport of Kings which closed after nine months. It became the location of The Beach nightclub, which was demolished in 2007 to make room for a planned 600-unit tower that was never built. The land sits currently empty. Echelon Place Main article: Echelon Place An announced project by Boyd Gaming planned to have a hotel built on the property of the former Stardust Resort & Casino. Construction was suspended on August 1, 2008 due to the Great Recession. In March 2013, Boyd Gaming sold the proposed site for $350 million to the Genting Group, which is redeveloping the project as the Asian-themed Resorts World Las Vegas. Fontainebleau Las Vegas Main article: The Drew Las Vegas Located on the Las Vegas Strip and originally known as Fontainebleau Las Vegas. Construction began in 2007, and the resort was to include a casino, 2,871 hotel rooms, and 1,018 condominium units. Construction on the $2.9 billion project ceased in 2009, the year of its planned opening. Investment firms Witkoff Group and New Valley LLC purchased the unfinished resort in 2017. In 2018, Witkoff and Marriott International announced a partnership to open the renamed project as The Drew Las Vegas in 2020. The resort will include a casino and three hotels totaling nearly 4,000 rooms, with the condominium aspect removed from the project. Harley-Davidson Hotel and Casino A resort themed after the motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson was proposed, complete with hotel towers shaped like gigantic exhaust pipes, but was never built. Jockey Club Casino The Jockey Club is a condominium and timeshare resort at 3700 Las Vegas Boulevard South. It was planned to have a casino, and chips were made for its use, but the casino was never opened. Kactus Kate's By April 1994, Gold Coast Hotel and Casino owner Michael Gaughan was interested in building a hotel-casino in North Las Vegas, at the northeast corner of North Rancho Drive and Carey Avenue. In January 1995, the city planning commission approved the rezoning of the land for use as a hotel-casino. The resort, to be named Kactus Kate's, would be built by Gold Coast Hotel/Casino Limited. The hotel would include 450 rooms, and the casino would be 105,000 sq ft (9,800 m2), later decreased to 102,000 sq ft (9,500 m2). The resort would be located directly north of the nearby Fiesta and Texas Station resorts. In December 1998, Coast Resorts, Inc. received approval from the planning commission for a use-permit relating to the undeveloped property. In November 2000, the planning commission unanimously approved a two-year extension on the permit, giving the company more time to decide whether it would build Kactus Kate's. Because of a 1999 Senate bill that placed restrictions on casinos in neighborhoods, Coast Resorts had a deadline of 2002 to build the casino. The hotel would measure over 100 feet (30 m) high, and Coast Resorts was required to notify the Federal Aviation Administration of its final plans, due to the site being located less than 1,000 feet (300 m) from a runway at the North Las Vegas Airport. In January 2001, Station Casinos purchased the 29-acre (12 ha) site for $9 million. Coast Resorts president Harlan Braaten said, "As we saw the competitive nature of that area intensify, in terms of the size of competing facilities, we just felt we would have to build something much bigger than we had intended to compete with Texas Station and Santa Fe Station. It was just going to be a very expensive project, and we didn't feel the returns would be that good." Station Casinos planned to sell the property as a non-gaming site. Las Vegas Plaza Main article: Las Vegas Plaza Not to be confused with the Plaza Hotel & Casino. This was to have been modeled after the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The project was announced shortly before the demolition of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, where the new hotel would be built. Las Vegas Plaza was cancelled in 2011 due to the Great Recession. London Resort and Casino This announced project was to have been themed around the city of London, and featuring replicas of the city's landmarks. The project was to be built on land across from the Luxor Hotel and Casino. A second London-themed resort was to be built on the former land of the El Rancho Hotel and Casino. Neither project ever began construction. London, Las Vegas This was a proposed three-phase project using London as its design inspiration. When completed, the 38.5-acre (15.5 ha) property would have featured 1,300 hotel rooms, a casino, a 500-foot-tall (152.4 m) observation wheel named Skyvue (partially constructed), and 550,000 square feet (51,097 square meters) of restaurants and shops — all of which would be architectural replicas of various British landmarks and neighborhoods. The project was to be constructed on land across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, where — as of November 2019 — the partially-constructed Skyvue still stands. The wheel was to be "Phase I of London, Las Vegas". Montreux Resort This Swiss-themed resort was to have been built on the property of the former New Frontier Hotel and Casino, but was ultimately cancelled. Moon Resort and Casino Proposed by Canadian developer Michael Henderson, this is a planned 10,000-room, 250-acre (1.0 km2) lunar-themed casino resort. Gaming experts doubt it will ever be built in Las Vegas, simply because the space planned for it is too large for the Las Vegas Strip. NevStar 2000 Further information: Craig Ranch Station § NevStar 2000 Proposed by NevStar Gaming in 1998, the NevStar 2000 entertainment complex in North Las Vegas would have included a hotel and casino, but the project faced opposition from nearby residents who did not want a casino in the area. The project was cancelled when NevStar Gaming filed for bankruptcy in December 1999. North Coast/Boyd Gaming project In May 2003, Coast Casinos had plans for the North Coast hotel-casino, to be built at the southwest corner of Centennial Parkway and Lamb Boulevard in North Las Vegas. The project would be built on approximately 40 acres (16 ha) of vacant land, surrounded by other land that was also undeveloped. At the time, the North Las Vegas Planning Commission was scheduled to review requests for zoning changes and approvals for the project. The project was not scheduled to be built for at least another four years, after completion of a highway interchange at Lamb Boulevard and the nearby Interstate 15, as well as the completion of an overpass over nearby railroad tracks. Bill Curran, an attorney for the land owner, said, "We're going through the zoning changes now so everybody knows what's going to be out there." The North Coast would include a casino, a 10-story hotel with 398 rooms, a bowling alley, movie theaters, and a parking garage. In June 2003, the Planning Commission voted 6 to 1 to approve preliminary applications necessary to begin work on the North Coast. Boyd Gaming, the owner of Coast Casinos, announced in February 2006 that it would purchase the 40-acre site for $35 million. Jackie Gaughan and Kenny Epstein were the owners at the time. Boyd Gaming had not decided on whether the new project would be a Coast property or if it would be similar to the company's Sam's Town hotel-casino. At the time, no timetable was set for building the project. In March 2007, the project was put on hold. At the time, Boyd Gaming had been securing construction permits for the project but decided to first review growth in the area. Construction had been scheduled to begin in mid-2007. In August 2013, Boyd Gaming sold the undeveloped property for $5.15 million. Palace of the Sea Resort and Casino This was to have been built on the former Wet 'n Wild waterpark site. Conceptual drawings included yacht-shaped towers that housed suites, a casino resembling the Sydney Opera House and a 600-foot (180 m) tall Ferris wheel-type attraction dubbed a "Sky Wheel". It never left the planning stages. Paramount Las Vegas A casino and hotel and condo resort with more than 1,800 units that was planned by Royal Palms Las Vegas, a subsidiary of Royal Palms Communities. The project was to replace the Klondike Hotel and Casino at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, beside the Las Vegas welcome sign. The resort was approved in October 2006, but an investor pulled out of the project in August 2007, and the land was put up for sale in May 2008. Pharoah's Kingdom Pharoah's Kingdom was planned as a $1.2 billion gaming, hotel and theme park complex to be built on 710 acres (290 ha) at Pebble Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, five miles south of the Las Vegas Strip. Construction was approved in October 1988, with Silano Development Group as the developer. The project would have an Egyptian theme, including two 12-story pyramids made of crystal, with each containing 300 suites. The hotel would have a total of 5,000 rooms, making it the largest in the world. The 230,000 sq ft (21,000 m2) casino would include 100 table games and 3,000 slot machines, while an RV park, mini-golf, a bowling alley, and a video game arcade would be located beside the casino area. Three of the project's various pyramid structures would house the 50-acre (20 ha) family theme park. Other features would include sphinxes, man-made beaches, waterways resembling the Nile river, an underwater restaurant, a 24-hour child-care facility, a 100-tenant shopping promenade, and a repertory-style theater that would be overseen by actor Jack Klugman. Additionally, the resort would feature an 18-hole PGA Championship golf course, and a monorail located within the theme park. The project would have one mile of frontage along Las Vegas Boulevard. Frank Gambella, president of the project, stated that financing was in place, with groundbreaking planned for March or April 1989. Gambella said the project would be financed by several entities, with the money coming from a Nevada corporation, suggesting the entities would be grouped together as an umbrella corporation. Gambella stated that the project could be opened by Labor Day 1990. The resort was expected to employ 8,000 people. Following the completion of the resort, Gambella said a complex of 750 condominiums would be built on the land along with 900 retirement-care apartments. The project was cancelled shortly after it was announced, as authorities became suspicious of developer Anthony Silano's fundraising efforts for the project. It was discovered that Silano and his associates hacked into the Switzerland bank accounts of Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos following his death in 1989. Silano pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges. Another Egyptian-themed resort, Luxor Las Vegas, would open on the south Las Vegas Strip in 1993. Planet Hollywood Resort (original plans) Not to be confused with the current Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Originally planned to open in the late 1990s on the site of the Desert Inn, it was to be one of the largest hotels in Las Vegas. Because of the bankruptcy of Planet Hollywood Restaurants, the hotel was never built. However, in the 2000s, a group of investors bought the new Aladdin Hotel and Casino and remodeled it with a modern Hollywood theme. Playboy Hotel and Casino A proposed casino resort themed after Playboy magazine was rejected in favor of a nightclub and suites built at the top two floors of the new Palms tower. The planned location for the Playboy Hotel and Casino, on the Las Vegas Strip, was later used for the Cosmopolitan resort. Santa Fe Valley Main article: Santa Fe Valley Santa Fe Gaming, which owned the Santa Fe hotel-casino in northwest Las Vegas, had plans for a second Santa Fe property in 1996. The Santa Fe Valley would be built on a 40-acre (16 ha) lot in Henderson, Nevada, adjacent to the Galleria at Sunset mall. The start of construction was delayed several times because of poor financial quarters for Santa Fe Gaming, and because of the company not yet receiving financing for the project. Site preparation started in July 1998, with an opening date scheduled for December 1999, but construction never began. In 1999, the property was sold to Station Casinos, which sold the land a year later for use as a shopping center. Shenandoah Hotel and Casino A project by Wayne Newton. Although the hotel operated for a short time at 120 E. Flamingo Road, the management was unable to get a gaming license. After years of floundering it was sold to a Canadian company and became Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino. Silver City proposals By January 2000, Luke Brugnara was planning to build a San Francisco-themed resort on the site of the closed Silver City Casino. Brugnara intended to give Silver City a multimillion-dollar renovation, with plans to have a fully operational hotel-casino by 2002. In March 2001, Brugnara's request for a gaming license was rejected. In May 2002, it was announced that Brugnara had sold the casino while retaining six acres located behind the building. In 2003, Brugnara was planning to build a 24-story, 304-room hotel and casino resort on a portion of the Silver City property. The resort, to be named "Tycoon", was to be designed by Lee Linton, with an expected cost of approximately $100 million. Starship Orion International Thoroughbred Breeders (ITB) announced plans to demolish the El Rancho and construct Starship Orion, a $1 billion hotel, casino, entertainment and retail complex with an outer space theme, covering 5.4 million square feet (501,676 square meters). The resort was to include seven separately owned casinos, each approximately 30,000 square feet (2,787 square meters). Each potential casino owner was to contribute up to $100 million to own and operate a casino within the complex. The complex would have included 300,000 square feet (27,871 square meters) of retail space, as well as 2,400 hotel rooms and a 65-story hotel tower. ITB hoped to begin construction later in 1996, with a planned opening date of April 1998. Sunrise This was to have been located at 4575 Boulder Highway. Property developer Michael Mona Jr. built the hotel-casino and stated that he was going to break tradition by starting a "casino without a theme". He failed to get an unrestricted gaming license when suspicions arose concerning his associations with alleged organized crime figures. Chips were made for the casino, but were never used. The building was opened as Arizona Charlie's Boulder. Titanic In 1999, Bob Stupak was planning a 400-foot-high (122 m) resort themed after the RMS Titanic, to be built on a 10-acre (4 hectares) property he owned near downtown Las Vegas. The resort would have included 1,200 rooms, 800 of which were to be used for timeshares to help finance the project. That year, planning commissioners rejected Stupak's request to change the zoning to allow for a hotel. The project was later planned for the former site of the El Rancho Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip, but was rejected by the Las Vegas City Council. W Las Vegas Main article: W Las Vegas W Las Vegas was proposed in August 2005, as a $1.7 billion joint project between Starwood and Edge Resorts, with a scheduled opening in 2008. The project would include a 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2) casino and approximately 3,000 hotel, condo hotel, and residential units. The project was cancelled in May 2007, after Starwood pulled out of the deal. Wally's Wagon Wheel Wally's Wagon Wheel was to be developed by Walter Weiss through his company, Magna Leisure Partnership. The project was proposed for 2200 South Boulder Highway in Henderson, between Wagon Wheel Drive and Roberts Road, near Henderson's Old Vegas western theme park. Manga Leisure Partnership purchased the 15.5-acre property in late February 1988. Weiss, at that time, had tentative plans for a western-themed, 112-room property known then as the Wagon Wheel Hotel and Casino. The Wagon Wheel was expected to cost $15 million, and financing had yet to be obtained for the project, which Weiss expected to open in early 1990. The project, which would include a 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2) casino, was to be built in two phases. By October 1991, Wally's Wagon Wheel remained unbuilt due to difficulty obtaining financing. That month, the Henderson Planning Commission voted to give Weiss more time to make progress on the project. At that time, the project was to include 204 hotel rooms and would be built on 13.30 acres (5.38 ha). Weiss noted that the nearby successful Sam's Town hotel-casino opened with 204 rooms, and he believed his project would be successful if he opened with the same amount of rooms for good luck. By the end of 1992, Weiss had still not acquired financing for Wally's Wagon Wheel. At the time, the project was the largest of five casinos being planned for Henderson. The three-story project was to include 200 rooms, two restaurants, a theater lounge for country and western entertainment, and a large bingo room. Weiss stated that groundbreaking was scheduled for May 1993, with an expected opening in June 1994. The hotel-casino would employ approximately 600 people upon opening. Weiss met with nearby residents to discuss the project, and he had the original design changed to include a larger buffer zone between homes and the hotel-casino. In November 1994, the Henderson Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of Weiss' requested zone change as part of the redesign. The project, at that time, was to include a one-story casino and a four-story hotel with 400 rooms. In December 1994, the Henderson City Council rejected Weiss' plans for a 200-foot (61 m) buffer. In July 1997, the unbuilt project received its sixth extension from the Henderson Planning Commission for a use permit and architectural review. In August 1997, the Henderson City Council approved the sixth extension, but denied Weiss' appeal for a one-year extension, instead giving him six months to make progress on the project. Up to that time, $1.7 million had been invested in the project by Magna Leisure Partnership. As of 1998, the project was expected to cost $80 million and employ at least 1,200 people, and the proposed site had increased to 19 acres (7 ha). At that time, Weiss stated that he was close to obtaining financing for the project from a casino operator. The project was never built. Wild Wild West Not to be confused with Wild Wild West Gambling Hall & Hotel. As of 1993, Station Casinos owned a 27-acre (11 ha) site on Boulder Highway with the potential to be developed as a casino. The site was located across the street from Sam's Town hotel-casino. In January 1998, Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. announced plans to purchase Station Casinos, which had intended to sell the land prior to the announcement. By March 1998, Station Casinos was planning to develop a hotel-casino complex on the land, which was occupied by a vacant strip mall. The complex would be known as Wild Wild West, with local residents as the target clientele. Crescent's purchase of Station Casinos failed in August 1998, and Station Casinos subsequently slowed its plans to build the project. By the end of the year, the project had received approval from the Clark County Planning Commission for a 273,000 sq ft (25,400 m2) casino and a 504-room hotel. No timetable for construction was announced, and Station Casinos had already decided by that point not to start any new projects prior to 2000. Station Casinos sold the undeveloped land for $11.2 million to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in April 2004. World Port In 2000, Howard Bulloch, David Gaffin, and their partner Tom Gonzales transferred ownership of the Glass Pool Inn property to their group, known as New World, with plans for a megaresort. New World purchased several other nearby motels to accumulate a 77-acre (31 ha) parcel located on the Las Vegas Strip and east of the Mandalay Bay. In January 2001, plans were announced for World Port Resorts, a megaresort consisting of hotel-casinos, a convention center and a fine arts facility. The project was to be built on the 77-acre (31 ha property, a portion of which was occupied by the Glass Pool Inn. World Trade Center To have been located at 925 East Desert Inn Road. Leonard Shoen, co-founder of U-Haul truck rental, purchased the property of what had been the Chaparral Hotel & Casino in 1996, renovating it into the World Trade Center Hotel. A gaming license was applied for, but when it was discovered that two of Shoen's closest partners were convicted felons, the application was denied in 1998. He withdrew his application, and died in a car crash in 1999 that was ruled a suicide. Cards and gaming chips were produced for the World Trade Center Casino, but were never used. The property has since been demolished and is now a parking lot, part of the Las Vegas Convention Center Annex. World Wrestling Federation A casino resort themed after the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) was proposed for a property near the Interstate 15 freeway across from Mandalay Bay. The project never went past the proposal stage. The land where it would have stood is now Allegiant Stadium. WWF also proposed to open the project on the property once used by the Clarion Hotel and Casino, which was demolished in 2015 to become a parking lot. Xanadu In February 1976, the Clark County Commission approved the 23-story Xanadu resort, to be built on the Las Vegas Strip at the corner of South Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue. The resort would include approximately 1,700 hotel rooms and a casino, as well as convention facilities, a showroom, dining, and indoor tennis courts. The resort was to be developed by Tandy McGinnis – of Bowling Green, Kentucky – and his Xanadu Corporation, and would be built on 48.6 acres (19.7 ha) owned by Howard Downes, a resident of Coral Gables, Florida. The Xanadu would feature a pyramid design, and was expected to cost $150 million. It would have been the first themed mega-resort. Much information and many artifacts of the project are housed at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas library. The Excalibur Hotel and Casino ultimately opened on the property in 1990. See also Category:Defunct casinos in the Las Vegas Valley List of Atlantic City casinos that never opened
PART ONE OF FIVE So, you wanna go to SHOT show? You think it's all fun and games? Get to play with guns? See Jesse James and James Yeager? SHOT show is the annual pilgrimage of the unwashed masses to Las Vegas to rub elbows with youtube celebrities, bloggers and overseas businessmen copying US made equipment and share infectious disease. If you love guns, gambling and gonorrhea - SHOT show is for you! It is not my typical idea of a good time. I am not a big fan of Las Vegas. However: I do attend for a few reasons. First, I do enjoy travel and I'm gold on UA so I can usually score an upgrade. Second, industry people are in there that I do hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with business with so it's nice to put a face with the name and see what deals are out there. SHOT for me has been a bust for the past few years. Being a value guy, I want to buy at $1000 and sell at $3000 and as of recently the gun business is more like buy for $1 and sell for $1.10 if you get what I mean. We used to do business at SHOT and now it's just checking in on foursquare, instagram and rubbing elbows with bloggers and the like. I want to make money, not spend money so this is very annoying to me. Anyways, onto the play by play. Saturday, January 19th. Three days before SHOT show. I talk a friend of mine to drive me to the airport after I drop my F350 at the body shop. I had a hit and run and someone totally fucked up all my paint and clearcoat. My guy says he can get it done while I'm gone for SHOT so I hitch a ride with a friend and pick up the tab for lunch. We have brisket. It is delicious. I get to the airport 3 hours early for my flight just in case the TSA line is a shitshow thanks to, well TSA. The government shutdown is not helping these folks. I have pre check and much to my surprise I breeze right through after a brief 3 minute wait. I slog my way to the lounge, as shitty as it is to wait for my winged chariot to IAH. I have gone from being in an abusive relationship with AA to being in an abusive relationship with UA. Although if you really want to experience the battered spouse feeling, NK is a few gates over. I board my flight to IAH and my Renton assembled chariot is on time and boarding early. The hate agent scans my pass and the alarms go off and spits off a new boarding pass. I have been upgraded to first class. You all will be turning right, I will be turning left once I pass the threshold of 2L on this old 757. I'll take a cleared upgrade at the gate any day of the week considering that I am 29/53 for Bush to LAX. Fuck my life. I gate check my bags to make life easier for me and the rest of the folks riding with me. If I don't have to worry about being short on time at my destination, I like to gate check to free up bins for those who are not as fortunate. Eventually I board and ask the FA to say hi to the captain and get a ride report. She says no problem. I step down into the 757 flight deck and take some selfies with the crew. They appreciate my aviation nerdery. They tell me that there will be light chop all over texas today and we're going to have some bumps so strap in and don't be a hero. Having brightened the day of the flight crew, I head back to my lie flat window seat, fully recline and kick back and relax by listening to channel 9 on the IFE. It's disabled. Fuck. I put on a movie and watch the delightful Tag with the always excellent Jon Hamm, Ed Helms and others. It's a good movie and made me laugh. Just as we get to the gate the credits roll. We land at Bush right on time but I have a 59 minute spa layover I had planned OR I can go to Landrys with my priory pass and get some blackened snapper. Do I hightail it to the Centurion lounge in terminal D, my home away from home? Or go for fresh grilled seafood? This centurion lounge does not have a spa. Fuck it, lets go cajun. I walk over to Landrys and order the blackened snapper. It is delicious. The kitchen is a little behind so they box it up the rest of it for me to take on the plane which they don't have to do and I leave the waitress a nice tip. I am sweating from the blackened seasoning. I don't care. NOM NOM NOM. Fish is delish. They have already started boarding to LAX as I walk up to the gate. I ask the hate agent if there's any upgrades. She says first is checked in full and we are 100% packed to LAX today. I thank her and board my bulkhead seat to LAX with my blackened snapper in one hand and personal item in the other. Giving the FA a friendly nod, I ask to say hi to the captain and she says no way boss, we're busy - sit down and shut up. Rude. The boarding door closes for an on time departure and I watch another classic - Wall Street! I polish off the blackened snapper, dirty rice and green beans. Charlie Sheen before he went crazy was a pretty good actor. He's so dreamy. I'm sweating profusely from the blackened seasoning and get up to throw away my trash because I didn't want the other guys in coach to have to do it for me. I walk right up to the forward galley into Bitchy McBitchface who woke up on the wrong side of life starts telling me to use the coach lavatory. I tell her I just wanted to throw some trash away and she gave me more attitude than a sassy black woman working at the DMV. Listen lady, if you don't wanna be dealing with trash - maybe you shouldn't be working for United, eh? I take my seat and I fall asleep on the way to LA. The ride is smoother than my nephew's 16 month old ass. The flight was not long enough. The landing is a perfect grease job on 24R and the only thing awakening me from my slumber is the reversers on the 737 Max. I pull my headset out so I can tune in LAX ground on LiveATC just as we make the left for taxiway Alpha/Alpha. I see the taxiway signs out of the corner of my window and start the feed just as I hear the ding. ding What I'm expecting: Welcome to Los Angeles where the local time is 5:55. Your Houston based flight crew would like to thank you for flying United and your baggage will be at carousel (integer) What I heard from a clearly panic stricken FA: IF THERE IS A DOCTOR OR ANYONE WITH MEDICAL TRAINING ON BOARD PLEASE RING YOUR CALL BUTTON. Everyone wants to be a hero until it's time to do hero shit. I reach up and press the button and a single chime tells the FA that row 9 pressed button. ding FA: If you are a doctor or have medical training please head to the rear galley immediately. I dumped my phone in my seat. (This was my first mistake. I'll tell you why later.) Shit. It's go time. The passengers next to me are soundly asleep and it's a full flight, so I unbuckle my belt and turnstile jump over the two of them making a resounding thud onto the cabin floor. I promptly walked with a purpose to the rear cabin. As I'm heading back I hear someone else walking behind me but I'm focused on the long walk from the bulkhead to the rear galley. I arrive shortly and my immediate impression is that the rear galley is not in good shape. Oh, the bitchface FA that told me off? She's now profusely thanking me for showing up. Funny how that works isn't it? There's a woman lying across three jumpseats on oxygen screaming in pain with a clearly experienced physician working on her and checking her out. I am not about to get in his way. Right behind me is a six foot three beast of a man who I can only imagine used to play right wing for Detroit. Doc 1 is working her, there's me and Doc 2 is behind me. Doc 1 tells us she's got shortness of breath and chest pains. Doc 2 nods and says he's a trauma surgeon from Cedars Sinai. Doc 1 tells us he's an internal medicine specialist at UCLA. Doc 2 asks me what my specialty is. FC says structural firefighting and making sure you two get everything you need. Doc 2 looks at the FA and asks if they got an AED on board. I look up at the nearest overhead and there's an AED in the compartment, I bust it out and hand it to him. They start sizing her up as we taxi down Alpha/Alpha. I stand in the aisle inbetween the two bathroom doors as they do their thing ready to help out. (FC breaks the fourth wall) FOR THE UNINITIATED: United is in terminals 7/8 on the south side of LAX. When you land next to In-and-Out Burger on Sepuldeva you're on the north side of the field. It's easily a 20 minute ride to get from one side of the airport to another when they're busy. Prime time for LAX is 1800hrs because you have all the morning flights from the east and the afternoon flights from the central time zone arriving. When you have a medical emergency and time is a factor, a 20 minute ride to the gate is what we call sub optimal. There's hard stand/remote gates at LAX on the northwest side of the field surface street adjacent that you can get to a lot faster than a long haul around the airport. If you give me a choice of going to the hard stand and meeting the ambulance or taking a 15-20 minute taxi during rush hour to a UA staffed ramp - I will GLADLY take to the hard stand, shut down and start em up. Yes, it's going to inconvenience a plane full of people for 20 minutes for you to unload, restart and taxi back. No, I give zero fucks. My mistake was leaving my phone behind. Had I had it with me, I would have known we were going long way around and applied some intervention techniques to get things moving faster. I had no idea where we were. (Cut to present) Doc 1 managed the best he could and the lady said inbetween raspy breaths that she was going to start vomiting from the pain. Doc calls for a bag. The FA takes the safety equipment bag, the one holding the lifevest, seatbelt extender and oxygen mask and empties it. OH FOR FUCKS SAKE. I reach over to the nearest passenger, pull all the contents of the seatback out, dump it on the floor and hand doc 1 a United brand official airsick bag. Just as I do this and I step back, the plane rapidly slows down and begins to turn. (FC breaks the fourth wall again) I used the term suboptimal earlier, and this is going to be a theme for the rest of the trip. Boeing in their infinite wisdom decided to stretch a 737 design and call it the MAX instead of doing a clean sheet. Three FA's, two doctors, me, and our lady experiencing chest pains are in the rear galley all not wearing seatbelts. All but the patient are standing. We are something like 80 feet behind the main landing gear. Inertia is not our friend today. I start falling and I grab the only thing I can on the way down: the door handle to the lavatory. (Cut to present) Next thing I know, I've experienced what the FAA would probably term a "Lavatory Incursion" - and I wonder where my life has gone wrong as my knee has hit the toilet bowl. I get back up and prop a hand up on the cabin ceiling just to steady myself for the rest of the ride to the gate. I look towards the front of the plane and notice something. Some fuckwit in row 29 is livestreaming this on instagram or some crap. Are you fucking shitting me? I lean over to the purser and tell her that while Doc 1 and 2 are fixing her, I'm gonna go do some fixing of my own about 10 rows up. My resting bitch face is on point right now as I walk up to the tactless millennial inconsiderate smartphone user and get ready to fix this problem in a way honed by years of catholic school, brute force and dealing with shithead customers. FC: Just what do you think you're doing? 1: I'm livestreaming this on twitter. It's my right. FC: You're gonna delete whatever you filmed right now. 1: Or what are you gonna do about it? FC: You see that FA over there? The one that looks like she's not taking any shit from anybody today? I'm gonna ask her for the intercom, I'm gonna call the captain and my friends over at the LAPD are gonna haul your ass in front of a judge and the next place you're gonna be livestreaming from is the back of a police car. And let me tell you something you might not know. There's two ways to enjoy LA Jail on a Saturday night. One's a Richard Pryor album. The other's when a skinny inked up ginger white boy like you walks in. Give me that goddamn phone. I'm handed the phone and I delete the video as I walk back to the rear galley and put it in my back pocket. People are now asking if they're gonna make their connections and shit and I tell them to shut up, we've got more important things going on. As I walk back I peek through the windows seeing nothing but darkness. How long does it take to get to the gate? And even then, is there an ambulance waiting there? What the fuck is happening? Where the fuck are we? I ask Bitch McBitchface how long these symptoms have been going on. Apparently this issue had just arisen upon landing. Doc 1 asks for a stethoscope. I pull down the first aid kit from the compartment. It requires keys. The cabin crew has to find the keys for the first aid kit. I'm eventually handed a key and bust out a stethoscope for the doc. I peer out the window of the rearmost seats looking for signs of a gate, ambulance or anything I can reference to figure out where we are - the tower, a 777 tail which would tell me we are nearing the international terminal.....nothing but darkness. This is not good. Doc keeps the O2 flowing as we are all standing there helpless waiting for the plane to get to the ambulance or vice versa. The cabin crew asks how they're going to get her off the plane. FC: Well she's in no condition to walk, can you get the rampers to put air stairs on 2L and take her off that way? It would be easier and optimal. FA: I don't think we are able to do that (It is at this point I think I smell toast. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T DO THAT? GET ON THE INTERCOM AND TELL THE CAPTAIN THAT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE HER OFF THE PLANE VIA 2L AND STAIRS WTF) I get that what is happening is clearly exceeding the crew's training but this is.....bad. Eventually we arrive at the gate and the fine folks at Station 51 from LAFD EMS arrive. The EMT sizes it up and calls for an aisle chair to be brought to take her off the plane since she can't walk. (WE HAVE BEEN SAYING THIS THE WHOLE TIME!) They load her up and I step out of the way into the lavatory, I see them wheel her out through a crack in the door. I take this chance to do a bit from spies like us. I look to my left and extend my hand. Doctor. I nod. I repeat to the right. They also repeat the bit. We chuckle. I look towards Doc 2. FC: Hey Docs, I didn't catch your names. I'm Will. Will Hayden. Doc 2: George, George Rodriguez. FC: Good work there Dr Rodriguez. Thanks for helping out. Doc 2: We're doctors. It's what we do. Doc 1: Hiya Will, I'm Charlie Fong. FC: Nice work today Dr Fong. Thank you for showing up. We start walking back to our seats as I snort out a laugh. FC: So, Dr Fong.....I guess it's safe to say that United has successfully smoothed things over with the Asian physician community? The doc's have a two Mississippi awkward pause as they begun laughing hysterically. Please, tip your waitresses. Try the veal. I'm here all night. Tactless millennial asks me to return phone, and I hand it back as we walk back to our seats. EMS clears the plane, captain tells people that they can now leave and a cacophony of seat belt buckles pierces the high pitched drone that is a 737 sitting at the gate without engines running on shore power. I ask Bitchy if I can see the captain on the way out as she once more thanks me for my service. She stuck her head in, got a nod and let me pass. I asked the captain why we landed on the north side of the field with an onboard medical and why we didn't get priority handling from the ground controller and why the hell it took so long to get to the gate. His response was staggering. CA: We didn't even know there was an emergency in the galley until the FA told us. By then we were almost to the terminal. FC: Are you fucking kidding me? CA: Nope. By the time we knew something was going on we were already on the ground and almost to the gate. We talk airplane briefly about the 737 Max, the new jumpseats and I wish them a good rest of the trip. I secretly think he's got to be shitting me. Being a good aviation nerd, I made mental note to check his work after I got back to the hotel. I head to the lounge in LAX for a bite to eat, a sprite and some very boring time to myself. Just as I walk into the terminal there's a voicemail from my uncle. My plan for LA was to see my family - and my cousin and his wife who's pregnant with their second kid. I crash at my uncle's house in Pasadena and walk around old town and shop at Vromans Bookstore and enjoy all that Southern California has to offer. It's a good way to spend a weekend. If you ever get a chance, do it. It's fun. I can pay United a shitload of money to fly into McCarran on Monday or I can spend 1/3 of that and go into LAX a few days before and hop over for $45. I love LA. NEW VOICEMAIL FROM UNCLE LOU: Family emergency, we all have to head to Chicago because Lisa's mom is in the hospital and we can't see you this weekend. You're on your own. I'm on my way to Burbank to catch the last flight to Midway. Talk to you later. Fuck. Time for an FC adventure. I order some food in the lounge and crack open the laptop. One of my customers works for LAFD. I find his personal cell phone number in my sales records. ring ring 1: Go for Smith FC: Chief Smith! Will Hayden here! How's that M110 running? 1: Will...holy shit long time no talk. What's going on? FC: Family bailed on me for this weekend, gotta make my own adventure. You working tomorrow? I'd love to see how LA does things. 1: No, but I have some friends on C shift that are. Let me see who's gonna be around. Let me call you back in 10. FC: You got it Chief. I eat and drink and relax and the phone rings back. Chief smith says be at station 9 at 0800 hrs Sunday morning. I say no problem! Thanks! He tells me to check in with the captain of the truck crew and he'll show me around. While I'm on the laptop I book the marriott in Torrance. It's near the airport and a 25 minute ride to station 9. Little did I know it's next to a goddamn oil refinery and the housekeeping staff have left all the windows to my room open. Ugh. I kick back and take a shower. When I get back, I pulled all the ATC tape from LAX tower, from landing clearance to touchdown to the ground controller handoff to the checkpoint, to the request for medical assistance and timestamped all of it. The request to LAX ground for EMS was made somewhere on taxiway bravo after passing papa (TBIT) but before Charlie-6. (T7). By that time we were already on the south side of the field and terminal adjacent. Cabin crew didn't tell the captain to request EMS till we got to the other side of the fucking airport. From the moment I walked up, I had assumed (incorrectly) that prior to the request for medical assistance they would at least have told the captain what was going on. They didn't and he was flying blind. When you do a CPR class the first thing you do is call 911 and ask for an ambulance because it does not matter how much CPR you do if an ambulance never shows up to take you to the hospital. There's a lesson to be learned here. When seconds count, the request for EMS is waiting for the plane to get to the terminal to be called. I knew United wasn't great, but this is to use a southern california term - no bueno. The Westchester In and Out Burger has a 4x4 with my name on it and it is DELICIOUS. After I finish eating I hop on the hangout with the guys. Since I've got no plans till morning I decide that it's worth the crazy time and I call u/gunexpert69 and we make plans to hang out at his local watering hole. We then try to pick up some flight attendants at the Doubletree. We fail miserably and call it a night. Sunday, January 20th. Two days before SHOT show. My alarm is set for 727AM. It rings, I wash up, jump in the car and put free fallin by Tom Petty on the radio and hop onto 405 south to pick up 110 north. The freeways are empty and I make incredible time downtown. I look down at the address and wonder where the fuck I am going. 7th and San Julian St? I drive around and there are tents on the sidewalk everywhere. This is the closest I have seen to life in a WROL situation. Eventually I find a spot on 7th street, bang on the door and the guys tell me to pull my car into the back lot. I do so and the guys are having breakfast and invite me to sit down and grab a bite. When in Rome...... I grab some eggs, bacon and a biscuit and the truck captain comes by and says oh you know Smith? Apparently they came up in the same academy class and are old friends. He sticks his head out the door and yells at one of the guys and pantomimes some instructions. I don't speak ASL so I just nod and take it in. He runs down what they're doing today. LA tradition is that weekends are for the boys so they do training on weekends. It's 820AM and they've setup a training scenario and are gonna run it. This looks cool. One of the guys comes back and hands me a headset, saladbowl and turnout coat. Captain says you're with me in the truck. Gear up. Uh. What? CA: Yeah, Chief Smith said you'd be riding along with us today. Right? FC: LOL! I thought he was just gonna do a station visit. Sure, I'll ride with you guys. CA: You ever see a TDA before? FC: I used to be on the engine or the quint so this is gonna be new. CA: Well, jump in. Lets go. My ride to LA was a 737 max made in Renton that just came off the line January 17th. My ride to Skid Row was a 100' Pierce Arrow XT Tractor Drawn Aerial that was three years old. I hopped in and we drove around to the training location where the guys were to setup the ladder and pretend like they were venting a roof on a 5 story building. I was told to go shadow the command post as they'd be evaluating the guys and they had a good training day. LA has a good group of people and it shows. They did a post training debrief, simulated a dry hydrant and talked about everything they did, everything they did badly and everything they could do better. LA has some fantastic people there that are very talented. The guys started putting tools away and rolling hose. I find the captain over on one of the engines and ask him if they need help with anything. He says if you want to help out, we're breaking down that attack line you can drain it. FC: You guys straight roll to a flat load right? CA: Yeah. You know hose? FC: Drivers do it with hose. CA: LOL! Hadn't heard that one before! Here's some gloves. He gave me some gloves, I straight rolled three sections of three quarter line and hauled it all back to the engine where I found the truck captain loading hose with his guys. If anyone wants to see where real leadership is, it's helping your guys load hose and pack up tools. I hook up and look up as I notice their technique. LA flat loads all their attack line, no preconnects. Two guys in the bed dressing and dutching it, one guy on the ground, straight roll between the boots pulling hose straight up into the engine. Gets any residual water out and they can check the gaskets every length. Never seen that done before but it looks like a smooth technique. I hook up the last of their attack line as the guys finish packing up. The bells come in and there's an automatic fire alarm tripped. First call of the morning. We hop over there and its' a false alarm. The rest of the day is spent with station 9 watching the various indigenous folks of Skid Row do their thing. Station 9 is the busiest fire station in the nation. Before lunch they ran 3 overdoses, 2 stabbings, and a cacophany of crap. I went with them and their ambulance drivers and EMT's really earn every dollar they make working this area. After a quick break for lunch, they start watching the Rams game. Just as it got good, bells came in for another few calls and next thing I knew - the Rams were going to the super bowl and the dinner bell was ringing. I decided it would be overstaying my welcome to hang out for dinner so I packed up and bought a shirt and told the guys if they ever needed guns to shout at me. Drove over to Grand Central Market to get a bite to eat and then grabbed some in and out burger on my way back to the hotel. txgi is sloshed and in no position to travel after watching the patriots destroy KC. It's been a crazy day and the beginning of a crazy trip. And it's just getting started. Monday, January 21st. One day before SHOT Show I wake up late, grab lunch at the Del Amo mall and do some shopping. My flight to McCarran leaves at 7PM and arrives just after 8PM. Knowing rush hour traffic in LA I decide to leave early and get to the airport at 430. I hightail it to the lounge in TBIT and grab a bite to eat and relax. I'm on an Alaska A320 to McCarran all the way in the back but at least I got a window seat. I stop in on the way to talk to the captain and he asks me a bunch of gun questions. I tell him the VP9 is good to go and he should buy it with his ATP credentials. The 320 ride to LAS is entirely filled with moderate chop. The airplane is literally banging the side of the plane into my head. It is a miserable flight. We land on time and I am unable to stop at the Centurion lounge for a bite and a drink because it's closed for renovations. I grab my bags and pick up my badge for SHOT Show at the airport and jump on the shuttle bus to Hertz. I reserved a compact knowing I'd need to be in and out of a tight parking garage. I get to my assigned spot, spot 13 and there's a fullsize Chevy Suburban there. What the fuck is this? I throw my bags inside, jump in and drive right up to the Gold Member service area. FC: The lady on the phone asked me compact, midsize or fullsize - WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? Hertz: That's the Hertz Love Wagon! Think of all the ladies you can drive around in this! FC: DO I LOOK LIKE A GODDAMN LYFT FOR WORKING GIRLS? It is at this point where I learn something. The best part about Vegas is anything crazy or unbelievable can be explained or justified by shrugging your shoulders, opening your palms upward and saying "It's Vegas!" Hertz: It's Vegas! FC: I am not driving (gesticulates widlly) THIS into the parking garage of the Palazzo for 4 days straight! Hertz is not impressed with my pantomime. They find me a brand new 2019 Honda Pilot with 19 miles on it. I hightail it up the highway to Circus Circus. Check in line is totally deserted. I am able to haul my bags up and get keys in 3 minutes flat. That's gotta be a fucking record. Just as I arrive at my room I decide to send Rusty Shackleford a picture of me looking grumpy in front of the hertz love wagon. RS: ARE YOU IN VEGAS?!?!?!??!?!? FC: YES!!!! WHY ARE WE YELLING?!?!?!??!? (image of Rusty coming down the escalator with the sign behind him that says WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS in the background) FC: Oh dear god. I just got to the hotel to dump off my bags, you want a ride? I can be there in 20. RS: Nah man we just landed a few min ago I was gonna take an uber FC: By the time you get to the rideshare area it'll be 20 minutes. I can be there by the time you get to the curb. Seriously. RS: LOL okay head over! I look at my watch. Las Vegas Blvd traffic on a monday night? This isn't gonna work. I grab my coat and run back to the parking garage and tear out of the CC garage tires squealing all the way down. I bang a left onto Sammy Davis Jr Drive and haul ass to Spring mountain where I jump on 15 and get the car up to 100MPH between mandalay bay and 215. McCarran Airport SUCKS in many regards and the airport pickup is one of them. It's not laid out well at all but it makes the cabbies plenty of money. I find it kinda funny because this year I'm picking up Rusty. Last year I was picking up a coworker of a buddy of mine who needed his SHOT show pass and there was no way to get it to him that night so I just said fuck it, give me the pass and I'll get it to him and drive him to the hotel. The year before, I picked up u/fluffy_butternut. I guess I am the world's worst uber driver. I like doing the same bit over and over again like beating a dead horse so I can pickup Rusty one of to ways. A: The classic Las Vegas Airport pickup. Drive to airport and park car on curb. Wait for metro PD to start yelling at you for parking on the sidewalk. Message Rusty to tell him I'm the one parked on the sidewalk. B: In my best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression: COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE My calculations were rough but I figured rusty should get to the curb right at the same time as me. If he's there already, we do B. If he's not, I'll do A. The speed limit in the tunnel under the airport is 55. I'm doing 90. I fly up the ramp to Terminal 1 and tell him that I'll grab him at the American arrivals level. Just as I pull off to the curb to tell him I'm here he tells me he's just walked outside and I look up and see a classically hawaiian shirt standing at the curb. I pull the car forward, stop quickly and do my best Arnold. He laughs and hops in. I take him to his hotel and dump him off at registration as I park the car. I spend 20 minutes parking the car and I walk over to registration to find him still in line. The hotel is packed with people for the convention. Behind us is a beautiful blonde engineer in town for what I'm guessing is World of Concrete based on the blueprints she's brought with her. I chat her up a bit until I see that she's got a wedding ring on her other hand. We head up to rusty's room where we find a king size bed and a hot tub 5 feet away. You don't even need to leave your bed to drown a hooker if you don't want to. It's Vegas! Rusty says lets go down to the casino and lose some money. We head down to the casino and lose some money at the craps table. This trip is not treating me nicely. I tell him I gotta tap out. Show in the morning.
EDCLV will 99.9% be happening June 15-17. You should book your hotel room now at a refundable rate. Book your room and check on the prices every month to couple of weeks. If the rate drops, call the hotel and have them adjust your rate down. Most hotels will happily do this. If the hotel will not adjust your rate down, cancel your room and re-book at the lower rate. Most hotels have a cancellation policy of 72 hours before arrival, that means you can do this up until June 11, 2018 (if you arrive on Thursday). Current Rates (Thur-Tues):
So, you wanna go to SHOT show? You think it's all fun and games? Get to play with guns? See Jesse James and R. Lee Ermey? SHOT show is the annual pilgrimage of the unwashed masses to Las Vegas to rub elbows with youtube celebrities, bloggers and overseas businessmen copying US made equipment and share infectious disease. If you love guns, gambling and gonorrhea - SHOT show is for you! It is not my typical idea of a good time. I am not a big fan of Las Vegas. However: I do attend for a few reasons. First, I do enjoy travel and I'm platinum on AA so I can usually score an upgrade. Second, industry people are in there that I do hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with business with so it's nice to put a face with the name and see what deals are out there. SHOT for me has been a bust for the past few years. Being a value guy, I want to buy at $1000 and sell at $3000 and as of recently the gun business is more like buy for $1 and sell for $1.10 if you get what I mean. We used to do business at SHOT and now it's just checking in on foursquare, instagram and rubbing elbows with bloggers and the like. I want to make money, not spend money so this is very annoying to me. Anyways, onto the play by play. Monday, January 16th. One day before SHOT show. http://imgur.com/a/HoFUm Every time I've been rejected by a woman, I move $1 from checking into savings and I take the bankroll down to the Wynn for some play. Lets do this. The TSA line is a shitshow thanks to, well TSA. I slog my way to the lounge, as shitty as it is to wait for my winged chariot to DFW. I have gone from being in an abusive relationship with Delta to being in an abusive relationship with AA. Although if you really want to experience the battered spouse feeling, UA is a few gates over. This trip's light reading is trying to finish "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. Such a good book as well as "Outliers" if you want a good read. I walk up to the podium to find out that my upgrades do not clear, even as an AA Plat thanks to the addition of a FOURTH elite tier. Goddamn fucking W. Doug Parker. Asshole. I gate check my bags to make life easier for me and the rest of the folks. The gate agent calls concierge key and executive platinum passengers. I look down and realize I'm wearing a suit and board with the executive platinum folks because I do not care and I look the part. If you walk with a purpose and are dressed reasonably well, you fit the profile. I settle into my window seat and try to finish outliers. I pass out before takeoff and I'm awoken by the dulcet tones of the flight attendants preparing for landing. We land at Dallas a few minutes early and I hightail it to the Centurion for a quick bite to eat. I grab a plate and help myself to some of the excellent brisket, pecan encrusted chicken and some roasted jumbo asparagus. Yes, my pee is going to smell funny. No, I do not care. The lounge is packed. The bar is full and I grab a quick single malt as I have my meal since American's not going to feed me. They begin boarding to Mccarran as I walk out of the lounge. No time for a stop in the spa on this trip. I make it to the gate just as the call group 2 boarding. I bypass the main line and walk up through the priority line giving no heed to the people that have been waiting there before me as I hold up my paper boarding pass with PLATINUM to the gate agent. I board and take my usual seat - the exit row without the seat in front of it. I'm aghast to see this sight. http://imgur.com/a/dygil The savages. Literally. The savages. I put my loathing away for a moment and look down at the exit row. I have the window. The aisle is a large middle aged man and in the middle is what I believe to be a formecurrent linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys wearing a 52 regular sports jacket. He's not a fat guy in a little coat, he's a big fucking hulk of a man stuffed in an exit row seat that is already an inch narrower due to the tray table. I grimace as I take my seat and give him the manly nod. He does not look happy about the fact that his knees are in the seat in front and I'm stretched out like a Cheshire cat in front of a fireplace on a cold January afternoon. The boarding door closes for an on time departure and Stephanie the FA takes her seat. He leans over and asks if he can take the empty row across the aisle and she takes one look at the three of us and gives him the nod. I bail out to give him a path of egress and suddenly the trip to Las Vegas has just become way more comfortable. I finish The Tipping Point somewhere over west texas, so I pop a xanax and dr pepper and zone out for the rest of the ride. I awake to feel one of the FA's jostling me awake telling me to put my seat up. I do so and we have a ride so smooth that not even the Delta guy behind me can complain about light chop. We catch the TYSSN4 arrival and the next thing I know it the Messier Dowty landing gear of the A321 touch the paint at Mccarran for a smooth rollout down 25L. My phone battery is approaching grim death since this seat has no power plugs and I find bartman383 has sent me a message. He has been enjoying LV with his wife and their due to bad weather they are in the city of sin for a few extra nights. He invites me to dinner. I'm still pretty full from DFW and I tell him I'll be over there once I get my bags and the car and I'll see him when I see him. He gives me the info for the hotel as we pull up to the gate. First stop: Centurion lounge. AA's app tells me bags being unloaded. I grab a quick bite of fried chicken and brussels sprouts since they are good for you and a chocolate pudding. The brisket and pecan encrusted chicken from DFW still has me full but I'm well aware of the speed of a union baggage handlers nowadays and who doesn't like chocolate pudding? Terrorists. That's who. Want to know how to screen for terrorists TSA? Set up a table of free chocolate pudding at the airport. The people who don't take any are members of ISIS. It's just that simple. I grab my bag and hoof it to Hertz. I'm an idiot and I am an hour late for my pickup. Oops. Will an Audi A3 suffice? I sigh and I accept my Teutonic quattro chariot. I do a burnout in the parking garage and hightail it to the exit. I flash my #1 card and my ID and the gatekeeper gives me the go ahead. I get onto the the strip and traffic is awful. I'm going to be late for dinner. I make a left onto Russell Road and hightail it up the 15. I manage to get the car up to 100 as I pass the Luxor. My phone is dead so I can't message Bart about being late. Fuck. The exit approaches quickly as I put the 4 wheel disk brakes to work and sling the car around and head south on Las Vegas Bl. I accidentally turn into the Bellagio and I'm now running even more late. Fuck. Eventually, I get the car into the garage at the Cosmopolitan and head upstairs. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant but I head up to the third floor where all the restaurants are and I see this sign that's reminiscent of my days in retail. It says RESTAURANT - LOUNGE - PAWN SHOP. I laugh. I walk in. It's literally a pawnshop. I look around puzzled. FC: Is this a restaurant? Bald Headed Guy: Yes, through that door. He points towards a door. I walk in to find a bustling restaurant, lounge via the entrance of pawnshop. This is insane. I pass a mirror and check myself out. I adjust my tie, after all it is YSL and the ladies LOVE YSL. Remember that. I find the hostess and inform her I will be joining some friends for dinner. They probably do not have me on the reservation though but I turn on the charm and she smiles and says no problem at all. She asks if my tie is from Hermes. I say no, I'm a YSL guy. She looks impressed as I tell her I'll make a quick lap of the room to see if they're there and surprise them. She gives me a nod and tells me to go right ahead. Still got it. I spot bart and his wife who I can only remember vaguely from gunnitlive after party video and I pull up a chair. Bart is surprised to see I made it and they are in the middle of dinner. They offer to ply me with food and beverage but I decline as I'm driving so no booze for me and no food since I am stuffed from Dallas. We chat about life and liberty over libations. Bart's wife thinks I am hysterical. She's had a few drinks and they are already into their main courses. The brussels sprouts are way too salty and we have to send it back. No bueno. Bart invites me up to his suite on the top floor of the hotel where we are to meet Brogelicious later in the evening. I say, when in rome......we head to the top floor of the hotel tower where Bart shows me his view from the balcony and cracks open the mini bar for some more libations. He asks if I want a drink and I say I better not. I'm driving. Not 30 seconds after arriving, brogel shows up. Bart's wife hugs brogel. She's infatuated with him. We start shooting the shit and bart opens up the minibar and tells us to take anything we want, it's on the hotel. I laugh and I look outside as bart opens his yeti 110 for some silver bullets. Apparently he is so baller the hotel will send up a yeti 110 filled with beer to make him happy. His wife is apparently such a baller. I ball on a budget. They just ball. Hahaha. We shoot the shit some more about guns, gun stuff and people on the reddit for a while. I get a little thirsty and I crack open bart's cooler. I ask him how long the stuff in the cooler is supposed to last and he says until Wednesday. I look down and I am agape at what I see. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. I mentally prepared my butthole and I decided to help myself to a coors light against my wishes but Bart, Bart's wife and Brogel are all drinking so I let peer pressure take hold as I cracked open a beer with them. We head out to the balcony to smoke some cuban cigars together as bart's wife takes a photo of all of us. We all look like hell. Haha. As bart downs his second beer, he asks me a question. Bart: ever go hunting? Me: Ducks a little bit but not much Bart: ever want to hunt some deadly game? Me: Like on african safari? Bart: No, I mean like.........man. Me: Hahahahhahaaha you're just fucking with me. Hahahahahhaa. That's really funny. Bart: No really, the concierge here at this hotel will set it up for us. It's amazing. I remember my first hunt...... Brogel starts laughing and I realize they've been doing a bit. I've been had. We bullshit about SHOT and Barrett's shotguns and other things and next thing I know, it's late but bart hands me a mixed drink. I sip it a bit and I was in the middle of a tirade complaining about my customers. Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around us, and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the city, and a voice was screaming: Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals? Nobody seems to understand what I'm talking about. It's cold on the balcony. Our cigars are done. We head indoors. No point in mentioning these bats, I thought. Poor bastards will see them soon enough. Back indoors I realize Brussels sprouts and coors light is a bad choice. Seriously no bueno. I excuse myself to the bathroom and drain the vein. The asparagus funny smelling pee and the side effects of beer and brussels sprouts is a noxious combination that a defense contractor should weaponize it. It's pretty bad and not even cuban tobbaco can mask the smell. I sit back down and continue to talk about guns and stuff with bart and the gang and bart asks who ruined the bathroom. I apologize as he sprays a bunch of febreze around and opens the balcony. I apolgize to brogel. He is not accepting my apology. (sorry :( ) Nearly 11, it's about time to pull chocks and mosey on down the dusty trail. I don't want to prompt an evacuation of the hotel due to noxious odors so I decide to leave and bart seems to be kinda mad that I've ripped ass and polluted the sanctuary of his hotel. Half a coors light and brussels sprouts are no bueno in my book now. Bart decides to party hard with his wife and I offer brogel a ride home. He seems skeptical to share a confined space with me after I have just destroyed bart's hotel room. The car has 4 windows and the Uber will cost him a few bucks he can put towards ammo. He relents as we head down to the garage to find my car. Thankfully we find it quickly and I manage to contain the weapons of ass destruction for the 16 minute ride off strip to casa de brogel. He says I'm not that bad a dude and I agree as I hightail it to my hotel. I cannot find my hotel reservations so I call my travel agent to see. Apparently the Wynn was not in my travel budget this year. I have come to find out I have been booked at Circus Circus, much to my chagrin. How bad could it be? I've stayed at the Wynn. I've stayed at Encore. I've stayed at the hotel that Elisabeth Shue's character got raped in in Leaving Las Vegas - but Circus Circus? Did I mention that I HATE CLOWNS? I HATE CLOWNS. Fuck. I pull into the parking garage and the check in line resembles something straight out of the TSA line at Mccarran. 45 minutes to check in. The clerk is friendly and says he's also from Louisiana which is neat. He asks if I've stayed there before and I, being a connoisseur of old vegas history I decide to make a joke and I tell him the last time I was there, Jay Sarno owned the place. He got a laugh. I head up to my room and unpack. The lobby is clean as an old vegas casino can be, the room is clean and there's no way to plug anything in since the hotel predates personal electronic devices. I plug my phone into my external battery and collapse on the bed. I message Bart and chugbleach instead of falling asleep about show tomorrow and I offer to pick bart up early since there is no shuttle from the cosmo. Tuesday, November 16th SHOT Show Day One I awoke several hours later in a daze......the clock said 10AM. The show opened at 8:30. Fuck me to tears. I hurry up and get dressed and down to the sands convention center. The parking lot is FULL. The entire complex is a mess. When my man Steve Wynn built his joint he didn't build enough parking. So people would park at the Venetian and now FUCKING NOBODY CAN GET A PARKING SPACE. Holy shit. I eventually say fuck it and park over at the Wynn and walk over to the Sands. I meet up with a few of my regular suppliers and I see nothing interesting at all. Bart went to bed at 6AM after spending all night partying with his wife over at the palazzo. I joke and say that he just should have stayed there. Bart is amazed at the size of the show and we have lunch at the most disgusting place in las vegas - the convention center bistro snack bar. Bart is a wise man as he grabs a powerade and a fruit cup. I decide to try an "italian beef" and a fruit cup instead of fries to stay semi health conscious. The "italian beef" is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. It is flat out depressing. They give me fries with it and I demand a fruit cup. The sassy black woman working the stand asks me "DID YOU ASK FOR FRUIT? CAUSE RIGHT HERE SAYS FRIES" and I channel my inner Louis CK from the "this is how I talk" bit from SNL as I shoot back "WHY YOU FRONTIN ON ME I ASKED FOR FRUIT AND YOUR ASS BETTER BACK UP AND GET ME SOME FRUIT" so she goes back and gets me some fruit. The "italian beef", my fruit cup, bart's fruit cup and powerade comes to $81. My platinum amex comes out and I treat bart to "lunch". We bullshit about guns and stuff in the Springfield booth as we wait at the world's worst concession stand. We eat and Bart is so hungover that he thinks he is in need of physical therapy and a wheelchair. There is no way he is going to party tonight before his trip home. Or so I think. Haha. I meander around the show a bit more and I find this, the most USELESS PRODUCT OF 2017. It's made by a company called radetec. http://imgur.com/a/GOiCB It's a shot counter. For your gun. A digital odometer, for your gun. The only person that would buy this is the guy like my dad that kept a spiral bound notebook in his car where he documented how many miles he traveled per tank, gallons dispensed, PRICE, service station and whether they had a different price for cash/charge, oil consumption, tire rotations, alignments, all services - scheduled or otherwise, and a running odometer. Does anyone know the gun owner who asks for a round count when they are looking at a used gun? The question I always shoot back is "do you want to be lied at a little or do you want to be lied at a lot?" because that's what you're asking for when you ask for round count. UNLESS YOU BUY THIS PRODUCT! I roll my eyes so far back into my head that I nearly lose my balance. This is idiotic. I cannot fathom anyone willing to buy this. What a waste of perfectly good exhibition space. Bart heads back to his hotel after visiting SHOT show for a few hours, not getting any swag and to get an IV of fluids since he looked like he was rapidly approaching grim death. I wrap up visiting prime vendors and checking out the new products, or lack thereof because I have something on the schedule. At 4:30 there's a suicide prevention for retailers seminar hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As many of you know this is an issue that is important to me and perhaps we as retailers should be doing more. The keynote was from their chief medical director talking about the accessibility of firearms and the mindset of the "typical" suicide. Mostly men. If you are a veteran you are at a significantly larger risk. The information was presented very not surprisingly and one of the things discussed was that we only spend around 21M a year on suicide prevention. A few take away facts from the keynote: When suicide barriers are put up on a bridge, suicide rates for the entire area drop. The key to preventing suicide is getting people to talk about their problems. Once you can get someone out of that mindset, they are statistically less likely to do it and live productive lives afterwards. There are certain terms that they are trying to get away from - for instance, they are not saying "committed suicide" they are now saying "died by suicide" in order to bring awareness and tell it like it is. One thing that really was interesting to me was my reading on the flight in from Dallas. In The Tipping Point, Gladwell discusses how things stay the same and suddenly they all change. One of the things that he discusses is in micronesia - where teen suicide was practically unheard of became an outright epidemic. One teenager did it, for reasons passing understanding to me as an outsider and then all the other kids realized that they too could escape their pain by hanging themselves as well and suddenly the suicide rates in micronesia became so high to where it became a public health issue. I wish I could show you all the article I wrote on TTAG about my friend's death but it has been lost in the cloud and I am unable to find the last draft I sent to print, but it echoes some of the problems we have with suicide and mental health in the firearm industry. After the keynote, the good doctor opened the floor up for questions. Her keynote posed a lot of statistics but not a lot of answers. I am a detail oriented granular data guy and I did not get a solid grasp of the AFSP solutions posed, if any. Several firearm dealers discussed the lack of a cohesive solution and the takeaway was they're trying to develop awareness for the suicide problem. Their goal is to lower suicide rates but how they get there is yet to be determined. I didn't like hearing that and the comments from the crowd reflected the lack of a "here's what you can do TODAY to help this problem" part of the initiative. Going around the room, one dealer who used NICS said that if a customer was just flat out acting funny - he'd lie to the customer and say there was a delay with NICS even though there was an approval just to get them to not be able to have a gun for a few days. The crowd applauded this initiative, however I'm not sure lying to customers is the best way to run a business and treat them with respect. Another dealer brought up an interesting point. When someone comes in looking to buy a gun and they don't know what kind of gun they want, what caliber, and are generally clueless - they're either buying a gun to kill themselves with, OR perhaps they are a very uneducated prospective customer - and there is no clear way of finding out which is which. The problems presented by the AFSP are real. The solutions aren't there though. Yet. Ideally I'd like to see some change to that. However, there's some problems. I hung around and asked the good doctor and her staff some questions and I am in no way denigrating her life's work and her dedication to preventing suicide since she has dedicated her life's work to the issue, but the conversation went something like this. Did you do any research on the accessibility of firearms from a retailer from the legal standpoint? "No, we haven't" Do you know how the NICS or state POC background systems work in regard to mental health holds, etc? "No" One of the problems that I foresee right off the bat is that you talked about how you are fighting time, and if you can get someone out of that suicide mindset - even for a few hours, you can get them into that higher survival bracket. If we apply a one size fits all solution to it like California and put a 10 day wait on everything with the goal of protecting someone from their own life, how do we balance that with the needs of the woman who has been hiding from her abusive spouse and needs a gun right away? "That's a good question that I don't have an answer for." Their initiative, I admire - the lack of solutions is a little off putting however. I tell the doc about how my friend's suicide has impacted me and she seems to be sympathetic to the situation as does her colleagues. I am given her cards and told to call the next time I'm in New York so we can get together and discuss things within the industry. I'll give them a buzz in a few weeks when I'm up there on business. On my way out of the hall, I run into Massad Ayoob. Nice guy. I've admired his work over the years. Bart invites myself and chugbleach to dinner, I can't reach Chug and even though I am beat I decide to hang out with Bart and Mrs Bart Bart: What do you want to eat? FC: Let's find a nice seafood restaurant and eat some red salmon, I feel a powerful lust for red salmon. I begin vomiting. God damn mescaline. Why the fuck can't they make it a little less pure? We eventually head downstairs and order too much food. We are tired and not very hungry. Bart is still hungover and barely able to process food. His wife is grazing on all sorts of meat products. I am in awe of how they are both still upright after six nonstop nights of partying. I've only been here one day and I feel like I am about to die. Dinner concludes with an awkward hug with bart's wife - I don't know how other men feel about wife hugs so I have just avoided the prospect entirely. Like flying through Denver on Frontier. Or flying on Frontier. Ever. I drive over to the Wynn to set up my markers and the poker room is full. I draw a $2500 marker at the craps table and watch the game a bit. I have never played craps before in my life but the three people there seem to be having fun. I look down at my phone and I realize a plane has landed. fluffy_butternut has landed in Las Vegas on business. I had lost a bet and offered to pick him up from the airport. I cash back in my chips against my casino credit and head back to my car. I cannot find my car. Fuck. I wander the wynn garage which is covered in construction debris. I eventually find it and haul ass to the airport. Now, I didn't know this but fluffy has the WORST SENSE OF DIRECTION AT ALL. Seriously. I have no idea how he even made it to the correct city. He lands and has to get his bag and stuff and I circle the airport. He lets me know he's at door 77 wherever the fuck that was. I drive into the pickup portion and I see no sign. He then says he's coming up a level, and I tell him that I'll be there shortly. I park the car and Metro PD starts yelling. Metro: You can't park your car here. FC: Why not? Is this not a reasonable place to park? Metro: Reasonable? You're on a sidewalk! This is the sidewalk! I give the man a $20 and tell him to keep it running as I wander Mccarran screaming FLUFFY! HERE FLUFFY! I message fluffy to let him know I am the car parked on the sidewalk. I instantly figure out who he is having never seen a photo of him and I throw his bags into the car as we head for his hotel. I haul ass out of the airport and get the A3 on the highway. Now this was a superior machine. Thirty nine grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand. We check in at the Rio where the desk clerk is friendly and flirty. I express amazement there is no line. Fluffy checks in and we take his bags upstairs and he offers to buy me food for driving him to the airport. I decline. We head to the bar anyways. He orders two beers and we decide to call chug. He's staying out in Summerlin or something because his company is apparently run by cheapskates. He asks if we want to hang out and shoot the shit. I say sure and ask if he wants us to pick up food or anything from CVS or something since I have the car and I'm able to do anything I want. He asks for some toothpaste. No problem. I may be an asshole on the internet but I have a heart of gold. We get some toothpaste get to the hotel. Arriving at the lobby, we have no idea where he is. It turns out he gave us the address for the hotel across the street. We laugh and go to that lobby and shoot the shit till 3AM much to the chagrin of the hotel clerk. Fluffy has some beers and we plan on dinner the next day. I drive fluffy back and arrive at the hotel at 4. Fuck me to tears. Wednesday, January 18th. Day 2 of SHOT show. Alarm goes off at 7:30 AM. I wash up, eat and get breakfast. In the garage by 8:15. Nice. I get some dillo dust and check out the new Sig 220 DA/SA and SAO legions. Daddy likey. I go to a competing firm and I piss of my state sales manager by telling him his newer designed triggers suck ass. He says the company tested them and they're the same in every way. I ask him why the triggers have two different part numbers in the catalog and how come they're not interchangeable and if that's really the case, how come there's X changes in the supposedly identical pistol parts that he's holding side by side. He gets mad at me and says I'm not an expert on their product and perhaps I should take his job since I'm so smart. I agree that I'm smart and I hold firm that if he didn't want me to complain about the shitty trigger, they should stop selling guns with shitty triggers. I am nearly kicked out of the booth. I meet up with some of my wholesale reps and I'm mid convo when I see Itsgoodsoup and his friend walking around the show. I yell SOUP but he does not hear me. So I grab his friend and find him and I tell him we should get together at dinner with fluffy and chug. He agrees. The show winds down, I get some business done and nothing much else. We break for a shitty gunnit live lite and I take a few questions from the crowd in fluffy's suite at the Rio. Dinner is at 8 and we arrive at the restaurant late to find soup and his friend sitting at one table and chug and his girlfriend sitting at another. Perhaps we should have gotten here a little earlier. Hahaha. So, fluffy said the place is really good and I order a few of the specialties of the house. Apparently according to yelp they do a kickass peking duck. Soon to be mrs chug is a vegan. But we can eat meat in front of her. I wonder how it's served and Soup's vancouver raised asian friend tells me that they normally carve it tableside. Our vegan says as long as there's no head she's cool. We're not sure if they can fulfill that request. So we order and food starts coming out and we tell tall tales of shot show BS and other stuff. Sure enough, the duck comes out with the head. No bueno. Haha. But I decide to treat us to vegan donuts at the vegan bakery across the street later. Seven courses later we are full. Vegan bakery closed. I am committed to getting her some vegan donuts though. We head to Fremont street to gamble. Fluffy wanders about and we try craps and we're not impressed. We hit some slots and eventually I hit the craps table where chug explains the game to me. We start betting on dice. And somehow we start winning. I find that the house allows you to take 10X behind the line. No idea what this means so I plop $5 on the pass line and the point hits 6. I drop $50 behind it and it hits. We go a few rounds and leave ahead. It's 2:30 AM. Fuck. I drive everyone back to their hotel. I get to sleep around 4. Thursday, January 19th. Day 3 of SHOT show. Wake up at 10AM feeling like crap. Debate whether to head straight to show and wander about. Fuck it. Went to halal guys for some halal. Delicious. Got vegan donuts. Dead drop them at the Palazzo lobby for chug and his girl. Show is a bust. Literally nothing exciting. Fluffy offers to buy me dinner. One of my customers who lives in Summerlin offers to take me to dinner. I pass on fluffy and he destroys the seafood buffet at the rio. I head to Sinatra at the Wynn for dinner with my customer. All good in the hood. Chug has been invited to the Glock dinneafter party and I'm not so we all go our separate ways. I call foghorn5950 and due to some weather, he's flying home early and our plans to hangout are fucked up unless I go tonight. I grab fluffy and we head to Whiskey Down. He orders a makers and I give him a funny look. I tell the waitress make it a bulleit. Everyone laughs. I talk shop with Jeremy also from TTAG and we shoot the shit over cigars and talk about useless products. Next thing we know, chug is out of the dinner and wandering the strip. We decide to meet up at the Linq. It takes us nearly 30 minutes to get out of Whiskey Down at MGM because the waitress was awful and messed up everyone's tab. It was a fucking disaster. To boot, MGM is now charging for parking. FC: What a bunch of fucking jews Fluff: You should just tailgate that lady in front of you out and screw them out of the $7 FC: I should We pull behind her and watch as she gets flustered at the awful parking machine. Her nevada license plate says VETERAN. As the gate goes up we haul ass and screw MGM out of $7. I shout "THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE" out the window as we blow right by her up to the Linq. Through fluffy's awful navigation, we wind up at the loading dock for the Linq. Eventually we find chug and gf hanging at the penny slots. They are holding vegan donuts, which she is very appreciative of. Least I could do after showing her the head. Fluffy plays the House of Cards slot machine. He stuck $100 in, played for 6 minutes and then got really mad and hit the cash out button and $80 was left after 5 minutes. ITS EXACTLY LIKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! Chug's gf asks to play a special slot machine called kitty glitter. We ask and the linq does not offer it but Harrahs next door does. So we head over there and the slot tech finds the kitty glitter machine. Fluffy sticks a C note in there and tells her to play and have a blast. So she's banging away at the one armed bandit WHEN SUDDENLY I HEAR THE SOUND. It's PUTTIN ON THE RITZ in shitty .wav file internal speaker format. Hahah. She's just hit the progressive jackpot on the penny KITTY GLITTER machine. THIS PLACE IS AWESOME! We cash out after some play and a good time was had by all. I dump off fluffy at the rio since it was very close and drive everyone else back. It's late, I'm tired and the Palace Station oyster bar is open 24 hours......I head over there and there's a 45 minute wait. So, I pull out my backup bankroll and using everything chug and fluffy have taught me about craps I belly up to the $3 min table where they let you take 10x behind the line. I'm still learning and the table is slow so one of the boxmen start explaining the game to me. Box: So if you place the 6 or the 9 or individual numbers you can bet those but you gotta pay a little juice on it like a commission Me: Like when you buy the hook? short pause Box: Yeah! Exactly like that! You got this! So I played a little and went up a bit and down a bit. As you do. Plunked $5 down on the pass line and took full odds and the point hit. This game is pretty cool! So I hung around and watched for about an hour and finally decided to eat my winnings. I take $5 off my stack and, drop it on the pass line and announce dealer bet - $5 to pass. It hits. The dealers love me. Maybe Vegas isn't so bad after all. http://imgur.com/a/LGhDj I have the pan roast at the oyster bar. No line. It is DELICIOUS. I get back to the hotel at 5AM. I don't care when I wake up. Friday, January 20th. Day 4 of SHOT show. Wake up around noon feeling like crap. Go to show. Debate destroying milk cart with wheels with an ax borrowed from fire station. Decide against it. Gas up car and find myself out by palace station again. Played some craps, hit the buffet and went for an early sleep. It's midnight. The neighbors in my the hotel are having sex. A LOT OF SEX. I can hear everything. I gently knock on the door. No answer. I knock slightly harder. No answer. I head back to my room and close the door just as I hear their door open. I zoom back out to find a puzzled middle aged stocky and perhaps sticky Latino man looking both ways. I get in his line of sight. Me: Hey. I'm next door. It sounds like you're having a lot of fun. I get it. I really do. In fact I haven't had sex since the bush administration so I'm gunning for you man I really am. But it's midnight and I have a 6am flight and a rental car to return. So trust me when I say I'm really happy for you but if you don't mind I really need to get some sleep tonight okay? The awkward silence is deafening. He nods without saying a word and mouths okay. I give him a manly nod and thumbs up. Me: thanks. I'd shake your hand or fist bump but well you know..... I give him a peace sign as he goes back into his little pleasure palace and I turn to realize that I have just locked myself out of my room. I am wearing boxers, a tshirt and barefoot. I head downstairs to the lobby. The check in at the front desk resembles the TSA line at Mccarran. Normally I would not be this rude but desperate times call for desperate measures. The line is 50 people deep. I walk past every person. Fuck your queue. I approach the desk where someone is helping a guest and I raise my right hand as if I were in a deposition to get them to stop. The staff and guest looks puzzled as the angry barefoot man clad in nothing but boxers and a "uzi does it" tshirt approaches the desk. Me: excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt. I have an emergency. I'm up on 8 and my neighbors are having a lot of sex. I mean a LOT of sex. (This is the same front desk clerk who actually checked me in Monday night by coincidence looks back at me very awkwardly and puzzled.) Me: this isn't your regular sex. I'm talking this is your (I begin air humping the front desk and slapping the granite counter with my palm and grunting loudly) sex. You could hear the plan B packaging open. At this point - the ENTIRE FRONT DESK STAFF HAS STOPPED CHECKING IN GUESTS. The people in line and are watching the show. The clerk is stunned. Speechless. Shock and awed. Crapped out and busted. The women are covering their children's eyes and ears. The men are wondering if this show requires a 2 drink minimum. Me: now I get this is Vegas. Everyone wants a good time. It's midnight. My flight leaves at 6 which means I have to be up by 4. And this just isn't working. So I asked them to keep it down and I locked myself out of my room. So if you can make me another key or move me I'd appreciate it. The clerk nods. Clerk: of course. may I see your ID? Years of ballet have prepared me for this day. I step back to make sure my genitals are still ensconced in my boxers as I pirouette and gesticulate wildly. Me: DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE ID? The floor manager steps over and asks me to head down to the end of the desk where she will make me a key. I give her the room number and thank her after she offers to have security sent up to shutdown the best little whorehouse in Vegas. I tell her it may not be necessary. As I take my keys and walk away the people in line break out in raucous applause. I take a bow and miraculously my boxer shorts don't rip. These people are my subjects and I have been crowned the the king of the three ring circus that is the circus circus lobby. Im offered a $1 tip from a kind soul but I decline. My walk back to the hotel elevator bank is uneventful. So much so that I realize it is going too well. The other shoe, if I were wearing one felt as if it was about to drop. Suddenly a dumbass in a rascal scooter is heading toward me at flank speed as his head is turned to look at everyone BEHIND HIM. There's no way this will end well. For you gentle readers joining us mid conversation - it's midnight and I need to be at the airport in 4.5 hours. I can just see it now. (Cue the harp noises) Scene: Emergency room Nurse: Allergic to anything? Me: NKDA Nurse: cause of injury? Me: what's the IC10 code for "run down by drunken buffoon on motorized wheelchair?" I saw my life and confirmed upgraded first class seats home being given away by the Mccarran gate agent flash before my eyes and my catlike reflexes kicked in and I jumped to my left into the wall, mid 1960's Las Vegas union construction being the path of least resistance. Think "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner. The buffoon barely realizes what happens. Children are amazed. "HEY MOM! Look! That guy just ran into a wall!" Me: it was that OR GET RUN DOWN BY SOME JACKASS ON A GODDAMN SCOOTER GOING FULL SPEED DRIVING LIKE A.... I look down and a midwestern nuclear family with two children of formative age are waiting for the elevator. I change my last word. Me: LUNATIC! I look over to the parents. Me: I'm really sorry. This is a family joint and I shouldn't have cursed the drunken scooter driver like that. Sorry kids. Parent: no big deal. They've heard fucking worse. I crack a smile at her word choice. Fucking worse. Yeah. That sounds like my evening. After jumping into a wall, I'm now wide awake and unable to go back to sleep. I make the plane and push on time. The 737 comes to a stop short of the runway and holds. Something is wrong. The pilots come on and say that they loaded more cargo and passengers than planned so they have to redo their numbers. We're waiting on the taxiway with both engines running as they do this and the waiting music comes on. What's the first song? Whitney Houston - "I Will Always Love You"
When I travel, I often tell lawmakers I’m headed to their home state or district. I often suggest we meet for coffee or breakfast sometime. As a reporter, it’s a helpful contrast to see House members and senators in Washington – and also on their home turf. It helps me understand them better, get a sense of the issues which are important to them and determine what makes them tick. TRUMP NEEDS A TRANSFER, MAY HAVE TO ROB PETER TO PAY PAUL Years ago, I casually mentioned to the staff of then Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., I was traveling to the Congressman’s district to attend a wedding. A few weeks passed and I didn’t give it any more thought. Much to my surprise, Frank himself phoned back the day before I left with suggestions for restaurants and dining. He also gave me a brief tutorial about the culture of his district. Most lawmakers love to hear when you are coming to their district or state. They know every nook and cranny. They know the people. The attractions. The restaurants. And they love to show off the place they represent in Washington. I had never been to Las Vegas until a few years ago. In that instance, I didn’t tell any members of the Nevada delegation I was heading to the Silver State. But when I returned, I ran into then Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., in a corridor just off the House floor. I told Berkley I had recently visited Las Vegas. “Where did you stay?” inquired an interested Berkley. I subsequently told Berkley I stayed at The Venetian, the legendary hotel and casino known for replicating the canals of Venice, the Palazzo Ducale and the Rialto Bridge. It’s also operated by business magnate Sheldon Adelson. “Oh, Chad,” Berkley chided gently with a smile on her face. “You stayed at the only non-union hotel on the Strip.” Las Vegas is a union town. And Adelson is well-known for bucking the labor movement. “Well,” continued Berkley. “Did you lose any money?” I don’t gamble much. But I did hit the numbers a few times on the roulette wheel and had some good runs on slot machines. “We actually came out ahead,” I told Berkley. She grimaced a bit. On one hand, Berkley perhaps hoped I had won, and thus enjoyed myself and would come again. On the other hand, perhaps Berkley was concerned that my good fortune was bad for the Vegas economy. It was still struggling at that point after the 2008 financial collapse. Many residents were miffed by some stinging remarks dished out by President Obama. “You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college,” the former President once said, stirring the ire of locals. “Well, Chad,” sighed Berkley. “Did you see any shows?” CAPITOL ATTITUDE I hesitated to answer for a moment. Yes. I had. But I was worried about Berkley’s response. “We went to see Jersey Boys,” I told the Congresswoman, “But I’m afraid you’re going to tell me they’re against health care reform.” Berkley laughed. —————————————— Fast forward to the government shutdown of 2013. It was a Saturday evening and the Senate just wrapped for the day. No end to the shutdown was in sight. I was the last reporter leaving the Capitol. As I came to the first floor elevators near the Senate Carriage Entrance, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., materialized. He too was heading home. Reid had known I had visited Vegas a few times by that point. I asked how he was doing and mentioned I needed a vacation once the government was funded again. I told Reid of one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas: Lotus of Siam. It’s a well-known Thai restaurant located off the Strip. The restaurant is in a different location now. But at the time, Lotus of Siam occupied a spot in a run-down strip mall. The entrance to the restaurant belied the culinary magic inside. The walls were plastered with pictures of Hollywood types and rock stars, all who patronized Lotus of Siam when they visited Las Vegas. Reid proceeded to tell me Lotus of Siam was one of his favorite restaurants. I asked what dishes he liked there. And with that, the Senate Majority Leader whipped out his phone dialed his wife Landra, asking for the name of a dish the two of them often enjoyed. “Honey, what is that dish you like so much at Lotus of Siam,” Reid asked his wife. “It’s with pumpkin?” —————————————— Wendy Sherman was one of the most senior figures at the State Department in 2014. Sherman and other officials journeyed to Capitol Hill to lead a Senate-wide briefing in the basement of the Capitol Visitor’s Center on North Korea’s nuclear program. TV networks positioned a bank of cameras in the Senate subway station in hopes of grabbing a few senators as they came and went from the briefing. I asked another colleague to handle the stakeout and headed to Cups, a coffee shop in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building. My plan was to grab a cup of coffee and then cut past the subway station stakeout en route to the Capitol Rotunda. That’s where I was scheduled to meet a source. Just as I walked up to the stakeout, Harry Reid appeared atop a small escalator leading to the subway station and near where senators would receive their briefing. I hadn’t spoken to Reid directly in a while. He waved hello. We met at the top of the escalator. I told Reid that I’d be heading to Las Vegas again in a few weeks during the upcoming Congressional recess. We spoke for a moment, ear-to-ear. Naturally, all of the cameras at the stakeout focused on the two of us talking, as though we were exchanging important information about Pyongyang. “Where are you staying,” Reid asked. HARRY REID CALLS ELIZABETH WARREN A ‘GOOD PERSON,’ BUT REFUSES TO ENDORSE HER FOR PRESIDENT I told Reid we previously stayed at the Bellagio and Mandalay Bay. But we weren’t sure yet this time. “Stay at Wynn,” said Reid, without missing a beat. “Wynn” is a hotel/casino complex on the north end of the Vegas Strip. Casino Mogul Steve Wynn ran the place until being forced out last year due to sexual misconduct allegations. Reid was telling me this years before anything was known publicly about Wynn’s alleged infractions. Reid, being Reid, was always frank in his assessments of most situations. Even if it came to hotels on the Vegas Strip. “Steve Wynn is an ass but a friend,” said Reid of Wynn. “But he has the nicest place in Las Vegas.” I thanked Reid for the suggestion and headed up to the Rotunda. Reid went the other direction, toward the North Korea briefing. By the time I reached the Rotunda, my email exploded with questions from reporters at the stakeout who spotted the escalator exchange but couldn’t hear what we were saying. “What did Reid tell you about North Korea?” they all asked. “Nothing,” I told them. “Come on, Chad. What did he say?” probed one incredulous colleague. Finally, one of Reid’s aides reached out, curious what the Majority Leader had said. Reid’s staffer was just being diligent, wondering if he needed to brace for a juicy report on North Korea. “He told me to stay at Wynn,” I replied. No special information about Pyongyang. No intelligence on Senate parliamentary strategy. No information on Reid’s political future. Just an unsolicited hotel recommendation. Stay at Wynn. —————————————— CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Perhaps one of the most interesting manifestations of democracy I’ve ever seen unfolded in Las Vegas during the 2016 presidential caucus in Nevada. Most of the hotels and casinos granted workers an hour or so off the clock to attend a caucus. The lines of caucus goers represented a fascinating cross-section of every type of employment possible in Las Vegas. Those in line were attired in full work regalia – just taking a few moments to make their voices heard: Blackjack dealer. Bartender. Bellhop. Showgirl. Custodian. Limo driver. Chef. Dishwasher. Housekeeper. Security Guard. All political caucuses and primaries reflect the states or towns in which they’re held. But this was a presidential caucus in Las Vegas. And those participating in a caucus in Las Vegas were going to cut a very different political figure than caucus goers in Iowa, Colorado, Hawaii or Kansas. It was signature Las Vegas. Source: Fox News Politics from MAGA First News https://magafirstnews.com/fox-news/politicians-show-their-cards-in-las-vegas/ via IFTTT
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