In this edition of the original Las Vegas podcast:

  • Tropicana sports book sucks
  • Bourbon Street is dust
  • Tropicana plans
  • Wynn Las Vegas closes Avenue Q
  • Vegas Haters
  • Norm Clarke’s 1,000 Naked Truths
  • Vegas Web site profile: Vegas Lists
  • The Big Gamble by Crush

  • Direct download of the podcast: Five Hundy By Midnight 2/19/06 (37:43 min, 34.7 MB) or subscribe.

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    7 Responses to “Five Hundy by Midnight 55: Las Vegas Haters and Lists”

    1. 1 Mike E

      Ass-Tar seems like a more appropriate name for a company that owns Tropicana.

      Great show as always!

    2. 2 James G in NC

      I hate to say it. But I really missed Michelle this week.

    3. 3 Tim

      Me too.

    4. 4 Ted Newkirk

      It is interesting that you brought up Norm and his book this week, because the Avenue Q deal overshadowed the REAL story this week: Norm Clarke vs. Robin Leach.

      But they are friends, you say? We’ll see. Let’s look at the latest development: Las Vegas Magazine (formerly Showbiz .. the magazine owned by the Greenspuns [Vegas.com/LasVegas.com/Las Vegas Sun]) just hired Robin Leach to pen his Luxe Life column for the magazine.

      To this point, the column had only been available as an AOL blog, and struggled to pull readers (500,000 total from May 2005 to January 2006 by Robin’s own account) despite heavy links and promotion by AOL. Source http://journals.aol.com/robinsvegas/LuxeLifeVegas/entries/174 For a blog with that kind of promotion and written by a celeb about such a hot topic, those numbers are very weak. I’d be embarrassed to pull those kinds of numbers with that kind of promotion, not bragging about it. (I’d be embarrassed to pull those numbers, and I don’t have AOL promoting me, nor am I a celeb).

      Now … Norm and Robin have been friendly. Robin penned the forward to 1000 Naked Truths, and Norm featured Robin in a number of places in the book. Norm has been king of the Las Vegas gossip scene going on seven years now. However, Robin’s daily AOL blog has been much more in-depth, much more “I was there and all these celebs are my good friends.” And while Robin continues to acknowledge Norm as “his good friend,” it certainly looks like Robin is working HARD to bump Norm off his perch.

      So why is the Las Vegas Magazine deal important? The Review-Journal and the Las Vegas Sun hate each other. Forget out the deal where the R-J includes the Sun in each issue. Not only was that a money deal, but just last Sunday Sun Publisher Brian Greenspun used his new bully pulpit (which he acknowledged) to mock the R-J and pat himself on the back for the fact that R-J readers now have his publication included. Source http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/commentary/2006/feb/19/566645375.html (paragraph 4)

      Norm works for the R-J, and now Robin works for the Greenspuns. Companies that are bitter enemies, dating way back. Can Norm and Robin remain friends while working for bitter rivals in an unbelievably competative marketplace … doing the same thing?

      And why is Robin in the gossip writing business when his goal at this time last year seemed to have a 24/7 broadcast Vegas TV channel with distribution nationwide? He settled for producing videos for AOL ( http://vegas.aol.com/video?defaultTab=0&defaultItem=0 ) but weeks have gone by with no new additions to the videos featured. Even Vegas.com produces a new streaming video feature each week.

      Don’t get me wrong: TI’m not Robin bashing. He could have retired comfortably years ago, and his appearances, voice work, and consulting reportedly keep his wallet fat and happy. He has a tremendous track record dating back to CNN and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. We could all hope to have that success.

      But that fact even raises more of a question of why the focus on journalism … and why he’s writing columns (and challenging his good friend for King of Las Vegas gossip) instead of concentrating on the much more visible and lucrative area of TV?

      This is one I’m happy to watch from the sidelines! The mention of 1000 Naked Truths this week was amazingly timely.

    5. 5 Dave

      Couple of things…

      1). From a few weeks ago, I found out what the deal with sportsbooks and the Olympics is. Turns out they are not allowed to take bets on the Olympics because, hockey notwithstanding, it’s still considered an amateur sport. Apparently negotiations were made with the Gaming Commission to allow sports books to take bets on college games, but as a result, they were forbidden to set a line on the Olympics.

      2). One of the interesting things on Avenue Q is that the show was playing to 65% capacity. In a 1,200-seat theatre, that meant that 780 people a night were seeing it. The theatre in which it plays on Broadway, presumably to sold-out audiences, only holds 796 people. Maybe if they had scaled it to the size of, say, the Hollywoood Theatre, it wouldn’t be considered a failure.

      3). Got a taste of Broadway while there last week. The musical version of Hairspray opened up at the Luxor beginning of the month and it was really good. Harvey Firestein and Dick Latessa are reprising their Tony Award-winning roles for only the first 12 weeks of the run, so if you’re in town, you might want to check it out.

      4). Vegas Haters? If somebody says, “Well, I don’t gamble” to me, normally I just smile and say, “OK. Whatever.” But the perfect smartass response is or “Ever been to a restaurant?”

      5). Saw the wreckage of Bourbon Street. It still hasn’t been cleared away.

      6). Waitresses at South Coast are pretty hot, and dressed in glorified bustiers that did a nice job accentuating cleavage. I got caught at least once by the girlfriend. Had one that looked like a little like Heather Graham. What made me realize that it wasn’t her was the fact that this girl, unlike Heather, was actually working.

      7). The 6th paragraph of Ted’s comment made me think that a re-working of the Odd Couple was in the works, with Robin and Norm as Felix and Oscar. I can picture the laughs now as Robin gets all upset when Norm comes home and throw his eyepatch on the floor.

    6. 6 Scott M

      You know previous Tropicana rumors have not amounted to much, but I think this time things are different.

      Now that Airplay is no longer drawing hordes of people into the casino, the business must have really gone downhill.

      I’ve also heard that the Flamingo has managed to obtain an exclusive contract with the supplier of the tropical aromatic scent. Without that smell to add to the ambiance, the theme just isn’t believable.

    7. 7 Chris

      I think it would be cool if NBC got with whoever’s building on the Tropicana site and they build a real-life Montecito. That’s where they have the fake hotel on the TV show.

      PS… love the podcast. I’m going back to Vegas at the end of March, and you’ve given me a lot of good ideas.


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