The Vegas Guy

Dostal Alley Brewpub & Casino

WRITING - The Vegas Guy

Wall Street is hot for "locals casinos." Even in Las Vegas, which draws tourists from around the world, the steadiest stocks are those of Station Casinos, which draw from just around the block. The theory is that this is the future of gaming--a steady low-roller clientele that treats the casino like a weekly visit to a movie theater, spending a few hours at the slots, grabbing a burger, dropping off a bet on the home team, then hitting the road.

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Le Sporting

WRITING - The Vegas Guy

-- Fireworks over the yacht harbor, Julio Iglesias warbling in the open-air theater, superchef Alain Ducasse preparing meals on an outdoor terrace overlooking the Mediterranean--it doesn't get more chic than this in the European holiday month of August. The supermodels are dancing till dawn at Jimmy'z--the Studio 54 of the Riviera--but you'll look in vain for a high-roller at the Casino of Monte-Carlo.

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Casino de Monte-Carlo

WRITING - The Vegas Guy

Outside the Casino of Monte-Carlo, clustered around the fountain like gawkers at a traffic accident, are 50 or 60 backpackers and tourists, most of them American, staring toward the grand marbled steps of the world's most beautiful gambling palace, waiting, chattering, looking for . . . what?

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Harrah's Shreveport

WRITING - The Vegas Guy

The 50-cent slots are out of action. Rumors are spreading. Tempers are short.

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John Ascuaga's Nugget

WRITING - The Vegas Guy

I can't believe I missed Bertha the Elephant.

For years I'd heard stories about John Ascuaga's Nugget in Reno, last of the old-style down-home western casinos, and the big attraction was Bertha the Elephant and her "showgirl" act.

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The Amazing Journey of the Kickapoo

WRITING - The Vegas Guy

Chief Makateonenodua, better known as Black Buffalo, is calling from the little Mexican village of Musquiz.

"Here, talk to the chief," says Isidro Garza, business manager for the Kickapoo Tribe. "He's feeling good. They had his 60th birthday celebration on Sunday. It's the chief. He doesn't talk often, and he wants to talk to you."

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Reno Hilton

WRITING - The Vegas Guy

Okay, so I've taken the bait. I'm here at the Reno Hilton showroom, billed as "the largest stage in the world." (Can that be true? Don't they have places in Germany where a cast of 2,000 does Wagner's Ring cycle or something? But okay, to get into the mood, I'm gonna go with this.)

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Turning Stone Casino Resort

WRITING - The Vegas Guy

Here we are in the . . . well, it's not the Adirondacks. That gorgeous mountain range would be off to the north somewhere.

This is more like . . . well, it's not exactly the Finger Lakes either. That beautiful area would be west of here.

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Caesar's Palace

WRITING - The Vegas Guy

You can't really love Vegas without loving Caesars Palace. Thirty-five years ago, when Jay Sarno built the world's first real theme casino, everyone thought, "How far can tackiness go, even in Vegas?" A life-size replica of Michelangelo's David? Greeters dressed up like emperors and Roman slave girls?

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