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Bellagio’s Fantana Morphs into Hyde for 2012

The Fontana Bar at Bellagio, which was a favorite spot for many to enjoy a cocktail while watching the Fountains of Bellagio, has been transformed into a smallish Ultra-Lounge.  The 10,000 square foot space which can accommodate roughly 700 patrons, has a patio that opens to a panoramic view of  The Fountains of Bellagio.

The folks over at the Daily Fiasco are working overtime in their description of the cocktail service, at least that’s what we believe they’re talking about!

Mixology will join the craft fray, with a couple of twists. Hyde features a Bellini cart, for a selection of peach-and-bubbly delights, while a seasonal liquid nitrogen cocktail (informed by Jose Andres, who partners with SLS in L.A.’s Bazaar) will rotate on the menu for tableside prep. They’re launching with Tony Abou-Ganim’s Cable Car, with Bacardi Oakheart, orange curacao and lemon. Appropriate to use one of Abou-Ganim’s, given the Bellagio setting. The Daily Fiasco 12-30-11

Does Vegas really need another Ultra-Lounge, an upscale piano bar would seem more appropriate for Bellgio. At least the sound system at Hyde will feature the Fountain Music during the shows.

Robin Leach details the New Years Eve event at Hyde, complete with a listing of supposedly famous guests, poor Robin we remember when he actually covered genuinely famous people.

Winn to Wynn to Spiegel, Goodbye Alex

Marilyn Winn was a Senior Executive at Harrahs (Ceasars Entertainment) with a a career spanning over twenty years when Steve Wynn offered her the position of President at Wynn back in November 2010. Ms. Winn accepted the offer and decided it was time to change her name in accordance with her marriage a few years back, hence Winn goes to Wynn and becomes Spiegel.

Choosing Ms. Speigel as President of Wynn seems like an odd choice in that Harrahs has long been known as the casino company that targets the middle market, while Wynn stands astride the pinnacle of the luxury market. Her first major decision does not bode well for Wynn. It was Speigel’s decision to close the Michelin Two Star restaurant Alex, her reasoning:

 “Alex Stratta is a phenomenal chef, but the dining experience is lengthy and American tastes have changed.” Vegas Seven 3-23-11

The above quote is from an article by David Schwartz in Vegas Seven, however, his follow-up posting on his blog is illuminating of the subtext in the quote above. In his blog he quotes Vegas Food Critic John Curtas as follows:

The whole “fine dining is dead” chestnut is used as an excuse by chefs/restaurateurs/hotels to cut back on quality (and increase their profits) by pretending to be “with it.” My educated guess is Ms. Spiegel is more interested in pushing steaks and booze on her high rollers/nightclubbers than anything with a whiff of sophistication about it. John Curtas in David Schwartz’s Blog

Does Vegas really need another upscale restaurant with the goal of turning over the tables as quickly as possible? It’s a shame to see this change, as Wynn is noted for taking his high-end restaurants seriously, as the big name chefs are actually required to be in the kitchen, not just add their name to the marque.

A longer, and somewhat boring, profile of Ms. Spiegel can be found at Vegas Inc.  

The Worst Vegas Take-Backs of 2011

It might just be an easy way to recycle a bunch of 2011 stories, but the folks over at VegasChatter listed their Best and Worst of 2011, and include a bunch of Casino Take-Backs (The Link above takes you to the full article)

The Palms fires its Playboy bunnies Sad but true, the Palms has fired all 12 bunnies. VegasChatter spends quite a bit of ink on this story, I guess its an story near and dear their hearts, as it is to many in Vegas. They quote one bunny, Susie, on the process of being hired intially:

 ”Becoming a Playboy Bunny Dealer is an extensive and highly selective process because being a Playboy Bunny is all-encompassing. To uphold the “Bunny Image” established for the last 60 years takes class, great customer service skills/teamwork/extraordinary poise, an abundance of charm, exceptional strength and beauty, and a personal desire to represent the iconic image as one of the elite Playboy Bunnies. The chance to be a part of history.”

It’s not exactly Churchill and Roosevelt, but just as the definition of celebrity has changed so has what is of historical consequence, perhaps.


Hilton takes its name back from LVH In Early 2012 Las Vegas Hilton will become The Las Vegas Hotel, not to be confused with TheHotel, confusing, right?


Venetian cuts comps for Grazie members  Early in 2011 Venetain dramatically changed its comp policy. Sheldon Adelson is quoted in the VegasChatter article as follows:

“We’ve essentially cut all of our comps except our most highly-rated players. No more comped rooms. No food and beverage. No showroom credits. We’re selling rooms. We see it’s resulting in a substantial increase in cash income.”

Fortunately there is some evidence that Venetain/Palazzo is backtracking on this policy, as noted by this posting on Yahoo Group: Casino comps

The Cosmo ends free WiFi  The best part of this article from VegasChatter is when they throw Cosmopolitan’s Ceo John Unwin (what a lousy name for a Casino CEO Un- Win!) own words back at him:

 ”People find it irritating to pay $15 to use their computers.”John Unwin CEO Cosmopolitan

VegasChatter has plus a few more Take-Backs in their article, but these were our favorites.

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