Tag Archives: Movable Buffet

Movable Buffet: Final entry

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photo by Sarah Gerke
photo by Sarah Gerke

The following post is the last entry from LA Times’ blogger Richard Abowitz whose daily blog (The Movable Buffet) the LasVegasBuffetClub has used as a valuable source of information time and again. Thanks Richard for your excellent reporting.

“In a very Vegas way, I got lucky.”

“In October 2005, I was hired by L.A. Times editors who had found my Vegas writing online. I became one of the first bloggers in the history of the L.A. Times. Vegas was booming in those years, and tourists from California were pouring into town, many buying investment homes. The idea of a blog that documented daily the happenings and entertainments that drew so many to Vegas made sense on a lot of levels. Obviously, much has changed since then, and I am sad to report the Movable Buffet blog is being discontinued.”

“The Vegas news and events that were covered here you will now find covered by other L.A. Times blogs in entertainment and travel. For those of you who enjoy my Vegas coverage for the Los Angeles Times, my print column continues to run in Sunday Calendar (along with photos from Sarah Gerke). I also hope to blog about Vegas again soon, and so please keep an eye out.”

“I have to thank Sarah, the Buffet’s loyal photographer, above all others. She was on board with this blog from Day 1. She shot Vegas out of pure joy. Thank you, Sarah. Your photos, as so many readers have commented, have always been incredible. I also need to thank the fantastic staff of the L.A. Times, who for four straight years has hosted this blog, edited its entries and made suggestions that have made me a better writer, reporter and even person.”

“But most of all, I want to thank those of you who have read me daily or even once. I hope I wrote something you enjoyed. I am very grateful to all. Thank you. Be well.”

— Richard Abowitz

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“Joel Stein enjoys the hard times in Vegas,” republished from The Movable Feast

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Photo: Sarah Gerke
Photo: Sarah Gerke, LA TIMES

The following post is from (the LA Times’) Richard Abowitz’s Movable Feast, August 20, 2009 | 4:09 pm.

“For an out-of-town reporter, Joel Stein has been a Vegas regular. He covered the Vegas boom in an earlier cover story for Time. He also profiled Steve Wynn for Time. But his current cover story for Time on Vegas has generated a lot of local hand-wringing over his portrayal of the desperate and negative times the city is going through combined with the lack of easy answers to the problems plaguing Vegas. Well, there is an easy answer — people start coming in far greater numbers and start spending far more than they ever have before. That used to happen year after year, and many people here still believe that process has been only temporarily interrupted for going on 18 months or so. Stein’s story suggests that Vegas is in many ways engaged in an elaborate bluff with its future not yet realizing or accepting just how long the Strip will remain the bargain destination it has once again become.”

[Abowitz continues:] Full disclosure: I have known Stein for years (having met him when he interviewed me on an earlier Vegas assignment), and he wrote for Los Angeles Times.

Abowitz: So, was it immediately obvious on this trip that things were different for Vegas than during your previous visits?

Stein: The weird thing was showing up at the Hotel (at Mandalay Bay). I had talked to a bunch of people and everyone confirmed the place was decimated. And I had seen photos of Echelon. And so I was expecting the worst. But when I showed up at the Hotel my room was messed up. And so I assumed that there must be 8,000 other rooms and so whatever. But the place was literally full. I walked out to the pool and it was packed. So, I guess the price cutting really worked and so the obvious things I was looking for were not there.

Abowitz: How obvious was the price cutting?

Stein: I signed up for lists and so I get all these e-mails like “$100 at the Wynn with a $50 dining coupon.” It is the same with MGM. The deals are out there.

Abowitz: Well, the hotels are doing whatever it takes to not be empty. Your experience seems to suggest it is working.

Stein: It is working. And, it is awesome if you are looking for a cheap vacation. They fill the place up.

Abowitz: So, when did you notice the recession hidden amidst the bustle?
read the rest of the story…

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Elton John’s final ‘Red Piano’ performance

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I was cruising the LA Times.com website page “The Movable Buffet: Dispatches from Las Vegas by Richard Abowitz” and found a post on (Sir) Elton John: (Sir) “Elton John’s final ‘Red Piano’ performance” (at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.)

I’ve been a bit bummed out over (Sir) Elton ever since he dumped Marilyn Monroe for Princess Diana, so to speak. The dude wrote a love song to MM, singing passionately about America’s fallen princess…Then the Brits lost a princess (tragic circumstances,) and once again – a great loss for the entire world.

But c’mon dude, write a brand new song, don’t steal Marilyn’s song. Of course I’m “speaking” of “Candle in the Wind,” the song (Sir) Elton wrote “for” Marilyn Monroe, then rewrote – changing a few words – and re-recorded the song “for” the Princess of Wales after her tragic death. Who did (Sir) Elton dishoner more: the desperately-gorgeous, Blonde American Princess, the preciously-beautiful, British Royal Princess or (Sir) Elton John?

Oh well, I digress, back to the great Abowitz: “Goodbye, Elton John. Though I never interviewed you at all, I saw the Red Piano that sold out while the shows around you did not.”
“And, it seems to me that you worked the Colosseum like a beacon amidst the neon, always knowing which hits to play to make the crowds applaud.”
“And, I would have liked to interview you, but I am just a blogger, and so you packed your shows in Vegas without the Movable Buffet.” Click this link to view “The Movable Buffet: Dispatches from Las Vegas by Richard Abowitz”

“Musician Sir Elton John performs during the final performance of his show “The Red Piano” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace April 22, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. John played 241 concerts in the 4,300-seat showroom since he began his run as one of the resort’s resident headliners in February 2004.” read more from Zimbio.com

‘Luxury resort bargain shopping” – Los Angeles Times Blog Story

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Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Strip, Northbound-LA Times photo

I was browsing the LA Times Blog and found an interesting story. The post is filed under “The Movable Buffet: Dispatches from Las Vegas by Richard Abowitz”

Basically the article addresses bargain hunting for Las Vegas Resort Hotels in the valley-economy of 2009 Las Vegas.

“I have never suggested on this blog the best resorts to stay in Vegas. It seems self-evident that it really is about dollars. Obviously, a family with children may enjoy Circus Circus more than someone else who might find the older property only a great place to gag on the smell of stale cigarettes. But the Strip is meant to be explored; you can stay at Bellagio and still head to Circus Circus with the kids for a brief visit.”

“The problem is really money. How much do you want to spend for a hotel room you may not spend much time at during your vacation? And, as many travel writers have pointed out, warehousing yourself on the Strip has never been cheaper. If you want to fork out around $35, you can probably find a room at, say, Imperial Palace on a weeknight. But the plunge in room rates so dramatically over the last six months has meant that, for the first time, even the most luxurious hotels in Vegas can be rented at unbelievably low rates. So, I have a new hobby. I love luxury resort bargain shopping for staycations. You will get more out of this practice than I do, because the offers and specials really are geared to bringing tourists here. Also, the discount potential increases the more nights you stay at a resort, and I am going places only for a single night” read more from the LA Times…

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