Las Vegas Podcasts–Oh the ways to gear up for a trip to Sin City
For those of you who, like me, can’t get enough of the Happiest Place on Earth (HPOE, pronounced Hip-oh) you may appreciate a few podcasts that are available for download. I have three that I listen to with consistency, usually within a day or two of downloading them.
Five Hundy By Midnight
This podcast is produced by a husband & wife team (known only by their first name: Tim & Michelle) out of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. They have been going to Vegas together for the last 15 odd years and this show is my favorite. While all the three of these shows are my favorite in one way or another, the reason I most enjoy this show is because it’s intended as a tourist’s guide to the latest goings on in Vegas.
The show, which run anywhere from an hour to an hour a half each week, is comprised of two distinct segments: what’s going on in Vegas (i.e. openings/closings at casinos, restaurants, entertainment or rumors thereof) and then followed by the listener call-in segment.
The first portion of the show runs anywhere from 15-30 minutes where the hosts discuss what’s new in Vegas and offering humorous commentary. They show is not intended to be taken seriously (profane laced rants are their norm), but they do have a fair amount of professional editing that goes into making the show a joy to listen. I appreciate their honest take on actions taken my casino moguls, patrons, staff and observers. They hypothesize the likelihood of success of new ventures, lament the closing of good events and generally offer great advice for tourists both new and seasoned to Vegas.
The second segment of their show revolves around calls placed to their voicemail line. They readily admit they are not a call-in show as one might be accustomed too. This is, I believe, to their credit. People will call the voicemail phone number and leave a trip report. The callers usually talk about where they stayed, played, ate, what shows they saw, what observations they made and what their general opinion was to each experience. This is a great way to hear more about things in Vegas that you might not otherwise have given much consideration to doing. Furthermore, if the hosts have any thoughts, suggestions, opinions on the activities to which the caller is discussing, the hosts will pause the call and give their insight.
In addition to their show, they also have a website where listeners can post comments based on calls played on the show. It’s not uncommon for someone to call the show and ask a question of the other listeners asking “Where do you take a Vegas Virgin?” or “What restaurants should you avoid with someone in a wheelchair”, etc. If you, the listener, have thoughts or opinions on questions that are posed, the hosts actively encourage you to post a reply on behalf of the caller. I will admit this site doesn’t have much, but you can get old episodes of the show and that’s its real value. To be fair, the hosts don’t promote the website as a major source of Vegas information, it’s really just there to facilitate conversation based upon the questions or topics as discussed during a given show.
The Strip Podcast
As opposed to the previous show which is targeted to tourists, this show is part tourist–part tabloid. This show is produced by two guys who are in the Las Vegas media. Steve Friess is a popular Vegas newspaper/magazine freelance writer whose works frequently show up in publications like Time, Newsweek, and USA Today (to name a few). His partner (and “partner”), Miles, rarely speaks about his employment but I believe he’s involved with one of the local Vegas television stations. Regardless of their occupations, these guys are a hoot. They counter-balance each other perfectly and I can only imagine how fun it would be to be a fly on their dining room wall. The banter they have with one other, and sometimes it sounds like Miles puts up with Steve’s flighty rants lovingly, comes through as one guy who wants to put on a no-nonsense show (Miles) while the other who can’t help but verbalize every internal thought he has.
I use the term tabloid, which may not be a fair representation of the show, but I think it’s apropos because Steve manages to snag some major starts to be interviewed on the show—and Steve pulls no punches. In a recent podcast, Steve interviewed Gennifer Flowers (yes, THAT Gennifer Flowers) and when she announced she had some line of clothing/jewelry/fragrance (I can neither remember nor is it relevant to this story), he bluntly asked her, “Why the [hell] would anyone want to wear her [shit]?” I added the expletives. He’s interviewed Donny Osmond, George Wallace (the comedian), Brad Garrett, Frank Sinatra Jr. and that’s only a few. He’s snagged interviews with casino moguls such as Steve Wynn and always finds some way to make them sound interesting.
The third podcast I have set in my iTunes (all three are listed on iTunes) is a show called Vegas Gang. This show is predominately factored around the business side of Vegas and its casinos. The show enlists 4 guys who discuss the in’s and out’s of what’s happening in the casino’s business. They talk about how well a casino did in a given fiscal quarter, what renovations at one casino might mean to the bottom line of another casino. They interview CEOs, CFOs, COOs of the casino and dig deep into what sort of economic outlook the interviewee sees for their respective company over the next 1, 2 or 5 years. These guys only podbast once a month and that’s all I really would be able to listen too anyway. I enjoy learning about the business side of Vegas and its casinos, but I rarely (if ever) relay information back to people based upon what I learn off this podcast.
One of the hosts (as I matter of fact, I think he’s the host) has a fantastic app for your iPhone/iPad/iPod (touch) that I highly recommend. It’s called “Vegas Mate” and it’s really great! This app allows you to check out great information on things in Vegas. You can read reviews on all the hotel/casinos, their restaurants, the entertainment as these properties, look at pics, make phone calls to each establishment (assuming your doing so from your iPhone), check out menus, create an upcoming trip schedule, or stay up to date on the news in Vegas…all from this one app. For $1.99, I have it on my iPod touch and my fiancé has it on her iPad 2.
If you’re a Vegas junkie like I am, these three podcasts are must haves to get your fix until you can head off to HPOE on your own! Heck, next time you go, call in to Five Hundy By Midnight and leave a trip report!