Las Vegas Drive-in Theater is a Virus-Safe Cure for Cabin Fever


Retro-cool outdoor movie theater provides box-office hits without the need for human contact…

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UPDATE: Even though a statewide quarantine is currently in effect, Las Vegas West Wind Drive-in is being allowed to operate under strict conditions. See below for details. 

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Located just a little northwest of downtown near Texas Station and  Fiesta Rancho casinos, West Wind Las Vegas 6 is riding a sudden wave of popularity. While many drive-ins are long gone, West Wind continues to be an entertainment success. The modern digital picture is sharper, brighter, and is easily a match for their indoor counterparts. Sound is broadcast through high-quality FM onto your own car speakers, so you can control the volume and “oomph”.

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What makes drive-in theaters especially popular right now is that their unique concept (watching movies under the stars) fits right into the coronavirus outbreak’s “social distancing” guidelines. Once you slide your payment through a crack in the car window, you can avoid being in close proximity to other human beings. The only folks you’ll encounter are the ones inside their concession stand building (or if you need to use the restroom).

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While indoor theaters charge upwards of $12.00 for a single movie, adult admission to West Wind 6 Drive-in is only $7.75. The titles change every week, with a combination of brand-new releases and holdover hits. Certain screens offer a double-feature of two recent films for the same low price. Children ages 5-11 get in for $1.75, and kids under 5 are free. Tuesdays are even cheaper, with adult tickets costing $5.50. The website offers a newsletter with Internet coupon offers, too.

When global pandemics aren’t the biggest worry of your day, you’ll want to return on a regular basis. An expansion of the outdoor dining and playground areas has added to the drive-in’s appeal. The snack bar offers typical movie-going fare but at noticeably lower prices. And, they’ve upped the fun factor with seasonal activities. During Halloween, the snack bar gets turned into a mini haunted house, complete with staff members in costume. Several times a year, West Wind hosts a Customer Appreciation Night with absolutely free admission, fun, and games.

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The main concession building is located in the center of the property. It has a playground and outdoor picnic tables so you can stuff yourself on hot dogs and nachos without missing the movie. Of course, if you want to sneak a peek at one of the other five screens, I won’t tell. They often host special events with pony rides, live entertainment, and a petting zoo.

So, if the quarantine has you suffering from cabin fever, West Wind Drive-in Theater has the cure. Step back in time, look for the lighted arches and classic neon signage. Bring a pillow, wear your pajamas and bunny slippers if you like, and it’s even okay to smoke. And, nobody will scold you if you chat or decide to make out in the back seat.

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West Wind Las Vegas Drive-in Theater is open year-round, rain or shine. It’s located at 4150 West Carey Avenue, northwest of downtown. Click HERE for their current movie titles/showtimes or call  (702) 646-3565 OR (702) 647-1379 for more information.

Photos: West Wind, Sam Novak, Yelp!

Hofbrauhaus Brings Munich to Sin City


BestOfVegas

Hofbrauhaus celebrates sixteen years in Las Vegas this week. Let’s party! Click HERE to read the BestOfVegas version on their awesome site.

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Las Vegas is known for its endearing recreations of famous cultural landmarks. From the Eiffel Tower and the Egyptian pyramids to the canals of Venice, they’re all here. But venture a few blocks off the Strip and you’ll encounter the most authentic experience of them all…Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas. Hofbrauhaus has been bringing the sights, sounds, and flavors of Germany directly to your table for sixteen years.

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Situated on the corner of Harmon Avenue and Paradise Road (and just a pretzel’s toss from Hard Rock Hotel), Hofbrauhaus is based on the world-famous Munich original. An astonishing structure that’s even more impressive on the inside, every corner is teeming with fun, frivolity, and culinary excitement. No expense has been spared and no detail too small to make your visit a true Bavarian treat.

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The Las Vegas location is the only officially-licensed extension of Germany’s revered treasure. Munich’s grand Beer Hall and “outdoor” Biergarten are here, as are replicas of German chestnut trees that only grow in Europe. The Vegas variety is made using thousands of hand-created artificial leaves placed onto living trunks. Artists have painstakingly duplicated the beer hall ceiling’s gorgeous murals by hand, lending authenticity to the exact 1:1 construction.

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European craftsmen have fashioned dozens of sturdy benches and tables to handle the hundreds of rowdy revelers. As part of the tradition, guests climb onto the benches every day, steins held aloft. They’re arranged in a communal-dining style so you’re sure to make new friends while you eat, drink, and make merry.

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Of course, every restaurant is only as good as its food, and this is where Hofbrauhaus truly excels. They import their smooth creamy sauerkraut directly from Germany, and the dough for their famous Bavarian pretzels is shipped across the ocean in climate-controlled containers. Nothing is processed or made from mixes, and the kitchen uses timeless recipes and authentic ingredients.

The Hofbrauhaus menu is a veritable cookbook of German specialties. Munich Pork Roast (Schweinebraten) and Chicken in Mushroom Sauce (Gegrillte Hähnchenbrust) will vie for your attention with an extensive list of sausage dishes like Majoran – Kalbsbratwurst (veal), Currywurst, Nürnberger Rostbratwürstl (pork) and Geflügelbratwurst (chicken). If you can’t decide, dive into Wurstplatte, a trio of favorites served with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and onion mustard.

There are a wide variety of vegetarian/vegan dishes, sumptuous salads, traditional desserts like imported Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) and of course, those giant baked-to-order pretzels served with Obatzda cheese and two kinds of mustard. Side dishes and appetizers include Bavarian potato salad, homemade spätzle, bread dumpling, red cabbage, apple sauce, potato pancakes, and radishes & rye.

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Naturally, you’ll want to pair your meal with a few steins of legendary Bavarian beer. Hofbräu Original Lager, Hofbräu Dunkel and Hofbräu Hefeweizen brews are all imported directly from the King’s brewery using 400-year-old recipes. Every keg is made following the Purity Law of 1516 (The Reinheitsgebot) as declared by Dukes Wilmhelm V and Ludwig X of Bavaria. The kegs are shipped to Vegas and stored in a perfectly-chilled beer cellar along with wines and liquor used for Signature Shots.

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Speaking of shots, the Sin City extension of Hofbrauhaus has developed a tradition of its own. Since the little glasses of liquor are delivered to tables on long paddles, some fun-loving guests began requesting a spanking after downing theirs. The ritual caught on and is especially popular for birthdays and other special occasions. So don’t be surprised when you see fellow diners bent over a table or grabbing their ankles. Smack!

But there’s no need to wait for a special event to visit Hofbrauhaus. Every night is a party! There are live bands, sing-a-longs, group toasts, and dancing. Themed events salute both German traditions (Käsespätzle challenge) and uniquely American traditions like National Pretzel Day and the annual “Big Game” viewing.

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Each year, the Beer Hall hosts a month-long Oktoberfest celebration. Weekends are especially festive with keg-tapping parties hosted by guest celebrities like Australian Bee Gees, the Chippendales, Cesar Millan, magician Hans Klok, Rich Harrison (Pawn Stars) and BMX pro Ricardo Laguna. It’s the perfect time to enjoy one of their seasonal beers like Oktoberfestbier with a plate of Oktoberfest Jägerhackbraten (homemade German-style meatloaf).

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But no matter what season you visit, Hofbrauhaus is always a great time. You’ll learn some German phrases, make some great memories and leave with a satisfied appetite and a song in your heart.

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Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas is located at 4510 Paradise Rd. Hours are Sunday – Thursday 11AM-11PM and Friday – Saturday 11AM-12AM

 Photos: Sam Novak, Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas

 

 

TRAVEL BACK IN TIME AT TITANIC: THE ARTIFACT EXHIBIT

Las Vegas is a city built on escapism and frivolity, yet there are abundant opportunities to experience the wonders of reality and history. Numerous museums and exhibitions allow you to enlighten your mind and enrich your soul, from the Atomic Testing Museum to Real Bodies at Bally’s. The biggest and most impressive of these is Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at Luxor.

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Located on the atrium level of Luxor’s enormous pyramid, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is a massive exhibit befitting the White Star Liner’s “Ship of Dreams”. Much more than a stuffy museum, the 25,000 square foot attraction is an emotional journey back in time to experience what a trans-Atlantic passage on the ill-fated liner would have been like.

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Titanic’s walk-through exhibit is a fully-realized sensory experience. Sound and lighting effects, throbbing vibrations, icy temperatures, and chilling breezes enhance recreations of the Promenade Deck and engine room.

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There are replicas of the Grand Staircase, corridors and cabins belonging to First and Third class sections. The staterooms are meticulously displayed using authentic furniture commissioned for the Exhibition by original manufacturers.

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Sections of the Exhibition are dedicated to fascinating details of the Titanic’s construction, launch, and operations. But it’s the personal stories of the victims and survivors that tell the true tale of the ocean liner and its sinking. Hundreds of artifacts recovered from the wreckage at the bottom of the ocean are on display. They offer an insight into the lives that were lost on that fateful evening.

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Postcards, shaving implements, luggage, clothing, playing cards, money….all of these everyday items from a century ago remind us that each person on board was an actual soul. You’ll learn with reverence about immigrants hoping to start a new life in the United States. You’ll witness the opulent lifestyle of the rich and wealthy, who were just as vulnerable to the chilling waters. And you’ll be inspired by the workers who bravely assisted women and children to the lifeboats, sacrificing themselves in the ultimate act of heroism.

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All of the artifacts on display, including numerous pieces from the ship itself, have been carefully restored and preserved by RMS Titanic, Inc. This organization was formed to serve as the official steward of the wreckage site and its contents. Using the latest scientific advances, experts have cataloged each recovered item and treated it to protect from further degradation. Artifacts will sometimes be retired from the display and others brought in to replace them.

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The most amazing part of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is undoubtedly “The Big Piece”, an enormous section of the starboard hull. Suspended mid-air in a climate-controlled environment, this massive relic took several years and countless hours of effort to bring to the surface. An amazing testimonial to the wonders of science and archaeology, “The Big Piece” can only be seen in Las Vegas.

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Optional audio narration devices enable you to hear in-depth details of the various rooms and objects throughout the Exhibition. Descriptions are often provided in…

Click HERE to continue reading…

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit is open daily from 9:30 am to 9 pm.

Photos: Sam Novak, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Travelzoo, Patch.com, Best of Orlando

 

 

 

LEARN TO SOAR INDOORS AT VEGAS INDOOR SKYDIVING


High-flying attraction generates a supercharged thrill…

With all of the technology at our disposal, virtual reality has become an everyday norm. If you can dream it, you can (almost) live it. But long before we were able to strap on electronic gloves and headsets, there was Vegas Indoor Skydiving. And it’s so much more than a simulation.

Nestled in an easy-to-find location between the Strip’s famous Peppermill Restaurant and Las Vegas Convention Center, Vegas Indoor Skydiving has been a must-do destination to thrill seekers for 37 years. The only attraction of its kind in Las Vegas, V.I.S. allows you to defy gravity and experience the sensation of a free-fall without the need for a parachute, tandem partner or airplane.

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Previous flyers return again and again while great online testimonials lure newbies from around the world. General Manager Dave McMahan is excited that his facility and expertly-trained staff are able to provide guests with such a “uniquely Vegas” adventure.

We are proud to be operating the nation’s first indoor skydiving facility, which opened in 1982. Customer service is our #1 focus after safety and it’s always great to hear when we hit the mark.

Safety is indeed the top consideration here. Keep in mind that this is a sport, not a ride or simulator. Candidates must be in good health and meet specified weight/height guidelines (based on aerodynamics) in order to fly. You must also be free from influence of drugs/alcohol and with no history of neck/back/shoulder injuries. Just like in traditional skydiving, guests must sign a waiver before proceeding to the instruction phase.

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Prior to suiting up, you’ll watch a short video that teaches you various body positions and movements that will be used throughout. Since the turbine generates an air stream (up to 120 mph) at very high decibels, earplugs are required…and that necessitates communicating with your instructor via hand signals. You’ll need to demonstrate a thorough understanding of every protocol before donning your goggles, specially-designed flight suit and helmet and heading into the vertical wind tunnel.

McMahan knows that participating in sports of this nature are a great way to bond with friends and family. And learning something new together makes it even more special.

Vegas Indoor Skydiving  is one of the most unique attractions in Las Vegas. It’s for people of all ages to enjoy. The possibilities are endless in the wind tunnel, but the coolest trick is teaching other people how to fly.

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            General Manager Dave McMahan (right) at V.I.S. annual charity Tunnel Jam

Like any physical activity, there is a period of awkwardness when you begin. The “Learn To Fly” session helps you to adapt to the intense winds while you earn your wings, so to speak. The “Fly for 5” package is designed for advanced types and return visitors, giving you extra time to test out more daring maneuvers. Family packages (up to 5) and group parties (up to 20 participants) can be arranged for any special occasion.

No matter what session you choose, your instructor will always be at your side. He or she will assist you in maintaining balance and soaring up and down. They’ll also demonstrate how to perform amazing spins and flips. You can even lock hands with the instructor and your companions to take flight  

The facility itself is a veritable museum. Click HERE to continue via BestOfVegas.com…

 

 

Vegas Indoor Skydiving opens daily at 9:30 am. Closing times and holiday hours vary. Sessions take place every 30 minutes. Ample free parking is provided.

Photos: Sam Novak, Vegas Indoor Skydiving