Everything BUT the strip! Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour, Black Canyon River Tour, Zipline over Fremont Street, Capo’s Italian Steakhouse, Aston MonteLago Village Resort, Tarah Grace at The Black Door.
NEXT STOP: LAS VEGAS (TRANSCRIPTION)
00:00-00:04 JON: Hi, I’m Jon Olson, and welcome to Next Stop, from sin city, USA
00:05-00:18 Next Stop Las Vegas intro rolls
00:19- 00:35 JON: Welcome to Next Stop from Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’ve been to Vegas, you all know about the wild and crazy strip. On this episode, we are going to do everything off strip, like ziplining over Fremont Street with the flying Elvi. The fun starts now! Viva Las Vegas, wooo!
00:55-01:31 JON: Brina, thank you for helping us kick off our Vegas show, this is a great way to start it. I’ve been to Vegas many times, I’ve never seen the ziplines over Fremont Street. How long has it been here?
BRINA: We’ve been here since October 2010.
JON: Who inspired this? It just so awesome, its so cool, especially when the lights are flying, everyone is screaming from down below and up top, who inspired this?
BRINA: Um, I think it was really our owners. We have one out in the desert and they were looking for a way just to bring some more life down to Fremont Street, and we’ve always looked for like an urban type of a flight line system, so this is neat, everybody gets that experience of flying over like you said, a rock star with the show going on and, its a really just neat, quick experience.
01:39-02:10 JON: Ok, so we got really super lucky on Next Stop, we didnt expect to get to fly with Elvis Presley and Elvis Presley, but there happens to be an Elvis convention in town, right now, right?
SEVE: Contest competition for the ultimate Elvis, looking for the ultimate Elvis is this regional contest here put on by the Legends In Concert.
JON: So where are you guys from:
SEVE: I’m from Modesto, California.
MARK: I’m from Australia.
JON: Australia? You came all the way to compete?
MARK: Yeah, and party.
JON: Good luck you guys, and thanks for flying. Hey, look at those big old rings, this is legitimate Elvis bling here guys.
02:15-03:03 THOMAS: Well this is the original Las Vegas, this is where it all began back in 1905 when Las Vegas was founded. In fact, the first hotel in Las Vegas still exists at the end of Fremont Street, what is now the Golden Gate was built in 1906. Fremont Street was the first street in Las Vegas, and also the first paved road. And about 15 years ago they closed it down to vehicular traffic, and built a 5 block long urban pedestrian mall, capped by the worlds largest video screen.
JON: You’ve got lots of casino’s, you have people walking, I saw Spock talking to Spongebob, Ozzy Osbourne just walked by us, you have something for everybody.
THOMAS: We do have a lot of characters, the best thing, we have free entertainment, we have 3 stages with 3 stage productions or concerts every night, its a casual, let your hair down, fun environment.
03:06-03:07 Next Stop logo
03:10-03:41 JON: We get to do something special today, we get to tour, over the air, one of the seven wonders of the world, something that nobody on the Next Stop crew has got to do, thanks to our pilot Marina here.
MARINA: We will pick up from the south rim, and we are going to head east, we’ll head to south of the east canyon first, cross over the ridge there into the Zuni corridor, find our way to the Little Colorado River which is blue this time of year which is quite special.
JON: Does it ever get old, I mean we have never seen this, so I’m stoked. I’ve flown over it at like 35,000 feet, but never like this.
MARINA: I’ve done over 2,000 tours and every day is something different.
03:50-04:09 MARINA: Up ahead to the right, that large plateau is called Nankoweap Mesa, that is where the Navaho and the Paiute had a large battle, we presume for territory. We do know that there are cave dwellings on the other side of Nankoweap near the river where the wild buffalo live, the native american word, tatanka.
04:21-04:48 MARINA: Now we just turned towards another landmark that is straight ahead of us, its a red, its a rock structure on top of that red Mount Brady, its on the map called Point Brady, however we call it the battleship because it looks just like one, and as we get closer it will unfold and reveal itself to you. Now we do know there are hundreds of people in the canyon every single day, but they are just so darn tiny you can’t see them.
05:00-05:43 JON: Why is it that this place is the only place in the world that has the Grand Canyon? Why is it here? Is there a reason why geologically its only here?
MARINA: The briefing that you saw in the building earlier should have told you not to ask the pilots questions they don’t know the answers to!
JON: I thought I might be throwing you kind of a big curve ball there which I did.
MARINA: Well it started with just the river, just a small, basic river and it was relatively flat here. The water wants to find its neutral again, it wants to go down to sea level so it just keeps carving away at it. With that initial carving, that’s when the winds start taking over as well. You also notice that the south rim is a lot closer to the river than the north rim is.
05:53-06:12 MARINA: Coming up ahead is the confluence of the two rivers, the Little Colorado comes from that gorge ahead to the right. Now the little river, the gorge, and the land to the north ahead of us, and northeast ahead to the right is all protected Navaho land, about 25,000 square
06:22-06:31 JON: That is crazy down there, look at that! Aqua, aqua blue waters turning into green. That is, that’s impressive, that’s awesome.
06:37-06:38 Next Stop logo
06:39-06:43 JON: Coming up on Next Stop, rafting below the Hoover Dam, and an authentic Italian steak house.
06:45-06:46 Next Stop logo
06:48-07:18 JON: In the early 1900’s Las Vegas was established as a railroad town, a resting point, watering hole between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. In 1931 it experienced a population boom with the construction of the Hoover Dam, which happened to be the same year that gambling was officially legalized. After World War Two luxurious hotels and casinos sprouted up, and in 1969 the man himself, Elvis Presley, opened at the Las Vegas Hilton. Today, well today, you know the rest of the story. Book your trip to Las Vegas with alaskaair.com
07: 30-07:21 Next Stop logo
07:23-08:05 JON: Today we will experience scenic Black Canyon on the magnificent Colorado River with Black Canyon River Adventures. This is Brian, he’s our tour guide, and he is about to start off by telling us the best thing that has happened to him in the last 20 years.
BRIAN: The O’Callaghan Tillman Memorial bridge.
JON: This big guy right here?
BRIAN: That big guy right up there. Well I think what you have got here is not just one now, but two of the more remarkable engineering feats in America in one spot. And to have the Dam framed the way it is by that bridge is a pretty remarkable sight, I think you can tell by looking.
JON: It looks like a post card.
BRIAN: The Dam itself of course, built between 1932 and 1935 for the primary purpose of controlling flood on the Colorado River.
08:11-08:30 ANDREW: One of the only ways that visitors get to see the view of the dam and the bridge is by being on this trip. This area is restricted by the National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation, so in order for us to enable our visitors to see it, we’ve authorized this raft trip and they are the only ones that can get up this close to the dam, so its a very unique opportunity.
08:40-09:15 BRIAN: For the next 5 or 6 miles down the river, you will see this kind of an effect with water just gushing right out of the rock, right out of the canyon walls. They are all hot springs, the rock right here in front of us is between 135, 140 degrees. I like to prove to my passengers that the water is that hot, sometimes they don’t believe me, ha ha.
09:25-10:27 BRIAN: Here on the Nevada side of the river we have one of the more scenic views that we will see all day, this is called moonscape canyon, and I like to pause a moment and show this to folks, because its a great spot to get some perspective on the size of Black Canyon. That ridge in the distance out there is the top, that is about a thousand, 900 feet above us. There is a lot of natural holes through the rock, or arches, we call them desert windows. Its kind of amazing, you think about how hard the rock is, you think about how little it rains out here, and yet those holes are formed by the action of wind and rain.
JON: Now we just saw a big bird back there, what was that?
BRIAN: That was a turkey buzzard, a vulture, part of the desert clean up crew. Well, whenever I see a couple of those gathering above my raft, people my age need to keep moving, otherwise they get the wrong idea and get a little too close.
JON: Let’s go, let’s get moving!
10:43-10:54 JON: That was our first time on the Colorado River and we made some great memories. Thanks to Black Canyon River Adventures, Andy from the National Park Services, and our awesome tour guide Brian. And Brian, I got a message for you man. Keep moving buddy! Don’t let the vultures get you. We like you around here.
11:06-11:07 Next Stop logo
11:09-11:39 JON: We are all intrigued with Old Vegas, where it was straight up gangsta baby, well straight up gangsta is alive and well at Capo’s Italian Steakhouse.
DOORMAN: How ya doin’?
JON: How you doin’?
DOORMAN: Welcome to Capo’s. No how YOU doin’?
JON: I’m doin’ good, how you doin’?
DOORMAN: I’m doing good, who sent you?
DOORMAN: Frankie who?
JON: Frankie Benetari
DOORMAN: Hold on, you sound a little suspect.
JON: Maybe just a little.
DOORMAN: Alright, come on, I’ll let you in tonight, alright.
DOORMAN: Alright, alright, alright.
11:50-12:20 JON: There is no passionate kitchen more so than an itailian kitchen, especially with an italian chef. Jason here is an italian chef, we are at an italian steakhouse. Everything on the menu is sort of mobster, gangster, italian related, right?
JASON: 100%, yes sir.
JON: Describe the menu to us, because its fun.
JASON: It is, its very fun, its real old school, like there is a lot of new stuff going on, I’m sorry I tried to stop myself from swearing there, there is a lot of new stuff going on in food, we don;t really mess with that, we kind of like to keep everything old school. like our meatball recipe is 200 years old.
12:26-12:53: JASON: This dish on the menu is called a sawed off sausage and pepper, which is kind of a gangster kind of thing going on there. The secret to the marsala is a little rosemary. It really is, and the wine of course, you have got to use a good wine. Here is our signature mushroom risotto, which uh, I don’t want to tell you too much about it, its kind of a secret. There are only like 5 guys that even know how to make this.
12:56-13:37 JON: Nico?
NICO: Yes sir.
JON: Al Capone would be proud of you.
NICO: Well you know what, that’s why I built the joint you know, I mean at the end of the day it’s to pay homage to all these old gangsters, you know, growing up in Chicago, this is what we grew up with.
JON: This is what you grew up with.
NICO: This is the food I grew up with , these are the recipes I brought over from there and we are very proud to deliver it in a way that they would be proud of.
JON: And you’ve got movie posters all over the wall, you’ve got an authentic singer, this guy sang with Elvis?
NICO: Yeah, Kevin DeCosta is the real deal. Old school Vegas doesn’t miss a beat, the real deal.
JON: Your staff looks like they have a good time, they are all having fun with each other.
NICO: Well you know, it’s kind of by design really, I don’t think really have a choice. I mean really we want our clients to have a good time so I want to make sure the staff is exuding that to each client that comes through the door.
13:42-13:43 Next Stop logo
13:44-13:48 JON: Coming up, a stunning Lake Las Vegas Resort, singing gondoliers and more.
13:50-13:51 Next Stop logo
13:59-15:02 JON: This is great, and you what else is great Kathy? The Aston MonteLago Village Resort. This is amazing. We’ve stayed at a lot of Aston properties, but yours is the most unique we’ve ever stayed at. Tell us about the rooms, because its like your own little…
KATHY: Yeah, they are great. They are studio units on up to full 3 bedroom units, all fully equipped so you come for the weekend and you have everything you need. Fully equipped kitchens so if you want to cook a meal you cook a meal, have your beverages, its just really a great property.
JON: You know what my favorite thing about the property is? I like the rooms a lot, but I like the fact that Vegas, and the crazy strip is just over those mountains, like 30 minutes away, and you come back here. We were there last night, and we come back and it is so peaceful, it’s so calming.
KATHY: It’s Las Vegas, so you are coming to Las Vegas, but you have this peaceful, beautiful atmosphere that you don’t have anywhere else. We do tons of weddings and there is not another place in the city that I can think of where you can get married right on a beautiful lake and have this atmosphere.
15:12-15:42 MATTHEW: Gondola Adventures specializes in just romantic cruises for couples, we really make big moments for them, proposals, anniversaries, birthdays. We say we make moments that last for a lifetime, just a very romantic setting out here.
JON: Now do you do it just on this lake, or are you guys all around Las Vegas?
MATTHEW: We only do it on this lake. Our gondoliers specialize in just this locale, we do that mainly because it is so unique. It has it’s own temperament, its own style and its such a private experience.
JON: Well Kathy and I just met today, so we really appreciate you orchestrating this romantic experience for us, right Kathy?
KATHY: Yes, we do.
MATTHEW: Well, we like starting moments, we just create a moment of opportunity.
15:55-16:27 JON: Tell us about the actual resort itself, and the little village, the town. You have restaurants and shops.
KATHY: Fantastic restaurants, there is an italian, there is a french bistro, there is a, the irish pub which is the most popular place.
JON: I’m going there tonight.
KATHY: Yes, it is a local hangout if you will.
JON: And tonight you have a wine walk which we are going to partake in, tell us about that.
KATHY: Yeah, its awesome, it is a wine walk that benefits New Vista Community and there are about 25 different wineries that come in and they serve their wine and you taste different wines.
16:32-17:16 JON: We are the wine walk, we’ve got our wine, we have lots of people having a good time, live music happening, but its all for a good cause, right Michelle?
MICHELLE: Yes it is.
JON: Tell us about New Vista.
MICHELLE: New Vista is a local charity here in Las Vegas, and we provide support services to adults and kids that have intellectual challenges so autism, downs syndrome, and we provide them with homes and we teach them how to live more independently so they can do more things on their own, and need us less.
JON: That sounds wonderful, so tell us about tonight, this is kind of a nice, fun event.
MICHELLE: Oh, we have been doing the wine walks for 7 years now, and we love doing the wine walks out here at Lake Las Vegas because it is beautiful, its relaxing, you get out of the city for an evening, and its a perfect date night.
17:25-17:44 JON: Tasting station number 10, what do we got here brother?
DREW: We actually have one by J. Lohr, it’s Falcon’s Perch, its a pinot noir.
JON: I have a question for you, I hear the term what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. What does that mean?
DREW: Actually, all of us living here still are still trying to figure it out.
JON: That’s good, how about we taste some of your wine?
JON: Thanks man.
17:52-18:15 JON: On average, how many weddings are there in Las Vegas every single day?
EVELYN: A lot.
JON: Oh yeah, a lot, but let’s give us a number.
JON: Your married, so you are one of them.732 a day? That’s a little bit much.
EVELYN: Ok 121.
JON: OK so go somewhere a little bit in between there, like maybe 315.
18:19-18:36 JON: So who was it that said it only happens on the strip in Las Vegas? It wasnt me, because right now its happening on Lake Las Vegas, we had a great day, a gondola ride, singing, Kathy from Aston Hotels, a wine walk, and now we are at the irish pub that Kathy said rocks, and this place is absolutely rocking. Come to Lake Las Vegas and have a good time.
18:40-18:41 Next Stop logo
18:42-18:46 JON: Up next, Las Vegas Hall of Fame musician Tarah Grace and the Magnetics.
18:48-18:49 Next Stop logo
18:51- JON: For our live music segment, we are Dave Navarro’s, and our new friend Nico’s Black Door bar and Grill, for Tarah Grace and the Magnetics.
JON: We’re very honored to have Tarah Grace and the Magnetics here as our featured band on the Las Vegas show, so honored because this is old school Vegas. Old school Vegas rock and roll. It’s not the strip, its not the lounge singers, its real rock and roll, and you got your start here a long time ago, before this was all really blown up, didn’t you?
TARAH: I did, I was a young teen when I first started singing, and I’ve been here from the very dark ages of the rock, the original rock scene. And its expanded, there are a lot more clubs that feature original music, a lot more people have moved, there is just a lot more opportunity for the original artist.
20:14-20:33 TARAH: What they do on the strip is more designed for a sheer entertainment for pleasing other people. I’m a little selfish in that regard, being I’m an original artist and writing for myself with the band, there is a plus to it because we do consider ourselves pretty entertaining and we have a pretty big fan base that through the years we have accumulated.
20:51-21:13 JON: Tell us about your band, the Magnetics.
TARAH: The Magnetics? I’ve been through zillions of bands, and band members, but I recently got together, I’ve known these people for 20 years but we’ve never really played together, we’ve been in different bands. Everything worked out really good, and I’ve got, everyones really experienced and totally into it and we are just having a blast.
21:31-21:32 Next Stop logo
21:33- 21:52 JON: We hope you enjoyed Next Stop, everything but the strip, Las Vegas. Thanks to our shows sponsors, the Aston MonteLago Village Resort, and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Also thanks to our title sponsors, Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card for your partnership. We’ll see you next time on Next Stop, where will we take you next? Make good memories everybody.