ARIA Resort – Inside and Out


Aria Resort & Casino Photo Credit : Bari Demers
ARIA Resort and Casino was part of a 9 billion dollar joint project by MGM International and Dubai World (Infinity World Development) in building CityCenter, a multi-resort complex in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.  

CityCenter consists of a set of luxury resort hotels and condos, starting with ARIA Resort, Vdara, the Veer Twin Towers, Mandarin Oriental, The Crystals (a high-end shopping facility) and The Harmon, built from 2006 – 2009. However, during the financial recession everything came to abrupt halt in the beginning of 2009, as financiers scrambled to raise more monies to complete the project.  

The drastic drop in shares had an considerable impact on its completion, including the increasing construction costs. 

Not only that, the workers union went on strike because they accused the contractor of not practicing safety measures after six men died during construction of CityCenter. After a three step safety resolution was reached, construction continued at a rate of completing one floor ever seven days. 


2nd Floor ARIA Resort Photo Credit : Bari Demers
Fortunately the overall project was completed, with ARIA Resort officially opening up on Dec 16, 2009.  

Architect firm, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, masterminded the ARIA creation with precision and artistic design. You can find all about the construction of ARIA Resort HERE, but I’m going to talk about ARIA from an architectural draftsmanship point of view, as well as a tourist, who had the opportunity to experience first-hand the luxury during the summer of 2014. 


Aria Resort Photo Credit : Bari Demers

Arriving in front of this massive two story adjoining hotel towering at 600 ft with over 4000 rooms, featuring concave baby-blue glass throughout its 61 stories, made me smile ear to ear. Right there and then, I knew I picked the right Vegas resort for our five day vacation. Immediately stepping out of the limo I was spellbound by the cascading waterfall along its slanted walls, giving this calming effect.  


ARIA Resort Wall Waterfall Photo Credit : Bari Demers
It felt like my level of stress simply dissolved into thin air, soothing my soul.


ARIA Resort, Las Vegas – Night Photo Credit : Bari Demers
Months before arriving I had purchased the Express Check-In and Late Check-Out option, which cost an extra $30 (plus tax) each.  

It was well worth it. 

Today, you can skip the line by using their Mobile Check-In service, with your cell phone. The Late Check-Out option is best by contacting concierge for any special requests, like I did. 


ARIA King size Room Photo Credit : Bari Demers
ARIA Resort is indeed at the height of technology, including cutting edged room convenience controlling the lighting, TV, the wall length curtains, “Do Not Disturb” options, room service and temperature control.  

It’s the power of luxury at your finger tips.  

Our room was on the sixteenth floor overlooking the pool courtyard below.  The view was simply amazing !  


Aria Resort – Overlooking Pool Courtyard Photo Credit: Bari Demers

In addition, our pool experience was as expected. Greeted with a warm welcome throughout, from the bartender to guest services at the entrance kiosk (also referred to as the security desk). You felt safe and well pampered by the professional staff. Of course, the three designed pools and one jacuzzi were exactly what you needed, when waking up first thing in the morning.  


ARIA Resort Poolside Photo Credit : Bari Demers
Our slumbering arrival poolside, before 8:30 am was considered early, in respect to our late hours the night before (or should I say early morning). Making the best of our time, exercising FUN in Vegas was essential to our stay. Besides, it’s nice to get a great spot before it becomes busy. Mind you, ARIA does offer the option of reserving your spot for an extra $25, if you like. That way, you don’t have to worry or rush around.


Pool Courtyard, ARIA Resort, Las Vegas Photo Credit: Bari Demers
After all, you are on holidays! 


Poolside at ARIA Resort Photo Credit : Bari Demers

Everything we did at ARIA Resort was a pleasant experience, from the casino to the art cleverly displayed. Enjoying the Fitness & Spa and partaking in the buffets, fine dining and the Five50 Pizza Bar, filled our expectations. When we ordered out a full “Gotham” (pepperoni, sausage, salami, mozzarella and Grana Padano) large pizza pie (costing $28) it was clear, the 550 degrees wood-fired oven that makes a big difference in the taste of your pizza.


Pool Bar ARIA Resort, Vegas Photo Credit : Bari Demers
Taking photos was not only a part of my experience, it was also the opportunity to share with others the FUN at ARIA Resort and Casino. 



The Convention Center at ARIA Resort Photo Credit : Bari Demers
One of my young careers as an architectural draftsman, I was impressed by the design features implemented by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The two curvilinear glass towers, the sloping linear three story Convention Center, the carefully placed rooms on each floor (allowing each with its own spectacular view) and overall property layout, is indeed a working technological design with a stunning artistic flair, sure to impress anyone. 


Aria Resort Convention Center Photo Credit : Bari Demers
ARIA Resort is without a doubt, the place to be pampered on your next visit to Las Vegas. You only live once, so it’s best to get out and enjoy your life as much as you can, while you’re still healthy. 


16th Flr – ARIA Resort King Room Photo Credit : Bari Demers
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ARIA Resort Convention Center, Las Vegas by Bari Demers
By Bari Demers – Vegas Lover since the 80’s, screenwriter and freelance writer


ARIA Resort & Casino Photo Credit : Bari Demers

What Will I Miss


Credit: Bari Demers
What I Won’t and Will Miss was first started by Nora Ephron at the end her book, “I Remember Nothing”. Nora was a famous writer, director, blogger and most notably a screenwriter for : Sleepingless in Seattle, Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally and my favourite, Julie & Julia. 

She won countless Academy Awards for her work throughout her career.

Unknown to everyone else, when Nora wrote and directed Julie & Julia, she was secretly battling leukaemia. No one in the cast, crew or even her close friends had any idea, she was dying. 

On June 26th 2012, Nora Ephron passed away, aged 71 years old. 

In Nora’s last book, “I Remember Nothing” her list of “What I Won’t and Will Miss” was her last message to everyone, and I thought it would be fitting to continue on with her legacy, by honouring her list.

So, without further ado, here’s my List : 

What I Won’t Miss 

    • The day my child died ( I’ll never ever forget that day. I wish it never happened)
    • Funerals
    • Cold Winter nights
    • The illusion of Friends (those who pretend to be a friend and are really after something you have)
    • The fear that another one of my children could die before me
    • Doctors
    • The Wolf always knocking at my door (the thought of poverty)
    • Dentists
    • The fear of dying a horrible death
    • Another Grizzly Attack 
    • Pancakes
    • Cauliflower 
    • Couscous
    • socks (hate wearing socks)
    • Watching what I eat
    • Religion 
    • The fear that God (spiritual entity) doesn’t exist (meaning our whole biological existence has no meaning. We are nothing more then animals with a brain and evolution is laughing in our face).
    • War
    • The end of our world


    Photo Credit : Bari Demers
    What I Will Miss

      • Writing
      • Screenwriting
      • Science-fiction
      • Las Vegas
      • The Hawaiian Islands
      • Gourmet meals
      • My BBQ
      • New York Steak, filet mignon, Prime Rib
      • Lobster
      • Tiger Shrimp, Scampis and Scallops
      • Hollandaise sauce
      • Yorkshire Pudding
      • See’s brand Chocolate 
      • Anything Chocolate ( must be good chocolate – no wax fillers)
      • Macadamia & white chocolate chip cookies
      • Macadamia nuts from Hawaii
      • Resorts, like Aria, the Venetian, Palazzo, The Wynn, The Banff Springs and Lake Louise Hotel
      • Banff National Park, Alberta
      • Lake Louise, Alberta
      • Yoho National Park
      • Canada
      • British Columbia
      • The Okanagan Valley
      • Hiking
      • Flying, either it be a jet or helicopter 
      • My kids
      • My grandchildren 
      • Patricia (married for 37 years)
      • Arizona
      • The Northern Lights
      • Our amazing Universe
      • Our amazing Sun
      • Drinking exotic drinks poolside at a resort
      • My screenplay : BLACK ANGELS 


      Photo Credit : Tianndra

      My Regrets or Bucket List 

      • Not being able to see earth from a spaceship
      • Not being able to vacation on Mars
      • Not to experience time travel
      • Not being able to travel through our solar system, like a tourist 
      • Not being able to visit Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Spain or Japan
      • Never to see the Caribbean Islands
      • Not being able to travel First Class in a private jet
      • Not able to afford a Mercedes Benz
      • Not being able to actually see Peace on Earth
      • Humans never getting the chance to fly on their own free will. 
      • Anti-gravity was never invented
      • I never met the President of the United States
      • I never met Anthony Hopkins
      • Never to have a boys night out with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Kevin Costner and Keanu Reeves for a weekend in Vegas, including partying at the top Vegas Nightclub for celebrities. 

      I believe that pretty much sums it up for me.  

      Wouldn’t it be something, if the rest of Hollywood would also follow along with Nora’s List, in honour of her achievements. 

      Your turn.  

      Prepare your list of What I Won’t Miss and What I Will Miss, and then pass along. Ask your followers, friends, family and students to do the same.   Let’s reblog and see if we can carry on what Nora Ephron started. 





      By Bari Demers – screenwriter and freelance writer 

      Anahareo – Woman of Vision

      Don’t forget to nominate Woman of Vision – you have until April 15 2016 for nominations. A legendary woman on our Canadian Bank Note ( currency) READ blog for more info …

      Dreams and Reality

      indian paintbrush flower Photo Credit : Bari Demers
      March 9 2016 was a day to celebrate women’s achievements by recognizing International Women’s Day. Also, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced, the Bank of Canada will begin taking in nominations for iconic women to appear on the new bank note. The woman picked will set a precedent for equality and the future of all women in Canada.

      Previously, the monarchy set the stage for Canada’s Head of State, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who has been prominently featured on our bank notes throughout her reign, from early as the young 8-year-old Princess Elizabeth to the $20 bill featuring the new Polymer- style note.

      As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put it,” Because it’s 2015…” in response defending gender balance.

      The Bank of Canada will be taking nominations, women of vision, up to April 15, 2016. As noted on the Bank of Canada…

      View original post 961 more words

      Favorite Horror Films of the 1960s: The Birds

      This movie is surely one of my favourites – The Birds
      Alfred Hitchcock was truly a master. I wonder if Steven Spielburg saw this horror movie and thought one day to make his own, JAWS.

      charles french words reading and writing


      After Psycho in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock directed and produced his other masterpiece of horror in 1963: The Birds. Both of these movies place Hitchcock in the forefront of filmmakers, not only in America, but in the history of world cinema. The Birds was based on the short story by Daphne Du Maurier, and starred Tippi Hedren in her first featured role, Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette, and Jessica Tandy, an extraordinary cast.


      The movie follows an unexplained series of attacks that centers on a small California coastal village of Bodega Bay. That the attacks come without warning are crucial to developing a central theme of this film: that nature can strike back at humanity without warning. It is a mid-20th century movie that posits an ecological warning to the world that we are not alone and our actions are not without potential consequences. Certainly, this might not be the…

      View original post 286 more words

      Anahareo – Woman of Vision


      indian paintbrush flower Photo Credit : Bari Demers
      March 9 2016 was a day to celebrate women’s achievements by recognizing International Women’s Day. Also, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced, the Bank of Canada will begin taking in nominations for iconic women to appear on the new bank note. The woman picked will set a precedent for equality and the future of all women in Canada.

      Previously, the monarchy set the stage for Canada’s Head of State, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who has been prominently featured on our bank notes throughout her reign, from early as the young 8-year-old Princess Elizabeth to the $20 bill featuring the new Polymer- style note.

      As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put it,” Because it’s 2015…” in response defending gender balance.

      The Bank of Canada will be taking nominations, women of vision, up to April 15, 2016.  As noted on the Bank of Canada website, “Nominees will be considered if they meet the following criteria:

        • They are a Canadian (by birth or naturalization) who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement or distinction in any field, benefiting the people of Canada, or in the service of Canada.
        • They have been deceased for at least 25 years.
        • Submissions of fictional characters will not be considered.” 


        Gertrude Moltke Bernard, “Anahareo” Photo Credit : Archives of Ontario
        With that said, I quickly nominated Gertrude Moltke Bernard, who’s pet name was Anahareo. What’s unique and interesting about her, is the fact she was married to the the famous Grey Owl, who’s mission in life was to protect wildlife and to be a conservationist spokesman throughout Canada.

        But, it didn’t start that way in the beginning. 

        As a matter of fact, it was Anahareo who convinced Grey Owl to change from trapper to conservationist. Surprisingly, even though Anahareo was a Mohawk Iroquois born in Mattawa, Ontario, Canada, it was a very different story for her husband. Grey Owl (Archibald Belaney) fooled everyone into believing he was indeed a half-blooded Apache, right up to his death in 1938, where it was revealed he was born on September 18, 1888 in Hastings, England. 

        But, this isn’t about Grey Owl. 

        Springs Red Cedar Forest Photo Credit : Bari Demers

        It’s about a remarkable First Nations woman, Anahareo, who her friends and family would nickname her,”Pony”. At the age of 19 she met Grey Owl, who at the time was 37 years old. In the beginning, even though Grey Owl was legally married to Angele Egwuna, he pursued Anahareo. They lived in the Canadian wilderness, as Grey Owl supported both of them, while trapping for pelts. After much persistence, Grey Owl agreed to take Anahareo on his trapline, which changed history. 

        She was appalled by what she saw.

         Anahareo would see the senseless slaughter of fur bearing animals on a daily basis (during the winter months) helping her partner tend to the traps. Horrified by the inhumane trapping practices, she pleaded for Grey Owl to stop making a living this way. 


        Art piece “Bloodwolf ” by Bari Demers
        Anahareo explained to her husband, the First Nations People (her people) believed in a Great Spirit who had power over the animals, the trees, our oceans and the sky above. Killing without respecting or cause, would angry the Great Spirit. If an animal was used for food and clothing, there was a sacred ritual required, allowing to set free the animal’s spirit. The torture of these animals caught in leg traps and left out to freeze to death, was completely against her people’s beliefs. 

        She insisted Grey Owl to stop. 

        But Grey Owl told her, he didn’t have a choice. The fur pelts were like gold, bringing in a good income, giving them food and shelter. It wasn’t until one winter day, Grey Owl hunted down a beaver to its home. Setting up the traps, he caught the beaver, not realizing it was a mother. As he started to canoe away, he heard the unmistakable cries (of what he thought at the time, sounded human) of babies. 

        Turning back, he found two beaver kits crying in distress.

        That very day was the turning point in Grey Owl’s life, converting from trapper to conservationist. Anahareo persistence convinced Grey Owl to adopt them, as they raised them back to health. It was here, where Anahareo persuaded her husband to write books, instead of trapping. As a previous writer for her people, she helped Grey Owl to write his first book,”The Men of the Last Frontier” published in 1931. He wrote many articles for the Canadian Forest and Outdoor magazine, while his fame grew, the National Park Service made a film,’Beaver People’, featuring Grey Owl and Anahareo, in the hopes to attract tourists. Anahareo and Grey Owl became famous throughout North America and England.

        His second book, “Pilgrims of the Wild” was published in 1934. 

        It was this book, forty years later, I had the privilege to read. It was a time where I wanted to go into the wilderness myself, with thoughts of living off the land. My high school friends use to call me,”Buckskin” because of the frequency I wore this handmade deerskin coat, fashioned with wildflowers. 

        It was the 70’s.  

        My goal was to read everything there was about survival and living off the land. It was then I read Grey Owls book,”Pilgrims of the Wild” during my English class in Grade 11. After reading his books it became clear to me, Anahareo was the greatest influence of Grey Owl’s life in the wilderness and aboard publicly. It was the “woman behind the man” syndrome that made Grey Owl the legend he is today. 


        Whitetail Deer Photo Credit : Bari Demers
        Anahareo became a well known animal rights activist and conservationist in her lifetime. She eventually wrote her own book, “Devil in Deerskins: My Life With Grey Owl” explaining her life, unaware Grey Owl, was in fact an Englishman. In 1979, she was admitted into the “Order of Nature”, by the Paris International League of Animal Rights. On top of it all, in 1983, Anahareo was elected a Member of the Order of Canada, while sick in bed. 

        So, with admiration for The First Nations Woman, Anahareo, it’s my hope she will be the first woman of vision, recognized and honoured on the Canadian, Bank of Canada currency note.

        Please vote.

         Anahareo last days resided in Kamloops, B.C, where she died on June 17, 1986 at the age of 80 years old.  Ironically, at the time, I had no idea she lived in the same city I did, so many years ago. 

        By Bari Demersscreenwriter and freelance writer


        Canada vs America – The secret love affair

        What do Canadians think of the American election

         Interesting headline, but realistically no one cares what us Canadians think. With a Canadian population of over 35 million (according to the 2015 census) and the Americans around 320 million, it’s understandable the American giant has little patients for Canada, right? 

        Or do they? 

        Basically, if we keep our nose clean, play hockey and spend our money in United States, then everything should be kosher, right? 

        Well, believe it or not, it doesn’t work that way.  

        Americans and Canadians are both effected by the overall economics, if we like it or not. We are both glued-to-the-hip because of the valuable resources on both sides of the border (and if you can’t see it ) our cultures closely mimic each other. 

        And, so far (thank god) the-powers to-be know that!

        Water, electricity, lumber, gold, oil and livestock are constantly being sent south to keep the American country in check. As a matter of fact, an American owned meat processing plant, known as Cargill, in High River, Alberta employees over 2000 people while harvesting 4000 beef cattle per day ! All the cattle are shipped locally to Cargill from our Canadian ranchers throughout the year, to be processed, with 45 percent of the harvest heading back to the United States. Twenty percent heads to Japan while the rest is marketed here in Canada. 

        You do realize it’s quite a challenge to feed, cloth and shelter 320 million people, right? 

        It’s an agreed partnership understood by both countries.  
        As agreed : “Under the MOU, Canada and the United States plan to cooperate on initiatives, including: sharing of knowledge, technical information and research plans to improve environmental practices in conventional and unconventional oil and gas development; enhancing the reliability and security of the North American energy infrastructure; supporting the advancement of an efficient and clean electric grid; enhancing coordination on energy efficiency standards; facilitating increased use of natural gas in the transportation sector; collaborating to reduce the cost of carbon capture and storage (CCS); and engaging in regional and multilateral dialogues on energy and environmental issues to advance shared.”

        It’s also agreed, we will keep the power, water and fuel flowing across the border, to sustain the quality of life for Americans. It’s important we work together. Otherwise, both economies will begin to crumble like a set of dominoes. Everyday, hundreds of millions of goods and resources are quietly exported across each border. 

        The American Flag at Bellagio, Las Vegas Photo Credit : Bari Demers

        Both countries understand the commitment to each other.  

        Could United States take over Canada by force ? Of course they can. Our small ill-equipped armed forces aren’t any match for the Americans. But, we all know that would never happen. It wouldn’t be in anyone’s best interest, worldwide.

        Is Canada and United States worried who gets elected? 

        Damn rights they do! It will effect over 375 million people across North America. Any change to the balance of our economics will have dreadful consequences to everyone concerned. So, if Donald Trump becomes President of the United States, it will make a big impact on everyone.   Just like the Americans, Canadians too are scared in loosing their way of life.  

        Will our new young Prime Minister make an impression ? 

        The warm welcome of the United States of America by President Obama, inviting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family to the White House state dinner, is without a doubt, an honour. Obviously, the President of United States must be impressed by our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to roll out the red carpet. 

        Look. I’m very proud to be Canadian and happy we have such good neighbours. 

        But, even though you have a few rednecks on each side of the border, ranting how terrible each other is, most Americans and Canadians work well together. We always refer our American counterparts, as our friendly neighbours, as they do the same to us. I personally have some great American friends who value Canadians as close partners, doing business on a daily basis.  


        But, as a Canadian, I’m always hurt when someone puts down our country.  Then I realize where it’s coming from. Uneducated and the uninformed will sound off, without checking the facts. They feel so powerful behind their little computer, trying their best to disrupt and lash out on others. 

        It’s a sad state of affairs. 

        Truly their lives must be empty and constantly filled with hate. There’s usually two things that drive people to do things they would not normally do in public. It’s either power or a lack of judgement, fuelled by the lack of education. Unfortunately, the media enjoys hearing people rip each other apart with their social rants, only for better ratings.

        Most of us Canadians are a friendly bunch who are willing to give the coat off our backs, to help others. Sure, we love our beer and the favourite sport is hockey and sometimes it’s damn cold in the Great White North, but it doesn’t mean our hearts are. In the most part we are a peaceful country, loving the great outdoors and (if rich enough) enjoy our winters in Arizona or Hawaii.  

        As far as hockey is concerned, you must realize, most of the hockey players (stars) come from Canada, right? And most of the football players in the CFL are American players, right ?  

        It’s important to look at all the facts and make a rational decision. Because each decision effects the way we live, our safety and the future of our children. 

        Canada verses America – it’s the secret love affair.

        So, if Americans want to come up here to Canada for a longer stay, you are most welcomed. Its Canadian nature to help out others, when in trouble. That’s what Canada is about. That’s who we are. We were brought up to respect and treat others, as we would like to be treated and respected.  Canadians, like the people of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia were there welcoming stranded American travellers on September 11,2001 into their homes. The community of Cape Breton and the rest of Canada will always welcome Americans, be it a visit or stranded.  You’ll always have a home to go to.

        As a Canadian, we also want to be welcomed. And Americans have welcomed us so many times before, from the fun city of Las Vegas to the warm states of Florida, Arizona and Hawaii.  We thank you all for your warm hospitality, it’s very much appreciated.   

        Photo Credit: Adam Pass

        The only thing I wish for in Canada?  

        It’s important our historical culture of the French and English influence stay as it is. It’s our history and way of life and we can’t see it disappear.  Along with First Nations People, it’s important to respect their heritage.  After all, they were the first to welcome us all.  So, but away your difference and grow together.

        Also, we must all be proud Canadians FIRST with heritage coming in second. If not, we will become nothing more then a mix-match country with no direction and complete chaos. The group of people breeding the most will dictate the laws of our country.  

        And that’s just plain dangerous.  

        As well, religions should never dictate or infringe on others way of life. That just leads to power, controlling the masses. With a majority in ones religion, they too can enforce their law, just by becoming a member of parliament. With enough support, the radical group can be elected as a Prime Minister. From there, it’s just a matter of time, their laws control the very freedom our ancestors so dearly fought for. 

        If you’re going to live in Canada and be Canadian, then you must love our country and be damn proud YOU are Canadian.

        We are Canadian, strong and free.  For now. 

        By Bari Demers 

        Vegas Reviews – Where the Fun never stops! 


        Caesars Palace Photo Credit : Bari Demers
        Vegas Reviews has been around since the 1980’s with its goal to help newcomers enjoy their vacation without being overwhelmed or disappointed with their experiences. In the beginning, Vegas Reviews was more concerned about REVIEWS with resorts, then anything else. But times have changed.

        Fast forward 30 years.

        Vegas Reviews first showcased Las Vegas on its Facebook Page in April 2010. In the beginning, entering Facebook, we were still concerned in the good, the bad and ugly reviews, showcasing reviews for and from our viewers.  

        But, as we went along, we realized it was senseless to compete with large corporate companies, such as Trip Advisor, who also provided viewers the option to shout out their reviews, from hotel resorts to vacation packages, worldwide. We just are NOT a big corporation; either are we a company.  

        Vegas Reviews is simply a community for VEGAS LOVERS.


        The Bellagio Fountains Photo Credit : Bari Demers
        Today, Vegas Reviews has grown into what we like to be called as, VEGAS LOVERS, where the FUN never stops. But, we are still concerned for anyone visiting Las Vegas for the first time, so they won’t walk away disappointed.  

        Seriously, Vegas is a great vacation spot, but you still have to take steps to plan ahead and know what you can afford. Gambling in the casinos may sound like a win-win situation, but really, the only ones winning in the casinos are the Vegas Resorts. If you go into it knowing, the money you play in the casinos are for recreational purposes only, then you won’t leave disappointed. In other words, YOU are well aware there’s a slim chance of winning, and it was a fun recreational experience.  

        If by chance you do win ?

        Treat your winnings only as a bonus, nothing more. Professional card players may differer with me, but for the average vacationer, winners are far and few in-between. So, if you do win? Go out and splurge on a Grand Canyon helicopter Tour or treat yourself to fine dining at your favourite restaurant, or maybe take in a show you normally couldn’t afford. Whatever you decide, go and enjoy the rare bonus money.


        Aria Resort – overlooking pool from room Photo Credit : Bari Demers
        As said, planning ahead is an important step.

        The next time you’re planning your Vegas vacation package from 2 – 5 days, just realize the extra taxes and resort fees are added to each day of your stay.  

        It all adds up.

        If the initial cost per night of only $45 at your resort may sound to good to be true? Well, it is. After adding the resort fees (depending on each resort) and state taxes, the average room charge is more likely to start around $85 to $149 per night, for an average room. And, if you are staying over on Friday and Saturday (most busiest time) expect to triple that cost.

        Also, any upgrades are a substantial extra cost per night.  

        For example : Our stay at Caesars Palace Resort started off at a reasonable price of $95 per night, but because we stayed during the weekend, our cost on Friday and Saturday jumped to another $450 per night. Also, we upgraded to an additional cost from Monday to Thursday. In fact, our room was more like $165 per night.

        So, just be aware. 

        If you plan a budget before going on any vacation, you won’t be disappointed by the extra costs. The overall average cost for Canadians on a five day stay (including airfare, food, transfers from hotel to airport) in Las Vegas will cost you from $2500 – $4500. For Americans it’s a lot cheaper, depending on which state they’re coming from. The average cost for Americans (no flight) will be from $950 – $2500 for the same five days.

        But, it’s rare Americans will stay for 5 days.

        Most Americans will spend a weekend, or at the most, four days in Las Vegas, taking advantage of the cheaper quick vacation options, allowing them more frequent trips to Vegas throughout the year.

        Most Canadians don’t have that choice.

        The average Canadian will stay 3 – 4 days from a Sunday to Monday, to help cut down the costs of their overall trip. And, 95% of Canadians will fly via travel packages with their airlines. Canadians are very lucky if they visit Vegas twice a year. 
        Americans, on the other hand will zip down to Vegas for a couple of days, several times a year, because they can.

        I’ve seen some Vegas party oriented fans stay only for two days, bragging about their lavish stay at the Cosmopolitan, overlooking a beautiful scenery of the Bellagio Fountains. What they don’t tell you, it cost them $360 – $600 per night. Not including taxes, food and drinks. 

        So, it’s important to place everything into perspective, your lifestyle to what you can REALLY afford. Las Vegas Resorts have great offers, like free rooms, buffets and shows, but just be “buyer aware”. 


        Aria Resort – Poolside Photo Credit : Bari Demers
         Always plan ahead.

        Vegas Reviews will still give reviews, but only when they had a good time. In other words, if their hotel happened to be a bad experience ?  

        Well, it’s simply really. 

        Vegas Reviews won’t mention it or write about them. After all, we are looking for the best possible time in Vegas. We are VEGAS LOVERS having FUN in Vegas !  
        Join us on Facebook and please check out our website. Did you have a wonderful time in Las Vegas ? Please, by all means, tell us. 

        By Bari Demers 


        Photo Credit by my friend Romeo Durscher
        About Vegas Reviews:

        Vegas Reviews is not associated with any corporation, Vegas Resort or hotel. Either are we affiliated with them. No one pays us for any of our reviews. 

        We are simply VEGAS LOVERS on Facebook page featuring only about the fun we had in Vegas.

        When we do find a wonderful stay in Vegas, I like to write about the fun we had, from the rooms, the buffets to the entertainment. Check out our FUN review with Bellagio,  The Venetian, Las Vegas,  or the magnificent Aria Resort and Casino, Las Vegas. These are only a few, so join us for updates! 
        See YOU in Vegas

        Cinematographer EMMANUEL LUBEZKI – Seeing is Believing

        PHOTO CREDIT : By the amazing Adam Pass


        Wish I had a chance to meet Emmanuel Lubezki (Chivo). 

        He’s one of the best Cinematographer in the world. His recent work with the film ‘The Revenant’ shows the master of persistence.  If the blocking or mood isn’t just right, it’s done over and over again, to achieve that prefect balance. 

        You also need a director who believes in his Cinematographer, giving him the freedom to do his magic. And, Alejandro (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ) really does believe in Emmanuel.  Together, both envision the mood they want the viewers to see and experience. That’s what film is all about. What do you experience? How do you feel? What emotions are released ?  

        The Cinematographer could be said,”Seeing is believing”.

        We see a scene and right away feel an emotion. And, if the emotion is intense, it really hits home. What we see and feel makes the movie experience something we will never forget. In fact, the movies that stay with me emotionally, I’ll remember them as long as I live.  It could be specific dialogue, the mood or the incredible action scenes. Whatever hits home, I relish the experience, filing it like the most valuable treasure of them all. 

        It made me feel, and that’s good. It’s Gold.

        As humans, we love to express what we see, feel and experience. Captivating the mood in the film is one of the hardest things to do. And, sometimes, it takes persistence and determination to achieve it.  Sometimes you fail, and that’s the key.  

        Failing moves you forward.  

        As said in the interview with Emmanuel,” In [The Revenant], we had many moments where we completely failed. There’s a scene at the beginning of the movie where the Native American warriors attack. You see arrows flying in the air and [the fur trappers] are lost and don’t have any idea where the attack is coming from. We probably shot that scene four times because we failed a couple of those times. The blocking was wrong. The camera was in the wrong position. More than anything, the tempo of the scene was wrong. We were hitting it very fast and weren’t able to capture the emotion Alejandro wanted. It took a couple of tries to build it to where it is right now in the movie, which is haunting and scary and mysterious. That’s something I love about Alejandro” 

        So. In conclusion, to be able to meet Emmanuel Lubezki( wish I knew him enough to have the privilege to call him Chivo) and learn his camera techniques to get that particular mood.   It would be one of the most precious gift, anyone making film, could ever receive. 

        Until then, as a screenwriter and very little experience in filming, I will begin to produce small trailers with little to zero dialogue, in order for the audience to see, feel and believe in my story, BLACK ANGELS, a science-fiction thriller.  Writing is where I feel most at home.  It allows me the opportunity to express what I feel and takes you along a journey, exploring the reality and dreams, where my imagination will envision the future of endless possibilities. 

        This is how I see it,” I envision a story and bring it to life.”

        I also can envision cinematographer Emmanuel and Director Alejandro working on my screenplay, BLACK ANGELS.  

        How glorious would that be !  

        READ more about how Emmanuel’s failing might explain his three oscars.

        Please like and follow me here or Facebook , Twitter and Vimeo – I truly appreciate it. 

        By Bari Demers screenwriter and freelance writer 

        Screenwriting – The Ten Finger Pitch


        James Montana Scripts by Bari Demers
        My last assignment was about developing character outlines

        NOTE: My assignments aren’t in chronological order. The order is not relevant in this case. Also, I would like to point out, you too can join in on the free class,” AN INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING UEA (UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA)” if you’re interested in screenplay formats and outlines, to build a screenplay from the foundation. 

        Please read about the instructors in my last assignment HERE.

        Carrying on, my assignment today is the Ten Finger or Two Handed Pitch.  I’m using my screenplay MISSING UP NORTH to systematically point out the Ten Finger Pitch. 

        MISSING UP NORTH is a drama about survival. A young hunter who wants to impress his peers, inadvertently goes missing from his hunting party, alone in the rugged harsh wilderness. Instead of being the hunter, he becomes the hunted, as a savage Grizzly hunts him down. This story means a lot, because it’s a true story about me, fearing for my life, as this savage beast hunted me down in the heart of the Chilcotin Country.

        MISSING UP NORTH – 10 point outline :
        1. Genre : Drama 

        2. Main protagonist: A young Hunter goes on his first hunting trip with his friend. After all these years, he’s finally allowed to join the hunting party.

        3. Goal: To prove he’s capable of pulling his weight and hunting in a harsh environment.

        4. Obstacle: He’s becomes lost with knowledge of a rogue Grizzly nearby.

        5. Reason of the story : This is based on a true story about me, fearing for my life, completely lost in the harsh unforgiving wilderness of the Chilcotin Country, realizing an ornery Grizzly was systematically hunting me down. 
        6. Young Hunter heads out on his new adventure, unaware of what awaits him in the next 48 hours.

        7. The protagonist has complete trust in his friends judgement, not realizing the consequences of his actions.

        8. The young Hunter is faced with the realization, he’s indeed lost. Unaware of the true dangers lying ahead, he’s confronted with the Grizzly, in the most frightening way possible. All he knows, he doesn’t want to die. 

        9. It’s a true test of survival, racing against the threat of time, the harsh conditions of the wilderness and the impending danger of the Grizzly. 

        10. Obstacle after obstacle, with death breathing down his neck, the only thing on this young hunters mind, is to stay alive.  The brute force of nature against the strong “Will to Live”. 

        In number Ten, I’m suppose to give the conclusion of what happens in the end, but I purposely left it out, because my screenplay is protected by the WGA registration, and most importantly I don’t want to give out the story. That’s what, going to the movies is all about.

        You can READ more about protecting your screenplay HERE. I highly suggest you do so before screenplay submissions. 

        Anyway.  There you have it.  My 10 Point Outline – MISSING UP NORTH

        Please follow me here for a continuation of our screenplay studies and my stories from dreams to reality. Join the FREE program too, if you want to know more about the structure, format and layout of a screenplay.


        Photo of me on top of Knox Mtn Kelowna,BC
        My Story  

        The reason I find this an invaluable source of material, is simply because, I started off as a self taught screenwriter. The only education in this field was my course on literature during two years of college studies at Okanagan College. Believe you me, my first screenplay was a horrendous mis-match of what NOT to do. After sevens years of trial and error of screenplay submissions, I learned the hard way of making a nice polished screenplay. I suggest you take as many courses that you can in the field and of course, when comes along FREE, take it ! 

        I’m taking this screenplay course because of two reasons, first and foremost, it’s FREE and secondly, I’m always checking to see if there’s something I missed. 
        But there’s one thing you can’t change, and that’s the “human preference factor”. No matter what you do, always expect a high rejection rate when submitting your screenplay. It could be as simply as the person who’s reading your story, may not suit the favourable genre agents are looking for. 

        Also, don’t do what I started off by doing. 

        Don’t tackle science-fiction screenplays ,because overall they are considered the most expensive to make in the filming industry. This is why you see most screenwriters who want their scifi thriller to hit the screen, end up making it on their own. They’ll get backers with a lot of money in their pockets, ready to invest in the movie.  

        Myself.  I haven’t figured that out. 

        Good example is screenwriter and producer Neill Blomkamp.  Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, he pursued his dreams, when his family moved to Vancouver, B.C.   After Vancouver Film School, his first break was working on the TV series of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Stargate franchise.  Finally, he was ready to make blockbuster science-fiction movies (all, which I truly enjoy) such as, District 9, Elysium and his latest, Chappie.  

        Check out his credits and amazing accomplishments! 

        As character Dr Gillian Taylor (played by actress Catherine Hicks) of the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home would say,”So you see, that, as they say, is that.”
        Making a short screenplay about your personal experiences is most likely the way to go.  A story that pops out as unique  or a real event. Like my screenplay, MISSING UP NORTH.  

        Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 

        By Bari Demersscreenwriter and freelance writer

        Go With Me

        Remember way back in Nov 2014 I mentioned a film being made in the Okanagan ? Well, guess what ? The name has changed from GO WITH ME to BLACKWAY.
        It’s about an ex-cop turned violent crime lord who operates with impunity in the small community on the edge of the wilderness.

        Dreams and Reality

        It’s official, “Go With Me” has started filming in Enderby, British Columbia, by Enderby Entertainment.

        This past weekend, Sir Anthony Hopkins was discovered in my hometown Vernon, B.C.

        Local Vernonettes couldn’t believe their eyes when they noticed Hollywood Star, Anthony Hopkins getting a coffee at Starbucks in the Village Green Mall, while his wife was shopping. At first, like my sister-in-law figured, it must be just a look-a-like.

        But sure enough, it was indeed Sir Anthony Hopkins!

        On Nov 2 2014, the Morning Star discovered, not only will Anthony Hopkins be playing the role as an ex-logger, but he’s also one of the producers. Joining him is no other than the incredible actor, Ray Liotta along with American starlet, Julie Stiles from the Bourne Ultimatum.

        Of course all three actors have played many roles throughout the years, but who can’t forget Ray Liotta playing as the gangster in the…

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