Vegas Lover

  
Question : Vegas Lovers – who are we?

Answer: We are a group of people who love going to Vegas, from newcomers to seasonal, going yearly or even 3X a year.  

Essentially Vegas Lovers keep coming back to enjoy the luxury of hotels, entertainment, sightseeing tours, gourmet selections and gambling. 

As a Vegas Lover, before Facebook was ever conceived, I started running a blog giving tips and reviews on hotels in Vegas. Zip ten years later and I look after a Facebook Page called Vegas Reviews.

It’s great Facebook offers free pages and groups to express and share their interest in a particular field or hobby. But in the past week, my FUN Vegas Reviews Page has been plagued by what we all call in this business as “Fake Facebook Accounts”. An annoying nemesis, where some say, are either from kids malicious pranks or questionable adults looking for people’s information. 

Whatever or whoever THEY are, and what their true motive is, will remain questionable.

But, I take these kind of accounts seriously, even reporting them to Facebook administration. And, I swiftly remove and banned them from my followers list. Facebook administration also keeps close eye on these weird accounts. 

As you will notice, my followers list is lower than most conventionally, and for good reason. I have certain restrictions in place, to verify real followers and ban those who are just looking to bully or trash people in general. 

Vegas Reviews is just about FUN.

I try not to think of why there are those kind of malicious people out there. It’s really kind of sad these kids or adults have to express themselves in this way.  

So, as a FUN Facebook Page, I move on.

  
And on that note, I would like to thank YOU, Vegas Lovers for following my personal blog page, Vegas Reviews. It’s really cool that Facebook allow us to get together, world-wide to share and enjoy the most FUN we are having while in Las Vegas. 

All the mega hotels, such as, Caesars Palace, the Wynn, including Encore, The Venetian and Palazzo, Aria Resort and Casino including Vdara, Treasure Island Resort (T.I.), Planet Hollywood, Mandalay Bay Resort, Cosmopolitan Resort and Luxor, go out of there way to make our stay in Vegas a FUN-FILLED vacation. (These are just a few of many good resorts in Vegas).

I personally appreciate the great service by the professional employees of all these establishments.  Thank you! Thank you! 

ABOUT ME :

I’m a screenwriter with a few screenplays under my belt, but my past time, vacation time, has always been Vegas. Be sure to check out my Vegas Blog for updates, tips and wonderful stays I have had. It helps newcomers and seasonal Vegas Lovers to make an informed choice. 

You can also join me on Twitter: @vegasreviewsvg, including “About Me

If you’re interested in my screenwriting, then check out my James Montana Scripts (be sure to check out all the pages, because my screenplay page is full of short stories).

Also, I just want to emphasize, my personal blog, Vegas Reviews Page is NOT affiliated with, funded, or in anyway associated with Vegas business corporations, hotels, entertainment or restaurants. 

WE and or ME is a tourist, just like yourself. My advantage?

I’ve been going to Vegas since the 1980’s. But most importantly, it’s all about US together, sharing our FUN in Vegas together. 

Thank you for all those who have shared your awesome photos of the fun you have had in Vegas.

It’s super appreciate! 

 And if you like to share your fun experiences or tips, please do at Vegas Reviews. I’ll be sure to pass them along to our Vegas Lovers. Please don’t be afraid to add your photo of Vegas too!

Pass along to your friends who you know love Vegas as much as we do. Of course, real people with a real interest in Vegas. 

  
VEGAS LIFE: 

All walks of life enjoy Vegas, from teachers, homemakers, engineers, professional trades, film makers, movie stars, producers, screenwriters, music lovers, scientists, lawyers, the much appreciated United States, UK and Canadian Armed Forces, military and veterans throughout the world. 

This is just a small list of hard working friends who all love Vegas.

Vegas is a great resource of affordable long or short vacations. So, let’s all continue having fun with Vegas Reviews and, “I will see you in Vegas!”

Thank you for being apart of Vegas Reviews and I hope to see you there, in real person. I truly appreciate the follow and friendship! 

By Bari Demers 
 

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Adventurer Guru 

Adventurer Guru 

Just recently my friend Romeo embarked on an adventure of a lifetime into the heart of the largest cave in the world within Vietnam, as Director of Education for Global DJI Drones. 

  
What makes it even more acceptional was the historical  live broadcast with Good Morning America.

Just the logistics of getting a team deep inside the vast expanse of the Sơn Đoòng Cave, is amazing in itself.  But then, Romeo takes it one step further by flying a Inspire 1 drone (without GPS) throughout the 5 km cave, reaching heights of 200 metres.

Read his amazing Adventure.  

 Credit : Romeo Durscher  

Without a doubt, Romeo is considered an Adventurer Guru and Director of Education for DJI Global.  His  Daily Journal tells it all.

Before DJI he rubbed shoulders with Astronauts and NASA’s scientist. Like, here with Astronaut, Reid Wiseman.

[In the photo below, Romeo is explains the technical applications and GPS implications.]

 Credit : Romeo Durscher 

In return, I wrote about about Romeo’s Adventure  mentioning my friends Mark and Romeo – the journey to this incredible day yesterday – I hope you enjoy the most amazing story.

I’m so grateful for my friends Romeo Durscher and Mark Johnson.

 Credit : Romeo Durscher – the Aventurer Guru 
By Bari Demers  

The Canadian Connection – Las Vegas

The Canadian Connection – Las Vegas

If you love Vegas as much as I do, this next article I wrote called,”The Canadian Connection”, will spark your interest to the rising costs for Canadians visiting Las Vegas.
I hope you enjoy : The Canadian Connection
By Bari Demers

The photo I captured is from the 16th floor floor of the Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas – overlooking the pool courtyard. It’s indeed a beautiful resort!

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Who is Don Johnson?

Who is Don Johnson?

Do you travel to Vegas often?

Well if you have, it’s hard not to know about Don Johnson.
Ask any gambler who Don Johnson is, they will instantly laugh at you and ask,” Where you been the last five years, living on the moon?”

Mr. Donald Johnson is what casinos call a “Whale”, usually a welcoming patron to their establishment.

A Whale or Highroller are those who will bet large amount of cash in the casino, sometimes as much as $100,000 per hand playing blackjack, for example. In turn the casino will comp (compliment) their guest with lavish rooms, free limo, shows, drinks and fine dining during their stay.

In most cases the casinos have the overall advantage or, odds are in their favour when it comes to anyone gambling. Nothing is free!

But in Don Johnson’s case, he’s known as the “Killer Whale” feeding off the casinos with his winnings. In 2011, Don Johnson won $15 million in Atlantic City simply because he stacked the odds in his favour before entering each establishment. Basically bringing down the house.

Mr Johnson ! Mr Johnson, can I get a selfie with you?

You might say he’s a celebrity of sorts, but I can bet the casinos wish they never met him!

Fortunate for Vegas, the rest of us aren’t as clever or well trained like Don Johnson. Myself, Vegas hotels love to see me because I’m always playing the slots. I look at it this way – I’m there to have fun, not to make money. And by chance if I do win, usually it goes right back into the hotel by rewarding myself with an evening show, a tour to Grand Canyon, a spectacular fine dining experience or a limo ride down the Vegas Strip.

Sorry Don Johnson, it would take a miracle to train me to win!

If you’re thinking to go to Vegas, just to make money, think again. Mr Johnson is very experienced and obviously good at what he does.

New Offerings

Back to reality, Highroller’s are becoming fewer and fewer in between as the economy still struggles financially. After the deep global recision of 2008, Vegas establishments were shocked into reality, almost losing their shirt in over-development. Sin City’s mega hotels had to reevaluate their overall strategies in order to survive.

Today, new development has once again sprung up, with plans well into 2018. New hotels are beginning to open up, such as the recent grand opening of SLS. And just last month, Australian billionaire James Packer is planning for a mega hotel replacing the New Frontier real estate.

Taking this all into perspective, you really don’t have to worry about Vegas at all. It’s just different players into a new era, with the old players fighting for ever piece of the pie. Worried CEO’s are trying other strategies to help bring in a profitable bottom-line.

The New Market – Loving Vegas

When we think of thousands, Vegas establishments are thinking of millions. How can we get millions of profits back into our establishments ?

Marketing is the key to success and the new social platform is playing an important role. Just using Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram can easy grab millions of viewers who have one thing on their mind, ” Where is my next vacation going to be?”

With today’s high stress life-style most of us would burn-out if it weren’t for a quick vacation to let loose. What better place then Vegas! It certainly is affordable. Loving Vegas!

By Bari Demers

Come join us with our fun social Facebook page : Vegas Reviews – After all, it’s all about having fun!

The photo below is of Bellagio Las Vegas, which I captured while at the top of Paris, Las Vegas Effiel Tower.

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Working Out in the Okanagan

Working Out in the Okanagan

 

Okanagan Lake above Knox Mtn Photo Credit : Bari Demers

 
In the past year I’ve been working out, fighting the winter blues,escaping to our joint community condo exercise room. Spring comes and yet I’m bound to the indoor workout room, still waiting for the summer months.

Alas, Summer is finally here! I leap for joy, spending my time in the recreational tourist hotspot known as the Okanagan Valley.

The Okanagan Valley is located in the southern region of British Columbia,Canada. 

From the North Thompson Okanagan region in Kamloops to the most Southern Okanagan tip of Osoyoss (a hop,skip and jump to the US border). Small cities and towns, like Oliver, Penticton, Summerland, Peachland, Kelowna,Vernon,Armstrong, Enderby and Sicamous lye in between.

I was raised in Vernon, B.C.

Growing up in a prime recreational community, it’s without saying, most are active, from snowboarding, hiking, waterskiing including an array of water sports or just lay back and suntan on the countless sunny beaches of the Okanagan.

The recreational possibilities are endless!

Every summer I come back to my hometown to enjoy the countless hiking opportunities from Kelowna to Vernon. My favourite spots are the Kalamaka Lake Provincial Park, Kettle Valley, Bear Creek to Knox Mountain.

 

Top of Knox Mtn Photo Credit : Bari Demers

 
While visiting my daughter in Kelowna, I make a point to scale Knox Mtn every morning during the week. By the end of my second week, I’m conditioned enough to start jogging down the mountain. This is when I considered working out fun!

The fresh morning air coming off the beautiful serene view of Okanagan Lake sets the scene for my workout. You feel alive instead of the bottled up feeling at your local gym.

I believe working out should be fun and not a gruelling chore and shared with your best friend or family. Unfortunately, with everyone’s mixed schedule, it’s sometimes hard to find the time with each other.

But you do meet other recreational minded friendly folks on the trail. And I think this is what makes the Okanagan a special place in my heart. Those who love the outdoors and incorporate it into their life-style are the most happiest and friendly bunch of individuals.

You know the kind I mean. They greet you with a nice friendly nod or smile, saying,”Good Morning! It’s sure going to be a beautiful day today.” And within that split second of greeting each other, we cheerfully get back to the fun business of hiking before the sun heats up our day.

Hiking the Okanagan Valley, you don’t have to be Superman or Bat-woman to attempt the fun workout. Or do you have to be a cross-trainer either. It just takes commitment, a friend and one foot after the other. Be sure to bring water with you and if the hike is deep in the woods, be sure you bring a small pack of survival gear, just in case.

But luckily the Okanagan has a lot of hiking trails to choose from that are close to or in town, like Knox Mtn in Kelowna or BX Trail,Kalamaka Lake Provincial Park and Turtle mountain in Vernon.

If you have time, head up to Silver Star Mountain. Take the Chair up to the top and have a fun afternoon hiking down the mountain.

Working out can be fun, it’s just a matter of getting out to enjoy it.

So, next time you’re in the Okanagan I’ll see you out on the trail,” Good Morning! Have a great day!”

By Bari Demers – freelance writer and screenwriter

 

Grapes in the Okanagan Photo Credit: Bari Demers

 
P.S.  Be sure to check out the wineries – there’s over 200 of them to choose from!

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All photo’s Credit : Bari Demers

Travel Okanagan

Travel Okanagan

In southern beautiful British Columbia lies a western Canadian banana belt called the Okanagan Valley. Twenty years ago it was considered the best kept secret until the Coquihalla highway lead a easy path from Vancouver to Kelowna, through to Kamloops, B.C.

Since then, the summer oasis has been recognized world-wide boasting visits from Hollywood Stars, such as Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.

(@JRobbMontana: Rare photo #NicoleKidman and #KeithUrban #vernonbc B.C./ junior hockey game. Probably stayed @Sparkling Hill Resort http://t.co/1Ws7Aztai2)

But to me, the Okanagan Valley has always been my home, growing up in the small town of Vernon, with the kids from O’keefe ranch or Davison Orchards. My parents use to own the Spudnut Shop on Main Street where everyone would come for the elusive SPUDNUT (a sweet potato doughnut that melted in your mouth) and a $ 0.10 coffee. It was even said my mom made the best burgers in town!

Raised in the Okanagan I became very familiar with great tourist spots, such as Silver Star Resort, Big White (just outside of Kelowna), the turquoise bluish waters of Kalamaka Lake and the once glacier feed Okanagan Lake.

If you’re not familiar with the Okanagan Valley, it’s best to break it down to the great tourist sights, resorts and activities in each category.

In today’s Travel Okanagan I will concentrate around the surrounding areas of Vernon and Kelowna, B.C.

Best Resorts:

Sparkling Hill Resort – a 5 star hotel resort a few kilometres south of Vernon or a short drive from Kelowna International Airport. Nestled in the valleys mountainous ridge overlooking the majestic Okanagan Lake and only feet away from the famous Predator Ridge Golf Course. Featuring an oasis of Spa Treatments along with tantalizing gourmet meals at their PeakFine restaurant. You’re assured to be pampered by the best fine dining experience of your life, hosted by their European Chef.

Manteo Resort – a waterfront gem located in the heart of Kelowna, featuring it’s very own private beach along Okanagan Lake. A beautiful class resort with three swimming pools, optional lake-view rooms and Restaurant called Smack Dab offering a great selection of entrees to satisfy anyone’s appetite. Be sure to try your evening dinner on the best patio in town.

The Delta Grand Okanagan Resort & Conference Center – located right in the center of the WaterPark of Kelowna, steps away from the original Kelowna Yacht Club. Delta Grand Okanagan Resort overlooks Okanagan Lake featuring the luxury of private pools, restaurants, shops, conferences center and pubs. If you like to gamble, the Casino is easy access from the hotel.

Four Points by Sheraton – newly opened in 2013, this Starwood chain hotel is a featured little gem easy access to the Kelowna International Airport. Great for the whole family or the business executive. The best kept secret soon to become well know throughout the Okanagan.

Fun Activities:

Silver Star Resort – a long time favourite of mine with fond memories of my very first skiing lessons at age ten. Since then, Silver Star has grown into a world class resort owned and operated by the Australian family, the Schumann. Silver Star was purchased by the Schumann in 2001by previous owner Judd Buchanan. They also own Big White Ski Resort outside of Kelowna. An obvious spot for winter activities from skiing, tubing, skating or just enjoying the après skiing at the many restaurants throughout the village. Summer activities are certainly a plus, featuring mountain-biking park & excursions along the mountain, hiking and sightseeing with the SkyChair.

Predator Ridge Resort – a golfing oasis for the beginner, the novelist or expert. My experience, I found the course challenging and the most pleasing experience.

Gray Monk Winery – heading south from Vernon, you come into Winfield. There’s a couple of signs that will lead you west along camp road. Head over the hill you’ll see Okanagan Lake. The road travels around with another sign directing you to Gray Monk Winery, nestled on the hillside with a spectacular view of Okanagan Lake and the vineyard itself. What I love about Gray Monk is the personal touch added to the wine tasting in their visitor center. Just to your left is the entrance to a gourmet restaurant with a scenic balcony overlooking Okanagan Lake. Leading Chefs, Executive Winery Chef Willi Franz and Executive Restaurant Chef Rene Haudenschild prepare excellent gourmet dishes within their establishment, Grapevine Restaurant. It’s a must to try out the gourmet experience and be sure to pick up your favourite wine surely to suit your palette.

Kelowna Dinner Cruises – offers a scenic cruise along Okanagan Lake featuring your choice of Dinner, Lunch or Breakfast. A 5 star luxury cruiser accommodating up to 87 guests. It’s defiantly a great way to spend your evening.

Lake Front Sports, also known as rent-a-boat.ca is located at the Grand Okanagan Resort. You haven’t experienced the Okanagan without trying a sea-doo, a cruiser or kayaking Okanagan Lake. They even have paddle & wake boards to try out. Water a little cold for you? No problem! You can even rent a wet-suit. Waterskiing and tubing is recommended.

Families outings you must try Kalamaka Beach, a real treat for everyone. Alexander’s Pub is close by if you’re looking to wet your whistle. I just love having their burgers and great selection of beers!

If you love to camp out close to a beach, then Ellison Provincial Park is a must on your list. Great for the whole family in the Vernon area at Okanagan Lake. Even locals head to this secluded beach to catch some sun rays and swimming here is fantastic! Want to explore? No problem. Nestled throughout the park are fun hiking trails for everyone. It’s easy to reserve on-line to be assured a camping spot.

Hiking is highly suggested, from the Kettle Valley to Knox Mtn within the city of Kelowna. Or try out Kalamaka Lake Provincial Park offering a secluded beach at Cosens Bay. You can even take a boat cruise for an afternoon.

Davison Orchards – last but not all least, is Davison Orchards. When I was a kid the Pollocks and I would hang out with the Davison on their Orchard. Fast forward 25 years and Davison Orchards is a bustling tourist attraction featuring tractor-train rides for kids of all ages, complimented by their homemade fresh fruit pies grown by the selection of fruit on their orchard. We always make it a point to stop by for pie and coffee. It’s a must to pick up a jar of homemade preserves before you leave. I highly recommend Davison Orchards, hands-down!

The above Hotels and activities are a small example of the fun you can experience while in the Okanagan Valley. I have experienced all the above and had a blast doing so. Gray Monk is my favourite winery, but the Okanagan is listed with over 200 wineries throughout. A wine tour is suggested. The beaches line Okanagan Lake, so it’s pretty easy to find a beach that suits you and your family.
The best part of the Okanagan Valley ? It’s my home!

Check out more travel blogs by Bari Demers

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Hawaii Vacation Enquiry

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The above photo is courtesy by my NASA friend Romeo and Mark. .

As a Canadian, any vacation is an expensive adventure, even in our own country. On the average, a two week vacation for a couple in Hawaii will cost between $7500 – $15,000 depending on your life-style.

To me, that’s a big chunk of change. Like any other Canadian, we bite-the-bullet in order to enjoy our stay in Hawaii.

But here’s the thing, wouldn’t you want your customer to come to your resort on a regular basis ?

For example, Las Vegas makes it a lot easier for us to visit Sin City every year with very reasonable prices (excluding gambling) from restaurants, the fashionable resorts and world venue entertainment. A week in Vegas costs a Canadian couple an average of $2000 for room,flight and world class entertainment. If you’re smart and can exercise your gambling restrictions, along with paying closer attention to your food bill, Vegas can be a pleasant stay, taking time to relax by the exotic pools.

So, what is it about Hawaii ?

I would love to go to Hawaii every year if the costs were comparable to Vegas. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. Well, for Canadians anyway.

I must admit, I do have some restrictions when traveling to Hawaii. The resort must be beachside, clean clean rooms, good food and friendly service. Cocktail drinks and shops nearby are always a plus to any vacation.

My next trip to Hawaii is well planned in advance, religiously checking out the reviews on Travelocity along with keeping up on the resorts Facebook and webpage.

I have been to Hawaii only twice in my lifetime, due to the overall enormous costs (screenwriters aren’t rich) with our last stay in Oahu. This time we have narrowed our vacation spot along the legendary Ka‘anapali beach within close proximity to Black Rock (preferably). Snorkelling with the turtles and suntanning on the most pristine beach in Maui is my plan.

Most recently, I’ve checked on the reviews with two resorts I’m interested in. One is the Sheraton Maui Resort and the other is the Westin Maui Resort & Spa. But, this doesn’t mean these are itched in concrete, as of yet. Still considering the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui and possibly the Andaz at Wailea along with Honua Kai Resort.

Each resort has their pros and cons.

But what’s really important, I certainly don’t want to wake-up at night to a room full of cockroaches. Apparently one guest had this sad experience with one resort in Maui. Seeing a cockroach scurrying across my pillow would certainly make a big impact on my stay.

So far (touch wood) I’ve never experienced cockroaches and I would like to keep it that way.

Going to Vegas has spoiled me with great service, excellent food and inspiring entertainment since 1989. It’s going to be hard not to expect the same in Maui, specially with the price difference.

My search for a great spot on Maui lead me to my “Hawaii Project” Facebook Page, just to see other responses.

Travelocity reviews usually depends on a persons lifestyle and tastes. Some are ok with a small dark room while others are like me, want a 4 – 5 star resort with exceptional service, food and clean, clean,clean rooms.

Vegas has raised the bar in hospitality requirements when it comes to 5 star Resorts, and now it’s very hard to come down in expectations. My Vegas social Facebook site is all about and only about FUN in Vegas. With over 800 true fans I showcase news worthy information, along with my ONLY pleasant stays at select resorts in Vegas with great videos & stunning photos (well, I try as a amateur photographer). If you enjoy FUN in Vegas, you too can join in on the fun and by all means, share your photos.

The same goes with my Hawaii Project. Come on by, share your experiences in Hawaii. Let’s us know why you choose a particular spot or why you would never go again.

Both Facebook page sites are not at all related to any business or are they selling anything. They are both for pure entertainment and to share your fun experiences. Life is too short, not to have FUN.

With my quest to enjoy our stay in Maui, let me know of your experiences and constructive comments.

My question to you, what’s your fave spot in Maui and why?

By Bari Demers