Las Vegas Tragedy Brings Humanity Together

I run and operate Vegas Reviews on Facebook and was completely shocked to hear of the terrible news in Las Vegas.

This is what I had to say on my Facebook Page :

Vegas Reviews would like to make a statement after last nights tragic shooting. A gunman on the 32 floor randomly fired into the outdoor country music festival below, killing at least 58 people and wounding over 500. The gunman killed himself on scene as the police acted quickly to end this terrible tragedy.

My condolences to the families victims as well as the injured.

I’m baffled as the reason to this senseless shooting.

In the last 48 hours, the world events have been absolutely crazy, from terrorists attack in Marseille, France and in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada…and now this terrible terrible event in Las Vegas.

Vegas Reviews has always been about the FUN of Las Vegas. It’s suppose to be the oasis of enjoyment for everyone but unfortunately we can’t predict the actions of one person. I praise the Las Vegas Police force and first responders for their quick action.

My wife and I have been going to Las Vegas since the 1980’s. Vegas has always been our favourite vacation spot for these past 37 years and it will continue to be the place to go for a rewarding holiday.

I started Vegas Reviews on Facebook along with my website, to symbolize the FUN of Las Vegas – like a bundle of joy. We share 1000’s of photos, videos and valuable tips with other Vegas Lovers, who also have made Vegas their vacation hot spot from across the world.

The City of Las Vegas tragic events hit home, but at the same time, it brings us closer together.

In times of tragedy it always good to see how humanity pulls together to help each other, no matter the risk. It’s our human nature to be compassionate. We praise for all those who have helped. I pray for those victims, where their only objective was to enjoy a concert and to have fun.

We pray for Las Vegas as humanity stands together, in defiance to hatred, where hate has no leg to stand on. Peace and Love is the human way, no matter the colour, race or religion.

We Are The People of the Universe by Bari Demers

We are the people of the universe

We are the people, We are the loving people

We are the beautiful people who rule the earth in love and peace

We the people who stand together in defiance to all types of hatred

We are a force to be reckoned, as we can never be broken

We are the Lovers of humanity

We are the people, the only people of the universe…as we know so far

May you join us, for We are the loving people

Come forth across the nations

Come together as one, for We are the people of the universe.


VEGAS STRONG – The Community of Las Vegas pulls together.

The above lyrics I thought up just now, to express my love for humanity and reach out to everyone in our beautiful world. We must come together as one, in order to be free. I truly am a lover of humanity and trust in the world coming together in PEACE.

Once again my deepest condolences to family & friends and the injured last night.

Bari Demers – screenwriter

#prayforvegas #Vegasstrong

Dreaming Las Vegas

Vegas Reviews by Bari Demers
Today I have to share with you one of my strangest dreams, I like to call : DREAMING LAS VEGAS but before I do, I’ve just heard Don Rickles has passed away at age 90.  Last year I wrote a small article about him HERE.

One thing for sure, in this dream of mine, I’m certainly considered a Vegas Lover, to be dreaming such a bizarre storyline.  It’s a crazy dream, to be sure.  It also means I need to make another visit to Las Vegas.  

So here goes my dream : DREAMING LAS VEGAS

For some strange reason, in my dream, I’m “All By Myself” … as my mind picks up the original song by Eric Carmen


When I was young

I never needed anyone

And makin’ love was just for fun

Those days are gone

Livin’ alone

I think of all the friends I’ve known

But when I dial the telephone

Nobody’s home

All by myself

Don’t want to be, all by myself anymore

All by myself

Don’t want to live, all by myself anymore

Hard to be sure

Some times I feel so insecure

And love so distant and obscure

Remains the cure

(Celine Dion has sung this song many times and one of the times, was during her Las Vegas performance in 2016 after the passing of her husband. An emotionally time for dear Celine.) 

Here’s the video


Continue : 

I’m in a long luxurious black limo. The interior is lavishly decorated with all the bells and whistles you can think of. And get this, it even has a hot tub – go figure! I warned you it was a crazy dream 🙄. 

Arriving, my personal female driver kindly opens the door. Right away, as my hand touches hers, I noticing her long graceful soft hands with fashionable fingernails. Her nails were presented with a series of tasteful sparkles and a nice shade of dark pink. I remember the scent of her perfume instantly ; could tell right away it was an expensive Christian No. 1*

The reason is, my mom use to wear this kind of perfume on special occasions.  

Moving on : 

Getting out of the limo I noticed for the first time how beautiful my chauffeur was.  Her stunning green eyes sparkled a glimmering colour of emerald, through the light of the morning desert sun. Underneath the chauffeur style hat, her long brunette hair was tasteful tied into a ponytail.  Her smile was so captivating and innocent, it was if she caught me her web.

I was in love.  

“Mr Watts? Sir?” questioned Chris, ” Is everything alright?”

Snapping out of it, I smiled and said,” No…I mean yes …I mean …Thank you Chris.”  It then dawned on me, my first girlfriend’s name was Christine ( Chris for short ) ; maybe that’s why I was so captivated? 

Chris asked,” Will there be anything else Mr Watts?”  

In my dream, I thought, “That’s strange, she keeps calling me by the name of Watts.  My last name isn’t Watts,” I shrugged my shoulders and decided it really didn’t matter. I handed her a $20 tip and said,” No. Thank you.  Now remember to pick me up in five days. ”

She nodded and said,” Of course Sir, after all, I’m your personal chauffeur.”  

I thought for second, ” This is crazy, I can’t afford a personal driver?What does she mean? I’m not a rich movie star with my own personal entourage? ” Oh well…decided to go with it, shrugging my shoulders. 

Looking up at the lavish Vegas Resort, it features an architectural skyscraper with brilliant greyish-blue glass panels, as far as the eye can see. For some strange reason I have no idea the name of this 5 Star Resort, only that it was the best-of-the-best in Las Vegas. You know, the one celebrities and rich tycoons find favourable because of the luxurious service and expensive taste.

Heading into this upscale Vegas Resort, I was quickly greeted at the door by the GM of the Hotel. I thought, ” Whoa! Talk about service!” He reached out to shake my hand and said,” It a pleasure to see you again Mr Watts. I will personally take you to your room.” 

Again I thought,” My name isn’t Watts?! ” But whatever, I just go with it. 

We head over to the personal VIP elevator with only one button to press, featuring the Presidential Suite.

I’m thinking,” This is crazy, I can’t afford this?!” 

Reaching top floor, the golden doors of the elevator opened with a soft swish (just like the doors on Star Trek – go figure!) The GM showcases the lavish Egyptian-themed room featuring everything you can imagine, fit for any Pharaoh, Queen or King. Awestruck, I slowly walked towards the seven foot glass doors to the grand balcony overlooking the spectacular view of the Vegas Strip. The doors open automatically, peering over (looking way down), I could see the hustle and bustle of tourists, seemingly tiny as scurrying ants. 

You know that feeling when you first arrive in Vegas ? That satisfied feeling of awe and excitement, ready to take on-the-town? That’s how I felt. 

The GM said,” Your entourage will be here soon Mr Watts.”  

I nodded. Walking back in, it was then I noticed someone was putting my cloths away in the drawers from my one and only suitcase, thinking,” Boy my suitcase holds a lot of stuff.” It seemed endless, like a bottomless pit ! 

Then, just like that my dream took on another side.  

For some strange reason my room was filled with other people. I mean, like complete strangers. Like we were in a group of tourists, all doing the same tour. Some were busy emptying their luggage, as another would make a grand entrance by falling heavily on the bed next to mine. Beside my bed I noticed a stocked bar with my very own bartender. 

An attractive women beside me said,” Oh Wow! Aren’t you lucky! Your bed is the most lavish of them all.” 

The minute she said that I got that strange feeling I was indeed in the wrong room. This can’t be right? Not to embarrass myself, I quietly left the room. After all, I didn’t want these strangers to realize I was given a room I couldn’t possibly afford.  

It was then, I was on a mission to find my rightful room.  

Eventually I found the most strangest elevator, looking more of a circular laundry-shoot then an elevator. Trying to open this 18th century styled copper cylinder door, I quickly smelled something burning. You know, that electrical burning smell ? The door seemed stuck and it grind to a halt. Grabbing the door, I muscled my way in, fearing I’d miss my ride down. It’s then I realize there’s others in an adjacent elevator, beside me. As a matter of fact, it’s a series of cylinder elevators, on what seems like a roller coaster ride.  

Yes. That’s it, exactly like a roller coaster ride!

I hear one of the guys talking to his friend,” What the hell?! Why is this guy holding up the ride?” 

Below me I noticed the open grated floor, and underneath was this long endless track for a roller coaster. I was like,” Oh boy! What did I get myself into this time? I can’t stand rollercoaster rides!” Just like that I’m rushed down at supersonic speeds, heading into oblivion, like some Interstellar Spaceship. Suddenly I felt nauseated. Eyes wide open, I began to sweat with complete fear, as my fingers gripped the bars for dear life. 

Suddenly it was all over. 

I had reached the 8th Floor. Feeling light-headed my body staggered out of this peculiar elevator. Relieved to exit this time machine, my whole body felt like a ton-of-bricks. It’s like I just came back from a month aboard the ISS ( International Space Station), with me feeling like jello. 

I couldn’t seem to lift myself, as gravity took over. 

After some time of just laying there, in the middle of this Vegas Resort hallway, I finally managed to get up, edging myself against the wall (like a drunken sailer) trying to find my room. 

There it is ! Room 80000090 – Go figure ! 

I felt my pockets and there it was, a pass key. Sliding it into the door, the mechanic noise you’re so familiar with, opened the door. Staggering into this dark room, the drapes opened automatically.
It was an upgraded Vegas room overlooking a beautiful courtyard featuring an oasis of inviting pools. On one end of the 1200 sq ft room there was a stocked open-bar nestled into the corner. To the west wall was a grand Samsung 110-inch Ultra HDTV TV. In front we’re four leather Theatre lounging chairs. Along the east wall sat a dining room table, with a fully stocked kitchenette. 

Looking into the next room, it featured a huge King-sized bed with a pillow-top mattress, feather down comforter and Egyptian cotton linen. Just to my right, a marble-floor washroom showcased a glass enclosed shower, a modern deep bathtub, double sinks and a make-up side table.

I knew right then and there, I had reached the correct room.

Throwing myself onto the bed, I quickly crashed into a deep sleep. Opening my eyes I then realized it was all but a dream. 

But, oh boy, did it ever seem real! 

As a screenwriter, I just had to share this incredible dream of mine – I hope you enjoyed my crazy dream.  It clear I’m a Vegas Lover, subconsciously thinking of my next trip to wonderful wonderland Las Vegas.  This could possibly be made into a short film, I’m sure.  

By Bari Demers 

PS : Check out my stories and screenplays 

ALSO – planning your trip to Las Vegas ?  Then read my Vegas Reviews and tips

* Christian No. 1 : In case your wondering, Christian No. 1 perfume has the scent of bergamot, lime, mandarin nutmeg, cardamom and thyme. There’s also jasmine, rose, and lily of the valley, while the base smells of sandalwood, cedar wood, vanilla, and vetiver. 

The cost is over $1000 per ounce ! Expensive 

The Best of Times

The Bellagio Fountains by Bari Demers

As you all know, I really love spending my vacations in Las Vegas. In fact, I consider myself as a Vegas Lover, who by definition, keeps going back on a yearly basis, if not more.

It’s without question, Las Vegas is the ‘Best of Times’ for me.

Most recently I watched the documentary, “Requiem for The American Dream” and it got me thinking about the best of times and how it relates to Las Vegas. It’s pretty clear the Fat Cats have a strong hold on what goes on in Las Vegas and it’s interesting how keeping YOU happy, leads to a thicker plot by the wealthy few.  

I’m sure most of you have heard or even read the phrase,” It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” It’s commonly quoted throughout movies, such as Star Trek, for example.   Captain Kirk is famously quoting those very words…

             It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… Message Spock?


            None that I am conscious of… except, of course, Happy Birthday. Surely the best of times.
A cleverly placed dialogue, with a meaning behind it, wouldn’t you say? 

To fully understand how this relates to “The best of times in Las Vegas” it’s best I explain where this phrase comes from and why it relates to your vacation in Las Vegas.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” comes from the book, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ written by Charles Dickens in 1859. A story of two men who were both wealthy, with one as a successful lawyer and the other, a rich businessman, born with a silver spoon in his mouth* guaranteed never to be poor.

The timeline is just before the French Revolution. 

It reads, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”

ARIA Resort – Poolside by Bari Demers

A wealthy French businessman, Darnay senses extreme unrest in his homeland and begins to resent his uncle, Marquis St. Evrèmonde who’s the very reason the lower class people of France are being exploited, keeping them in extreme poverty. Furthermore, Darnay is appalled by the lack of actions by his uncle, along with his disrespecting views on the poor class. 

Not to reveal the whole story, Darnay relocates to London England and for some reason is accused of treason against the Kingdom of Great Britain. His defence lawyer, Sydney Carton (who resembles a striking resemblance of Darnay) helps Darnay to be acquitted against all charges. Unfortunately for Darnay his families criminal past actions are soon put on trail by the people of France. He’s uncle is stabbed to death during the French Revolution and Darnay is once again arrested. Even though he wasn’t responsible for his family’s actions, Darnay is made an example of the wealthy, sentenced to death by guillotine. The twist and outcome of the story, will be one to relish for a long time. And perhaps, give reflection on your own life.

It’s a good story and long one to read, when you have time. 

This story by Charles Dickens is a wake up call to the wealthy, not only during the French Revolution, but today as well. It is said there are only two classes in society, the one who gives the orders and those who follow them. The story reflects on the arrogance of the rich and how their actions can effect everyone of concern. Not caring or being aware of the needs of the poor may some day come back to haunt you.  

You could say it’s karma.

It also tells you how the wealthy flaunt their riches, having little respect for the poor. Even though this story was written way back in 1859, the gap from the rich to the poor is still evident into today’s society, as the middle class is slowly being squeezed out of existence.  

So, how does this even relate to Las Vegas? 

It’s common practice to see the very rich enjoying the lavish luxury in Vegas while the average person would be lucky to ever experience it in a lifetime. 
However – 
Fortunate for us average Vegas Lovers, Las Vegas resorts also offer a taste of luxury within our own pocketbook. 

Maybe they read the book,” A Tale of Two Cities” ?

We are incredible gifted in North America to have the opportunity to enjoy ourselves as the rich aristocrats do. Well, sort of. When in Las Vegas we can experience the best of times, allowing us to forget our worst of times for a brief period. 

Have you wondered why most folks you meet in Las Vegas are so happy? 

Of course, the obvious reasons are, they’re on holidays and at the peak of their most happiest time. Las Vegas lifts our spirits, giving us hope for a better future and at the same time, we tend to spend more, without realizing it.  

Interesting, intellect Noam Chomsky** may see Las Vegas as a way for the wealthy to control the masses. It’s the prefect opportunity for the wealthy to offer the NOT so rich a little taste of luxury Vegas has to offer, while being taxed and over charged on that beer or steak dinner. A month after your trip you soon realize by your credit card statement, you indeed spent way more then you intended to in the first place. So now you’re faced with extra bills and undoubtedly trapped in a ‘cycle of financial insecurity’. 

Maybe Noam Chomsky is right after all. 

As Vegas Lovers, can we still enjoy Las Vegas without being trapped in a financial burden? Of course we can! It’s a simple process of saving for your vacation before you go. It also means to get off that treadmill of life. Stop paying for those ridiculous interest charges on your credit card by always paying off your monthly statement. Stop being that gerbil, desperately trying to get off that spinning wheel of financial troubles. It’s the wealthy’s goal to keep you working for them. They need you more then you need them. It all comes down to where you want to be in life.  

Are you the one who gives the orders or the one who follows them? 

Don’t let this stop you from having the best of times in Las Vegas. Always keep a daily tab on expenses and only spend what you can afford. Trust me, you’ll have a lot more fun in Vegas, knowing it’s all paid for in the end. 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” 

By Bari Demers – freelance storyteller  and screenwriter

See YOU in Vegas


  • Born with a silver spoon in your mouth, simply means you will go through life never experience the hardships of the poor, or shall you care to understand them. 
  • ** Noam Chomsky – Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, logician, social critic, and political activist. His views on the wealthy and how a few control the majority are a wake up call for all of us. In his documentary, he points out how the wealthy hate solidarity and try their best to put a lid on democracy. If the masses have control then the richest best interest would be at stake. So they implement mass marketing and attack public schools and senior pensions, in order to get rid of social spending.   
  • It’s also the death of the middle class, as Noam Chomsky sees it.
  • In fact the rich encourage privatization to rid themselves of more taxes. In effect, solidarity and taxes help support the poor. The wealthy’s over all goal is to eliminate the social system all together. But, at the same time, some crooked individuals purposely misuse the social system in their favour. I can see the aggravation from the middle class who have worked so hard to get where they are today. And, as far as the wealthy lucky few see it, the American Dream is open to anyone who goes for it. But, in business sense, you must have an acceptable idea or product people need. Not what you think they need. Unfortunately, it’s the very few that hit their dreams. Just like us screenwriters – our screenplay going viral and hitting the box office as a blockbuster is like winning a lottery. 
  • Today, the most wealthiest businessman, such as billionaires Warren Buffett , Bill and Melinda Gates have teamed up to give away the bulk of their wealth. Their personal goals are to help those in need. Maybe they too read, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens. 

The documentary, REQUIEM FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM will give you a good insight to the American Dream and how it’s bleak future is crumbling.  – Bari Demers 

The story behind “Winner,Winner,Chicken Dinner”

Photo Credit : Bari Demers

In the past week I received messages in regards to the meaning of, ” Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!”  

For the younger generation, it just dawned on me, the term, “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! ” is not necessarily understood. Unless, of course, they did a Google search.

So, let me tell you a little story :  

When I was eight years old my father would come home from his vacation in Las Vegas and would either say,” Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!” Or he would come home, saying,” Dammit! Caesars Palace and the bank owns our home again!” 

At such an impressional age of only eight, my curiosity got the best of me, so I had to ask my father why he was so happy winning a chicken dinner? 

BUT – 

Noticing the mood change from very happy to outright mad, being the happiest when he said,” Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!” I thought it best to ask him questions when he was in his happiest mood.

SO – 

One day, my father came home, “happier than a pig in mud” bellowing out those happy words,” Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!” throwing a wad of hard cold cash onto his bed. I knew the time was right to ask him my burning question, knowing all too well,”curiosity killed the cat” could end me in serious trouble. My dad’s moods were fickle, to say the least. Say the wrong think at the wrong time, could lead you to a serious swat in the head. Basically us kids were walking on thin ice when my dad was in one of his bad moods. I believe I took most of his brute force, as I would always question his authority on a regular basis. 

But, today was a good day, he was happier than a pig in mud! 

ARIA Resort & Casino. Photo Credit : Bari Demers

Playing with my favourite GI Joe toy, pretending this military Super Star was scouting ahead in the midst of all this hard cold cash, was the only time I was allowed near any of my dad’s monies. My dad was busy emptying his suitcase.

I knew the time was now or never.  

My little heart was racing, as I mustered up the courage and said,” Dad…?”
Paying little attention to me, you could see his mind was else where. I’m sure he was thinking more about what he could do with all that cash! 

So, I asked him again,”Dad…?” 

He looked at me with his cold steely eyes,”Yes! Yes! What is it?!” As if I was just bugging him. 

I took a deep breath and said,” Dad…Why are you so happy when you win a chicken dinner? I mean…after all…we have chicken dinners here every Thursday night…”  I waited patiently, as my dad thought of me as more of a nuisance, than his son.   

Suddenly he stopped.

I tensed up ready for whatever came my way, even closing my eyes.  
My dad sat on the end of the bed and told me to sit beside him. He was a mean son-a-bitch, so it took all of my will power to sit beside someone who’s temper was extremely volatile.  

Quietly, I sat beside him, unknown of his next move. 

He grabbed his cigarettes from his front pocket, pulled out one and lite it. 
Took a deep breath and said,” Son…Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner simply means I won the Jackpot… My God! Where have you been all your life? Don’t they teach you anything in school?!”

I cast my eyes low to the ground, as if respecting the primal anarchy, waiting for whatever was going to happen next.  

My dad took another puff of his cigarette. He could see I was asking a perfectly reasonable question. Giving a deep sign, he said,” Ok, listen…because I won’t repeat myself!”

I nodded.

My dad proceeded to tell me the reason for,” Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!” He told me, in Las Vegas a chicken dinner would cost around $2 dollars. In Vegas, you could place a minimum bet of $2 dollar. So, when you won $2 you were sure to win a $2 Chicken Dinner!

The Shards of Color Photo Credit: Bari Demers

[Read more about the Shards of Color at CityCenter, Las Vegas ]

In my family, I’ve heard so many times of my uncle betting on the horse races, so I had an idea what betting was all about. It was also clear my dad won a lot more then two dollars, so I quickly understood it’s more of a saying then anything. 

My dad concluded, ” Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner simply means I won the jackpot. It also means there’s more food in the house this month. Do you get it?! ” 

I nodded. 

My little imagination took off like wildfire. I could see this wizzical magic place called,” Las Vegas” ! At such a young age, I could only refer it to the famous, ” Wizard of Oz” But, it was a real place for everyone including my dad and uncle. I knew when I was old enough, I had to see this Wizard of Oz place called LAS VEGAS! 

Wish YOU were here in Las Vegas ! Photo by Bari Demers
Join us Vegas Lovers 

Years later…

A few years after my third visit to Las Vegas, you can imagine how surprised I was to see the actual theme of the brand new resort, the MGM Grand, displaying the Wizard of Oz !   I grinned ear to ear, realizing this was some sort of “good” karma.  

MGM Grand Las Vegas – Theme “Wizard of Oz”

[Read more about the good old days...]

In all, Las Vegas not only has good memories, but I quickly understood from past experiences with my dad, how Vegas could be your friend or how it could end up being a problem. The very fact, Caesars Palace could own your house through betting up a lean against your home stuck in my head since I was eight years old. It was a clear reminder to play poker, blackjack or the slot machines within your financial budget. This is why I always hold fast to my budget.  

I believe Mr Steve Wynn had a similar experience with his dad. 

Just realize in the end, winnings in Las Vegas are left to the experts and when you do win in Vegas, just remember it, as nothing more than a form of FUN entertainment. Unless of course you so happen to win millions of dollars, only then can you call it a lucky lottery.  

So, I hope your vacation in Vegas is a FUN and LUCKY experience and may you one day yell out,”Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! 

See YOU in Vegas !  

Come on by and join us Vegas Lovers in the “just for fun” Facebook Page geared for Vegas Lovers and newcomers heading for their very first vacation in the adult version of The Wizard of Oz land known as Las Vegas. 

By Bari Demers –freelance writer and scifi screenwriter 

Vegas – The Good Old Days! 

MGM Grand, Las Vegas 1996 Photo Credit: Bari Demers

Happy Throwback Thursday Everyone!  

Today I like to take you on a journey, way back to the 1980’s. During a time when Las Vegas use to be more colorful, should we say?  

Remember the good old days?

When going to Las Vegas meant good times in the casino and actually going home with cash in your pocket? Well, those days are becoming few and far in between. You still hear of a few winning the jackpot, but today was never like the good old days.

Even MGM International Resorts and Wynn Resorts Limited are changing their tune to better accommodate patrons. It’s true. Not all vacationers are flocking to the casinos like they use to. To reflect those changes, Vegas Resorts are going for pure luxury, from poolside oasis to mega Superstar concerts, while reaching out to family oriented vacationers, hoping to cash in on another form of revenue. After all, the bottom line is to generate millions of dollars a day, in order for these massive hotels to meet their daily overhead costs. 

But don’t start worrying over the mega corporations just yet.

Highrollers may not be rolling in like they use to, but they still are out there.
In fact, they are a lot richer then before. And let’s not forget about the countless high-stake poker games drawing thousands of spectators across the world, generating millions of dollars during each tournament. Adding more millions of revenue are the popular nightlife, streaming with electronic music and dance mania showcasing DJ celebrities, such as Tiësto. On top of that, the wealthy few are still looking for the most luxurious comfort to suit their lifestyle. With money not being an issue, Vegas resorts are eager to please their VIP guests in anyway they can.


The Mirage ,Las Vegas Photo Credit: Bari Demers
But, for us it’s a different story all together. I’m talking about regular folks like you and me. 

The ones who have worked hard for ever penny, scrimping enough money together, just to go on their yearly vacation. Yes, that’s you and me. We’re the ones who usually dream about, what it’s like not to worry about money and be treated like the glorified rich, we constantly hear about on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It’s you and me that look forward to a little luxury when we can afford it. It’s you and me who shop for the best possible price to stretch our dollar just a little bit more. We may not own that Mercedes or that $23 million dollar mansion, but we still love to experience a small piece of luxury to make us feel good and important, once in awhile. And Las Vegas allows us that opportunity, making us feel like a King or Queen, even if it’s just a day or weekend. 

Vegas today is just as exciting as it was 40 years ago, but even though the younger generation may have heard of Vintage Vegas, they never really had the opportunity to experience it. So, since it’s Throwback Thursday, let me reflex with you what it was like back then.

Join me in my Time Machine, as I take you back to the 1980’s.

During the 1980’s gambling was the heart of Las Vegas. It was a time when the Mafia still had its claws firmly into the casino business, skimming hundreds of thousands of hard cold cash. But, it was also a time, when the FBI was slowly gaining control over the countless illegal tax evasions. 

To you and me, Vegas back then, meant an oasis in the desert and a vacation paradise, giving more bang for your buck. Where a Prime Rib dinner only cost you $4.95, Steak and Eggs $2.99 after midnight, 0.99 cent breakfasts and bar drinks were only 0.50 cents a shot. 

Yes. Those were the days! 

Coming down the elevator to the casino floor of your hotel, the doors would open, and you would instantly hear the clanging of change hitting the slot trays, along with bells and whistles across the casino floor.

The excitement was in the air! 

You would always hear of not one, but many cheering after they hit the jackpot. The thought of winning was always on everyone’s mind. Imagine seeing rows of people lining up to cash-in, holding small buckets full of hard cold cash. As a matter of fact, some patrons were precariously hanging onto five to six buckets at a time, grinning from ear to ear. And their hands were caked silver from handling the coins they so eagerly scooped up into the buckets. Today, you won’t hear that clang, clang, clang sound of countless coins hitting the trays below, or a flock of people heading home after a winning spree.   People are still winning, but nothing like before.   And the rush of winning was like nothing you ever experienced before. It literally makes you feel good, waiting to come back next year for more. 

And the best part? 

The casinos really didn’t mind at all. They were raking in the cash so fast, it was hard to count it all. The loose change you thought were winnings to you, were merely a business marketing plan. The casino very well knew, you would would be back to try your hand at blackjack, poker or roulette. 

And the word of winning in Vegas was like a wild fire!

You would tell your friends and they would tell theirs and so on. Before you knew it, your winning spree was over exaggerated by a hundred times. Even farmer Joe decided to try his hand at blackjack.

Vegas back then was a whirlwind of pure excitement. 

Today, Las Vegas has grown into a corporate business of shareholders, only interested in the bottom line. They need to feed these hungry mega resorts with lots and lots of money, in order to stay afloat. The need for add on revenue, such as resort fees and paid parking has lead many to believe Vegas is gouging the basic consumers.  
But really, it’s the cost of a changing market. 

In Vegas, my weekly spending may seem high, until I go back home and realize the resorts on my own turf are selling their rooms from $350 to $950 per night!  Yikes!  That’s a little steep for me. As a matter of fact, that’s a whole a lot of cash for just one night stay, wouldn’t you say? So, in the end, Las Vegas is still the place to go to enjoy a reasonable priced vacation.

What’s your historical memory of Vegas ? 

The 1980’s was over 36 years ago. What this means to us; my wife and I celebrated our first anniversary at the Maxim, Las Vegas. We arrived in August of that year, three months before the horrific fire at the former MGM Grand (now Bally’s, Las Vegas). Apparently the Maxim hotel pool deck we lounged at was the same place Maxim employees watch the fire across the street. 


The Venetian, Las Vegas Photo Credit : Bari Demers
Soon we will be celebrating our 37 anniversary and once again, Las Vegas will be our choice.  You might say we are Vegas Lovers! 

By Bari Demers – freelance writer and screenwriter 

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

Don Rickles and Vegas

Good Day Everyone! 

Photo Credit : Vintage Las Vegas
Today’s Throwback Thursday with the Sahara, Las Vegas, September 1967, via Vintage Las Vegas.

Notice Don Rickles on the billboard !  Did you know Don Rickles debuted in the Sahara Lounge ?

For those who aren’t familiar with Don Rickles, he’s a long time stand-up comedian and actor in movies, such as the hilarious Kelly’s Heroes, co-staring Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland and Carol O’Connor.  

Kelly’s Heroes – It’s one movie you must see! Place it on your bucketlist. 

Don has beaten us all when it comes to being a Vegas Lover. He loves Vegas

He’s been going to Vegas for 56 consecutive years. And at 89 years old, there’s no reason for him to retire because his love for stand-up comedy.  He was first noticed by Frank Sinatra while in Miami, way back in 1957. Actually it was Don Rickles who pointed out Frank during his routine comedy show at the nightclub, saying,” Make yourself at home, Frank. Hit somebody.”  

If there’s one thing about Don Rickles comedy, he takes no prisoners when pointing out his audiences. Doesn’t matter where you are in the crowd, he’s sure to place you under fire during his comedy routine, if he feels fit. Doesn’t matter race, colour, or if your a Martian, he’ll point you out, totally embarrassing you.  

But, what’s fun, his viewers can’t wait to be picked!  


Bellagio, Las Vegas Photo Credit : Bari Demers
From Canadians, Japanese, Germans to Martians, if you’re on his radar, watch out! LOL. Of course, all in fun making everyone laugh and laugh some more.  Even Frank Sinatra couldn’t get away from poking fun at him. But, this is the thing about it, Frank loved his performances and encouraged everyone to go see Don Rickles.  

Since then Don has been in the mix of great performers, such as Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Bob Newhart, Sammy Davis Jr. , George Burns, Jack Benny and the list goes on. Don was even the Roastmaster of the famous Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, which became very popular.  

In 1974, the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast was stationed, where else? But at the MGM Grand Hotel’s Ziegfeld Room in Las Vegas.  What better place for Roastmaster Don Rickles to be.

Home away from home – Las Vegas!   

He still make appearances at the Orleans Hotel, Las Vegas.  And for his 90th birthday, you can celebrate with him on March 23, 2016, at the Ruth Eckerd Hall,Clearwater, FL.hosted by Regis Philbin. Without a doubt, Don Rickles is a fun loving comedian and a great actor, who’s been going to Vegas since 1959. Now that’s truly vintage Las Vegas, wouldn’t you say?  Soon to be 90 years old and still going strong! 

Have you had a chance to go see Don Rickles, while in Vegas? If not, I would make a point to go see him.  Check out more about Don Rickles!

As always – See YOU in Vegas !  Please join me on FacebookLoving Vegas. 

By Bari Demers – freelance writer and screenwriter 

Vegas Past and Present

Las Vegas, June 1954 by Roland Simons

I enjoy Throwback Thursday Vegas style, because you get to see what Vegas use to look like, way back when. In particular, it’s fun to see photos from 1940’s to the late 1980’s. The El Rancho Vegas was the first hotel to spring up on the desert Vegas Strip. It’s grand opening was on April 3, 1941. After came the New Frontier Hotel and Casino in 1945, and just after that, was the infamous Mafia built, Flamingo in 1946 by Bugsy Siegel. 


Las Vegas, June 1954 by Roland Simons.
For someone, like me, going to Vegas for the last 30 years, I’m always amazed how much Sin City has changed. If it wasn’t for Steve Wynn starting the building frenzy in 1989 with his mega-hotel, The Mirage, Las Vegas (a 3,044 room Polynesian-style hotel and casino), I’m not sure if Vegas would have been built on such a large scale, as it is today.

The Mirage, Las Vegas 2003 by Bari Demers

Possible. It just might of taken longer, that’s all. Before the Mirage, Las Vegas opened on November 22, 1989, with its fiery volcano, it was common place to see hotels relative to the size of the Dunes, Las Vegas with 1300 rooms; which I might add, Steve Wynn bought the Dunes for $75 million, imploding it in 1993.    

Before the mega-hotels explosion, Vegas was more intimate, you might say.

The Dunes, Las Vegas 1986 by Bari Demers

Romance was in the air. 

The nostalgic history behind Las Vegas is considered a more romantic time, instead of today’s hustle and bustle, a fury of madness along the Vegas Strip. Looking at Stardust, Las Vegas in 1979 signifies the past when the Mafia had a strong hold on the small desert town. Even though the mobsters were busy skimming their pockets with untaxed cash, they were the first to treat their customers well, lavishing them with the now traditional room and restaurant comps you see today. 

After all, it was good business. 

Stardust, Las Vegas 1979 by Ned Paynter

The prices back then were always considered cheap. As you can see for yourself in the Stardust photo by Ned Paynter, the billboard advertises incredibly low prices : 

Gamblers Breakfast for only $0.99 cents – Wow!

All you can eat Brunch – only $1.95 

And a full Dinner Buffet – once again, All you can eat – only $2.95 

I’m loving the prices back then. I remember getting steak and eggs for $1.99 back in the 1980’s.    Oh how I wish those prices were back today! 

Buffet at Aria Resort and Casino 2014 by Bari Demers

Buffet pricing has increased considerably in the last 37 years. 

MGM International Buffet Prices Today at Aria, Las Vegas : 

Breakfast: $21.99*
Monday – Friday

7:00 AM – 11:00 AM 
Lunch: $25.99*

Monday – Friday

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Brunch: $31.99*

Saturday & Sunday

7:00 AM – 3:00 PM 
Dinner: $36.99*

Monday – Thursday

3:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Gourmet Dinner: $41.99*

Friday – Sunday

3:00 PM – 10:00 PM

*All day, add $16.99 for unlimited Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, Champagne, Premium Beer and Wine on TAP. See more HERE

Aria Resort and Casino 2014 – Poolside by Bari Demers

To be fair, a lot has happened in 37 years. 

Buffet choices are more elaborate, trained Chefs are now employed and the general food market prices have gone up throughout the world. Each restaurant must have a 33% Food Cost to cover the cost in staff, electrical and heating, bringing the food in and so on. Mind you, with the above prices I’m thinking, their food cost is closer to 25%, which is a good margin. 

The add-ons like the All day Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and Beer is likely where they make money, simply because with food in your tummy, drinking your monies worth is hard to do. Even if you can stand to come back the same day.  I actually tried that.  Did my best to come back and get my monies worth, simply couldn’t do it. 

 My full tummy said otherwise.

But, if you put everything into perspective, you’re on holidays after all. It’s easy to loose $20 in the slot machines within minutes, so part of their strategy (I’m thinking) would be to remove $20 from your pocket as fast as they can. 

Aria Resort – Poolside 2014 by Bari Demers

Even going to the pool, the drinks start from $15 – $40 depending on the size of alcoholic drink. My wife and I will spend $80 and maybe more if we have a nice breakfast overlooking the pool.   Of course, let’s put in the equation of PROMOS where one receives promotional items, such as “Free Play”, free buffets, rooms and entertainment. There’s a bunch of different ways to receive PROMOS from Highrollers to playing games on-line. 


So, you see everything must be put into perspective. I really do love Vegas and everything it offers. Even though the nostalgic side of Vegas is gone forever, the brand new Vegas is very much as exciting. That’s why I keep going back. It still is an affordable fun holiday. As always, I hope to see YOU in Vegas

By Bari Demers 

#VegasFun #History #MyVegas #Vacations 


Vegas is a Stress Reliever 

Photo Credit : Bari Demers 

You know, I’m sure glad Vegas exists. It certainly the best spot to enjoy a quick or long vacation, be it with a group of friends, a romantic time with your partner or for the whole family. 

Life has so many ups and downs, Las Vegas is an excellent stress reliever.  

The world class quality from fine dining, the amazing mega resorts, exciting tours and an abundance of entertainment, it’s a no-brainer to head to Vegas. 

Sure. If you gamble, you should exercise control, but overall, Vegas is one of the most accessible and affordable vacation spots in North America. 

It’s also cool to see people from around the world.

Photo Credit : Bari Demers

My goodness, I met a couple from the UK who came up for only 3 days. That’s an amazing flight for only a three day stay. But, after their first visit to Vegas during a lavish wedding, they were hooked on Vegas

It’s obvious Canadians and Americans love Vegas, from the young to the well aged, the first-timers to seasonal Vegas Lovers. It’s a given, once you experience the rush of Vegas – YOU ARE hooked! 

Photo Credit : Bari Demers

Overall, my favorite resort hotels are Aria Resort & Casino, Vdara, Mandarin Oriental, The Venetian & Palazzo, The Wynn including Encore, T.I. (Treasure Island ), Caesars Palace, Cosmopolitan, Bellagio and Luxor. Of course, I’ve yet to experience more resorts, as time and money permits. But you know, when you’ve been treated like a King of Queen, it’s hard to go anywhere else.  

Vegas offers the best in hotels, particularly fashioned for your lifestyle or pocketbook.  Another words, it’s for everyone! 

Photo Credit : Bari Demers 

My wife and I are Vegas Lovers, like you.  

It’s awesome you have taken the time to LIKE my Facebook Page and join us with everyone’s experiences. After all, we are tourists, just like you.  

I gratefully appreciate you for joining us in the FUN with Vegas – Thank you ! 

And to the resorts of Vegas – Thank you for the affordable luxurious comfort, you and your team, who are committed professional staff. They have provided us with the best possible service, from the awesome Chefs, front desk personnel, friendly bartenders, room service, maid and concierge service.  

It’s all an amazing experience! 

What’s your best hotel in Vegas ?  Did I miss some good ones ? 

Have a wonderful week and of course – I will see YOU in Vegas

Photo Credits : Bari Demers

Reference Websites : 

My Vegas Blog 

The Venetian Las Vegas 

The Wynn, Las Vegas 

The Bellagio Las Vegas 

Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Aria Resort and Casino Las Vegas

Vdara Las Vegas 

Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Treasure Island Las Vegas 

Luxor Hotel 

Play Studio


1. Are you associated with any of the above hotels? 

      Answer : Absolutely not ! I’m a tourist like yourself.  I am not related or associated with any business or corporations in Las Vegas.

2. Do you receive payment or monetary bonuses ? 

    Answer : Absolutely not ! Just like you I’m a tourist. I play MYVEGAS (open to everyone!)  to collect points to receive free buffets, rooms or entertainment opportunities. Plus I keep my eye out for the best possible price for my hard working dollar.

3. Do you receive payments for your Vegas articles

    Answer : Not yet. But I hear people do, by clicking on the ads on the side. But, so far, not a nickel. 

4. Why do you do this ? 

    Answer : Seriously, I am a Vegas Lover! Vegas is my home away from home.

5. What do you do ? 

    Answer : I’m a screenwriter and freelance writer and pretty soon retired. Well, I love to write, so that’s not really retirement. 

Going to Mars or Bust ! 

James Montana Scripts 

By Bari Demers 

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! 


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. 


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