Vegas Escapes: The city is keeping a close eye on you

 The Las Vegas Strip, which the city is seeking to make safer.
(Ellen Creager / TNS)

We’re not trying to spoil your fun, but you’re being watched. And it’s for your own good.

Vegas, the city that not only never sleeps and rarely even snoozes, is strengthening security while trying not to kill the good-time vibe.

My name is Catharine Hamm, I’m the Travel editor for the Los Angeles Times, and I’m for anything that multiplies the fun, including keeping you out of harm’s way. Besides these new security measures, we also have info on keeping you stuffed (pizza fest, high-end picnic, new restaurants), a stroll down memory lane, and a chance to win a million bucks if you have the right stuff.

Don’t let triple-digit temps deter you; if it’s going to be 109 (Saturday forecast) or 111 (Sunday), there’s really no better place to be than inside. Drink plenty of fluids — and we don’t mean the alcoholic kind, which can dehydrate you — wear sunscreen if you’re outside and seek medical attention if you suddenly feel a chill that’s not from AC. You’re welcome.

Keeping you safe

Let the good times roll under the watchful eye of 40 new officers on the Vegas force and bollards — pole-like barriers — that keep cars from running into pedestrians who pack the sidewalks on Las Vegas Boulevard. And in your hotel, if you see a cute-looking dog with a uniformed man, don’t assume they’re there on a weekend away. It’s more likely a bomb-sniffing dog, Jay Jones writes. Read more about what Vegas is doing to keep the luster on tourism, the goose that laid the golden egg.

Introducing the new/old Sahara

Remember the glamour of ’50s Vegas? You can’t do so without thinking of the Sahara, which closed in 2011 after nearly six decades. But now it’s back, in slightly modified form. The former SLS resort has been dubbed the Sahara and will be freshened up with a $100-million renovation, Mary Forgione writes.


Celebrating the Vegas of yore

The resurfacing of the Sahara name is just part of the increasing Old Vegas vibe that seems to be bubbling to the surface. If you look closely enough, Jay Jones writes, you’ll be transported to the days of gaudy neon, red leather booths and diners that catered to the stars. You can almost hear Sinatra crooning in the background ...

Atomic Liquors and Bar in downtown Vegas holds the city's first liquor license. The interior has recently been restored to its original appearance.
Atomic Liquors and Bar in downtown Vegas holds the city’s first liquor license. The interior has recently been restored to its original appearance.
(Joe Buglewicz / Las Vegas News Bureau)

Get a piece of the pie

From a piece of the past to the pizza the present. OK, bad joke. But it’s all in the name of a festival and brings together a score of top chefs this fall, Michael Hiller writes, to show off their skills making pizza — America’s favorite dinner-late-night snack/mandatory Super Bowl cuisine/cold breakfast.

More food, glorious food

Picnic or pig-out? Maybe a little of both at Picnic in the Alley, a downtown event that runs on woman power (chefs, bartenders, volunteers and more). Vegas, says Nicole Brisson, chef and co-owner of Locale, a new off-Strip restaurant, is a culinary town in which women play a huge role, including support for the community. To wit: The event benefits Dress for Success Southern Nevada, which lends a hand to women seeking financial independence.

Nicole Brisson, former Eataly Las Vegas chef with her own restaurant called Locale, will participate in Picnic in the Alley.
(Michael Hiller)

A taste of L.A. in Las Vegas

If Vegas is, as Brisson says above, a culinary town, it wouldn’t be quite complete without some of our favorite places. Among newcomers to the Vegas scene are three places with deep roots in L.A.: Majordomo, Crack Shack and Water Grill, Jay Jones writes.

A million reasons to horse around in Vegas

It’s called “reining,” and it’s serious business in the horse world. From Aug. 15-17, you’ll see skilled riders and their mounts performing in a competition in Vegas that is offering a million-dollar prize to the most skilled of the bunch, Jay Jones writes.

Professional reiner Casey Deary puts his horse, America’s Supermodel, through its winning paces
Professional reiner Casey Deary puts his horse, America’s Supermodel, through its winning paces in October in Columbus, Ohio. Deary will compete in a high-stakes competition in August in Las Vegas.
(Cam Essick)

Keep an eye out for

The town that would have been Las Vegas if things had turned out differently. It’s just across the river from Cincinnati and has a rip-roaring past that almost propelled it into the leading role as Party Central. Chez Chesak writes that story for the Sunday Travel section on Aug. 4.

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Until next time

We’ll be back Aug. 22 with another Vegas roundup. Until then, we wish you all the fun you can have and all the cash you need to have it.