You may wonder what podcasts we at VLO find interesting and worth our time. There are a LOT of podcasts out there and it can be difficult finding shows worth investing 40-75 mins each week. In no particular order…
Hosted by Tim & Michelle Dressen, these two herald from Minnesota and make an excellent pairing. This husband-and-wife team are in love with Vegas almost as much as we are. They do enjoy gambling, but their love of cocktails trumps all. They start their show off with recent Vegas news (some of which even slips past us from time to time), roll into a rumors and speculations (and I don’t mean that in a negative way) about casino opening/closings/merging, celebrity shows, insider secrets and places they have tried (and why they love/hate it) or places they want to visit. But what really adds value to this show, in our humble opinion, are the listeners who call into the show and leave trip reports on their voicemail hotline. Vegas travelers will typically lament the good/bad of happens of their trip, of the city, of the people, the games, the hotel rooms…you get the point. Tim & Michelle rarely do interviews of casino executives, although Tim has of late. I’m not sure if this is going to become a new part to the show or if their love of Fremont Street bars is the their catalyst. If you are a lover of Vegas (and you must if you follow us), this is a great weekly podcast to add to your lineup.
This show is fun because they talk Vegas business. They might talk about the Caesar’s Entertainment IPO, the ouster of majority shareholder(s) over at Wynn, the mall/landlord-tenant relationship going on with MGM Resorts or the long-term consequences of the CityCenter debacle. These guys know the goings on, on The Strip, and they present it in an entertaining fashion. The host, Hunter Hillegas of RateVegas guides his co-hosts Chuck Monster (Vegas Tripping) and Dr. Dave Schwartz (UNLV) through the monthly working of Sin City. What makes this show so fun is that two of the three actually live in Vegas so they see firsthand the happenings and, in many cases, have direct access to the people making news. If you like the casino-business side to Vegas, this show will be right up your alley. If you care more about which buffet is having a half-price special or where to play full pay video poker, I’d look to Five Hundy or our next review…
Hosted via Skype, Mark Woztowicz and Bryan Penkala put a lot of post-production time into their podcast. A lot more time then we ever do! These guys offer an enhanced version of their podcast whereby your iPod touch allows you the opportunity to see pictures of exactly whatever they’re talking about. One neat feature of their show is the TwitPic of the Week. They encourage their followers to tweet them pics of Vegas, but from just a slightly different point of view. Most pics we see of Vegas hotels/casinos look like something their marketing department took. What’s need about these pictures are the slightly different angle you might not otherwise expect to see. Check out what we’re talking about here. They also talk about the casino, gaming, player’s club, etc. news of Vegas, they report on shows and concerts, but they also pontificate on what the changes will mean to Vegas tourists. One other neat aspect of their show is the slots/jackpot segment. They will report on all Twitter announced jackpots, as disclosed by the casinos. While it doesn’t actually mean anything in the grand scheme, it is fun to hear which casino was the “luckiest” that week with how much was won, which machine hit and then keeping a monthly tally. Equally, they pick a different slot machine to talk about, describe how it’s played (multi-denomination, how many paylines, theme) but they also explain the bonus rounds and what to expect. We’re not slot players here at VLO, except we do enjoy the entertainment value of bonuses. We hate to admit it, but we’ve been talked into playing some slots simply because of how fun the bonus games sounded!
Here’s why we love this show. The hosts, Bob Dancer and Michael ,Shackleford are icons in the gaming industry. Bob is the god of video poker. He’s written a slew of books, software programs, “cheat” cards on how to perfect your play at video poker. He’s the guy we at VLO look to if we want to learn how to play a new VP game. Michael is a numbers guy and makes no bones about it. His website is the premiere site for all things gambling. If you’re a numbers dork (like Jason is), you will eat up his site. These two guys put on a great show. It airs live out of Vegas every Thursday and they always have a guest (well, almost always). And their guests are interesting people. From a cocktail waitress talking about ways to get better drink service to those featured in the movie 21, the MIT team, they get big names! These guys are pros in their world and they bring with the knowledge, experience and contacts they’ve garnered.
As Jason so eloquently states: I enjoy WhiskeyCast because the host clearly understands the subject and has sufficient insider-type connections that he usually brings in several important guests who share their insights into the world of whiskey production and retailing. The podcast features a healthy mix of news and analysis and the length varies, so like Forrest’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get. WhiskeyCast – which even has its own Android app – is a gold standard among alcohol podcasts.
All of these shows can be found on iTunes (as well as Zune and Stitcher…I think). Point is, they’re worth your time to invest 4+ cumulative hours every week to listen to!