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And The Trippies Class of 2016 Is...

By Chuckmonster on Saturday, 9th January 2016 8:02pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 52

   

Best of Las Vegas 2016

Ladies and gentlenerds,

VegasTripping is proud to present The Best (and Worst) of Las Vegas - The Trippies Class of 2016.

Congratulations to all winners!



Tagged: trippies   





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Comments & Discussion:

Sorry Chuckmoster, could you guys have any more shamefully kissed Derek Stevens butt anymore?! Where is the objectivity that used to be at the heart of this site. I can't believe the list of categories you handed over to The D this year. Any objective VT reader has to be rolling their eyes back in their head over some of the editor selections. This years wins in a host of categories represent the shameful greasing of the guy and joint who gives VIMFP. Please go find your integrity again.

It isn't the Trippies without at least one comment like this. Every year, someone rolls in with the accusation that the editors picks are in the tank for someone. We discussed this at length during the webcast. Instead of attacking us with generalities, how about getting into specific categories and why you think we're wrong.

I haven't counted, but I'm fairly certain that the d has won less Trippies awards every successive year from the readers and the editors since their epic sweep three years ago.



I'm going to have to look through again, but it seems like most of the D awards were from the Readers side weren't they? The only one of the editors picks for the D that I might disagree with is best bar. Mostly because the music is so freaking loud in the D I can't hear the words coming out of my own mouth let alone the guy next to me.

But, given that I can walk up to the Longbar and share a drink and chat with the ownder of the joint, yeah, I get it. I see why readers love the place, it's just too loud for me personally. That's why we spend most of our downtime time at the nugget but hey, I still come by for a hot dog.

Hey Chuckmonster, Given the length of my diatribe, I summarized it over on a Vegas Message Board post since its too lengthy for comments section here. The readers choice I get, fans of VIMFP are going to vote for The D for some categories, but you guys as the editors should know better. I can't see how anyone objectively, would agree with some of your picks. I think this could be easily substantiated by Yelp, Tripadvisor, other vegas blogs, and a bunch of mainstream media publications. I mean if you are picking these without bias you guys are woefully ignorant about Vegas. I'll throw you a bone and say you might be able to justify the best social media picks. As to listening to 4 hours of Trippie Coverage, sorry I love some of your irreverent articles and site content but as a podcast you guys are not that interesting. Perhaps if you put a highlight reel together I might listen (no offense intended). Stick to what you do best like ferreting out the bullshit in the casino PR department, great casino design articles, and interesting hotel reviews. The rest is just a waste of your talent. FYI here are the categories I took issue with your selections over:

The Best Downtown Joint (Readers Choice): The D
Best Entertainment (Editors Choice)
Best Bar (Editors Choice)
Best Casinos
The D - Readers Choice
Golden Gate - (Editors Choice)
Best Slots - The D (Readers Choice)
Best Video Poker - The D (Editors Choice)
Best Use of Social Media - The D (Editors Choice)

Just so I don't come off as a ranting douche. Lets look at the Video Poker category for example. If you were to base selection on paytables The D would lose based on VPFree2 payback percentages (http://www.vpfree2.com/casinos/by-region/las-vegas.html). If you were to base selection on game selection (eg number of machines, varieties, denominations) The D would lose, if you based the selection on VP promotions (bonus cash, points, etc) The D would lose. Can't really see how any knowledgeable person would have picked The D in that category.

@Funkhouser I can tell you with a 100% degree of certainty that no one involved in making the editor's picks consulted Vegas Message Board, Yelp, Trip Advisor, "other vegas blogs", "mainstream media publications", or VPFree2 at any time during the process.

Your concern that you "come off as a ranting douche" demonstrates a tremendous amount of self awareness, a trait often absent in the realm of internet comment boards. I salute you. As always, thank you for reading (and listening)!

Misnomer, I think you just answered what I already figured. Your picks are then uninformed personal selections subject to bias with little grasp in reality. So why not call it like it is then..."The D won in this category because, hey we gotta throw some love towards the guy who treats us well for VIMFP." Are you guys going to focus on party planning or being a highly regarded no bullshit Vegas news and travel source?

The Trippies aren't about rebroadcasting the latest stats on house advantage. A lot more goes into the editors picks than the mathematics of house advantage, this is true for all categories, not just the gambling ones. We look at these awards from the human perspective, not strategy nerds.

Anyone who truly cares, knows how to Google video poker odds. I do look at the house advantage and gambling conditions stats periodically, and did so earlier this week to help understand some Readers Choice awards before writing the descriptions (read them). While useful, house advantage alone does not define what we feel is truly valuable in a gambling experience. If pay table math is what you want, then the trippies probably aren't for you. I prefer the Whopper to other fast food burgers and think In N Out is over rated.

The Trippies aims to quantify the other 90% that can't be measured by math.... non-quantifiable aesthetics of the total experience. The best hotel cannot be reduced to an equation - price divided by Square Footage. Even in a casino service, design and vibe are things you need to feel, and even then how is their value measured? Does the music in the joint jibe with your sensibility? Do they stock and comp the whisky, beers or bottled water you like? Does the wait staff come often? Are they pleasant? Do they have a good comp club? Are the other guests pleasant? Does the smell of the place agree with you? Do you feel welcome and happy there? Is there a TV by the bank of machines? Do they send offers? Are the offers that arrive in the mailbox useful to you (match play or free rooms or free food or...)? Is it fun to play there? None of this stuff is in VPFree or Wizard of Odds, or Yelp or newspapers or other blogs. And even so, these are the VT editors awards, not the "some guy on Yelp said this" or "Robin Leach posted that..." awards. We choose this stuff based on both empirical knowledge and our collective experiences absorbing the ether of the unknown. We get together and discuss options, hash it out and come to some kind of conclusion. When we can't decide or don't know.... we aren't afraid to punt by skipping a category or going completely off road.

There is a big difference between knowing who Picasso is, looking at a photo of Pablo Picasso, standing in front of a Picasso painting, writing about a specific Picasso painting, or writing about Picasso in the personal, local, historical, political and artistic context. In this analogy, Funkhouser, you seem to be hung up on the museum owner who hosted the cocktail reception for the Matisse book we wrote last year.

Regarding your VIMFP question in response to Misnomer, we've been doing annual community meet up events for the last 9 years. VT has existed for 12 years. These things are part and parcel of what we do... the only thing that has changed is that VIMFP attendance is growing very very fast. Our community is supremely lucky to have a reader/fan of VT - a guy who came to our events when he was just a guy - realize his dream to buy into the casino business. He understood what we were about... warts and all... before he owned a casino. There would be absolutely nothing to gain on The D's end or ours by playing a game of bullshit. I am a bigger skeptic than you are.

I know you've already got your mind made up about this, but I can assure you if events transpired could potentially compromise the integrity of VT re: event partners, I would take quick and decisive action to terminate the issue or the relationship. VT is my life... i'm on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 12 months out of the year (although I take three weeks off from writing in December to work on The Trippies.) I've given 12 years of my life to this project... with the expectation of nothing in return from strangers like you. Sometimes people say thank you. Sometimes people want to meet up at the bar share their lives, time and a cocktail or two. Sometimes folks give neat little Vegas gifts and mementoes as a way to say thanks for the work we do. Sometimes folks show their appreciation by telling me what they hate about my work. Some people show gratitude by accusing me of things that are ridiculous, untrue and not supported by facts. Sometimes people make up stories with no evidence and post them on various message boards to try and tarnish my reputation. I suspect they get a rush out of it. I dunno. I'm used to it.

But what I do know is that I'm incredibly proud of the 2016 Trippies. I'm also proud of the great work VT has done in the last year. Last year's VIMFP exceeded all expectations. I'm happy that things are back on track, but I have lot of work to do sorting out things on the site that have been neglected. I've had some problems for a few years, drinking too much, depression, creative quandary and recently some health issues. But thanks to the love and support of my incredible wife and amazing friends, I think I've sorted all that stuff out. Barring death or disaster, I'm still going to wake up tomorrow morning. I'm going to grind some Kona coffee beans and make a delicious cup in the Chemex my wife gave me. I'm going to bring that coffee to my desk, I'm going to sit down and start writing something. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, I'll publish an article or two later that afternoon. Then I'm going to start booking some hotels for the trip to Macau I'm taking in June. I love my job.

Also, after writing that, have a shot of something good. Maybe several.

Chuckmonster I think you are too close to experience to look at things from the point of your viewers anymore. Given your long response obviously your pretty defensive. There are a long list of readers who put stock in your opinions, and frankly you lose credibility. You site your justification as your measuring the intangible, like whether a casino has good VP is art. Well you guys are not art critics and neither is VP art. Most readers are taking the category for what it, Who's got good VP. It's a pretty basic question and I think its easily quantified by the points I brought up: good payback, good slot club treatment for VP players, and good game selection. Whether the carpet looks good, the music is pleasant, or the guy next to you wants talk about the cubbies is non-relevant. It's VP afterall. Saying I don't get it, is your go to cop out answer, guess what alot of your readers are looking for something more simple than some intellectual analysis of the art of casino operation. Look you guys write some great stuff here, but as my final point let me just say this as a long time reader. I can't remember the last time you wrote anything critical of The D or Golden Gate. Where as you guys pull no punches on the rest of the operators (Sorry saying The D has a bad pool doesn't count). If you look at the point in time the first VIMFP event took place at the D around 2013, Starting in 2014 The D started winning a lot of categories. It's pretty obvious to some of the non VIMFP and non D loving folks there is some bias here. It's okay people do it all the time in business, I am just calling bullshit. I think you guys are too enamored with Derek Stevens and The D due to your relationship to be objective anymore.

Chuckmonster, you do publish a lot of great stuff, I just don't think this years Trippies selections are one of them. So this will be my last rant in fear of beating a dead horse, but to your readers I will add this little tibit from previous Trippies editors picks to re-enforce. If you look at the historical picking in the Editors VP category paytables were consistently cited as a major measurable up to 2015. Just look at some of these comments from previous Trippies. Please Please Please, take some time to re-evaluate your objectivity again.

2015 The Editors Choice for Best Video Poker is:
Tie
Your local video Poker guru will tell you that the best video poker is all about paytables. We'll opine that paytables are only part of the battle, while factoring in surroundings, cocktail service and the secret sauce of comp club benefits.

2014 Trippies
As expected, odds are shaved at the bars, but the poker slots at The D are a Jackpot-o-rama... plus their comp club loves VP players.

The D - 2013
That didn't take long. In a few short months, Fitzgeralds went from perennial loser to a winner... thanks in part to CEO Derek Stevens knowing a thing or two about being a Vegas tripper.... one of those is 100+% video poker payback percentages.
2012
Best Video Poker
Palms
2010 Palms
Who are we to argue with mathematics... you want good Video Poker, take root at the Palms.

Palms 2008
Palms has consistently won nearly ever award in every video poker category ever given. The Palms slot crew makes sure that their video poker pay tables and playability are the best in Vegas.

Palms 2007
The readers and the editors agree, that the Palms offers the best Video Poker in Las Vegas. With an excellent selection of Full Pay machines that have gone by the do-do bird

"Editor's Choice" = Editor's Opinion in every media outlet I've ever seen. It's what Editors do. You agree with their opinion or you don't.

I thought you VT guys did a great job as always. Good for the laughs and insights. I was sorry to see Casino Royale take a few on the nose. They're the last fun dive on the strip now that O'Shea's feels like an Appleby's and IP and Barbarry Coast are long gone. But hey, the voters have spoken!

I feel like all of this ugliness could have been avoided had the government not put fluoride in the water to control our minds.

I look at the editor's choice picks the same as reading opinion columns in a newspaper, they are just that, opinions, which are based on personal experiences not number crunching. If you don't agree with someone's opinion it doesn't mean they are wrong it means they have a different expectation/experience than you. You're opinion is that their opinion isn't valid, fair enough, I do not agree with some of the editor's choices either but that doesn't mean they are wrong. But that said I see your post about the VP winners and it does seem that the category was once about payback and has now evolved to being about overall experience, atmosphere, cocktail service, etc so maybe that is why you are questioning the validity of their pick. Just my $0.02. And my non-editor's pick for best VP would have been the Starting Gate at Bellagio. Also these discussions on VT are always entertaining.

Hey Drake your right. I think my point of bringing this up was kinda like movie reviews. Did you ever go and check out a movie review where 98% of the critics say two stars and this movie is garbage. Then you have the one or two guys at Film Journal International or The Globe and Mail who rave about a film and its creator?! Your not going back to that publication for film reviews, your gonna say hey this guy is another PR shrill. I mean at least give us the *VT received blah blah blah from The D, but the opinions expressed are those of editors disclamier.

Hey DonnyMac, yes I agree its the editors opinion. I just feel the selections and chumminess this blog has with The D and Derek Stevens influences their awards. Since we have no insight into the scoring process the editors choice becomes opinion subject to personal bias due to relationships.

Misnomer, again you're wrong. This ugliness could've been avoided had the government put MORE fluoride in the water. Get it right, will ya?!!!

Fine. Next year, we'll be purely empirical and choose Olive Garden as best restaurant.

Or we'll give Best Burger to the Meatball at Andiamo! That would be a hoot.

Don't forget Manneken Pis as best dayclub.

Help me out guys, what empirical method did you use for some of your selections? Are we working off a different definition? When you did the Best Bar tally did you count the number of bourbons available at the bars, did you do an iPhone timer on the length of time it took your drink to be delivered, did you calculate the liquor pour per cocktail and give higher ranking? Was the view from your seat selected or availability of new cocktails figure into your picks. Was the ranking by clevage displayed I mean seriously I am just WTF?! by some of your picks. This past year I did 5 trips to vegas, hit about 12 bars, including quite a few new ones. Help your readers understand the tallying method here on your editors selection.

Funkhouser - Allow me to join the group that's confused about what's frustrating you here. These are reader/editorial opinions. Not everything is a math formula. If you take VP as an example, one person may care more about paytables than the type of drink served or the casino aesthetic. It's different from person to person. The editor choices are based on the writers' sole opinions and what they look for. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with the opinion, but because they don't share yours you can't understand how someone thinks different? Or are you upset that the D/GG won a few awards? Are they not allowed to rate the D or Golden Gate positively because Derek hosts VIMFP? I didn't see anything egregious in the awards that suggest they are biased towards those properties because of Derek and VIMFP. Just my two cents.

DG, Exactly I am raising the point that I think the editors unfairly bias their selections based on their relationship with Derek. So the end result is they get favorable accommodations for VIMFP or access to Derek (although he's probably the friendliest operator) and Derek benefits from marketing end of the Trippies awards as evidenced by some of his advertising and social media. Its a pretty mutually beneficial arrangement. In regards to their editors selections I don't think they are grounded in reality for a few categories and IMHO I think they show clear bias toward Derek Stevens joint. Really those were the only ones I raised a stink about. Look at the end of day people are influenced by this bs and where they spend their money. I just think its a little disingenuous to give awards to properties you have a close relationship with, claiming nonbias, and then poking fun at the other operators PR machines that self promote. I think its completely fair to be critical of the editors on that point, which BTW I think they still do a great job at writing other content for this site. It just devalues any credibility the Trippies have.

Just so there's no confusion on this point, we (VIMFP organizers) do not get any 'favorable' (or free) accommodations for VIMFP. We book and pay like everyone else (I do use the coupon code but that's available to everyone).

Mr. Funkhouser wrote a 3 star review of Tim Hundy's book on the Amazon:

"A good first effort by Tim Dressen, but not my take to Vegas guide yet. Fans of his podcast will find and enjoy the same light heart commentary he spins weekly on his podcast with his wife Michelle. However I believe the slew of 5 star reviews have been posted by long time podcast fans rather than true outsiders. Tim's commentary bleeds thru the pages of this book, sometimes to his own detriment. Tim does a great job covering the Las Vegas PR machine, bars and lounges, casino gaming and the age old question "Are you really getting the booze you asked for on the casino floor?" There is plenty of detail that the first time or experienced Vegas visitor would find useful in those categories. Unfortunately I found the coverage on hotel rooms lacking on essential information and descriptions to plan your Vegas trip. Entertainment was the other section of the book where Tim provides more info on where to score show discounts and how to classify shows, rather than things like what the first timer in Vegas should consider on their trip. All and all a humorous and irreverent guide to Las Vegas and fun read I recommend, but don't throw away that Fodors Las Vegas guidebook just yet."

Chuck's whats your point with my Amazon review. I unfairly pick on you and Tim? I read Tim's book cover to cover and was a verified purchaser review. I also listen to the podcast and email Tim and Michelle on occasion. Just because I think he came up short on his room content doesn't mean anything. I think I hurt your feelings if you feel the need to repost it here because I criticized your Trippies editors selection. Sorry if you feel picked on, but you guys sure don't feel remorse about taking shots at other joints on the web. Kinda childish.

BTW I think I have given you the opportunity to explain your evaluating process for editor selections or share how you guys tally your selections. Basically the only response you gave was that it was some type of non-quantifiable aesthetics of the total experience. Which seems like doublespeak for "whatever we feel". Lets take for example the Best Bar selection, last year you guys picked Hyde at Bellagio, how do you get from a 2015 selection of Hyde to a 2016 of Longbar at The D. I can't figure it out.

Wow, that was fun to read. I think that Chuck, the Admiral, Misnomer, John and Mike (shit did I do that right?) did a great job, as per usual. I like their opinions, as I like others too. Since every bar, or video poker machine, or rent a hooker place has some "best of Vegas" sign in their window, I think that the Trippies are right up there.

And I think someone needs a hug.....

Or a slap, in the face, with a chair.

But that's just my opinion....

Spyder, I knew I would start a shit storm when I posted my comment. Again I want to be completely fair to the editors here when I say, I really like the content on the site, the great hotel rooms, the awesome Wynn coverage, etc. Just because I take issue with the Trippies means in no way I don't think VegasTripping is an awesome Vegas blog. I think I am just stating the obvious that a lot of readers are thinking. I know hunter pointed out they have to pay for the rooms. I don't know if Chuck has any other relationship with The D or Golden Gate like free meeting space for VIMFP, ad revenue sharing etc. If they say there is no reciprocation I'll just take it on face value. I like these guys, I just completely disagree with about 6 to 7 of their editor selections and wish they would do a bit for to raise the veil of transparncy, where I am sitting as a reader it just feels like the fix is in.

So would this be the right time for me to state that I'm totally stoked to have been named "Worst Steakhouse?"

Is The D the best hotel in Vegas nope. I have never attended the VIMFP and have no stake in any of this, other than I enjoy reading the articles here and just a love of Vegas.

I agree with those saying that there are certain qualities that influence how a person feels about a place or thing. Those qualities may not always be measurable. What I did notice is that The D won a lot of reader polls, aka us, not Editor polls. To be honest, I don't remember if I voted The D or Golden Nugget as best Downtown hotel because it was close in my mind. I like the vibe of D better, but the Nugget is a true resort. Both stand out from among the crap, and this is coming from someone who thought The D was a joke when it first opened as I disliked the de-theming of another Vegas hotel. However, Mr. Stevens took a dilapidated building and did a great remodel and unlike say, Downtown Grand, managed to pack the joint. To look at it another way, Motor Trend has voted many odd choices as Car of the Year, including the Ford Fusion and Chevy Volt. Are they the fastest cars? The most luxurious? Nope. Still to the editors, at that time, they were the best.

I wouldn't stay at The D over Wynn and I wouldn't stay Downtown over The Strip. Frankly I think voting Cosmo the best hotel was wrong. But we all have a difference of opinion. As an outside observer I don't see anything suspicious here and frankly I don't think the VT staff care more about the money than the content. If they did they could have sold out a long time ago. In fact, if that was the case, they wouldn't have trashed Encore (which I agree with), as this might hurt them in getting more interesting scoops from team Wynn.

pkluvsvegas to stay on point. What I criticized the editors for was what I thought a bias toward Derek Stevens and The D for some Trippie selections. I was not implying any money exchanged hands here. BTW Derek did an awesome job turning around The Fitz to The D and I think he is the most forward thinking Downtown operator. GN and The D are in completely different categories and I can only hope he has some Wynn like visions for LVC. Again I understand the idea of subjective editorial opinion, but some of it has to be grounded in reasonable truth. Would it be an accurate picture to say The Wynn is a shitty casino just because the cocktail waitress came around every 20 mins instead of 5 like Ballys. Is the best VP at The D because there's lots of TV's at longbar even though El Cortez has the best tables. You can have your own opinion, but you can't have your own set of facts. Some point both intersect if you want to be taken seriously. Again not saying the editors aren't correct on some of their picks, I just don't agree with the picks for The D is some categories because I don't think they are grounded in any sense of reality for that particular selection.

One thing that Funkhouser is not mentioning is that over on VMB, he's making accusations that there's been a stuffing of the ballot box. That's a very serious accusation and one that holds no water. This isn't some sort of vote where anyone can just swing by anonymously and vote. In the past, it was definitely easier to stuff the ballot box, but things have been put into place to curtail such activity.

Regardless of how the voting goes, there will always be controversy when it comes to the results of any such awards. Look at the Best In Vegas awards that the LVRJ do. In the past, they've actually had the readers choose the Olive Garden for best Italian. Here in Atlanta, there are similar best of awards done by the local newspaper and the main alternative newspaper. They actually ended up in many of the food categories having separate votes for chain and non-chain restaurants. Is the system perfect? No. Will it ever be perfect? Not bloody likely. Will people continue to accuse the site and it's members of being on the take? That's a sure thing right there.

Funkhouser, since you obviously think the Trippies are rigged, why don't you and your buddies at VMB start your own awards with blackjack and hookers! Then watch people start tossing the same sort of accusations that you're making here.

It's probably worth pointing out that I was also named "Worst Poker Room."

I'm vehemently against anyone publishing favorable content for a company by which they have been compensated. I mean, I am a proud partner of Landry's INC., but would never report on any of their properties because of it. Trust me, I've had Golden opportunities to promote beautiful Nuggets of information, but have refrained from doing so. My two friends, Vic and Anthony, often remark about my exceptional restraint. We were actually discussing this while spelunking in a Grotto.

Enough about me though, the VT editors should be ashamed if this is, in fact, what they are doing.

Vespajet, Yes I did start a thread with a title which said VT stuffing the ballot box. What I was implying and I think if you read thru the post was a large number of VIMFP attendees most likely voted for the reader choices. So in that sense you could say the ballot box was stuffed. Chuck and team don't report the number of votes they receive anymore. In my thread I backed away from that title and recognize that its an unfair statement to say that. Because the readers selections are going to be widely varied and are limited to nominees. Which BTW I participated and had no problem with the selection. In fact I encouraged other VMB readers to go and participate in The Trippies. BTW I did not say I thought the trippies were 'rigged', I said on this comment string and VMB that I thought the editors unfairly selected The D based on personal bias. They have a different opinion, but have not fully explained how they got to the decision on some of the editor picks.

Vegas Fanboy my cousin Ivanna Freeone she's a member of MGM Milf club and refuses to post anything about MGM properties since they gave her free drinks playing penny slots. I strive to have that level of integrity.

I posted this to baseline what your style of critique is, to demonstrate how you grade papers. You invented the subtext and reasons why I did this, and came to the conclusion I was attacking you, which I wasn't.

You assume that I'm upset, angry with you, or hurt, or feeling the need to defend myself from your comments. None of this is remotely true, in fact the opposite is true. Originally, I thought that you were trolling for a fight, but I think I get it now. I love that you are passionate about The Trippies, concerned about VT's credibility and eager to start this discussion. As a regular reader, you know full well that I have always and will always welcome every type of discussion and disagreement here as long as it is civil, on topic and not hateful. Discussion isn't about reaching consensus, it is about exploring possibilities.

It is obvious that you are pretty upset and probably have been for some time. I sincerely and truly appreciate your passion, as well as how much you hold the VT no-bullshit ethos close to your heart. NOBODY holds the VT no-bullshit ethos closer to their heart than I do. NOBODY. I invented it for fucks sake.

I was in a movie called "Stuffing The Ballot Box".

I played the role of Box.

Chuck thanks for your response. I apologize if you feel my critique was in anyway unfair. I hope next year, you and the editor team will share a little bit more about your selection process. I will let this thread die now and now go have some calming herbal tea. Thanks for what you guys do hear, its easy to throw mud at blogs. I am the first to admit I could not do what you guys do, I don't have the passion or writing skill and just because I sometimes take issue with your opinion in no way means I don't appreciate VT.

@BigHoss you're my second favourite poker room after @RobbieNomi

So let me ask a question. Given that the editors of VT do not receive any kickbacks from Derek, is it appropriate that his relationship with them may influence the way they percieve the D and GG?

I say of course it is appropriate. In the same way it is appropriate that is relationship with all of us regular schmucks has influence broad reader opinion of the D. Look, we walk into the D, and they have a great product in a great location and holy shit, the owner of the joint is sitting right there at the bar having drinks and chatting with customers.

The skeptics yell "He's just doing that for promotion!" Yeah? well so fucking what? What do you want? do you expect the dude to invite you over to his house for a dip in the hot tub? How the crap is it a problem that an owner talks to his patrons and that adds to the perceived value of the place? As many on here have been saying, it is not all about check boxes of how many whiskeys are available. If so, the bar at Sage would bitch slap pretty much all other bars.

It's not about paytables or any other one thing alone. We all have an OPINION of what we like the most. This is largely based on where we have had the most fun. For me, it is Bellagio and Venetian. (Cromwell has been much fun also.) Downtown, I like the Nugget because it has just the right atmosphere for me. But you can bet your ass I'm giving some play to the D and GG and will walk up and shake Dereks hand while I'm there because I've only met him once before and I think he's doing a great job. So, I'm not voting for the D in many categories but I can sure as hell see why someone would do so without thinking they were bribed to do it.

The editors picks are decided upon via a six hour conference call wherein we discuss the thoughts we each individually have about potential winners and why. On occasion, we consult with trusted advisors and experts in categories we feel we need more information about.

You expressed an aversion to listening to six hours of webcast webcast, but since you're asking, I suggest that you give a listen to the tail end of the second half of this years show when I post it later this week. You'll get to hear, in real time, how The Editors came to the decision for what the winner of the Best In Show category should be. This is exactly how we decide all of the categories.... discussion and debate, back and forth. Sometimes we don't agree, sometimes we disagree but find enough validity in a colleagues argument to give them support even if we feel our choice is better. We do this specifically for the purpose you are asking about... to pull back the curtain and demonstrate readers and listeners how we make decisions.

Regarding the readers choices: we require that folks register for a VT account to vote in The Trippies. We started requiring registration for the 2015 Trippies (last year.) Some folks complained that this meant that voting isn't open anymore and we can fuck off. Oh well. Having to register for an account is a big enough speed bump to keep the ballot stuffers away. Additionally, every vote is now attached to a username. We know based on the account dates, which folks are regulars and who just registered to vote. The newly registered accounts are scrutinized a little more closely. I run a script that counts the number of categories each user did or didn't vote on, if the user doesn't reach a certain threshold for votes, their ballot is flagged as incomplete. Most ballot stuffers will vote for the first 5 categories then jump to the one they're there to stuff then hit submit. Forcing registration has decreased ballot stuffing by 90%. I study all incomplete ballots to ascertain why votes are incomplete. Some people might not vote in the dining section and the technology section, but vote dutifully in the other ones. Based on manual examination and my best guess, I may change the status of incomplete ballots to complete ballots. I then run a script that counts all of the votes in all categories from completed, approved ballots. This shows us who won and how many votes they got. I run another script that counts the votes in the "overall" category of each section to determine the readers choice for Best in Show, which is a way of extracting an overall winner and bypassing the possibility of it being a popularity contest.

I hope this helps you understand the process a little bit more.

Jesus, it's like nobody even noticed I got the nod for "Worst Slots," too. Why do I even fucking try anymore.

Yer also the worst chef @BigHoss.... I don't think you Vegas very well. But I'll share a boat of gravy with you anyday!

If memory serves me right, @BigHoss, you were the man who heroically sounded the alarm over a certain floating malfeasance in the Wynn pool a few years ago. So don't give up hope yet, maybe next year VT will bestow you with an honorary "Best Civilian Turd Patrol" award. It would be well deserved, sir.

I have to say that there are many winners both on the editor's and reader's lists that I disagree with, and these disagreements ranges from "ehh, i'm not sure about that" to "those votes were made just out of habit" to "that is total BS". Having said that, I find the trippies very entertaining. I love to hear and or read about other peoples opinions on Vegas, not just the ones that conform to my own opinions.

If you think that you are getting an objective rating based on a defined set of measurable criteria, then you aren't paying attention. Casino Royale won for best social media last year for fucks sake. How the hell, does casino royale win for best social media? Well if you took the time to listen to the podcast, you would know the answer to that. The answer was beautiful and summed up the trippies perfectly. It won because there was an honesty to it that was missing from other social media. It won because, for the editors at least, it was the best. It won because it fit the property and customer in a way that no other social media accomplished. Does that mean that the casino royale twitter should win the twitter version of the the CLIO? Probably not, but this is the trippies not the twitter clios.

The biggest problem with rating anything in Vegas is that you truly are trying to compare apples and oranges and bruised bananas and rotten peaches(flamingo). Can you say that the service at Wynn is better than the service at Monte Carlo? Probably, but you can make the argument that Monte Carlo executes service at a 3.5 star level for 3 star prices, while wynn provides 4.5 star service at 5 star prices.

If I ran an internet Vegas award program I would probably call the chickenbone categories ChickenBreasts and chickenboners simply because I would be expressing my favorites and where I recommend to friends vs the places that let me down or places I warn friends against. When you call something the best it implies some universal appeal rather than a more subjective opinion. If the gang at VT is guity of anything this is it. They use the term "best" when perhaps "favorite" may be better suited. I also feel like they punted on too many categories.

Is the D over represented? Yes of course it is and with good reason. Vimfp was, by all accounts, a huge success and everyone had an amazing time. Its that simple. The VT editors and readers have an affinity towards the D and Golden Gate because they had a great time there. Isn't that why we all love Vegas? You do not go to Vegas to look at the architecture, or eat at 5 star restaurants, or see Britney spears, or stay in a hotel room bigger than teh house you grew up in. You go to escape life and have a great time. So, if the long bar helps you do that better than alibi at Aria, or you would rather play Black Jack at Golden Gate than grind away at deuces wild at Sams Town, you're not wrong to say those places are the best.

That's my two cents for what it's worth.




^ more like a buck fifty. Thanks for all of it, bones.

For the record my votes were cast by Donald Trump.

Chuck, is the dining section going to be upgraded by the way? There are a whole lot of places I would love to see there.

Very nice job as always on the trippies. I can only imagine how much work it is. I must have missed all the awards for the D from the editors, think I counted 2, outside of video poker (who the fuck cares anymore who has best VP, anywhere DT or on the strip basically sucks)? And one was DLEV, which if you've visited for an event, is a pretty nice venue to watch a concert in. The other was longbar I believe. Since the staff of VT is probably a bit smaller then say the Conde Naste travel guide, I'm willing to give them a bit of a pass in naming best bar, trips are short and staff is small, so rating a bar is going to come back to a bit of personal experience, add in a gathering of friends regularly at a bar, and I'm not sure it's a big surprise that longbar might be named. Hell, I have favorite bars at home that are dumps, that I'd rather go to then something upscale.

Besides everyone already knows VT was built on pure Wynn bias and love, that has changed some since Misnomer is so unfunny, but the history of that is still solid.

Personally, it think the results are more an issue of selection bias than editor bias. People like VT, Vegas Gang, etc and they experience VIMPF at the D and have fun. That fun and the overall pool of similarly minded people creates the bias. No claim as made that it was a scientific poll.

However, in my opinion, the D is certainly compensating VT. We can split hairs if it is direct or indirect compensation, but that's irrelevant. I think that any form of compensation could reasonably intentionally/unintentionally affect objectivity. If it is not not monetary compensation, then non-monetary compensation through the value of advertising, use of space, hotel discounts, preferred concert access, etc. That should undoubtedly be disclosed, again, in my opinion.








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