Podcast-a-palooza comes to the Flamingo

Las Vegas is bigger than the sum of its parts, particularly on the Internet. There are a host of websites, blogs, bulletin boards and podcasts that dissect every aspect of the city’s resort culture. And, later this month, three of the best-known Las Vegas podcasts are broadcasting together, live from the Strip.

The event is called Vegas Podcast-a-palooza, and it brings together three prominent Las Vegas podcasts: the Vegas Gang, a roundtable discussion among several Vegas aficionados (including this author) with a business and design focus; The Strip Podcast, Steve Friess and Miles Smith’s interview/discussion show; and Five Hundy by Midnight, Tim and Michele Dressen’s view of Las Vegas from a visitor’s perspective (the two have had a love affair with the city since their marriage here in 1997). Each show broadcasts live, from Las Vegas, in front of an audience.

This year, the third for the event, Vegas Podcast-a-palooza is happening at the Flamingo on Oct. 30. According to Hunter Hillegas, creator of the Vegas Gang and the admiral responsible for coordinating the armada that comes together at Podcast-a-palooza, the event is all about enjoying Las Vegas, and talking about Las Vegas.

“Most of all, we want people to have fun,” he says. “It’s a chance to meet the hosts of the various shows and to meet other listeners.”

This year, for the first time, there will be a reception after the show, in which fans of the three shows can meet the hosts—and each other—and talk
Vegas until the Elvis impersonators come home.

“It’s a way to spend a few hours away from the slot machines and to spend time with other people that are as interested in Las Vegas’ main industry as you are,” Hillegas says.

Although the event benefits fans of the podcasts, it’s also a thrill for those who sit behind the microphone.

“Michele and I jumped at the chance to participate in Vegas Podcast-a-Palooza largely because we have such admiration for the hosts of the other two podcasts,” explains Tim Dressen, who, according to Hillegas, coined the Podcast-a-palooza name in 2008. “Getting to share a stage with them is an honor. Getting to meet so many of our listeners—the people who e-mail, comment, call and, ultimately, keep us motivated to continue producing Five Hundy by Midnight—is another reason we’re excited to be part of the event for the third consecutive year.

“I’m a big fan of both [of the other] shows, so I look forward to seeing them even more than doing our own show.” 

Others share Dressen’s enthusiasm.

“I think it’s particularly great that we all show through this effort that there are no rivalries between podcasters, that we all know there’s room for all of us—and more!—and we encourage our listeners to try the other shows,” says Steve Friess of The Strip Podcast.

In fact, the event came together because of the hosts’ mutual admiration for each other.

“I thought it would be fun just to get the three shows together, with the listeners, and do it all in person. I’d been to a couple of podcast meet-ups for Five Hundy By Midnight and they were really fun so I just wondered what the next logical step would be,” Hillegas says. “When I shared the idea with the other podcasters, everyone was really receptive. We were able to get the good folks at the Palms to take a chance on hosting the first show, and the rest is history.”

After spending a great two years at the Palms, Hillegas is looking forward to the move to the Flamingo. “We’re in one of the most historic hotels in Las Vegas,” Hillegas says, “and our friends at Harrah’s have worked really hard to crank things up a notch.”

And, a rarity on the Strip, the event is free. Not only that, but the Flamingo is offering a generous package to those who book in the GO room block through a special Vegas Podcast-a-palooza that includes a room rate, dining and entertainment discounts, and a Total Rewards credit multiplier.

The show is at the Flamingo GO pool 4-6:30 pm Oct. 30, with a reception afterward. The is no charge for admission, but attendees need to show tickets,which are available at VegasTripping.com/podcastapalooza. Those going to the show can a print out a ticket, or show one on their smartphone.