Summer time in Las Vegas can be a boring one for sports fans unless they love baseball and nothing else. Baseball fans like me may be in ecstasy watching games all day and night. On the other hand, fans of other sports typically don’t have sports on the mind when spending summer days in Las Vegas. That will change this July when a few of the sports you can normally enjoy in the summer are joined by some new blood.
UFC International Fight Week – July 7-12
Last year over 30,000 UFC fans came to Las Vegas for UFC International Fight Week. Fight week includes events which range from pool parties, to concerts, to fighter meet and greets and the extremely popular UFC Fan Expo. The UFC Fan expo will take place at Sands Convention Center for the first time. The Expo will include interactive experiences, autograph sessions and fitness challenges and one of the largest collections of amateur combat sports tournaments held under one roof. Fight week culminates in the double title fight card UFC 189: Aldo vs. McGregor at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 11.
NBA Summer League – July 10-20
The NBA Summer League is traditionally one of the best sporting events you’ll find in Vegas any time of year. The 10 day NBA Summer League is set up like a basketball tournament but is more focused on getting newly drafted NBA players and young free agents acquainted with their new or potentially new coaches.
If you’re from a large city checking out the games at the NBA Summer League is a great way to get affordable seats close to future NBA stars. Depending on which games you go to you may also catch some current and past NBA players hanging around in a casual environment. For reference, you could have seen players like Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis before they were the superstars they are today in previous years of the NBA Summer League.
National Fantasy Football Convention – July 10 through July 12
There will be fantasy sports conferences available to the public in Las Vegas for the first time ever. The Venetian strikes first for fantasy football players when they play host to the inaugural National Fantasy Football Convention from July 10 through July 12. The host of the event itself is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. The three-day event will unite fans with football players, sports personalities, and affiliated brands. Odell Beckham, Jr., Rob Gronkowski, Jamaal Charles, Antonio Brown, DeMarco Murray, Eddie Lacy, Dez Bryant, and Julio Jones are a few of the athletes who are scheduled to appear.
Fantasy Sports Combine – July 17 through July 19
A week later there’s a conference for all fantasy sports takes over Wynn Las Vegas. The Fantasy Sports Combine will take place from July 17 through July 19. This is also their inaugural event and will offer a collection of fantasy experts from all sports who may be able to help you gain an edge on how to win daily, weekly and season-long fantasy leagues in all sports – but mostly football. Their notable personalities will include fantasy gurus John Hansen of DirecTV and Sirius XM, Brad Evans of Yahoo Sports, football coaches Mike Shanahan and Mike Ditka, athletes such as Brandon Marshall and Von Miller.
Yahoo! Sports Radio Superweek – July 13-18
If you’re an avid listener to sports talk radio then you’ll be excited for this week of events at Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo. For the second year in a row, the stars of the national Yahoo! Sports Radio lineup will broadcast live from Lagasse’s. You’ll be able to catch The Steve Czaban Show, Inside the Lines with Marty Hurney and Lanny Ford, Travis Rodgers NOW, Hit ‘Em Up with Geoff Ketchum, Prime Cut with Sean Salisbury and John Granato, and Sports X Radio with Ken Thomson.
TopSpin Charity Ping Pong Tournament – July 18
Chris Paul is back this summer to host the Third Annual TopSpin Charity Ping Pong Tournament. Yes, ping pong. Sixteen athletes will go head-to-head in a ping pong tournament, testing their skills off the court. This year’s lineup hasn’t been announced yet but Stephen Curry, Rudy Gay, Isaiah Thomas and Jerry Stackhouse, are just a few of the athletes who participated in 2014.
Staying in a hotel away from the action of the Vegas Strip or Downtown Vegas can be a great way to save money when visiting Las Vegas. Hotel rooms are often less expensive. In the case of Red Rock Resort you’ll find a luxury hotel fit for the Vegas Strip in a more serene environment in the suburbs.
One of the common reasons people give for not staying at hotels in the touristy areas of Las Vegas is access of getting to and from attractions from hotel. There’s also legitimate concern about the cost of a taxi to some of these hotels that are off the beaten path.
Many of the hotels understand this and make it relatively easy to get around Las Vegas by offering their guests free shuttles. Here’s a look at the hotel shuttle services available (usually but not always only for hotel guests)
Gold Coast: Shuttle service stops at The Orleans and Vegas Strip.
Green Valley Ranch: Shuttle service available to airport and also Mandalay Bay.
Hard Rock: Shuttle service is to and from Fashion Show Mall.
M Resort: Shuttle service available to airport and also Fashion Show Mall.
The Orleans: Shuttle service stops at Gold Coast and Vegas Strip.
Palace Station: Shuttle service is between airport and hotel.
Palms: Shuttle service is to and from the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.
Rampart/JW Marriot: Shuttle service is to and from Fashion Show Mall.
Red Rock Resort: Shuttle service available to airport and also Fashion Show Mall.
Rio: Shuttle only runs from The Rio to Bally’s/Paris and Harrah’s.
Sam’s Town: Two separate shuttles run to Harrah’s and Downtown Vegas.
South Point: Free shuttle service is between airport and hotel. $8 shuttle to Vegas Strip available.
Suncoast: Shuttle service is between airport and hotel.
Silverton: Shuttle service available to airport and also Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.
Silver Sevens: Shuttle service is between airport and hotel.
Venetian/Palazzo: Shuttle service is between airport and hotel for Club Grazie Gold & Platinum.
These are all brief overviews of the free shuttles offered by some of the hotels in and around Las Vegas. If you’re considering staying at any of these hotels you should check to make sure the shuttle is operating. These shuttles are an amenity that may only be offered when there’s demand for it.
Here are a few notes about these free Las Vegas shuttles. They are primarily for hotel guests and available on a first come first served basis so they’ll receive priority when boarding. Some of the casinos will board by players club tiers so higher level customers get priority service. The shuttles that aren’t meant to be used as airport shuttles will not allow luggage so you can’t just make a shuttle an airport shuttle.
Whenever a hotel in Las Vegas closes or another hotel begins construction it’s usually a good time to look back at the great things that were in Las Vegas or to look forward to what will become the next great thing in future Las Vegas. This month gives an opportunity for both with old properties closing and new properties beginning. Today we’re going to look forward at what the future holds for Las Vegas.
The way I see it, the future of Las Vegas looks bright. The next step in the future of Las Vegas isn’t a large step but it’s a significant step.
Penn National Gaming Taking Over The Tropicana
Penn National recently announced that they will purchase the Tropicana. This will be their first foray on the Vegas Strip but they’re not new to the city. Penn National already operates M Resort which is about 10 miles from the Vegas Strip. There aren’t any major changes expected for Tropicana. The biggest change will be when Penn National brings their national casino players club, Marquee Rewards, to the Tropicana. Their initial phase of marketing will focus on their existing customers around the country. This sale could bring a whole new group of casino visitors to the south end of the Vegas Strip as Penn National has 26 properties in 16 states and Canada.
Bye Bye Hooters. Hello TBD
Hooters Casino was just sold to Trinity Hotel Investments from New York. You probably have no idea who Trinity is but they have a lot of hotel interests. Trinity has had partnerships with hotels operated by some of the biggest national companies like Crown Plaza, DoubleTree By Hilton and Holiday Inn. Word is that they will remove the Hooters name then rename the property. Although a new name and brand hasn’t been decided the rumor is that the hotel will partner with Holiday Inn somehow. As of this time Navegante will operate the casino. Navegante has recently operated the casino at LVH/Westgate. This sale is only a week old so we’re not sure what to really expect besides saying goodbye to Hooters Casino. Possibly related to this sale is that Hooters will soon open their largest restaurant in the country at Palms.
Crown-Packer Luxury Resort
Late last year James Packer, who owns Crown Resorts, purchased land across the street from Wynn Las Vegas where the New Frontier used once stood. Plans for the hotel have been relatively quiet. The one thing we know is that he’s planning to build a new luxury casino from scratch on empty the land. Construction hasn’t begun so it’s difficult to say what we’ll see when this project will be completed but they’ve said it will open in 2017, which is difficult to believe since construction has yet to begin. Former Wynn Las Vegas President Andrew Pascal will be a part of the team so we’ll see a new, but experienced, casino operator coming to Vegas in a couple years.
Resorts World Las Vegas Breaks Ground
We’ve already given you an overview of what to expect from Resorts World Las Vegas but it’s too exciting not to go through it again. Resorts World is one of the most ambitious projects in Las Vegas since MGM Resorts built the complex once known as CityCenter (You may know this better as Aria, Harmon (RIP), Veer, Vdara, Mandarin Oriental and the Crystals mall). Resorts World will have 3 hotels and 3,000 hotel rooms, a 100,000 square foot casino with over 3,000 slot machines and table games, 30 restaurants and bars, a 4,000 seat theater, a panda habitat (like the MGM lions) a 50,0000 square foot, 58 foot tall aquarium and a shopping area along the Strip that will resemble a Chinese village. The property will be operated by Genting Group who currently have no ties to Las Vegas but have a few properties spread out over the world with a heavy hand in Asia.
No less than four new hotel operators will be coming to the Vegas Strip in the next few years and something tells me that there will be more when other existing properties are sold. It looks like there will be a lot of new blood running things in Las Vegas and that’s exciting.
Las Vegas is one of the few cities in the world that really never sleeps. Casinos don’t close and nightclubs go into the wee hours of the morning. Whether you’re a party animal not ready to crash or a casino worker working the late or overnight shift and in need of a bite at an odd hour Las Vegas has a solution for you.
Graveyard dining specials have become legendary in Las Vegas over the years. These late night dining specials are almost as famous as the old “$1.99 buffet” with one exception. You can still find Graveyard specials all over Las Vegas. They’re not offered everywhere like they used to be but you can still find a late night dining deal for less than $10 if you know where to look.
We’ve done the looking and here are 5 of the best Las Vegas Graveyard Specials you’re going to find in a casino.
Silverton (Sundance Grill) – There are a good amount of choices here so let’s start with the least expensive: If you just need a late night snack you can snag the All-American Sliders for .99 each. If you’re a hungrier you can grab the Wild Card Special for $2.95 (2 eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns, toast) or the even larger option of Ham and Eggs for $3.95 (2 eggs, grilled ham, hash browns, toast).
Station Casinos (Grand Cafe) – There are 7 different casinos offering various overnight specials if you have a players club card (sign up here). The All-Nighter Skillet (2 eggs, hash browns, toast) is only $1.99, a Short Stack of pancakes or an order of Biscuits and Gravy are each also $1.99. You can step up your meals to a Classic Burger & Fries for $2.99 or 8 oz. New York Steak and Eggs for $5.99.
The Orleans (Courtyard Cafe) – While these are a little more expensive than some of the other options the late night specials at the Orleans are available for a longer period of time than most of the other Graveyard Specials between 10 P.M. to 7 A.M. on Mondays through Thursdays. You can choose from Southwestern Egg Rolls, Steak and Cheese Nachos or Potato Skins for $4.99 each.
South Point (Coronado Cafe) – The sheer number of Graveyard Specials here could fill up a lesser cafe’s entire menu. You’ll find a Cheeseburger, Biscuits and Gravy, Bacon and Eggs, Steak and Eggs and even a Pancake Sandwich (with ham and fried eggs) for under $4! The South Point is about a 10 minute taxi from Mandalay Bay during the overnight hours and these prices are worth the trek if you’re looking for a late night bargain.
Ellis Island (the Cafe) – Ellis Island is located right behind Bally’s on Koval Lane. Off the bat you should know that there are dining and beer specials here all day and night. You can pretty much eat a full meal for around $10 any time of day. However, Ellis Island’s location makes it the closest Graveyard Special to the Vegas Strip that you’ll find on this list. The amount of late night breakfast dishes under $5 is fantastic. You can choose from 2 or 3 Eggs Any Style with hash browns and toast, The Breakfast Special with scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and bacon or sausage and Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast.
Las Vegas is different from just about every other city when it comes to entertainment. Unlike other cities most of the hotels, casinos, restaurants, shows and bars are owned and operated by major corporations. The past couple of years has seen security breaches at major corporations all across the country. There are only so many businesses with huge customer databases as large as Target, Sony and Sears to attack that hackers have begun to turn their attention elsewhere.
Smaller, but still large, companies like Staples and Home Depot were next on the list of businesses for hackers to attack. Somewhere down the line Las Vegas hotels will become a more regularly targeted business by hackers. The security breaches have slowly started hitting Las Vegas.
In December 2013, Affinity Gaming had their data security hacked. Affinity Gaming operates a small casino off the Vegas Strip called Silver Sevens. Hackers breached previously secure credit card data for the chain of casinos.
Last year hacking escalated when Las Vegas Sands security was breached. The owners of The Venetian and Palazzo had customer data stolen. Not just credit cards but all of their customer information. Additionally, Iranian hackers attacked employee data for that work for Las Vegas Sands threatening to release the private information.
The Mandarin Oriental hotel chain had their security breached last year as well. Hackers snagged credit card and customer information from their various hotels around the world including Las Vegas.
Most recently the Hard Rock Hotel had security breached at some of their bars and restaurants from September 2014 through April 2015. The attack was limited to credit or debit card transactions at specific restaurants, bars and retail locations inside the Hard Rock. Culinary Dropout was affected but the attack did not affect transactions at the hotel, casino, Nobu, Affliction, John Varvatos, Rocks, Hart & Huntington Tattoo or Reliquary Spa and Salon.
This appears to be just the beginning of Las Vegas hotel security attacks. While most of the attacks have been targeted to gain customer data the Las Vegas Sands attack potentially sheds light that attacks may be headed in another direction in the future.
Customer data may be the easiest way to profit from a cyber attack but it’s not the only reason to attack a casino operator. All it takes is one bad night at a casino, nightclub or restaurant for a hacker to become upset and hack the business. Hackers aren’t always looking for ways to make money. Sometimes they’re goal is to agitate or disrupt a business.
When it comes to business operations Las Vegas isn’t very different than the rest of the world. It’s easy to get caught up in the Vegas excitement (because Vegas Baby!) but you should keep an eye on your money before, during and after a trip. All businesses have your safety in mind but sometimes that’s not always enough.
The first Saturday in May is usually one of the most underrated weekends of the year for sports fans to visit Las Vegas. The weather begins to warm up and every year there’s an amazing full day of sports action to watch and wager on. Some of sports include the running of the Kentucky Derby, baseball games from morning until night, NBA and NHL playoffs all capped off by a big boxing match. After all of the sports action there are usually Cinco De Mayo celebrations all over Las Vegas.
This year is a little different as the boxing match is beyond the traditional big fight. Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao is seen as the fight of the decade or fight of the century by many people. This isn’t hyperbole. Tickets to see the fight went on sale last week between $1,500 and $7,500 and sold out in less than two minutes.
Immediately after tickets were sold out a quick check of StubHub showed just over 100 people re-selling their tickets for prices between $5,000 for upper deck corner seats and $70,000 for ring level seats. People are now asking over $350,000 for a ringside seats while upper level seats are listed on StubHub for $4,500.
Most big fights sell out but these secondary market prices are unprecedented. The day before big fights there’s usually a free Weigh In with the fighters for the public. This is mostly used to drum up some extra publicity before the fight. The promoters for Mayweather v. Pacquiao decided to charge $10 with the proceeds going to charity. Well, those tickets also sold out and are on StubHub for as much as $700. No word if StubHub is offering their proceeds to charity.
The initial batch of 30,000 tickets for closed circuit viewing supposedly sold out before the weekend although rumors say you can call respective box offices and still find some tickets. More closed circuit viewing options will be put on sale during and those are also expected to sell quickly. These closed circuit viewing tickets will cost $150. Viewing for last year’s Floyd Mayweather fights was half the price.
Viewing parties and bars, restaurants and clubs range anywhere from $350 per person to $1,000 per person. The only hotels you can watch the fight will be MGM Resorts hotels and as you can see you’ll have to pay a pretty penny. Unlike other big fights you’ll be able to watch the fight at every MGM Resorts hotel. Here is a list of where you can watch the action.
Aria – Ironwood Ballroom, Juniper Ballroom, Zarkana Theater
Bellagio – Hyde
Circus Circus – TBA
Excalibur – Excalibur Ballroom
Luxor – Criss Angel Theater, Jabba Theater, Luxor Ballroom
Mandalay Bay – Mandalay Bay Beach, Michael Jackson ONE Showroom, South Pacific Ballroom
MGM Grand – Beacher’s Madhouse, Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club, Crush, KA Theater, TAP, The Signature Lounge
Monte Carlo – Blue Man Group Theater, Double Barrel Roadhouse
The Mirage – Terry Fator Theater
New York-New York – America Restaurant, Zumanity Theater
Tickets are available at each hotel or venue’s respective box office and/or ticketmaster. Note that some of these may have sold out while other options will be added during week. If you’re a gambler with a host you should check with them for availability.
One last note: Las Vegas police have already issued a traffic warning for this weekend. They only do this on days and nights when part of the Vegas Strip is closed like New Year’s Eve and the Rock N Roll marathon. The Strip will be a parking lot on Saturday. Prepare to walk or take the monorail if you want to get around. You can buy monorail tickets here.
Las Vegas is all about supply and demand. Economics isn’t a fun topic for most of us when talking about Las Vegas but it’s important to understand some basic concepts when planning a trip. Let’s look at the laws of supply and demand this week since it affects just about everything in Las Vegas.
“The law of supply states that the quantity of a good supplied (i.e., the amount owners or producers offer for sale) rises as the market price rises, and falls as the price falls. Conversely, the law of demand (see demand) says that the quantity of a good demanded falls as the price rises, and vice versa.” – Library of Economics and Liberty
Understanding this premise is essential to understand hotel room prices in Las Vegas. When there are a lot of rooms available (low demand, high supply) prices are less expensive than when there are fewer hotel rooms available (high demand, low supply). The idea makes sense and people visiting Las Vegas have been taking note.
Last year more than half of visitors (54%) to Las Vegas planned their trip over one month in advance. Planning trips to Las Vegas early is a great way to save money – even during busy times. If you planned your trip to Las Vegas for the weekend of May 2nd last year when supply was high you’ll probably end up spending half the amount of money on hotel rooms as people that waited for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight to be announced this year.
The first Saturday in May always has a big boxing match but it’s not the most popular weekend of the year. The weekend is busier in some years more than others so it’s possible there will be high demand. That’s reflected in demand and pricing for hotel rooms, show tickets, restaurant reservations, etc. Knowing that the first weekend in May can potentially be very busy will be a time and money saver.
Knowing the demand curve for Las Vegas will usually help save you money when planning a trip. Demand is high and supply is low for hotel rooms in Las Vegas during Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, the week after Christmas through New Years Day, CES and Super Bowl. Not surprising, with greater demand hotel room prices are expensive during these times. If you wait until the last minute to make plans restaurants and shows may also sell out if you don’t book in advance.
The slowest time in Las Vegas with the largest supply and some of the cheapest prices for hotel rooms is after Thanksgiving until Christmas. Hotels are at about 25%-30% capacity at that time so there is plenty supply available. You’ll be able to get cheaper prices no matter when you book for this time frame because of excess supply. You can also find reservations at restaurants and tickets for shows that may not normally be available.
I’ve been making the week before Christmas (or around that time) a holiday in Vegas for years. The excess of supply in hotel rooms makes this a great time of year to extend the dollar. Some years we’ll look to save money on hotel rooms. Other years we’ll look to upgrade hotels to experience luxury at the price of mid-level hotels. Either way we can find new ways to experience and enjoy Las Vegas
It’s that time of year again. Spring has sprung and temperatures in Las Vegas a teetering at the 90 degree mark. We’re entering the most beautiful time of the year in Las Vegas. The weather is warm during the day but not hot. There’s a slight chill in the air when the sun goes down but it’s not cold. Ahhhhh…breathe in.
This beautiful weather only lasts about 6 weeks before temperatures reach the 100 degree mark. Some people prefer the desert heat during the middle of the summer and some prefer the warm winters. There’s no arguing that the weather, despite occasional winds, is perfect right now in Las Vegas.
It’s time to get outside of the casino for a little while and relax. There’s no better way to do that than dining al fresco. You can grab a meal outside at any time of the day from breakfast to late night dessert. Restaurants with outdoor dining range from the uber fancy fine dining restaurants at Wynn Las Vegas to the simple cup of coffee at Sambalatte outside of Monte Carlo. If you’re looking for something in the middle you can head to Planet Hollywood for some middle of the road restaurants and bars.
There are a lot of restaurants that offer al fresco dining in Las Vegas today and more will be coming as the Vegas Strip continues to reinvent itself. Here’s a rundown of restaurants where you can grab a bite or strap on a feedbag outside on the Vegas Strip.
Bellagio – Prime, Picasso, Jasmine
Caesars Palace – Serendipity 3
Cosmopolitan – Estiatorio Milos, Overlook Grill
Flamingo – Carlos and Charlies
The Linq – Guy Fieri’s Kitchen, Chayo, Yard House, Flour and Barley
Mandarin Oriental – Pool Cafe
Monte Carlo – Diablo’s Cantina, Double Barrel Roadhouse, Sambalatte, 800 Degrees Pizza
New York New York – Shake Shack, Tom’s Urban, Nine Fine Irishmen
Mandalay Bay – Border Grill
Palazzo – Lavo, Morels French Steakhouse, Lagasse’s Stadium
Paris – Mon Ami Gabi, Hexx
Planet Hollywood – Cabo Wabo, PBR Rock Bar
SLS Las Vegas – Umami Burger
Tropicana – Beach Cafe
Venetian – Bouchon, B & B Burger and Beer
Wynn Las Vegas – Country Club, SW, Lakeside Seafood, La Cave, Terrace Point Cafe, Botero, Mizumi, Tableau
You’ll need a reservation for some of the restaurants listed above – specifically the restaurants at Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas along with Border Grill at Mandalay Bay (especially for brunch). If you want to ensure outdoor seating I advise calling the individual restaurants. OpenTable and other reservation apps don’t guarantee where you sit.
One of the things we love most about Las Vegas is that it’s constantly changing. Restaurants, shows, bars, hotel rooms are all refreshed regularly to meet current customer preferences. Recently we’ve seen a drastic shift in casinos and hotels in Las Vegas to do a major shift in customer demand. Visitors to Las Vegas are very different than the visitors just 5 years ago.
Every year around this time the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) releases a survey on the visitors to Las Vegas from the previous year. There are rarely any major surprises but this survey does a good job at summarizing who’s visiting Las Vegas. In turn the information helps explain why Las Vegas is changing the way it is.
The largest trend continues to be that the average age of Las Vegas visitors continues to decrease. 21 to 29 year olds accounted for 17% of tourists in 2014 compared to 10% in 2010. Overall, 44% of visitors to Las Vegas last year were under 40 years old. Altogether the average age of the visitor to Las Vegas was 45, down from 49 in 2010.
This is a difference you’ll see when you’re out and about on the Vegas Strip. As we get older it’s easier to see when younger people are around. This change can also be seen in the layout of the casino which includes more amenities geared towards these younger visitors.
54% of visitors in 2014 planned their trip to Las Vegas more than one month in advance up significantly from 50% in 2011 and 46% in 2012. One of the best ways to save money on vacation in Las Vegas is to plan early. You’ll save money even if you’re just booking hotel rooms while they’re cheap. If prices decrease you can always cancel and book elsewhere or re-book at the same hotel.
The number of visitors to Las Vegas that took taxis has skyrocketed over the past 5 years. In 2010 only 23% of visitors took taxis. Last year 32% of all visitors took taxis. Las Vegas taxis are infamous for long hauling customers. Being long hauled makes for higher taxi fees which doesn’t make any visitor to Las Vegas happy. Here are some tips to save money on taxi fares.
The biggest change in visitors to Las Vegas is their lack of desire to gamble. Only about 12%, say that they’re coming to Las Vegas primarily to gamble. Those that did gamble increased their budget slightly to $530.11. While that’s a slight increase (less than $1) from last year it’s a huge increase from 2010 when $466.20 was budgeted for gambling.
People are still gambling then they visit Las Vegas but it’s no longer the main reason they visit. The shows, nightclubs, restaurants, pool parties and bars are all a larger part of the Vegas experience for visitors today. It’s not the Vegas I grew up with but it’s still a place to do things that I love. If you’d like to see the full report you can find it at the LVCVA website.
Las Vegas is a special place for many of us in many different ways. While I may never forget the memory playing blackjack at 11am and hearing that Dido song on my second trip someone else may have a different favorite memory from a Las Vegas vacation. My parents were so in awe of the volcano outside of The Mirage they probably watched it ten times on their first visit to Las Vegas.
MGM Grand has undergone many changes since first opening in Las Vegas. Those changes never seem to end as new restaurants open and hotel rooms are renovated. That’s Las Vegas in a nutshell – constant change. A few years ago MGM Grand closed and removed one of its most popular free attractions when the Lion Habitat was closed to make room for Tap Sports Bar.
It’s sad to see something so beloved leave the casinos in Las Vegas. In the case of the Lion Habitat it’s gone but not really. The Lion Habitat still exists – sort of. The offspring of lions previously housed at MGM Grand have moved to the Lion Habitat Ranch in Henderson, NV. The Lion Habitat Ranch is about 15-20 minutes from the Vegas Strip.
Unlike the original Lion Habitat the ranch isn’t open to the public 24/7 and they charge to see the animals. Admission to the non-profit Lion Habitat Ranch is $25 for adults and $60 for a family. Discounts on admission are available to locals, students and military.
The Lion Habitat Ranch is more than just a conservatory for lions. The 6.2-acre ranch is home to 46 lions and various other animals including emus, ostriches and a giraffe. The Lion Habitat Ranch welcomed a record breaking, six baby lion cubs, born to mom, Pebbles, on April 1, 2015.
You can see the lion cubs and the rest of the animals at Lion Habitat Ranch which is located at 382 Bruner Ave. in Henderson, Nevada (Near M Resort). Visit lionhabitatranch.org for more information.
(Photo credit: Lion Habitat Ranch, Inc.)
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