One of the largest pet peeves with visitors in Las Vegas are with taxi cabs. Las Vegas taxis are infamous for long hauling customers. Bring long hauled makes for larger taxi fees which doesn’t make any visitor to Las Vegas happy. Here are some tips to save money on taxi fares. Keep those tips handy because you’re going to want them on your next visit.
Las Vegas will soon have the 2nd highest fares for taxis among tourist based cities America. Last week the Nevada Taxicab Authority approved an increase in taxi fares of more than 8%. The board approved a measure that would make taxi rates increase as follows:
1. Rates increase from $3.30 for the initial drop to $3.45.
2. Rates increase 20 cents per 1/13th of a mile to 22 cents per 1/13th of a mile (That’s $2.60 to $2.86 a mile).
3. Wait-time charges of $30 an hour increase to $32.40 an hour.
In an act of kindness the Nevada Taxicab Authority will keep the McCarran International Airport pickup fee at $2. There is no date on when taxi rates will increase so it can happen any time. This is the first taxi rate increase since 2008.
Planning a vacation is one of the easiest and most overlooked ways to save money in Las Vegas. While it’s easy to make an early macro plan for your trip to Las Vegas (airfare, hotels) we shouldn’t forget the micro planning (meals, activities) of your days while on vacation. That’s what we’re going to do today.
Planning what you’re going to eat in Las Vegas is a great way to save money. Spontaneity is part of what makes visiting Las Vegas fun. Not every plan is rigid and set in stone. What I’m going to discuss doesn’t involve specific locations. What I’m going to discuss is more of a ideology based dining plan.
The later in the day you visit a buffet the more expensive they are. Breakfast is the least expensive and most cost effective buffet of the day. If you’re not big on breakfast you can head over to the buffet as it gets closer to lunch time. You’ll be able to eat a wider variety of food as the the assortment changes over.
If you’re a heavy coffee drinker like I am a breakfast buffet is great. You can get pots on pots on pots of coffee for your table. Compare this to $3-$5 per cup at a quick serve coffee stand in the casino and you’re probably saving money already.
Depending on which buffet you visit for breakfast you may have an omelet station to make a fresh dish as if you were at a traditional restaurant. Combine the coffee copious amounts of coffee with an inexpensive meal and you have a full stomach to power you through a day in Las Vegas.
If you’ve been to Las Vegas recently you should have noticed a lot of changes. These changes are meant to keep the city fresh to returning customers and to attract newer and younger customers. Well, the good news for the casino and hotel operators is that the refreshments they’ve made to Las Vegas are working for the younger and, hopefully, future customers.
In the past two years the median age of the average customer in Las Vegas has gone from 50 years old to 44 years old. Simple math would tell you that’s a difference of six years. While six years isn’t exactly a lifetime it is an entirely different life. Nobody is the same today as they were six years ago. Six years ago the people that are now legal age to gamble were just 15.
That 50 year old that may be hitting a midlife crisis today was a relatively spry young 44 years old just six years ago. The change is made more drastic when you realize that a median is the midpoint of a value and not the average. In this case it means that there are many more new young people visiting than older people who continue to visit Las Vegas.
Not everyone that visits Las Vegas is coming to this wonderful town for the same reason. We know this simply by looking around. This is why we touch on different topics with the blog each week. We’re just trying to make sure everyone knows everything happening in Las Vegas. This is no easy task but we’re up for it.
Every year the Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority releases a survey of who’s actually visiting Las Vegas. Every year their findings confirm what we see and offer even more information than we could imagine. 64% of first time visitors to Las Vegas are coming to Las Vegas for vacation. That’s almost 2/3rds of visitors surveyed by Las Vegas! They know that they want to visit America’s adult playground but they’re just coming to town to relax and take a load off.
Veterans of visiting Las Vegas don’t realize how many new visitors there are to this city every year. While we’re always trying to offer ideas of new things things to do it’s important not to forget that there are still people who have never seen the classics like the Bellagio Fountains or the “Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas” Sign. Pro-Tip: Veterans should head past the Stratosphere to grab a pic at the “Welcome To Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas” sign.
We’re always looking out for ways to save money in Las Vegas. There are so many ways to save but some of those discounts, deals and special offers can get confusing. Marketing and advertising people are in the business of deception. Most people over 21 understand that the sandwich on TV never looks the same when they see it in person. We know that what we see isn’t always what we get. This is true anywhere but especially in Las Vegas where all marketing, PR and advertising is embellished to some degree.
Marketing can get confusing when a hotel, restaurant or show is promoting “specials”, “deals” and “discounts”. There’s often fine print with the great offers that we find. Here are some things to consider when you see an offer that seems too good to be true.
There’s a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for most items. Few businesses charge this much. They’ll often sell goods for a price that they think customers will pay, not what the manufacturer says. This discrepancy is what makes guessing prices on shows like The Price Is Right so difficult. When it comes to discounting things in Las Vegas like show tickets and hotel rooms make sure you can an eye on where the discount is coming from. Discounting a hotel room 20% from MSRP may not be as much of a discount than you’ll get from just searching for a hotel room on any travel website or entering your players club information in the casino website.
Las Vegas has a special for just about everything. You can visit a bar who sells a certain brand of beer for $5 a bottle. That same bar may also have a “special” where you can buy a bucket of 5 beers for $25. That’s not really a special. It’s just a commitment to buy 5 beers for the same price per beer as a single beer. The price isn’t the problem but the lack of truth in advertising is a problem. It’s a personal preference that I try to stay away from businesses that practice this kind of deception.
Halloween in Las Vegas is something else. Halloween may not be an official bank holiday but it feels like it could be in Las Vegas. Over the past few years the popularity of Halloween has exploded in Las Vegas unlike any other city. Let’s take a look at some of the bigger Halloween events besides what you’ll find in your favorite bar or club.
Fright Dome at Circus Circus: 7pm-midnight all month
Circus Circus’ Adventuredome is turned into Fright Dome for the month of October. Terror Dome is comprised of six (6!) haunted houses, four new “scare zones”, 25 rides and attractions, live performances and more. Fright Dome is a family friendly environment that is meant more for kids than their parents. Tickets begin at $39.95 with VIP passes available.
Fetish & Fantasy Ball at Hard Rock Hotel: October 31, 10pm-4am
The Fetish & Fantasy Ball has become a tradition in Las Vegas in the exact opposite way Fright Dome has. This is definitely not one for the kids and only 21 and over are allowed entry. The Ball expects around 7,500 guests at this year’s event. This is probably the most adult themed event that you will find for Halloween in Las Vegas. There are DJ’s, a variety of performers including fire breathers and more. The Fetish & Fantasy Ball is a huge freak fest unlike any other in the country. Words cannot do this justice so check out the NSFW teaser video for a better idea.
So, you’re in Las Vegas for the first time and you want some memories to take home to friends and family. Your stories of a great time can only have so much of an effect on others. You know your friends will appreciate the thought of an actual gift that they can keep. Like any city built on tourism there are gift shops everywhere to snag something for your friends and loved ones back home. Of course not all gift shops are created the same. In fact, not all gift shops are gift shops. More on that later. Let’s take a look at some places to find a souvenir.
Hotel Gift Shops
If you want a gift specifically branded from a certain hotel-casino in Las Vegas your best bet is to head to the property gift shop. You have the best chance of finding an Excalibur castle shirt at the gift shop on site. Just expect to pay higher hotel prices for the gifts whether you’re in the lobby or a mall at a hotel.
Drug stores are the best all purpose stores on the Vegas Strip. You can get inexpensive drinks, snacks and toiletries and you can also find Las Vegas souvenirs here. You won’t find the branded hotel souvenirs at CVS or Walgreens but you will find a nice selection Las Vegas shirts and other trinkets to bring home. Since these aren’t hotel prices you should expect to pay a little less than you would at a hotel gift shop.
The annual Global Gaming Expo happens in Las Vegas around this time every year. The conference is more commonly known as G2E and is expo and conference for the casino industry by the casino industry. It’s the largest casino industry gathering of the year. There are panels discussing the business side of things that casino executives find useful but the expo is where it’s at for casino visitors. The expo side of G2E is where all casinos look to buy products for their respective casinos. There’s everything available from signage and food to casino games. Someone has to buy those chairs for the Diamond Lounge at Planet Hollywood, right?
Slot machines, of all the different casino games at the expo, are what end up getting the most press. Unlike most other casino games on display you’ll see many of the slot machines from the expo on casino floors soon. Some slot machines like the new Wonder Woman slot machines may already be on casino floors as you read this!
New slot machines are so popular at G2E because they’re not just available in Las Vegas. Even small casinos and racinos located all across the country will have some of these slot machines on their property soon. Here are some of the highlights of the new games we found at G2E.
Social casino revenue is almost a $3 billion business according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. When it comes to social casinos in Las Vegas there’s really only one that seems to matter – MyVegas. MyVegas can lay claim to $60 million of $3 billion revenue. Wow, almost 20% of social casino revenue goes to a game that’s based on giving reward to Las Vegas hotels, casinos, activities and restaurants. When you think about it, this percentage of social casino revenue for MyVegas is small
Most social casino games are created for you to play simply to have fun. Your sole reward from most social casino games is fun. When you play MyVegas you can actually win physical rewards to use in Las Vegas (and elsewhere, now) while still having fun. If you’re going to spend money on a social casino game for fun why not actually get some useful rewards?
MyVegas has exploded in popularity since it was introduced two years ago. Surely some of the early players have stopped visiting the game on Facebook or haven’t looked at the mobile games lately. If you’re one of those people you’re missing out on a variety of new rewards. MyVegas has expanded from its humble beginnings where they offered rewards at MGM Resorts hotels. There’s nothing wrong with that but as the saying goes “if some is good, more must be better”.
Sometimes real world skills help make their way into Las Vegas. Budgeting skills from work or home life can make your vacation more affordable and even better. We discuss ways to save money when in Las Vegas pretty often but budgeting is one example of a way to get stoked for your vacation to Las Vegas well in advance of your visit.
Don’t confuse budgeting with planning. Personally, I like to keep plans in Las Vegas to a minimum. I enjoy the times when I get lost in the chasm that is Las Vegas. However, I always plan for my vacation in Las Vegas by getting a budget prepared. Budgeting for a Las Vegas vacation will help in an effort to save money. You can still enjoy your vacation without a plan but as long as you have your finances in order before visiting you’ll be able to get the most bang for your buck.
Budgeting begins with getting out to Las Vegas. Planning your vacation well in advance will give you better opportunities to find less expensive flights and hotel rooms. Even discount and complimentary hotel rooms increase in price as inventory decreases. Once inventory disappears so do the discounts.
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