Last night Caesars Entertainment announced that their Vegas Stip resorts would begin charging for parking on December 19. They are the first Vegas Strip casino operator to announce that they would charge for parking since MGM Resorts International began charging for parking earlier this year. Caesars Entertainment’s lone off-strip resort, the Rio, won’t have any parking fees.
Caesars Entertainment has presumably been thinking about this plan since MGM Resorts rolled out paid parking earlier this year. However, unlike MGM Resorts it doesn’t appear that Caesars Entertainment has a specific plan set for parking fees at all of the resorts just yet.
Here’s what we know:
Caesars Entertainment will charge valet parking fees at select Las Vegas hotels. In the first half of 2017, select Las Vegas hotels will also begin charging for self-parking. Paid valet parking will begin at select properties starting Dec. 19 (The Linq and Harrah’s), and will continue to be implemented at other Las Vegas properties in early 2017.
Valet fees will be different depending on the property that you visit:
- Bally’s, Caesars Palace, The Cromwell, Paris, and Planet Hollywood will charge $13 for valet up to 4 hours and $18 for 4 to 24 hours. If you stay over 24 hours there will be a fee of $18 for each additional day or fraction or fraction of a day.
- Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas and The LINQ will charge $8 for valet up to 4 hours and $13 for 4 to 24 hours. If you stay over 24 hours there will be a fee of $13 for each additional day or fraction or fraction of a day.
Las Vegas locals won’t have to pay for parking. Similar to MGM Resorts’ plan, Las Vegas residents will have to pay for valet but will receive free self-parking. Total Rewards loyalty club members with Platinum status or greater will receive free valet and self-parking. You can sign up for Total Rewards here.
You can gain Platinum Status before visiting a casino. When you sign up for their Visa card, your Total Rewards loyalty tier is automatically upgraded to Platinum. At this point, you can avoid paying to park at Caesars properties. You can find more information on the Total Rewards Credit Card here. Note, you must have your Total Rewards card present when you get your car to show that you’re eligible for free parking.
While hotel guests will have in-and-out privileges at the property they are staying. You will have to pay again if you choose to drive and valet to another Caesars property. If you’re not a guest a hotel you will be charged for each time you use valet, even if it is the same day.
The valet services at The Linq and Harrah’s will be the first to switch over to a paid model. Self-parking at those two properties will remain free for the time being. Self-parking equipment still needs to be installed. Parking fees will roll out at other properties over time.
Five properties will receive new parking guidance systems which will help guests easily identify occupied and unoccupied self-parking spaces. The five properties receiving the parking infrastructure improvements include Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Flamingo, Bally’s and Paris. Hopefully, there will be more improvements. Even cleaning these garages will be an improvement. Seriously.
“Our priority is to ensure that our hotel guests, local residents, and Total Rewards loyalty members have an improved parking experience,” said Bob Morse, President of Hospitality at Caesars Entertainment. “Guests who stay, game and shop at our resorts have said that parking spaces and valet services have become increasingly scarce, so we believe that implementing a paid parking program while also investing in LED parking guidance systems will help address these issues.”
Self-parking fees haven’t been released yet. Expect to see more information as Caesars Entertainment officially launches the program just in time for the holiday rush.
The most wonderful time of the year is even more wonderful in Las Vegas. Why? Because everything in Las Vegas is just better.
Las Vegas is a warm climate which makes the holiday season different for most people visiting. The holidays season can seem strange if you’re not used to the sight of palm trees and Santa Claus while people are still comfortable wearing shorts.
Depending on when you visit Las Vegas in December it can be either the busiest or least busy time of the year. Las Vegas takes many different approaches to the holiday season. Today we’re going to look at some more conventional ways to enjoy the holiday in Las Vegas for free. Don’t worry, while these activities are traditional they’re still a little quirky.
holiday Christmas display at the Bellagio botanical gardens and conservatory is one of the best of the year. Thousands of flowers go into making this display beautiful. The mama polar bear alone has over 10,000 white carnations. The rows of beautiful floral displays all lead to a giant Christmas tree in the back of the display. This is probably the most popular free holiday activity on the Vegas Strip is almost always busy.
Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden
The Ethel M Chocolates Factory in Henderson (about 20 minutes away from the Vegas Strip) has a 3 acre garden of cacti. During the holiday season, the cacti are adorned with over half a million lights for tours after the sun goes down. Admission is free and includes a tour of the chocolate factory. Santa and choirs make appearances during the weekend. This festival of lights in unique to this part of the country. “Chocolate Wonderland” is often busy because it’s one of the most popular free attractions for those who live in Las Vegas.
Scuba Santa at the Silverton
The aquarium on the casino floor at the Silverton is unique no matter what time of the year you visit. Unique goes to a new level when you add Santa into that aquarium on the casino floor. The aquarium normally has small sharks, stingrays, and other tropical fish just a few feet away from the blackjack tables. This alone is different. When Santa is lowered into the tank with scuba gear and Santa’s elves are outside tending to children you have that a scene that’s uniquely Las Vegas.
Mystic Falls Park at Sam’s Town
Sam’s Town is located on Boulder Highway and isn’t a destination for the majority of tourists. Even though you can walk through Mystic Falls Park throughout the year, this is the time of year where you might want to make your first visit to this off the strip casino. This indoor park adds Christmas trees, a laser-light show, and animatronic Christmas displays to the lovely waterfall in the casino. Unlike some of the other free attractions listed, this is open for you to enjoy 24 hours a day.
Fremont Street Experience
The Fremont Street Experience is a fun place to visit all year round. However, during the holidays its appeal goes up a notch. There’s something about the mall of casinos that sort of consolidates the holiday feeling into a tighter area. There are holiday decorations and music inside and outside of the casinos. The Fremont Street Experience celebrates all holidays with displays for Christmas, Hanukkah and more throughout the month. This is a holiday experience that the locals and tourists seem to enjoy equally.
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It feels as though Las Vegas has been working on having a professional sports team to call its own forever. Those dreams became a reality when the NHL awarded Las Vegas an expansion team earlier this year. However, the expansion team was granted before a name was hatched. Well, the team now has a name.
The Vegas Golden Knights will drop the puck on their first season at the T-Mobile Arena behind New York-New York in 2017.
The name “Vegas Golden Knights” comes with a little controversy. First, they dropped “Las” before “Vegas.” Not only does it sound a little weird (think about dropping San from Diego or Francisco) but the Las Vegas residents prefer their city called “Las Vegas.”
Additionally, it’s been pointed out repeatedly that the Knight fights for his King. The Los Angeles Kings are one of the closest geographical rivals. This could create some interesting headlines as the Las Vegas expansion team gets off the ground.
Here’s the logic about how ownership came to choose the Vegas Golden Knights as the name for the NHL team. Team owner, Bill Foley, explained that “We want our team to be known for dedication, honor, strength, courage and a commitment to never give up – both on the ice and off,”. “We want our team to be committed to teamwork, service to this great city and integrity in all things – and we wanted a name and logo that represented all of this and was unique to Las Vegas and our community. Vegas Golden Knights is that name.”
The team’s colors are steel gray, gold, red and black and are intended to reflect the community and the focus of the team. The team explained the choice of colors. According to the the Golden Knights:
- Steel gray represents strength and durability
- Nevada is the largest producer of gold in the United States, it is a highly-valued precious metal and is a color seen in the Las Vegas terrain
- Red is from the Vegas skyline, the desert and the beauty of the Red Rock canyons; red is also a color associated with the readiness to serve
- Black represents power and intensity
I was born on the east coast and always thought that Nevada was the Silver State because of its silver production. That might not be the case today. Wikipedia says that Alaska actually produces the most steel in America. The nickname for Nevada is indeed, The Silver State, and dates back to the silver rush days of the mid-1800′s. State Symbols says “At that time silver was literally shoveled off the ground in Nevada.” Regarding gold, Wikipedia states that “Most gold produced today in the US comes from large open-pit heap leach mines in the state of Nevada.” Thank you hockey for teaching me something today!
Some Vegas Golden Knights apparel is available at NHL.com today. I hear that the official team jersey will debut at the NHL draft next year. If you’re a collector of sports memorabilia you might want to purchase something with the name “Vegas Golden Knights” this year.
I don’t think you’ll see merch with this name on it in a year or two. I see a couple different potential changes. First, I can see a future where there will either be a “Las” included in the name and the team will be from “Las Vegas.” Secondly, I think the fans will shorten the name to just “Knights.” Merchandise will likely follow either or both of these changes.
Almost everything in my Vegas life is a “one and done” situation. I enjoy a lot of things in Las Vegas but it doesn’t mean that there’s a need to return to them over and over. There are so many new things to see and do in Las Vegas that it’s easy not to get too attached to favorites. The shiny new toy in Las Vegas is always attractive.
When visiting the touristy areas of Las Vegas I’m always looking for a new great restaurant, bar, coffee shop or place to visit. When it comes to dining, there are more than a few restaurants that I love but rarely return to because there’s always a new restaurant to try. New experiences on the Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas are what keep us coming back.
It would be an exaggeration to say that there’s never a return visit to anything I like. However, once the best restaurant or attraction is experienced it sort of moves to the backburner. There’s always something new and exciting to try in Las Vegas. That being said, there are a few places and activities that I’ll always recommend and happily return to for new or infrequent visitors who want to see the best of the best.
Below are some attractions, bars, and restaurants that I always recommend people visiting Las Vegas experience. Some of these are free attractions but others will cost a few bucks.
Bellagio Conservatory, Fountains, and Hyde – I group these all together because they’re all a great reason to visit Bellagio. The conservatory and botanical gardens are free, beautiful and change often. The fountain shows are iconic and a must see. However, few people visit Hyde for a drink before the nightclub starts to get a different perspective on the fountains.
Chandelier Bar – This multi-million dollar bar is my favorite in Las Vegas. Not only is the bar beautiful, but each level of the bar has a unique cocktail menu. Recent renovations gave the first (casino) level new couches, chairs and charging outlets at the bar.
Fremont Street Experience – Downtown Las Vegas continues to reinvent itself. The hub of tourist activity takes place in and around the Fremont Street Experience. It’s a must-see even if you’re just visiting to buy a souvenir.
Foundation Room – The Foundation Room on the top floor of Mandalay Bay has one of the best views you’ll find in Las Vegas. Not only do you have a view of the casinos on the Vegas Strip but you’re opposite the airport and can see all the way through Henderson and into the mountains.
Mon Ami Gabi – Chain restaurants usually aren’t on any list of recommended places to visit. However, the restaurant at Paris Las Vegas has patio seating right on the Vegas Strip. Not only is there patio seating with a great view of the Vegas Strip and Bellagio fountains but there’s an atrium which offers a little cover with the feeling of being outside. Additionally, this is the best breakfast spot on the Vegas Strip.
Peppermill – This diner doesn’t have the best food in Las Vegas. However, the Peppermill and Fireside Lounge is one of the most iconic places to eat and drink in Las Vegas. The building might have more neon lights than any other business on the Vegas Strip. Walking into the Peppermill feels like a time warp in the best way. The restaurant and bar won’t be around forever and is a must-visit any time you’re in Las Vegas.
We’re always looking for ways to enjoy Las Vegas on the cheap. Freebies for your birthday, happy hour deals, and super low priced meals go a long way to extend your budget. I recently came across a Facebook post wondering if Las Vegas could be enjoyed on a $100 per day budget excluding hotels. It’s an interesting question, because there isn’t a wrong answer. We’re all different people and have different interests and finances.
In addition to the blog posts above I’ve offered plenty of examples of how to get the most out of your money in Las Vegas. Sure you can visit Las Vegas on a budget of $100 per day but is that how you want to visit Las Vegas.
Times have changed and the dollar doesn’t go quite as far as it used to – especially on the Vegas Strip. I even had to cheat for the Vegas Strip when writing eating on the Vegas Strip for $40 a day. If you time your meals so that you only eat twice or eat at food courts, buffets, happy hour and use coupons you can probably trim your budget even more.
If you spend $40 on food, you have about $60 for non-dining entertainment. You can buy booze and snacks at one of the many drug stores on the Vegas Strip to save on that portion of your expenses. Now you’re down to around $50 for the day for other activities.
You can do some low rolling gambling throughout the day. My favorite old school penny slots only cost 9 cents per spin. You won’t win a big jackpot but you can certainly have fun and play awhile. You can wager on horses and sports most of the day for only a few dollars. William Hill sports books (SLS, Casino Royale, etc.) allow you to place $2 parlays and you can spread your wagers to last all day and night. Likewise, it’s only $2 to bet a horse race. You can spend an entire day wagering at a single track for around $20. Here are even more ideas for cheap gambling in Las Vegas.
You can hang out at the hotel pool for a while, enjoy free shows, find free outdoor activities or free indoor activities, check out free art galleries and so much more to keep your budget tight. There are plenty of things you can do in Las Vegas to keep your daily budget at $100. Many of these activities can only be found in Las Vegas. This can keep your visit unique.
However, this kind of trip isn’t for everyone. It was easy to enjoy Las Vegas on this a $100 budget 5, 10, 20 years ago. It’s not quite so easy today. Prices in Las Vegas continue to rise. You have to pay close attention to every penny spent because it’s easy to lose track of your money.
Before moving to Las Vegas I wouldn’t visit Las Vegas unless I had money to spend as much as I wanted on anything I could find. Las Vegas was a luxury vacation for me and it was treated as such. I love low rolling as much as the next person, but I also enjoy $10 craft beer and $60 steaks. The combination of both can make for a great day and night in Las Vegas.
The blog post “Eat Like A King For a Day for Under $100 on The Vegas Strip” encapsulates how I like to treat Las Vegas. It’s a cheap way to finer dining. Nobody needs all of these meals in one day, but the fact that you can do it makes the best of all worlds possible in Las Vegas.
We’re all different and Las Vegas has something for everyone. That’s part of what makes visiting Las Vegas so much fun.
More Americans are expected to travel beyond 50 miles from home to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. This year will have more people traveling an hour or so away from home than at any year since 2007. AAA estimates that somewhere around 48.7 million travelers will fly, drive or take a train somewhere during the five-day holiday period between Wednesday, November 23 and Sunday, November 27.
Las Vegas has recently become the holiday travel destination for Thanksgiving. Continuing with information from AAA, Las Vegas is the number one destination for Thanksgiving. The casinos and restaurants have taken notice and you’ll find a special promotion or dinner menu almost everywhere you look in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas locals tend to avoid tourists, but Thanksgiving is a different animal. The locals love to go out for Thanksgiving. It’s nice to watch and wager on football in the sports book then head to a restaurant for a delicious meal without doing any of the hard labor. Thankfully many casinos all around Las Vegas have special Thanksgiving menus.
Here are some special Thanksgiving menus if you plan on visiting Las Vegas for the holiday. One note about the special menus – these are special menus, not special prices. This is only a sampling of the dining options for Thanksgiving. If your favorite restaurant isn’t listed you should check their website since they probably have a special menu for the day.
Affordable Thanksgiving On The Vegas Strip
Buddy V’s (The Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes)
This is one of the most affordable Thanksgiving dinner’s on the Vegas Strip at $28 per person. Dinner includes slow roasted turkey breast, Italian “dark meat” turkey sausage, pancetta-herb stuffing, roasted vegetables, whipped potatoes, cranberry relish and classic gravy. Groups of four or more will be served family-style. Dessert is about $7-$10 more per person.
Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que (Red Rock Casino)
This option might be overlooked because it’s a chain restaurant away from the Vegas Strip. However, that’s to your benefit. While the masses are gorging on the buffet you can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with Turkey or ham, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, apples sauteed in Jack Daniel’s, gravy, cranberry sauce, biscuits, and salad. Dinner is $25.99 for adults, $12.99 for children
Downtown Las Vegas Bargain
Triple 7 (Main Street Station)
This is a sports bar and restaurant that also offers a great Thanksgiving experience. Watch the games while you dine on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of roasted turkey or honey-glazed ham with yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. Best of all dinner is only $14.99 per person.
Family Style Dinner
Carmine’s (Caesars Palace Forum Shops)
This package includes dinner for eight people for $239.95. That’s about $30 per person. Your Italian Thanksgiving feast includes all of the traditional trimmings: an 18-pound roasted turkey, sausage, and sage stuffing with homemade cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and applewood smoked bacon, sautéed string beans, baby carrots, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows and maple syrup and mashed potatoes with giblet gravy. Choose from pumpkin, apple or pecan pie for dessert.
Most Famous Buffet In Vegas
Studio B (M Resort)
This is one of the most popular buffets in Las Vegas. However, it’s the most popular on Thanksgiving. The line for Studio B can be upwards of two hours long on Thanksgiving with the combination of locals and tourists. In addition to their traditional selections M Resort adds garlic and herb roasted leg of lamb, prime rib, crab legs, seafood bouillabaisse, bamboo mahi-mahi, crab-stuffed sole, oysters on the half-shell, pork Osso Bucco, barbecue ribs, shrimp with lobster sauce, cocktail shrimp, New England clam chowder and lobster bisque for Thanksgiving. Like normal, you can enjoy desserts, beer, wine, and cordials. This special Thanksgiving buffet is $39.99.
Thanksgiving With A View
Top of the World Restaurant (Stratosphere)
Enjoy Thanksgiving with one of the best views in Las Vegas. Top of the World rotates slowly over 80 minutes and offers a 360-degree view of all of Las Vegas. Of course, you’ll probably be focused on the food, friends, and family. Dinner is $80 per person and includes your choice of Gulf prawns etouffé or pumpkin ravioli for your appetizer and roasted kabocha squash soup or an artisan salad for your second course. The main course includes roasted free range turkey served with Yukon gold mashed potato, haricots verts, cornbread and andouille sausage stuffing. Dessert includes maple cheesecake with poached pear, whipped mascarpone and maple chocolate “dirt.”
Unique Thanksgiving Dinner
Bazaar Meat by Jose Andres (SLS Las Vegas)
This restaurant is categorized as a steakhouse, but it’s more than that. Bazaar Meat is a unique restaurant focused on meat. For Thanksgiving, they offer a special menu that includes croquetas de pavo, green bean casserole, butifarra and cornbread stuffing, Josper-roasted turbot or turkey, and pumpkin tart. The price for tourists is $85 and it’s $75 for locals.
Station Casinos is having a banner year. This year the casino company added a new property to their roster, announced a potential major renovation, took the company public and most recently upgraded their players club.
Red Rock Casino is my local casino and it’s always fun to observe how the parent company is doing. Since moving to Las Vegas, Red Rock Casino has undergone a slew of upgrades without changing the essence of what makes it one of the best casinos of the Vegas Strip.
While all the changes with the parent company this year should be good on a business level, they should also be good for the customers. That’s not always the case but it appears Station Casinos is on the right path.
Welcome Palms To The Station Casinos Family
Earlier this year Station Casinos purchased the Palms. While they’re mostly considered a casino chain for Las Vegas locals and this acquisition might help change that perception. The addition of the Palms gives Station Casinos two casinos within a 2-3 minute drive of the Vegas Strip. The other casino near the Vegas Strip is Palace Station…
Palace Station Renovations Coming Soon
Palace Station was the first property for Station Casinos 40 years ago. The former Bingo Hall will be renovated in three phases depending on need over the next couple of years. Plans call for a new hotel tower, bingo hall, movie theater and more over time. Like the Palms, Palace Station is located just off the Vegas Strip a few minutes west of the I-15. Together, these properties will bring Station Casinos closer to the Vegas Strip. When Palace Station is renovated, along side of the Palms, the proximity to the Vegas Strip, friendly gaming and players club will only make Station Casinos more attractive to tourists.
Boarding Pass Players Club Expansion
Station Casinos’ Boarding Pass players club expanded on Nov. 1 into “My Rewards.” You can now earn points and status credits on nearly every way you spend money at any of Station Casinos’ 20 locations including the Palms. Like the bigger players clubs, you can now earn points and credits with non-gaming spend on things like restaurants, bars, bowling, ice skating, spa, hotel stays, pools/cabana visits, catering, and concerts. This is a fantastic addition for Station Casinos. You can find more information on My Rewards here.
If you’re not a Boarding Pass member, you can sign up for the players club using Facebook. Check it out here.
Station Casinos Goes Public
Earlier this year Station Casinos began publicly trading on the Nasdaq stock market under the name Red Rock Resorts. The IPO raised more than $530 million for the company. While financial matters like this might not interest customers all that much, this offering helped Station Casinos cut debt by more than $400 million and accumulate money to make improvements to their properties (see Palace Station). I look forward to seeing more upgrades across all 20 of their casinos in the future.
The year is coming to an end and it’s a good time to start planning for that Las Vegas vacation in 2017. Once the hotels are booked it’s time to find some things to do so you can completely plan your trip. For many, seeing a fabulous Las Vegas show is a must on every visit.
You’ll find some of the largest productions in Cirque du Soleil shows. They litterally have shows in casinos from one end of the Vegas Strip (Mandalay Bay) to the other (Treasure Island). Over the years, Cirque shows have become synonymous with entertainment in Las Vegas.
Cirque du Soleil recently released a schedule for all of their Las Vegas shows in 2017. This should be helpful when you’re planning your trip next year.
Mystère (Treasure Island)
Saturday – Wednesday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
7 p.m. shows only: Jan. 29; March 11 and 26; April 2, 9 and 16; June 17; Aug. 13; Oct. 1, 20 and 22; Dec. 8, 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows: Dec. 31
Additional performances: April 6, Aug. 17, Oct. 20, Nov. 24, Dec. 8, Dec. 29
Dark Days: Thursday and Friday
Wednesday – Sunday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
7 p.m. shows only: Jan. 17, 20 and 27; June 18
4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. shows: Dec. 31
Additional performances: Jan. 17, June 6, Aug. 15, Dec. 26
Dark Days: Monday and Tuesday
Zumanity (New York-New York)
Friday – Tuesday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
7 p.m. shows only: Jan. 8 – 9, 22 – 23 and 29 – 30; Feb. 13 and 20; March 11 – 12; June 17 and 29; July 8 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. shows: Dec. 31
Additional performances: Feb. 23, June 29, July 12, Dec. 28
Dark Days: Wednesday and Thursday
KÀ (MGM Grand)
Saturday – Wednesday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
7 p.m. shows only: Jan. 8 – 9; Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27; March 6, 12 – 13, 19 – 20 and 27; April 2; June 17 – 18 and 30; July 8; Aug. 20; Oct. 31; Nov. 26 – 27; Dec. 4 and 31
Additional performances: April 14, June 30, Aug. 3, Nov. 24, Dec. 28
Dark Days: Thursday and Friday
The Beatles LOVE (The Mirage)
Thursday – Monday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
7 p.m. shows only: Jan. 8, 10, 15, 22 and 29; Feb. 12, 19 and 26; March 5, 11 – 12 and 19; June 17 and 27; July 19; Nov. 5 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. shows: Dec. 31
Additional performances: Jan. 10, June 27, July 19, Aug. 8, Sept. 12, Dec. 27
Dark Days: Tuesday and Wednesday
Michael Jackson ONE (Mandalay Bay)
Friday – Tuesday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
7 p.m. shows only: Jan. 2, 16 and 18; March 2, 11 and 27; July 4; Aug. 17, 20 and 27; Oct. 30 – 31; Nov. 5; Dec. 7 and 10 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. shows: Dec. 31
Additional performances: Jan. 18, March 2, June 28, Aug. 17, Sept. 13, Nov. 2, Dec. 7 and 27
Dark Days: Wednesday and Thursday
MINDFREAK LIVE! (Luxor)
Wednesday – Sunday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
7 p.m. shows only: Jan. 1, 4 – 6, 8, 27 and 29; Feb. 3, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24 and 26; March 10, 12, 17, 19, 26 and 31; April 2, 7 and 23; May 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 25 – 26 and 28; June 16 – 18; Sept. 8, 10, 17, 21 – 22, 24 and 28 – 29; Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 27 – 29; Nov. 10, 12, 17, 19, 23 and 26; Dec. 3, 8 and 10
Additional performance: Dec. 26
Dark Days: Monday and Tuesday
A day in a Las Vegas casino can be strange. You’ll meet all kinds of people from all over the world. In the city of sin, many inhibitions can go out the door. Common sense may also go out the door. Catching Vegas fever is usually a good thing. However catching an actual fever in Vegas isn’t good.
When visiting Las Vegas you’re usually here “for a good time and not a long time.” Sometimes, good habits are thrown to the side in order to have a better time. Someone might normally spend 30 seconds washing hands thoroughly after using the restroom but there’s a strong desire to get back to the action on the casino floor when in Las Vegas. That 30 seconds may be the difference of hitting the random number generator of the slot machine at the right time to hit a jackpot. It could mean a couple fewer wins at the tables. Whatever the game, nobody wants to miss out.
While seeking those good times and not washing up, you’re also bringing germs back to the table. Those germs and bacteria touch every card, chip, dollar, surface and person nearby. Germs can similarly be passed by sneezing or coughing directly into your hands. Germs are easily passed on with so much happening in a casino.
Shortly after I first started visiting casinos, I became a part-time germaphobe. It’s not possible to control the people around me, but I can do the best time stay as clean as possible. Washing hands thoroughly became a goal. I carried hand sanitizer too in case there wasn’t a need to use the restroom. Keeping germs away is a positive value play for a Vegas vacation.
To this day I keep my hands as clean as possible in the casino and the thought of germs while at the tables and machines has vanished. However, Casinoroom.com recently tested casinos for bacteria germs and it has me thinking about this topic. The report didn’t really surprise me but it reminded me what we’re dealing with.
Casinos have more bacteria than just about everything we come across in our everyday lives. No matter which denomination of casino chip you touch, it’s germier than a toilet seat, toilet handle or bathroom door at home. The research also shows that slot machine handles hold onto just about every germ that is in the air of a casino.
Surprisingly, the slot machine spin button is among the least germy surfaces you’ll come across in the casino. On the other side, slot machine handles are the dirtiest. This is something you might want to keep in mind the next time you play old school reel slot machines. The only time I touch slot machine handles today is when I’m on a bad streak and need to change my luck.
The casino chip germ counts aren’t much of a surprise. Since most minimum wagers are in denominations of $5 ($5, $10, $15 minimum wagers are normal) those are the chips used the most in a casino. Not coincidentally, they have the most germs. Meanwhile, the highest denomination of chip surveyed had the least. I’d imagine the number decreases as you reach $100 and $500 chips.
The most surprising information found in this study is which casinos have the highest bacteria counts. The study used TripAdvisor ratings as a guide to choosing a low-rated, mid-rated, and high-rated casino to perform their germ testing.
Surprisingly, the highest-rated casino tested contained the most bacteria. The casino tested had over 20 times more than the mid-rated casino and more than double the low-rated casino. The study doesn’t point to poor upkeep, but rather high traffic as the culprit with the high-rated casino. The more people visiting a casino the more germs they bring into the property.
Studies about cleanliness in casinos freak me out for a minute. I remember the time when a friend walked into a casino without gambling and left after 10 minutes with pinkeye. It didn’t ruin the trip, but it certainly didn’t help.
This study and that story are good reminders to wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth between spins on the slots, and steer clear of people who appear sick. The worst time in Las Vegas are when you’re sick.
Image Credit:Casino Room/
Last night Caesars Entertainment announced
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