Part of the appeal of visiting Las Vegas is the heat. The dry heat is real and it’s fantastic. Well, it’s great most of the year. It can be a bit too much for some people during the summer months. Sure, hot is hot but it becomes so hot in direct sunlight that you can actually bake cookies inside of a car. Thankfully most casinos have covered parking in Las Vegas.
The hot temperatures can be enjoyable but there’s one thing to always remember. The temperature is hotter when you’re in direct sunlight. Temperatures in direct sunlight can be 20 degrees hotter or more than they are in the shade. The 115-degree afternoon could feel more like 135 degrees when you’re standing in the sun. The dry heat makes most high temperatures tolerable but 135 degree is hot regardless of humidity.
The saying is that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” In Las Vegas, this is half true. The underlying experience may remain the same for many. However, there’s certainly a lot of physical change that you can actually see happening every day in Las Vegas.
You probably already heard the rumor that MGM Resorts was considering filling in the fountains at Bellagio. Well, that was quickly shot down by MGM Resorts reps. Unfortunately, this could happen eventually.
The D and Vegas Golden Knights recently announced a partnership that will make The D the official downtown Las Vegas casino for the new NHL team. The six-year sponsorship is an exclusive deal. There will a slew of events taking place in downtown Las Vegas with Las Vegas’ first major professional sports franchise and The D.
Las Vegas has become one of the most popular culinary destinations in America. There are award winning chefs and restaurants everywhere you look. Beyond the awards there are simply a lot of great restaurants to all over Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, some of the best restaurants in Las Vegas can beyond the budget of some people. Restaurant Week in Las Vegas not only helps Three Square fight hunger in Southern Nevada but it also offers some of the best dining deals of the year.
Parking fees at Vegas Strip casinos are relatively new. MGM Resorts was the first casino operator to change for parking on the Vegas Strip. In 2016, they began charging for both self-parking and valet at Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, and New York-New York. Self-parking was and is still free at Circus Circus but there’s a valet parking fee..
Less than a year after parking fees were implemented at MGM Resorts properties the company increased all of the parking fees. Other casino operators on the Vegas Strip followed MGM Resorts’ lead and started to charge for parking. Wynn and Encore started charging for valet parking almost immediately. Self-parking at both Wynn and Encore is currently free.
Las Vegas is a special place for many people. There are so many great memories made in Vegas that it’s almost like a gift that keeps on giving. There are so many things that trigger these great Vegas memories.
Music is my trigger. I can hear certain songs and remember exactly where I heard it in Las Vegas. Ludacris, Paramore, Missy Elliott, Britney Spears, and even the Beebz rekindle oddly specific Las Vegas memories.
Music alone is enough to induce enough Vegas memories to give me goose bumps. I actually have them right now writing this article. Not everyone has the same ties to music. However, everyone loves to rekindle their best Vegas memories.
We’re not partial to one casino operator in Las Vegas. However, sometimes certain casino companies have a lot going on. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot happening at the Flamingo. Shows are coming and going while the casino continues to evolve to meet current customer needs.
The bones of the Flamingo may be old but they’re constantly changing the property so it feels modern, contemporary and fresh. The latest upgrade to Flamingo was just announcement by Caesars Entertainment. The national casino operator will be spending $90 million to renovate 1,270 hotel rooms at the Flamingo.
Parking fees continue to spread across the Vegas Strip. MGM Resorts was the first casino operator on the Vegas Strip to charge for parking. Wynn Resorts started changing for valet and Caesars Entertainment has been rolling out the fees slowly at their Vegas Strip casinos.
Despite the negative reaction, the fees seem like they’re here to stay. MGM Resorts says that it hasn’t hurt their visitation. In fact, MGM Resorts increased parking fees twice in less than a year. First they ended free parking for Nevada locals. Most recently they increased the actual parking fees for everyone.
There are many ways to experience Las Vegas. Thankfully the city offers something for every budget. There may be a time when a low rolling trip is fine. Another visit to Las Vegas might need the special touches only the high rollers see.
Personally, I like a trip to Las Vegas that includes a bit of both worlds. Shifting between being a low roller and high roller exemplifies everything Las Vegas has to offer. Shifting gears offers enough intrigue to a visit that always keeps me on my toes.
My summer vacation is on the way and I’m sure there will be one night where we play $5 blackjack and have a happy hour dinner while rushing back to the tables. The next night might slow down and will probably have higher limits at the tables and a more mellow and fancy dinner.
Choosing a hotel often drives the Las Vegas experience. Sometimes a vacation in Las Vegas only needs a hotel room with a clean bed and shower. Other times we might want to splurge and have the nicest room we can afford.
The Palazzo became one of my favorite hotels in Las Vegas because, like sister hotel The Venetian, all of the hotel rooms are suites. The upgrade to a suite only cost a few bucks more than a typical luxury hotel room. If more space is similarly priced than why not try that?
At the time I found Palazzo I wasn’t loyal to a particular casino chain or players club. I would stay wherever I felt most comfortable regardless of affiliation. Not everyone is the same and may prefer to be loyal to one company.
The Total Rewards players club from Caesars Entertainment is one of the most popular in the country any many people are loyal to their hotels. That’s totally understandable as the discounts and complimentary rooms can be great. Today, this can lead to finding great rates on suites.
Caesars Entertainment recently revealed a slew of new hotel suites with prices that begin at $175 per night. Caesars Suites was once known as Anthology Suites. The new name now has more than 2,000 suites and villas and a new website, CaesarsSuites.com, with all of the information. This is a step up from your basic Caesars hotel room. However, Total Rewards member may be able to find these new suites discounted or complimentary.
Over the past year Caesars Entertainment has focused renovating many of their Las Vegas hotel rooms. Planet Hollywood has all newly updated rooms, while Caesars Palace has the new Julius Tower. Caesars Entertainment has announced that they’re already renovating more rooms at their flagship property. The next set of renovations at Caesars Palace will take place in the Palace Tower. From the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017, Caesars Entertainment will have renovated more than 7,000 rooms. Of those renovations, 800 suites have been upgraded.
Caesars Suites offers a wide variety suites. There are renovated suites that can feel like a larger rom, multi-room suites, two-story duplexes and grand villas spanning more than 11,000 square feet. In addition to the rooms, Caesars Entertainment offers multiple perks if you’re looking to step up your vacation even further. Upgrades available include limo transportation to-and-from McCarran International Airport, access to a personal concierge in select suites, and around-the-clock butler service in villas.
At Nobu Hotel inside Caesars Palace, you can take in-suite dining to another level with spectacular creations prepared live by one of the Nobu’s master sushi chefs. The Nobu Villa and Nobu Penthouses are probably the nicest hotel rooms I’ve seen at Caesars Palace. The service at Nobu is second to none at this massive hotel complex.
Caesars Entertainment has focused on improving their hotel rooms over the past year. They’ve needed to and the new rooms all look like great improvements. Caesars Suites is a useful gateway for a Total Rewards customer looking to upgrade their Las Vegas experience without shopping outside of the preferred casino family.
Las Vegas isn’t just a place to visit just to gamble (even though there are plenty of unique places to gamble). Over the years Las Vegas has become a destination for just about every walk of life. Visitors come to Las Vegas for nightlife, shows, concerts, world-class dining, and so much more. There are plenty of one-off events throughout the year too.
There are plenty of resources that focus on concerts and shows for entertainment. I’m always looking for something different and recently came across the Las Vegas Film Festival. It’s understandable that not many who visit Las Vegas do so to sit in a movie theater. However, this is more than just watching a movie (or movies) that you can see anywhere. The movie selection at the festival is unique.
The 10th Annual Las Vegas Film Festival recently announced the initial lineup for the 2017 Festival. This year the festival will be held entirely at Brenden Theatres and the Palms Casino Resort from June 6 – June 11.
This year’s festival lineup includes a mix of feature films and documentaries that have been favorites on the international festival circuit, animated works, shorts, music videos, festival labs and local films that were produced in Southern Nevada or were directed by a local filmmaker.
Each of the feature and documentary films will be followed by a Question and Answer session with the cast and crew. This will provide guests with a unique movie watching experience. A festival pass is $75 per person and allows access to all screenings & festival HQ mixers. The VIP Festival pass is $175 per person and grants access to all screenings, parties, mixers, lounges, and includes early screening rsvp.
Below are some highlights of movies, documentaries, and animations that will be shown at the Las Vegas Film Festival. I attended many animation festivals in the past and that’s what I’m looking forward to the most. In fact, I’m so excited by this portion of the festival that I’m going on a deep YouTube dive to find some of the animations I saw back in the day. The descriptions below are from the festival organizers:
10 Days (Director: Nathaniel Katzman)
Estlin and Ellie reconnect on Christmas Eve after nine months of separation. However, they are both wary of jumping right back into a relationship and therefore propose a challenge: they must spend 10 days with each other before a decision can be made. The film is about relationships, the holidays and being young in New York. There’s plenty to laugh, cry, and pull your hair out about.
The 60 Yard Line (Director: Leif Gantvoort)
Based on a true story. Set during the 2009 football season. Ben “Zagger” Zagowski and Nick “Polano” Polano, best friends and co-workers, buy a house in the parking lot of Lambeau Field (home of the Packers), and are forced to pick between a football fan lifestyle and a girl. Lives change. There’s a cow.
Dave Made a Maze (Director: Bill Watterson)
Dave, an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, builds a fort in his living room out of pure frustration, only to wind up trapped by the fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and critters of his own creation. Ignoring his warnings, Dave’s girlfriend Annie leads a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission. Once inside, they find themselves trapped in an ever-changing supernatural world, threatened by booby traps and pursued by a bloodthirsty Minotaur.
Gook (Director: Justin Chon)
Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers, own a struggling shoe store and have an unlikely friendship with Kamilla, a street-wise 11-year-old African American girl. Kamilla ditches school, Eli stresses about the store, and Daniel tries to have a good time. It’s just another typical day at the store until the Rodney King verdict is read and riots break. With the chaos moving towards them, the trio is forced to defend the store while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the true meaning of family.
Still/Born (Director: Brandon Christensen)
Still/Born follows Mary, a new mother who lost one of her twins in childbirth. As she struggles with the loss of one of her children, she starts to suspect something sinister is after her surviving child – a supernatural entity that has chosen her child and will stop at nothing to take it from her.
California Dreams (Director: Mike Ott)
From acclaimed director, Mike Ott comes to the new documentary feature “California Dreams,” presenting five unique individuals in pursuit of a big life change. Through auditions set up in small towns across Southern California, the film shows genuine characters with big Hollywood aspirations who, for various reasons, have never had the opportunity to pursue it. No matter what the endgame is, whether it’s fame, love, or a fleeting shot at immortality, this bitingly funny film reveals the strange and entrancingly hypnotic grip that Hollywood has, in some way or form, on everyone.
The Rabbit Hunt (Short) (Director: Patrick Bresnan)
In the Florida Everglades rabbit hunting is considered a rite of passage for young men. The Rabbit Hunt follows seventeen year old Chris and his family as they hunt in the fields of the largest industrial sugar farms in the US. The film records a tradition by which migrant farm workers in the communities surrounding Lake Okeechobee have been hunting and preparing rabbits since the early 1900s.
CINEVEGAS PRESENTS AT LVFF
This year’s Festival will once again include CINEVEGAS PRESENTS AT LVFF, featuring a selection of films curated by the CineVegas team of Trevor Groth and Mike Plante.
Rat Film (Director: Theo Anthony)
Across walls, fences, and alleys, rats not only expose our boundaries of separation but make homes in them. “Rat Film” is a feature-length documentary that uses the rat—as well as the humans that love them, live with them, and kill them–to explore the history of Baltimore. “There’s never been a rat problem in Baltimore, it’s always been a people problem.”
Black Holes (Director: David Nicolas)
Dave is about to lead the first mission to Mars when he’s teamed up with a sentient melon, who claims to be the reincarnation of a fashion designer, upstaging his big moment and driving him to the brink of madness.
LOVE (Director: Réka Bucsi)
LOVE is a short film describing affection in 3 different chapters, through an impact on a distant solar system.
Luscious (Director: Xuecheng Xu)
A 2D motion graphics video looks at human nature, human instinct and the power of imagination. Minimally styled illustrations tell the story of a beautiful woman who achieves satisfaction by having a psychedelic, metaphoric, sensual journey during dinner in 1930s Shanghai.
Pearl (Director: Patrick Osborne)
Set inside their home, a beloved hatchback, Pearl follows a girl and her dad as they crisscross the country chasing their dreams. It’s a story about the gifts we hand down and their power to carry love. And finding grace in the unlikeliest of places.
Pussy (Director: Renata Gasiorowska)
A young girl spends the evening alone at home. She decides to have some sweet solo pleasure session, but not everything goes according to plan.
More films should be announced as the Las Vegas Film festival approaches. Visit LVFF.com for tickets and more information.
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