4 Great Vegas Happy Hours

Wednesday, 28 September 2016 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas and Food.

Happy Hour in Las Vegas is one of the best ways to save money. Not only are drinks usually discounted during happy hour but the food is offered at a discount. Sometimes you’ll find cheap eats and drinks and sometimes you’ll find fine dining bites and fancy drinks offered at a lower cost than normal.
 
Here’s a pro tip for you. Lists of Happy Hour in Las Vegas are published by many websites. If there’s a list that isn’t made for a specific area in Las Vegas that doesn’t include Herbs & Rye you should move on to another list. The Herbs & Rye Happy Hour offers the largest discount of any bar or restaurant twice a day. Locals and some tourists both know that this is the best Happy Hour in Las Vegas.
 
Herbs & Rye (3713 W Sahara Ave)
You may already know Herbs & Rye since it’s one of the most famous cocktail bars in Las Vegas. Happy Hour offers drink specials but the real deal here is that steak and other select menu items are 50% off. That’s right, a steak that might normally cost $50 is only $25 at Happy Hour. Best of all, Happy Hour is offered twice a day and on Saturday: Monday thru Saturday 5pm – 8pm and 11:59pm – 3am. While other Happy Hour deals offer snacks and bites for a discount, you can have a legitimate meal for half the price.
 
Pizza Rock (201 N 3rd St and Green Valley Ranch)
Pizza Rock offers one of the best Happy Hour deals in Las Vegas twice a day in two locations, downtown and Henderson. From 3pm – 6pm Monday – Friday and 10pm – close every night you can enjoy drinks, beer and food for either $3, $5 or $7. Start the evening with a filling personal pizza with an adult beverage for $10 just before 6pm and have your fourth meal around midnight with the same thing. If that sounds like a perfect night of food and drink, you’re right. I’ve done it and it’s spectacular.
 
Beerhaus (The Park)
This beer bar and restaurant has one of the best Happy Hour deals on the Vegas Strip. The Happy Hour will seem even better if it remains when the Las Vegas NHL team begins play. Happy Hour is from 2pm – 6pm and again from 10pm – close daily and has a great selection of beer, small bites and snacks for $4. Good luck finding restaurants and bars on the Vegas Strip with this quality of food and drink for $4. This is a great place to pre-game before an event at T-Mobile Arena.
 
Fizz (Caesars Palace)
Fizz offers a unique Happy Hour for Las Vegas. This is strictly a Happy Hour for the drinkers. Four hours of unlimited champagne is $36 every day from 5pm to 9pm. You won’t find a deal on champagne like this anywhere else in Las Vegas. If champagne is your drink, this is your Happy Hour. Fizz seems like a great place to start off a bachelorette party.
 

Off The Vegas Strip Again

Monday, 26 September 2016 by Blog Category: Downtown - Old Vegas.

If you haven’t visited Las Vegas very much then you may only know one “Vegas Experience.” People tend to stick in and around the Vegas Strip during their first visits. I, for one, rarely left the action on the Vegas Strip when I started visiting Las Vegas.
 
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Vegas Strip experience. It’s one of the most amazing places in the world. However, there’s much more to Las Vegas than the Vegas Strip if you’re looking for something new.
 
I often write about visiting downtown Las Vegas because it’s a similar but different option to the Vegas Strip. The walkable mall of casinos acts almost as a gateway to experiencing Las Vegas beyond the Vegas Strip. There aren’t many other casino cities where you can walk from casino to casino. Actually, when you visit casinos outside of these two areas in Las Vegas you probably won’t be walking from casino to casino.
 
You may never need to leave your casino if you stay on the Vegas Strip. Sure you can easily visit other casinos but you don’t have to. Many of the casinos are full-service and offer everything you might need for a week or weekend. The same can’t be said for many of the off-strip casinos in the suburbs of Las Vegas.
 
The majority of casinos located off the Vegas Strip are built for local Las Vegas residents. You’re more likely to find a bingo hall or movie theater than a spa or lavish pool experience. However, there are a few casinos located off the Vegas Strip that offer everything that you would expect from a full-service Las Vegas casino. Each of these properties would fit nicely on the Vegas Strip, but stand out in their locations east, south and west of the action.
 
Green Valley Ranch
 
GVR is located about 25 minutes away from the Vegas Strip in Henderson, NV. This sprawling luxury resort, spa and casino fits perfectly in the suburbs but offers amenities you’d expect on the Vegas Strip. The location works best for visitors seeking high-end amenities while being able to relax. The excitement on the Vegas Strip is great, but sometimes we all need a break.
 
M Resort
 
Many know M Resort because it’s one of the most beautiful casinos in Las Vegas that doesn’t charge a resort fee. The all glass exterior is stunning and noticeable when you drive about 20 minutes south of Mandalay Bay. M Resort has some of the best restaurants anywhere in Las Vegas, including Anthony’s Steakhouse.
 
Red Rock Casino
 
Station Casinos operates both Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Casino. Each casino is considered a luxury resort. The aesthetic difference between the two properties is that Red Rock feels more modern while GVR is traditional. The pool complex at Red Rock features over 10 pools, poolside gambling and an outdoor bar and restaurant. The experience here is different than the Vegas Strip but no less spectacular. If there’s something you can’t find inside the casino-resort, you can walk next door to Downtown Summerlin which has shopping and dining for days. Red Rock Casino is my local casino if I sound partial.
 

5 Suites In Las Vegas Under $200

Friday, 23 September 2016 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

Las Vegas has some of the best hotel rooms in the world. However, sometimes you need more than just a normal hotel room. You may want a bigger hotel room if you’re traveling with a group for a bachelor or bachelorette party, wedding, spring break, March Madness or just a trip with friends. You may have a long vacation planned and being cooped up in a small room isn’t optimal.
 
Sometimes you’ll want the most opulent suites in town and sometimes you might want a large room so everyone can share in the cost and save money. Today we’re going to look at some excellent options for suites under $200 that you or a group of friends can enjoy when you visit Las Vegas.
 
The D

The D in downtown Las Vegas has one of the most high energy casinos in Las Vegas. The small footprint of the property keeps the energy bottled up and it feels as though the might be an explosion of fun at any time. The regular hotel rooms at The D are nice but not over the top. They perfectly fit the hotel. When you step up to a suite you’ll get a more stylized hotel room with more space. The two room suite keeps the partying and sleeping apart. Three TV’s in the suite make this great for March Madness. Hotel rooms in downtown Las Vegas are usually less expensive than you’ll find on the Vegas Strip. You’ll actually find this suite for less than you might pay for an average regular hotel room on the Vegas Strip.

 
Delano

This 43 story hotel tower operates as an independent hotel within the Mandalay Bay complex. Delano offers a boutique hotel experience while giving you access to everything you’d expect in a Las Vegas casino. Delano is an all-suite hotel with its own amenities, so you never have to step foot inside the casino to eat, drink or take a dip in the pool. At the same time, you have all of the amenities from Mandalay Bay within a one minute walk from your hotel suite. Weekday prices are often under $200. Pro-tip: Sign up for MGM Resorts M Life Rewards to save 15% on your hotel suite.

 
Elara

You may not recognize Elara because it actually has a longer name and is somewhat hidden on the Vegas Strip. Elara is brought to you by Hilton Grand Vacations and connected to Planet Hollywood casino through the Miracle Mall shops. The tower was built during the construction boom of the 1990’s and intended to be used as condos. Well, those condos are now timeshares and affordable suites. The suites include a washing machine and dryer which make it a great option for longer visits to Las Vegas.

 
Palazzo

The Palazzo is a luxury hotel that isn’t priced like a luxury property. The all-suite hotel is the little brother to The Venetian and it’s priced that way. Personally, this is my favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The suites feel luxurious without the price tag that usually accompanies luxury. Midweek suite prices can often be found for under $200. This is a great hotel if you’re visiting Las Vegas during the week and looking to experience the suite life for the first time.

 
Rio

The Rio is located just off the Vegas Strip on Flamingo about five minutes west of Caesars Palace. This is an all-suite hotel so any rates you see advertised are for suites. The off-strip location helps to keep rates lower than you might expect for an all suite hotel. You can often find midweek prices for suites somewhere around $100. There are many suite types so you might pay the same for a multi-room suite as you would a base single room suite. Read the room descriptions to make sure that you get the suite that’s right for you. If location is a concern, you can grab an Uber or Lyft to the Vegas Strip for under $10. There’s a free shuttle that runs to the Vegas Strip throughout the day.

  
Looking for a suite deal right now?  Caesars Entertainment Resorts has up to 40% Off Anthology Suites through December 29th. Offer Expires 9/29/2016  Click Here for Details    

Cheap Gambling in Las Vegas

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 by Blog Category: Gaming.

Despite Las Vegas being known as the gambling capital of America, not everyone who visits actually gambles. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 73% of all visitors to Las Vegas in 2015 said they gambled while in town. The majority of those who did gamble when visiting Las Vegas only did so for 2 hours or less during their trip. The average person visiting Las Vegas in 2015 stayed for just over two days.
 
The average gambling budget in 2015 was $578.54, which is less than $300 per day. When you divide that budget between multiple casinos you’re not looking at much money in play at any individual property. This budget might seem low to some people but it can be stretched out by playing games with low minimum wagers.
 
Cheap gambling isn’t always the best bet in a casino because the odds may be stacked against you. However, if playing the game – regardless of odds, expected value and house edge – is what brings you entertainment from the games there are plenty of options for the average budget.
 
Craps
 
Not only is craps the most fun game in the casino, but your money can go a long way. Unlike casino card games that last one hand, a single roll of the dice can last a long time. Head to the Fremont Casino in downtown Las Vegas or Casino Royale on the Vegas Strip to play their $3 craps games. All it takes is $3 to get into the game. If you’d like to decrease the odds for the casino from 1.41% you can place “free odds” on your passline bet.
 
Roulette
 
Most roulette games in Las Vegas have the same odds of 5.26% thanks to a simple layout and usually similar payouts. Low rollers can visit the historic El Cortez casino on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas for 25 cent roulette. Depending on how many numbers you play at once your money will go a long way here.
 
Slot machines
 
These games can appear cheap but really aren’t. Don’t be surprised when you look at a bright, shiny and new penny slot machine that has a minimum bet of $1. Look for older slot machines to extend your budget. Some penny slot machines have multi-line games that start as low as 9 cents per spin. These games won’t offer huge jackpots but they can be a lot of fun. You can find these games in many casinos but the older properties will give you the most options.
 
Blackjack
 
The most popular game in Las Vegas casinos can be found for just about any price point from $3 up. You just have to visit specific casinos since that $3 game is only found in 10 casinos in Las Vegas. You’ll find more games if you expand your budget to $5. Many of the $3 and $5 blackjack games have different rules which can offer a house edge as low as 0.30% and as high as 2.14%. Visit the Wizard of Vegas blackjack survey for where you can find the best blackjack games in Las Vegas.
 

New Show at the Plaza

Monday, 19 September 2016 by Blog Category: Entertainment.

Entertainment at the Plaza continues to expand. The newest addition is the limited engagement of One Epic Night! that debuted just a few weeks ago. The show features various finalists from talent competition shows, like “The Voice,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Masters of Illusion,” and “American Idol.”
 
The 70-minute show will run Saturday through Wednesday at 7 p.m. until January 4 at the Plaza Showroom. Ticket prices start at $59.95 for general admission, $79.95 for preferred seating, and $109.95 for VIP.
 
 
 
One Epic Night joins an entertainment lineup at the Plaza that includes Lovers or Losers, a game show hosted by Todd Bridges (Different Strokes) and the musical stylings of the Scintas. You’ll find even more entertainment at the new pool deck at the Plaza. You can read details here and see the performance stage on the pool deck in the video below.
 

 
It’s great to see the Plaza continue to reinvent itself. They’re not the only business in downtown Las Vegas offering new amenities. Downtown Las Vegas has seen a real change in the past four or five years. While it’s true that downtown Las Vegas plays up the image of being “Old Vegas” with nods to the history of Las Vegas, it really isn’t “old” anymore. There have been plenty of additions to the area in the past few years. New casinos, bars, restaurants, shopping, pools and more have opened in the past few years.
 
Many of the businesses try to mix the new with the old. Some old shows, like the Scintas, are brought back to life while some newer restaurants, like Oscars at the Plaza, have modern yet vintage decor.
 
At the same time, there are modern and sleek businesses in downtown Las Vegas today. Eight blocks down Fremont Street you’ll find a very modern outdoor retail, dining and drinking mall at Downtown Container Park. The combination new, old and modern vintage offers something for everyone in downtown Las Vegas.
 
The mix of new and old businesses makes downtown Las Vegas a legitimate destination when visiting Vegas. Prices are rising all over Las Vegas, but it feels less drastic in downtown Las Vegas. The $0.99 shrimp cocktail from a few years ago may cost $2.99. The $2 beer from a few years ago may cost $4 today.
 
That’s a far cry from the average cheap meal and beer on the Vegas Strip. You would not believe how difficult it was to find 5 meals under $5 on the Vegas Strip without using happy hour deals. (Note, I included happy hour.)
 
The downtown Las Vegas experience isn’t the same as the Vegas Strip and that suits plenty of people just fine. Even with all of the “new” in “Old Vegas” the dollar still goes farther than the Vegas Strip. In today’s downtown Las Vegas you can find less expensive dining, drinking, gambling and entertainment than other areas of Las Vegas.
 
The lower price point isn’t new to the area. However, the quality that you’ll get for your money in downtown Las Vegas has been greatly improving in recent years. Best of all there’s no longer a feeling that you’re sacrificing your expectations of Las Vegas when visiting downtown.
 

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a bit more interested in Las Vegas than the average visitor. This probably isn’t the only website you’re visiting to plan your next trip. Whether you’re visiting blogs, travel or foodie websites for recommendations you should understand what you’re comparing.
 
Comparing similar goods and services at similar prices is probably the best way to see which offers the best option. It’s unfair for everyone involved to compare a $500 meal with a $5 meal. Each might satisfy but you’re not going to have the same experience. In Las Vegas, there are plenty of dining comparisons.
 
The $3 fast food cheeseburger probably shouldn’t be compared to the $10-$15 quick serve burger or $15-$25 gourmet burger. The same can be said for other types of food or restaurants in different locations. You’ll almost always pay more for a meal on the Vegas Strip than you would off the Vegas Strip. Likewise, any casino location is almost always charging more than the non-casino outlet.
 
Chipotle was founded in 1993 but it really started to take off in the mid-2000’s. Chipotle ushered in a new era of dining called fast casual or quick-serve dining. This type of restaurant fits somewhere between a full-service mid-priced casual restaurant and a low priced fast food restaurant. Since Chipotle took off, this style of a restaurant has exploded and you can now find almost every kind of cuisine.
 
The quality of the food and prices of fast casual restaurants are usually in between both styles. It’s probably not a good or fair comparison to compare the Mexican food from Roberto’s in the gas station with Chipotle or with Border Grill at Mandalay Bay or Caesars Palace. Each type of meal can be satisfying but you’re going to pay different prices for the different experience. I’ve enjoyed all three equally but they’re different experiences that satisfy different needs.
 
The most unfair comparisons in Las Vegas are often burgers. You can get a burger at just about any hotel or casino. However, the $3.50 single cheeseburger at In N Out Burger is in a different category than an $8 Shake Shack burger. Each of these is in a different category than the $5 burger at Binion’s and the $20 burgers at Holsteins inside the Cosmopolitan. There are a lot of options if you’re in the mood for a burger in Las Vegas.
 
All of the different price points and restaurant styles can be confusing but it’s useful to keep in mind when comparing restaurants and food. The lower priced meals may be made in advance with low-end ingredients, while the higher end casual restaurants might all be made to order with higher quality elements.
 
Sometimes the better meal is the less expensive option. Sometimes it’s not. In order to find what’s best for you compare apples to apples instead of $5 breakfast burritos to a $40 Mexican brunch.
 

Time To Get Out Of The Casino

Tuesday, 13 September 2016 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

The summer in Las Vegas is great, but sometimes it can be just a tad too hot to spend much time outside. The summer unofficially ended on Labor Day and the temperatures are slowly (very slowly) beginning to drop.
 
We’re entering one of the best times of the year in Las Vegas. It’s still warm enough to enjoy the heat but it’s not so hot to the point where you don’t want to be outside. It’s prime time to get out of the casino.
 
While the casinos, restaurants, and shows might lure you to Las Vegas, there’s a whole other world outside of the casinos. Just sitting at a bar or restaurant outside of a casino can give you a perspective you might not normally have.
 
Beer Park Las Vegas is a bar outside of Paris Las Vegas with a great view of the Vegas Strip. It’s located on the 2nd level of the hotel, outside and above Hexx restaurant. Beer Park has a bar, restaurant, fresh air and sweet vantage point for the fountain show at The Bellagio.
 
The setting at Beer Park is casual with games such as shuffleboard and cornhole along with two full bars and plenty of seating. Even though you’re outside, you can still get some casino action. There will be a wagering kiosk available for wagering on football games.
 
If you’d like to step entirely away from the casino, but not go too far you can head to one of the outdoor malls. Town Square is located on Las Vegas Boulevard just a few minutes south of Mandalay Bay. This shopping district is outdoors and combines a shopping center feeling along with the choices you would normally find inside a mall.
 
If you’re looking for a unique outdoor shopping experience head to Downtown Container Park in downtown Las Vegas. All of the shops, restaurants and bars are inside of faux shipping containers. There’s ample outside space to eat and drink and there’s even a park for the kids.
 
Read: Outdoor Shopping in Vegas for more ideas on getting your fix.
 
If you’re looking to get far away from the casinos for a little while, you might consider heading out to Red Rock Canyon. You can hike, go horseback riding and even take a scenic drive around the canyon. It’s a breathtaking view of more than just the red rocks. It’s literally breathtaking. This city guy was so concerned about being in the vast open space of Red Rock Canyon that I filled my car with gas, packed a meal and multiple bottles of water before my first visit. I ended up loving the atmosphere and stopped at the lunch area and enjoyed the view before heading back to the real world.
 
If you’re really into exploring the old west, head to Bonnie Springs Ranch near Red Rock Canyon. You’ll go back in time before the west was settled. The ranch has a restaurant, bar, a look at old town and a small petting zoo. This might be as far from the casinos that you can get mentally. Casino lovers shouldn’t be too worried, Red Rock Casino, Suncoast, and Rampart are about 10 minutes away.
 

Outdoor Shopping in Vegas

Thursday, 08 September 2016 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

One of the benefits of being in a warm weather climate is the ability to do anything you want outside at any time of the year. Las Vegas may get cool but it’s rarely cold that you’ll face in other parts of the country. When it’s hot outside you can head inside for some nice cool air.
 
In recent years the concept of outdoor shopping plazas and shopping districts have exploded. You can look at these shopping areas as outdoor malls or almost like a small town. In fact, the newest outdoor shopping district uses the term downtown to describe itself.
 
 
 
These outdoor shopping districts are intended for locals but make for a nice breath of fresh air when you need a break from the casinos. You can find an outdoor shopping district in all corners of Las Vegas including one on the Vegas Strip, just a mile away from Mandalay Bay.
 
Downtown Summerlin
Downtown Summerlin is the newest major shopping district in Las Vegas. It opened a couple years ago and new bars and restaurants are still opening. Downtown Summerlin is a 2-minute walk from Red Rock Casino and about 20 minutes away from the Vegas Strip. This complex combines a shopping plaza with a shopping district and the big box retail outlets you might expect to see in a traditional mall. There are many more dining options here than you’d expect to find in any singular shopping complex.
 
The District at Green Valley Ranch
The District is located about 15 minutes from the Vegas Strip in Henderson. Like Downtown Summerlin, it’s close to a Station Casino property – Green Valley Ranch. Walking down the cobblestone streets at The District it’s almost possible to forget you’re in Las Vegas. While some of the other shopping districts feel immense and sprawling, The District is smaller and feels more cozy.
 
Tivoli Village
Tivoli Village is located in Summerlin, about 20 minutes away from the Vegas Strip. The first phase of shopping feels as much like the name as you’d hope. Close your eyes and begin walking and you feel as though you’re in small Italian village with everything from coffee shops to restaurants and retail outlets. This once cozy shopping district has become so popular that they’re currently expanding. Personally, I’m hoping the new phase doesn’t take away from the charm and character that the initial phase offers.
 
Town Square
When you look at Town Square it’s easy to see where the inspiration for Downtown Summerlin may have come from. The two shopping districts are very similar. The massive outdoor mall and shopping district is the closest to the casino sector of the Vegas Strip. It’s located just one mile south of Mandalay Bay. Town Square embraces traditional mall stores like Aeropostale and Apple and really has more of a traditional mall feel brought outside.
 
Downtown Container Park
This is not the kind of shopping you’d expect to find in the area once known as Old Vegas. Downtown Container Park is a family oriented shopping and entertainment area and offers something for just about everyone. There are multiple levels of small shops, restaurants and bars built inside faux shipping containers. The adult activities surround a playground that’s complete with a giant treehouse and slide. There’s also a grassy area (real grass in Las Vegas!) where you can enjoy live entertainment and movies.
 

Meet Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino

Thursday, 01 September 2016 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

Lucky Dragon will be the first new casino to open in Las Vegas that was built from the ground up in over five years. In the 1990’s it seemed as though a new casino was popping up every couple years. Brand new casinos haven’t been built in Las Vegas in a while. The “new” casinos in Las Vegas more recently have been resurrections of old casinos.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Look back to recent casino openings and you’ll see that Sahara became SLS Las Vegas, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall became The Cromwell, Lady Luck became Downtown Grand and Fitzgeralds became The D. Next up on the renovation list is Monte Carlo. The casino and resort will become Park MGM in a couple of years. The last casino to casino that was actually built from scratch was the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which opened in 2010.
 
Enter Lucky Dragon
 
Lucky Dragon is a boutique hotel and casino that will be opening later this year just off the Vegas Strip. The finishing touches are being put on the new casino which is located across the street from SLS Las Vegas on Sahara Avenue. Most new casinos are being opening without a theme, but that’s not the case with Lucky Dragon. Everything about this property is being designed, produced and marketed with an Asian flair.
 
Lucky Dragon is positioning itself as Las Vegas’ first casino to deliver an authentic Asian lifestyle experience. The goal is that it will become the gathering place for Asian visitors, locals and really anyone looking for the best Pan-Asian food and excitement.
 
The property will feature details that are geared towards Asians such as signage which reads Chinese first and English second. The staff will be multilingual staff and Lucky Dragon will have the only indoor/outdoor high-end tea garden and lounge in Las Vegas. All aspects of the hotel and casino’s design have been influenced by the rich traditions of Asian culture. In fact, every restaurant at Lucky Dragon is an Asian restaurant:

  • Bao Now – An Asian version of the 24-hour casino cafe.
  • Cha Garden – Indoor & outdoor tea garden and lounge.
  • Dragon’s Alley – Situated right on the casino floor and features a rotating menu of Asian delicacies.
  • Pearl Ocean – The goal is to be the best Dim Sum in Las Vegas.
  • Phoenix – Fine Chinese dining in a modern environment.

The casino will be modest in size and heavily focused on Asian gamblers. The 27,500 square-foot casino will focus on tables games that are popular in Asia, such as Baccarat and Pai Gow. There will only be a few “Western-style” tables such as Blackjack. The casino won’t have a sports book or poker room.
 
There will also be two high limits rooms for gamblers. The Emerald Room will be the “normal” high limits room and there will be an ultra-luxe VIP gaming room on the second level.
 
The layout of the gaming floor brings to mind the original Hard Rock casino. There will be a bar in the center with gable games around. Hanging above will be a 1.25 ton glass dragon sculpture suspended from the ceiling. No word if the dragon will breathe fire.
 
In Chinese culture the color red symbolizes good fortune and joy. When you first see Lucky Dragon from the outside you’ll notice a lot of red. All of the hotel rooms all have red windows. When you’re inside the hotel and casino you can expect to see the color theme continue.
 
Lucky Dragon is being positioned as a unique destination in Las Vegas. Regardless of your ethnicity, Lucky Dragon seems as if it will be a great option for someone looking for a different experience in Las Vegas.
 

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