Part of what makes Las Vegas so great is that there isn’t just one way to experience Las Vegas. The variety of attractions is a large part of what makes Las Vegas so attractive to so many people. You can experience the height of luxury at The Venetian and Palazzo and walk next door to low roller paradise at Casino Royale. This is the best of both worlds. At the same time, you can simply enjoy one or the other.
Memories in Las Vegas come in all shapes and sizes. Some of my favorites are in the hottest of hot spots and the diviest of dives. One of my first visits to Las Vegas started at Bellagio with some of the best cocktails in town. The experience continued far from the luxury casino-resort as the crew stuffed ourselves into a limo and went to El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas. The experience was quite different as casino had cigarette burns in the felt and served dented cans of beer. We had a blast and will never forget either experience. The El Cortez has come a long way from those days but it’s still not Bellagio.
We didn’t visit the El Cortez because anyone wanted or expected the same experience as Bellagio. We wanted a different experience and were able to find it just a few minutes away. On that same trip, we would bounce between nightclubs, high-end restaurants before ending the night at the Gold Coast.
Life changes and so does what you’re looking for in Las Vegas. When I first started visiting Las Vegas I just wanted a cheap hotel room where I could pass out and shower. When the recession happened around 10 years ago, I was able to explore more luxury experiences in Las Vegas. Lower visitation brought down prices and made staying at The Palazzo and Encore more affordable.
Now that hotel prices are climbing again I’m finding myself at mid-level hotels. There are nice rooms available at whatever price point we can afford. According to USA Today, Circus Circus is the most popular hotel to book in Las Vegas right now. It makes sense as this is one of the most family friendly and least expensive properties on the Vegas Strip.
There are some who would like to see this casino for kids gone and replaced with something new and flashy. I hope MGM Resorts never changes Circus Circus. This is a great location for parents who travel with children. Circus Circus is on the Vegas Strip and a short walk or ride from the touristy action a family would want. It’s also far away enough from the places I like to visit so that there aren’t too many children running around. To each their own, there’s something for everyone in Las Vegas.
This felt like a very transformational year in Las Vegas. A lot seems to be changing and it’s affecting people differently. I embrace the changes but not everyone does. Over the years I’ve found a lot of places to make amazing memories in Las Vegas over the years. The few I mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. I’m finding new ways to make great memories in Las Vegas today. Some happen in the casino but much more are happening in the restaurants and bars. Maybe it’s a sign of a new Las Vegas and maybe it’s just getting older. Las Vegas is different and so are we. I’m looking forward to creating new memories in new Vegas in 2017.


Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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