St. Patrick’s Weekend 2017 in Las Vegas

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas and Nightlife.

In the best way, March in Las Vegas really brings the Madness. The long weekend of Thursday, March 16 through Sunday, March 19 is one of the most fun weekends of the year. Las Vegas is a national destination for a combustible combination of people visiting for Spring Break, St. Patrick’s Day and the first weekend of March Madness. It’s also a time where many locals mingle with tourists.
 
 
 
 
 
 
While activities in Las Vegas typically draw people of all ages, this weekend generally attracts a younger crowd. You’ll find spring breakers partying like there’s no tomorrow. Sports fans and sports bettors will be awake from the first tip of the college basketball tournament at 9 am each day and partying until the sun rises again. Saint Patrick’s Day attracts crowds of all ages, some looking for debauchery and others looking for a more familial celebration of the day.
 
The first weekend of March Madness is always one of the busiest sports weekends of the year. Spring break usually falls during this time and brings more than just sports fans to Las Vegas. The years when St. Patrick’s Day falls during this weekend can be explosive in a great way. This weekend brings three different groups of people all looking for fun.
 
March Madness, Spring Break & St. Patrick’s Day Fun
 
The first weekend of March Madness is the busiest of the college basketball tournament because of a) there are a lot of games played and b) you can legally wager on all of those games. Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17 each has 16 games beginning at 9 am and ending around 9 pm. The pace slows down on Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19 when each day only has 8 games.
 
Sports books will be overflowing all day and night. Many casinos, bars, and restaurants will have parties that offer food and drink to go along with seats for you to watch the games. Some of these parties will have mobile betting stations so you can skip the sports book. It’s a great time for all sports fans but the fun doesn’t end there.
 
Spring break brings out the hardcore partiers. Most dayclubs won’t be popping off like the summer, but the nightclubs bring in A-List talent for those looking for entertainment. You’ll find that many of the big name Las Vegas residencies will have shows that sell out shows for this weekend. This group of mostly college students don’t need all that much more than just being in Las Vegas and enjoying everything Sin City has to offer.
 
St. Patrick’s Day brings out a few different groups of people in addition to those already in Las Vegas. Many people from nearby states like California and Arizona will visit just to celebrate some away from home. There are whiskey and beer specials at bars all over town. Local residents will often make an appearance on the Vegas Strip to partake in the parties.
 
One of the larger celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day takes place at New York-New York. The Celtic Feis festival takes place on March 17 and 18. Festivities kick off on Friday, March 17 with live entertainment beginning at 11 a.m. on the Brooklyn Bridge. The Las Vegas Pipe Band will lead a parade at 10 a.m., starting on the Mezzanine and continuing through New York-New York. The parade is complimentary and open to guests of all ages. Starting at noon on March 17, guests must be at least 21 years of age and admission starts at $10.
 
Between the Brooklyn Bridge and Nine Fine Irishmen, my favorite Irish Bar in Las Vegas, you’ll find Irish food, booze, music and more. It’s a true celebration or the holiday that you might not expect to find on the Vegas Strip.
 
Beyond all of this, the weather is just heating up and it’s a great time to be outside in Las Vegas. This is probably my favorite weekend to be on the Vegas Strip. You might want to get busy, if you want to visit for this weekend and haven’t already made plans.
 

AAA Discounts In Las Vegas

Tuesday, 07 February 2017 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

You tend to not think about home and real life when you’re in Las Vegas. It’s understandable since that’s often the purpose of visiting Las Vegas. However, one of the best ways to find discounts in Las Vegas comes from your home life. Many of us have a membership with the American Automobile Association and rarely think about it in Las Vegas because we’re not driving. It still might not be front of mind even if we are driving.
 
Heck, I have AAA and live in Las Vegas and rarely think about the discounts it offers when I’m wanderings Las Vegas like a tourist. AAA is a great resource for discounts wherever you are. They currently have well over 150 discounts available in Las Vegas. There’s even a free “perks” book that members can order.
 
While all of the discounts are geared towards local residents, you’ll find many that you can use wherever you’re from. Here’s a quick look at the AAA discounts in Las Vegas that would appeal more to people visiting.
 
Hotels
 
MGM Resorts (Aria, Bellagio and more) – Save 10%
Marriott (Cosmopolitan and more) – Save 5%
Best Western (Casino Royale and more) – Save 10%
Hilton and Double Tree Hotels (Tropicana, Elara at Planet Hollywood and more) – Save 5%
Embassy Suites (Elara at Planet Hollywood and more) – Save 5%
Four Points by Sheraton (Westin and more) – Save 15%
 
Shows
 
Blue Man Group – Save up to 30%
Cirque Du Soleil – Save up to 20%
 
Restaurants
 
Chart House – Save 10% on food and non-alcoholic drinks
Hard Rock Cafe – (All locations) Save 10% on food and non-alcoholic drinks
 
Travel
 
Dollar Rental Cars – Save 10%
Hertz Rental Cars- Save 20%
Thrifty Rental Cars – Save 8%
 
Other
 
Exotics Racing – Save 10%
Miracle Mile Shops – Free Coupon Book
Super Shuttle (to and from airport) – Save $2 per person
UPS Store – Save 15%
Ticketmaster – Save up to 50% on tickets
 
TravelVegas.com has put together a list of AAA deals you can book online. Visit here.
 
There are plenty more AAA discounts available in Las Vegas, but most won’t be of interest to you unless you break your glasses, damage your car, and so forth. If you’re a AAA member looking to save a few bucks on your next visit to Las Vegas make sure you visit aaa.com to see if there are any deals available. You may be surprised with that you find.
 

KA by Cirque du Soleil Ticket Giveaway Package

Thursday, 02 February 2017 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

It’s Always Pool Season In Las Vegas!

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

When the temperatures hit 50 degrees for the first time of the year, you hear the Las Vegas locals yelling that “it’s FREEZING.” Having grown up in the northeast, my blood still hasn’t thinned to that level. Not yet. However, it is winter in Las Vegas and the temperatures are cooler than the rest of the year.
 
Pool season in Las Vegas technically begins on Memorial Day Weekend and ends on Labor Day Weekend. You might think that pools close after pool season. That’s not quite the case. There is a good of the pools in Las Vegas remain open during the winter and early spring.
 
Even though it’s cooler during the days, the Las Vegas sun always heats things up a little. It’s never really cold in Las Vegas and it’s always pool season for someone. Las Vegas is always considered to be a somewhat tropical paradise to vacation. That can be the case for locals too.
 
The temperatures were in the low 60’s yesterday so I hopped into the car to grab some iced coffee and go for a drive. As usual, my car ended up near a casino where I was driving on a long and winding street lined with palm trees. The fresh air, cool drink, and warmth from the sun was a good reminder of why I chose to live in Las Vegas.
 
While it may, technically, not be pool season the temperatures in Las Vegas are on the rise. The temperatures during spring are probably my favorite of the year in Las Vegas. Here are some pools where you can take a dip before the summer begins if you’re not daunted by temperatures that are cooler than the summer.

  • Aria
  • Bellagio
  • Caesars Palace
  • Casino Royale
  • Circus Circus
  • Cosmopolitan
  • The D
  • Golden Nugget
  • Hard Rock
  • Harrah’s
  • The Linq
  • Mandalay Bay
  • MGM Grand
  • The Mirage
  • Paris Las Vegas
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Rio
  • The Venetian
  • Wynn

The winter pool experience in Las Vegas is somewhat muted from what you’ll typically enjoy during the summer. The pools operate on limited hours during the off-season (winter and early spring). Hours of operation are usually limited to mid-late morning (9 or 10 am) until late afternoon-early evening (4 or 5 pm). Additionally, the hotels that have multiple pools may only have one open until it’s officially pool season.
 
If you’re serious about taking a dip before pool season, I recommend checking with the hotel right before you visit to make sure they’ll be open. Since fewer people are visiting the pools right there the property may decide to clean or renovate at any time.
 

Cheap Upgrades With The $20 Trick In Las Vegas

Friday, 27 January 2017 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

There are a lot of things that happen in Las Vegas that don’t happen in many other cities in America. In this case, I’m not talking about “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” or anything related to the sin of Sin City.
 
I’m talking about the “$20 Trick.” This isn’t something exclusive to Las Vegas, but it’s something that has blossomed here. Over the years the $20 Trick has become sort of legendary and mythical. The goal of this “trick” is to get a free hotel room upgrade for the entirety of your stay. Free upgrades have been great while also being exaggerated at times.
 
Today, the $20 trick would be considered more of a travel hack than a trick. In fact, if the $20 Trick was created today it would be called something similar to “Vegas Room Upgrade Hack” or simply the “$20 Hack.” While it’s not always effective, the $20 Trick is real and sometimes can change your Las Vegas vacation in ways you never imagined. Here’s how it works:

  1. Take a $20 bill and place between your credit card and driver’s license when checking into a hotel.
  2. Ask for a complimentary upgrade.
  3. Mention if you’re in Las Vegas for a birthday, anniversary, or special event. That can only help.

That’s it.
 
The $20 Trick isn’t magic, but the results can be fantastic. There may be visions of upgrading a basic room into an opulent suite. That may happen but this is the exception and not the rule in Las Vegas today.
 
Since hotels on the Vegas Strip charge for every kind of upgrade imaginable today, the desk agent might not have much flexibility to bump you all the way up. Your $20 Trick upgrade may “only” be to the next level room or a better view. These are still upgrades but not to the best room in the hotel.
 
When the $20 Trick was first used in Las Vegas the hotels didn’t put much of a focus on selling upgrades. That’s changed in the past couple of years. Not only can you pay for an upgrade when reserving your hotel room, but you’ll be offered the upgrade again when you check-in.
 
Last year, MGM Resorts generated $9.3 million in upsell revenue for the fourth quarter alone. Thanks, in part to the $20 Trick, upgrades have become big business for Las Vegas hotels. Even though the free upgrades available may not be what they used to with the $20 Trick, you can still find them. After all, nontaxable income (your $20) is always welcome in Las Vegas.
 
Even if the $20 Trick doesn’t bring a suite that it might have 5 years ago, the Trick can still get you a better hotel room, nicer view, or save you money. If all else fails the desk agent might be able to remove those pesky resort fees for the tip. It’s not fancy but $20 may save you $50 for a weekend.
 
The $20 Trick works best when the hotel isn’t busy. You’ll have an easier time finding an upgrade on a slow weekday instead of a busy weekend. Likewise, you have a better chance of getting an upgrade when the hotel isn’t packed with people in Las Vegas for a convention. Room availability is your friend when you’re looking for a free hotel upgrade. This is something to keep in mind when booking a room.
 
Before trying the $20 Trick, you might want to do some research to see how others have done. TwentyDollarTrick.com and Front Desk Tip (Full disclosure, I also write for their blog) are excellent websites. You can also find information on the $20 Trick and other happenings in Las Vegas at Vegas Message Board forums.
 

New Restaurants On The Vegas Strip

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas and Food.

If there’s one thing in Las Vegas that changes more than anything else, it’s the restaurants. Dining trends and customer preferences are evolve so quickly that the restaurant industry has a act quickly. When I first moved to Las Vegas, every casino was rushing to add two kinds of restaurant. It seemed as though every casino was looking to offer a high-end steakhouse and a fancy burger restaurant.
 
The trend of more beef on the strip has slowed in the past 5 years. Last year there was an influx of fine dining on the Vegas Strip with restaurants like Carbone at Aria and Harvest at Bellagio opening to rave reviews. The new year is off to a busy start with a slew of new restaurants already opening on the Vegas Strip.
 
Giordano’s (Bally’s Grand Bazaar)
 
This restaurant chain was born in Chicago and now has locations all over the country. This small chain of restaurants is famous for their deep dish pizza. Beyond “pizza,” (this New Yorker says deep dish isn’t pizza) they serve other traditional Italian dishes. Prices are moderate for the Vegas Strip.
 
In N Out Burger (The Linq Promenade)
 
Everyone’s favorite California-based fast food burger chain finally has a location on the Vegas Strip. The prices are a bit more than you’d pay if away from the Vegas Strip but the markup isn’t too bad. It’s almost as if they just added the taxi or rideshare prices into each item on the menu.
 
Momofuku (Cosmopolitan)
 
David Chang is one of the more popular young restaurateurs in America today. With Momofuku, he brings his unique take on Asian dining to Las Vegas. This is one of the few restaurants on the Vegas Strip where you can find ramen.
 
Milk Bar (Cosmopolitan)
 
This is another David Chang restaurant and it’s located next to Momofuku at the Cosmopolitan. Milk Bar is a dessert bar that features cakes, cookies, ice cream and boozy milkshakes. This is more of a walk up stand than an actual restaurant. If ice cream after ramen sounds tasty, you can order dessert while dining at Momofuku.
 
Stripside Cafe (Caesars Palace)
 
This restaurant take over the space of Serendipity 3 outside of Caesars Palace. The Stripside Cafe has traditional American cafe food with a view of the Vegas Strip. I just want to give a word of caution with this restaurant. There’s usually a price increase when dining on the Vegas Strip but this restaurant takes it to another level. Take a look at the menu before visiting.
 
Honorable Mention: Redneck Riviera (Bally’s Grand Bazaar)
 
Redneck Riviera is a new country music bar brought to you by John Rich of Big and Rich fame. In addition to playing country music all day, this bar features live band performances. It’s not a restaurant but they do serve food from another Grand Bazaar tenant, Wahlburger’s.
 
Coming soon: Zuma (Cosmopolitan)
 
This high end Japanese restaurant has three kitchens and will offer a unique level of Asian dining not found in most casinos in Las Vegas. Zuma opens on January 28
 

Low Rolling In Las Vegas

Friday, 20 January 2017 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas and Gaming.

Low rolling shouldn’t be thought of something to do when they you’re running low on money in Las Vegas. Regardless of your financial situation you should really consider a night of low rolling in Las Vegas. Beyond the financial savings a long session of low rolling can be the most fun time you have in a Las Vegas casino. For some reason, the loudest people in the casino tend to be the people wagering the least. That can be you!
 
 
 
 
 
 
A day or night of low rolling in Las Vegas begins with your location. It’s easiest to go low rolling in downtown Las Vegas because there are a plethora of inexpensive restaurants and casinos in a walkable area. Options can always make an experience better. In addition to the Vegas Strip there is one other area where you can go visit multiple casinos if you want. The trio of casinos (Rio, Gold Coast, Palms) just off the Vegas Strip on Flamingo.
 
If you’re not in the mood to bounce around casinos, you can keep to the same location. Casinos like South Point, The Orleans, and the aforementioned Gold Coast each offer cheap gambling and a variety of inexpensive dining options.
 
I started low rolling days and nights in Las Vegas before I even realized it. There was a visit to Las Vegas that began with day drinking and gambling at the El Cortez. Between the $3 blackjack (now $5) and 25 cent roulette (still $0.25) we gambled for hours. I don’t remember much else after the El Cortez but there was probably a steak involved.
 
Another night of low rolling madness happened at the Gold Coast when I learned how to play Pai Gow. I knew I was onto something special. Here are some examples of where to enjoy a day or night of low rolling in Las Vegas.
 
Downtown Vegas Low Rolling
 
As I mentioned this is the best location for a day, night, weekend or week of low rolling in Las Vegas. There are so many options to choose from, but I’ll share my current favorite. The evening begins at Pizza Rock Happy Hour. You can enjoy personal pizza with a craft beer for about $10. You can add more drinks and still remain under $20. After you’re done eating and drinking you can head to The D for $5 blackjack. The rules are player friendly so your money should last awhile. If you want a break, just head back to Pizza Rock for their late night Happy Hour.
 
Off Strip Low Rolling
 
I’ve mentioned the Gold Coast is one of the birthplaces of low rolling in Las Vegas for me. Dining is only a part of the night. I typically eat before reaching the Gold Coast for low rolling. However, there are some good and inexpensive options. The $5 Pai Gow table is the game of choice here. The game is slow, there are a lot of hands that push (nobody wins or loses) and the cocktail service is super fast. After a few hours of gambling you may tip the cocktail waitress more money than you play in the game. That’s what I’m talking about!
 
Vegas Strip Low Rolling
 
You can find cheap gambling at a few locations on the Vegas Strip but there’s only one casino devoted to the low roller. Casino Royale has cheap gambling, drinks, and food. What more could a low roller want than a casino that’s like a dive bar? Call this a dive casino if you wish. You can play any table game for $5 here and enjoy a variety of inexpensive places to eat. This is a small casino and if you feel claustrophobic after a while you may be able to find some good low rolling games across the street at Treasure Island.
 

How To Watch The Super Bowl In Las Vegas

Wednesday, 18 January 2017 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

The Super Bowl game may never be played in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean all that much to the hotels, casinos, bars, and restaurants. Super Bowl weekend is one the busiest weekends of the year in Las Vegas. More than 300,000 people will be in Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend. The city is packed for “The Big Game” already. The Super Bowl is usually the single most wagered on sporting event of the year.
 
Visiting Las Vegas for the Super Bowl should be on the bucket list of any sports fan. However, watching the Super Bowl isn’t quite as simple are you think. The demand to watch the game is greater than the capacity of every sports book in Las Vegas. Don’t worry, there are plenty of options to watch the Super Bowl in Las Vegas:
 
Sports Book – Seats in most sports books are free and general admission for the public. Seating is available on a first come-first served basis. Unlike most days of the year, any seats available will begin filling up hours before kickoff. Some sports books, like Cosmopolitan and The Venetian, will reserve seats for their best customers. Bottom line, the atmosphere is great and you may find a free seat in a sports book, but they are few and far between.
 
Casino Bar – Free seats to watch the game at a casino bar are usually gone well before kickoff but they’re not impossible to find. If you’re patient and have time to kill, you can slide up to one of the casino bars. You can purchase drinks or play video poker and possibly receive complimentary drinks. While the seats don’t come with a fee, you can’t just sit here. Expect to buy drinks and tip your bartender.
 
Walk Into A Bar and/or Restaurant – There are sports bars and restaurants all over Las Vegas that will be showing the game. Many will have parties but you might be able to walk in and find a free seat in the bar area. Chances are the bars/restaurant will be packed before kickoff. Again, the seats may be free but you’ll be expected to buy food and/or drink while you’re occupying space.
 
Free Parties – Most of the viewing parties for the Super Bowl will guarantee you a seat and provide food and drink. However, if you look at some of the hotels and casinos away from the Vegas Strip you might find a free general admission party. You won’t get the guaranteed seat, bells and whistles of the paid parties but you should have access to watch the game with cheap food and drinks. Just show up early enough to get a seat. This is a great option for large groups who will make any room into a party.
 
VIP Parties – If you’re a high roller or have an upper tier casino players club card, you might receive an invite to one of these exclusive parties. The VIP parties will all have be showing the game. Entry may be limited and the food and drink offered will be different. Some VIP parties will actually have former football players to sign autographs and take pictures.
 
$$$ Viewing Parties – The majority of Super Bowl parties you find on the Vegas Strip will cost between $100-$200 per person. These parties will guarantee you a seat to watch the game. Some parties will offer food, booze or both. The scope of parties includes ballrooms, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and more. Basically any room you can fit a TV you might find a party. These parties started selling out in early January and will continue to do so until kickoff.
 

Robot Restaurant in Las Vegas?

Friday, 13 January 2017 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas and Nightlife.

It’s safe to say that I’m addicted to social media. If it’s not on my main screen it’s on a 2nd, 3rd or 4th screen. Most of my obsession with social media is to be on top of everything in Las Vegas (my job) and to keep up with friends (my personal life). There’s a small sliver of my social media spent on hobbies and things unrelated to work.
 
The other day I was checking out the snapchat of a very funny comedian, Iliza Shlesinger. She’s active on snapchat and typically brings her small dog just about everywhere. She and Blanche amuse me. I happened to be checking the snaps while she was on vacation in Asia. After shuffling through touristy pics and video, I came across the most amazing touristy restaurant I’ve ever seen.
 
She visited Robot Restaurant in Japan. My first thought was OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
 
My second thought was that Robot Restaurant needs to be in Las Vegas! Before I try to describe what the experience at Robot Restaurant is like, you should watch this video.
 

 
I’m not sure I can describe this dinner experience accurately but here it goes. This is dinner theater with robots. The concept is loosely similar to what Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at the Cosmopolitan tried to do. The idea is to create a unique dining experience before taking in a wild and over-the-top show that you won’t find anywhere else.
 
The drum solo, dancing, music, battles, animal mascots all make me want to have a few too many drinks and scream. That’s just the show. There’s a whole other dinner and drinks part of the evening. There’s nothing that I don’t like about this. It’s unique and it’s the kind of kitchy spectacle that made Las Vegas famous.
 
I’ve never seen anything like Robot Restaurant but I sure would like to. However, I don’t want to travel halfway around the world to see it. I want to this in a Las Vegas casino! I’m not sure that there’s an appropriate location for Robot Restaurant in Las Vegas…yet. So, let’s brainstorm a little.
 
Sake Rok is probably the only truly unique dining experience in Las Vegas. There is no other restaurant experience like it in Las Vegas. In between your sushi dinner there’s a DJ spinning, MC walking the floor, every table drinking sake bombs, there are dance routines and a stage for having random fun with guests. This is a loud restaurant and not a place for a mellow dinner.
 

 
Sake Rok is in The Park just outside of New York-New York. The concept doesn’t quite fit the theme of any casino and this is perfect. That’s a consideration for Robot Restaurant. Some larger casinos in Las Vegas like MGM Grand or Caesars Palace might be large enough where the robot theme doesn’t overtake the existing casino environment.
 
Now that I think about it, MGM Grand might actually be the perfect location for Robot Restaurant in Las Vegas. The casino doesn’t have a distinct theme and is large enough to house just about any concept without changing whatever its core identity might be.
 
MGM Grand is a casino that caters to a wide variety of customers. The history and brand attracts many people who aren’t familiar with Las Vegas. Hakkasan Nightclub attracts a younger crowd. Maybe Robot Restaurant could be their version of what Tournament of Kings is at Excalibur. While Level Up is geared towards younger millennials Robot Restaurant could attract older millennials and Generation Xers like myself.
 
I’m a dreamer and I can’t get this restaurant out of my head. The snaps were intriguing enough send me into the great depths google and youtube. If you’re teased a little and want more you can see 20 minutes of the show below.
 

 

I heard a lot of chatter over the past year from people fed up with the changing Vegas Strip. There are still plenty of people who love the Vegas Strip, but we can discuss that another day. Today is about those who are looking for a new Las Vegas experience. It’s probably easiest to start by finding an experience similar to the Vegas Strip without the restrictive new policies and extra fees.
 
I want to be clear that there’s nothing compares to the Vegas Strip. Even the most mediocre room on the Vegas Strip is comparable or better than similar options in many other cities. Beyond the prices, all you have to do it walk outside and you’ll see 20 other casino-resorts nearby to visit. The Vegas Strip is remarkable.
 
Having said that, there are great casino-resorts located throughout the Las Vegas valley. Each of the properties provides a gateway to leaving the Vegas Strip. The experience won’t be quite the same, but they’re much nicer than others in the area.
 
Downtown Las Vegas
 
This area used to be known as “Old Vegas.” The buildings are older and that makes many of the hotels smaller than their counterparts on the Vegas Strip. Most of the properties on the Vegas Strip are casino-resorts. In downtown Las Vegas many are hotel-casinos. The difference between the two parts of Las Vegas is that many properties downtown don’t offer the amenities you’ll find in resorts on the Vegas Strip.
 
The Golden Nugget is the casino in Downtown Las Vegas that offers almost all of the amenities you’d find in a Vegas Strip resort. Looking beyond the large casino there are multiple hotel towers, a spa, wide variety of dining and more. There are many less expensive options in downtown Las Vegas, but few offer the amenities you’ll find on the Vegas Strip
 
West Las Vegas
 
Red Rock Casino & Resort is located about 20 minutes west of the Vegas Strip near the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. Some say that if this beautiful full-service casino-resort was on the Vegas Strip, that it would be one of the best. While the table area is smaller than many casinos on the Vegas Strip, you’ll find Strip-like pool complex, spa, dining options, and more. Since this is a locals casino you’ll also find a movie theater, bowling alley and children’s center. Red Rock has everything you’d want in a Las Vegas casino-resort without the neighboring casinos.
 
East Las Vegas
 
Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa (GVR) is about a 15-20 minute drive from the Vegas Strip. There is a unique feeling at this resort that you won’t find anywhere else in Las Vegas. It almost feels as though you’re in an exclusive estate when you walk the grounds at GVR. The property offers more bars and restaurants than many other casinos away from the Vegas Strip. This is also the only in-casino home to Pizza Rock which has one of the best Happy Hours that you’ll find anywhere in Las Vegas
 
South Las Vegas
 
M Resort is located about 15 minutes south of Mandalay Bay and shares a players club with the Tropicana. This connection actually gives you a way to shuttle to and from the Vegas Strip. However, if you’re staying in Las Vegas for a weekend you may never want or need to leave M Resort. Similar to Red Rock Casino, this resort offers all of the amenities you’ll find in a Vegas Strip casino-resort. Best of all, M Resort is one of the few remaining hotels in Las Vegas that doesn’t charge a resort fee.
 
North Las Vegas
 
Technically, downtown Las Vegas is north of the Vegas Strip but I’ll look to the far north. Aliante, a new Boyd Gaming casino, is located about 20 minutes north of the center of the Vegas Strip. This was originally built as a Station Casino and looks very similar to Red Rock Casino. Aliante has a modern design, dining options, and great pool this is a great option off the Vegas Strip. It’s tied to the 7 other Boyd Gaming properties around Las Vegas. Using the B-Connected players club is a great way to explore some new casinos off the Vegas Strip.
 

Our eyes are always open for free entertainment. I’m happy to report that in the past year there has been an increase in venues offering free entertainment. Last year we had new free entertainment at El Cortez, Mandarin Oriental, and Topgolf while the Palms continued their free entertainment offerings.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Free Concerts at the Hard Rock Cafe On The Vegas Strip
 
Many times the free entertainment in Las Vegas is a reason to visit a bar or lounge during slower periods. That’s not the case with the Hard Rock Cafe on the Vegas Strip. The bar, restaurant and performance venue located down the street from MGM Grand and across from Aria and Monte Carlo is offering free concerts in prime time during the weekend.
 
The Hard Rock Cafe on the Vegas Strip (not the Hard Rock casino located off the Vegas Strip) hosts concerts from local and national bands throughout the year. During January the concert venue on the 3rd floor will sprinkle in a handful of free alternative rock concerts for anyone 21 and over.
 
Date: Saturday, Jan. 7
Headliner: Radio Active
Doors: 9 p.m.
 
Date: Sunday, Jan. 8
Headliner: Crown Avenue
Doors: 9 p.m.
 
Date: Friday, Jan. 13
Headliner: Royal Electric featuring Frank Sidoris of Slash & Robert Zarkanian of Adelita’s Way
Doors: 9 p.m.
 
Date: Saturday, Jan. 21
Headliner: Radio Active
Doors: 9 p.m.
 
Date: Sunday, Jan. 22
Headliner: Crown Avenue
Doors: 9 p.m.
 
The Hard Rock Cafe has two happy hours for you to enjoy before, during, and after the free concerts. Every day they offer Happy Hour from 2 -7 pm and from 9 pm to midnight. Drink specials are $5 for draft beer and house wine and $6 call drinks (think middle shelf vodka and tonic).
 
To purchase tickets, or for more information for shows at the Hard Rock Cafe, call 702-650-8590 or visit Hard Rock Live online. If you purchase tickets for other shows, there isn’t a service charge at the Hard Rock Live Box Office.
 
Free Entertainment In Downtown Las Vegas
 
Every day you’ll find free performances on the various stages at the Fremont Street Experience. When the sun goes down you’ll be treated to a 10-15 minute free “concert” on the canopy from a variety of rock bands at the top of every hour. The light shows are always memorable.
 
The free entertainment returns to one of my favorite casinos in downtown Las Vegas this year. The El Cortez offers free entertainment at the Parlour Bar on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You’ll also find some chill piano vibes at the Lobby Bar Friday & Saturday from 4 pm – 9 pm. Visit the El Cortez website for more information.
 

Las Vegas is changing every day. Sometimes we all have a desire to hold onto the past. Most casino operators don’t make that very easy as they try to keep up with current customer preferences. The hotel and resort sections of most Las Vegas properties have been renovated over the years to become more modern. Even if there’s a vintage feel to the property they’re probably (hopefully) working with modern amenities.
 
However, if you’re looking for a true vintage Las Vegas experience you can head into five casinos in downtown Las Vegas. There are still a handful of casinos who offer vintage coin-operated video poker or slot machines. The vast majority of casino machine games have been modernized with the TITO (Ticket In Ticket Out) system.
 
Coin-operated games are now so vintage that The D no longer offers them in their 2nd-floor vintage casino. Last year The D added vintage machines that were equipped with TITO systems. The ticket system is convenient so that you don’t have to deal with lugging coins around or dirty fingers when you cash out.
 
While most people gambling in Las Vegas enjoy the ease of the TITO system there are still some people that are nostalgic for the clanking of the drops dropping. Even the dirt from the coins can bring back some old Las Vegas memories. Part of the fun of Las Vegas is remembering the good times you had before. The noise and filth sometimes bring back some great memories.
 
You can still find coin-operated video poker and slot machines in the following downtown Las Vegas casinos:

  • The California
  • El Cortez
  • Fremont
  • Main Street Station
  • Plaza

I’m always looking for a way to work Sigma Derby into my day and coin-operated slot machines are a good excuse. The old mechanical horse racing games still run on quarters. Both Sigma Derby games in Las Vegas still operate on actual money, unlike most video poker and slot machines. You can still find Sigma Derby at MGM Grand and The D. This is the only coin-operated game in either casino for the time being.
 
Downtown Las Vegas has been adding new businesses and renovating casinos a lot over the past five years or so. However, the operators know that keeping a vintage atmosphere is what separates the area from the Vegas Strip. The coin operated video poker and slot machines are just one way you’ll enjoy vintage Las Vegas downtown. Even with renovations over the years each of the casinos I’ve mentioned here has kept a very different old Vegas vibe without actually being old.
 

Skiing And Snowboarding in Las Vegas

Friday, 30 December 2016 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

Las Vegas is known for it’s warm to hot temperatures all year round. When I moved to Las Vegas from the east coast, I donated my winter coats and purchased a new hoodie. That sweet heather gray sweatshirt has been my “winter coat” for the past 5 years. Las Vegas itself may get cold, but not brutally cold like most cities in the country.
 
Having said that, it gets really cold and actually snows within an hour from the heart of Las Vegas. I live out near Red Rock Canyon and see snow on some of the mountains. Since Las Vegas begins and ends on the Vegas Strip for most visitors, you may not think of life away from the action. However, you can actually visit Las Vegas and hit the slopes to ski or snowboard on the same day.
 
Depending on how fast you drive Lee Canyon is slightly more or just less than an hour away from the heart of the Vegas Strip. It’s about $55-$75 each way if you use a ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft. You can ski, snowboard, and even go tubing for the day. Lee Canyon is a full-service mountain and offers rentals and lessons.
 
Lee Canyon’s One Day Snow Experience is the perfect package for most people looking to hit the slopes. This package starts at $81.99 if you reserve a space online. It comes with an all-day unrestricted lift pass plus your choice of ski’s, boots, and poles, or a snowboard, bindings, and boots.
 
The package also includes coaching that is designed for beginner to intermediate skiers and snowboarders. If you’re an experienced skier or snowboarder and bring your own gear you can buy a lift ticket for about half the price.
 
Tubing is a great option if you’re with the family and don’t want to spend the entire day on the skiing or snowboarding. Individual tickets start as low as $21.99 per person. Sessions last 90 minutes so you won’t have to feel committed to spending the entire day to get you money’s worth.
 
Visit Lee Canyon for more information on the mountain and different packages they offer.
 
If you simply just want to relax in the cooler weather you can head up to Mount Charleston. The resort, restaurant, and lounge is a great getaway in the winter. In fact, the cooler temperatures make this a great destination during the summer. The lodge is only about 30 minutes from the Vegas Strip. It’s also about 30 minutes to Lee Canyon if you’d like to go skiing.
 
Mt. Charleston offers the kind of hotel rooms and suites that you’d expect to find at a ski lodge in the mountains. The rustic vibe is continues throughout the entire resort, restaurant, and lounge. If you’re a gambler, the lounge offers bar top video poker, slot machines, and keno. This is a great option if you’re looking for a place to crash after a day on the slopes at Lee Canyon. You can find more information here.
 
Visiting Lee Canyon or Mt. Charleston is a great way to have a very different Las Vegas experience. Add skiing and snowboarding to the list of random things you can do on your Vegas vacation.
 

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.
 

7 Conventions To Avoid In Las Vegas And Save Money

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

We’re always looking for ways to save money when visiting Las Vegas. Most of the tips we share involve cheap or free things to do once you’re in Las Vegas. However, there are more than a few times a year when you’ll want to stay away from Las Vegas. Prices for hotel rooms skyrocket when the casino operators expect it to be busy.
 
Most vacation planners know that holidays, concerts and major sporting events will often be the cause for higher hotel room prices. In Las Vegas, there are a handful of major events that pack hotels which the public will never think about. Unless you visit for a convention, you may never think about Las Vegas being one of the biggest cities in America for conventions. Many of these conventions aren’t covered by mainstream media so you’ll never know they exist.
 
I’m often asked why hotel rooms on certain dates in Las Vegas are crazy expensive. The answer is almost always because a convention is in town. I’m about to bestow one a link I share every year that should help you save money when visiting Las Vegas. This website by Las Vegas Tourism lists all conventions coming to Las Vegas. The list is a full year calendar so you can do advanced planning if you need.
 
Almost every convention will affect hotel prices in Las Vegas. Smaller conventions might only affect the host hotel. For example, the “Off-Price Specialist Show” at The Venetian is expected to have 11,500 attendees in February. By ordinary standards, this is a lot of people. However, that’s really just another day in Las Vegas. This convention should only affect hotel room prices at The Venetian, The Palazzo and maybe nearby hotels.
 
The following conventions are massive and will affect the price of just about every hotel room in Las Vegas.
 
Consumer Electronics Show (January 5-8)
 
This is one of the largest convention of the year in Las Vegas with approximately 200,000 attendees. CES not only caters to the electronics industry but to all industries who work with any form of technology and the media who cover the event. This is typically one of the busiest weeks in Las Vegas. Not only are hotel room rates high but restaurants, shows, and nightclubs are packed.
 
ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 (March 7-11)
 
This convention and expo isn’t always in Las Vegas. However, it’s in Las Vegas in 2017 and so are about 150,000 people. You’ve never heard of the international trade show for the construction industries? What’s up with that? This convention and expo leads into NASCAR weekend in Las Vegas. Hotel rates for the week and weekend have been through the roof for months. Unless you have to be in Las Vegas, you’d be wise to stay away.
 
National Association of Broadcasters (April 24-27)
 
Just over 100,000 people attend NAB every year. This is one of the busy but not insanely busy conventions in Las Vegas. Chances are good that you’ll run into an attendee of the convention while getting coffee in the morning or a drink at night. Hotel prices during NAB are higher than normal but not super expensive like CES or Con/Agg.
 
Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week and SEMA (October 31-November 3)
 
Without a doubt this is the convention that throws visitors to Las Vegas for a loop. The auto industry is huge and the aftermarket industry is a large part of that. Think about every penny you spend on your car after purchasing it. In brief that’s what’s on display at this expo. There will be approximately 150,000 people at the Sands Expo Center. Yes, unlike many other large shows, everyone attending will be on the Vegas Strip.
 
Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Trade Show & World of Concrete (January 17-20)
 
The SHOT Show brings about 65,000 people to the Sands Expo Center at The Venetian and World of Concrete brings another 60,000 people to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Together these two shows bring as many people as the larger shows above. Las Vegas may not seem too busy because the attendees are spread out. However, these people all have to sleep somewhere. Hotel rooms will be at a premium when these two conventions are in Las Vegas at the same time.
 

World Series Of Poker Dates Announced For 2017

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas and Gaming.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the most popular poker tournament of the year. This is a great event for both poker players and fans of the game. Caesars Entertainment, the owner of WSOP, recently announced dates for the poker tournament(s) in 2017. Once again the WSOP returns to the Rio All-Suites hotel and casino. The majority of the events will take place from May 30 to July 17, 2017.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The WSOP schedule includes gold bracelet events, satellite tournaments, cash games and three times a day deep stack tournaments running for 49 consecutive days. The most popular tournament is the $10,000 buy-in Main Event which takes place between July 8-17. When play is completed on July 17, the WSOP will take a break and return later in the year with the final table of 9 players. This group has been known as the November 9.
 
The opening weekend event of the 2017 WSOP will feature the return of the world’s largest live poker tournament. Colossus (dubbed Colossus III this year) is a $565 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament. The tournament features two starting flights per day for three consecutive days from June 2-4. This tournament is particularly popular because of the affordable entry fee and because it allows players to enter again if they fail to advance initially. Oh yeah, the $1 million-plus prize for winning Colossus doesn’t hurt.
 
Colossus has drawn 43,987 entries during its first two years in the WSOP. These have easily been the largest live poker tournaments ever. While the Main Event is popular because of the huge multi-million prize, Colossus may be the most attractive poker tournament. In a sense, this is the tournament that’s accessible to the most people because of the low buy-in. It’s also a spectacle to watch so many people participating in a tournament.
 
Here are some fun facts from WSOP 2016 for the poker players:

  • The average WSOP gold bracelet event in 2016 featured a $3,205,961 prize pool with $555,475 going to the event’s winner.
  • The 2016 WSOP featured the Top 5 field sizes of the year in all of poker with the Main Event (6,737), Millionaire Maker (7,190), Monster Stack (6,927), Crazy Eights (6,761) and Colossus (21,613) entries combining to attract a staggering 49,228 entries.
  • The 107,833 entries at the 2016 WSOP were the most in the event’s 47-year history.
  • A record 15,767 entrants walked away with prize money, with the WSOP’s new 15% target payout structure utilized for the first time.

The World Series of Poker isn’t only for participants. If you’re a fan of poker, you can watch the events at Rio for free throughout the tournament. This is one of those unique “only in Vegas” experiences you’ll find every now and again. Watching other people play poker might not be a reason to visit Las Vegas, but it’s a fun activity if you’re already planning to be in town.
 
Visit WSOP.com for more information.
 

Travel and Fees

Friday, 16 December 2016 by Blog Category: Everything Vegas.

United Airlines recently announced that they would begin charging for use of overhead bins on their flights. This would mean that both checked baggage and carry-on bags would cost passengers money in addition to their airplane tickets.
 
I flew out of Newark Airport (EWR) more often than any other airport when I lived on the east coast. This airport happens to be the main hub for United. The convenience of being a hub airport can’t be underestimated. There are more flights for United available for people in New York, New Jersey, and even other nearby states. Many of my friends on the east coast still use this airline and airport when coming to Las Vegas. Naturally, I became curious about how the new fee will affect anyone visiting Las Vegas through EWR.
 
According to an Expedia survey earlier this year almost half the people who fly use overhead bins. No wonder it takes so long to get on and off airplanes today. United Airlines expects this fee to be big business. They plan is expected to generate $1 billion for the company by 2020 from this additional fee alone.
 
At first, this new carry-on fee will only attach to the least expensive tickets on United. You know, the people trying to save money. After learning about this I wanted to see how many people visiting Las Vegas would be affected. I visited the Mccarran Airport website for some passenger information.
 
According to data on the website, United Airlines will bring just under 4 million passengers to Las Vegas this year. If we assume that the number will be similar next year, then about 2 million people visiting Las Vegas via United will be subject to new carry-on baggage fees. That stinks but in the world of fees affecting people visiting Las Vegas, it’s not many people.
 
According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority 2015 Visitor Profile about how the 42.3 million people traveled to Las Vegas last year. Over half (57% to be exact) of those visitors arrived via ground transportation. Visitation for 2016 is trending slightly upward and it seems as though that will continue in 2017. This total visitors who drove to Las Vegas last year was approximately 23 million visitors. It’s also useful to note that 15% of people visiting Las Vegas last year rented a car.
 
It’s safe to assume the majority of those driving and staying in Las Vegas will be lodging at hotels on the Vegas Strip. These visitors will be subject to the new parking fees at Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts hotels. These two casino operators dominate properties one the Vegas Strip. The parking fees should affect somewhere around 20 million people in 2017.
 
Yowza, even though I look at these travel statistics fairly often it didn’t occur to me how many people were actually being affected by the parking fees. As a tourist, I flew to Las Vegas and took taxis or walked everywhere. As a local, I don’t have to pay the fees (yet) so it really hasn’t directly changed my travel activity.
 
All fees stink but they’re a part of our travel life. Businesses a trying to make their prices appear more attractive. Society is so used to flying that choosing other travel options may not make sense. Likewise, the Vegas Strip is Las Vegas to so many people that they’ll never stay elsewhere. Logic says that there will be a point where customers revolt but I’m not sure I see that happening anytime soon in the air or Las Vegas.
 

New Las Vegas Show Residencies in 2017

Wednesday, 14 December 2016 by Blog Category: Entertainment and Everything Vegas.

You don’t need an excuse to visit Las Vegas. However, it helps to have one. I’ve always found that building a vacation around an event (or events) to be the best way to maximize my time away. I’ve often used to my sports fandom as an excuse to visit various cities around North America that I probably wouldn’t have had an excuse to visit.
 
There’s always something to do in Las Vegas, but building a trip around an event can make for a fun day and night. Once tickets for the event are secured you can plan dinner and drinks before and a night on the town after. This still leaves a day to enjoy whatever Las Vegas throws at you.
 
Last Vegas residencies aren’t quite the same as they used to be. The former long-term engagements today might last as little as a week of shows per year. Since these shows are often recurring events that are exclusive to Las Vegas, they’re still considered residencies. These shows have exploded over the past couple years and there will be even more residencies in Las Vegas in 2017.
 
Hockey fans can look forward to the release of the 2017-2018 NHL schedule to see when the Vegas Golden Knights play their favorite team. Music and comedy fans might want to circle some of the dates below. Here are some new and returning residency events you can plan a trip to Las Vegas around next year.
 
Backstreet Boys (Planet Hollywood)

  • March: 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18
  • June: 14, 16, 17, 21, 23, 24, 28, 30
  • July: 1

Billy Idol (Mandalay Bay)

  • March: 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 22, 24, 25
  • May: 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13

Britney Spears (Planet Hollywood)

  • March: 22, 24, 25, 29, 31
  • April: 1, 5, 7, 8
  • May: 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20

Bruno Mars (Monte Carlo)

  • December 30, 31
  • March 11, 12
  • September 2, 3

Cher (Monte Carlo)

  • February 8, 10, 11, 14, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25
  • May 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20

Jennifer Lopez (Planet Hollywood)

  • February: 8, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 21, 24, 25
  • May: 24, 26, 27, 28, 31
  • June: 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11
  • September: 6, 8, 9, 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30
  • October: 4, 6, 7

Journey (Hard Rock)

  • May 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 17, 19 and 20.

Keith Sweat (Flamingo)

  • January: 17 – 21, 24 – 28, 31
  • February: 1 – 4

George Strait (T-Mobile Arena)

  • April: 7, 8
  • July: 28, 29
  • September: 1, 2
  • December: 8, 9

Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey (SLS Las Vegas)

  • January: 6, 7
  • February: 3, 4
  • March: 17,18, 31
  • April: 1
  • May: 5, 6
  • June: 30, July 1-4
  • September: 1, 2
  • October: 6, 7, 27, 28

Ralphie May (Harrah’s)

  • January: 26, 27, 28
  • February: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18
  • March: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 30, 31
  • April: 1, 6, 7, 8
  • May: 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20
  • June: 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 29, 30
  • July: 1
  • September: 28, 29, 30
  • October: 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 26, 27, 28
  • November: 2, 3, 4

Reba, Brooks & Dunn (Caesars Palace)

  • February 22, 24, 25
  • March 1, 3, 4
  • June 21, 24, 25, 28
  • July 1, 2
  • December 2, 5, 8, 9

Ricky Martin (Monte Carlo)

  • April 5, 7, 8, 11, 14, 15
  • June 23, 24, 27, 29
  • July 1, 2
  • Sept. 12, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23

Styx and Don Felder (Venetian)

  • January 6, 7, 11, 13, 14

Willie Nelson (Venetian)

  • January: 28, 29
  • February: 1, 3, 4

This isn’t a complete list of Las Vegas residency shows for 2017. These are mostly new or extended shows. If you don’t see an event listed on the dates you’re planning to be in Las Vegas, check pollstar.com. This is a great resource for events taking place in any city in the US.
 

There’s something you can do at just about every casino on the Vegas Strip that won’t cost any money at all. Sometimes it’s a fabulous activity like taking a slow walk and admiring the botanical goodness of the conservatory at Bellagio and other times it can be as simple as taking a picture in a unique setting that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
 
The majority of casinos on the Vegas Strip offer something that you can do for free. I’ve outlined just some of the freebies you can enjoy walking from Mandalay Bay on the south end of the Vegas Strip to Stratosphere on the north end of the Vegas Strip.
 
 
Walking tours of Las Vegas are one of the best, healthiest and least expensive ways to enjoy this great city. If you build your walking tour around lunch and happy hour you can have a full day exploring the Vegas Strip without spending tons of money.

  • Mandalay Bay – Listen to free music at one of the casino bars
  • Luxor – Take a photo in front of the pyramid
  • New York-New York – Take a picture in front of the Statue of Liberty
  • MGM Grand – Take part in research at CBS Television City
  • Monte Carlo – Take a walk through The Park
  • Aria – Walk the property to see all of the fine art on display
  • Cosmopolitan – Take in the beauty of all three levels of the Chandelier bar
  • Planet Hollywood – Watch the rainstorm in the Miracle Mile Shops
  • Paris – Watch Dueling Pianos
  • Bellagio – Enjoy the fountain show and/or the conservatory and botanical gardens
  • Bally’s – Walk the Grand Bazaar shops
  • Flamingo – Enjoy the zen waterfall in the wildlife habitat
  • The Linq – Walk the promenade
  • Caesars Palace – Visit one of the busiest malls in America
  • The Mirage – Watch the volcano erupt
  • Harrah’s – Watch Big Elvis perform
  • The Venetian/The Palazzo – Walk the Grand Canal Shoppes then visit the waterfall at Palazzo
  • Treasure Island – Go behind the scenes of Mystere
  • Wynn/Encore – Watch the Lake of Dreams show
  • Circus Circus – Check out the circus acts
  • Stratosphere – Head up to the observation tower for a great view of Las Vegas

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.
 

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