Need one-evening newbie guide to Vegas!

Discussion in 'Other U.S. Destinations' started by Aktchi, Jan 7, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    As part of my AA MRs, I'll be in Las Vegas for one evening. I'll reach Vegas around 1:30PM, leave 10:30AM next morning.

    Now, I haven't been to Vegas for decades and remember nothing of the place. So I need your advice on how to make the best of my one night---which cannot be too wild as I need to be at the airport sober enough for TSA by 9:30AM. [​IMG]

    Any advice about hotel is most welcome. Do I want to be smack in the middle of the strip, or at some distance? From Google map, the airport and the "strip" seemed close enough that I shouldn't need to rent a car or worry about airport shuttle.

    BTW, I'll be one guy all alone. TIA!
     
  2. pokerhammy
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    Do you really need a room? :D See, play, eat, play some more, and sleep on the plane.

    If you really need a room, stay in the middle of the strip and then you won't need a car. There're free tram services between the MGM properties, and free shuttle between Harrah's and the Rio.

    Catch a show, see the dancing water fountains and the conservatory at the Bellagio, sign up at Cosmopolitan and they rebate up to $100 of your slot losses, visit the MGM lion habitat before it closes at the end of the month, eat at one of the many fantastic restaurants, go up to the top of Stratosphere for the view/rides, and play poker through the night.

    F-U-N!!
     
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  3. Lufthansa Flyer
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  4. SC Flier
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    Several things that happen in Vegas don't stay in Vegas!
     
  5. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    I am tempted to skip the hotel, but I am not college age anymore and just not sure if I'll have the stamina: On 1/18 I'll be waking up at 3AM to catch my 6:45AM flight ORD-LAX, then change planes and reach LAS round 1:30PM, party all afternoon and all night, then basically fly all day back to ORD, and then drive home! All without sleep or shower? I'll give it a thought.

    Thank you for the specific recommendations. What is good n reliable source of recommendations for shows and restaurants? I won't have many slots to experiment around, have to be right the first time.

    What is with signing up at Cosmopolitan: You just tell them how much you lost, and they give you the money? Seems too good to be true. :) How do they verify? My imagination must be missing some detail here.
     
  6. Aktchi
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    Interesting, but LAS looks clean on the map at the above site. I am sure it is not. :) I was looking for "red dots" on the map and there aren't any over LAS.
     
  7. TAHKUCT
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    Do you have a budget for a hotel? Do you want to spend a night at a nice property or just have a clean room to sleep in? Are you planning to gamble?
     
  8. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    If you look around this site you may be able to get some more in-depth answers: http://openvegas.com/
     
  9. Lufthansa Flyer
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    just type in Las Vegas, NV in the city, state field and you'll see the listings.
     
  10. MLW20
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    Try to get over to old Vegas at night to see The Freemont Street Experience. The light show is very good and the area is worth checking out.
     
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  11. mhnadel
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    With one night as a first time visitor, I'd suggest not spending money on a show. There's enough free entertainment with things like the volcano at Mirage and the fountains at Bellagio and so on, plus great people watching. I admit that a lot of the appeal of Vegas to me is the sheer architectural excess, which I think reached its peak with the Venetian. (The city center development is disappointingly modernistic.)
     
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  12. SC Flier
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    I'm wondering if you think that people actually still put coins in "slot" machines. :)
     
  13. TAHKUCT
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    G
    Have not seen those in long time.
     
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  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    No more penny slots? :eek: Guess that means my big jar will have to go to CoinStar one of these days.

    (I haven't used a slot machine in at least a decade, and back then it was to get rid of a few coins)
     
  15. Aktchi
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    Well, I hadn't thought about it, but the last time I was in Vegas we did put coins in the machines. So they have some wireless electronic version, probably directly debiting your bank account? :)
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  17. pokerhammy
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    You didn't say what kind of food you like, but check Yelp and Chowhound for reviews. For special but not stuffy - L'atelier de Joel Robuchon is where I usually visit. For desserts, well, you have to visit Jean Philippe and his chocolate fountain at the Bellagio. Even just for a look. If you're into buffets, Harrah's has a 24 hour buffet pass for $45 that gets you into all the buffets in the various Harrah's locations.

    For shows, check discounts at Travelzoo. I like the the old Cirque du Soleil ones: Mystere, O. Phantom seems entertaining, Le Reve has good reviews too. Off the strip, Gordie Brown is really talented and funny with his impressions.

    With Cosmo: you sign up, get a card, put the card in the machines whenever you play, and the tracking will show the club exactly how much you've lost. Vegas is high tech all the way - no trust need to be involved. ;)

    Oh, and going midweek to Vegas you'll get a low rate for a room. Hotwire or Priceline will get you a nice 4-5* hotel.
     
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  18. SC Flier
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    If you don't book a show in advance, check out the discount ticket outlet, Tix4Tonight. ($2 coupon)

    If you like art museums, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art sometimes has some excellent exhibits. It is a small gallery partnered with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A Monet exhibit (20 pieces) starts Feb 18, 2011. $15. Last entry is at 5:30pm or 6:30pm. Located in the Bellagio. Frequent visitors should consider a membership ($50 single, $75 dual, $100 family (includes 2 guests per visit), $30 student).

    I've seen most of the Cirque shows and would recommend most of them. I really liked Le Reve, too. I haven't seen the Phantom version there, but I'd like to. (They retooled the production to update it and to shorten it. Few shows in Vegas last more than 90 minutes.)

    One of my most memorable nights in Vegas was when my afternoon flight was cancelled due to a mechanical problem. DL provided a hotel rooms at the Flamingo for my coworker and I, and booked us on the next morning's flight.

    We visited seven casinos that night, and was at the craps table in Bally's at 4am when a guy showed up and put $5K cash onto the table (the max bet allowed). It took about 10 minutes for them to count it all out for the cameras above. The dice rolled, and he won. He picked up $5K in winning chips, and left $5K for another round. He won again, picked up the $10K in chips, tipped $100 to each of the staff, $200 to the guy rolling the dice, and returned to his hotel room. That was my second night ever in Vegas.

    We returned to our rooms around dawn to shower, and then returned to the airport. (Also memorable at this point was the National Car Rental agent asking if I'd filled up the car with gas. I was caught off guard at first because I had only driven a total of 4 miles. But I said, "Yes," because I wasn't about to let him charge me extra for the cup or two of fuel that I had used.)

    After boarding my morning flight, I greeted the couple sitting in the row next to me, chatted with them for a few minutes, and asked them to wake me when we landed. I was asleep before takeoff and woke when we touched down in ATL.
     
  19. Aktchi
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    OP here. I am in the middle of intense MRs, but am keeping track of this thread and appreciate all the ideas. Please keep them coming!

    I'd like to keep hotel expenses on the low/moderate side (this will only be a place to provide base and possibly a brief nap) but still at/very near the strip. I'd enjoy people watching, street watching, visiting different hotels just to see the exaggerated designs and architecture. Very little interest or expertise in gambling. :) One show, probably no more, they tend to keep you pinned down in one place! I love food: traditional European cuisines, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, even great burgers, just avoid overpriced French.
     
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  20. SC Flier
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    You shouldn't need to rent a car, but it might depend on whether you decide to visit old downtown Vegas and whether you'll be drinking. Even though it's only a couple miles from the airport terminal to the Strip hotels, few hotels have airport shuttles unless you count limos for VIPs. Personally, I usually prefer having a rental car rather than taking taxis around. OTOH, traffic on the Strip can be awful at times. If you don't know your way around the side streets and how to get to the garages, you could end up spending too much time in your car. Wear your walking shoes, though -- a Vegas block is very long.

    Are you willing and able to share the date of your visit? Or at least which day of the week? Weekends are usually more expensive. Weekdays are usually cheaper (and sometimes unbelievably cheap). But rates can vary wildly depending on what conventions are in town. This week, for example, is CES -- one of Vegas' biggest events when many hotels sell out. Also, most shows are "dark" two days each week, so knowing which day you are there could be helpful to someone trying to make show suggestions.

    Be aware that some hotels are way more interesting on the outside than on the inside. The Bellagio is one that is well worth seeing both inside and out.
     
  21. Aktchi
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    Absolutely. In 1/18 at 1:30 PM, out 1/19 around 10:30AM.
     
  22. TAHKUCT
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    Plenty of time to enjoy Vegas :D
     
  23. SC Flier
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    Mystere and O are two Cirque du Soleil options that night. Love, Le Reve, and Zumanity are all dark on Wednesdays. Ka will be closed for a two-week vacation.

    A few Travelzoo discounts:
    • Blue Man Group has a discount offer on Travelzoo that could get you on the 6th row that night for $101.
    • Carrot Top is at the Luxor at 8:30pm.
    • Penn & Teller at the off-strip Rio might be a good reason to consider getting a rental car.
    • If you're going to skip a decent hotel room and are desperate to save money that way, a room at the Hooters Casino is just $20 - $28 including tax/fees. (No flames, please. :p)
    • Phantom for $66 - $127.
     
  24. MSPeconomist
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    Instead of taking a hotel in Vegas, why not reserve one at ORD upon your return. Sleep there after arrival and then drive home or to work in the morning. If you can find a place with an airport parking package and a shuttle, the cost might not be much more than you would pay to park at the airport.
     

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