Vegas, baby!

  1. Okay ya'll, my hubby and I are planning a trip to Vegas in early August, right after I get done w/ my CNA training. I know that a couple of nurses on this board live in las Vegas and I'm sure that more have visited there. What we would like to know is 1) what hotels offer the nicest rooms for the lowest prices, 2) best food for your buck, and (this is my hubby's question, not mine) 3) what casinos have the "loosest" slots, ie, the slots that pay out the most...not sure if anyone would know the answer to that, but he wanted me to ask anyway. If you guys have any suggestions on shows, attractions, touristy stuff, I would really appreciate that too! Thanks!

    Angela
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   LasVegasRN
    Welllllllllll..........::cracking my knuckles::

    Hotel rooms: Depends on what part of the week you're coming. The rates skyrocket for the weekends. If you're staying in the middle of the week you get MUCH better rates. It's hard when people ask you about hotel rates because you need to know what you are looking for - somewhere nice, somewhere cheap, somewhere safe, somewhere flashy, somewhere convenient, etc. Do you want to stay on the Strip? If you're renting a car you'll find cheaper rates at the neighborhood casino's hands-down, but you'll miss a piece of the Strip experience by doing that. Most of my frequent "out-of-towners" like staying at the Excalibur, Imperial Palace, Stardust, and Riviera. The Tropicana is also nice, but get a room in the Tower, not the motel portion. Same with the Stardust - some of the older casino's have motel portions, you want the Tower. Remember the old adage - you get what you pay for. If I were going to splurge I'd stay at the Mirage, Venetian, or Paris. Checkout www.lasvegas.com for rate comparisons.

    Best food for your Buck: C'MON!!! This is the city of Buffets!! Food is cheap at the buffets and coffee shops. Well, except for the Bellagio and Mirage - but WOW is the food good! Prices will be more expensive for specialty restaurants like steak houses and chinese food.

    Casino's with the loosest slots - HA! If we knew that, we'd be playing there! You take your chance where ever you go. My Dad hit big at Cesaer's Palace once on a dollar slot machine. But it's just luck, I'm afraid. Now, if you are going to play any of the table card games, I can give you some definite pointers. Table play is a whole different ball game.

    Shows/attractions: My favorite part! Prioritized by MUST-SEE freebies!!
    1. THE FOUNTAINS AT THE BELLAGIO - I don't care if you don't see anything else, you've GOT to see this!
    2. Pirate show at Treasure Island
    3. Forum Shops at Cesaer's Palace
    - Not a must-see, because to me, it looks kinda hokey now since everything else is bigger and better, but if you walk by the Mirage at night, take a peek at the Volcano out front.

    Shows! Depends on how much you want to spend. I've seen some bad one's and some that are truly amazing and spectacular.
    I'll start with the bad...
    - Anything at the Luxor sucks. Well, okay, not the Blue Man group. But anything else there!
    - Most things with showgirls, like, "Crazy Girls", "Bottoms Up", and "Skin Tight" will make you groan. Unless you are a guy and like topless mindless shows. I don't include "Jubilee" with this as it is Vegas tradition and still one of the best original Vegas shows on the Strip.
    - "Splash" at the Riviera. Sucks. They should be embarrassed.

    BEST SHOWS:
    - The best show you will see on the Strip is "O" at the Bellagio. But OH are those tickets expensive! Don't gag too loud, but from seeing it just a few days ago, it was worth it at $121.00 per person. I know, but it was worth it, no lie.

    - "Mystere" at Treasure Island. Truly amazing. Also $$, but worth it. $88.00 per person.

    - "EFX Alive" starring Rick Springfield, at the MGM Grand. Kinda cool! I saw it with Tommy Tune, but I think Rick would be more fun. $55 - $75.

    - "Blue Man Group" at the Luxor. Weird but very cool and different! $79 - $90.

    - For some reason my cousins really like "An Evening at La Cage" at the Riviera. I haven't seen it, but I heard it's pretty good. $37 - $48.

    Attractions:
    The hotels! Make sure you walk through the Venetian, Mirage, Bellagio, Paris, and Cesaer's Palace. Seems to me they all start looking alike after you go through those.

    You might want to go up to the top of the Stratosphere. There is a roller coaster up there and a drop you thingy ride. Lot's of cool shops in the Stratosphere that are affordable, unlike the Forum shops at Cesaer's where you see celebrities mostly buying stuff outrageously expensive but cool to look at. Oh!! I almost forgot the Aladdin! They also have great shops in their "Desert Passage", beautiful, beautiful place.

    If this is a lot, I'm just touching on the high points. There is soooo much to do and see that I may not even know about.

    Remember if you get tired of walking up and down the strip, there are usually buses that run every 10 minutes up and down the Strip, but the bus drivers are on strike. If you are tired and see a bus, don't say, "oh I'll wait for the next one" because you'll be waiting a LONG time.

    ENJOY!!
  4. by   Stargazer
    Speaking for myself, the last 2 times I've been to Vegas I've stayed at Harrah's on the Strip. The rooms certainly aren't as luxurious as the Bellagio, for instance, but they are reasonably roomy and have everything you need (minibar, iron, hairdryer, etc). Great value--I think they were running $59/night specials both times I stayed there. The hotel was completely remodeled a few years ago and there is a nice pool, fitness center, restaurants, etc. The location is perfect--smack in the center of the Strip and within walking distance to the Bellagio, Venetian, Paris, Caesar's, etc. I think I booked through Travelocity.com both times.

    One caveat: some services are charged additionally (like the fitness center--$10 - 15/day), so be sure to ask. It doesn't make sense to get a cheap room and then pay more for a la carte services than you would've for an all-inclusive rate.

    I won the most at the slots at the Venetian.
  5. by   bagladyrn
    For cheap rooms I usually stay at CircusCircus. Rooms are not fancy, but it's right on the Strip and I have gotten rooms w/2 queen size beds+breakfast buffet for $39/night on weeknights.
    Then I go wander through all the upscale places.
  6. by   Ted
    Hi Las Vegas RN:

    I'm going to give you a PM. I have a step-brother who recently moved to Las Vegas. He's a guitarist/musician.

    Ted
  7. by   2ndCareerRN
    Wow, great post LasVegasRN! I lived in Summerlin for a few years, when I moved there I had to use a stretch of dirt road to get home. (1993-1998). The place just exploded shortly after I got there. I would still be there except we think the heat was a trigger for my wifes migraines. The last time we went to visit we stayed at "The Orleans", very nice rooms, and the best bananas Foster I have ever had.

    The Rio is another place that is nice to stay, off strip and great rooms. And besides, you have to hit the Rio's seafood buffet at least once.

    For some great scenery, head out to Red Rock Canyon http://www.sunsetcities.com/redrock.html . It may be a little to hot to hike, but you can at least enjoy the scenery.

    And, for some of the most fun you can have with your clothes on, Front Sight Firearms Training Institute offers a FREE, one day submachine gun course . I am not sure they run them in August, all you can do is call. The catch is, it is also a pitch to purchase a lot in the town that this guy is developing...but you do get to shoot machineguns.

    For a fun, slow table game, try Pai Gow. All of the big casinos give free lessons on the different "games of chance" .

    Enjoy yourself, you can't help but have fun there.

    bob
  8. by   LasVegasRN
    Bob, Thanks! You would not BELIEVE what Summerlin looks like today!! It's a whole other city up there! I thought about moving to that side of town, but seems like everything is more $$. I live on the old side up Sunrise Mountain, behind the air force base.
    Oh - Summerlin has their own hospital now, too!

    Yeah! The Rio! Great buffet. Her husband will really enjoy the cocktail waitresses :chuckle. The rooms there are really nice. The rates double on the weekends. I had a friend that did VERY well on the slots there, and enjoyed the night club for dancing.
    Last edit by LasVegasRN on Jun 15, '02
  9. by   angelac1978
    Originally posted by LasVegasRN
    Yeah! The Rio! Great buffet. Her husband will really enjoy the cocktail waitresses :chuckle.
    LOL! Is that a polite way of saying that the waitresses are, um, busty? If thats the case, then yeah he would enjoy it! :chuckle

    Thanks for the tips so far!

    LasVegasRN, you mentioned pointers on table games. Please share! We had planned to play some black jack and maybe some poker. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Bob, hubby says that he has played Pai Gow online but for some reason, he just can't win! Maybe he would have dif results at a real table???
  10. by   LasVegasRN
    The Rio was voted #1 for cocktail waitresses because their waitresses show more T & A than any other place that requires clothing. Think thong and cleavage. I think it's funny.

    Okay - TIPS TO KNOW WHILE IN VEGAS....(feel free to add if I forget anything or disagree, but it's based on my time here)...
    1. TIPPING. If you hit big on a machine, tip the cashier who gives you your payout. Doesn't have to be anything super great. Now, I don't necessarily agree with this thinking, it's my money, I won it. But I've been told that's a horrible attitude to have. So... I'm passing it along.
    - Tip the guy who takes you up to your room. A caveat here: if he doesn't give you a "quick" tour of the room, where stuff is, who to call, etc, don't tip him jack sh-t.
    - Anyone in the casino who seems to do more than what you expect, you can tip. They really do appreciate it.

    2. COCKTAILS - do not buy drinks at the bar. I didn't know this the first time I came out here, but while you are playing machines the drinks are FREE. Yes, FREE. If you sit at the bar, play the machines. Drinks are FREE. Caution - the drinks are STRONGER when served to you at the slots/machines. I was wondering for the longest why the red diamonds and the red hearts looked JUST ALIKE after my little Tequila Sunrise. They do that on purpose. Tip your waitress or bartender - again, doesn't have to be a lot, 50 cents to a dollar is fine.

    3. TABLE GAMES - Here's where you might get some disagreement, but...
    - See the table with the smiling dealer, lots of people sitting there, smiling and laughing? Good place to play. Dealers who DO NOT SMILE and DO NOT make any pleasant conversation you should avoid. Why? They do not care about you or if you lose. You will lose fast. These dealers do not like people who don't know how to play, they will not take the time to teach you anything, and IF they teach you anything, don't listen!
    - Good dealers will make pleasant conversation, teach you "table manners", are PATIENT, and smile. Now, while you are playing and enjoying yourself, and that dealer leaves because his shift is over or is "taking a break" - LEAVE. Don't stay and see "how the other dealer is". LEAVE. If your dealer comes back, then you come back. TIP a good dealer.
    - Walk through the table game area before settling on a table. Make sure you look at the itty bitty tiny signs on the table that say what the table limit is (table limit meaning the minimum amount of bet you can place to play). Don't walk and sip a drink while doing this so you don't cough tequila through your nose when you see a table limit of $500 and 8 people sitting there casually as if they are laying down 50 cents.

    If you want to have some fun with table games without spending a lot of money, journey to the downtown Strip. The downtown Strip tables have limits of $1. I don't know of any main Strip casinos with a table limit of less than $2. Most start at $5.

    There is a whole table manners/etiquette "thing" with blackjack and poker. I don't know it, I'm horrible at blackjack and it takes me too long to add and figure out the Ace 11/1 thing to play. Like I said, a good dealer will let you know while you enjoy the game. Professional gamblers play the poker at the tables - good luck! They don't smile in those room AT ALL. But, then again, you're not supposed to. Downtown would be the better place for table poker.

    4. WALKING - DO NOT walk down the strip going towards "downtown" past the Stratosphere. It's dangerous. Especially at night. Do not do it. Stay with the crowds. Catch a cab or a bus to get downtown.

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head...
  11. by   live4today
    Hey LasVegasRN...my one and only brother lives in Vegas, and has been trying to get me to move there for over two years now. I've never been to Vegas, but hope to visit with hubby one of these seasons. My brother would love for us to come so he can show off the Vegas he is always bragging about. Perhaps WHEN I do manage to visit, you and I can meet each other? You sound like such a wonderful person, and a real hoot to boot! :chuckle (((hugs)))
  12. by   LasVegasRN
    (((Renee))), awww thanks!!!, I would love to meet you! Please don't come out here without us meeting! And you have got to make time to come hear my choir sing - big 'ol down home gospel choir, about 100 of us sangin' (I said, sangin' not singing :chuckle). I think you'll really enjoy it here!!
    Last edit by LasVegasRN on Jun 15, '02
  13. by   live4today
    Looking forward to it, LasVegasRN! I love good ol' choir sangin' myself! :chuckle When we do come to visit, it will be during the 'cool season' because I can't stand hot weather - dry or humid. My brother keeps telling me the weather isn't that bad, but that it does get quite hot, so WHEN - pray tell - is the best month to visit Vegas (weather-wise)?
  14. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    Looking forward to it, LasVegasRN! I love good ol' choir sangin' myself! :chuckle When we do come to visit, it will be during the 'cool season' because I can't stand hot weather - dry or humid. My brother keeps telling me the weather isn't that bad, but that it does get quite hot, so WHEN - pray tell - is the best month to visit Vegas (weather-wise)?
    TIP # 5
    Do NOT listen to Las Vegans who have been here more than 5 years when they say "it's not that hot, it's a dry heat". IT'S HOT. June through September. It is not UNCOMMON for it to get to 124 degrees at noon. Hot is hot. It's hot. I am guilty of accusing my parents in Ohio of silly whining when they say it's "hot" at 86 degrees there. That is pleasantly cool to a Las Vegan. 96 degrees is warm to a Las Vegan. I can't even tell when it's 100 anymore - it's just seems warmer than usual. Don't listen to us. It's hot. I guess the best time to come is during our "winter" late November to March.

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