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View Full Version : Las Vegas Newbie - Update Post #18


Kirby
02-23-2011, 05:44 PM
My husband and I are planning a trip to Las Vegas in September. We may go in June but more than likely September. We'll be staying a couple of nights with his cousin in Henderson but we want to stay on the Strip a couple of nights also to soak in the flavor of Las Vegas. This will be a one and only trip. We don't plan on returning and the cousin is moving to Nebraska.

So, where you would recommend us staying? We plan on two nights. We'd like something sort of central to all the action but realize that the place is like Epcot, a lot of walking will be involved. We don't want real expensive accomodations, something under $150.

We're not gamblers but stick a slot machine (or whatever their called nowadays) in front of us and we'll give that a try. Best place for that?

Also, which hotels are worth just walking into for the decor?

Any tips you have for us? Best places to eat? Free shows to see?

I'll keep scouring this board for ideas but thought I would put out a thread of my own.

Thanks in advance for your input!!

KKB
02-23-2011, 07:16 PM
$150 will typically get you pretty good digs in Vegas!
If you are staying over the weekend, you will probably get more average deals...Ballys, Harrahs, Monte Carlo are all central and usually well priced. If you are going during the week, you may be able to get Mirage, or Venetian. These are also fairly central. Sometimes you may even be able to get Aria, Cosmopolitan (the newest--lots of WOW factors) or Bellagio.
You can play slots everywhere. I DO recommend getting players cards EVERYWHERE & USE THEM (plug into machine while you are playing). New people often get free play and often get mailers for future free rooms. (the rest of us have to play for it!)
Tropicana has a good deal right now. Lose up to $200 in machines, you get matched up to $200 free play (tho $100 now, $100 later--not ideal for you, but nice still)
Buy an American Casino Guide (buy 2 on Amazon usually u will get free shipping). Lots of great coupons. Best one is $25 free play at Venetian for new players--so if you bought 2 you & your DH would both get that free play. Plus many coupons for discounts on meals, shows, etc.
There is SO much to see...I would just wander north on the strip one day, south another. I wouldn't plan much else for such a short trip...wandering, some gambling, eating will fill your days quickly! There is a free show weekdays at Bills--Big Elvis, very popular.
Have fun!

woody73
02-24-2011, 12:33 AM
Kris offers good advice. We got Players Cards at the Wynn, and quickly had enough points for two free buffet meals.

Woody

StageTek
02-24-2011, 06:37 PM
So, where you would recommend us staying? We plan on two nights. We'd like something sort of central to all the action but realize that the place is like Epcot, a lot of walking will be involved. We don't want real expensive accomodations, something under $150.
Center strip you'll find Harrah's, Bally's and Flamingo in that price range. Maybe even Paris or Venetian on a weekday. My suggestion would be Flamingo.


We're not gamblers but stick a slot machine (or whatever their called nowadays) in front of us and we'll give that a try. Best place for that?
Downtown (Freemont Street) has the loosest slots and some really interesting ones. Every casino has banks and banks and banks of them.

Also, which hotels are worth just walking into for the decor?
Paris, New York, New York, MGM Grand, Luxor, Venetian and Caesar's for sure. The gardens at the Flamingo and the Planet Hollywood mall are both pretty impressive.

Any tips you have for us? Best places to eat? Free shows to see?
Free shows I like are the Pirates show at TI (cheesy but fun) and Big Elvis at Bills. The fountain show and the Volcano show are must see's.

Best places to eat are the Carnegie at The Mirage, The Steak House at Circus, Circus, Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace.

Kirby
02-24-2011, 07:51 PM
Great! This all gives me a good place to start making plans.

KKB
02-24-2011, 09:46 PM
We have stayed at Flamingo & it is the least fav of MC, Ballys or Harrahs--and this was staying in the upgraded GO room. Major cleanliness issues in halls--that were not taken care of over several days; fishy smell in gardens; pool full of children. They DO have a bank of .05 VP that I love, tho! (if you were given the choice of Paris or Venetian--NO contest; Venetian wins)
Additionally, we have tried Carnegie & we not impressed. Big portions, but not great. My uncle sold us on CC Steak House--"eh", nothing to get excited about. Maybe years ago...I just did NOT get it. Found $6.95 steak deal at Ellis Island to be as good for less $! Have always wanted to try Mesa Grill.
We loved our meal at MIX at top of Mandalay Bay--great ambiance, great views, great service & food--plus a $50 restaurant.com gift certificate made the deal a whole lot sweeter!
All the places to see that weren't mentioned--Wynn/Encore, Venetian/Palazzo, Mirage, Aria, Cosmopolitan....the cheapy old school casinos--Bills, OSheas, Casino Royale.
With such limited time, I would NOT recommend a trip downtown; little to see; will cost you either 45 min. bus each way or $50 cab RT. Yes, cheap gambling, food, drinks. But strip for first trip--even several days--is sufficient.
PH mall is nice...but Ceasars Forum shops are WAY more impressive--even DH, who hates to shop, appreciated it once.
Ah, it is all subjective...and your time is so limited....

Judy from Boise
02-24-2011, 11:10 PM
I booked in to Mandeley bay for $79 a night (code) this May. Go the the hotel sight and you can usually find a calendar with clear rates. Also sign up for e-mail specails and you will start getting codes within the hour !
PS read the stickies at the top of the page for good advice.

Kirby
02-25-2011, 09:35 AM
Ya'll mentioned players cards. What exactly is that? Is it something you get when checking in or do you have to ask for it? Would it be something that we would even consider since we wouldn't do much gambling?

Speaking of gambling, we would just do slots. Do you actually put money in them or do you go pay for a card or casino coins to put in the machine? Sorry if this is a silly question but I really don't know.

woody73
02-25-2011, 11:07 AM
A players card is a loyalty card. Sign up at the casino's players card desk.

Insert the card in a slot machine, and it will keep track of your play, earning you "points." Most slot machines accept cash. If you are going to play slots anyway, a players card is worthwhile.

I had a coupon for some free slot play at the Wynn. I signed up for the Wynn players card. I played an additional $20 and earned enough points for two free buffet meals.

YMMV

Woody

StageTek
02-25-2011, 11:49 AM
Well....

KKB has shot down every one of my suggestions. All the places I love, KKB doesn't. It sure is subjective.

Kirby
02-25-2011, 04:03 PM
A players card is a loyalty card. Sign up at the casino's players card desk.

Insert the card in a slot machine, and it will keep track of your play, earning you "points." Most slot machines accept cash. If you are going to play slots anyway, a players card is worthwhile.

I had a coupon for some free slot play at the Wynn. I signed up for the Wynn players card. I played an additional $20 and earned enough points for two free buffet meals.

YMMV

Woody
Ok, great!

jlmarr
02-25-2011, 09:08 PM
Be sure to see the Bellagio Fountains at night - they were created by a former Disney Imagineer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WET_Design) who worked on the EPCOT fountain and the Journey to Imagination dancing waters.

Kirby
02-25-2011, 09:28 PM
They are definately on my "to do" list.

KKB
02-26-2011, 08:39 AM
Well....

KKB has shot down every one of my suggestions. All the places I love, KKB doesn't. It sure is subjective.

I was trying to point out everything is subjective..
Guess I was a bit much in making that point...:confused3

I do stand behind my suggestion of staying on the strip this trip. For only 2 days, that will keep you plenty busy. Downtown is a great day trip for a second trip (I don't think we headed down for several trips). A VERY different feel than the strip--VERY old school. For cheap gambling, drinks & food, it nails it. But little else to do when your bankroll is shot for the day (as I found out...)

Headed to the Nugget next week! I may have to cab it to the strip for a day...it's like a small town vs. the big city--and I am a big city girl! (who lives in a small city--gotta get my fix!):laughing:

StageTek
02-26-2011, 11:48 AM
And I was agreeing with you. It sure is subjective. You clearly feel strongly that a first time visitor should not visit Downtown or stay at my hotel suggestions.

The new Downtown Express makes fewer stops so the trip is quicker. But even taking the Deuce is (for me) a lot of fun. A couple of hours of a two day stay is (for me) very worth it.

I was just surprised to be completely shot down point by point rather than just adding your own suggestions. A different posting style I guess.

canadianjovigirl
02-26-2011, 12:02 PM
We are going next week for our first trip and going to NASCAR weekend and i searched and searched and signed up for all the hotels we were interested in to get special codes/discounts. Also was willing to priceline or hotwire a room for a good deal, but in the end booked hotel and the Aria together as a package and got the best price that way as booking them separatley would have cost $500 more.............no idea why, but thats how it worked for our dates.

I am making a list of stuff to see and where its located so we have a quick reference while out walking............

Cant wait to see the sights and sounds of Vegas..........

granismith
03-08-2011, 11:32 PM
On our first visit to Vegas we stayed at Excalibur. The rooms are really basic but what I liked about the hotel was the location. The walkways go right over to MGM, New York, and several others. We spent alot of time in these hotels exploring everything. Then we walked the strip and checked out the major hotels and the things they have to offer. I bought a guide book ahead of time and marked down all the free things there are to do or an attraction so when we reached that hotel we knew what to look for. There is really soo much to do for free. Also be sure and take a bus down to the Freemont street. Also don't miss the Venetian, Ceasers, or Bellagio.:goodvibes

Kirby
06-23-2011, 09:26 PM
Well, our trip is booked! We're taking advantage of Southwest's $80 deal. We're also renting a car since we will be staying in Henderson and sightseeing outside LV for a couple of days.

Just one question at the moment, probably many more to follow: ;)

Can you print out boarding passes at the hotels? I'm not a flyer so this is not something I've done before.

KKB
06-24-2011, 05:43 AM
Just got back from Vegas--and I found that SWA $80 deal & just couldn't resist booking again for October! (and I am going in 6 weeks...it is a sickness!) DH & I took this trip; Mom was diagnosed w/ thyroid cancer in March so we decided no more waiting to do things together--her brother just lost his wife, and he & his 4 kids (around my age) are all coming too, should be a blast. October is for me--DH is hitting the NU v. WISC game in Oct, so I felt I should have a trip, too!
Just stayed at Harrahs, Planet Hollywood is next & I may be at Imperial Palace in October. Basic digs but you cannot beat the location.
Curious why you are staying in Henderson....
Regarding boarding passes, it depends on the hotel. Some have business centers where you can print for free; others have Internet kiosks for a fee where you can print them out. I have used the kiosk--a bit slow, but it gets the job done!
Keep firing those questions!

DizFan101
06-24-2011, 09:01 AM
If you are a Disney fan going to vegas they have a mall where they have a store called Disney Warehouse . it sells park items for less (mind you they do sell more disneyland items then disney world because LV is closer to Disney Land). To get to the mall, you go down the strip(towards the vegas sign) keep going and the mall is on your left hand side. (Go past Fries).

Kirby
06-24-2011, 09:23 AM
KKB - my husband has a cousin that lives in Henderson. They are retiring and getting ready to move to another state. We've been telling them for years that we would go visit them and thought we'd better get and do it before it was too late.

Thanks for the info!

DizFan101 - thanks for the tip!

pooh6890
06-24-2011, 10:55 AM
As far as hotels go, you must see City Center (Cosmopolitan, Aria, Crystals shopping center). We went to Todd English's Pub and the food was terrific. The chandelier at the Cosmo was amazing! Also, the Wynn and the Encore are beautiful. The Venetian/Palazzo is beautiful too. I am pretty sure that you can get some really great rates in September at almost all of these hotels. Sign up on-line at each of the hotels and you will get e-mails with upcoming deals. Don't know your ages, but we saw Donny & Marie and the show was non-stop fun. It's very nostalgic and the banter between the two is hysterical. I just returned last Monday from Vegas and I am ready to go back! Have a lot of fun!

Kirby
06-24-2011, 02:06 PM
As far as hotels go, you must see City Center (Cosmopolitan, Aria, Crystals shopping center). We went to Todd English's Pub and the food was terrific. The chandelier at the Cosmo was amazing! Also, the Wynn and the Encore are beautiful. The Venetian/Palazzo is beautiful too. I am pretty sure that you can get some really great rates in September at almost all of these hotels. Sign up on-line at each of the hotels and you will get e-mails with upcoming deals. Don't know your ages, but we saw Donny & Marie and the show was non-stop fun. It's very nostalgic and the banter between the two is hysterical. I just returned last Monday from Vegas and I am ready to go back! Have a lot of fun!

Thank you! I'll have to check some of these hotels out. I know that my husband is interested in seeing a show. Wonder if he would be willing to see Donny and Marie?

Green-bay
06-25-2011, 09:37 AM
You got lots of great advice but this is another vote for the Steakhouse at Circus Circus - we go there everytime we are in Vegas and it is always great. It is amazing to us that such a good place is located inside Circus Circus, but it is definately worth it. We go to Vegas 2-3 times a year and always try different places to eat and we always agree that the Steakhouse is the best.
Definately go to the different casino to check out them out - Cosmopolitan is about the newest and well worth seeing. Lots of stuff to see just by walking around so go and just enjoy! Have fun.

Thumper_Man
06-27-2011, 02:59 PM
Just posted on one of your other threads.

You got some really good advice. Sign up for the rewards cards and you'll get some really good deals on hotels. DW and I did this and we usually get some pretty good deals for Mirage. Which is pretty centrally located and one of the few hotels where we pay less $150/night on the weekends (Fri & Sat nights). If you're going during the week, you can get even better deals.

As far as boarding passes, I know at all MGM properties, they charge you a resort fee. This fee will usually cover the printing of your boarding passes. Just go to the concierge's desk and they will assist you with that.

Kirby
06-27-2011, 03:31 PM
Thank you! I'll have to take a look at those rewards cards.

VAN
07-08-2011, 06:37 AM
If you are a Disney fan going to vegas they have a mall where they have a store called Disney Warehouse . it sells park items for less (mind you they do sell more disneyland items then disney world because LV is closer to Disney Land). To get to the mall, you go down the strip(towards the vegas sign) keep going and the mall is on your left hand side. (Go past Fries).

I've been to this store 2-3 times and have never found anything worth purchasing. You might if you have small children; however, I was extremely disappointed in the store and selection of merchandise. It was almost (dare I say) junkie!!

Based on my personal experience, I would skip stopping at this store, unless you planned to visit the outlet mall that is behind it anyway. Don't make a special trip.

Kirby
07-08-2011, 11:50 AM
Yeah, we're basically going to be there on the Strip for one day/two nights so I'm not sure how much time we'll have for shopping. Joe's cousin will be showing us around for two days/two nights when we first get there before we head to the Grand Canyon but I don't know what they have in mind to do yet.

TinkBride
07-14-2011, 01:40 PM
Kris offers good advice. We got Players Cards at the Wynn, and quickly had enough points for two free buffet meals.

Woody

Sorry to hi-jack, but this caught my eye :rolleyes1.....how does this work?

After so much play - you earn points?

Kirby
07-14-2011, 02:02 PM
Sorry to hi-jack, but this caught my eye :rolleyes1.....how does this work?

After so much play - you earn points?
Not only am I a Las Vegas newbie, I'm a gambling newbie. I'd like to know more also. My 23 year old son told me that you sign up for a card at the desk (what desk?) and walk around until you find something you want to do. :confused3 :laughing: I guess you don't put actual money in the machines anymore. Oh darn! :laughing: I need a step by step instruction book to play the slots. :rotfl:

skiingfast
07-14-2011, 04:46 PM
Not only am I a Las Vegas newbie, I'm a gambling newbie. I'd like to know more also. My 23 year old son told me that you sign up for a card at the desk (what desk?) and walk around until you find something you want to do. :confused3 :laughing: I guess you don't put actual money in the machines anymore. Oh darn! :laughing: I need a step by step instruction book to play the slots. :rotfl:

You can sign up over the internet before you leave if you still have time, or at the hotel.

Sign up with MGM and Harrahs since they both own a bunch of casinos in vegas, so that would be two players cards covering about 12 places. Also any other "independents you might play at.

You put your card in the slot machines, it will tally points on how much you play. At tables you give your card to a nearby manager and tell them when you exchange money for chips to play to credit your card.

Keep in mind that the free $30 dinner usually comes after you have lost $60 gambling. It's one thing if you play to get comps, another if you play to play and the comps are an actual bonus. What's better is joining these clubs will get you special rates on future visits and coupons.

Kirby
07-14-2011, 06:48 PM
You can sign up over the internet before you leave if you still have time, or at the hotel.

Sign up with MGM and Harrahs since they both own a bunch of casinos in vegas, so that would be two players cards covering about 12 places. Also any other "independents you might play at.

You put your card in the slot machines, it will tally points on how much you play. At tables you give your card to a nearby manager and tell them when you exchange money for chips to play to credit your card.

Keep in mind that the free $30 dinner usually comes after you have lost $60 gambling. It's one thing if you play to get comps, another if you play to play and the comps are an actual bonus. What's better is joining these clubs will get you special rates on future visits and coupons.

If I sign up online do they mail the card to me? I'm not really after freebies or anything. At this point, we're not thinking of returning to Vegas. Of course, Joe might become enamoured with Vegas like I am with WDW and we'll return. Then I'll have to do some wheeling and dealing, one trip to Vegas, one trip to WDW. :rotfl:

woody73
07-15-2011, 12:44 PM
. . . I'm not really after freebies or anything. At this point, we're not thinking of returning to Vegas. Of course, Joe might become enamoured with Vegas like I am with WDW and we'll return.
If you think you might return, sigh up for the room rate promotions, if nothing else.

Woody

Kirby
07-15-2011, 03:43 PM
If you think you might return, sigh up for the room rate promotions, if nothing else.

Woody

I signed up for e-mails and have already received one. You never know......

VAN
07-21-2011, 10:09 AM
Get the American Casino Guide and sign up for the Player's Club on-site. The ACG will have lots of coupons to get "free play" when you sign up for the Player's Clubs.

They will give you instructions on how to use the "free money" ... most likely you need to put at least a $1 in the machine, etc. Usually you can use your free play on BJ, Video Poker (VP) or slot machines.

Yes, all machines take money. You put your bills in them.

Now they don't pay out money - they pay out by way of a "tote" which is a piece of paper that you take to the coin/money machines (or cashier) to get your money. Or you can put your "tote" into another machine and continue to play.

If you have a big win; however, someone will come to you and have you fill out income tax papers before paying you.

KKB
07-21-2011, 10:12 AM
yes, some give junky freebies, but many give freeplay when you join! (YES FREE GAMBLING--that you don't have to put your own $ in for!!)
Here is a link to tell you who offers what:
http://www.advantageplayer.com/lasvegas/

Kirby
07-21-2011, 06:08 PM
Thank you both! I've never gambled and thinking of going into a casino and not knowing what I'm doing makes me ill at ease. But I can't go to Vegas and not gamble just a little. That's like going to WDW and not seeing the Mouse to me.

woody73
07-21-2011, 11:03 PM
I've never gambled and thinking of going into a casino and not knowing what I'm doing makes me ill at ease. But I can't go to Vegas and not gamble just a little.
The American Casino Guide, mentioned above, does a very good job of explaining each game's rules, odds and strategies.

Woody