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Matt Demers

Las Vegas questions

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First of all, has anyone here been to Las Vegas recently?

I hear the Strip is full of traffic 24/7 bumper to bumper a-la-401-in-Toronto style. Is there any truth to that or is it overly exagerrated? How is the traffic on the local streets outside of the strip for driving? How are the highways usually off-peak and on weekends?

Last thing, any personal suggestions on what to visit would be welcome too, thanks.

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Been there 14 times this year alone ;)

The Strip is pretty busy, as are the surrounding streets such as Swenson, Paradise, Tropicana and the I-15 - but it usually flows relatively well - it all depends on the time of day.

As for what to visit, it all depends on if you have ever been to Vegas before, what your interests are and how much money you want to spend.

If its your first time, the Strip is a must and its more time consuming then one thinks.  While all the resorts are more or less casinos, they each have their own theme which makes them very unique and do offer other visit worthy attractions, such as the Canal Shops in The Venetian, The Paris, The Forum Shops in Caesar's Palace.  You have the High Roller behind The Linq.  The Fremont Street Experience is a must if you have the time - its in the old downtown part of Vegas on the very north end of the street.  Hoover Dam of course, Grand Canyon and more shows or excursions that you can imagine.  The best way to get around is buying a RTS bus pass which will cost you $20 for 72 hours and lets you hop on and off as many times as you need - the Duece and SDX are the 2 lines that run up and down the strip.

If you have more specific questions, just let me know.

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6 hours ago, ThomasW97 said:

The zip line at the Fremont is a must-do, I must say :)

Do the zoom line, not the zip line - its twice as long and covers the whole Fremont Experience - the zip line only covers half.  I'm sure thats what you meant, but I just wanted to clarify so don't take this in a mean way :)

 

If you're going to see any shows, The Blue Man Group at The Luxor is awesome and still one of my favourites.

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On 10/29/2016 at 7:44 PM, 9924 said:

Been there 14 times this year alone ;)

The Strip is pretty busy, as are the surrounding streets such as Swenson, Paradise, Tropicana and the I-15 - but it usually flows relatively well - it all depends on the time of day.

As for what to visit, it all depends on if you have ever been to Vegas before, what your interests are and how much money you want to spend.

If its your first time, the Strip is a must and its more time consuming then one thinks.  While all the resorts are more or less casinos, they each have their own theme which makes them very unique and do offer other visit worthy attractions, such as the Canal Shops in The Venetian, The Paris, The Forum Shops in Caesar's Palace.  You have the High Roller behind The Linq.  The Fremont Street Experience is a must if you have the time - its in the old downtown part of Vegas on the very north end of the street.  Hoover Dam of course, Grand Canyon and more shows or excursions that you can imagine.  The best way to get around is buying a RTS bus pass which will cost you $20 for 72 hours and lets you hop on and off as many times as you need - the Duece and SDX are the 2 lines that run up and down the strip.

If you have more specific questions, just let me know.

no way!!!! Whens the 15th time? :P

Last time I was there in '13, I tried the pass that allowed dining at any of the hotels for like 50$. It was really sweet.  Do they still have it? 

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3 hours ago, ThomasW97 said:

no way!!!! Whens the 15th time? :P

Last time I was there in '13, I tried the pass that allowed dining at any of the hotels for like 50$. It was really sweet.  Do they still have it? 

Normally, this week would be the 15th time but the prices for this week are insane, so the next trip is booked for end of November.

 

There are buffet passes that allow you to use the pass at various similar properties (MGM, Caesar, etc.) but they run anywhere between $50 - $75 for the day.  I try to stay away from the buffets though, there are a few good ones but for the most part, unless you eat a lot, they're too much money for the sub par food you get.  $35 can get you a real decent meal else where.

Just for the heck of it, from the top off my head for this year ...

Luxor

Luxor

Excalibur

Luxor

Westgate

Westgate

Stratosphere

Oasis

The D

Oasis

Excalibur

Aria

The D / Westgate

Stratosphere

And coming up The Flamingo

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Should I experience Freemont street in the night time to take advantage of the nice lights and decorations? Is it a seedy area there?

To partake in an activity like riding a Gondola at the Venetian or any other activity at a resort/hotel, does one have to be a guest at that particular resort?

Thanks again guys for your answers.

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17 hours ago, Matt Demers said:

Should I experience Freemont street in the night time to take advantage of the nice lights and decorations? Is it a seedy area there?

To partake in an activity like riding a Gondola at the Venetian or any other activity at a resort/hotel, does one have to be a guest at that particular resort?

Thanks again guys for your answers.

Freemont is best experienced at night time, busier and more of an atmosphere.  Its not seedy at all, just a bit more unique ;)

You don't have to be a guest to partake in a resorts attractions, if you are, you usually get a bit of a discount - but all the resorts an attractions are open to everyone.

When are you planning on going?  What month?

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4 hours ago, Matt Demers said:

3rd week of this month. Still looking for decent deals on airfare and hotels there.

Out of my experience, Expedia.ca has the best deals 9 out of 10 times - but it still pays to shop around.  I've gotten 4 nights at the Aria for $360 CAD which included airfare, hotel and taxes.  On average, I pay about $425 for 3 - 4 nights.  Those fares are out of Kelowna.  The other thing is almost every hotel has what is called a "resort fee", which ranges anywhere between $10-$35 US per room, per night - this is not always included in the price, so read the fine print carefully.

Where are you flying out of?  I'll be there Nov 22-25 at The Flamingo.  I paid $60 CAD a night which is a bit on the pricey side, but I haven't stayed at The Flamingo yet so I figured why not.

Also, getting there and staying there is relatively cheap, but be prepared to spend a lot for food and excursions but there are ways to save on those as well.

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On 2016-11-02 at 2:10 AM, 9924 said:

Out of my experience, Expedia.ca has the best deals 9 out of 10 times - but it still pays to shop around.  I've gotten 4 nights at the Aria for $360 CAD which included airfare, hotel and taxes.  On average, I pay about $425 for 3 - 4 nights.  Those fares are out of Kelowna.  The other thing is almost every hotel has what is called a "resort fee", which ranges anywhere between $10-$35 US per room, per night - this is not always included in the price, so read the fine print carefully.

Where are you flying out of?  I'll be there Nov 22-25 at The Flamingo.  I paid $60 CAD a night which is a bit on the pricey side, but I haven't stayed at The Flamingo yet so I figured why not.

Also, getting there and staying there is relatively cheap, but be prepared to spend a lot for food and excursions but there are ways to save on those as well.

Montreal YUL 99% likely. You are getting better deals because its on the weekdays?

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Sunday to Thursday is the best time to travel - room prices go up for Friday and Saturdays.  Air fare doesn't change too much if you book early enough.

I just did a quick search on Expedia for Sun Nov 13th - Fri Nov 18th and you could get Circus Circus (wouldn't be my first choice tho) for $35 CAD per night, taxes in (just the $24US per room per night resort fee is not included in that price).  The same room would cost you $67 CAD per night, taxes in (plus the resort fee) if you booked Tues Nov 15th - Sun Nov 20th.  Same room would be $116 CAD, taxes in (plus resort fee) from Fri Nov 11th - Tues Nov 15th.

So you can see, the price differences can be huge so, if you can, be flexible on dates.

If its your first trip to Vegas, I do recommend staying on The Strip - it can be overwhelming at first.  Once you know your way around, and are more in to it - then staying at a hotel up on Fremont Street can be more fun.  If you do want to stay on Fremont Street, the hotels can be cheaper, the El Cortez, if you are OK with sparse accommodations, only has a $8/per night resort fee.  The food is a lot cheaper up that way as well.  As for staying on The Strip, Circus Circus and The Stratosphere are usually the cheapest, but Circus Circus is not the greatest - The Stratosphere's location is pretty crappy, its quite a distance from the main part of The Strip, but there is a bus stop right in front.  The Westgate is usually pretty cheap as well, its not on The Strip but its just one block over from Circus Circus and does have the monorail station right infront, the SDX also stops there.

The monorail is a bit pricey, but it does get you from The Westgate to the MGM Grand stopping off at The Flamingo, The Linq and Planet Hollywood.

Reasonable priced hotels I like on The Strip are The Luxor and the Excalibur - good location, good rooms and usually well priced.  Like I said earlier, I'm trying The Flamingo for the first time this month, so we'll see how much I like it.  I might try The Monte Carlo in December.  Two good places on Fremont Street are The Oasis at The Gold Spike (if you can make sure you get a room in the Oasis part) and The D.

If you like burgers - make sure to go to Bobby's Burger Palace, located between The Aria and The Monte Carlo - every burger place claims to be the "best burger in Vegas", but Bobby Flay has seriously nailed it with this place - by far the best burger and fries you'll ever eat - and very reasonably priced as well.  If you're on Fremont Street, the Heart Attack Grill is located there, its a fun place and pretty good too.  If you want a slice of pizza, go to Piccadilly Pizza and get a slice of their sausage pizza - really good.  Right across the street from there located in The D, is American Coney - by far the best coney dog you'll every eat.

Do the fountains at The Bellagio at night, they're spectacular during the day, but the night shows are much better.

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Also, try the flight+hotel booking combination on Expedia, sometimes you can get some killer deals that way.

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On 2016-11-04 at 8:52 AM, vivablue5215 said:

If you're seafood crazy, I highly recommend the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. Probably one of the few buffets on the strip that's worth it.

I'm not a seafood guy so I shall pass. That Heart Attack Grill...yeah I am going to pass on that too. :P

Another question: in order to use the Deuce bus, I understand you gotta take the 109 from McCarran to the South Strip Transfer terminal (SSTT) then board the Deuce. It was mentioned on RTCSNV's site that the 3-day pass can be purchased on board the Deuce or at ticket vending machines (TVMs). Is there a TVM at McCarran that you can buy the 3 day pass so you don't have to pay cash fare to get on the 109 to the SSTT just to get a 3-day pass on the Deuce?

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In regards to the bus pass ...

http://www.rtcsnv.com/transit/fare-information/

If you're staying on The Strip (hotel), don't bother with the 109 - taking a cab or shuttle is so much easier, after that buy the pass to get up and down The Strip and to Fremont or the outlet malls.  But once you have the pass, you can take the 109 and the Deuce and SDX, there are stops all up and down The Strip.  If you're flying with any airline other than Southwest, Spirit or Allegiant, you'll be using Terminal 3 so you'll have to get to Terminal 1 in order to catch the 109.

A roundtrip with a hotel shuttle will run you $20 per person, a cab (depending on what hotel) will run you $15-$35 one way.  If you're staying on the southend of The Strip (Tropicana, MGM, Excalibur, New York, Luxor) I recommend a cab.

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5 hours ago, 9924 said:

In regards to the bus pass ...

http://www.rtcsnv.com/transit/fare-information/

If you're staying on The Strip (hotel), don't bother with the 109 - taking a cab or shuttle is so much easier, after that buy the pass to get up and down The Strip and to Fremont or the outlet malls.  But once you have the pass, you can take the 109 and the Deuce and SDX, there are stops all up and down The Strip.  If you're flying with any airline other than Southwest, Spirit or Allegiant, you'll be using Terminal 3 so you'll have to get to Terminal 1 in order to catch the 109.

A roundtrip with a hotel shuttle will run you $20 per person, a cab (depending on what hotel) will run you $15-$35 one way.  If you're staying on the southend of The Strip (Tropicana, MGM, Excalibur, New York, Luxor) I recommend a cab.

I have read many articles online that Vegas taxi drivers are notorious for "long hauling" - going the long way around to rack up the fare. I thought maybe I can avoid that and use the bus. Do all hotels have airport shuttles?

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56 minutes ago, Matt Demers said:

I have read many articles online that Vegas taxi drivers are notorious for "long hauling" - going the long way around to rack up the fare. I thought maybe I can avoid that and use the bus. Do all hotels have airport shuttles?

I've only been "long hauled" once.  Cab drivers are actually pretty good down there.  Last two trips we hit some unexpected road closures and had to detour around town and they turned the meter off.

The shuttles are run by a private company such as Bell Transportation and they serve all the hotels (at least the main one) - the down side to them is that they group a bunch of people together, so you end up going from hotel to hotel.

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Also, beware of what I call "Vegas Distance" - everything on the strip looks close may not actually be as close as it appears. Most of the properties are huge, and walking distance between them may be significant which will tire out your feet real fast.

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4 hours ago, Orion 1200 said:

Also, beware of what I call "Vegas Distance" - everything on the strip looks close may not actually be as close as it appears. Most of the properties are huge, and walking distance between them may be significant which will tire out your feet real fast.

Yup, I like to say that there are city blocks and then there are Vegas blocks - walking on the strip, everything looks nice and close but man, what a hike.  Luxor to Caeser's is a good 40 minutes by foot.  That is the main reason I don't recommend Circus Circus or The Stratosphere - both (more so The Stratosphere) are kind of off on their own and its a good walk to get to the action.

Good walking shoes are a must.

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On November 19, 2016 at 8:37 PM, Matt Demers said:

Thanks for all the help 9924. Will be on my way there soon!!! :D

Right on!  Have fun :)  I'll be there Tuesday

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Prayers out to those affected by this senseless act of violence and hatred.

I just feel numb to the core.... when I saw the videos of people running for their lives. Running to get away from the hail of bullets....

What a messed up world we live in.

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