Tag: Survival StrategiesView All Tags
Vegas Rants / Vegas Observations / Vegas Mistakes / Biking / Survival Strategies / The Strip / → All Tags
It seems we were preaching to the choir when we exclaimed that we need more pedestrian bridges. Many of you shared your own frustrating Las Vegas traffic jam experiences and came up with creative ways to both clear the streets and help pedestrians move about safely. Jaywalking on The Strip, while not likely to end anytime soon, remains illegal. The same can’t be said for two other sources of congestion, bicycles and motorized scooters.
Bikes are, of course, street legal. Good for the environment, and your health, they are second only to walking in terms of cheap transportation. In the past few years, many areas of Las Vegas have taken great strides to shed the notion that this is not a place for cyclists. Bike lanes, bike racks, even bike-sharing programs have popped up everywhere from Henderson to North Las Vegas. Several casinos will valet bicycles and, a few like Aria, even offer bike racks that provide more convenience than their parking garages do. Still, The Strip as a whole is not a welcoming place for bike riders. With no bike lanes, and insufficient space to add them along most of Las Vegas Boulevard, riders are stuck sharing lanes with aggressive cab drivers and inattentive tourists. Additionally, bikes are known tools of the trade for bottled water sellers and card-slappers, so don’t be surprised if you get some dirty looks while out for a ride.
Big Game / Hotel Rooms / Room Rates / Super Bowl / Survival Strategies / Tips / → All Tags
The biggest weekend in Las Vegas for sports fans is Super Bowl weekend. Next year, the Big Game (XVLIII) takes place on Sunday, February 2. If you’re thinking about coming to Las Vegas, you may want to start making plans now. Just a few weeks ago, hotel rooms on the Vegas Strip were still being comped as if it was still a slow winter weekend. In the past two weeks, rates increased and this writer's comp offers dried up for rooms at Caesars properties. Hotel room rates are still reasonable, but the freebies are gone (at least for me).
We’re now 5 weeks into the NFL season and, as the teams are separated into pretenders to contenders, we can expect to see hotel room rates increase. During yesterday’s games, countless talking heads mentioned that teams with a 3-2 record after five weeks have a 52% chance of making it to the Big Game. Those teams include:
Vegas Rants / Vegas Observations / Pedestrian Bridges / Pedestrians / What Not To Do / Vegas Mistakes / Survival Strategies / → All Tags
It’s late in the afternoon and a couple is stranded in Las Vegas. You might guess that we’re referring to a delayed flight at McCarran, but that’s not it. They’re actually stranded among the bushes that make up the median of Las Vegas Boulevard. Oversized Treasure Island skull mug in tow, they contemplate their next move. When they started their trek across The Strip, they didn’t notice the concrete barrier and shrubbery that line the other side of the street. (Or, maybe they did...) Now, they are stuck. Can they run across, dodge the George Wallace promotional trucks, and climb over the obstacles before getting hit? Or, should they turn back and try crossing somewhere else? They now wish they could push a button and make traffic come to a stop, but that’s not going to happen here because they’re jaywalking. Ultimately, they decide to go for it. They get honked at a few times, but are otherwise unscathed. Are you familiar with this scenario?
Gold Coast / Off Strip / VegasChatter Reviews / Buffets / Gross Vegas / Survival Strategies / Cheap Vegas / Dining / Sick Vegas / → All Tags
With so many great dining options available in Las Vegas, the restaurants at Gold Coast don’t usually garner much attention. The 24-hour T.G.I. Fridays is handy after finishing up some late night bowling, but is otherwise unremarkable. Ping Pang Pong, a Chinese restaurant that is worth going out of your way for, is likely the casino’s most popular place to dine. Both are much better choices than the Ports O’ Call buffet which is where this writer ate dinner for five consecutive nights during a recent stay.
“Why would you do that to yourself?,” you may ask. A good question and one I was not prepared to answer when I checked into one of Gold Coast’s premium rooms. I had booked five nights, Sunday through Thursday, using an offer that included a $10 dining credit for each night. It seemed like a great deal when I made the reservation. I looked forward to trying out a few dishes at Ping Pang Pong, hitting the Noodle Exchange, and perhaps even getting some of those delicious baby backs at Fridays. My cuisine dreams were shattered, however, when I was informed that the dining credit was only valid at the buffet. Up until this point, I didn’t even know Gold Coast had a buffet, but that’s where I would be heading.
Sometimes, the best stories we do aren't ones we pen. Sometimes, we're happy to get out of the way and give others the
mic webpage. This summer, after we ranted about still being long-hauled from McCarran, lots of you weighed in on this shifty move. Fifty-four of you, in fact. The post ran on July 24, but it's the most recent comment, left on September 11, we want to point out. Left by RustyChops41, it was titled "Tips From An Honest Driver":
Sportsbooks / VegasChatter Questions / Vegas Observations / Tips / Survival Strategies / Cantor Gaming / William Hill / MGM Resorts / Caesars Entertainment / Station Casinos / Boyd Gaming / Wynn / LVH / Golden Nugget / → All Tags
It's football season and that means it's a busy time in the sportsbook. Yesterday, we gave answered why sportsbooks will or won't show certain games. Strange enough, it makes sense. Now, we answer the often-asked question of which sportsbook has the best odds and point spreads. Some sportsbooks have better odds for some games, but there isn't a "best odds sportsbook." Sportsbooks often have similar odds, but since the odds are based on the amount of money bet, you'll see some noticeable differences.
Sportsbooks that cater to Vegas Strip tourists tend to have worse odds on teams from large cities. So, for example, you'll see that Caesars and MGM sportsbooks may have worse odds on teams from New York, Los Angeles and Chicago since there are so many tourists from those cities that place their wagers on The Strip. Caesars and MGM properties make up the majority of casinos on The Strip so you may see the Lakers with shorter odds to win a title or larger point spreads on a game at these properties than you would at, say, a Cantor Gaming-operated sportsbook.
Downtown Vegas / El Cortez / VegasChatter Reviews / Hotel Reviews / Downtown / Cheap Vegas / Vintage Vegas / Fremont East / Survival Strategies / Fremont Street / → All Tags
Earlier this year, we suggested 10 things you should know about Downtown's El Cortez. While the loose slots and cheap table games in the casino are favorites among locals, El Cortez has also been welcoming out-of-towners to its hotel for more than 70 years. This writer recently took a ride up the elevator and explored a room in the hotel’s 1980 tower expansion.
As a frequent visitor to the El Cortez casino, I knew this wouldn't be a luxury resort. This place is old. So old that it has landed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Even so, I've never had a bad time when visiting. When I need a break from the pretentiousness that can be overwhelming at Strip resorts, El Cortez is always there as a beacon of humility. After discovering that Tower rooms were on sale for just over $20 on weekdays, I jumped at the chance to spend a couple nights.
Using players club cards in casinos comes in handy, but they're not always simple to understand and can even be downright confusing. Every casino has their own proprietary players club algorithm to decide which rewards we'll receive. This makes it hard to know what rewards we'll receive and why we receive them. And, with so many different casino operators in Las Vegas (and around the country), it’s not always easy to see and compare offers, either. We recently found a website, though, that helps organize all (or most) of our players clubs in one place.
Off Strip / Rio / Rio Las Vegas / Survival Strategies / Tips / Masquerade Tower / Ipanema Tower / Hotel Rooms / → All Tags
Recently, we looked at Caesars Palace and explained how to choose the right tower when booking a stay. Now, we turn our attention to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and put its two towers up against one another in attempt to determine which is best. Is it the hotel’s original Ipanema Tower which opened in 1990? Or, is the more recently added Masquerade Tower the better bet? And, when staying at a hotel that boasts that all of its 2,500+ rooms are suites, does it even matter?
Well, choosing the right tower absolutely does matter because, at Rio, a suite is not always a suite. Rio was the first hotel in Las Vegas to utilize the “all-suite” concept and, during its opening run in the ‘90s, it was the place to be. Its standard accommodations were nearly double the size of typical Las Vegas hotel rooms and were appointed with things like double vanities, living room areas, and refrigerators that were hard to come by elsewhere. Jump ahead to today and many of the amenities remain unchanged. The all-suite concept is no longer exclusive to Rio and competitors in the suite-hotel marketplace like Venetian have surpassed Rio with larger sizes and more luxurious furnishings. Today, it’s arguable as to whether Rio’s oldest rooms really deserve the “suite” designation. They are still spacious but, after more than 15 years without significant upgrades, they're rooms you want to avoid.
Whether you're planning to come to Las Vegas for the first time, or if it's a next time, rather than relying on
tiring obsolete methods of travel like walking, rent a car instead.
We'll start with where to get the car from because it's an important consideration. Most people rent cars from the airport because it's convenient, but in fact, that couldn't be further from the truth. That's why we recommend you rent a car from a hotel. Aside from the fact that it's almost always about $10 cheaper, you won't have to take a shuttle to the rental car center, nor will you have to wait in the, sometimes, brutally long lines. And, maybe the best part, because many more people rent from the airport than hotels, your chances of getting a free upgrade are much higher (I ended up with a Camaro when I paid for a Sebring). The only draw back is that you have to take a taxi each way from the airport, but the difference in non-airport cost should offset that.
Boxing / Fight Night / Tips / Survival Strategies / Floyd Mayweather Jr. / Saul Alvarez / → All Tags
Love him or hate him, there's no denying the fact that when pound-for-pound king of the ring Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. (44-0, 26 KOs) enters the MGM Grand Garden Arena this Saturday, September 14 to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) for their WBA/WBC junior middleweight unification bout, you'll have picked a side and will remain adamant in your position. Like the New York Yankees in baseball or the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in college football, there's no toeing the line when it comes to Mayweather. You've either chosen to embrace the greatest fighter of his generation or you've long since established a position that Mayweather's brash and cocky demeanor is not to your liking.
This is a critical concept to comprehend because the world's perception of Mayweather — both as a boxer and as a celebrity — will play an integral role in the Las Vegas betting lines for Saturday's fight. Over the last decade, Mayweather has evolved into not just the greatest athlete in boxing, but into one of the most controversial figures in all of sports. The 36 year old from Grand Rapids, Michigan realized long ago that the fight game is as much about promotion and persona as is it is about ring generalship. And, with that highly profitable fact in mind, Mayweather transformed himself into one of the greatest heels in American sports history.
We've all been there, wandering through one of the many beautiful Strip casinos, but unable to find our way to, well, anywhere! These mega-resorts are wonderful in that they have everything you could ever want under one roof. The problem with these resorts, however, is that they have everything you want under one roof!
Navigating hotel-casinos can be a daunting task even for a Vegas veteran, let alone a virgin! With so much to see, noises in every direction, and folks milling around everywhere you look, it can be difficult to tell what is what and where to go. And, don't even get me started on resorts with ceilings painted to look like you're outside, fake streets and shopfronts, and multiple floors! It is actually amazing I.. I mean.. anyone ever finds their way out and back home.
To help out Vegas beginners, I've compiled a few tips and tricks that can help you in moments of confusion: