Tag: Survival StrategiesView All Tags
Visiting Las Vegas is great when traveling with your best friends. The bonds and memories can last forever. What should you do, though, when your friends bail on you? Should you simply give up your plans and reschedule or go at it alone? Vegas can seem intimidating when traveling alone, but it can be the best way to visit. Solo travel has been a growing trend and Vegas is among one of the more popular solo destinations. Heck, there’s even a website devoted to visiting Vegas solo.
Before moving to Vegas, this writer was faced with making a trip to here alone after a friend had to bail due to work. The thought of tackling Vegas without a wingman wasn’t something I ever thought about before, but it’s something I encourage after experiencing it. Traveling to Vegas with friends is great, but the solo vacation to Vegas can be even better in some ways.
Vegas For Beginners / Players Clubs 101 / Tips / Survival Strategies / Total Rewards / M Life / Club Grazie / Identity / Ace Play / Red Card / Riviera Rewards / Trop Plus / Backstage Pass / → All Tags
Players clubs are simple on the surface: gamble a little in the casino and get rewarded with comps and discounts on your next visit. Of course, nothing is ever so simple. Every players club is different so let’s look at how players clubs work and how to get the best and most rewards. One hundred dollars spent is no longer the same at every casino and hotel.
Just about every business in America has a “loyalty club.” Car rental agencies, coffee shops, supermarkets and hotels all have their own way of rewarding
addiction customers. Buy 12 cups of Starbucks coffee and get a 13th free. Woohoo! That’s a sweet $2.50 savings after spending $30 on coffee.
Off Strip / Wyndham Grand Desert / Wyndham / Hotel Alternatives / Vegas Condos / Tips / Survival Strategies / VegasChatter Reviews / → All Tags
Recently, we talked about the benefits of renting a condo over a hotel room while in Vegas as part of a group. The story came about after this writer happened to make the Wyndham Grand Desert on Harmon my home for a weekend as part of a bachelor party.
After settling into a two-bedroom unit -- with a full kitchen, living room, large dining room table, and two full baths -- with a group of friends, here's what I liked and didn't like about the Wyndham Grand Desert:
I've already gushed about how I enjoyed the extra space to lounge and hang out as a crew during downtime. The Wyndham is a mile off the Strip, but the trip was a breeze thanks to a hotel shuttle that ran to Harrah's multiple times per hour. And, because Las Vegas Boulevard is only a mile, we could have walk, if we had wanted. The neutral location also put us in walking distance to the Hard Rock in the other direction, which took about 15 minutes. Don't take this to mean there was no view: We had a great one of New York-New York, The Signature and MGM Grand.
People watching and wandering around The Strip is a huge part of the fun in Vegas, snaking your way through hotels and blowing where the wind takes you. This VegasChatter contributor loves this strategy during the afternoons and early evenings, but as I learned through multiple group trips over the years, time gets away from you in Sin City, and the lack of a clear agenda can result in too much aimless meandering.
Indeed, it was a sad moment when I looked at my watch, realized it was after midnight and that I had no next move for the evening. My group and I came to Vegas on a budget, failed to do our research, and ended up standing in a circle near the slot machines, shrugging our shoulders about what to do next. We had a little bit of cash left in our pockets, but seeing some restaurants start to close down and crowds begin to thin out, we wondered where to spend it.
Hotel Alternatives / Vegas Condos / Wyndham / Vegas For Beginners / Tips / Survival Strategies / → All Tags
At the end of February, this writer flew into Vegas for a bachelor party. Rather than feed you advice about where to find the best bang for your single bucks, I've got some food for thought when it comes to traveling with large groups to Vegas. The hotels in and around The Strip get all the attention, yet I found that renting a condo was the way to go.
Suites at hotels provide similar comforts in terms of space and "hang-out" capabilities, but they will certainly cost you. Condo rentals at places like the Wyndham have two-bedroom units starting at $209 per night -- about the same, or less, as you would pay for a single room with two doubles at many hotels in Vegas. Two bedrooms, plus pull-out couches and floor space, make for some pretty cheap lodging when traveling in a group.
We get a bit nostalgic about "old" Vegas here at VegasChatter but here's one thing we won't miss at all -- long-hauling by taxis at the airport. Heck, we're ready to burn this sucker and bury the ashes somewhere in the deepest part of the desert. Not familiar with long-hauling? Read our account here. Or, head on over to this post on Reddit where a former taxi driver bares all. Even TIME acknowledged it recently while reporting that there's just no stopping it.
Today, however, this sign (shown above and below) greeted us at the taxi line outside McCarran's Terminal 3 and it's immensely helpful for both Vegas vets and virgins alike.
Vegas For Beginners / Players Clubs / Vegas Observations / Survival Strategies / Gambling / Casinos / Tips / → All Tags
We all know that players clubs don’t exist only as a vehicle to give us freebies and discounts. They’re marketing tools that casinos use with much more diligence than you may realize. Rewarding casino customers for their loyalty makes plenty sense, but there’s a rhyme and reason behind every single offering. Casinos look at players clubs as a way to reinvest in their most loyal customers. Casino executives call this “Player Reinvestment” since rewards have historically been based solely on gaming revenue.
What might surprise you is how much casinos value customers. Casinos spend anywhere from 20%-40% of tracked gaming revenue on player reinvestment. As you might imagine, that money isn’t spread equally among customers. The more money a customer brings into the casino, the more the casino will invest in making that person return.
McDonald's / Eating / Dining / The Strip / Metro McDonald's / Restaurants / Food / Cheap Eats / Budget Vegas / Survival Strategies / → All Tags
No one plans to eat at McDonald's while in Vegas, yet the few sets of golden arches that line The Strip always seem to draw a large crowd. It might be because there’s a shortage of 24-hour dining options. Or, perhaps the Dollar Menu (and more) is all that the budget allows after a tough run at the tables. It could also be that people gravitate towards something greasy and familiar when looking to soak up the booze after a wild night out. That would certainly explain the madness that ensued inside the Casino Royale Denny’s (until it was torn down). Whatever their reasoning, Vegas visitors can’t seem to get enough Mickey D’s. And, like everything else in Vegas, the burger joints come with a few quirks. Here are our faves:
Poker / Boulder Station / Free Vegas / Gambling / Tips / Survival Strategies / → All Tags
Most Vegas casinos will offer free lessons in the most popular table games like blackjack, roulette and craps. These lessons are a great way to learn the more popular and social games that you’ll find in the casino. Since each of these games has a decent house advantage, it’s kind of a win-win. The customer learns how to gamble while the casino earns a new player they should be able to extract a few dollars from. You should see signs for lessons when you walk around your favorite casino floor during the day.
Most Vegas visitors know to beware the long haul. But, it can still happen to the most seasoned pro. Last summer, we recounted how being preoccupied led us to being long-hauled (when a taxi driver takes the long route to your destination) from McCarran Airport. That July post resonated with so many readers that it became our most commented on article for 2013.
Now, Vegas Inc reports that a new long-hauling crackdown launches today. And, it hinges on the hope that McCarran travelers will see the sign.
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: