Tag: Survival StrategiesView All Tags
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:
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.