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Ready To Venture Off Strip? Consider One Of These Locals' Joints

December 12, 2014 at 5:07 PM | by | Comments (8)

Sometimes when people tell me they’re coming to town for the weekend, it stresses me out. The Strip is fabulous, but it is expensive, it’s crowded, people yell ‘Yolo’ and ‘Vegas, baby!’ a lot (ugh), and once again, it's expensive. When friends visit, they often ask for suggestions of places to have a great meal, drink for cheap, and have a fun, chill night. My suggestion is always a locals' bar.

Everyone in Vegas has a favorite local bar or bartender they love to visit. There are a variety of reasons why locals love gaming bars, but you can't beat friendly service, cheap drinks, and great food.

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Beware The Five Dollar Catch At Circus Circus

Where: 2880 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
December 11, 2014 at 3:25 PM | by | Comments (16)

In Vegas, guest rooms can vary widely within a single hotel. We’ve looked at the differences between the towers at Rio. And, we’ve explored the best and worst that Caesars Palace has to offer. Choosing the wrong room type before your trip to Vegas can be a huge mistake. The consequences are most severe at a place we expect few would guess, Circus Circus. Even more surprising, the fact that five dollars is often all it takes to avoid such a disaster.

What are we talking about? The monstrosity that is the Manor Motor Lodge.

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Where To Party When You're Over The Normal Nightclubs

December 11, 2014 at 2:15 PM | by | Comments (9)

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they realize they're not as young as they used to be. In Vegas, that realization sometimes hits you in the ears one night in the club. The music, the people and the vibe just are not what they used to be. Even though most Vegas clubs are focused on younger customers, there are still places to go out, have some drinks and dance to something other than oontz.

Recently, I visited the Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay for the first time in a while. I found it to be a great fit for someone ready to take the next step in his or her club life. The crowd was made up of a mix of people between their 20s and 40s with the average age probably around mid-30s. Music ranged from '90s artists (Tupac) to hits from today (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis). Some danced, others just hung out and enjoyed bottle service. I spent the night drinking outside on a patio with one of the best views in Vegas. You really can't beat that. It struck me as a great place to party when you think you might be ready to move on from Marquee or XS.

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How To Play, And Win, The Vegas Timeshare Game

December 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM | by | Comments (16)

Timeshares are all over Vegas, often hidden in plain sight among and around the massive towers owned by the casinos. Places like Elara, Desert Rose, Flamingo Hilton, Tahiti Village, and Club de Soleil go largely unnoticed by most, all while making a sizable contribution to the annual number of visitors to the city.

Timeshares get a bad rap for good reason, but that will never stop people from buying in. Offers for freebies bring them in the door. High pressure sales tactics close the deal. Those that don’t commit walk away with complimentary tickets, meals or cash. If you have a few hours to spare and you’re strong enough to resist the most hardened sales pros in Vegas, you, too, can beat the timeshare game.

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A Food Lover's NYE In Vegas

December 3, 2014 at 4:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

New Year's Eve in Las Vegas is a time when thousands upon thousands flock to the Strip for one big, raucous blowout. But, when nearly every spot is offering a special prix fixe dinner or what have you, what is the best way to do it? Here's what I would suggest.

If you've never done NYE on the Strip, you may be wondering, "What's the parking situation?" This is the situation: you can't park anywhere, ever, unless you are cool with getting there ten hours early and leaving the next day. Either that or get your walking shoes on and park somewhere a good mile away.

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More Ways, Good And Bad, To Catch A Movie In Vegas

November 20, 2014 at 5:05 PM | by | Comments (5)

Over the summer, we brought you some great options for enjoying a movie in Vegas. Based on your comments, it seems we’re not alone in our love for a flick, even while on vacation. We’re back now with more possibilities, as well as details on how you can see the blockbuster film Interstellar the way it was meant to be seen.

If high-priced theater tickets aren’t your thing, then Regency Tropicana Cinemas is your best bet. All shows here are just two bucks. Better yet, swing by on a Tuesday and get in for half off. Trade-offs? There are plenty. The screens are smaller, the movies are older, they don’t have stadium seating, and it occasionally seems like parents use the place as a daycare. Concessions are just as expensive as at any other theater, but when you can get five tickets for the price of one, it’s OK to splurge a bit. The Regency is located about four miles east of The Strip on Tropicana. It’s way too far to walk, but not a bad drive if you’re at the southern end of The Strip.

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Not All Games Award Players Club Points Equally, Or At All

November 20, 2014 at 2:34 PM | by | Comment (1)

We read the players club websites and brochures and usually have a good idea of how to earn points with a players club card. The information is spelled out in black and white. Unfortunately, things are always changing in the casino world and don’t make it online or into the brochures.

Take the video roulette game pictured above, for example. In some casinos, you may be able to earn players club points for the money you load into this game. In most casinos, including Boyd Gaming properties, you won’t. When this video roulette game was introduced, some players decided to try and game the comp system. Casinos pay attention and change the rules on the fly to counteract any weaknesses. Since these protective moves can be seen negatively by customers, they may not promote something like this prominently on their website or brochures. They’ll just leave stickers on the machine.

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My Vegas: Mr. Pappagiorgio

November 7, 2014 at 8:42 PM | by | Comments (10)

Cirque's loss was our gain.

Earlier this year, we introduced you to the people (and, sometimes, the faces) behind the bylines here at VegasChatter. Now, it's time to introduce you to a few more. (If you missed our first eight profiles, check the right side of your screen for links.) This time around we shine the light on our Mr. Pappagiorgio. Yes, real name still redacted, but at least we got this sweet childhood photo out of his mom him.

We're actually a bit unclear as to what Mr. P. does in the real world. We pretty much imagine him in a work environment similar to The Office. He'd probably be Ryan in that analogy. At least, that's what this gal pictures, #sorrynotsorry. As VegasChatter's Assistant Editor Mr. Pappagiorgio has had the unfortunate task wonderful job of being my sounding board for years. (I'm editor of the site, as long-time readers will know.) He's been with 'Chatter even longer than I have and -- this is where things get wind beneath my wings maudlin -- has been there whenever I've questioned myself, whenever I've needed to vent, whenever I've had a meme to share, whenever I've been walking around on The Strip and have found myself in desperate need of someone (anyone) in front of a computer due to breaking news. He's always been there for me even that one time I got sloppy, falling down drunk.

And, as one of our most prolific writers, he's been there for you, too. View all his articles from over the years here. He's authored a staggering 848 (!!) posts, ranging from hard-hitting exposes on all the ass at Red Rock to his (unintentionally) controversial report on the greening of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Now, without further ado, here's Mr. P.'s Vegas:

Favorite Vegas Show: The Beatles LOVE at The Mirage. It’s tough not to list Absinthe here, but I’ve seen LOVE four times and would see it a fifth in a heartbeat.

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Don't Just Shrug Off A Misplaced Players Club Card

November 6, 2014 at 3:16 PM | by | Comments (10)

Players cards are more popular than ever, and for good reason. If you’re gambling, using a card is a must if you want comps or room offers. Even for non-gamblers, carrying a card makes sense. Most casinos now offer comps based on dining and entertainment purchases. Many restaurants, especially those in properties owned by Caesars, even discount their menus for cardholders. And, some resorts go so far as to combine room keys and players cards into one. As cards continue to do more and become increasingly valuable, it’s important to consider what’s at risk when one is lost or, even worse, stolen.

Slots seem to be the biggest culprits when it comes to misplaced cards. Despite the bright lights that surround card readers, it’s easy to walk away after cashing a big win without remembering to pull your card. Slot attendants are tasked with removing and discarding cards that are left behind, but there’s no guarantee that someone else won’t get to it first.

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Play (Nearly) Even With The House At Craps

November 4, 2014 at 2:35 PM | by | Comments (3)

If you like to roll them bones, you’re better off frequenting some Vegas casinos than others.

That’s because only a handful offer the best pass line odds bets at the craps table – one of the rare instances where you’re playing even with the house. In a land where high rises are built on the backs of tourists with a jones for gambling, that’s one bet we’re happy to take.

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More Ways To Earn Total Rewards Credits Without Visiting A Casino

October 28, 2014 at 12:36 PM | by | Comments (4)

There are a couple of new ways to earn Total Rewards credits without stepping foot in a casino. Earning points without visiting a casino is a useful way to keep existing points from expiring, especially if you only make one trip a year to Las Vegas. If you're new to Total Rewards, you might not know that points expire after six months of inactivity.

House of Fun on Facebook

Did you know you can earn Total Rewards credits when playing House of Fun on Facebook? You earn them whenever you purchase chips to play the game. Unfortunately, you cannot earn credits when playing with free coins. Also note that these are Reward Credits, the kind of credits you can use for hotel rooms, food, entertainment, etc. These aren’t Tier Credits which allow you to earn better status like Platinum, Diamond or Seven Stars.

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Avoid The Bag Drag: How To Handle Luggage In Vegas

October 23, 2014 at 12:59 AM | by | Comments (10)

One of the most frustrating parts of traveling is dealing with luggage. Navigating airline limitations, deciphering security restrictions, and fighting for overhead space is no way to start a vacation. Those traveling by ground don’t have quite the number of challenges in their way, but we’re increasingly seeing questions about what to do with luggage after arriving in Vegas. Fortunately, Vegas makes it easy.

A locked hotel room is the obvious choice for storing your belongings. But, what do you do if you arrive before check-in time? Where do you put your bags if your flight isn’t until late at night, well after check-out? Many visitors resort to hauling their bags around all day. Don’t do this! Vegas is huge and the walk from one casino to another is long enough as it is. Dragging a suitcase behind you as you travel up and down The Strip or in between rows of slot machines will get old in a hurry and is completely unnecessary.

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