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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.
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.
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:
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.
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.