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Bitten by the Las Vegas Bug... hard. Planning ahead for next trip!

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by AlnessW, Apr 20, 2016.

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  1. AlnessW

    AlnessW Tourist

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    As per my trip report on my first Las Vegas adventure for my birthday, needless to say I was bitten very hard by the Las Vegas "bug." Never too early to start planning ahead (and saving up) for my next visit... Right now, these plans exist only in my mind but I really hope to be able to go back maybe later this summer, or ? Hard to say this early. Most importantly, any and all feedback, suggestions, or other tips are more than welcome (and encouraged!) here. Thanks in advance and here goes.

    How long to stay. Last trip was way too short (only 2 nights) so this one needs to be, well...longer! I'm thinking 4 or maybe 5 nights ought to do it?

    When to go. I NEED to experience a weekend there, hands-down as last trip was hugely lacking on that front. Perhaps something like Thursday-Monday?

    Flight plans. Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Spirit Airlines all offer direct flights from Portland. (We took Alaska last time.) However, for reasons not relevant or important here, I have a $75 credit from Delta Airlines which expires this fall that I'd really like to use. The obvious drawback there would be having to book a flight connection, but worse could happen! I would rather drive there than fly Spirit.

    Where to stay. I know some people swear by downtown, Fremont St, etc., but what can I say - while I would certainly be willing to visit there for a bit, the Strip is my location of choice. Being fairly new to this I still haven't seen the whole thing, really...

    Now that we've got that hammered out, I had a fantastic experience at Treasure Island so the obvious go-to choice would be to return there. I already have a $25 discount for my next visit (issued as part of the resort fee), plus I suspect they'll eventually send me offers or ? However, I'm certainly open to other options. For example, most notably with a longer visit I would be MUCH more inclined to stay at one of the larger (relatively speaking...) complexes - The MGM Grand, The Venetian / Palazzo, etc. However, The Luxor, The Excalibur, and Circus Circus to name a few all look a tad run-down to me. Thoughts, suggestions?

    Who to go with. My younger sister and routine travel companion will be staying home this time...haha...so on to other options. ;) Best case scenario I'll be able to recruit a friend or three of mine (again, preferably female!) to accompany me, and share costs if possible.

    Shows. Too many to count!

    • Hands down, I would see David Copperfield @ The MGM Grand again, though it might be fun to see some other magicians.
    • Cirque du Soleil - suggestions? Off the top of my head I know of KA (MGM Grand), The Beatles LOVE (Mirage), Mystere (Treasure Island), and O (Bellagio) to name a few. I'd definitely like to hit at least one of these. Personally, I'm not big on Michael Jackson so I would pass on ONE at Mandalay Bay.
    • I'd also be interested in seeing one of the more "showgirl"-type productions. For example, Fantasy (The Luxor), Jubilee (Bally's), or Zumanity (New York, New York) as potential options?
    Party Restaurants/Bars. Another "missing item" from last trip, which I may cover with more detail in the Vegas Nightlife forum. Senor Frog's (TI) seems like a great option - the place was dead during midweek, as was Gilley's Saloon. Carnaval Court (Harrah's) also looks fun - some others I see are The Bourbon Room or The Rockhouse (The Venetian), and Margaritaville (The Flamingo). And yes, I would like to hit one of those "bartending show" type places - I know, some people say that whole concept is total nonsense, but what can I say, I'm young...

    Nightclubs. Thoughts? To me, it seems like they are a pretty expensive venture with a lot of waiting around to get in. Am I wrong? I also recall reading that men typically need a lady with them to enter... Any truth to that? Anyways, just wondering but it kind of feels wise to spend nights elsewhere.

    Money-saving tips. Likely better to cover this in a separate thread in Las Vegas for the Frugal, but any suggestions regarding money-saving on hotels, flights, shows, etc. are welcome here. I'm NOT trying to be cheap...just mindful.

    I think that should cover it for now - thanks! :) Will post more here as I think of it - this is a most excellent forum.
     
  2. Bamalewie

    Bamalewie Tourist

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    As for where to stay: it really depends on the vibe you want. Also I try to pick a new place every time I go, that being said I've stayed at Aladdin/Planet Hollywood 3 times now. It has a great young, hip vibe as does cosmo. MGM is great, everything you could want under one gigantic roof. You're correct about Circus Circus and Excalibur being a little rundown. I'm not sure about Luxor. There are also the resort fees to keep in mind.

    Nightclubs out there are the biggest rip off to me. Unless you're into EDM, in that case you get to see the biggest, hottest DJ's in the business, but that ain't my scene. Generally, you wait a long time, pay too much for entry and drinks and once you get in you can't move or hear anyone else.
     
  3. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

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    CET properties are pretty generous with comp room offers, so maybe consider Bally's/Flamingo/The Linq for a stay.

    FYI - Jubilee show at Bally's has closed. For a classic Cirque I'd say Mystere, but if you are a Beatles fan, LOVE is fantastic.

    Party Bars - Carnaval Court can be a lot of fun, as can Toby Keith's in Harrah's, particular on a weekend. I don't recommend eating there, just drinks/music. I thought Rockhouse in Venetian closed but I could be confusing it with another bar.

    I don't do Nightclubs so can't help you there.
     
    Vegas Just Because...
  4. spdandpwr

    spdandpwr Low-Roller

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    I'm in the same boat as you. Not even one week off the last trip and I began thinking about my next excursion to Vegas. Unlike you, my last trip was 7 days but boy did that fly. I seriously was not bored for a single second of the day. That said, I'll try to give you my take on the topics you covered:

    How Long to Stay: That's contingent on your budget and the activities you have planned. In my experience, the people who have the worst time (or who want to leave after three nights) are those who don't have some sort of schedule and plan to wing it. You can't simply go to Vegas expecting to be gambling drunk 24/7. Given your plan, I think 4-5 nights would be perfect.

    When to Go: You're young so you definitely need a weekend trip -- just know that both flights and rooms are pricier on weekends.

    Where to Stay: I'm a big fan of moving locations when you're in Vegas. Staying in one hotel gets a bit boring after a while and by switching properties, you get to cover more ground. Also, you'd be surprised how inexpensive some of the nicer hotels can be if you book at the the right time with the right coupon. I'm currently seeing lower prices for the Venetian vs Planet Hollywood -- I think the choice is obvious with that one, lol.

    Shows: Make sure you see Absinthe! Haven't heard one complaint from anyone about that show. The chairs might be a tad uncomfortable but worry not, you'll be so engaged with the show. Also, consider the Exotics Racing experience. It's pricey, but very much worth it! When else would you be able to drive a Ferrari, Porsche, Lambo, etc.?

    Party Bars: You have a good plan with the options you suggested. Carnival Court has really great flare bartenders as does Fremont Street.

    Nightclubs: Personally, I hate crowded, over-the-top rager clubs that have been the thing lately. Skip 1Oak, Hakka, Omnia, etc and consider Intrigue (opening April 28th) or Lavo and thank me later. Tao is nice as well!

    Money Saving Tips: Get breakfast at Hash a Go Go. Either at Rio or The Linq, the place is cheap, filling (I don't know anyone who's finished their food) and delicious. Other than that, I don't really go to Vegas to save money, lol. It's just impossible for me.
     
  5. kleland

    kleland Tourist

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    Most of these suggestions are going to be all over the place as everyone has their favorites so here goes for me.

    How long to stay really does depend on your budget as has already been said, with that being said weekdays are less expensive than weekends, I prefer the weekdays because they are less crowded, but to each his own.

    Where to stay-- I would either do Planet Hollywood or the Linq, or south strip MGM.

    Who to go with--Remember solo trips can be just as fun, although I understand about the female companionship, but as solo you can go where you want when you want without having to worry about anyone else.

    Shows to see--Carrot Top is a must IMO, also for Vegas type showgirl production, Crazy Girls is running at Planet Hollywood.

    Money saving tips--Groupon often has some deals for food and activities, as well as travelzoo. Also the American Casino Guide has coupons to use at various casinos for freeplay and such. You can also preview the coupons before buying the book to decide if it is right for you.

    Overall happy planning!
     
  6. kleland

    kleland Tourist

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    Also instead of Senior Frogs, I would do carnival court or O'Sheas. You will probably have a better time at those places. You could also check out Coyote Ugly in NYNY.
     
  7. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Never too early to start planning ahead (and saving up) for my next visit... Its never too early. Hell, our countdown tends to start in the mid 100s.

    How long to stay. We find that 3 nights is just right for us and we only gamble and don't see shows. I suspect at 4 nights for you as there is still plenty to see being a bit new.

    When to go. The off weekends can be significantly cheaper. What are you trying to experience? Massive crowds? High table limits? Also, if you want to walk the strip or do the pool, you don't really want to go during the winter.

    Flight plans. We have a SW card and use mileage. What would normally cost upwards of $1200 only costs about $100. You may find other means like American Express which allows you to use it against just about any type of travel.

    Where to stay. If a pool is of no interest I would say Planet Hollywood as its mid strip. Go North one day then South the next. Helps to keep you from backtracking.

    Who to go with. Post in the meet section. Plenty of people go solo.

    Shows. Too many to do a repeat. Try the O show or LeReve next.

    Money-saving tips. You don't mention how much you gamble, but if you do gamble then definitely use your Player's Club card and charge meals to your room. If you gamble enough they will remove a few meals from your bill.
     
  8. AlnessW

    AlnessW Tourist

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    Thank you everyone for the feedback so far - this is exactly what I'm looking for! Now, responding to several comments below.

    Very good to know! I think it's safe to say Circus Circus and the Excalibur are out, but I've heard very mixed reviews of the Luxor. Some say it's fantastic, others say it's a high-rise Motel 6.

    Doesn't exactly sound like my scene either - too pricey, too crowded, and too hard to hear. I'm not real big on DJs, either.

    You're right - Jubilee has closed - thanks for the clarification! I would have loved to have seen Mystere last trip, so hopefully that may happen next time.
    Looks like Rockhouse is still open...but The Bourbon Room isn't. Venetian's website also says otherwise, so I can't be certain about Rockhouse. And yes, I wouldn't go to a party bar for good food - just drinks, music, atmosphere, etc.

    Awesome - it certainly seems like I'm not the only one! I too, was never once bored on my last trip and had activities planned throughout most of the day/night. Yet still, I only got to see about 4% of what that city has to offer (as a guy pointed out in my TR).

    Exactly right - as I alluded to above, I'm a planner when it comes to travel. I want to know what I'll be doing, when I'll be doing it, and where I'll be doing it. Last trip I wrote up a schedule and brought it with me - obviously, this will always get modified slightly, but it was a huge help in making the most of my time there.

    I couldn't agree more - and cheaper rooms was (one of) the main reasons behind a midweek trip.

    Also a good point - I would love to try a new location so that may be a better bet. I could always dine or gamble at Treasure Island for a bit (or hit mystere!) if I really wanted an "homage" to last trip. 4 nights at the Venetian would be legendary! Time to start looking I think...

    Great - thanks!

    Yeah, as per above I'm inclined to skip all that, as well.

    I wouldn't go to save money either, haha! Hence my "not trying to be cheap" comment...

    Good feedback, thanks! As far as solo trips go, I agree that they can be fun - I've done several before plus last Vegas trip was basically solo. This time though, I would like company.
    Those shows look cool as well.

    Also, good to know! Have you been to Senor Frog's? Just curious as to what your experience was like.

    Hey, there you go! :)

    Exactly - I do gamble, but I also see shows hence the slightly longer stay.

    As far as "off-weekends" go, most say to check the convention center schedule for big events going on there when planning dates. Crowds can be both a hassle AND an advantage - for example (in all likelihood) I would have a lot more fun at a party bar if there was a bigger crowd and more rowdy atmosphere. But to answer your question, I would target a weekend for a livelier experience as others have suggested.
    Ha, like I could wait until the winter anyways... Pools are fun, but swimming can be done anytime - I was a little underwhelmed with the TI pool, anyways.

    Good to know, I don't fly Southwest nor do I have a mileage card, but a nice option for sure.

    Cool - thanks!

    Yes, absolutely - I'm no high-roller or big better, but I do enjoy playing. I joined the TI Player's Club and most recommend to do so at every casino you attend. Also, billing meals/drinks to the room is the best way to go, IMO - easy and creates a record of purchases all under 1 roof. Plus you also don't have to mess with cash or credit cards when paying checks, which can be nice. TI has an $80-for-$100 dining credit which is great - pay $80 at check-in, get a $100 credit posted to your room, and then bill charges accordingly. Once you hit $100, any additional purchases just appear on your checkout folio separately.
     
  9. AlnessW

    AlnessW Tourist

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    Couple of updates...

    Hopefully targeting mid-July as I don't have much going on then - August would likely also work but my schedule this June is too busy. Sure it will be hot, but there's no shortage of air conditioning and pools there!

    For the rough dates I'm looking at, The MGM Grand, New York, New York, Flamingo, The LINQ, and of course Treasure Island all have reasonable rates. Again, mixed feelings about the Luxor. Unless I am missing something, the Venetian is way out of my price range. I should look at promotions/coupons as well.

    A semi-important question - is booking those "pre-pay" hotel room offers the best way (or a best way) to get a good deal? We did that for my last trip which I thought worked well, plus you're not slammed with a massive bill at checkout. (The drawback of course being having to pay for the room months in advance.) Thoughts?

    Then there's of course there's that whole "who am I traveling with" thing, but that's a question for later...
     
  10. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    First off, the term "direct" is often mis-used or understood. If you actually mean a nonstop from Portland to Vegas, then let the $75 thing expire. Taking a connection just increases your flight time, chance of screw ups, etc. If on the other hand, the "direct" flights involve a stop, then maybe. It all depends on the cost and schedule you can find.
     
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