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Convince me to rent a car!

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by pink_paradise, Aug 23, 2014.

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  1. pink_paradise

    pink_paradise Low-Roller

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    Will be staying at MGM in June 2015 for 14 nights. Will already need a car for South Rim GC/Hoover Dam/Lake Mead for a few days but am contemplating having a rental for the whole trip. Besides the cost (approx. $450- hoping this will drop) we are very nervous about driving in LV. However, we have a few destinations where we know a car would really make it easier (Fashion Show, South Outlet, North Outlet, Boulevard Mall (?), Peppermill, Strat, SLS etc). Our main concern is not being able to figure out how to get in and out of the parking areas (especially of MGM- where we are staying) and in general being lost.

    We really want to take the plunge, but don't want to waste the money on a car only to be too nervous to actually use it.

    Is it really that easy to find your way around? Are there enough easy back roads to avoid the craziness of the strip? We were also in two cab accidents on our last LV trip, hence the nervousness but also not wanting to subject ourselves to anymore cab rides...


    Convince me? :nworthy:
     
  2. newmans

    newmans VIP Whale

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    I like having a car. At times, the line for a cab can be huge. Also, I would suggest valet parking instead of self parking.
    I would also put Blueberry Hill on your list.....fantastic breakfast....the best pancakes.
     
  3. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    I guess it's all relative to what you're used to at home but I don't find driving in Vegas to be that difficult. Do you have a smartphone? They have a wonderful GPS navigation system in them. Practice with it before you go and you'll have no problems. It's easy to get out of MGM. You go in and out on a road that is parallel to the strip. It's pretty easy. Just remember where you parked the car. Those parking garages are huge and confusing.

    For 5-6 days I don't need a car but 14 days I'd get one for sure for at least part of the time.

    Valet parking is great when you're parking. It can suck when you're waiting 25 minutes for your car when you want to leave. I usually just drive off strip. If I want to move from hotel to hotel on the strip I just walk..
     
  4. Aces and Eights

    Aces and Eights VIP Whale

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    I think that the attractions outside of Vegas have shuttles if you want to join a tour. If you want to be on your own, then a rental car is probably the way to go. There are monorails between Excalibur and Mandalay Bay; and Monte Carlo and Bellagio which are free. The Las Vegas monorail connects some hotels on the east side of the Strip, but it costs money and isn't really cheap. You can check the website for stations and cost. The other problem is that it's on the backside of the hotels so to get to the Strip and the hotels on the west side of the street is a long walk. But people do it. You should probably plan the trip to localize and minimize your commuting during any one day. And if you get multiple-day monorail tickets, compact your commuting within those days you plan to use the monorail.

    If you rent a car, the drive shouldn't be too bad. You should never get lost because the Strip has noticeable landmarks. Just head back in that direction. The major street on the west side of the Strip is Industrial while on the east side is Koval and Paradise. Just look at the map beforehand and use GPS.
     
  5. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    If you do your homework, you could get a small car for $10 a day (just have to work the system correctly)
    And driving in Vegas isn't as bad as it seems...only the 15 corridor from Tropicana to Sahara, and anywhere around the strip, is bad...for those, just valet park at one end (LVH, or Mandalay Bay) and ride the monorail.
    Use the rental car for offstrip and out of town stuff (valley of fire, Mt. Charleston, Red Rock Canyon, etc)
     
    Palace Tower Suite!
  6. nancydrewit26

    nancydrewit26 Tourist

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    We rent a car every time we go to Vegas, usually twice a year. We like the freedom and the ability to go places on a whim. We've discovered wonderful stores (DD Discounts for example), and make use of Groupon and Travelzoo coupons to go to restaurants we would never visit without a car, and usually take a couple of day trips to Henderson or Laughlin. Make use of your cell phone gps, or buy one on sale to use on your trip (it's probably cheaper than renting one at your car rental agency.) We rented a car in July for two weeks with E-Z car rentals, and ended up paying about $250. I've reached the age where I like to make use of the valets...waiting at bus stops and standing in line-ups is not my thing anymore! Parking on the strip is fairly straight forward, it's the pedestrians that make things difficult. Other than that, in my opinion, it's no-brainer...get a car!
     
  7. GeorgeandTheBear

    GeorgeandTheBear Low-Roller

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    No brainer, get the car. Koval is right behind MGM and runs parallel to the strip. You can run almost the whole length of the strip on Koval, not entering the strip until you get to Wynn. Peppermill is just down the strip from Wynn. You can't get very lost because you can see the strip hotels from almost anywhere. For a big city, LV is pretty easy to navigate.
     
  8. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Unless you are totally new to driving you won't have any problems driving in Vegas. The entrances to the casinos are usually well marked whether you're using valet or self-parking.
     
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  9. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    First of all, you should be able to get that rate down. Even if you can't get two weeks at a great rate, you may be able to do two one week rentals at a good price. Second, Vegas is easy to navigate, especially away from the strip. It's like driving through a larger suburb than an actual city. The strip is even actually easy to drive during the day. If you are looking to self park, I am pretty sure Vegas.com has a guide to parking garages but personally, I find it's easier to valet. And just because you do have a car doesn't mean you have to use it to go absolutely everywhere. I find it easier to find a easy casino to valet and use that as a homebase for walking about.
     
  10. mdlee3_46041

    mdlee3_46041 Low-Roller

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    Personally, I don't rent a car, but I also stay on the strip and downtown so there's really no need for me in my opinion. Plus, I want to drink when in Vegas and so do my friends so it's safer and smarter for us to us public transportation. There are positives to renting a car though.

    1) You're on you're on schedule, not somebody else's. You don't have to worry about long taxi lines or when the next bus will arrive.
    2) You can explore off-strip areas easier with your own car.
    3) You don't have to worry about dishonest cabbies.
    4) On your last day, you can throw your bags in the trunk and go wherever you want without having to make a return trip to wherever you checked your bags at.
    5) Depending on your departure time for the flight home, some people will book the room for an extra night so they will have a place to keep their stuff. If on a comp, it doesn't really save you anything by renting a car, but if you're paying for the room, then you can save the money of an additional night.

    A couple downsides:

    1) Limited drinking, either alternating nights with one of you drinking and the other one driving or possibly not drinking at all. Obviously, if you don't drink, then this isn't a problem.
    2) The pedestrian traffic actually makes me more nervous than the vehicle traffic. Too many idiots that think they can cross the street pretty much whenever they want, and will, just because they're in Vegas and they can't wait an extra 2 minutes for a light to change so they can get to their next table, slot machine, or wherever it is they happen to be going.
     
  11. NativeSoCal

    NativeSoCal Low-Roller

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    I'm never sober.
    I never rent a car. :beer:
     
  12. nickle

    nickle Low-Roller

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    I always rent a car. I use valet parking. I have traveled to The Grand Canyon, Laughlin, Primm, downtown, many of the outlying casinos and never had a problem. I bring my own GPS. My home town has 1200 people and a traffic jam consists of having to wait while someone backs out of their driveway. I have found Las Vegas no more difficult to drive in than any city (including Halifax);););)
     
  13. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    For as long as you're there... rent the vehicle! Vegas is one of the easier big cities to navigate, as the streets are gridded and run forever, not to mention, as someone else already has, the easy to spot landmarks. Further (again as already stated), the garages for the major properties are very easy to find and navigate, but I prefer the valet service offered.
     
  14. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    You will quickly get used to the MGM deck. It can be a bit of a walk from there, but you'll also learn where in the deck you can find spaces closer to elevators, what times of day are better or worse for parking, etc. You will learn about Koval Lane and other off-Strip avenues. You will learn when to stay off I-15 and when it's okay. You will wonder how you ever did without a car.

    Get that rate down. Shop around aggressively.
     
  15. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    We rent every trip now, but I understand your hesitation. I study google earth to see where the entrance/exit to the places I want to go are. You will quickly learn that Koval and Frank Sinatra are your best friends. MGM is pretty easy to get in and out of with the lights so you are staying at a great place for a car. If you are not a big drinker during the day you will find all sorts of new places to go. We never drive at night...just because we are afraid of hitting a pedestrian...we all know how people cross the streets out there. The biggest thing we had to get use to was the fact that they don't have painted lines in the road...just little bumps. We are from a small town and were afraid at first but we got use to it. We never valet we always use self park. There is a sticky on the top of this category about where the parking garages are. We tend to avoid the 15 if we can. We still haven't had the nerve to drive the spaghetti bowl lol. We take Koval to Wynn and drive the strip to go downtown. It really isn't that far at all. We've gone to Red Rock, Valley of Fire, Atomic Test Museum, Outlets, Pinball Museum, Boulder Hwy, Down to M South Point Silverton. Husband even went to the flea market in North Vegas. Last trip we drove around looking at houses since we would like to retire out there. Having a car makes it a whole new experience. Not just a party on the strip trip. Grocery Stores, Walmart, Target we are getting pretty good now at finding our way around the city. Vegas is easy once you get to know the names of the streets, it's nothing but a grid.
     
  16. DiamondJim21

    DiamondJim21 Tourist

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    I always rent a car mostly because we like to drive around to a number of casinos off the strip such as Red Rock, M Resort, South Point, Silverton, Eastside Cannery, etc. We also always go downtown, so having a rental car avoids the need to take a bus. As pointed out by another poster, having a car on departure day is very convenient. Driving around Las Vegas on the strip or the major streets is like any other large city. Further off the strip, the traffic isn't bad at all. I agree that driving north/south on Koval or Paradise is better to avoid traffic, particularly in the evening. I like driving the strip early in the morning - very little traffic at that time.
     
  17. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

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    I have never gone to Vegas and not had a rental car. I love to do so many things outside of the casinos, it is a must for me. I have been to Valley of Fire 3 times now, Red Rock twice, Hoover Dam probably 5 times. I don't like being stuck without a way to get places. They practically give rental cars away in Vegas, it is the taxes that kill you. Keep rate shopping everyday, the prices vary from day to day. And don't limit yourself to only one company. Saving money trumps loyalty, I worked at Avis for about 10 years, and have only used them once in Vegas.
     
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  18. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

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    Oh, and BTW, I find Vegas proabably the easiest major metro city I have ever been to to get around.
     
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  19. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    If you drink then you probably shouldn't rent a car unless you have a designated driver.

    With the back roads you never have to drive on the strip unless you are trying to get into another hotel (such as the Bellagio). Koval is the side road on the east side of the strip. Industrial/Dean Martin drive is the side road on the west side of the strip, situated behind the hotels on the west side of the strip (MB, Luxor, Excal, NYNY, Monte Carlo, Aria, Bellagio and on down). I always stay away from Las Vegas Blvd (the strip) because of traffic.

    I think it depends what you do in vegas. If you mostly stay on the strip then it isn't worth to pay for a car that you don't use much. On the other hand if you do a lot of travelling, like driving to Henderson, downtown, premium outlets, shopping centers that isn't on the strip then the car is great because you can just get into it and don't have to worry about which bus to take or have to wait for buses or taking a cab.

    The other alternative is to rent a car for a day or two or even a week. That will allow you to get around the non strip areas and you can use the other days to just get around the strip.
     
  20. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Sound advice! :thumbsup: I lived in Vegas and now as tourists again, we have rented cars, but that rental is usually parked by 2 PM. I also like my adult beverages and while I agree the streets are very straightforward for navigation, the drivers in Vegas are nuts. There is no other way to describe them.
     
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