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First timer in Vegas for March Madness

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself!' started by Noles_Train, Dec 28, 2013.

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  1. Noles_Train

    Noles_Train Newbie

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    I found this site when I was trying to find out what hotel to book in March. So I signed up and put together this post:
    I am finally able to get out to Vegas and even better able to get there for March Madness. I am going out with a group of friends and we are all in our early 20's. We had originally planned for opening weekend March 20-23, but we are not considering also possibly March 27-March 30 for the Sweet 16/Elite 8. Does anyone know if it would be better to go for the opening weekend opposed to a week later? I personally want to go for the opening weekend, but we are just exploring our options.

    We also have not booked a hotel room. Like I mentioned before we are a group of males in our early 20's. Price of the hotel is not that much of a hurdle as we are all young professionals, however I am still finishing up graduate school so we would not pass up on a great pricing deal. I was just wondering if anyone had suggestions for us? We like to enjoy the pool, go to clubs at night and we are also huge sports fans. Do all cabanas at the pools have tvs in them or does it depend on the pool you are at? We are open to all suggestions for hotels and hopefully you can help us pick one out. A hotel with good looking girls at it is always a plus too. Any help for first timers in Vegas would also be much appreciated, i.e: places to eat, shows to not miss, best sports books
     
  2. OhioStateAlum

    OhioStateAlum Low-Roller

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    I've gone for both weekends. The opening weekend is a zoo in the sports book area, and the city is just busier in general. Naturally that will lead to a little bit higher minimums in the casinos and it will be slightly more difficult to get into clubs and restaurants without waiting awhile. The Sweet 16/Elite 8 weekend is less busy. I like it because while the quantity of games isn't the same, I find the quality to be much better as there are some real heavyweight matchups. Last year you could have taken in Kansas/Michigan, Duke/MSU, Ohio State/Arizona, Duke/Louisville, etc. You won't find a ton of matchups like that on opening weekend.

    Only you know what kind of budget your group is working with, but there is no shortage of hotels so just narrow it down and keep an eye on the prices. Book directly with the hotel, that way if the price goes down you can always rebook it at the lower rate. I'm the same age as you are and I also travel with a handful of friends. We always like to stay mid strip and there are a lot of options in that area. Planet Hollywood and Cosmo probably have the youngest clientele on the strip, so you may want to look into those. PH has a mall connected; very convenient for quick eats and a bunch of bars to pop into and grab a quick drink.

    Can't help you with any personal experience on the nightclub thing, not my scene. But I do know that Mandalay Bay, MGM, Cosmo, and Wynn/Encore have clubs that are all extremely popular.

    All cabanas I've ever been in have TVs, but you can definitely ask the pool guy that you're getting it from before you spend any $.

    Just some random tips that we learned along the way: always, always, always get players cards wherever you go. It takes < 2 minutes to sign up. Regardless of what levels you bet at, you're most likely going to get offers for discounted rooms on your next stay at worst. Best case they'll be free! If you're really into saving a few bucks just get one room. You'll be drunk enough that you won't know the difference between a bed and the floor. I'm in the minority on that one though. Lastly, you can take your own booze on the plane. Put it in those TSA approved travel bottles you can get at CVS or Walgreens and throw it in your carry on. It's 100% legal and you won't have to wait to be served and you can get lit on the plane.

    Hope this helps. This board is a great source of info. If I were you I'd do a little research and narrow it down to 2 or 3 hotels you're looking into staying at, then the board can really help you with more detailed info.
     
  3. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    It all depends on what you're going for.

    The clubs are the same on both weekends. Might be a little warmer the second weekend, so more people at the pool. more games and more people the first weekend.

    I have been both weekends and prefer the first because there is more energy. But the second weekend is good too
     
  4. Noles_Train

    Noles_Train Newbie

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    Thanks for the response. I had looked into Planet Hollywood but they were booked that first thursday (3/20) already. I guess we could stay somewhere else thursday night and then move for friday and saturday night. We were also looking at the MGM Grand or Mandalay Bay. Do you know anything about these two? Originally we had considered the cosmo but at over $300 a night, we would rather have the money to party with. Thank you for the tips. I guess I'll come up with a little more research before I come back to the board. Thanks for the info again.
     
  5. grosx2

    grosx2 VIP Whale

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    I've been for both weekends, and prefer the opener. The sheer volume of games makes it more exciting. As you can see by my countdown timer, I'll be there for the opening weekend again this year.
     
  6. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Mandalay Bay has the better sportsbook. I think you indicated you and your buddies like to go clubbing. Both properties have newish clubs that have received good reviews. I think the crowd at MGM trends a little younger than MB, but not significantly so.

    I stayed at MB last year for MM and really enjoyed it
     
  7. Noles_Train

    Noles_Train Newbie

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    Thanks for the info UKFanatic. I think I'm going to look into Mandalay Bay.
     
  8. KellyLovesVegas

    KellyLovesVegas certified personal trainer/retired space nerd

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    Absolutely! We love the MB Sportsbook for our MM trips!
     
  9. OhioStateAlum

    OhioStateAlum Low-Roller

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    Mandalay Bay is awesome. For the pool, sports book, and club that would be a great choice for you guys. The only downside is that you'll need a cab to get down to and back from center strip. I like MGM as well but it's so damn massive. If you stay at Mandalay Bay, be sure to check out one or both of their rooftop bars, Foundation Room and Mix.
     
  10. macwjp

    macwjp Low-Roller

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    I am new here as well but I found that if you sign up for rewards program (Total Rewards or MLife depending on hotel) and book via the hotel site you can can get varying discounts on the cost of the room. For example I am staying at Harrahs for 8 nights, booked via their site while signed into my rewards account. I received a discount (versus the price not signed in) plus took advantadge of a stay 2 nights get one free and my total for 8 nights is $410 which includes resort fee and taxes. Hopefully this helps.
     
  11. Beach Crazy

    Beach Crazy Hostess With the Mostess

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    All great advice here for you . My first choice for you would have been Planet Hollywood with Mandalay Bay being second due to its location. Another great place to check out is the Palms and also Hardrock Hotel who cater mostly to the younger crowds. The downside is that these 2 hotels are not on the strip. I think Hardrock has a shuttle. If you are at the Palms you can just walk across the street to Rio who has shuttles that take you to many locations on the strip. I'm sure you will figure it out. Good luck on the trip and welcome to the board. :thumbsup:
     
  12. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Only go to The Hard Rock if you're looking to get your party on, meet great looking girls, enjoy 5 acres of pool area(s) and cabanas that are second to none and oh yeah... watch some basketball too!

    I've been to both weekends and actually prefer the second one. The first is kind of a "zoo", as groups of supporters from all teams show-up in addition to those who are just fans of watching the tournament. Don't get me wrong though, it's "wonderful" listening to guys from Cornell scream all night over their one-(1) NCAA Tournament victory in 100 years! The second weekend, just seems a little less congested, but still plenty of people around to have a lot of fun and the b-ball gets a little more serious as well.

    You're not too early to get this nailed down, as hotels will be filling-up and prices will only increase from here on out.

    Check out the Hard Rock's website and tell me you don't wanna stay here:
    http://www.hardrockhotel.com

    No... I'm not a shill for the property, just a loyal patron who has stayed at just about every joint in town and chose the Hard Rock as my home-base about 5 years ago now. Other good choices, as stated above (Palms, PH and Mandalay Bay). You might also find downtown a little easier on the wallet... The D is a fun place and The Nugget has a very nice pool area, but not usually filled with young honeys.

    Whatever you do, I'm sure a gang of 20 something guys is gonna have a BLAST is Las Vegas!!! Good Luck!!!
     
  13. vegas_or_bust

    vegas_or_bust High-Roller

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    If it's your first trip to Las Vegas, don't stay at the Hard Rock, Palms, or the Rio. All of them are very nice, but they are not on the strip. You want to be on the strip your first time. Trust me.

    You also mentioned booking two different hotels and moving after the first night. I strongly advise against this as well. It's a huge pain the ass, and if you are only going for a few days, you will not want to spend three hours doing this in the middle of the day.

    As far as hotels, Mandalay is an awesome property. However, it is at the far end of the strip. For your first trip, I would recommend something in the middle of the strip, as you are going to want to check everything out. I would look at Mirage, Cosmo, or MGM (and keep checking PH to see if that first night opens up). All of those properties have a younger clientele, and would be perfect for a guy's trip. The pool at PH is the worst of the 4, but it still serviceable. Just an FYI, the weather is hit or miss in March, so there is good chance you won't even make it to the pool. We went for the first weekend last year and it was too cold to hit up the pool.

    As far as 1st weekend vs. 2nd weekend. Our group of 8 guys went out for the 1st weekend last year and loved it. It's one of the busiest weekends of the year in Vegas, and the energy is electric. The crowds can be a positive or a negative, depending upon your point of view. A group of 12 of us are going out for the first weekend again this year. It's a blast!
     
  14. kps

    kps High-Roller

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