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Monorail planning (cost versus locations)

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by rborob, Apr 10, 2013.

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  1. rborob

    rborob Tourist

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    Hi all,

    I'm hoping someone can help. I'm off to Vegas in August and have been looking at transport options. We're staying in the MGM Grand (6 of us) and are looking at the best way to plan seeing as much as possible in the 10 days we're there. So I have 2 questions I guess

    1. Is there a certain order in which I should travel? (i.e first 1-2 days check out the hotels/sites south of the MGM, after that head North) from the MGM grand? Can anyone who has stayed before give any tips on the best way to get as much as possible in?

    2. Is the monorail worth it? We're all fairly active but I'm guessing the monorail just becomes pretty convenient later on. Is it wiser getting a 10 ride pass, or will I find myself using it more and would it be wiser getting a day ticket?

    Any help, guidance or advice for someone who wants to hit the ground running would be great.
     
  2. deebne

    deebne Tourist

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    Ten days will give your group plenty of time to see all the sights of the strip and more. I will give you my suggestions to your 2 questions.

    1. I like to break up the strip into sections south, mid and north strip, even on shorter trips. With a ten day trip, don't rush things thinking you have to see this or that right away. Soak all of it in.

    2. I don't think the monorail is your best option. With the monorail, it takes you up and down the east side of strip and it can be a very long walk to get into the hotels and out to the strip itself. Then you have to walk across and into the hotels on the west side. If you are not renting a car, I would consider buying bus passes and ride the Deuce or SDX. Bus passes are cheaper than the monorail too. The buses can get very crowded at times during the day. And consider taking a bus downtown with a 10 day trip.
     
  3. rborob

    rborob Tourist

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    Thanks for the suggestion. Are there bus stops everywhere for the Deuce or SDX? It easy enough to hop on/off?
     
  4. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    Group of 6 in August. If you are young..you won't care. Are there older people involved? Are you friends splitting costs?

    As an older person who has been there in August....when I was younger the heat didn't bother me. Now I wouldn't walk in Aug from MGM to Bally's. Deuce/SDX is your cheapest option. You will see many positive posts about it, be warned there can be a crowd of 30 people waiting for that bus in the heat. A bus that is already full. We don't touch the deuce anymore but that is us. The majority up here will tell you it is great.

    I love the monorail. Yes, it is in the back of the hotel. The walk to it however is air conditioned, the monorail arrives quickly and always has room on it. The monorail will get you down to Harrahs quicker than the deuce will. ( No traffic on the monorail and it is ac also ). Since you are staying at the MGM it is a viable option to stay out of the heat. In the past I would buy a 3 day pass for $28.

    If you plan on spending a lot of time at City Center/ Cosmo...monorail is of no use to you. Lot of time at Mirage? Take it to Harrahs and cross the street. Wynn? Venetian? Go to Harrahs and hoof from there. I would give some thought to what your budget is, where you plan on traveling to. 6 single guys throwing money around? Split into 2 groups and split the cost of a cab.

    Most responses you will get will be anti monorail and pro deuce...just showing you there are different options depending on what your interests are. We spend 80% of our time on the east side so for us it works. For the westsiders and north strip people it doesn't.
     
  5. rborob

    rborob Tourist

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    Thanks for the feedback. It's 3 couples going, 2 young couples and one 50's couple (age not decade :p) I'm not one for queues or the hustle and bustle so the monorail does sound more pleasing. Though to fully appreciate one I suppose I'll try the other. Thanks for the advice anyway. Gives me plenty to think about.
     
  6. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    1. As the others have said, in ten days you'll have lots of time for exploring various areas. There is no particular order you should do the properties in. When you are going from MGM to the hotels further south, there are free trams from Excalibur to MB, and they stop at Luxor on the way back.

    2. The monorail isn't great value, but not terrible.

    The issue with the monorail is that it is behind the hotels on the MGM side. So even if you take it (and it only goes up and down the strip), you could still have a long walk if you're going to a hotel on the west side. So it really doesn't save you much walking.

    HOWEVER, you'll be there in August, and it will be scorching hot outside. The one advantage of taking the monorail will be that most of your walking will be in air conditioning.

    So "worth it" depends. If you'll be keeping to the strip, but wanting to get Center/North frequently, and the six of you will often split up, the monorail might make sense.

    If you are mostly sticking together, or mostly sticking around MGM except for a bit of sightseeing further up the strip, then its probably not a good idea. In the nighttime especially, you could hydrate, and stroll up the strip, catching the free Bellagio and Mirage shows, etc. Then with 6 of you, you would be splitting cab fares 3 ways from wherever you stop, which is better than walking for awhile and then using 6 monorail rides or 6 day passes.
     
  7. Chrisby

    Chrisby Tourist

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    On my first trip out after the monorail was built I was thinking what a great idea, then I realized how much walking was involved. I would bet the walk from your room at MGM to the terminal is a 1/4 mile. Imagine walking from one end to the other of a large mall. If you are there for ten days you may find some use for it, but in my opinion with a large group I would just walk the strip, take the bus or cab it.

    -Chrisby
     
  8. split10's?

    split10's? Low-Roller

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    Many great responses ^^^^. If you have ten days, i'd just go with the flow. One fun thing would be to rent a limo for an hour or two and drive the strip to downtown and back. That would get you oriented pretty quickly...
     
  9. rborob

    rborob Tourist

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    Yeah the responses have been great to help me get a weigh up of the pro's and cons. We have considered a limo from the airport, but unsure if our 10 hour flight would leave us too tired to take any notice. Might be an idea for the next day though. Cheers
     
  10. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Might be worth it once or twice to get to the other end.

    With that said, we have walked from Mandalay Bay to Mirage more than once. A few stops along the way of course.
     
  11. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    My thoughts would be:

    1) You are probably going to spend the first few days checking out whats around you.
    When you exit MGM on to Las Vegas Blvd you are going to have a bunch of shopping to your right, NYNY and Excalibur across the street in front of you, Tropicana to the left and down the way a little bit will be Mandalay Bay and Luxor one way and Monte Carlo and Aria/City Center the other way... so are going to have plenty to see and do the first few days you are there without even really leaving the area.


    2) If you ride the monorail just pay as you go. The passes don't really save you a whole lot of money unless you really ride the thing a lot in one day.
    The big thing is going to be walking: mid August will be hot and while for some its not a big deal to walk from MGM Grand down The Strip and seeing everything, the sun can sometimes really beat down on you and just walking a couple of blocks can really wear you down (especially if you are trying to see and do a lot as a group, its a pretty good chance that at least one or two of you would really feel it).
     
  12. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    What i would do is forget about the Monorail. You do unnecessary walking. If you have 10 days you will have plenty of time to use various other options. The free Tram from Mandalay Bay to Bellagio is something i would consider, especially in August. You could alter the route depending on your needs. When you are exiting MGM you also can use the bus on both sides of the Strip, get a 15 day pass and you'll be fine. One thing to keep in mind is although it will be hot, it's not an unbearable hot with the low humidity. You will have plenty of time walking the Strip because you can enjoy Vegas by doing both.......it's not like the old days where tumbleweeds would be an annoying distraction. Just take your time enjoying Vegas both inside and out. You are never too far from the sprinkler system, even in mid-day in August.
    Remember, you are not walking the entire Strip..........you are walking to one property at a time.
     
  13. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Just to be clear, that sentence isn't right. Free tram between Mandalay Bay-Luxor-Excalibur.

    Separate free tram from Monte Carlo-Crystals-Bellagio.

    Nothing connecting the two AFAIK.
     
  14. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    I stand corrected. Yes, the Tram from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur, with a stop at Luxor, then walk the overpass to NY/NY from Excalibur to pick up the Tram from Monte Carlo which is right next door, then Crystals, and Bellagio. My point is, on a hot afternoon, you could travel from the far south end of the Strip all the way up to mid-Strip with the only brief stop being the walkway between Excalibur and NY/NY.
     
  15. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    To clarify. Tram from MB to Excal ends outside at the corner. Backtrack a bit and then walk across street to NYNY. Walk through NYNY, and come out the other side, walk across the side street and another bar and then into Monte Carlo.

    Walk all the way through Monte Carlo to get Tram that takes you to Bellagio back entrance. You could also walk this, through Aria, then outside to Vdara and then catwalk to Bellagio.

    We do this often, though we usually walk it all. As much as I hate the heat, it takes less time than waiting for tram. There is some outside time which can be either very cold or very hot, depending on time of year.

    You can see it all pretty good on google maps. If you have not used this, zoom in and out.

    By the way, those two big egg shaped white things behind Monte Carlo and Bellagio are the rain/sun covers for each end of that monorail. The Aria/Crystals stop is inside Crystals Mall.
     
  16. engicedave

    engicedave VIP Whale

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    Monorail is useless.

    OK, stops are limited, that's issue one.
    The walk from "the strip" to any of the stations is a hike...not a stroll...a hike. I swear, if you measured the distance from the strip to the MGM station and then the distance from the Paris/Bally's station back to the strip, it would be the same distance as if you walked directly down the strip from MGM to Paris/Bally's....with less clutter of people and games, then the wait for the train, cost for the train and then the train ride giving you a view of....what....parking lots?
    It only goes up one side of the strip, so everything from NYNY/Monte Carlo/Aria/City Center/Cosmo/Bellagio/Caesars/Mirage/Ti are all a LONG WAY from the monorail.
    The Sahara stop is useless, as is the LVH stop.
    The distance from Paris/Bally's is not that far, quite close actually.

    Point is, you'll likely walk farther to GET TO the monorail than you'll save by using it.
     
  17. Jonnyvegas

    Jonnyvegas Low-Roller

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    When we there a few years ago with a group of six, we found it easier and more fun to take limos everywhere. With 6 you would need 2 taxis. For a few dollars more you can all take a limo. Most of the big casinos have limos waiting for hire right by the taxi stand. You can negotiate with them and skip the taxi stand line.
    Also, we have found the monorail to be inconvinient. Too out of the way with limited stops.
     
  18. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    The monorail is ONLY useful if you are going from MGM to LVH (or Sahara) and vice-versa.

    Otherwise, it's an expensive tool. It was poorly designed. One original design was to have it go down the center median of the strip but casino owners balked.

    Now you have to walk too much east/west just to go north/south.

    The bus and cab are the best bets.

    You also have free trams from

    Mandalay Bay to Luxor to Excalibur
    Monte Carlo to Crystals to Bellagio
    Mirage to Treasure Island

    These are great when you are already near the stops. Otherwise, you are pulling a monorail situation where you are walking a lotta east/west for north/south.
     
  19. luvzmuzik

    luvzmuzik Tourist

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    You may just want to consider renting a car. There are some great deals to be had, especially if you use Costco or coupon codes. A rental car will give you maximum flexibility and you can get out beyond the strip and see Hoover Dam and some other area attractions. If you all share the cost, it would be a great deal. I hate the Deuce. For one thing, I can walk faster to my destination than taking the Deuce while it crawls down LV Blvd. I also don't care for the "element" that is frequently riding the Deuce. As others have said, the monorails are nice, but they are limited and require a lot of walking to and from them.

    All that said, the heat in August is quite warm but if you'll be going in and out of casinos as you walk around, it's do-able. Especially if your group is in pretty good shape. Have fun!!
     
  20. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

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    That's what I was thinking too. Part of what make the Strip so popular is that there's so much to see and do in a relatively small location, but 10 days is a lot of time to be anywhere that geographically small. A rental car will give you options to see other sites around Las Vegas, such as Red Rock Canyon or Hoover Dam. Most Strip casinos can arrange for rental cars on-site, so you wouldn't have to pay for it the entire time you're there. Not sure of price comparison vs. airport rentals, tho.

    If you do rent a car, avoid Las Vegas Boulevard on weekend nights, of course, unless inching along in bumper-to-bumper traffic is something you would enjoy. (Doing it in a limo with friends can be a blast, though.)
     
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