New to this board and enjoying the writings of others quite a lot. There are some great suggestions and loads of entertaining stories, too. I first visited Vegas in 1977 or 78; stayed at the Sands with my girlfriend's family; her dad was "connected" and we were comped into Lola Falana's show, and had dinner with Alan King. Later we saw Tom Jones at Caesar's Palace, and my girlfriend became a part of the show when she approached the stage and got a birthday kiss from Mr. Jones, who after the kiss walked across the stage with a stiff limp. I was in Vegas again some 20 years later for my 40th birthday; we flew in from my home in San Luis Obispo and stayed at the Carriage House. This was certainly a downgrade from my first trip, but we all had a good time for the most part. The low point was being stuck downtown on my birthday after everyone went in different directions after dinner; I ran out of money and ended up taking a mostly empty bus back up the strip to the hotel. Happy Birthday! My second wife and I live in Santa Maria, and we made our first trip about 3 years ago. It was a miserable 8 hour drive, stayed at the Vdara and we had a great time. Saw a couple of Cirque shows, ate well, and marveled at the changes on the strip since I had been there last. We discovered Allegiant and their 50 minute flights from Santa Maria two years ago, and have been back 3 times since. We're usually on a pretty tight budget but time our trips so that we can afford to stay at really nice hotels for off season rates. We usually find a deal for meal credits or show discounts when we book the room. It is usually a 3 day trip but always entertaining and we return home recharged. We'll be going again in April; found a deal at Aria for 3 nights with a couple of buffets each day to sweeten the deal, which is already pretty good; room rates are in the low 100's. Airfare is $300 RT including luggage. I'll try to never make the 8 hour drive to Vegas again as long as I can take a one hour flight. I'm not a party guy, and I don't gamble much. But I love the energy and the excitement of Vegas, and really look forward to making frequent trips in the future.