Access Vegas Insider Vibe – July 4, 2007 Insider Vibe

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Newkirk’s Notes – comments on Las Vegas from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

Hello From Las Vegas! Huge local news week out of Las Vegas, but not necessarily for the right reasons. So we’ll jump right in:

Moron Shoots Up The New York, New York – A deranged man who apparently was looking for a fight with the police and going through immense personal troubles opened gunfire in New York, New York Hotel Casino.

Two off-duty police and two military guys tackled him and kept further harm from happening until security and local police arrived. (Side Note: The hotel noted that they are taking very good care of these heroes and will also invite them for a comped return visit). No one was killed, and injuries to a very few were minor. We’ve gathered the following news links:

Last year, we had the guy high on various substances and (allegedly) thinking that people were after him and that he had to inflict harm on people drove up on the sidewalk by Ballys killing and injuring a number of people.

So, how safe is Las Vegas? Let’s put a few things in perspective: Over 41,000,000 people visit Las Vegas each year. Incidents like this are amazingly few and far between.

In fact, committing a crime in our tourism areas is a foolish act considering that our Metro (Local) Police patrol The Strip, each casino has extensive security to keep you (and their cash) safe, and cameras are everywhere. Very few places on the Las Vegas Strip exist where you are out of site of a security camera.

Let’s put this in a personal perspective: I’ve lived here almost 15 years and have visited The Strip in “tourist” mode* thousands of times. (* Tourist mode meaning out and about actually on The Strip, just as you the tourist would as opposed to someone working in a casino who enters through the back then goes home without ever walking The Strip and experiencing all of the things you do).

I’ve encountered no problems, never been worried, and won’t be staying away from our tourism areas. I’m no math wizard, but you seriously probably have a better chance on winning tens of millions on a Megabucks machine than the odds of having something harmful happen to you while visiting Las Vegas.

The other big story was the heat. Yes… it got damn hot. 116 degrees last week, with overnight lows in the 90’s. A few related stories:

Look… I love Las Vegas. 110 doesn’t register with me. Hot? Yes. But not a problem. We get temps 115 and above less often than many cold climates get blizzards or ice storms. Give me 110 any day over freezing temps. I don’t own snow chains, snow tires, a snow shovel, and own far more shorts than long pants.

Having said that… when visiting here in the summer, please take precautions. Stay indoors, and still keep drinking plenty of water. Our humidity last week dipped to 3% on a number of occasions. Even indoors, water is being sapped out of your body.

My water tip? Skip the bars and their expensive, little water bottles. Every hotel has a gift shop, where you will find more reasonable prices. Up and down The Strip are various sundry stores that also will have big, cold bottles of water at reasonable prices. Use them. (By the way… this same tip for finding more reasonably prices bottles of water also works for finding reasonably priced beer all year long).

Enjoy This Issue!

Mamma Mia! Lights Up The Stage With Brilliant New Cast Members – In Its Fifth Year Mamma Mia! Continues To Bring Variety To The Stage – The longest-running and most successful Broadway musical to hit The Las Vegas Strip, MAMMA MIA! (Tickets), adds four new, talented principals from film, television and the stage to the Las Vegas cast on July 30, 2007. Recently celebrating its fourth anniversary in Las Vegas and still receiving rave reviews, MAMMA MIA! is fun, energetic and makes “you feel like you’re part of the event”- Las Vegas Review-Journal. Actress Libby Winters, joins MAMMA MIA! in the lead role of Sophie Sheridan, the bride-to-be. With experience in film, television and stage including “The Like Girl,” “Champs” and the New York musical White Noise, Winters brings new life to the show. Click to Read The Full Story …

Academy Of Country Music Awards Nominee Diamond Rio Is Set To Perform Friday, July 13 At Whiskey Pete’s Showroom – After their recent Academy of Country Music nominations for “Vocal Group of the Year” and “Vocal Collaboration of the Year” for “Me And God,” Diamond Rio will perform at Whiskey Pete’s Showroom in Primm, Nev., on Friday, July 13 at 9 p.m. (Tickets) Diamond Rio is best known for their classic songs “Meet in the Middle” and “Love a Little Stronger” and their latest hits “I Believe” and “What a Beautiful Mess.” Click to Read The Full Story …

American Superstars Show At The Stratosphere Casino Hotel And Tower To Add Prince Tribute For A Limited Engagement – The American Superstars (Tickets) show at the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower will add Jason Tenner as Prince to its line-up of celebrity tributes to yesterday’s and today’s hottest music stars for a limited engagement beginning July 9, announced American Casino & Entertainment Properties officials. “Jason Tenner is a veteran performer who makes you believe that you are hearing and seeing Prince. It takes a very talented showman to even come close to matching the raw energy and musical brilliance that makes Prince so endearing to his fans,” says Mark Callas, who produces American Superstars with his Springtime Productions partner, Donny Moore. Click to Read The Full Story …

Las Vegas Kwik-E-Mart – Yes, the Las Vegas area has one of the only a handful 7-11 stores across the U.S. which have been converted to Kwik-E-Mart stores in honor of the new Simpsons movie. The location is in the suburb of Henderson at 1400 W Horizon Ridge Pkwy, Henderson, NV 89012

Unfortunately, it is about 14 miles from The Strip. Unless you drive to town or have a rental car, expect a $40-60 cab trip (and excessive problems getting a cab back for the return trip. Cabs don’t like serving area neighborhoods when they can be long-hauling tourists, running up the meter, and generally giving out crappy advice that makes them sound “helpful” in search of a bigger tip). Also, be prepared for something that shocks many visitors: You’ll end up in a nice but very normal neighborhood that is night-and-day from the glitz of The Strip.

Gladys Knight Set To Perform At Buffalo Bill’s Star Of The Desert Arena – Motown diva and Las Vegas veteran Gladys Knight will perform at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nev., on Friday, July 20 at 9 p.m. Best known for time spent as Gladys Knight & the Pips, Knight celebrates her beginnings as well as finds success as a solo artist. Her soulful R&B songs appeal to a variety of audiences with favorites such as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Midnight Train to Georgia” and singles “That’s What Friends Are For” and “End of the Road Medley: If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” Click to Read The Full Story …

Crazy Girls Volunteer For Double Date To Benefit Adam & Eve Fling – New Vista Community For Handicapped Adults To Benefit From Bachelor & Bachelorette Auction – Two of the dancer-performers from the “Crazy Girls,” (Tickets) the Russian model Valentina Smirnova and California beauty Summer Ferguson will be the first ladies on the auction block on Thursday, July 12th for a double date at the 4th Annual Adam and Eve Charity Love Fling Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction at The Empire Ballroom to benefit the New Vista Community. A VIP table of eight is $500 or VIP tickets are $65 per person while general admission is $20 per person. To purchase VIP tickets call Molly at 702.457.4677 at Ext. 27 or go online at You must be 21 to attend this function. The VIP party will be from 6 p.m. to about 7:15 p.m. The VIP admission includes guaranteed seating, a cocktail, appetizers; early admission and an awesome goodie bag. The bidding begins at 7:45 p.m. with the “Crazy Girls.” Click to Read The Full Story …

Vegas Photo Set Of The Week:– will return next week. Please enjoy the thousands of great Las Vegas photos archives in our Access Vegas Photo Gallery. Also, scroll down for some great reader submitted photos this week!

Gambling Talk: Playing Middle Pairs In Tournaments – Part Two – with Victor H. Royer. Playing pocket 10s in late positions: Whenever you find yourself in late positions with pocket 10s, and the action has either been passed to you, or there have been only one or two limpers before it becomes your turn to act, play pocket 10s as if they were pocket Aces. By playing them so strongly you will advertise the fact that you indeed have a very strong hand, and therefore are likely to win not only the blinds, if those are the only opponents whom you are facing, but also the amount that has been invested in this pot by the limpers who have so called before you. Click to Read Complete Article…

Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Reader Submitted Photos:

I saw you note about photos of Vegas in your last newsletter, here’s some from one of our previous trips a year or so ago. I thought I’d try some night shots. We’re from Basingstoke in the UK, and will hopefully get back to Vegas some time in the next couple of years.

Geoff Hawley
(5 – maybe 6 time Vegas visitor)

Ted Responds:

Thanks for sharing stunning photos! We know that many of you enjoy playing with your digital camera settings and are getting some amazing photos of Las Vegas (especially at night when things really light up).

If you have a great photo of Las Vegas to share with our readers (can be artistic or just a really enjoyable photo), send them to us at

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Coming Hot Holidays – The following dates are huge times to be in Las Vegas, and rooms are in high demand. Booking in advance is the best way to save. Visit our friends at Las Vegas Hotel Deals and spend one of the following hot dates having fun in Las Vegas:

  • Civic Holiday (Canada) August 6 (3 day weekend)
  • Labor Day September 1-3 (3 day weekend)
  • Columbus Day (USA), Thanksgiving Day (Canada) October 6-8 (3 day weekend)
  • Christmas December 25 (4 day weekend – Christmas on Tuesday)
  • New Year’s Eve-Day December 29 – January 1 (4 day weekend – New Years on Tuesday)

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Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 8, 2006 Insider Vibe

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In This Issue: Special Report: Las Vegas On A Spring Break Budget plus Tons of Exclusive Las Vegas Travel Tips ….

Welcome to the Insider Vibe! This is the official newsletter of AccessVegas.Com. We talk about the Las Vegas activities you really care about.

Book Online or over the phone! Call (toll free) 800-696-5721 to book all Las Vegas Hotels, Shows, Nightlife, Tours and Golf. We live here. We know Las Vegas!

This newsletter is published exclusively for visitors to AccessVegas.Com and can only be signed up for there. We do not buy or rent lists, and this information is only for our members and guests. If you feel you have received it in error, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom. To subscribe, visit our Newsletter Site. Quick Info Menu:

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Newkirk’s Notes – comments on Las Vegas from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

Hello From Las Vegas! This is a special edition of the newsletter. I was recently asked to contribute to an article about doing Las Vegas Spring Break on a budget. My spring break years are behind me, but you are much more likely to find me still out hitting the most fun drinks and places that don’t cost a fortune and I’m never far from a party!

Special Notes: While this article is aimed at the Las Vegas spring break crowd, it has tons of information that will help any budget traveler or those just trying to spend wisely when in Las Vegas. This contains helpful information that every visitor should read!

Newsletter Archives: This long-form article we publish this week is not our regular newsletter format. Week after week, we bring you tons of information on hot Vegas happenings! If you are new to the newsletter, please also enjoy our recent newsletter archives so you can come to town informed.

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Las Vegas For The Spring Breaker On A Budget

General Advice – Las Vegas is very, very strict about 21 and over. No clubs are 18 to enter, 21 to drink. Casinos and clubs/bars have seen ID from every state and nation in the world. A nice smile and that half-assed fake ID isn’t going to work.

There are still things to do and see in Las Vegas for those under 21, and obviously your older friends may be insuring that the entire groups has liquor available (in the room). But to do “The Vegas” that you see on TV (bars, gambling, hanging out in casino areas), you really need to be 21. Oh … and you need to be 21 to book a room.

Gambling: What is your advice for those would like to gamble on a limited budget? – You are coming to Las Vegas. You are going to gamble. 1. Divide up your gambling budget by day. If you are bringing $200 to gamble with on a 4 day trip, you’ll be miserable if you blow it all the first day. 2. Don’t play games you don’t understand (except for some of the basic slots where you simply push a button over and over).

Blackjack and craps have a very low house edge (win percentage for the casino) if you know what you are doing. If you don’t, you might as well just hand them your money and walk away. If you plan to play table games or video poker (a skill based game), buy one of those basic “how to gamble” books in a bookstore and a cheap Vegas games software program (bargain section of any department or computer store). Practice on your computer until you get the feel of it.

Specific Games? – Don’t play roulette or the big money wheel. Both look fun and easy … and they should. They are cash cows for the house.

Don’t expect to win, but when you do, it is OK to quit! It is not just a pile of chips or credits, it is your money. If you get ahead on a good run and then the machine or table takes back 1/3 of what you have won, walk. Go have a drink, get something to eat, take a walk and people watch. If really late, go to bed (Vegas will be there when you get up). All of those options are cheaper than losing all your money back to the casino right away.

Once again, money won is your money. They don’t feel bad about taking your money when they win. You should feel great about taking their money and being able to tell your friends “I got on a good roll and left $40 (or $400) up!” You can’t brag about giving it all back.

Ways to spend a good deal of time and have a good time with a small bank roll? – The Las Vegas Strip is about five miles long and by itself is one of the most incredible experiences on the face of the earth. Just spend some time walking through as many casinos as possible (which will take hours and hours … and is fun)! One of the main, huge mistakes first time visitors make is acting like they are chained to their hotel or their little part of The Strip or downtown. Get out and explore!

Double Decker buses run up and down The Strip (and all the way to downtown Fremont Street Experience) every few minutes, 24/7 and an all-day pass is $5.00. So no reason to limit yourself. If you walked way too far down The Strip, just hop a bus back!

Any suggestions for finding low priced cocktails? – Boozing is important in Las Vegas … part of the experience! It can be expensive if you buy drinks at most hotel bars. You can have an open container anywhere on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street Experience (where all the hotels are downtown).

My four tips for boozing:

1. Stock up at a convenience store and/or liquor store. Much, much, much cheaper than buying drinks out and about. However, you’ll often find yourself nowhere near your hotel room. So …

2. There are convenience and sundry stores both downtown and every few blocks along The Strip. Virtually all have huge beverage sections with a wide variety of ice cold booze. The prices are a little jacked up (think $3.00 for a 24 once ” tall boy” beer that will cost you $1.29 at the grocery store), but 24 ounces of beer is going to cost you $7-12 at the hotel bar.

It is 100% allowed to walk right into a casino with beer you bought at the store somewhere (or bought at another hotel). Not a problem. Even if it is a 24 once beer. They might have a problem with a 40 just because it is a big piece of glass. But 24 once can of Bud, Fosters or similar … not a problem.

3. Only buy your drinks at a hotel bar as a last resort. Except for a couple of exceptions (which I’ll get to in a minute), drinks at hotel bars are expensive. Usually $5.00 and up. Way up. If you are in a hotel and need booze, instead go to the gift/sundry shop in the hotel. Most sell cold beer, wine, Mikes (and similar), and hard liquor.

4. Even though spring break features moderate temperatures here (generally in the 70’s or low 80’s*), we have a dry climate. Combine that with booze and you get dehydrated quickly without realizing it. Which compounds your hangover and general energy level. Have a few bottled of water throughout the day and night in between the cocktails or you’ll hate life the next day.

* The weather is rarely “average” here. Look up the 10 day forecast online the day before you come so you can pack properly.

Food: Are there any cheap buffets left in Vegas? – Few and far between. Cheap now means $10 for dinner. When you are walking through the other hotels close to yours, scout out the buffet entrance. A sign with prices will be posted.

A buffet is much more preferable than the coffee shop. Even if there is a line to get into the buffet, once you are in you chow right away. And on decent to very good food. Except for the celeb restaurants, hotel kitchens usually service the buffet, coffee shop, and room service. So the food is all the same decent stuff.

Does someone always have to sacrifice quality for low cost? – Quality is a relative term. Not much in Las Vegas is really, really lousy. And some of the really high end stuff is over-priced. So when it comes to Las Vegas, no. Provided that you don’t go overboard gambling, you are going to have a great time for the money!

Where are the deals and how do you find them? – Las Vegas rooms are booked and sold a little differently than in other places simply because of the sheer number of rooms (130,000) that need to be sold each night. So just hitting one or two major travel sites isn’t going to find you the best deal. We keep a list of some of the current Las Vegas Discounts on and here is the real secret to that page:

Scroll down past the current discounts and you will see our exclusive information on how Vegas rooms are sold as well as multiple links to booking sites you should check and compare, including some of the bigger Vegas room companies that move large numbers of rooms a year here, but aren’t a national travel site brand name. Sometimes the best deals are Vegas specific companies!

Drink: If you’re a low roller, will you actually get free drinks? – Yes … if you are gambling. Here is the Catch-22: If you are sitting and playing a machine (and I mean actually playing it, not simply keeping the chair warm and hitting the play button once every 10 minutes), you will get a free drink from the cocktail waitress. Even if you are playing a penny or nickel machine. You are expected to tip the waitress $1 per drink when she returns with your free drink. Tip her more, you might see her more. Stiff her and it might be a while.

This is especially true if you are playing penny or nickel machines, as these players usually are the worst tippers and yet the most demanding with their drinks. (Vegas is going high-end for a reason: People buying $500 a night suites get what they pay for, and don’t bitch). So you already have one strike against you. Also, you can ask for whatever drink you want, but they won’t be pouring you the good stuff in the nickel area unless you are tipping big time.

Waitresses tip out their bartender at the end of the shift and they have all the control in the world. They can say “vodka and cranberry” or they can say “Grey Goose and cranberry.” And … they can say “I need a good rum and coke.”

Vegas is about cash, even with budget travel. If you are tipping the waitress well, the bartender gets more from the waitress at the end of the night. So the bartender works with the waitress to make sure the best tippers are getting the best drinks (within reason).

Couple of things: You can’t order two drinks at one time for one person. Don’t even try. Also, be nice to the waitress. You can be tipping her well and if you are a jerk, it won’t mean a thing.

Having said all of that, losing $20 (or a lot more) at a machine just turned your drink into a $20 drink. Plus tip.

How Free Is That Drink? Think about it: You sit down and start playing. Unless you start winning right away, you are losing money. Plus, you might not see a waitress for 10-20 minutes. Then she comes and it will be another 10-20 minutes before she gets back with your drink. Remember, she has a large area of the floor to cover, has to get orders from everyone, has to wait while her drinks are made, then has to deliver to everyone.

If you are winning or even breaking even, that is fine. But if you are losing, that gets expensive. Let’s say you start winning and you are up when you order. You are conveniently (for the casino) stuck playing until your drinks arrive. Giving the machine or table plenty of time to take back all of your money. And then some.

My advice? Buy your booze at a convenience or sundry store (whether on the street or the one in the hotel), then go sit down and play. If you are winning, you can enjoy that drink while you order up a new one from the waitress.

It is fine to order another before you finish your first one (even if it is a tall boy you bought at the store). But you can’t order two drinks per person from the waitress. And at table games, you are often allowed to have only one drink on hand. So when you see her coming, finish your first drink.

Hotels: Is it always best to book in advance from a travel website? – Las Vegas sells hotel rooms the way airlines sell plane tickets. The further ahead you book, the better the price you are going to get, within reason. Some hotels don’t release rooms for normal dates (except big events like New Years, NASCAR, big conventions) more than six months ahead. When possible, target 3-6 months out, but even 2-3 week ahead of time beats booking the week you want to visit under most all circumstances.

Can you haggle for room prices or free upgrades? – No and Yes. The prices are all computerized. Heavy gamblers and high rollers get cheap or free rooms. The rest of us simply pay the price listed.

But … there is the “$20 Trick” for room upgrades. Many Las Vegas hotels charge a premium for a Strip view or similar upgrade. Front desk staff have some latitude on upgrading guests. Place a folded up $20 bill on the counter partially under your ID and/or credit card so that the denomination is visible. As you slide them across when asked for your credit card, ask if a room with good view or something slightly nicer is available.

If they can’t accommodate you or insist on an extra charge you can simply retract the bill. If they accommodate you, this is a small price to pay! has these and many other helpful tips at our Las Vegas Frequently Asked Questions page.

What hotels are the best bargains? – The cheapest hotels are flea-bag motels blocks away from the action downtown. And guess what … they aren’t always going to be cheaper than some of the more inexpensive hotel casinos. Remember, the casinos are thinking you’ll lose a few bucks so they try to keep the rates reasonable.

What is more important is what hotels are good for Spring Breakers and in general for 20-somethings on a budget!

1. The Plaza downtown always goes after the Spring Break crowd. Rooms are usually very moderately priced, and downtown Las Vegas is the best place to do Las Vegas on a budget. Hotels are older (anything over 15 years old is “old” by Vegas standards), but in good shape.

Anywhere on the Fremont Street Experience downtown will usually be cheaper than The Strip. You get much more of a party atmosphere (not quite Mardi Gras, but close sometimes) because all these hotels are on the same few blocks. Drinks are cheaper. $5.00 you can buy 24 hour bus pass to get you to The Strip (about 4 miles away … and don’t walk it … your time is valuable in Las Vegas … much more valuable than saving $5.00). Plus remember, the bus runs 24/7. See Fremont Street Las Vegas Photos

2. The Stratosphere is at the top of The Strip and tends to go after the Spring Break crowd with moderate hotel rates. The hotel is only a few years old, so it is nice for the money. And the tower is cool! 1000 feet above The Strip. (You don’t stay in the tower, but as a guest you get to go up to at discount). Plus, cool rides at the top of the Tower.

3. Imperial Palace is in the heart of The Strip, a fun party place, and right next door to Harrah’s Carnival Court (best outdoor party spot with live music all afternoon and night). Moderate rates, absolute best location on The Strip. Reference our Las Vegas Strip Map.

4. New Frontier has the best location … across from Wynn Las Vegas and in the heart of The Strip. Gilley’s in in the hotel with bikini bull riding, female mud wrestling, and similar. Place to party even if you aren’t country although I wouldn’t walk in dressed all hip-hop. It caters to a more middle-of-the-road and country crowd.

Honorable mention strictly based on price and being on The Strip: Sahara and Circus Circus. Probably won’t be party central, but will keep you closer to the Strip action than staying downtown.

Hotels to avoid for the budget Spring Break traveler:

1. The Palms. Yes … it is as cool as it looks on TV. And as expensive as it looks on TV. The women the ones Kanye West talks about in Gold Digger (with looks and fake body parts to match) and you guys have to compete with a bunch of rich Californian’s. Plus, it is too far from The Strip to really walk.

2. Hard Rock. See above, except that the guys are a bunch of “Vinnie’s” from Philly and the Hard Rock is almost two miles from The Strip.

3. Hooters. Unless you want to be hanging around 90% guys (most of whom are over 40). Yes, the Hooters girls are cute. But the cocktail waitresses at places you’ll want to visit like The Venetian and Mandalay Bay are much smoking hotter. And ladies … do you really want to stay at Hooters with all those cute girls in shorts running around? Stay somewhere the attention will be on you!

Please … no hate mail if you are a wealthy Californian, a “Vinnie” from the east coast, or a female hottie with a good plastic surgeon. If you can afford to stay at the trendy places, that rocks! And hotties … we are looking for calendar girls. But this article is for budget minded travelers, specifically spring breakers.

Attractions: What are the best ways to enjoy free entertainment? How about low prices/discounts? – In your hotel room will be a magazine (or two … or three) with plenty of ads for attractions, many with coupons. That is a good place to start. But don’t fall into the coupon trap! The “coupon trap” is where you spend two hours of your time going out of your way to do something just to save $5.00. Remember … your time is valuable!

You are paying all that airfare and hotel costs to be in Las Vegas, and you only have so many hours. If you spot a coupon for something you really want to do, that is great. But the quickest way to piss off your group is to drag them somewhere for something marginal just because you saw a coupon for it.

And think about it: The stuff really worth doing and seeing sells out ahead of time. If there is something you really want to do like seeing a certain show or getting a limo, book online ahead of time.

Anything that simply must be included in a Vegas trip regardless of cost? – Outside of a Cirque show, dinner at a celeb chef restaurant, or something high-end like that (which may not be something everyone appreciates anyway), here are a couple of things you should try to scrape up the money to do:

1. Get a limo. Either from the airport to your hotel, or just to ride up and down The Strip in for an hour or two. If you get it for two hours, have them take you over to Palms, go in for a lap around the hotel and a quick, expensive drink at the bar, and then say in front of all the gold digger women (or cute but snobby rich guys) … “We gotta go! The limo was supposed to be waiting for us out front 10 minutes ago!” Do remember that you are paying for the limo by the hour, so don’t start wasting time at the hotel you are visiting. Have them get back to cruising you up and down the entire Strip where the real party is!

Limos only seem expensive until you realize that you are splitting the cost with your friends. But due to availability and the problem with getting everyone on the same page after you have arrived, you should book one online in advance of your trip. We have some of the best limo rates and packages: Las Vegas Limos

2. Take a helicopter tour of The Strip at night. Cost is about $85 which includes transportation to and from your hotel and is money well spent. Don’t go with a company located on middle of The Strip. You aren’t doing this to go around the block. We suggest Maverick Helicopter Tours. You fly from the very bottom of The Strip (starting well past Mandalay Bay and the Welcome To Vegas sign, which you will see on your way to their private terminal) all the way up The Strip, past the Stratosphere Tower, all the way downtown to see the Fremont Street Experience from the air, and then all the way back again.

Maverick Helicopter Tours can be reached at 800-571-6037 or online at Maverick Helicopter Tours. They are the company that many hotel concierges recommend to their clients. Maverick has a perfect safety record, and some of the most comfortable and modern aircraft. This is a memory of a lifetime.

Things you should do even though they are cheap or free?

1. The Bellagio Fountains play every 15 minutes after dark until midnight. Must be seen, and the price is right: Free. View Fountains of Bellagio Photos

2. Sirens of TI (Treasure Island) pirate show. Hot lady pirates battle buff guy pirates in this over-the-top spectacle which features stunts and plenty of pyro. Times vary depending on season, so call over to Treasure Island when you arrive to see when show times are. Insider tip: Get out there in front of the hotel 30 minutes before the show, or most of what you see will be the back of someone’s head in front of you. See Sirens of TI Photos and special bonus: Sirens of TI Computer Wallpaper

3. Stratosphere Tower (if not staying there). $10.00 to get up, but pay the $30 for unlimited rides on top of the tower if you are a thrill seeker. Rides that hang you over the edge or shoot you high above the top of the 1000+ foot tower and you’ll want to go more than once.

If not a thrill seeker, the $10 is well worth the incredible view. Try to time your arrival for about an hour before sunset and watch The Strip light up. Great way to relax for a short while (drinks are available in the lounge) and watch Las Vegas come alive. You will get chills just seeing it happen. See Stratosphere Hotel and Tower Photos

Where To Party An Night – Stay out of the clubs. Sure, they look great on The Travel Channel and MTV. But you will wait in line for hours, pay $20-30 to get in, pay $10 for a beer, and it will be so noisy you can’t meet anybody (which is why you went on spring break, right)?. The clubs are full of rich guys buying $500 bottles of liquor in hopes of attracting the hot women (who are usually locals getting in for free to create atmosphere, but aren’t planning on going home with anyone). Once again, unless you guys want to compete with really wealthy guys for the girls, skip it, Ladies … unless you want to compete with a bunch of women are are an 11 on the 1-10 scale and spent more on body enhancements than your tuition costs this year, stay away.

But then where to party? Right in the dead center of The Strip is the best party scene around, and it is very budget conscious. Start off at Casino Royale (between Harrah’s and The Venetian) where they have $1.00 bottles of beers (brand varies), $1.00 margaritas, reasonably priced shots and mixed drinks (think $4-6 instead of the $7-10 at other hotels), cheap table limits, and a great party atmosphere. Get your buzz on there, at these prices.

Head next door to Harrah’s and catch a little bit of the dueling piano show. Hilarious and fun … and free. But keep moving along .. remember … this is Vegas, baby! Always more to do and see and you can always come back to something that looks good. Walk out (south) towards Imperial Palace, passing Carnival Court on your left. Great party atmosphere later at night, flair bartenders, live bands … just one of the best places to party. But don’t go in there yet.

Just past the Imperial Palace is O’Sheas. Inexpensive and strong drinks, decent table limits, a fun Irish theme … just a great place to party and meet people. In fact, Casino Royale and O’Sheas are famous as fun, bargain places for college and 20-somethings all year long. Always happening on any evening and well into the night.

Just past O’Sheas is Margaritaville. Now … this is no budget place. Drinks are not cheap. But a great atmosphere and there will probably be someone in your party who wants to check it out. Take a swing through it. Head up to the very top floor for a great laid-back view of The Strip, and maybe even get a drink if you need to kick back or chill out for a few minutes. The drink won’t be cheap, but you are paying for the view and vibe in a laid-back atmosphere. After 10:00 PM, a live band cranks up for a party vibe.

Now you’ve checked it all out and you can just work your way back, stopping where you are inspired to. Want to save on liquor costs? Between the Carnival Court and Imperial Palace is (drum roll please … you guessed it): A sundry store that sells cold beer and liquor! If you are losing that buzz from Casino Royale and don’t want to pay the drink prices at the dueling piano bar and/or Margaritaville, simply stop and and reload. Just don’t open the booze in the store! Even Vegas has pesky little laws like that. Or … head right back over to Casino Royale for a few more dollar beers and margaritas! Then off to Carnival Court!

Do the above over and over and over and over and over and over … you get the picture!

Tipping Your Bartender -á Just because beers and margaritas are $1.00 at Casino Royale and you are on a budget doesn’t mean that you should stiff the bartender. They are your friend. You are probably going to be in town for a few days. The better memory they have of you, the better your cocktails will be. I don’t care how tight you are with money: Tip $1 a drink at any bar ($5 is fine for a round that is bigger than five drinks). And the bartender might just pour a little extra liquor in your mixed drinks next time as his way of saying thanks.

Special Note About Strip Clubs – Guys, leave those to the old dudes who have hundreds of dollars to spend and no game (or are married). Here is why this is important: Strip clubs pay taxi and limo drivers $20-50 per person that they deliver to a strip club. These clubs are off the Vegas Strip, and think about it: If these places were the hot party spot, they wouldn’t have to bribe drivers to take you there.

When getting into a taxi anywhere (if you are a group of guys), the driver will try to get you to go to a strip club no matter where you are headed! Don’t! You’ll pay a cover charge, expensive drinks, and … you’ll be facing a pretty expensive cab ride to get back to your hotel on top of it!

Even if you have a couple hundred dollars burning a hole in your pocket to spend on women, you just take that to the Carnival Court at Harrah’s, or the bar at places like O’Sheas or Casino Royale, or even Shadow Bar at Caesars (not cheap, but nice … fun and happening bar). Spot a cute group of girls. Have a little conversation and if they aren’t dissing you … buy them a round for drinks.

Think about it: you will never go home with any of the strippers (and frankly … you may not want to … there is a reason they keep the lights so low in those places). But you may hit it off with one of the cool women that hang at the fun party bars and casinos!

Getting Advice From Cabbies -á Don’t do it. Las Vegas has almost 2 million people. The suburbs stretch as far as the eye can see. Only a small handful of us actually hit The Strip like a tourist on a regular basis. (Hey … it’s tough work, but somebody has to do it). Virtually everyone who works on The Strip (hotel workers, taxi drivers, etc.) gets the hell out at the end of their shift. They put in their 8-12 hours and want to go home, not keep mingling with tourists. Asking a taxi driver about anything you want to do or see is like asking Donald Trump what it is like to drive a Hyundai. They have no clue. They will tell you anything just to seem helpful and get a bigger tip.

Bottom Line: Las Vegas is a great place for Spring Break. Enjoy your stay! Oh … and the minute you get back home, start making plans for Las Vegas New Year’s Eve!


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March 8, 2006 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us

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