Going to Las Vegas

Hi all,

I live in New Jersey and want to travel to Las Vegas for a weekend. My mom and my brother who both live in Vancouver are meeting me there. We’re thinking of going at the end of March.

I haven’t been to LV in a couple of years, and frankly, I’ve forgotten how I booked the trip.

Here’s some questions:

-What’s the best portion of the weekend to book? I was thinking Thursday morning to Sunday evening. Would it be cheaper to snatch something in the middle of the week?

-I was thinking of booking the hotel room myself so when my bro and mom meet up with me, they can stay there … which leads me to:

-What’s the best site to book a flight + hotel package?

Last time I stayed at the Stratosphere. I didn’t mind it, but it’s way up north on the Strip. I’d rather stay closer to the strip this time around if it makes economic sense (let’s say something < $800?)

Last time I went we saw a Cirque Du Soleil show and caught a magic show (in a smaller venue off the strip. It was alright). We’re planning to do the same this time: Catch another Cirque Du Soleil show and my brother wants to catch a Penn & Teller show. Other than that, just walk the strip, check out the casinos, malls and hit a couple of buffets

is there something I should definitely check out this time around? Any other cool things I should check out? (preferably free! We also did check out the pirate show and the flaming volcano thing but we’ll check’em out again!)

Thanks in advance for your awesome replies!

It depends on what you like. Last time I was there, I went to the Atomic Testing Museum, the Hofbrauhaus, and took the deluxe tour at Hoover Dam and enjoyed them all.

You almost always get a better deal if you book from Sunday - Thursday - especially in this economy! Weekends are usually more expensive and crowded, so if you can at all make it mid-week, you will save money, have easier access to show tickets and buffet lines, etc.

I have some basic info on my website that might be useful.

In any case - have fun, and get back to us how your trip goes!

BTW, for under $800 midweek, you should be able to get great rooms in some of the high-end luxury hotels! Many offer rooms midweek for about $139 or less per night, compared to the same room on weekends for $300 and more!

Mid-week is the only way to go. The newest Cirque show is Viva Elvis! at the Aria (City Center). Meh. See O or Love first. For the money you have to spend, call Caesars.

You’re right… I’m seeing some great deals on Sunday to Thursday. Checking Hotwire:
Encore at Wynn Las Vegas: 806
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino:534
Excalibur: 433
Treasure Island: 648
Bellagio: 757
Paris Las Vegas: 667
Luxor: 489
Mirage: 703
Flamingo: 545
New York New York: 523
Caesars: 904, yikes
Mandalay: 729

Those have to be flight+hotel. Had me concerned for a second or two.

Yeah, they’re flight + hotel.

Just so happens I did some Vegas pricing this past weekend for a possible trip in May.
Yeah, the Stratosphere is dirt cheap because of its relatively remote location. But I did find a few bargains on the south end of the Strip: Luxor, Monte Carlo, Excalibur and New York New York had some pretty good deals going, mostly under $100 per night I think. These aren’t the newest and hottest hotels, but they’re still nice properties in a good location.

Tropicana (older) and Hooters (a bit off the beaten path) are even cheaper, and a fairly short walk away from the action on the Strip. Look at reviews (www.tripadvisor.com is a good resource), look at maps, and decide what’s important to you and your traveling companions.

As DMark said, Friday and Saturday nights will definitely cost you more anywhere in town.

I don’t have much experience with booking flight+hotel packages, but it’s my understanding that you don’t get any price break, you just get the convenience of paying for everything all at once, if that matters to you. What I usually do is use Travelocity or Expedia to price out flights and hotels, but do the actual booking directly on the airline and hotel’s websites. You’ll often save a couple bucks that way, and I feel more confident cutting out the middleman. Also keep in mind that some of the discount carriers like Southwest and Jet Blue are not found on the travel sites. Don’t forget to check those out while you’re looking.

Hope you have a great time!

Question: What is the comp situation in Vegas? I usually go to Tunica, MS, and I’m accustomed to being showered with rooms, meals, free slot play, etc. all the time. I get offers by mail from most of the casinos every month. I’m a really small time player. I play at $5 tables, mostly three card poker or blackjack, sometimes penny slots, and a typical gambling budget for a casino trip is $300-$400 or so. Most of the time, that’s enough for 6-10 hours of gaming over the course of a day or two. My understanding is that isn’t even enough to get a comp meal in Vegas. Is that true? What level of play does it take to get meals and rooms out there?

I know some of my player’s cards from Tunica also count in Vegas at places owned by the same company–Harrah’s. Bally’s etc, but somehow I suspect my meager points wouldn’t go very far out there…

Also, can you still find $5 tables in Vegas?

Comps have gotten very tight lately. Player’s Club members still get free rooms*, but you have to play $10 tables for hours to even get a free buffet these days. Gone are the days of tons of swag for playing at the $5 table for 5 minutes.

$5 tables are still around, but you have to go Downtown or to Casino Royale.

*We are heading to Vegas for my Spring Break because Encore gave us a free suite and $100 of slot credit. And we are penny slot players!

Of those, I think Paris is probably the best deal - great price, nice hotel and rooms, excellent buffet and perfect location!
Encore is considered by many the most “resort” feel, and ranks really high with customer satisfaction and normally costs a LOT more - so also a great deal.
If either of those two offers are still available, grab now and don’t look back!

When you go to see Penn and Teller, make sure to bring your camera. They sign autographs and allow pictures after the show.