Going to Vegas..any advice?

I’m going to Vegas for Halloween!

Backstory: I’m in Edmonton, Alberta. Due to some sad stuff happening in my life (long story) I thought I’d cheer myself up and book a trip for a few days with friends. (It worked like a charm! Nothing like giving yourself something to look forward to!) We’re flying down October 30th. I’m not much of a gambler, though I plan to do a little, a set amount every day.

I’m not sure how much money to bring…I’d like to have some American cash on me, but I’m not sure if the rest should be traveler’s cheques or if I should just use my Visa. Will my debit card work in the states?

Are there any sights, hotels, shopping or shows that I simply shouldn’t miss?

And lastly…we plan to be in costume for most of Halloween day. Hopefully we won’t be the only ones. Not that it really matters, it’s going to be a blast.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Since the OP is asking for advice, this is better suited for IMHO than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

paging Dmark resident Vegas guru.

till then :smiley:

There is actually quite a bit of fun to be had just exploring some of the behemoth casinos that are out there.

Just find something you like and run with it…food, some of the best in the world can be had, shows, yup…anything and everything. Fun thing is how much stuff you can do for free or fairly cheap.

In Vegas…a costume is practically camoflage.

Thanks drachillix…at first I thought I was getting aroused by the CNN newscast, but realized it was my SDMB pager going off.

Wow, two requests from Las Vegas visitor newbies in just a few weeks! This bodes well for Vegas!

Demonica, I think it is safe to say you are going to have a great time and should be able to leave your troubles behind (at least while you are here)! Did you know that Canadians are the number one foreign tourists to Las Vegas! I like to say it is because all of the relatives of members of Cirque du Soleil casts come down to visit.

Regarding traveler’s checks or ATM…both are accepted in casinos, but ATM’s probably more convenient, although there is a charge for each transaction, so try not to hit them for small amounts every day - hit them only when you need them. Actually, Vegas casinos are very flexible and will be happy to take your money in any number of ways!

Regarding Halloween costumes…you might run into a problem there, but it depends. Wearing a mask is a bad thing…a really, really bad thing to do in a casino! Just like wearing a mask when you walk into a bank, they sort of frown on that and security will throw you out faster than you can say Trick or Treat. Now if you are wearing a costume that doesn’t require a mask, there shouldn’t be a problem. Hell, most people on the Strip look like they are wearing costumes all year 'round! Just don’t do the mask thing in the casinos directly - trust me on that. There are usually some great costume parties at the nightclubs, with big prizes and stuff for best costumes, so you might be able to do the entire “mask and costume” thing there, but just carry the mask until you get in.

Otherwise, check out my tacky little website and that should give you some info on hotel/casinos, shows, food, cheap things to do, sex and some misc. tidbits. Feel free to email me with any specific questions!

I was in Vegas on Halloween a few years ago and had fun just standing at the Bellagio fountain and watching all the people in costumes walking by (and sometimes wishing I’d brought my camera). The experience was heightened by a group of people nearby who were loudly proclaiming that we all needed to stop our sinful ways and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal savior.

Thanks for the quick replies!

We’re staying at the MGM Grand, so hopefully it’s right in the midst of all the action. I’m an avid people watcher, so I think this will be verrrry interesting. I’ve been told that you’re allowed to take pictures of anyone in the casino proper, but on the street is fair game.

Nope, no mask for me, but one of my friends is going as Robin (as in Batman) and I think he wears one of the small ones, just over his eyes. I’ll warn him just in case. One of the other girls is going as a Dirty Martini. I’m not sure what that entails. Myself, I’ll go as something in character, therefore evil. I have it narrowed down to a vampire, a corpse bride, or something zombie-related. I love zombies. Braaaiiiiiins! Nom nom nom! I can has medulla oblongata!

I’ll hop on Dmark’s website after this, and pass it on to my fellow travelling companions, if he doesn’t mind. :slight_smile: We’re having a meeting of sorts next Wednesday to figure out travel to and from the airport/activities/etc. “Robin” is a gay fellow and, for lack of a better word, quite anal about having things planned out. He’s also hoping there’s a gay club or two to hit while we’re down there. I’m pretty confident we can find one!

I was just on your website, Dmark…lots of great advice to be had!

The “fruit loop” reference made me laugh. I know where we’re going the first night.

Wow, another Albertan Canuck going down to Vegas! Can I hitch-hike on your thread Demonica?

I’ll be in the Vegas area (Pahrump) for some courses, which happen mostly over weekends, in the Oct 16-27 time frame,. I’ll have a Tues-Wed-Thurs. stretch of totally free time. I’ve been to Vegas a few times before on business, and saw all the famous places on the strip, so I"m curious about the surrounding countryside this time. Since I’ve never been to a desert before (either on a named OR unnamed horse) I thought I’d check out Death Valley. Any horse-back tours available? The engineer in me has to see Hoover Dam. I heard there was a ghost town nearby, is it worth checking out? What about the Grand Canyon: is it logistically feasible to go there, look around some, and come back in one day?

Any other suggestions? I’ll be checking out DMark’s site forthwith.

MGM Grand is smack dab in the middle of the action! Take cell phones and GPS systems with you, as you are going to get lost in there.

If you are all taking a taxi from airport to MGM Grand, be sure to tell the taxi driver NOT to “tunnel” it there. There is a direct shot from the airport to MGM Grand that is only minutes away, but some taxi drivers like to take the l o n g route through the airport tunnel, onto the freeway which is a longer, pricier trip. By saying, “we want to go to the MGM Grand - no tunnel…”, you sound like someone who has been here before and knows the ropes.

The Fruit Loop will be wild Halloween night. A bit too far to walk for most people from MGM Grand, but an inexpensive taxi ride to and from. Be very, very careful crossing the street down there though…lots of insane, fast drivers in a hurry to and from airport!

Glad the website helped, and by all means, pass it on to one and all!

Have fun!

Not sure if you’re much of a club-type person, but on Halloween you could go to the Ghost Bar on top of the Palms hotel and casino. It has a huge outside balcony with a sheet of plexiglass in the floor that you can stand on and see 60 feet straight down. The Vegas skyline is awesome up there too.

And that would be * 600 * feet, not 60. Missed the edit time window.

We’re planning to go to Vegas again this Christmas. You have probably taken care of this already (or are planning to), but make sure you buy traveller’s health insurance before you go. We always buy ours at the AMA. Your debit card should work just fine anywhere in the US that has Interac - just be prepared for the service charges. We always buy some US money (again, at the AMA) and just use VISA for the rest. We had no problems being from Canada in Vegas (we’ve had some problems in other areas of the US).

As for doing stuff in Vegas, it’s a little off the main strip, but we loved the Liberace Museum. I think there’s a shuttle that runs over to it. We also loved going downtown to Fremont Street - it’s a covered over street, that has video presentations on the ceiling. It was awesome, man! We also liked Hoover Dam; it’s really big, you know. :slight_smile:

Bring your walking shoes - we walked up and down the Strip, and after our feet were worn out, we still hadn’t seen everything. We had a great time playing the nickel slots, too - I’d play for half an hour on a dollar. My husband tried his hand at casino Texas Hold 'Em poker - fastest loss of $30 EVER! I’d say give yourself a casino loss budget, and stick to it.

Being in Vegas for Halloween sounds like going to the Mothership! :smiley:

If you can spare a few hours, drive about 75 miles north of Vegas and check out the Valley of Fire. It is eerily quiet and absolutely stunning to look at.

Shop at the Ceasars Palace “mall”. It has unique store. Very expensive but worth it. Do the “rides” at the pyramid casino.

Probably all the money you don’t plan on bringing home with you

People still use traveler’s cheques? I would just use your ATM card.

The all you can eat breakfast buffet at Monterey Bay if they still have it.
I’ve been there several times. Generally what people do is start with one of the breakfast buffets. Next spend most of the day wandering the strip gambling and seeing the sights. Then dinner at one of the restaurants. Maybe a show like Cirque de Solleil. And then spend all night at one of the megaclubs. I’ve mostly been to Rain in the Palms. The thing is, unless you have a private party, you need to get to the clubs early enough so you aren’t waiting in line for 2 hours.

This. My mother had trouble with gambling; her solution was to never bring anything but the amount of cash with her that she was prepared to lose; no ATM cards, no credit cards, no checkbooks. So when the money was gone, it was gone and she couldn’t be tempted into spending more than she could afford.

I love to go to the Grand Canyon after a few days in Vegas. The silence and the majesty after all the “bing-binging” in the casinos is just lovely.

I do all the free stuff–the tigers, the pirate show, etc. Most of the casinos have something cool to suck you in. :slight_smile:

My favorite buffet was the Spice Market, which I think is in Planet Hollywood now (when I went it was Aladdin’s). Their champagne brunch is spectacular. Nothing like spending $5 for all-you-can-drink champagne. I think we spent about two hours there, just chatting, eating, and getting wasted before noon.

Absolutely second DMark’s advice on telling the cabbie NOT to use the tunnel from the airport.

Just last weekend I took a cab to the “Fruit Loop” from the MGM. The fare was approx $9 without tip. Definately worth it, and as mentioned, watch yourself crossing the street! The Double Down Saloon is right there so if you’re the adventerous types, check that out. The Free Zone (gay bar right across the street from the Double Down) has a drag show on Saturday nights. A LOT of fun to watch. Drinks are cheap at the Free Zone too!

For people watching, grab an outdoor table at Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris hotel and enjoy a leisurely lunch watching people and the Bellagio Fountains across the street. The weather will be absolutely perfect for that. In the evening head to the Bellagio and get an outside table at the Fontana Lounge and watch the fountain show up close and personal. Go early in the evening, the tables go fast.

MGM Grand is HUGE so be prepared to pay attention to the signage in there. The Rouge Lounge there is a great place to kick back and have a few cocktails with friends with. If you like sushi, Shibuya is great (but definately pricey). We had a party of 6 and the chef’s tasting menu for a mere $1200. (YIKES!) You could get out of there for far far less than that though.

I’m a bit short on time at the moment but if I can think of anything else to suggest, I’ll post. Enjoy your trip!