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    Viva Las Vegas!!May 12th, 2016
  • Did You Know?

    • • LV's McCarran International (LAS) is the 8th busiest Airport in the U.S. and number 23 in the world, with 41.7 million passengers
    • • 79 percent of McCarran's departures and 82 percent of arrivals are on time, the average departure delay is 52 minutes and arrival delay is 50 minutes, and cancellations are at 0.6 percent
    • • McCarran Airport is only two to four miles southwest of most Las Vegas Strip hotels
    • • Metered taxi fares to major hotels on the Strip cost approximately $15–$25. A consolidated car-rental center is three miles from the terminal and is accessed by shuttle bus. ScottyVegas always rents a car.
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FYI: Las Vegas Blvd = “The Strip”

Found this sign on the Excalibur property near the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Blvd. It cracks me up.

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What is a player’s card? What are comps?

Every casino has a Players Club where you can sign up for the casino’s Player’s Card. Signing up involves giving the club host your driver’s license and email address. Usually as a reward for signing up the casino with give you a gift such as a t-shirt, cards, coupon book, show tickets, or food. Many give you some form of free play. Free play is a dollar amount put on your card to play slot machines with. The dollar amount is usually $10 or less.

You use the card while playing table games or slots. By doing so you accumulate points and points turn into comps (compliments) such as point play (like free play), free food, free show tickets, free rooms and other things.

By signing up for the casino’s player’s card you can bet that you’ll be placed on the casino’s emailing list. Casino’s send email on various announcements and special hotel rate promotions (promo’s).  

Note: I have player cards from dozens of casinos from all over the country with each one having my email address. I have never had a problem with “junk mail” from any of them. I actually look forward to receiving casino email announcements.

Note: Casino companies share the same player’s card across all their properties. For example, if you have the MGM Mirage player’s card you will use the same card at MGM, New York New York, Bellagio, and so on.

Always use your card while playing and don’t listen to those people who say that the casino’s monitor you play and make the machine payoff is you are losing or slow down if it’s hitting too much.

Mr. Lucky’s $7.77 Steak & Shrimp Deal

If you are planning on heading to the Hard Rock Casino or are looking for a reason to check it out, here it is. This long running special is NOT on the menu but is well known. Mr. Lucky’s is located inside the Casino and is open 24/7. For a measly $7.77 you get an incredible 8-ounce  more like 6 once sirloin steak, three jumbo shrimp 4 medium shrimp, salad, garlic mashed potatoes and a roll! No coupon required.

Need proof? http://www.hardrockhotel.com/las-vegas/dining/mr-luckys-24-7/

1/10/2015 – Update

I’m happy to report this special (not on the menu) is still going on.. Yes the steak is a bit smaller and you now need to purchase a beverage with the meal, but it’s still a good value at $7.77. I left with a full belly and feeling good.

Tip: The mash potatoes are delicious.

YES drinks are FREE in Las Vegas!

For some reason I am always surprised when people ask me if drinks are free in Vegas. My answer to this is yes, kind of. I guess it all depends in how you define free.  Here is the lowdown, drinks are “free” as long as you are gambling.  Then of course there’s the tipping. I usually tip $1.00 per drink.

Waitress service and drink quality varies from casino to casino. General rule of thumb the nicer the casino is, the better the drinks are.  As far as service goes it depends:

Table games – Usually table games have the best waitress service. Waitresses are usually very quick here. Note, you can tip with a chip if you prefer or are out of smaller bills, don’t forget your dealer.

Sports book – Also a good place for waitress service. Interesting, I have sat in a casino’s sports book watching games and drinking there drinks even though I’ve placed bets at other sport books. Waitresses here don’t seem to care. See a pile of horse race tickets? Pick them up and put them in front of you. Bingo… she will never question you.

Note: Some sport books are tightening up their rules on comped drinks, check before you order..

Slot Machines – Waitress service is always spotty while playing slots. If you are not seeing a waitress, ask, still no waitress? move, can’t find one in the joint? Leave.

Casino Bar – Possibly the best spot to get a drink but note, you MUST be gambling to get a free drink. Sit down, put a couple of bucks in the game and play slowly.

Note: Drinks at a casino bars can be very expensive, especially at the high end places.

Tip:  Waitresses take and distribute drinks at a time. In other words, if you see a waitress and her tray has drinks on it she will not take your order because she is distributing her last order.  When empty, she will begin taking orders by walking her area asking “drinks? Cocktails?”.  

Tip: If I am walking around a casino and want a drink, I will look for a waitress asking people for drinks I will approach and order telling her I will be playing in this area.  

Tip: Always watch out for your waitress. They get confused.

Tip:  In a hurry for a drink but don’t want to pay the high bar rate? Many casinos, low to middle of the road, have convenience stores that have beer and liquor for sale.  Also along the strip you will find many places to purchase booze at a fair price.  

Don’t forget to check out these posts:

Make a Drink List

Get Happier in Las Vegas with Happy Hour Specials

Cheers!

 

Tips on how to find the lowest hotel rates in Las Vegas

Let the fun begin! Searching for hotels can be frustrating to say the least. Do a Google search for “best rate Las Vegas hotels” and you will get over a million hits. In this post I will illustrate how I go about looking for the lowest hotel rates in Las Vegas.

Before you begin, you will need to decide if you want to stay on or off the strip. If it is your first visit to Las Vegas staying on the strip is a must. Part of the allure of Vegas is the strip itself and staying anywhere other than on the strip your first time would be cheating yourself, well at least I think so. It is a great feeling walking out of your hotel and being right on Las Vegas Boulevard where all the action is.

Off strip casino hotels usually offer lower room rates, cheaper food prices, and lower table minimums. Some even offer shuttle buses to the strip. My advice remains, if it’s your first trip to Vegas, stay on the strip, even if you have to pay more.

Fat Wallet

http://www.fatwallet.com/

Fatwallet is an online community where members share deals on almost anything. But if you look under Forums then Travel Deals and finally “Las Vegas Promos….” You’ll find current offered promotions from various Las Vegas hotels. I’ve stayed at Planet Hollywood for $79 per night using a promo code from this forum. When planning a trip to Vegas I always, always check out this Las Vegas Promo site.

Tip: Visit strip hotels websites and register your email address. They will send you hotel offers (promo’s).

Tip: When you visit Vegas sign up for each Casino’s players card.

What is a promo code? Casino hotels often send out postal mail and/or email to registered player card members announcing promotions (promo) to entice you to stay at their property. The promos usually involve a combination of: discounted hotel rates, free play (“free” money to gamble with), show discounts, and/or food discounts. A promo code will be printed on the promotional advertisement. When you call or reserve on the internet you will need this promo code.

Tripres.com

http://www.tripres.com/default.aspx

TripRes.com is a Hotel broker site where the company buys blocks of hotel rooms and resells them at a discount. I have found some great deals at TripRes. The reservation process is very easy and I found the customer service reps knowledgeable about the company’s policies. As a bonus the reps I’ve talked to even spoke perfect English! I found the whole reservation process very easy and comforting.

I4vegas

http://www.i4vegas.com/

This is another broker site. I always check this site when searching room rates. Like TripRes this site allows you to get a good idea on what the room prices will be during your stay. I like the sorting capabilities High to Low, Low to High, On strip, Off Strip, etc.. I have found some good deals through these broker sites. I have called hotels directly asking for the deals found on these sites and have been told they could not match them.

Warning: Before you book a room through a broker PLEASE read and familiarize yourself with the brokers cancelation policy.  Broker cancelation policies are stricter than when you book directly through the hotel itself and have penalties associated with cancelling reservations.

Regardless where you reserve your room do your homework first and don’t reserve the first “deal” you find.

Going Direct

Remember, if you find a good rate going direct, book it (as long as you can cancel) then search for better deals. You can always book the better deal and cancel the previous.

Tip:  Before you pick your trip dates you might want to check and make sure no large conventions are going on. Large conventions will impact hotel rates and possibly your overall experience in LV.

Here are a couple of sites that list convention dates and number of attendees

http://www.lvol.com/conventions/index.html

http://www.pcap.com/lvconv.htm

There are plenty of sites that have this information, just Google it.

Snow in Vegas?

So much for global warming

So much for global warming

December 17, 2008 Vegas gets three inches of snow. Notice the little snowman on the left post.

Find Low Airfare

I recommend you familiarize yourself with the airlines that fly out of your local airport. Visit the air carrier websites and see if they offer promotions. Many Airlines allow you to sign up for promotion alerts via email. Often all you have to do is submit your email address then they will email you when promotions are released. Others may have standing days and times when promotions are released.

Spirit Airlines offers the $9 club where for $39 per year you get $9.00 off each way and gain access to super low fare club rates, often as low as $.01 each way! Or another option is to get the Spirit Air credit card and when you make at least one purchase per month you are automatically reenrolled in the club every month.

If Spirit Air fly’s out of your airport I would recommend you look into this program. I have been extremely  successful in getting many round trip, non-stop flights with taxes and fees included for under $50 each. Please note that these sales often have fixed dates for departure and return flights. If you are flexible, this program could save you a lot of money.

Airfare comparison sites do exactly what it says, they compare your flight preference across multiple carriers, saving you time. All you need to do is enter your departure and destination cities along with dates. Then look for the lowest fare. Many allow you to adjust the dates or make suggestions for you that would give you the lowest fare. I would recommend that you check with the carrier first before purchasing any flights through third party brokers. I always prefer to go direct if possible.

Airfare comparison sites:

www.cheapoair.com

www.farecast.live.com

www.bookingbuddy.com

www.cfares.com