Mark’s First Timer Tips

Here are my top tips for someone taking their first trip to Las Vegas:

  • Do not rent a car.  It is easy to get around the Strip and downtown by  bus, cab, Monorail or   walking. Give yourself some time to get familiar with the city before attempting to drive it yourself.  Trying to drive down the Strip while gawking at the sights is a recipe for disaster – especially when you add Las Vegas’ free-flowing alcohol to the mix.
  • Don’t try to visit Hoover Dam or the Grand Canyon. Make your first trip about Las Vegas. Save those for a later trip (or even better, make a trip specifically to see those sights).
  • Take in some of the free spectacles like the Fountains of the Bellagio, The Bellagio Botanic Garden, The Volcano at the Mirage, the Fremont Street Experience or the circus acts at Circus Circus.
  • See a show. There are so many choices that you will find something that you like. You can find discounted tickets for many shows at the Tix4Tonight kiosks around town.  I suggest Cirque du Soleil’s classic ‘Mystere‘, Penn & Teller, and  Legends in Concert.
  • Join the players club for wherever you are staying and playing. Even if you don’t gamble, most players clubs will reward you for your membership by giving you discounts at their restaurants and  gift shop as well as giving you comps (or even a higher tier card) based on your lodging and other expenses. (see my “I Don’t Gamble. Why Should I Get a Player’s Club Card post for more info).
  • Check out my “What can a non-gaming partner do in Vegas?” post for additional ideas.
  • Gamble a little. I suggest heading to Fremont Street for more casual, lower limit gambling if you are new to gambling. As a general rule, the slots are looser and the video poker paytables are better downtown, too.
  • Enjoy the free drinks provided  while gambling. Whether you are playing a table game, slot machine or sitting at the bar playing video poker, you can get basic drinks comped. Premium liquors may or may not be comped, but it always worth asking for what you want.
  • Visit a museum (really). The Neon Museum  and  the Mob Museum  are my top choices. If you are a car aficionado, visit the Shelby Museum . Play pinball or an arcade game at the Pinball Hall of Fame. For a quick fine art fix, visit the small  Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art.
  • Get out of your comfort zone; just a little. Do the SkyJump at the Stratosphere;  drive a bulldozer at Dig This!; or eat something that you might not be able to get at home like the grilled octopus at  Estiatorio Milos or the Foie Gras Cotton Candy at Bazaar Meat at SLS.

If you have your own first timer tips, feel free to share them in the comments section!

Flamingo Overview

The Flamingo has been growing on me. I never saw it as a bad place. It was just never on the top of my list for places I wanted to stay. That has changed over the past year or so.  The rooms have been upgraded. The location is great, with easy access to The LINQ, Caesars Palace, and The Bellagio. It also has a dedicated Monorail stop. The elevators are aging, but there are enough of them that I’ve never had to wait long for one. Continue reading Flamingo Overview

The CODE Players Club (2015)

(UPDATE June 2017 – The CODE has been replaced by their new players club,  Club52. I will post about the new club when I have more info)

The CODE   is the players club at SLS.  Joining The CODE gets you a free “Lucky Spin” with a chance to win up to $5000. Membership also gives you a $30 dining credit during your birthday month and access to special off-menu food and cocktails. Locals receive happy hour specials, a line pass during LIFE, Foxtail and Sayers Club Industry Nights and a Ciel Spa discount. As you can see, it is geared much more to dining and nightlife than gaming.

Continue reading The CODE Players Club (2015)

Bellagio Fountain Show Schedule Verification & short story

My Bellagio Fountain Show Song List and Schedule was verified on June 2, 2015.

I had an interesting experience, though, when I went to the concierge desk to check the schedule. They handed me a schedule from March 2014. I didn’t notice the year on it until later that day. When I went back to ask about it, they maintained that it was the right schedule and that the list doesn’t change that often. I knew it was wrong, so I asked them to verify the times for a few of the songs. They called fountain operations and gave me the times of those songs. It did not match the times on the schedule they had just given me, but it did match what I have on my site.