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I stayed at the Linq, and wish I had known about this before booking, but I signed up for the Total Rewards players club. And if you book a hotel through their website, they’ll often times heavily discount the room. In fact they completely waved the room fee when I looked at a room in December, so you only had to pay the resort fee per night to stay at the Linq. The other hotels like a Bally’s or Caesars Palace were discounted but not as much. I had already booked through Orbitz so ended up paying much more. Next time though!

Unfortunately they have changed that process. I was able to score several free nights at Caesars Palace in the laurel collection last dec and I was glad to only have to pay the resort fees but now, they aren't giving any rooms away unless you reach a particular amount of tier credits. I would also sign up for the Venetians grazie program as well as M life at MGM. I stayed at the Venetian once and they are always sending heavy discounted rates and other perks (one of, if not the most, gorgeous resorts on the strip) and I use the M life perks for show tickets.

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I still love to visit for the combination of entertainment, food, gambling, booze, and really anything else you could possibly imagine (marijuana, strip clubs, simulated police chase, drive a NASCAR/Indy car, drive exotic cars, shoot any gun you want, crush a car driving a tank, play with construction equipment, skyjump...)

Yeah, see, except for food and drinks, nothing on that list really appeals to me. I really think it's the proximity to the Grand Canyon that even has me looking at it at all. Otherwise, it's the Ferris Wheel, the Mandalay Bay Aquarium, and the Mob Museum...and.... Yeah. I guess we're just more Orlando people than Vegas people.

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I still love to visit for the combination of entertainment, food, gambling, booze, and really anything else you could possibly imagine (marijuana, strip clubs, simulated police chase, drive a NASCAR/Indy car, drive exotic cars, shoot any gun you want, crush a car driving a tank, play with construction equipment, skyjump...)

Yeah, see, except for food and drinks, nothing on that list really appeals to me. I really think it's the proximity to the Grand Canyon that even has me looking at it at all. Otherwise, it's the Ferris Wheel, the Mandalay Bay Aquarium, and the Mob Museum...and.... Yeah. I guess we're just more Orlando people than Vegas people.

 

The beauty of Vegas is that just the food and drink portion can keep you busy for the length of your stay. There are so many world class restaurants from every celebrity chef you can imagine and bars for every taste from dirt cheap just to get hammered to drinking the best spirits in the world.

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Oh dear, I've made this about me again. Really didn't mean to.

 

The coasters are being taken out, and what's left is almost universally hated. I don't consider the Big Apple Manhattan Coaster Express at New York New York (I believe that's its formal name) to be an essential experience.

 

As for bars, I'm not wowed by celebrity. It's a nice excuse to double the price for the same quality. Give me a nice gastropub with craft beer and I'm good. Maybe Vegas has one of those?

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As a local who works in the entertainment industry, I'm placing the blame entirely on the fees and lack of anything new. Cirque is running at around 40% seating filled per show right now. About 5 years ago they were running at 75% per show. Hotel occupancy is also down around 10-25% as opposed to five years ago (barring large conference takeovers). What else was 5 years ago? Oh yeah, free parking and resort fees that were $10 or $20 per night. Resort fees these days go from $30 to $60 PER NIGHT!

 

People looking for a quick weekender will see these added fees and realize that if they really wanted to gamble they can probably find a casino close by these days. People who are repeat guests will no longer come once or twice a year to see what's new, either, because there IS nothing new. It's all the same major shows, there are no special events (like Venetian's awesome winter thing, RIP) on the strip. Local events, sure, but things the tourists would be notified of or would be willing to venture to fall to the wayside. Each hotel looks the same as it has for the past 10 years, which extra sucks because each hotel has been remodeled in the past 10 years to look nearly identical to every other one on the strip (WTF LUXOR?!).

 

Vegas needs a kick in the pants. MGM and Caesars need to stop restricting budgets while increasing guest cost and start spending money to make money.

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^^ Now, now. Riding the BigAppleManhattaCoasterExpressatNewYorkNewYork is a Vegas experience not to be missed. One cannot travel all the way to Vegas and not ride the horrifying experience that is that coaster. Like others have said, the best part of the ride is the lift hill. I knew of it's reputation, but it just beckons, and teases one to the point that you relent and are lured into its magical charms, er harms. Other than that, I agree with you, go to anycity USA and hit the local gastropub for a good time.

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Oh dear, I've made this about me again. Really didn't mean to.

 

The coasters are being taken out, and what's left is almost universally hated. I don't consider the Big Apple Manhattan Coaster Express at New York New York (I believe that's its formal name) to be an essential experience.

 

As for bars, I'm not wowed by celebrity. It's a nice excuse to double the price for the same quality. Give me a nice gastropub with craft beer and I'm good. Maybe Vegas has one of those?

 

Vegas offers plenty of those too. Of course, also slightly inflated prices, but Pub 1842 @ MGM (a Michael Mina restaurant) has the best burger I've ever had and they carry local craft brew on tap. Carson Kitchen downtown is great too.

 

As a local who works in the entertainment industry, I'm placing the blame entirely on the fees and lack of anything new. Cirque is running at around 40% seating filled per show right now. About 5 years ago they were running at 75% per show. Hotel occupancy is also down around 10-25% as opposed to five years ago (barring large conference takeovers). What else was 5 years ago? Oh yeah, free parking and resort fees that were $10 or $20 per night. Resort fees these days go from $30 to $60 PER NIGHT!

 

What hotel charges $60? MGM charges $37 on their high end properties and that's already absurd. Agreed on the stagnation. Aside from EDC, I go now mainly to throw away money gambling (with the occasional nice win thrown in), choosing new restaurants to eat at, and to hang out with my local friends. If MGM wasn't so nice to me for me for my gaming, I'd go way less often. Seen almost every cirque show at this point, been on all the rides, so all that's left for me is to see some of the DJ's at clubs.

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Maybe one of these days I'll give it a chance. Just plenty of places that are higher on my bucket list. But I do want to go to the Grand Canyon, and I'll pretty much have to fly into Vegas to do it, so if they're serious about having something for everyone, I can get into it.

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Maybe one of these days I'll give it a chance. Just plenty of places that are higher on my bucket list. But I do want to go to the Grand Canyon, and I'll pretty much have to fly into Vegas to do it, so if they're serious about having something for everyone, I can get into it.

 

if you've never been?

 

ABSOLUTELY worth a 4-5 day trip.

 

book a full day trip to Grand Canyon (most tourlines will pick you up, and drop you off from your Vegas Hotel and give you a few good hours at the Canyon, as well as a stop at Hoover Dam). You can also easily book a day trip to Hoover Dam itself, which will give you enough time to tour it if you want, as well as most include a stop at Ethyl M chocolate factory & Cactus Gardens (Ethyl M are the famous liquor filled chocolates).

 

many shows tend to be dark on Mondays, but I'd highly recommend if you stay at least 4 nights, to see 2 Cirque shows (my choices would be "Love" at Mirage & "O" at Bellagio). . and if you want to squeeze in another show, we *adore* "Absinthe" at Ceasars' - tho it's pretty NC 17 rated (language, not nudity). There's also a Madame Trussaud's wax museum (tickets cheap when purchased from the discount booths up and down the strip), the Bellagio fountains, the Mirage Volcano. . all the fun stuff on the strip.

 

Keep an afternoon (and night) open to take the Deuce double-decker bus down to Freemont street to see the lights, and to check out the Neon Museum, the Mob Museum, and all the classic Vegas attractions (the Golden Nugget & the shark tank in the pool at the Golden Nugget; the picture with a million dollars cash (free) at Binions Horseshoe, a picture in front of Glitter Gulch!)

 

we always stay center strip (with preferred hotel the Flamingo, simply for location - it's basically a glorified Holiday Inn. . but the location really cannot be beat. . and many of the shows I noted above are easy walking distance.. as well as the Flamingo has a monrail stop).

 

well worth the trip, even if you're not a big gambler.

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Well, now I've got an itinerary.

 

LOL. yeah, we love Vegas. . we need to go back in the next year or so (tho yeah, it's gotten expensive these days).

 

two further "hints":

 

1 - I wouldn't rent a car: use shuttle service from Airport to Hotel (the go to the strip and to Freemont hotels). if you want to do tours, then book via a tour service, as I noted, most will pick up at Hotels and drop back off.

of course, you wouldn't have a car, but really, there's a monorail, buses, taxis, lots of ways to get around and no car means no parking fees.

 

2 - as mentioned above, there are two central "casino" areas in Vegas, that most people don't realize.

there's the Strip - very famous with Stratosphere at 1 end, and Mandalay Bay at the other (in between are the hotels like Tropicana, NYNY, MGM Grand, Mirage, Bellagio, Ceasar's Palace, Bally's, Flamingo, Paris, Circus Circus, etc. . .

 

the other famous area is Freemont street - that's where all the "classic" Vegas casino's/neon is (tho they've really updated over the past decades, and places like Fitzgeralds, Lady Luck, etc. . are now gone). . . but Golden Nugget, Horseshoe, Plaza, are still there, along with Glitter Gulch (adult bar with Vegas Vicki neon kicking her leg), and the other famous Cowboy Neon. . . that area is closed to traffic (pedestrians only) and the whole street is covered with a giant LED screen that projects "shows" once it get's dark (the Freemont Street Experience)

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Glitter gulch and Vegas Vikkie are gone to make room for a new resort. Vegas vikkie will be restored and displayed at a tbd location downtown.

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Maybe one of these days I'll give it a chance. Just plenty of places that are higher on my bucket list. But I do want to go to the Grand Canyon, and I'll pretty much have to fly into Vegas to do it, so if they're serious about having something for everyone, I can get into it.

We're flying into Albuquerque to do our Grand Canyon trip in a couple of weeks. Only about a 6 hour drive, but we're making a week of the trip. Couple days in ABQ; a couple days to drive to Williams, AZ; taking a train to the canyon for a day; couple days back to ABQ (ending with Cliff's Amusement Park). We're hitting a few parks on the trip, too. Petroglyph in ABQ and Petrified Forest along the way. Also going to Meteor Crator and a couple other spots.

 

We thought about Vegas as our airport, but the prices to stay there a night or two, along with towing two kids, made it not worth it.

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I agree the parking and resort fees are diving people away. I've also heard the rumors that the Cirque shows are not doing all that well anymore either, and that they may be removed within a year or two. I used to go once a year, but not so much anymore... it's just not the quick, affordable weekend getaway it used to be.

 

When I do go, I go primary for food, shows, Bellagio Conservatory/Fountains, and unique events (Neon Museum, The Haunted Museum, Pinball Museum, Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour, Atomic Museum, and Raising Caine's--as there aren't any near me, haha)

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Glitter gulch and Vegas Vikkie are gone to make room for a new resort. Vegas vikkie will be restored and displayed at a tbd location downtown.

 

oh no!!

 

they removed Glitter Gulch and the iconic Vikki?

 

 

that makes me super sad. . but I guess it was expected, since they are trying to make Freemont more family friendly/tourist friendly - what with that zipline there now.

glitter-gulch-downtown-las-vegas-jon-berghoff.thumb.jpg.f8d13600d06f94aa78f86642bf34001e.jpg

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Vikki will return once Circa Las Vegas opens next year.

 

Freemont is much better off without that sketchy strip club there. It was very much at the bottom end of the strip club spectrum for Vegas...

 

I agree the parking and resort fees are diving people away. I've also heard the rumors that the Cirque shows are not doing all that well anymore either, and that they may be removed within a year or two. I used to go once a year, but not so much anymore... it's just not the quick, affordable weekend getaway it used to be.

 

Luxor is adding a Cirque Show to replace Criss Angel

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^ The rumor is most, if not all, existing Cirque shows at MGM properties will be going bye bye within the next two years. Run is a new show and new format, so hopefully it'll turn out well enough since it isn't going to the "same old crap" for the umpteenth time.

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I love Vegas and would love to go more often. I haven't been in a few years and I still get free offers from MGM for free rooms for 3 or 4 nights. The reason I don't go is the flights from Buffalo are too expensive right now. $700 return is a lot considering the last time I went it was close to $400.

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^ The rumor is most, if not all, existing Cirque shows at MGM properties will be going bye bye within the next two years. Run is a new show and new format, so hopefully it'll turn out well enough since it isn't going to the "same old crap" for the umpteenth time.

 

Change has to be coming, as all of the Cirque shows in Vegas have had very long runs. I'm not sure what all the hotels would do with those spaces. The market is already saturated for concert venues. I could definitely see a return of popular Broadway shows (Hamilton I'm sure would be a huge hit) and refreshed shows/new concepts from Cirque.

 

Penn & Teller could be looking for a new home if the persistent rumors of Rio being sold and then demolished are true.

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I'm not saying I agree with this, but I was seeing articles that were stating that the powers that be in Vegas are seeing less of a future in running expensive, high cast shows (like Cirque), and shifting the focus to DJs and starpower acts (Elton John, Lady Gaga, Cher, etc.). They feel those are the draws for that all important "millennial" crowd.

 

And strangely, they seem to feel no one really cares much about the parking and resort fees. Personally, if this is true, I feel they have their heads up their asses.

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I'm not saying I agree with this, but I was seeing articles that were stating that the powers that be in Vegas are seeing less of a future in running expensive, high cast shows (like Cirque), and shifting the focus to DJs and starpower acts (Elton John, Lady Gaga, Cher, etc.). They feel those are the draws for that all important "millennial" crowd.

 

And strangely, they seem to feel no one really cares much about the parking and resort fees. Personally, if this is true, I feel they have their heads up their asses.

 

They do have their heads up their asses.

 

Famous DJ's pack the club, but the return on investment also diminishes quickly. You're only going to pay $5k+ for a table or the $50+ cover once. They play Vegas so much, it loses some of it's luster. At that is also a heavily saturated market with KAOS, Wynn, Drais, and Hakkasan group all competing for that same guy with money to blow on a table.

 

Residencies need larger theaters to be successful to offset the high cost of the performer. Hence why the big names play Park MGM, Zappos, and the Colosseum.

 

Filling Cirque theaters with residencies would mean B-list celebrities or extremely high ticket prices.

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For that type of show, can't they rotate the act out every 3-5 years? That should cover both ends: You cater to the vacationer to Vegas that wants to go "All Out", but still can rotate the act to not become stale. I got to think that the "All out" type of visitor isn't the same guy thats in town 3-5 times/year....

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For that type of show, can't they rotate the act out every 3-5 years? That should cover both ends: You cater to the vacationer to Vegas that wants to go "All Out", but still can rotate the act to not become stale. I got to think that the "All out" type of visitor isn't the same guy thats in town 3-5 times/year....

 

The Vegas Cirque shows all have extremely high production costs. They wouldn't see a return on investment for at least 5 years, since the theaters are all custom built to the show. Hence why Broadway shows and residencies are easier...they're just touring acts easy to move in and out.

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