Las Vegas Strip Tips Part 1: Discounts and Info on Hotels, Shows, Transportation, etc


Since we are leaving next week for Vegas, I thought I would share some tips, tricks, discounts, websites, etc that I have picked up while planning this trip.

Airfare:

By checking Travelocity, Airfarewatchdog and other airfare sites, I ended up getting very good priced tickets: $254 air from Dayton (+taxes, $601 for 2). We will take carryons only = no charge. We live in Fort Wayne, but I always check at least South Bend and Dayton (and Indianapolis) for prices as they are all within easy driving distance.

Parking at Airport:

I also check park fly and stay (http://www.park-stay-fly.com/) for places to park and/or stay and park. In the winter, if we are not flying out of Fort Wayne, a lot of times we’ll go the night before so we don’t have to worry about the weather and getting there late. It can be a very reasonable alternative if you pick an inexpensive hotel and use their park and stay privileges (you stay 1 night and can park for free for usually 7 to 14 nights). This trip we will just park in the economy parking lot at the Dayton airport (http://www.flydayton.com/index.php?page=parking-rates) 0-1 Hour – $2.00 Each Addl. – $2.00 Daily Max. – $6.00 Weekly Max. – $36.00. If it were in the winter, we would at least park in a park and go type lot. Mainly because they are about the same price as the airport and will scrape the ice from your car and warm it up before you get to it.

Transportation:

I would never take a taxi from the airport to a hotel on the strip. Taxi drivers in Las Vegas are notorious for taking advantage of people who are new to Las Vegas and driving them the long way around to their hotel. It is super easy to get the shuttle that goes to all the hotels from the airport (just look around or ask). It is reasonably priced, easy and you don’t have to worry about getting ripped-off.

2010 Las Vegas Deuce Fares

Fares on the Deuce bus. This is the bus that goes up and down the strip and to downtown casinos (and elsewhere). You must have exact change ready as the driver cannot make change. This site (http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/cat.php) has all the info on the Deuce and if you scroll down, there is a map with each bus stop on the strip.

Cash – Single Ride Fare: $3.00
24-Hr. All-Access Pass: $7.00

3-Day Full Fare All Access Pass: $15.00 (new)

5-Day Full Fare All Access Pass: $20.00 (new)

The Las Vegas monorail goes from the south end of the strip to the north end (http://www.lvmonorail.com/). The online rates are Single Ride Ticket $5.00 One-Day Pass $12.00 Three-Day Pass $28.00. The website has an interactive map with stops marked. One thing to note is that it is a LONG way back to the monorail stops. As an example, there is a stop at the rear of Bally’s. But it is a long, long walk to get there, much longer than you would expect. And if you are going to say, MGM Grand, you get off at far back of the property and walk and walk to get to the front. I think it is much easier to ride the Deuce bus. It stops right in front of almost every hotel.

Player’s cards:

Always join the player’s club cards. I have several including the Total Rewards card which has an offer for free nights at Harrah’s, Bally’s, Imperial Palace, Rio, Caesars Palace. I got my entire stay for free, 8/29-9/3 Sun-Fri 5 nights. And I am not AT ALL a big spender. I had zero points on my card and I only play penny slots. But I signed up for the card and email. I joined online and checked online for specials/offers.

You just go to the casinos desk for their rewards program and you can get a card and almost always you will get something for free or some sort of offer as well. Like, at the Riviera you can get $20 of slot play for $40 (you can also get this coupon online).

Hotel:

As I said, we are staying at Bally’s for 5 nights, free. You can’t beat that! We normally stay at Imperial Palace because it is one of the best values on the strip. The rooms are fine, the location is great and they have great deals on their rooms. But since we had a choice, we picked Bally’s. We’ve never stayed here and it is a good, maybe even better location since it is right at the crosswalk and is considered to be nicer than Imperial Palace. We could also have stayed at Caesar’s Palace, which is supposed to the the nicest of the three, but it is too big and set back and isn’t in as good a location as far as we are concerned. Harrah’s is similar to Imperial Palace and Rio is not on the strip so you have to take a cab or their shuttle.

It is always worth looking at the websites of the hotels you are interested in (and signing in with your player’s card if you have one) and seeing what specials they are running. That can definitely decide where you might want to stay. My only advice is to avoid the north strip hotels like Circus, Circus, Riviera, Stratosphere, etc. You can get the same prices at the more central hotels and it is easy to walk around from them. The north hotels require riding the bus (The Deuce) or the trolley or the monorail unless you have major stamina (see prices and info above). We’ve walked it all before, but usually end up taking the bus or monorail back.

Also, Always ask for a free funbook at check-in. You will be amazed at the discounts you will find in these books … 2for1 buffets, free drinks, discount show tickets, etc. And if you want an upgrade to a nicer room, a suite, a room with a view, etc., just ask at check-in. You may not get it, but you very well may, if you ask and are polite and treat the check-in person well.

Getting off-strip free Shuttle Service:

Bally’s: You can visit our sister properties, Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino or Harrah’s Las Vegas on the Strip by using our free shuttle. Pick up location Bally’s Las Vegas – North entrance (facing Flamingo Road) across from box office Schedule Pick-up done daily from 10am – 1am.  Bus departs approximately every 30 minutes. The Palm is right across the street from the Rio. Be very careful crossing the street.

Harrah’s

  • ~ Shuttle to Rio (in garage off valet entr. Near hotel lobby area) every 15 minutes 10am to 1am (thurs-sun-till 4am)
  • ~ Shuttle to Sam’s Town (same location)  9:30.. 11.. 12:30.. 2.. 3:30.. 5..6:30.. 8..9:30

Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook:

I also looked at Strip twitters and found that checking in at foursquare at different hotels will give all sorts of offers like: If you’re on @foursquare, check in at Imperial Palace for a 2-for-1 valid at Burger Palace.

This blog post from Pulse of Vegas Blog called Today’s Vegas Hookup: It pays to Foursquare is all about Vegas and Foursquare, what it is and why you would want to use it in Vegas. The ones they list are all for the Harrah’s brand hotels (since the blog is part of harrahs.com), but in the comments someone included 2 for 1 drinks at liquidity – Luxor, $20 off $100 at Tender steakhouse – Luxor, Free Martini for every 3rd check in – Blue Martini.

Also, Hash House a go go at Imperial Palace (where we want to go) has a free offer each day posted on twitter. Here are the last couple posted:

Grab a FREE Blueberry Limeade today by Tweeting “I’m eating (lunch or dinner) @HashHouseLV

Grab a FREE HH Mango/Peach Belini today by Tweeting “I’m eating (lunch or dinner) @HashHouseLV

Grab a FREE Hash House Mimosa today by Tweeting “I’m eating (lunch or dinner) @HashHouseLV

Grab a FREE Pabst Blue Ribbon today by Tweeting “I’m eating (lunch or dinner) @HashHouseLV

The hotels also tweet various specials such as: BallysVegas Meaty discounts on great steak! Bally’s and Paris guests, save 20% at either hotel’s steakhouse when you show your room key thru 8/31.

The hotels, venues and restaurants also generally have facebook accounts too. I’m more of a twitter person than a facebook person and they would typically post on both. But there may also be other information on facebook if that is what you are more comfortable with.

Other ways to get discounts and freebies:

We bought a $10 coupon for $3.00 (no additional fees) to Hash House a go go on DinveLV.com. (you just have to buy at least $20 worth of food). We could have gotten a bigger coupon but since the portions are giagantic at Hash House, we will buy one entree and split it so we wouldn’t be spending much more than $20. I did consider getting 2 of these though!

We also bought tickets to Matsuri, a japanese, acrobatic show at Imperial Palace from DineLV.com. The tickets sell for Price: $49.99 and $59.99 for VIP seating on the Imperial Palace website. You can get them cheaper at goldstar.com which is a good site for Vegas discounts. They are $32.05 – $37.55* (* Additional fees of $6-$7 apply). These are for specific dates/times. But at DineLV.com they had a tremendous special. It was $24 for 2 tickets and no fees! And they are good for any date/time. You just present the coupon (via email) to the box office. This was a show we planned to see so this is great.

Matsuri
Japan’s famed “Muscle Musical” returns to the Las Vegas Strip, as Matsuri has arrived at Imperial Palace! Earning critical acclaim at the Riviera in 2006 and Sahara in 2007, Matsuri is a unique show that transcends language. No words are necessary, as highly skilled, athletic performers let their muscles do the talking. Costumes by world-famous designer Junko Koshino add to the visual spectacle of this showcase for traditional Japanese culture – with an original twist!

Human Nature

We also want to see Human Nature at Imperial Palace. This is an Australian singing group that just gets rave reviews everywhere (like tripadvisor). tickets are Price: $49.95 – $59.95 (plus taxes and fees) from Imperial Palace site. Goldstar.com has tickets for $29.55 – $34.55 (plus $6-$7 fees). So it is not a huge amount cheaper and you have to decide on the day/time in advance. We’ll still probably get these, but have to decide when we want to go (and look to see if maybe I can find cheaper tickets). We could get them from tix4Tonight but may not because we really want to see them and they are popular.

“Smokey Robinson Presents Australia’s Human Nature – The Ultimate Celebration of Motown” showcases the distinctive, dynamic harmonies of members Toby Allen, Phil Burton, Andrew Tierney and Michael Tierney. This quartet is known for outstanding concert and stage performances and has toured with Céline Dion and Michael Jackson. Shows are Saturday-Thursday, 7:30pm.

I am thinking about ordering tickets for them from Half Price Shows http://www.halfpriceshows.com/HumanNatureShow.html. According to the site, the tickets are Regular Price $59.52 & $70.52 and HalfPriceTickets has them for 50% Off $34.26 $39.76 (plus $3 fee). And the star means a few shows listed have a $2.75 – $5.50 box office fee which is charged to everyone, whether you buy a full price or half price ticket. Actually, when I look at ticket prices on the Imperial Palace website it says Price: $49.95 – $59.95 (plus taxes and fees). I can’t find anywhere what the taxes and fees are though. I might call and ask at the Imperial Palace Box Office by calling 1-888-777-7664. UPDATE: I called and they are $62 and $73 (that includes about a $3 box office fee that would be applicable for halfpricetickets too). So the discount tickets (VIP) are $43 total from Halfpricetickets plus about $3 Box Office fee or $46 vs $73. So this is a very good deal and I need to order some tickets from them!

This site (and all others I talk about) has been researched to make sure people have used it and were satisfied (on independent websites). Most, if not all of them were also on Tripadvisor.com.

Also, these (and others) can frequently be gotten at the tix4Dinner / tix4Tonight booths which have 20-50% off tickets for that night. Do not miss out on half-price show tickets.  There is a booth inside Bill’s Gambling hall and Casino. Inside is the Tix4tonight/Tix4Dinner booth w/1/2 price vouchers for like the Bally’s Steakhouse. Its on the corner across the street from Ballys. Vouchers for: Pampas Brazilian Grille/Planet Hollywood, Also starting 9:30am same day 20-50% show tickets:

The north end of the strip near the Peppermill (close to the Riviera) also has tx4tonite

  • -One Company is in the Coke Bottle near the MGM Grand
  • -Other Company (Tix4Tonight) has 4 locations:  in front of Fashion Show Mall, by the Riviera, by Outdoor Hawaiian Market (all on Strip), and inside the Four Queens Casino (Fremont Street), opening at 11 a.m., with shows available posted at 10:30 a.m.

We also might go see the Mac King Comedy Magic show which is supposed to be good and a good value. I’ll see if Harrah’s has any discount tickets for this. I think it is possible to get the show for free with the price of a drink ($12 in the theater but $12 for a drink and show isn’t bad). From Harrah’s the tickets cost $24.95 plus tax & fees so $12 is ½ price (and cheap for a show). This is also an afternoon show which makes a nice break during the day (1pm and 3pm).

I’d like to see La Femme Crazy Horse Paris at MGM and/or Zumanity at NY NY and/or Jubilee at Bally’s. There is a summer promotion for Cirque du Soleil shows THE SUMMER OF CIRQUE (http://www.nynyhotelcasino.com/entertainment/entertainment_zumanity_promotions.aspx ) Buy a ticket to Zumanity for only $50! Use promo code: ZUMANITY but darn! They are dark for 2 weeks right when we are there. The last show is 8/24 and the next is 9/10. That is a serious misfortune! Normally the tickets are very expensive. I’m not sure the exact cost but around $100 if not more. But obviously, this is out. Well, next time!

La Femme

La Femme (also know as Crazy Horse Paris) is at MGM Grand Wednesday – Monday, 8:00pm and 10:30pm; Dark on Tuesday. Tickets from MGM Grand/Ticketmaster are $50 and $60 (US $67.50 x 2, $7 fee each). Ticket prices are $50.50 & $60.50 Inclusive ALL SEATS (Includes LET & Handling Fee). Tickets can be purchased at any MGM Grand Ticket Outlet or MGM Concierge. Crazy Horse Will-Call Booth is Open: 3:30pm – 11:00pm, Wednesday through Monday, closed Tuesday.

I’m not really finding any discount tickets for them, although tix4Tonight may have them if we want to wait and chance it. I’m thinking Sept 1 (my birthday) at 8pm. Per tripadvisor rpt: The theater is indeed small but I would call it “intimate” and perfectly suited to this kind of show. I would agree that you might want to try to sit a little further from the stage. This way you can see the entire stage and all that goes on. We sat up at the “bar stool” area and it was perfect. And I advise sitting a bit farther away from the stage at a four top. —- Just call Tix4Tonite to get the half-price seats.

The show is art. Each number is choreographed and lit in a way unique to La Femme. This isn’t a peep show, nor a jiggle show. During some of the numbers, you are taken to a place in your mind where you almost forget that nearly nude females are the centerpiece. This is not a bachelor party “whoop and holler” event.

The show is also erotic. The first number “God Save Our Bareskins” puts a new twist on the changing of the guard. Numbers like “See Thru, Peek-A-Boo” and “Vestal’s Desire” highlight the sexuality just by the titles (not to mention the shimmering female figures onstage). The La Femme theatre was designed to re-create the Crazy Horse located on Avenue George V in Paris. The stage, design, fabric, colors and tabletops duplicate the original and this intimate theatre seats only patrons.

Jubilee at Bally’s is good traditional “lots of feathered headresses and fancy, skimpy costumes” showgirls. It is expensive though and I can’t find discounts. I’ll ask at Bally’s when we check in. Per Tripadvisor review “First of all – buy fantastic seat loacation tickets from Ballys box ofice with a 2 for 1 voucher you’ll find in some of the Vegas information bookles you pick up for free, we got 5th row in the middle the day before the show, saved $47 each. “

Peep Show with Holly Madison is also playing at Planet Hollywood. Tickets are $65.00 (plus taxes and fees) thru ticketmaster. I have heard great things about this show and I hope tix4tonight has reduced price tickets when we get there.

Other than Matsuri (for which I have already purchased tickets), we will check out the half price tickets booths to see what they have and decide which ones to go to based on that and/or if we want to book through a discount company online when we get there.

For the “rest of the story” see my next post – Las Vegas Strip Tips Part 2: Dining, Drinking, Free Wifi, Websites and more.

Cheers!

~Susan Mellott

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