Welcome to the Las Vegas Chapter of the Gangad Irish Heritage Group

GIHG was established as a voluntary organization under the terms and conditions of a Constitution on Saint Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2005, and works with local and national groups to fulfil its ‘Mission Statement’.

GIHG supports the cause of the Irish Diaspora Association of Scotland and indorses An Sceal, the monthly Magazine of the Irish Community in Scotland.

GIHG is a not-for-profit organization and is funded by its members, local Las Vegas and Henderson fundraisers, and operating Irish American owned business of Southern Nevada.
Our mission is to serve the community of Irish living in the Las Vegas and Henderson area. We spotlight business and business owner that help to serve our cause.

We welcome your input and encourage your patronage to those that help and support GIHG with their donations and support.

Las Vegas: Las Vegas Weddings

Las Vegas is the wedding capital of world, marrying more than 100,000 couples each year.

There are many places to have a wedding in Las Vegas. There are at least over 60 wedding chapels in Las Vegas. The chapels are located hotels and casinos and others are stand alone chapels. The chapels offer many choices to those wanting to get married or renew their vows. There are chapels for alternative ceremonies, ones that offer theme weddings like gothic, Elvis style, roaring twenties, renaissance, western, greek and traditional.

There are weddings for many budgets. More lavish and elegant weddings tend to be held in the hotel and casino chapels. Low budget weddings usually are held in small chapels scattered all over Las Vegas. This Las Vegas Wedding Chapel Map will help you locate some of the places and what they offer couples.


Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g45963-c102693/Las-Vegas:Nevada:Las.Vegas.Weddings.html

The Hidden Facts About Lennox Service Exposed by an Expert

An individual will quickly know if there will be a possible furnace issue. Lennox furnaces are a favorite alternative for homeowners due to their high dependability and affordability. The compressor is strong enough to keep the indoor temperature of your home. Now you’re set to wash the coils in the condenser.

Lennox Service: the Ultimate Convenience!

Besides these possible side effects, it can be readily consumed by children along with adults, as it is by far the most natural type of herb with no chemicals, even if consumed as a food supplement. Just make sure you trust this individual’s opinion. There are a few things you should start looking for, and a few things to watch out for, when deciding. It’s also reported to be very energy-efficient. In this kind of situation a portable AC is the very best equipment due to its mobility and effortless installation. Ensure you pay excess attention when cleaning air cooled condensers.

What to Expect From Lennox Service?

Alongside work efficiency, the security of the solution and region of installation also needs to be taken care of. Like all elaborate mechanical equipment, however, your heating equipment needs regular attention. The intricately developed machine is efficient in controlling the high level of cooling.

If You Read Nothing Else Today, Read This Report on Lennox Service

The pulse technology is sort of scattershot, no one else utilizes this kind of ignition. The market supplies a broad range of air conditioners that finding the ideal one can be quite time-consuming and tedious. Priced at $1900, this item is one of the very best. If you’re still stuck with your in-house marketing and advertising group, then this is the opportunity to move steps ahead by selecting an expert advertising and marketing agency.

Las Vegas: Solo travel tips

Tips for solo travelers

About 40 million people visit Las Vegas each year (and 1 in 6 visitors are from outside the USA) and there are many solo travelers, including conference delegates as well as individuals looking for a good time.

It’s a destination which welcomes the solo traveler.

Here’s some tips for those who are traveling solo:

– You can do whatever you feel like doing, without feeling obligated to anyone else who is traveling with you. So, do something different and experience something new!

– Remember, many people come to Vegas for fun, and they’re in a good mood. Hence, it’s an easy place to strike up conversations with people, for example at a bar.

– Many restaurants cater for solo diners, and several allow you to dine at the bar.

– When it comes to gambling, you should only take as much money as you can afford to lose….

– While Las Vegas is a relatively safe place for visitors, it does pay to exercise normal prudence regarding interactions with other people.

– Consider doing some preliminary research about places to see and things to do. However, seasoned travelers will recommend allowing for spontaneity, so you can take advantage of new opportunities.  Check out the Las Vegas Travel Forum.

– Las Vegas offers a wide range of accommodation, dining and experience opportunities- from budget conscious to extravagant!  Note that accommodation generally is less expensive  on Sunday – Thursday nights.

– See a show. When you’re purchasing one ticket, you could find an excellent seat which would otherwise be unavailable!

– Try a walking tour. Walking tours have been typical solo & group activities for years in more ‘cultural’ cities but Las Vegas has come a long way to offer several fun tours. Take a guided downtown tour early in your vacation to get real ‘insider knowledge’ of the area and discover there’s much more to Las Vegas than meets the eye, & meet other adventurous travelers in the process.


Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g45963-c215145/Las-Vegas:Nevada:Solo.Travel.Tips.html

Las Vegas: Grocery Stores & Markets

Just about every casino or resort has a small gift shop which sells snacks, beverages (including alcohol) and sundries. The prices tend to be very high. So there are frequent requests on the Tripadvisor Forum for liquor stores, drug stores and grocery stores that are convenient to the Strip (or downtown). The following is not exhaustive, but is a listing of the places most convenient for tourists in the usual tourist haunts. There is no discussion of the small “convenience stores” here. There are too many, and their prices are not usually very good.

There is an exception to the “hotel prices are high” concept:  The Orleans liquor store (10am – midnight). There is a free shuttle from under the Linq High Roller Observation Wheel (yards from the Strip from 9:30am) to the Orleans (May 2016). The shuttle also serves the Gold Coast which also has similar priced liquor in their Gift Shop (as does the Suncoast). For example Castell Rum 1.75L $13.99 or Bacardi Rum 1.75L $24.99 in plastic bottles (Nov 2015) both go well with cola. Bacardi at Walmarts is believed to be about $20-25 for 1.75L (further conformation needed).The Orleans can be reached by bus from the bus stop outside NYNY main enterance on Tropicana (Bus 201, $2).

The liquor store at Silver Sevens (Terrible’s Casino on Flamingo) is reputed to have relatively low prices (its gift shop prices are very reasonable).

South Point’s liquor store also has decent prices, but it is not convenient for most tourists.

It has been suggested that for large orders, that people arrange a Vons delivery to your hotel. A Vons delivery truck has been seen at the Luxor (information on how the hotel delivery is met and delivered to the room is below). Other supermarkets may deliver too.

ON THE STRIP:

On the Strip itself, there are no major grocery stores. There are some convenience stores (small markets, usually with high price tags), a few liquor stores and some drug stores. Some drug stores on the Strip now sell liquor, wine and beer.

There is a liquor/convenience store called the Stage Door next to The Cromwelll, on Flamingo, just east of the Strip. This is right across the street from the Bally’s Food Court / Sports Book entrance. Although this is not ON the Strip, it is only a short block off Strip. This is highly reccomended by Las Vegas Forum members.

The Walgreens and CVSs drug stores on the Strip have started carrying beer, wine or booze (2011). On the Strip itself, there is a CVS and a Walgreens (these are major drug store chains), down near Monte Carlo. Both now carry booze and they have a full supply of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. For any foreigners, in the States, drug stores are more like small department stores than they are traditional pharmacies (although some have clinics from minor ailments, 2015). They carry a small selection of hardware, small appliances, groceries (mostly snacks, sandwiches, cookies, canned and packaged goods, but some carry milk and eggs, cheese etc), frozen goods, clothing, … Wine, beer, hard liquor, soft beverages, tobacco products, … Toiletries, beauty supplies, batteries, film, film processing, … Children’s games… They are everything stores, not just pharmacies. Some have clinics for minor ailments.

There is now a Walgreens at the Venetian that stocks alcohol. And a Walgreens on the Strip up at Convention Center Drive may not carry beer, wine or liquor (info needed).  There is a new CVS in this same vicinity and may not carry beer or wine or alcohol (info needed). There is a large Walgreens next to Planet Hollywood (opened Jan 2012), this is convenient for those staying as the Cosmpolitian too. There is a new Walgreens at Casino Royale (Jan 2015) and a CVS is open at TI (2015). There is also a Walgreens downtown on Fremont, at the corner of 4th Street, just across the street from where the canopy begins.

There is a liquor store near Encore, just north of the Cathedral. This is the southeast corner of the Strip and Convention Center.  It is owned By Lee’s Discount Liquor but named differently, maybe to charge drug store prices.

The ABC Stores — there are several of these stores, one at the Fashion Show Mall, two in Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood and also one on Fremont downtown (just a few doors up from the Golden Nugget) – do sell booze, wine and beer, along with a lot of snacks and Hawaiian tourist stuff.  The prices are reasonable for convenience stores.There is an ABC Store opposite the Monte Carlo and convenient for those staying in MGM as well. Prices should be compared to the Grand Canyon store next to MGM West Wing enterance.

There is a new Liquor Store opened at the Flamingo and at the Linq Casino, probably cheaper than most hotel gift shops but not by much.

At Sahara Ave. and the Strip (northwest corner) is the Bonanza Gift Store. They have some groceries and liquor.  Very handy for those staying at SLS.

There is a liquor store opposite the Luxor – Mandalay Bay that may be convenient for those staying there or the neighbouring hotels, once a crosswalk has been found (Google Street View).

OFF STRIP :

ORIENTATION

The Strip runs generally north and south. People normally consider “The Strip” to be that portion of Las Vegas Boulevard between Mandalay Bay on the south and the Sahara on the north. Traditionally, the Stratosphere has been considered to be too far north to be part of “The Strip.”

The major streets parallel to the Strip, heading east from the Strip, are Paradise, Swenson and Maryland Parkway.  Maryland Parkway is only a mile or two from the Strip but really for off-strip you need a car.

Immediately west of the Strip is a pretty desolate industrial area. For purposes of grocery stores convenient to the Strip, you need to look to the east.

The south end of the Strip is near Russell. Heading north on the Strip from Russell, the major streets in order are Tropicana, Flamingo, Spring Mountain/Sands/Twain (the same street is called Spring Mountain west of the Strip and Sands east of the Strip. As you drive east on Sands, it soon becomes Twain), Desert Inn (which does not intersect with the Strip, but crosses under it), Sahara and finally Charleston. (For the purest, Charleston intersects with Las Vegas Boulevard so far north that at this point, Las Vegas Boulevard is no longer considered to be “The Strip.”)

If you are staying on the Strip, and are looking for a grocery/drug or liquor store, this report is about the most convenient stores between Russell and Charleston.

TROPICANA:

New in 2009, between the airport and the Strip, there is a small shopping center called McCarran Village.  This shopping center is part of “BlueGreen Club 36”, which seems to be a timeshare. This is on the north side of Tropicana just west of Paradise.

Grind Burger Bar & Lounge
ABC Store (liquor, beer, wine, snacks)
Einstein Bagels
Subway
Due Pizzeria
Super Liquor

Just east of the airport, at the southwest corner of Tropicana and Maryland Parkway, there is a shopping center with a Von’s Grocery Store. Von’s is a major grocery store chain. This is a relatively small Von’s. This is the closest grocery store to the airport. Your cab or limo can make a quick stop here if you’d like to stock up with some supplies when you first land, on your way to the hotel.

Von’s is a complete grocery store. It has fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, diary, canned goods, baked goods, junk/snack food, frozen food, juices, soda, water, toiletries, laundry supplies, etc., etc. Oh, by the way, in Nevada, grocery stores are allowed to sell beer, wine and hard liquor, so Von’s sells these as well. As well as those inexpensive styrofoam coolers and more expensive but more durable coolers. And bags of ice.

If you are on the South Strip, this Von’s (southwest corner of Tropicana and Maryland Parkway) is the most convenient full grocery store to you.

There is a bus that runs right down Tropicana to this Von’s (201).  You can catch the bus right at the Strip (there is a bus stop maybe 100 yards east of the Strip on Tropicana directly in front of the Tropicana Casino) and it will drop you off at the corner of Maryland Parkway. Returning, it will drop off by NYNY. The bus fare is $2.00 pp each way.  Of course, if you have an all-day Deuce bus pass, the pass also includes unlimited access to All Las Vegas buses at no additional charge. An all day pass can be purchased onboard the bus using dollar bills. A group can pay the exact amount with higher denomination bills, for example 3 x $8 24h pass tickets including a $20 placed in the machine but ask the driver first for the tickets you want. No change is given.

Between Tropicana and Flamingo, on the east side of Paradise, approximately one block south of Harmon, there is a small liquor store.  This is just north of the Double Down Saloon, an (infamous) dive bar.  Very convenient to the Hard Rock Casino.  Someone will have to compare the prices here to the prices at the CVS Drug Store at the northeast corner of Harmon and Paradise.

FLAMINGO : At the northeast corner of Flamingo and Maryland Parkway, there is a large shopping center with an Albertson’s. For those who do not know, Albertson’s is another major grocery chain in this part of the country. This Albertson’s is a much larger and newer store than the Von’s at Tropicana. There is also a CVS on this corner.

At this same intersection (Flamingo and Maryland Parkway), but on the northwest corner, there is a Walgreen’s Drug Store. Just like the Walgreen’s Stores on the Strip prior to 2011, this Walgreen’s may not sell beer, wine and liquor.

At the same corner as Walgreens, there is a Target. Target is a discount department store, with everything from clothing to electronics to sporting goods, to hardware, jewelry, …

SANDS/SPRING MOUNTAIN :  At the southwest corner of Twain (this is the same street as Sands and Spring Mountain — the street between the Venetian and the Wynn Resort) and Maryland Parkway, there is a newer and larger Von’s.

DESERT INN: There are no grocery stores on Desert Inn convenient to the Strip.  (Several miles WEST of the Strip, there is a Smith’s at the corner of Desert Inn and Decatur.)

SAHARA:  Heading north, the next major street is Sahara.  There is a major chain grocery store at Sahara and – you guessed it, Maryland Parkway!  The Albertson’s that was at the southeast corner has closed (maybe March 2015) but there is a Smiths nearby. There is a McDonalds, a Dairy Queen and a whole lot of other small stores in this shopping center.

At the southeast corner of Sahara and Maryland Parkway, there is a Smith’s Grocery.

CHARLESTON:   If you are as far north as Charleston, there is some kind of non-chain grocery store on the south side of the street just before you reach Maryland Parkway.  Having never been inside this store, no comments are offered.  The name is Save A Lot, or something similar.  There is also a drug store at this corner, with a sign saying “Liquor.”  There is a 99 Cent Only store on the northwest corner.

The Store Locators on Vons, Albertsons, Walmart and Smiths websites will provide maps. 

WALMART :

There are numerous WalMarts in Las Vegas.  Two of them are relatively convenient for tourists staying on the Strip.

One of these “convenient” Walmarts is  located on Tropicana, about three or four miles east of the Strip.  You can get to this Walmart easily by bus.  You catch the bus on Tropicana Ave (outside the Tropicana Hotel), and take the bus all the way to the Walmart.  One bus #201 EB, no transfers needed.

The second “convenient” Walmart is a new (2008) WalMart SuperCenter on Eastern, just south of Russell.  It is closer to the Strip than the Tropicana Walmart, and it is newer and larger.  However, for those traveling by bus, it is not as convenient, because it would be a two bus trip, requiring a transfer at Eastern.  For those with a car, the Eastern Avenue Walmart SuperCenter is closer to the Strip.  This SuperCenter is also very convenient to the airport’s rental car pick-up center.  From the car rental pickup center, head east to Eastern, turn left (north) and the Walmart will be on your left.

OTHER STORES :

There is a Target on Flamingo. It is at the northwest corner of Maryland Parkway, north of the Walgreens that is at that same intersection. There is also a good Thai restaurant (“Thai Place”) in that shopping center – no ambiance, but friendly service and good food. And there is an  interesting Indian market in the same center.

The lowest priced grocery store chain in town might be Smith’s. All of the Food For Less stores may have closed.

OTHER DRUG STORES :

On Paradise (the first major street east of the Strip), at Harmon, just across from the Hard Rock, there is a CVS Drug Store. This one does carry beer, wine and liquor.

As mentioned above, there is a Walgreens on Maryland Pkwy and Flamingo.

There is also a Walgreens downtown on Fremont, at the corner of 4th Street, just across the street from where the canopy begins.

Hope this helps!

VONS DELIVERIES

Vons delivery at THEhotel (now Delano) at Mandalay Bay (Sept 2011).

In order to do it, you have to set up a delivery account. Use the hotel’s address as the address for the account. If you want to arrange to delivery to a different hotel for a future trip, just go in and change the address. Make sure you use your cell phone number as the contact number.

The delivery was scheduled to be in a one-hour window. The order was about $80, about 8 – 10 bags worth, and had a variety of stuff including produce, dairy, bakery items, and booze. All of the items on the list were delivered and everything was acceptable (no expired dairy or bad produce). When you enter your order they do give you options as to substitutions if they are out of stock for a particular item.

The delivery was on time. The delivery guy called from the entrance and meet him in the lobby. The bags were loaded into plastic tote boxes on a hand truck and followed up to the room. He did mention that some hotels do not allow them to go up to the rooms (he mentioned Aria specifically).


Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g45963-c72033/Las-Vegas:Nevada:Grocery.Stores.And.Markets.html

Las Vegas: Las Vegas On A Budget

Costs can vary widely in Vegas. Here is some basic info, and some tips on how to save money.

Transportation
For car rentals, plan on paying $35-45 per day.  If you take taxis, you’ll pay about $10+ for every ride.  Buses should cost $5 per person per day for unlimited rides on both the Deuce and city buses.  The monorail’s 3-day pass with unlimited rides is about $40.00 per person (monorail runs from the MGM Grand to the Sahara; www.lvmonorail.com).  You can also get a 10-ride ticket for about $40; those rides can be shared with others, unlike the 3-day or 1-day passes which limit their use to a single person. There is a 5-day bus pass that can be purchased at Walgreens on Fremont Street; it’s supposed to be for locals, but no ID is required to purchase it except, in the case of Seniors, for the Vegas transit senior ID.  For Seniors with Vegas transit ID, the cost is $10; you can get a Senior ID at the downtown transit center on Casino Centre Drive.  To save on trips out of town to Grand Canyon and Hoover dam, Las Vegas Tours Inc has a link to its 2-for-1 deals site for the budget minded.

Meals
For inexpensive,sandwiches or fast food, no cocktails, assume $10-12 per person per meal.  If you are enjoying fine dining, a nice dinner with drinks will cost $100 per person per meal. You can get a decent sit-down at some local off-strip restaurants; there’s a good Mexican/Cuban restaurant on Fremont Street across from the El Cortez, for example, where you can get an entree and 2 sides for about $12-14.

Shows/Entertainment
For shows, a cheap show will cost $20-45 per person, a mid-range show $50-75 per, a headliner $125 per and up. Attractions such as coasters, shark reef, wax museum around $12-20 per person per attraction.   There are several companies that sell same-day reduced-price tickets to shows and for dining at some locations.  The show prices are 1/2 the regular price; these places open around 10 a.m. each day; there’s one located on Fremont Street and several located on The Strip – one near the Riviera, one at Fashion Show Mall and one near the Outdoor Polynesian Market; another company has one at the Coke Bottle near the MGM. The service charge is $2/ticket.

Gambling costs are the hardest to estimate, if you don’t gamble at all don’t factor it in.

Three sources you should consider checking out before heading to Las Vegas are:

  1. An Entertainment Book
  2. The Las Vegas Advisor
  3. American Casino Guide
  4. On-line sites dedicated to Las Vegas discounts such as http://www.lasvegas-entertainment-gui…

If you are a first-time visitor, or even if you are a repeat visitor to Las Vegas, you can save money and have a great time on a limited budget. Instead of taking a taxi or shuttle to your hotel, why not rent a car? A rental car (especially the compact type) can cost about the same or less than taking taxis or shuttles, plus you get the added freedom of being able to explore the city and beyond. One rental agency that offers great deals and unlimited miles is Alamo. You can save additional money by purchasing an Entertainment book for your local city or Las Vegas and using the national Alamo coupons. You can get great deals on the book as well. Here is the website:http://www.entertainment.com/discount…  The trick is to check Alamo rates on a regular basis and check all the coupon rates before booking. Alamo does not charge you to cancel and re-book your rental like most other rental agencies. If you are 100% sure you are going on your trip, then you can save an additional 10-15% off of your rate by pre-paying for your rental car. However, if you cancel, there is a penalty. It also helps to have a Quik Silver Membership Card so you don’t have to wait in line. The Alamo rental facility is a few miles from the Las Vegas airport, so you will need to take a free shuttle to and from the facility. Because of this, make sure you plan your time accordingly. You can also receive free tickets to comedy shows by going to www.ticklemeentertainment.com. TickleMe Entertainment provides tickets to shows that need seats to be filled.

Before you even set your sights on those bright lights that Vegas is so famously known for, make sure you research your trip. The Las Vegas Advisor is a great website to begin. The website address is: http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/ .  You can find more information than you ever dreamed of by visiting this site. You don’t have to become a member to use this site, but if you do, you will receive what is called “The Pocketbook of Values” or “POV”. This little book will save you a great deal of money in Vegas. There are many 2 for 1 deals for hotels, meals, shows, gaming deals, etc. You get even more out of the book if you have a car so you can visit all of the great places listed in the book.  A couple of other added benefits of becoming a member is access to the forum pages where you can talk to other members and share information (it is a great resource in itself). The other benefit is the monthly newsletter, which has great articles and information to help you save even more money during your visit.

Another great resource is “The American Casino Guide” or “ACG”. This book, which is published annually and retails for $16.95, is worth its weight in gold.  In addition to offering great coupons for casinos located all over the U.S., if also gives you excellent gaming advice and information on every casino located in the U.S. You can check out current promotions at each casino at this ACG website:  http://www.americancasinoguide.com/Pr…  You can get a great deal on the ACG book by going to this website: http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_ge…

Depending on the time of year, there will usually be people passing out 2-for-1 coupons outside major Strip casinos.  Also, when you sign up for slot club (Players club) cards, you will usually be given some of those coupons and other freebees.


Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g45963-c5127/Las-Vegas:Nevada:Las.Vegas.On.A.Budget.html

Las Vegas: Getting Bargains

Many first time visitors to Las Vegas often wonder where to stay and get the best value for their money.  You may not want to book early, as it may not save you money… but early research can be the key!

Travellers will find deals that seem to good to be true exploring www.vegas.com. Select flights and hotels and you will find the lowest rates anywhere, daily resort fee not included.

First, decide which hotel it is that you’d like to stay at.  Once you are settled on one, find out what the average price is.  If it is more than you can afford, think of what you will be comfortable spending.   Remember, it is cheap to get around in Vegas.

Next, sign up for promotions on the hotel’s website.  Also, some hotels will let you sign up for their players club over the internet.  Doing either one of these things will be sure to get you offers for cheaper room rates.  If you have a players club (slot) card, log onto the website for that hotel-casino and select the “hot deals” or other button that is for players club (slot) card members.  You will find a calendar there which will show rates for each day for several months, allowing you to consider how flexible you want to be in order to get the best rate.

In the meantime, before your offers start pouring in, start checking prices on different websites.  First, look on the hotel’s website.  Then, try others such as Sidestep.com, Kayak.com, Bookingbuddy.com, Expedia, travelocity.com and Orbitz.  Check prices every day, a couple of times a day, because rates can fluctuate wildly.  You might consider looking into package deals on those sites such as AAVacations, Yahoo Vacations, United Vacations, Frontier Flyaway, etc.  Travelocity and most airline and other travel websites also offer you the option to shop for air/hotel packages. You can often get a good rate by booking an air/hotel combination while still having the option to select preferred flights and hotels.

However, as noted earlier, whenever you book through any online site, be sure to do the research first.  Make sure the room type you are booking is the one you want (for example, a lot of sites offer more than one room type.  Circus, Circus for example, offers discounts on Regular rooms in the Manor, which are in an older part of the hotel at the back of the property and are much less desirable.  At the El Cortez, the “classic” rooms are older, and accessible only by stairs from the casino. The pavillion rooms are reached via elevators within the casino and are located on top of the parking garage with outside corridors and porch overhangs.  While adequate and clean, these pavillion rooms are somewhat small. The El Cortez tower rooms are bigger than the average hotel room, but are the longest walk from the parking garage.

A number of hotels are now adding on daily surcharges for local taxes, energy, phone usage (whether you use the phone or not), etc. and hiding the charges by calling them “resort fees.”  These fees currently range from $4 to $28 per day in addition to your quoted room rate.  Not all hotels have these charges, but you should be aware that they may be there and budget for them.  If you book directly with the property, be sure to ask what additional daily charges will be added to the room rate quoted.

Remember, when you book online you are acting as your own travel agent and you have to do the legwork.  Be sure to check websites that offer “video tours” of the hotel in which you are interested.  The other downside to the packages is that in a number of cases, they have to be paid in full at time of booking and may or may not be refundable or exchangeable.  Some sites do offer insurance for these packages, but be sure to check the terms and conditions on the policy.  Most will only cover cancellations in case of an emergency.  If you opt to log in with your slot card and make your reservation by that route you will usually be immediately charged for one night’s deposit, with the remainder being charged at your check-out time.  This deposit is usually refunded if you cancel your reservation within the hotel’s cancellation policy guidelines.

Try to avoid staying on a weekend, as the prices skyrocket at that time.  Sunday through Thursday is usually a lot cheaper.  It would also be wise to do a search on Yahoo or at lasvegastourism.com for the Las Vegas convention schedule.  Do not stay there during large conventions because rates can quadruple.

If all else fails, call the hotel directly (particularly if you absolutely MUST have a nonsmoking room for health or other reasons; you must call again a couple of days before your departure to ensure that you actually get one).  They will be able to tell you when rates will fall and might even be able to tell you about upcoming promotions.

In addition, you can get better rates if you are not travelling during peak Vegas times such as New Years!! That said, however, durig the two weeks before Christmas this town is practically empty and rates are cheap, too. (Be aware, though, that some of the shows and attractions are shut down during this time period, so if you are coming to see a specific show be sure to check first).

You might also consider staying at resort/casinos off the strip. For example, Sam’s Town (offers its own shuttles to many hotel/casinos both downtown and on the Strip), Fiesta Rancho, Station Casinos, Coast Casinos, and The Silverton (several off-strip casino/hotels, such as Terribles, also offer a free airport shuttle – an amenity not normally provided by the strip hotels). You can still gamble at these places and get cabs or city buses (or the Trolley from Silverton) to the strip action.  The slots and tables usually pay better and the rooms are usually cheaper away from the strip.  The Coast Casinos are a great option because they offer shuttle service to their casino, Barbary Coast (The Barbary Coast NO longer exists, though the shuttle may still be running.  It is now a Harrahs property named Bills Gambling Hall and Saloon), on the strip. So you can stay at the Orleans for example, and take the shuttle to the strip. And Harrah’s runs a shuttle between its Strip locations and the Rio.

Most Las Vegas hotels have “Hot Deals” for room rates and special combos with meal, show and spa discounts on their own websites. If you book directly with the hotel and they post a lower rate for your date – a phone call to them will get you the lower rate – if this is done before your arrival. Prices can change dramatically according to supply and demand. If you encounter any problems with the cleanliness of your room or have any other major complaints about service – do not be shy.  Let the manager know immediately; many hotels will offer compensation in the form of meal vouchers or even a further room rate reduction.

Also, once your room is booked, it’s not necessarily the final price. Keep checking the website daily. If the rates drop below what you are paying, call the hotel. They will adjust your reservation to the current rate.

And a final tip- Some properties, including those belonging to Harrah’s,  offer a “best price guarantee.” Check the details on their websites, but the quick version is that if you can find a rate on another travel site that beats the rate they’re offering on one of their own sites and can follow their instructions for taking advantage of the guarantee you can get the room for even less than the third party’s price. Great deals can be lined up this way, so be sure to keep checking for lower prices even after you’ve booked a room. Of course, this only works if you’ve booked directly through the hotel and not through a third party site.

Good luck and do not give up!


Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g45963-c13838/Las-Vegas:Nevada:Getting.Bargains.html

How Las Vegas Became a Major Music Destination

America’s fastest-growing music destination isn’t Nashville or New York, Branson or Austin or New Orleans. It’s Las Vegas.

While Wayne Newton and Celine Dion are still crooning to older crowds in casino showrooms, they’re now joined by a variety of other performers and concerts—major headliners, artist residencies, festivals, dance clubs and rock bars.

“Vegas didn’t have a music scene a decade and a half ago, but that’s rapidly changing,” saysZoltan Bathory, the guitarist for Las Vegas rock group Five Finger Death Punch, which has sold more than three million records. “This city is becoming what it has never been—a cultural center.”

For years, the gambling enclave was a musical backwater, a graveyard for washed-up stars. Music, often, was on the house or deeply discounted. Now the live-music boom is helping the city diversify its economy, reduce its reliance on gambling, and attract younger visitors.

“The days of gambling—of, ‘We’re going to give you free entertainment to get you here to gamble,’ that’s over,” says music-industry veteran Irving Azoff.

Mr. Azoff is spearheading a high-risk plan, announced last month, to build a 17,500-seat arena for music—about the size of a pro hockey or basketball venue. His partners are Madison Square Garden, casino company Las Vegas Sands and Live Nation Entertainment, a concert promoter which owns Ticketmaster. Just weeks before, MGM Resorts International and Live Nation’s rival, Anschutz Entertainment Group, opened the 20,000-capacity, $375 million T-Mobile Arena, the first new arena in two decades.

Soon Las Vegas may boast five arenas, on par with Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. “Vegas used to be another B-city to stop at and play one date,” Mr. Azoff says. “That’s not how people look at it anymore.”

Hip-hop’s biggest star, Drake, will perform at the T-Mobile Arena in September. Grammy-winning alt-R&B act the Weeknd, pop star Bruno Mars and Latin phenom Pitbull have held residencies in Vegas, joining older acts such as Bette Midler and Elton John. When last year’s inaugural Rock in Rio USA festival picked a site, it was Vegas.

On the nightclub scene, celebrity DJs like Calvin Harris play the 4,500-capacity Omnia, which opened last year. Last month, Hakkasan Group, which owns Omnia, opened a 2,000-capacity club, Jewel. One of the nation’s premier dance festivals, the Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, starts later this month in its sixth year.

The growing importance of music in Las Vegas reflects a shift in the economics of gambling. Amid growing competition from casinos around the country and a sluggish economy, gambling revenue on the Las Vegas Strip has fallen for two straight years to $6.3 billion, compared with 2007’s $6.8 billion peak, according to the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Center for Gaming Research. Twenty years ago, gambling represented 70% of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas-related revenue; now it’s 30%.

Live music, though, is thriving: 2015 was a record year for the North American concert business, with the top 100 tours grossing $3.1 billion, according to Pollstar. In the age of digital music, fans are paying up to see their favorite acts in the flesh, often buying tickets for big, boozy, multiday events such as music festivals, cruises—and Vegas trips.

“There’s been a recent, greater focus and investment in major headliners at the [Vegas] properties,” says Kevin Bagger, lead researcher with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. He says the share of Vegas visitors who went to a show and said they saw a big-name headliner has doubled to 26% in the past two years.

Big names are the draw, but two innovations laid the foundation for Las Vegas becoming a live-music mecca: artist residencies and dance clubs. Residencies, where artists play one venue exclusively instead of touring, have long been perceived as the realm of mature legacy acts and lounge stars, thanks to famous stints by Liberace, Elvis Presley, and Wayne Newton. Before that, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin,Sammy Davis Jr. and other members of the Rat Pack were always welcome, regardless of how their careers were going at the time.

That perception is outdated. Many of today’s residencies—from Prince’s Vegas stint in 2006 to J.Lo’s “All I Have” shows this year—aren’t “Vegas acts” so much as opportunities to see international stars. Instead of being shunned by artists, Vegas residencies are sought after. Drai’s, a Vegas beach club and nightclub, has a resident-artist roster that includes Future, a rapper whose last two records each topped the overall Billboard charts in the past year.

Residencies used to indicate that a musician’s career was in decline. Now they can take careers to the next level by providing established acts, especially DJs, with an international platform—much like music-festival appearances. Residencies also help artists avoid constant touring, an expensive and grueling pursuit which can lead to overexposure.

“In Las Vegas, the world comes to you,” saysBenny Medina, Jennifer Lopez’s manager.J.Lo’s residency at the Axis theater in Planet Hollywood, owned by Caesars Entertainment, has been well-reviewed. During her performances, Ms. Lopez routinely asks fans in the front row where they’re from, and after 20 or so shows, Mr. Medina has heard countless foreign countries.

Older residency acts remain plentiful, but their stints tend to be shorter than a decade ago. Country-music veteran George Strait, who can still fill stadiums, is playing several batches of shows this year and next at T-Mobile Arena, a space larger than is typical for a residency.

Las Vegas always had nightclubs, places where gamblers could have drinks and hear music, but dancing was considered a distraction. That’s changed radically: Vegas’ music scene now owes much to the intense popularity of electronic-dance music, nightclubs and celebrity DJs.

At Jewel, “the programming policy is based on diversity,” says James Algate, vice president of music at Hakkasan Group. If it’s EDM in one room, another might have hip-hop or pop.

Las Vegas’ local scene is also growing. In the past decade Vegas acts the Killers, Panic! At the Disco, Five Finger Death Punch, Imagine Dragons, Jenny Lewis and Shamir have gone national. Five Finger’s latest record hit No. 2 on the Billboard chart in September, riding a current resurgence in the hard-rock genre. In October, they will headline a hometown show at T-Mobile Arena.

Las Vegas has a long history of reinvention, and music isn’t the only way it is diversifying. As recently as the 1980s many dining options in Vegas were little more than $9.99 all-you-can-eat buffets. Now the Strip is loaded with celebrity-chef gourmet spots. Business conventions are still a key driver, and the city is trying to bring in major-league sports franchises. The National Hockey League is expected to announce the addition of a Las Vegas team later this month.

The evolution of this desert city from gambling getaway to music destination dates from casino magnate Steve Wynn’s opening of the Mirage resort in 1989, which placed a greater focus on entertainment, including the huge success of Cirque du Soleil. Then, in 2003, near the height of her fame, singer Celine Dion started the first modern residency at Caesars Palace’s 4,000 capacity Colosseum. She has since done nearly 1,000 shows and grossed more than $550 million in ticket sales, according to Billboard.

After taking a big hit in the recession, the population of Clark County—one of the nation’s fastest-growing before the recession—is expanding again, some 8% between 2010 and 2015, according to demographer Ken Johnson at the University of New Hampshire. That population growth is creating a more supportive environment for local bands and shows. There’s an audience even if tourists aren’t always interested, says Vegas local Mr. Bathory of Five Finger.

Music venues such as Count’s Vamp’d off the Vegas Strip serve a healthy local ’80s rock scene. The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino recently hosted residencies by Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard and Guns N’ Roses. Some older rockers from L.A.’s Sunset Strip have actually relocated to Vegas, where homes are more affordable.

“Vegas is becoming the new L.A.,” says Stacey Blades, a guitarist who plays with “Let It Rawk,” an ’80s rock show that has performed at Count’s Vamp’d.

Vegas’ visitors continue pouring in. A record 42.3 million tourists came last year, up more than 1 million from 2014. “You’ve got a different audience every day,” says Bill Hornbuckle, the president of MGM Resorts. Visitors are skewing younger, and with more cash to spend. The average age of a Vegas visitor has been falling—even as America gets older—hitting 47.7 years old last year, from 50 in 2009. Over 25% of visitors reported incomes over $100,000 last year, up from 15% a year before, according to Mr. Bagger of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

If big, expensive music festivals such as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival are becoming more Vegas-like with their resort atmosphere, Las Vegas is becoming, at least for some visitors, a kind of permanent music festival—a pricey music vacation, with good food, and maybe some games of chance thrown in.


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Going to the chapel

There must be something magical about Las Vegas for lovers, because a blushing couple ties the knot there every five minutes. In fact, a jaw-dropping one out of every 20 marriages in America happens in Las Vegas.

Scores of celebrity couples have exchanged vows in Sin City, from Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu to Sammy Davis Jr and Swedish model May Britt to Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Why not you and your intended, too?

After all, the 50-50 odds of a marriage surviving ’till death us do part’ start to look pretty good in comparison to the chances of hitting a royal flush at the poker table. (You don’t have to be sober to get married in Vegas either – that helps some folks a lot.)

Choices for the perfect spot to say ‘I do’ are endless. Weddings are performed in gondolas at the Venetian or atop the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. You can hire an Elvis impersonator to serenade you with ‘Blue Hawaii’, or you could dress up like Marilyn Monroe. Getting married after a dramatic helicopter landing on the floor of the Grand Canyon is also an option.

But to be truthful, the more Vegas wedding chapels you see, the less you may be inclined to entrust them with the happiest day of your life.

Many are pretty tacky: full of plastic flowers, fake stained-glass windows and doll’s-house pews. You may feel rushed, as these places crank out dozens of weddings every day. Expect to pay upwards of $200 for a basic service, including a chintzy limo ride to the chapel.

Before you get hitched at a wedding chapel, stop by the Clark County’s Marriage Bureau for a licence. Overseas visitors should check back home first if they’ll need any additional documentation to ‘make it official’.

It’s the low licence fee that attracts a lot of couples, as well as the no-wait period and lack of blood-test requirements that are often advertised. The services themselves range from a ten-minute drive-through with a streaming internet simulcast to a big function at a megaresort (more than two dozen casino hotels have wedding chapels).

Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Day are crush times for Vegas wedding chapels; if you want to say your vows at peak times, apply for a licence online, up to a year in advance. Make wedding-chapel reservations as far in advance as possible, too. Otherwise, civil courthouse ceremonies are performed from 8am to 10pm daily.

Several shops around Las Vegas rent tuxedos and wedding gowns for the occasion; some casinos have high-end jewellery shops that stay open late, even 24 hours. Many day spas and beauty salons offer beauty treatments and up-dos for the brides, and there are even bakeries that sell same-day wedding cakes and fresh flowers.

However, you don’t have to elope to find romance in Sin City. Steal a kiss over mega martinis atop the Stratosphere Tower, clasp hands as you watch the Bellagio’s dancing fountains or hide out with your paramour in a deluxe suite all weekend. Room-service menus feature champagne, gourmet chocolate and X-rated goodies to spice up your love life.


Source: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/las-vegas/travel-tips-and-articles/75842

On the edge of the Grand Canyon

No matter how many pictures you may have seen of the Grand Canyon, nothing compares to the first real glimpse of this natural wonder of the world. The immense depth, the rocks in all different shades of red, and the glistening Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon all make for an unforgettable experience. The vast size of the canyon can only be truly appreciated by standing on the edge. And even then you are only seeing a fraction of this natural phenomenon.

Nobody knows exactly how old the Grand Canyon is, but estimates indicate that the stone at the bottom of the canyon dates back to 1.8 billion years ago. From Las Vegas you can make a day trip by plane or helicopter, but to really experience the Grand Canyon it is best to travel by car and spend the night in one of the many park lodges. A sunset in the Grand Canyon is a truly memorable moment.

On foot

The many hiking trails in the Grand Canyon offer ideal opportunities to explore this natural wonder on foot. You can also hike all the way down to the Colorado River but this requires a fair amount of preparation. Friendly rangers in the visitor’s centres are on hand to recommend the most appropriate hikes. The easiest route is the Rim Walk: a walk of several kilometres along the edge of the canyon which offers spectacular views. Those who prefer a short descent may opt for the South Kaibab Trail. The first descent along the canyon wall is quite steep, but you will quickly be rewarded by great views into the canyon. The South Kaibab Trail continues all the way to the Colorado River, and you can make the hike as long or as short as you like. Fit hikers can take the trail all the way to the end and spend the night at the Bright Angel Campground.

The view from the air

The only way to get a panoramic view of the canyon is from the air. You can fly over by plane, but a helicopter flight is much more spectacular. Through the large glass windows you will have an amazing view of the dizzying depths of the canyon and the Colorado River. The highlight is the flight through the Dragon Corridor on the South Rim, the widest and deepest part of the canyon.

From the skywalk

For another aerial view without your feet even leaving the ground, take the time to visit the Skywalk. This glass walkway was opened in 2007 in Grand Canyon West. The land belongs to the Hualapai Indians, and you must pay to access the Skywalk and to enter Grand Canyon West itself. The glass floor walkway protrudes approximately 21 meters from the canyon wall, allowing you to stare straight into the very depths of the canyon.


Source: https://www.klm.com/destinations/ph/en/article/on-the-edge-of-the-grand-canyon

National Finals Rodeo: where the cowboys roam, rope and ride

Location: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, USA

Dates: Starts in the first full week of December

Level of participation: 3 – attend the hoedown and gift show and hope for the rare chance to attend the rodeo

It could be argued that Las Vegas is a never-ending festival, a glorified fairground where the lights never go down. But there are moments when even Vegas outshines itself, and the 10-day National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is prime among them.

The big bronc of rodeo competitions, the NFR sees Vegas taken over by cowboys ready to ride and wrestle their way towards immortality. Known on the circuit as the ‘Superbowl of Rodeo’, NFR ropes in the season’s top 15 competitors (based on the ProRodeo world standings) in each of professional rodeo’s seven events: bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping and barrel racing. At stake are not just their bones and pride, but around US$5.5 million in prize money, which even by Vegas standards is real currency.

Since 1958, the NFR spent almost three decades being hosted by different US cities. In 1984 it was held at the Thomas and Mack Center for the first time and has been staged there every year since.

Running in conjunction with the rodeo is the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center. No simple gift shop, the show contains around 400 stalls to help transform you into the cowboy or cowgirl of your rustling dreams. You’ll find boots, spurs, belt buckles as big as saucepans, and hats large enough to house small families. There’s also the Downtown Hoedown, a free honky-tonk party at the Fremont Street Experience, staged on the eve of NFR and featuring a host of big-name country musicians.

The toughest thing about NFR is not the cowboys but getting a ticket. Most tickets (around 100,000 of them) are allocated to riders and sponsors, leaving little more than 40,000 for the public. Such is the demand that tickets sell out more than a year in advance. It’s said that around one in 25 people who apply for tickets are successful.

Essentials: The rodeo is held nightly, beginning at 5.45pm or 6.45pm. If you missed out in the ticket ballot, the box office sells returned same-day tickets starting each morning around 10am. Cheaper ‘Mad Dash’ find-a-seat tickets let you scramble around to find no-show seats in the balcony area, with at least a guaranteed view of the action from the standing-room-only concourse.

Local attractions: The Strip is hedonic heaven and you can spend days bouncing from casino to casino. If central Vegas gets too much, head toRed Rock Canyon, an outdoor playground for local climbers and cyclists.

More info: www.nfr-rodeo.com


Source: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/las-vegas/travel-tips-and-articles/77563