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  1. #1
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    Planning first trip to Vegas in the summer - any advice?

    I EDITED THIS POST ON JUNE 2ND TO UPDATE MY PLANS:


    I will be staying at The D on Fremont Street since the hotels there are so much cheaper. I'll just Uber back and forth from there to the Strip and still save money. A friend of mine wants to see Cirque du Soleil Mystere and I want to see Penn and Teller, anyone seen those shows? Any last minute tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I would also like to know which casinos have a large selection of older slots as well as your favorite buffets. But any recommendations of casinos, food, shows, etc, will be great.

    Thank you!!
    Last edited by ACS; 06-02-2018 at 08:28 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member mhetrick's Avatar
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    Hi ACS,
    I'm sure you will get a ton of tips, advice and "do and don't"s from the great forum folks here. I'm going to pass along a few and if you have any questions or anything, just let me know. First, I'll address your questions then pass along some tips. Not sure how many days you will be there, but just remember...you can't see everything the first trip!

    Tip #1 - you will be going in the summer. Realize that it will be a dry, hot..even in June. August is typically the worst/hottest, but you will want to be sure to stay hydrated (i.e. WATER) as much as possible. Additionally, bring along chapstick. I know my lips dry out while out there.

    Tip #2 - Comfortable walking shoes. Even if you take shuttles, buses, rideshare, taxis, etc...you will do a LOT of walking. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes/running shoes. Leave the dressy shoes at home or in the hotel room if you think you'll need them. The Strip is LOOOONG, and those hotels/casinos are not "just right there".

    Tip #3 - Concerning the CET rooms list: Don't forget even with COMP/$0 rooms, you will still pay the daily Resort Fee (unless Diamond or 7 Stars). I have stayed at Bally's, Paris and the Rio. Don't stay at the Rio. It's off the Strip and there is no longer a shuttle. Additionally, the rooms are really rundown. I'd recommend Paris, Caesar's or PH. Bally's is OK if you get the more modern, renovated rooms (not sure which tower it's called). Flamingo isn't great. Harrah's and The Linq are just ehhh. Paris, Bally's and Caesar's are good "center Strip" properties that can allow you to see a ton more properties.

    Tip #4 - As far as selections of slots, most of your Strip casinos will have many more of the "newer" games. Yes, you can probably find some oldies mixed in but they won't be as prevalent. For more older games, you should try Downtown. The D actually has an entire floor of "Vintage Vegas" games that are older. Casinos down there will have new games, but the keep the older a lot longer.

    Tip #5 - I generally don't eat on the Strip as restaurants and buffets are quite expensive. If you are stuck on Strip, I've heard PH's and Paris' buffets are good. Cosmo supposedly also has a good one. I would recommend that you take a block stroll behind Bally's to Ellis Island Casino. They have a BBQ restaurant and a Cafe that has a delicious Steak Special for $7.99 (Have to join player's club...play $5 in machine to get full discount). The BBQ there is also supposedly good.
    Downtown the Main Street Station Triple 7 Brewery has great food, Binion's Cafe has great burgers and El Cortez Siegel's Cafe is delicious.

    Tip #6 - Purchase the American Casino Guide 2018 and Subscribe to the Las Vegas Advisor to get coupons. The ACG book can be purchased for about $13 on Amazon right now. LVA is $40ish ($37 plus shipping for the coupon book). Tons of coupons for everything in Vegas from buffets, entertainment, gambling, etc. There will be more coupons for Downtown and off strip properties typically, but if used right you can get value from both.

    That's all I have now...which is probably a lot! Like I said, I'm sure others will chime in. If you have any other questions, just post and we can fill ya in!

  3. #3
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    Cant help on CET as we have never stayed in one and seldom ever gamble in them anymore but the rest I can maybe help. Along with the water, CONSTANTLY HYDRATE every breath you take saps hydration from you, some saline spray for the nose is a really good idea as well. Older slots on the Strip, Luxor, Excalibur, Ballys and even surprisingly Bellagio have good selections of older games. Aria has a section of them back by the Poker room as well. Dining you can definitely eat as rich or poor as you like on the Strip we have done it both ways, it all depends what foods you want, as to buffets I don't recall outside Breakfast at Mandalay and Veranda at 4 Seasons the last time we ate at one so all I can give is that they can be expensive for what you might eat which is one reason we avoid them, honestly you can have a great, fresh meal at places like Bardot, Julian Serrano Bouchon and several others for what a good buffet will cost you, and not have to wait in an hour long line to boot.
    Shows Carrot Top is hilarious from start to finish, I know not one person disappointed in his show and if possible get front section seating and share a drink with him, yes he pours booze for those lucky folks in the front section, outside him shows all depend what you want to see and what you enjoy personally.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lmoa's Avatar
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    I go along with the DRY theme as well. Besides chapstick and saline nasal spray, we also use natural tears...my eyes get dry and gritty feeling.

    I like Paris for location and dining choices as well. In the shopping walkway to Bally’s there is a bistro open till midnight for breakfast sandwiches/pastries, lunch sandwiches/ soups and also a creperie bistro type restaurant. We enjoyed their buffet, I think it is around $30 for dinner now, and $20 for breakfast....you can get fresh made breakfast crepes here as well. Sense a theme here? Lol


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  5. #5
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    Start my vegas on facebook to pick up some free stuff till then. I would stay at Paris as it is pretty centrally located on the strip.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Scorcho's Avatar
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    I've stayed in almost every CET property in Vegas, only missing Bally's which I refuse to do because, well, look at the place.

    If you've got free room offers available for Caesars, take them up on it and don't look back.

    Here's my rankings:

    Caesars: Best of CET's group, somewhat swanky though.
    Planet Hollywood: 2nd best, hotel and food options are good. Casino is wide open (which I love) + has a good atmosphere that targets the < 40-50 crowd
    Paris: Average rooms but the casino is pretty decent. Nice and wide open.
    Ballys: sucks
    Flamingo: is pink everywhere and sucks
    Harrahs: is purple and green everywhere and sucks
    The Linq: used to suck when it was IP but it's somewhat better now
    Rio: really sucks, they should implode it

    As you can tell, I have a deep hatred for the mid-tier Caesars properties because that cheap-ass company never puts any money back into them to keep them updated and relevant.

    Some other tips:

    * I prefer to take an uber from the airport and have them stop at the Vons grocery store 2 mi east of the airport. I load up on water, gatorade, snacks for the room, and alcohol for cheap (a hungover shower beer is a godsend) if you're so inclined. You'll pay normal prices and not mega-inflated strip prices by doing this. Even if you don't want to stop at the store, take Uber from the airport and reduce your long-haul taxi chances by 100%. In fact, just take uber everywhere since it's cheaper anyway.

    * If you drink liquor, always call your liquor. "Ketel One and soda" instead of "Vodka soda". The waitress will let you know what she can and cannot do.

    * I personally find it easier to buy and carry $1 casino chips in my pocket for tipping waitresses. Easier to fish for and find in your pocket.

    * CET properties count your play across all their properties when it comes to host offers and comps and such. So don't worry about having to lock in your play at one property, but do stay within their hotel/casino group if you're comp hunting.

    * Keep wallet/cash in front pocket at all times and reduce your pickpocket chances.

    * If pickpocketing, look for people with their wallet in their back pocket.

    * If playing blackjack, don't expect anything but 6/5 on the strip unless you find a $50+ table generally.

    * Unless you're targeting a frugal trip, I would actually stay away from Ellis Island. I love the place but as a Vegas first timer, I would suggest having good meals that you really can't get at home.

    * don't forget an external battery pack to give your phone some extra juice -- usually you'll be away from your hotel room for 12+ hours

    * that young girl who sits next to you and talks you up while betting $.01 a spin isn't into you at all, trust me

    * charlatans, hookers, and thieves are everywhere in Vegas -- there's no reason to keep $700 in credits on a screen to play with, there's no need to celebrate big wins loudly, etc

    * DO have an Uber take you to In-n-Out just off the strip so you can have the best fast food burger of your life if you've never had it

  7. #7
    Senior Member Scorcho's Avatar
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    Also I'd personally stay away from any buffet unless it's Cosmo, Caesars, Aria, Bellagio, or Mirage (unlimited beer/wine in the back). The food at these places is fantastic. All the other buffets are overpriced mediocre slop IMO.

  8. #8
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    We went for the first time 2 years ago with some friends that had been several times before.

    Not sure if you're a man or woman, but like others said...shoes! Wear/bring comfortable shoes! Don't worry about being cute! LOL!

    Hotels...I would rely on other recommendations. My friends always stay at the Flamingo, so that's where we stayed. I read horror stories about the place and was really skeptical. Eh, maybe not the swankiest place on the strip, but for what we paid (without any comps or anything) was really just fine. We had a renovated room, nice, big, clean...what more do you want?

    Since it was our first time to Vegas I really couldn't comment on the casino, it seemed okay to me....but then I really didn't gamble then either.

    Food...plenty of places to eat, whatever your budget. I don't do buffets, so can't comment.

    Shows.... we did Blue Man Group and Beatles Love.... BMG was okay.... loved Love (if you like the Beatles). It's nice to break up the gambling with a show or two...IMHO.

    We also went to Freemont Street (is that what they consider Downtown) one night....that was fun!! I highly recommend it....gambling, music, zip lines....fun!
    Last edited by MyTurn; 02-13-2018 at 06:23 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for your advice so far! Will definitely stay hydrated/comfortable. I'm the kind of person to spend a decent amount gambling but is cheap elsewhere so I'll probably stop in Ellis Island after losing at another casino and get some cheap food lol. They also supposedly have good karaoke so that might be fun too.

    Will definitely stay away from Rio since it's off strip and not so good. That was one of the hotels I was considering so I'm glad you all steered me elsewhere. It sounds like Caesars might be the way to go.
    @mhetrick I will get one of the Casino guides, the coupons seem worth it. Thanks for the tips. I might have to go get some BBQ from Ellis Island.
    @Bubbavegas Thanks for the food suggestions and where to find the old slots!
    @kmc7 Thank you!! I got a new phone early in 2017 and completely forgot to redownload MyVegas. I have a decent amount of points on there already so I hope some good rewards are available when the time comes.
    @Lmoa Paris sounds nice! I will also bring something for my eyes, I had LASIK surgery and sometimes my eyes get dry regardless of the weather.
    @Scorcho thanks for all the tips! I am from Ohio so never had In-N-Out before. I have a portable charger that I'll be bringing. I really never drink since alcohol doesn't agree with my stomach typically but I'll have to get a few free drinks on the trip.
    @MyTurn Beatles Love was one of the shows I was really considering seeing so glad you enjoyed it. I also definitely want to go to Freemont Street.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member mhetrick's Avatar
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    @ACS regarding the LVA and ACG coupon books...if you aren't going to get both and only get one, be sure to check the coupon list and get the one that has the most coupons you will use. You can see the coupons lists here:

    Las Vegas Advisor: https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/member-rewards-list/

    American Casino Guide: https://www.americancasinoguide.com/...s-coupons.html

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