Friday, February 29, 2008

Palace Station March Special - $39 rooms

The Palace Station - made a little bit infamous as the Las Vegas hotel where OJ Simpson recently was accused of assaulting a sports memoribilia dealer - is offering an excellent March special on their rooms Sunday-Thursday. At $39 you are not likely to find a much better deal on quality rooms near the Las Vegas Strip, or even in the cheaper downtown areas for that matter.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Las Vegas links and websites - THE one and only OFFICIAL List....NOT

Las Vegas, as one of the world's top travel destinations, has more websites devoted to it than you can shake a pair of dice at.

I'm still not clear why "" claims to be the 'official' site when appears to be "the" official site of the tourism bureau, but when booking you'll want to check rates at several sites and generally you'll be better off starting with for comparison shopping on prices. Then contact the hotels and other consolidators to see if you can land any special deals.

Here are some sites associated with

Celebrity Week In Business Las Vegas Life Las Vegas SUN Las Vegas Weekly Ralston/FlashLas Vegas Magazine Vegas Golfer VEGAS Magazine

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas Strip

Bill's Gambling Hall - formerly The Barbary Coast which was almost an iconic Las Vegas Strip property as it occupied one of the most prominent places on the strip at a major intersection.

Bill's is now a Harrah's property and although it does not have the luxury reputation of the Wynn or Bellagio it offers the comfortable and reasonably priced amenities of many of the moderate sized and moderate priced Las Vegas strip hotels:

If money *is* an object to you during your Las Vegas trip, you'll want to consider rooms at places like Bills, Imperial Palace, Sahara, Circus Circus, Stratosphere, Flamingo, Harrah's and others in the moderate price category where you'll have a large nice room for anywhere from $50 to $100. Many people like to splurge in Las Vegas since the world class accomodations here are not too expensive. For example rooms at the Bellagio, Wynn, or Palazzo are only about 200 per night and sometimes less with specials or mid-week. Always ask about special deals and do a little research before you book. Rooms during some conferences or over the weekend can cost *hundreds* more than the same room mid-week when many hotels have vacancies.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wynn Las Vegas

The Wynn, Las Vegas

The stunning curved monolith of the Wynn rises above the Wynn Golf Course located behind the Wynn. The Wynn is often considered Las Vegas' most exclusive resort venue, offering splendid lodging, dining, and shows. Even if you stay in more modest accomodations don't miss the elegant waterfall landscaping in the front of the Wynn just off Las Vegas Boulevard, especially at the entrance that is along the walkway to the Palazzo which is across the street and just south of the Wynn along Las Vegas Boulevard aka "The Las Vegas Strip" or "The Strip".

This hotel is named after Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn, who is also the inspiration behind the Bellagio Las Vegas, the splendid Bellagio Art Gallery, and who achieved great notoriety a few years ago for accidentally mauling one of his own Picassos - a painting that he had just agreed to sell for $139,000,000.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Shopping Las Vegas

Las Vegas offers visitors to the city one of the premier shopping venues in the world. Unfortunately for bargain hunters you won't necessarily find good prices in the beautiful and extravagant casino shops. However you will find some of the best window shopping in the world at places like Caesar's Forum Shops, Venetian Grand Canal Shops, and the huge Fashion Show Mall across from the Wynn Las Vegas.

Here is a small sample of places to shop in Las Vegas:
Las Vegas Outlet Center
Forum Shops At Ceasars
Grand Canal Shopping
Las Vegas Premium Outlets
Boulevard Mall
Fashion Show Mall
Meadows Mall
Fantastic Indoor Swapmeet Inc
Mirage Shops

For a lot more shopping venues in Las Vegas, see Las Vegas Shopping Google listings right HERE

Ballys Las Vegas with Paris Hotel's Eiffel Tower in background

Ballys Casino sits at what might be the most strategic spot along the Las Vegas Strip. There is a Monorail stop here as well as a pedestrian bridge over Las Vegas Boulevard. To the South is Paris Las Vegas with it's half size Eiffel Tower, across the street is Caesar's Palace and the Bellagio, and to the north is the Flamingo.

Ballys is at the intersection of Flamingo and the strip - one of the busiest areas in the city and pretty much rocking 24/7/365.

Jubilee, the big show at Ballys is considered an excellent show in the tradition of the old Las Vegas showgirl extravaganzas.

Las Vegas Strip Map

If you are heading to Las Vegas for the first time, or even if you know the place well, it's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Las Vegas Strip. My favorite map is from the Monorail and is a PDF file here

The Las Vegas Strip is almost always called "The Strip" in Las Vegas and refers to the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that is about 4 miles long. Mandalay Bay is the large resort at the south end of the strip, and the Stratosphere is at the North end. Note that the monorail route is from the MGM to the Sahara and you'll need to walk a fair distance to get to these two venues. Also note that the monorail does NOT follow the strip even though it serves strip destinations. The monorail rides from Hilton and Convention Center which are on Paradise, and then "behind" most of the Casinos. Always expect to walk a long way in Las Vegas unless you stay at the same casino, take Taxis, or spend your time downtown in the Fremont Street Experience area were the size of the casinos is much smaller and you can easily walk to several in a short time.

Retire in Las Vegas

Thinking of retiring in Las Vegas? With an excellent climate, low taxes, good community services, an excellent university, and reasonable home prices Las Vegas is home to many retirees.

Before retiring to any city you'll want to consider an extended vacation in the area. Communities take some time to understand and often the tourist view is not the same as a resident's view of the community.

For a review of Retirement Communities throughout the USA check out

Check out some of these retirement options:

Ardiente - Aventura Series Active Adult Neighborhood
Las Vegas, NV 89081
Centex Homes

Ardiente Ceilo Series Active Adult Neighborhood
Las Vegas, NV 89081
Centex Homes

Mariposa Place
Las Vegas, NV 89148
KB Home

Sierra Ranch - Hillcrest
North Las Vegas, NV 89031
KB Home

Solera at Anthem
Henderson, NV 89052
Del Webb

Solera at Stallion Mountain
Las Vegas, NV 89122
Del Webb

Sun City Aliante
North Las Vegas, NV 89084
Del Webb

Sun City Anthem
Henderson, NV 89052
Del Webb

Sun City Mesquite
Mesquite, NV 89034
Del Webb

The Villas at Solera
Henderson, NV 89044
Del Webb

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tao Nightclub Gift Shop, Venetian Hotel 274

India? No, it's the TAO Nightclub gift shop in the Venetian Hotel Las Vegas. TAO is one of the many "elite" clubs in Las Vegas associated with major hotels. Others on this list include PURE at Caesar's Palace, Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Orange at TI, RAIN, and several more. Check beforehand with clubs as they often have special nights for locals and performance schedules you may want to know about. For example PURE hosts the PussyCat Dolls show some nights.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bellagio and Caesar's Palace South Side from Bellagio Fountains Pool

Even if you are only in Las Vegas for a day, try to see the Bellagio Fountains if you've managed to miss them on previous trips or if this is your first time in Las Vegas. The fountain show is magnificent, especially at night.

The huge fountains pool - more like a small lake - stands directly in front of the Magnificent Bellagio Hotel. "Nearby" are Ceasar's Palace and Paris Las Vegas, although "near" in Las Vegas can mean a 15 minute walk as the properties are almost unsurpassed in their size and scale.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Woodstock Guitar at Hard Rock, Las Vegas

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is just off the strip in Las Vegas, and although it's not a "mega resort" Hard Rock has nice rooms, a very hip nightclub called "Body English", good food, and one of the world's best collections of legendary guitars. Pictured is from Woodstock. You'll also find Prince's stylish electrics, a Johnny Cash original, and many many more. Guitar and Rock fans won't want to miss these, which line the casino walls.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Venetian Performers, Las Vegas

Venetian Performers, Las Vegas
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
Las Vegas has several free live performances throughout the day at several of the resorts. My favorite is the opera at the Venetian, held several times throughout the day with live music and performers.

You'll also find great bands at night playing at many of the bars for only the cost of a drink, though these shows do not compare to the amazing headliner performances througout Las Vegas at all the major resorts. Cher, for example, will soon be at Caesar's Palace. Barry Manilow is at the Hilton, Cirque du Soliel has several performances at different venues, and there are dozens more.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Venetian

Venetian Las Vegas
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
One of Las Vegas' most popular venues, the Venetian offers the splendor of Italy, luxury suites, dozens of restaurants, the Sands convention center, and shows like the Blue Man Group.

Most notable about the Venetian Hotel and Casino is the canal which runs through the property, complete with Gondola rides and singing Gondoliers.

Don't miss the opera show held in the huge open city square near the center of the property.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bellagio Las Vegas

Bellagio Las Vegas
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
The Bellagio is a property owned by the group led by Steve Wynn who has his namesake property, Wynn Las Vegas, just down the strip. The Bellagio is beautiful inside and out, with very tasteful but extravagant decor, Cirque de Soliel's "O" show, many fine restaurants, a superb art gallery, and a wonderful and massive lobby display that changes with the season. The Bellagio is even home to the world's largest Chocolate Fountain (to left of the big lobby display). Even if you can't afford to stay here be sure to walk through this magnificent hotel, rivalled only by Wynn Las Vegas and some would say the Venetian / Palazzo Las Vegas properties which are located across from the Wynn.

Friday, February 8, 2008

TI Show, Las Vegas

TI Show, Las Vegas
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
Most nights TI (formerly Treasure Island) lights up the sky with a fantastic show featuring the Sirens of TI on one ship battling with a ship across the water in front of the mega resort casino along the Las Vegas Strip. Two shows nightly and be careful where you stand because they clear some of the bridge before the show for "VIPs". Check the signs in front of TI for showtimes. It's free, and one of the most spectacular free shows along the Las Vegas Strip which include the Mirage Volcano and the Bellagio Fountains.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Vegas Reflections

Vegas Reflections
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
Looking south along Las Vegas Boulevard "The Strip" from a footbridge. This reflection in the right is - I think - from Harrahs which is actually to the left.

Signs for Ballys and the huge Eiffel Tower (half the size of the real one) and illuminated balloon at Paris Las Vegas tower above the street in the background.

Although there is no "official" center of Las Vegas, the area along the Strip between the Wynn and the Bellagio a good candidate. Here you find many of the major resort casinos and an almost unending stream of foot and car traffic.

Always bring *comfortable shoes* to Las Vegas. Even if you are prepared to travel by Taxi, the Deuce Bus, and the metro whenever possible you will be walking a lot as the Casinos tend to route foot traffic to maximize their profit rather than your walking distance. If you are lost in a casino *ask* a staffer for directions - they'll generally give you the most accurate and fast route.