Thursday, September 4, 2008

AARP - Las Vegas on $50 a day

AARP has a one page article about Las Vegas on a budget called "Viva Las Value" and written by the good folks at

Some of the recommendations listed there are to take the airport shuttle to your hotel, which at $6 beats a taxi or limo. They also recommend the $5 day pass on the Deuce, a bus that runs up and down the Las Vegas Strip all day and night. This is good advice because no matter how much you plan expect to walk a LOT in Las Vegas. The buildings are huge on a scale pretty much unknown outside of Las Vegas and simply walking from one end of the MGM to the other will take you 5-15 minutes even if you don't get lost. Getting lost in the Casinos is easy as the signage is designed to some extent to take you around via the slots and other distractions. If you want good directions it is best to ask an employee rather than look for signs.

Food advice from the article include all you can eat Breakfast at the Mirage's "Cravings" with some delicious selections including crab cakes and eggs benedict. They also note Main Street Station downtown as a good cheap buffet.

Cheap attractions? Forum shops live sculptures every 2 hours, the Flamingo's flamingos and wildlife habitat, the Bellagio Conservatory, and (my favorite) TI's Sirens of TI free show outside of TI right along the strip. Get there at least 15-30 minutes early for a better view. and be careful not to stand in the "VIP" area that gets cleared before each show for VIPs. The shows are nightly and the current times are 8:30pm, 10pm, 11:30pm Sirens of TI Official Website

They also recommend the Fremont Street Experience (ride the Deuce to get to the downtown Las Vegas which is about 3 miles from the strip).

I would add that the downtown area offers great hotel bargains and fun "old style vegas" strolling experiences, though you should not expect to find anything like the glamour of the splendid lobbies and hallways of the Bellagio, Venetian, Wynn, or most of the jaw droppingly extravagant Las Vegas strip hotels.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton ... ends today.

After a ten year run and some three million visitors, the attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton is closing. Rather than a lack of popularity, it appears the closure is the result of contractual term challenges between the Las Vegas Hilton and Cedar Point which owned the show.

The Star Trek Experience offered interactive rides simulating space travel and adventure, the themed restaurant Quark's, and more. The Hilton has not announced what will replace this attraction, one of the most notable themed attractions in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Hilton is a major off strip hotel that is adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center (though don't think you are right next door in the usual sense because walking from the Hilton rooms to the Convention Center via the skyway or below via sidewalks is a walk of about 10 minutes even at a fairly brisk pace. The Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the world's largest facilities and even getting from one end to the other is quite a hike.

Here's the Star Trek Experience Press Release, closing the show effective today:
DATE: Monday, June 30, 2008
Las Vegas - Star Trek: The Experience, Las Vegas’ premier interactive attraction will
conclude its historic 11 year run at the Las Vegas Hilton on September 1, 2008.
Since 1998, millions of guests have gone boldly into the 24th century to battle Klingons,
Borg, and other hostile aliens. The original complex featured the Klingon Encounter, an
interactive adventure and ride. In 2004 Borg Invasion 4-D was introduced and the Secrets
Unveiled Backstage Tour was unveiled in 2005, making Star Trek: the Experience the
stomping grounds for fans around the galaxy.
Asked if there is any final transmission he’d like to convey from the Enterprise bridge,
Chad Boutte, Operations Manager and Director of Marketing said “Hailing frequencies
open. We’d like to thank all the fans and friends of Star Trek, whose constant and
amazing support we’ve enjoyed throughout our tenure at the Las Vegas Hilton. As we
boldly go into the futures that await, know that we take your love of Star Trek: The
Experience with us. We share the memories of time spent in the most unique place in the
Galaxy, and we carry those memories into our futures with us. Live long, and prosper.
Hailing frequencies closed.”
A digital media kit is available upon request.