As the weather is bad in lots of places many look to Las Vegas to get some sun and enjoy the swimming pools and, pool parties. Lots of resorts have their swimming pools still closed but as allowed capacity has increased in Las Vegas many have reopened. Indoor clubs...
As the weather is bad in lots of places many look to Las Vegas to get some sun and enjoy the swimming pools and, pool parties. Lots of resorts have their swimming pools still closed but as allowed capacity has increased in Las Vegas many have reopened.
Indoor clubs with people are crowded in to an indoor space are still not allowed but many pools with their day clubs such as the Encore Beach Club. Wet Republic at MGM Grand or the Marquee at the Cosmopolitan are open albeit with limited capacity.
Over the next few weeks likely more will open especially since we have seen a huge jump in traffic to Las Vegas as we have since the raising of capacity limits.
You see the water vendors up and down the Strip but especially on the overpasses; Usually they have an ice chest full of bottles of water with ice to keep them cool.
The vendors used to say water for a dollar but that stopped for a while as the county clamped down on them; During that time they asked for donations for the water but now they are back asking for a dollar a bottle.
The rumor was that the water vendors were refilling used water discarded bottles with tap water and selling them. Only once did I suspect that happening when a water vendor had numerous different brands of water bottles in the cooler and insisted to people on him keeping the cap.
I think generally this doesn’t happen because the mark up from buying a 24 pack of water for $3 or $4 then reselling it for a $1 a bottle is too huge.
Even though I think most of the time you are not getting tap water or risking you health I would skip the sidewalk water vendors.
Up and down the Strip are numerous CVS or Walgreens seemingly every block which sell bottled water often for a $1 or a little more. Buying from one of these drug stores you don’t have to worry about what you are buying also many small stores on the Strip sell $1 water as a way to get people in to their stores.
The various costume characters started on the Strip and then eventually made it Downtown albeit on a lesser scale. These costumes characters such as Batman, Superman, Elmo, Big Bird etc all beckon the tourists over for a picture.
What some tourists especially some foreign tourists don’t understand is this people don’t work for the city or resorts and expect a tip for the picture. A picture with your favorite character at first cost a buck or too now $5 seems the norm but I have heard people asking for up to $20 for a single picture.
I don’t miss grudge anyone making a living especially wearing a hot sweaty costume on the streets of Las Vegas where the temperatures can soar. My issue mainly is most not all are not upfront about the actual cost per picture which leads to drama which isn’t good for the image of Las Vegas.
If you are a tourist and try to take a picture of their costume they will turn away, get angry at you or demand money from you. Many ask why they are not banned but like the club entry guys, girls to your room people and time share hawkers it’s on the public sidewalk so it’s free speech.
If you want a picture with a costume character or person in a sexy outfit it’s you choice to do it but expect to tip them after. I would ask them how much up front before you take the picture so no surprises after.
What Are Uber and Lyft?
By now most people are familiar with Uber and Lyft the popular location based mobile apps that link passengers to ride share drivers. If you are not familiar you download the app of choice and set up an account with a credit card attached.
Once your account is set up you can see available type of vehicle you want to pick you up then you select your pickup location and destination. Ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are popular with riders because of the technology and the fact they are generally lower priced than taxis.
Surge pricing is times when the base price of these services goes up because of an event or extra demand. An example of a event in Las Vegas that can cause surge pricing is during the annual Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Speedway.
Mc Carren Airport Pick Up Locations
When you arrive at the airport and want to use Uber or Lyft their are locations set aside for the services; At Terminal One the location is at Level 2M and at Terminal 3 its at Level V which is the valet area.
Returning To The Airport
Many of the big Strip resorts have signage directing you to the ride share pick up areas often near the taxis stands. Some properties are huge if you cannot see the location of the pick up areas a hotel employee will point you in the right direction. Once you get to the airport the Uber and Lyft drivers can drop you off at the departing flights curb.
I get asked often if visiting downtown Las Vegas is safe, well the short answer is generally yes. I presume when people ask they mean mainly . talking about the tourist areas;
Let’s start with Fremont Street Experience area under the canopy, this area is heavily traveled and has lots of private security, police presence as well as often casino security near their entrances. The area not under the canopy to the Downtown Grand from Fremont Street is also well traveled with security as is Fremont East down to the El Cortez and Container Park.
Outside these areas such as walking over to the California, Main Street Station or even Gold Spike i have never had an issue and i have been visiting Downtown Las Vegas regularly since 1984. I have also walked most of Downtown without an issue but use common sense like you would if you are traveling or closer to home.
Generally downtown Las Vegas is very safe but you have to use a little common sense just like you would in your own town. Below are a few safety tips.
- Be aware of your surroundings with people and things around you
- Don’t get distracted by music or your cell phone
- Don’t flash money around
- Stay in well lit and traveled areas
- Groups are always better than traveling solo
Starting early next year the practice of long hauling by some taxi drivers could be over as a flat rate charge from McCarren Airport goes in to effect. Long hauling is the practice of using the tunnel and interstate between the airport and the Strip instead of quicker surface streets.
The five member Nevada Taxicab Authority approved the flat rate charges with the new fare structure to officially go in to effect January 1st 2020. The proposed one way fares are as follows
Zone 1- $19 from Sunset Road north to Tropicana (Mandalay Bay and Luxor area)
Zone 2- $23 from Tropicana Avenue north to Flamingo Road (Bellagio and Aria area)
Zone 3- $27 from Flamingo Road north to Stratosphere Hotel (Sahara and Stratosphere area)
At Streetside 702 i will always try to find you the best deals in Las Vegas including food deals; I travel to Las Vegas often and, i’m always looking for the best deals mainly because i’m cheap i mean frugal either way i will share them with you.
Steak dinner specials are fairly easy to find in Las Vegas but they are often either late night or only between certain hours in the evenings where they get big crowds and waits. The off Strip Silver Sevens Hotel & Casino offers a $12.99 steak dinner for lunch and dinner at its 175 seat coffee shop called the Sterling Silver Spoon Cafe.
This special has been running a long time and features an 8 oz sirloin steak, garlic buttered mash potatoes, seasonal vegetables, a house salad and, ice cream. The steak maybe not be the best you ever had but its a good value and includes mashed potatoes which is a plus for me as these deals often include rice.
The $12.99 price is for members of its A Play players club which is free to join if you are 21 and older, otherwise the price is $16.99.
The city of Las Vegas along with the local bus company RTC and Keolis Transit have got together to provide a free shuttle in Downtown Las Vegas. The service is called the Downtown Loop and has seven stops around the downtown area.
The shuttle service is operated with 19 passenger vans that have a wheelchair lift. The service runs every 20 to 30 minutes depending on traffic.
Monday to Thursday 11:30 am to 8:30 pm
Friday and Saturday 3 pm to Midnight
Sunday 10am to 7 pm
Sometimes you arrive at you Las Vegas resort hotel several hours before check in with you bags or the day of leaving you have several hours between check out and your flight; You don’t want to carry your bags around with you so what do you do with them?
One good option is to go to your hotels bell hop desk and drop off your bags so they can store your bags until needed. If you are a hotel guest they don’t charge you for this service although they may ask if you are staying at the property although it is customary to tip the bell hops for this it’s up to you but $1 a bag would be fair. The bell hops will tag your bags and then generally give you a claim ticket for picking the bags up.
For many years the buffets in Las Vegas with their seemly endless choice of food were seen by the resorts as loss leaders with their low prices just like the cheap rooms and inexpensive shows to get you to stay at the property and gamble in the casino.
This changed with all the celebrity chef restaurants starting to open in Las Vegas and the resort companies seeing the many things such as buffets as potential profit centers instead of a loss making service way to draw gamblers. The Cosmopolitan when it opened was a real game changer with its Wicked Spoon buffet that offered top quality food in small portions and became very popular so other higher end resorts decided to up there game too with more expensive items.
If its your first time visiting Las Vegas and your budget allows i would go to one higher end buffets and experience one of the best buffets at resorts such as Cosmopolitan, Caesar’s Palace, Bellagio or Wynn just to name a few. But if you want to save money and not blow your budget at when eating at buffets there is ways to save money.
One way to save money is to either eat early in the day as usually breakfast is less expensive than lunch and lunch is less expensive than dinner. Some people also like to arrive at the tail end of one sitting so they can get items off the next sitting without paying for it; Many buffets close down usually an hour while they change from breakfast to lunch and the same from lunch to dinner, some items may not be available as they switch but it’s one way to get items off the next meal for no extra charge.
Another option is to avoid buffets on dinner theme nights if you are not going to partake in the item that’s part of the theme, examples of are prime rib night, lobster night, seafood feast etc; If you are not going to have prime rib for example on prime rib night you are paying a higher price than normal for dinner for a item you aren’t going to eat anyways.
Less Expensive Hotel:
Most often the nicer the hotel the more expensive the buffet is but it’s also more likely they will have better quality and wider selection of food items available. If you are looking for less expensive options on the Strip then hotels such as the Luxor, Excalibur, Flamingo, Harrahs or even the Stratosphere are good options.
Caesars Buffet Of Buffets:
The Buffet of Buffets deal has been around for many years and i remember when it first started it was $19.99 but things have changed as the price now is considerably higher. The way the deal works is you pay the fee and then can eat as much as you want at five Caesars Entertainment buffets for 24 hours from when you pay.
Pricing is generally $10 higher if you are not a Caesars Reward member but its free to sign up and, you must be 21. The weekday regular price for Caesars Reward members is $59.99 and the weekend price is $69.99. If you want to add on Caesar’s Palace popular and expansive Bacchanal Buffet that is an add on starting at $25.
The question you might be asking does the Buffet of Buffets deal save you money that kind of depends on how you use it but to get your moneys worth you have to get three meals out of it which can be done with a little planing.
Near Strip Properties:
Another option is to head off Strip as prices are generally lower although there are several properties not too far off the Strip that can save you money. The Gold Coast, Palms and Rio are in a cluster a block off the Strip although if you walk you do have to navigate a busy freeway entrance and i wouldn’t advise walking when the temperatures are high. A free option to get to them is the Boyds shuttle that runs from the Strip to Gold Coast and another good choice the Orleans which is further off Strip.
The Palace Station which has recently gone through a refurbishment is another great option as thats also a long block from the Strip, i wouldn’t walk to this one its a long walk by a busy street but this buffet is also open at present 24 hours a day i would check current times before you visit.
If you are heading Downtown anyways the three main buffets there are going to be generally less expensive than the strip with generally the Fremont the least expensive and then the Golden Nugget and Main Street Station a little more expensive.
Having a players card will often get you a discount on a buffet or you may get a bigger discount depending on your players card level or by trading in points. Off Strip or locals casinos are more likely to give you discounts with your players club but by using it when you often pay you often add to your points to use for comps.
Generally as the prices on Las Vegas buffets have gone up you see less and less discounts appear in the free coupon books and magazines; This being said it doesn’t mean you won’t find one as 2 for 1 buffets deals do appear for example so still worth checking out.