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First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

Statesville, North...
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First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

Hubby & I have decided to go to Vegas for our anniversary. We have never been before and don't know what to expect, where to stay, what's included in our stay, etc.

We would like to go to the grand canyon and the dam too.

I've heard some hotels/resorts offer free entertainment or food but I really don't know.

Any advice would be very appreciated.

Thank you!

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1. Re: First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

Let's start with dates and budget; that is the most important factor in narrowing down the choice of hotels. I would definitely suggest staying on the Strip for a first visit, in one of the casino resorts, centrally located.

What would you like to do? Everything, probably, but what's most important? Fine dining, gambling, shows, pool, sightseeing, booze, etc?

Depending on how long you are staying, you might want to save the Grand Canyon for another visit, as it's best thought of as an overnight trip from Las Vegas (5 hr drive each way).

Hoover Dam is an easy 1/2 day trip from the Strip.

You should probably hit the local library and get a recent edition of a Las Vegas guidebook (I like the Unofficial Guide, but the Frommers or Fodors are good too); you sound like you're starting from scratch, and this will give you an overview of what there is here. Unlike some (most?) other resort destinations, there is a LOT of stuff going on in Las Vegas!

There is entertainment ranging from free to $250/ticket, and food from McDonalds up to $500/person. One of the great things about Las Vegas is you can have a good time on almost any budget, although like most places the more you can afford to spend the better time you'll have...

Good luck! The planning is a big part of the fun and I'm jealous of you and your first visit!

Louisville, Kentucky
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2. Re: First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

Budget and dates are important to know for appropriate recommendations. I concur a great place to start is any number of the Vegas Guidebooks - I like the Unofficial Guide and Vegas for Dummies. You can do GC if your trip is long enough, but HD will be much better if you are only going for a few days.

Also, I noted in your profile that you are a middle of the road traveler and vacations are all about the kids. Is this a family celebration or are you getting away just for the 2 of you (do you remember how, lol?!?).

calleefoneeya
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3. Re: First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

Generally speaking, unless you book some sort of special package, food is not included in your hotel cost. I sometimes see deals that include a resort credit of $50 or $75 for food, or maybe a couple of buffets, a golf or spa deal, a couple of cocktails etc. But that isn't the rule, especially on the strip. Same with free "entertainment." That's generally going to be show tickets as part of some hotel package maybe. Other than a few hotels that have little free shows on the casino floor (ike the Rio--an offstrip property), I don't think any hotel offers free "entertainment" as a matter of course. Usually, your hotel just buys you accommodation, and everything else is separate unless you buy a package that might include Air, Hotel and maybe a car, resort credit, coupon book, or other amenity. Here, we usually recommend that you price out a vacation booking hotel, car, air separately before committing to a package. Often times it's cheaper, and sometimes more flexible to your needs that way.

It really would help to know your budget and how long you plan to stay in order to assist you in narrowing down hotel choices. For a first timer, most of the time folks here recommend that you pick a hotel somewhere near the center of the strip so you have easy walking access to all of the fancy impressive resorts and sites. But you do pay more for that location, or get less for your dollar as the case may be than you might at a hotel less centrally located.

Statesville, North...
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4. Re: First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

Yes, just me and the hubby for 3 nights in mid August. Our airline tickets look like they're going to suck up a lot of our budget but we're not big gamblers. Mostly we chose to go to Vegas bc neither of us have been before.

Budget wise, I'd say we have 800-1000 to spend on accommodations, food, entertainment. If the GC is that far, we will skip it and visit there some other time.

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5. Re: First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

Mid-August doesn't! If you go to any hotel's site and look at the rate calendar you will probably find 20 different rates for the 31 days in August. And you will note that every single Friday and Saturday costs a lot more, sometimes 2-3 time as much.

What are your EXACT dates? AND will you be flexible if you can get a better hotel or room by changing dates?

Round Rock, Texas
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6. Re: First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

does the $800-1000 for 3 night include your gambling budget?

what sorts of entertainment do you want? what interests you? what are your priorities? what kind of dining are you looking for? will you be there on a weekend or during the week?

Statesville, North...
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7. Re: First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

We plan to fly out Tuesday morning 8/14 and fly home Friday afternoon 8/17.

calleefoneeya
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8. Re: First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

For only three nights, doing GC and Hoover Dam will eat up a big hunk of your vacation time. With that budget and amount of time, I personally would postpone the GC visit. If you can, try to schedule midweek. If you must stay on a weekend, then look at maybe Harrah's Flamingo, possibly Planet Hollywood for central locales that wouldn't be too expensive. Midweek, you might be able to get some deals at Mirage that would work for you. Food cost will vary widely. But there are affordable options on the strip too if you don't mind some coffee shop/cafe, or sandwich or other less expensive meals.

Louisville, Kentucky
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9. Re: First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

If you can stay Sun-Trs, your hotel budget will go a longer way than for a Fri/Sat. August means you have to walk in 100+ heat so I would opt for mid-priced properties in the center strip (Ballys, Paris, Flamingo) or south strip (MGM, Tropicana, NYNY). You should be able to get something for less than $100/night regardless of resort fees.

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Fun online guide with reviews, advice, and discounts: http://www.vegastripping.com/

Hotel deal sites: http://www.smartervegas.com/hotels.aspx

www.earlyvegas.com/promo_codes.html…

Edited: 05 July 2012, 22:28
Round Rock, Texas
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10. Re: First timers. Lots of ??'s. HELP!!

that looks like a pretty cheap week to go. i've found planet hollywood, harrah's, and Bally's for under $100 a night and mirage or aria or mandalay bay for under $150.