One hundred years after establishing its first Hotel in 1906, the face of Las Vegas continues to evolve even until today. If you’ve been to Las Vegas last year you will surely find something different this year.  Two major differences from my last Las Vegas blog is the completion of Encore beside Wynn and Palazzo beside the Venetian. The Vadara, across MGM Grand beside Bellagio,  is under construction and will complete in the next couple of years. This complex features luxury private apartments as well as hotels with a mono-rail interconnecting the buildings located at the heart of Vegas.

 

Las Vegas Strip MoteCarlo, Vadara, MGM Grand

Las Vegas Strip MoteCarlo, Vadara, MGM Grand

Aside from seeing the new construction and changes in Las Vegas, I’ll talk about what’s there to see and do. If you’re into Poker, this city is the melting pot for poker players. Tournaments are hosted in every hotel on the strip and downtown. If you’re not a poker player but love to watch Poker on TV, you’ll probably run into the taping of The World Poker Series during fall or Head’s up poker tournament during spring.  It’s free to view the tapings and if you’re line up early, you might be able to get a seat on the stage where you’ll be offered freebies from the sponsors or end up being on TV.  Be sure to bring your favorite poker artifact because you can get signatures from great poker players like Daniel Negreanu, Phil Helmut, Phil Ivey, Doyle Bronson, Gus Hansen, Joe Cada “The kid”,  Antonio Esfandiari  “The Magician”, Vanessa Russo,  Huck Seed as well as poker show hosts like Leeann Tweeden. Aside from famous poker players and show hosts, I’ve also seen a lot of celebrities in these events like Jay Z. If you are lucky you might run into Alex Rodgriguez and CC Sebatsian in Vegas. One baseball player you’ll likely run into if you are at the Forum Shops at the Ceasar’s is Pete Rose giving autographs one of the sports memorabilia stores.

2009 World Series of Poker Tournament

2009 World Series of Poker Tournament

Las Vegas offers a pretty good shopping experience because it caterers to a wide range of audience all within the Strip. From Ferarri dealer at the Wynn to Rolex watches and Patek Philipps, limited edition Judith Libber bags, sun glasses with major blings. In Palazzo, you will find unique stores like the rare book bookstore selling the original Lewis and Clark journal to original letters from George Washington.  Across Venetian, is the Fashion Show Mall.  The Las Vegas Premium Outlet is around a $15 – $20 cab ride away. If you are into UFC, there is a UFC memorabilia store at Mandalay Bay. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out Minus 5 Degrees Bar. This is a bar all made out of ice from the chairs to the bar table. It opens at 10:00 p.m.

 

Mandalay Bay is one of the older hotels in the Vegas Strip but a lot of the older hotels in this city have kept up pretty well with the newer competition. The hotel has nice shops and monorails connecting the Luxor and Excalibur.  Their room rates are a lot cheaper.

 

Down Town Las Vegas, Fremont Street and Golden Nugget Shark Tank

Down Town Las Vegas, Fremont Street and Golden Nugget Shark Tank

If you are really looking for deals, check out downtown Las Vegas, the original Vegas Strip. You can get a room for around $25 per night in the area. You’ll also find a lot of great deals like $3 margaritas, $11.99 steak and lobster, $2 drinks and the list goes on. There is a pedestrian road called Fremont Street Experience interconnecting the downtown hotels.  If you stop by Golden Nugget, you can see the world’s largest shark tank at the pool area. Stop by the first hotel in Las Vegas, The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, it still has the double swing wooden doors and old pictures of Las Vegas. The hotel has the very first telephone in the area with the number 1. During 1959, they were the first to server 50cents shrimp cocktails. Due to inflation, it’s currently $1.99 but with bigger shrimp and still the best deal in Vegas.

To get to downtown Las Vegas, you can take the Deuce Bus from the strip. It’s $3.00 per ride or $7.00 for a 24 hour pass. The bus runs pretty frequently and a good way to see the strip if you are tired of walking  :)

Hope this was helpful and happy traveling!