Las Vegas- weekend of May 12

May 9th, 2007, 03:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 51
Las Vegas- weekend of May 12

Hello all,
Just reserved air and hotel for this weeekend to Vegas. This will be our first trip. We are staying at Bill's Gambling Hall and Saloon. Had a few quick questions and was wondering if fellow fodorites could help.

1. Considering where we are staying, do we need to rent a car? We are not planning to do Grand Canyon and will be spending all our time at Vegas.

2. If you had to pick one show for people who have never been to any show, which one would it be? I know its a lil generic, but have no idea on this one.

3. Where do the locals go for gambling. I have heard good things about gold coast. Am looking for tables with low entry levels.

4. Any suggested buffets which are really special?

As always, really appreciate your help.

aravind is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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No, you will not need a car. You're right at center strip, so you can walk almost anywhere and taxi or monorail everywhere else.

What kind of shows do you like? Some people love Cirque De Soleil, and others like comedians. BIG difference!

Low-limit tables are hard to find on weekends, even at the "locals" casinos which are off-strip, such as the Station properties. The nearest one is the Palace Station, which is on Sahara and unfortunately will be about a $15 cab ride. If that is not worth it to you, then try the Casino Royale or Imperial Palace. Also, a trip to downtown will be fun, and the tabels there are lower on weekends.

Buffets are mostly just OK, unless you're willing to pay $$ for Bellagio or Bally's Sterling Brunch. Rio has a good seafood buffet.
ChristieP is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 04:14 PM
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Thanks a ton for your reply.
What would be 2 or 3 really good comedy shows?

Which restaurants would you suggest, if we dont consider buffets?

Thanks again for your info
aravind is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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Jay Leno will be in town that weekend. I saw him in 2004 and he was GREAT!! Tickets are not cheap...

Regular shows:
Improv at Harrah's
Comedy Stop at Tropicana
Second City at Flamingo
Most all of these can be bought for half price at the 2 discount ticket places. One is in the Coke bottle across from MGM, and the other is next to the Harley Cafe down from Aladdin.

As for places to eat, there are SO MANY! Honestly, look on at what places are in hotels near you. I also like Battista's Hole in the Wall, which is behind Bill's on a strip mall on Audrie. Good Italian and excellent atmosphere!
ChristieP is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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There may still be a shuttle from Bill's (it was Barbary Coast) to the Gold Coast which has good food values. Yes Cheapo Vegas is a good resource, and see if Ellis Island on Flamingo is still there. They had good food bargains. I like Chipotle next to Harrah's for a quick burrito/ tacos.
trippinkpj is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 07:06 PM
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Here's my 2 cents.

1.No, you will not need a car.
2.Zumanity! (It's cheaper than most cirque shows and it is absolutely a hoot!)
3. No idea, sorry, I don't gamble
4.Paris has a great breakfast buffet and we had seafood buffet at Rio. The alaskan king crabs were just sooooo tasty!
maria_so is offline  
May 9th, 2007, 07:08 PM
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Also, I really liked Paris' 24 hour cafe and the creperie there.
trippinkpj is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 01:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Personally, I like the Vegas intensive, 90 min versions of Broadway hits. The most recent one I've seen was the producers at Paris. Good show, good $60 deal. Got the coupon at
SomeDude is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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As the others have said, no, you don't need to rent a car. There are LOTS of places to eat near your hotel. Actually, my sister and I had the prime rib special in Bill's a few weeks ago and it wasn't bad for the price. As one poster referred to Ellis Island - yes, it is still there - just a walk up Flamingo. Also, the Tuscany and Terrible's are in that same area - both have less expensive food and gambling choices than you'll find on the Strip. Definitely go to Bautista's Hole in the Wall between Bills & the Flamingo - great food and atmosphere.

As far as shows - Danny Gans is very entertaining, but pricey. The Producer's at Paris and Mama Mia at NYNY get good reviews. There's an afternoon show in the showroom at the Flamingo that's really good - Society of Seven. They are multi-talented and put on a terrific show - funny, good music, they have a really good female vocalist with them as well - this show runs about $50-something per person which is pretty good for anything on the Strip.

To get around, hop on one of the duece buses - you can get an all-day (24 hr) pass which is a better deal if you'll be using it a lot. You can also catch the monorail if you want - it's kind of fun and although it's more expensive than the bus, you're only in Las Vegas for a weekend. The monorail runs from the MGM to the Hilton and has quite a few stops in between. Yes, many of the stops require you to walk through the different hotels but if you've never been here before that's one way to see the different casinos. If you decide to take the monorail on a mini-tour to see the different casinos on it's route (and those next to the various stops) - get one of the daily passes so you don't have to keep paying everytime you get on and off as that gets pretty expesnive.

Be sure to see the Bellagio fountains - I prefer it at night, but they're beautiful any time. There's a (pricey) bar inside Bellagio - the Fontana - if you can score a patio table it's a really nice place to have a drink, especially in the evenings - you get to see the fountains and there's usually live music in the Fontana that you can hear on the patio.

If you get to Paris - be sure to try the creperie as previously mentioned, also there is a REALLY good bakery next to the creperie - you can buy yummy treats to take back to your room for later. The cafe in Paris has a good breakfast menu too (served 24 hrs) - I love their omelettes and always substitute (for more $ of course) a chocolate croissant for toast.

Have a good time and remember my golden rule of gambling - NEVER, EVER play Mega Bucks (or any other slot machine with a huge progressive jackpot) without putting in the "max bet" - if the "big one" hits and the max bet is not there you will not win the big bucks. Lots of folks learn the hardway and it would break my heart to see the jackpot hit and then realize I only had one or two bucks in there instead of the three to load it. Just a word to the wise ...
bashfulLV is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 08:41 AM
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I forgot to mention that there is a (free) tram between Excalibur-Luxor-Mandala Bay. If you were to take either the bus or the monorail (or your two feet) to that intersection (Tropicana and LV Blvd), you could ride the tram to see these 3 casinos. The Tropicana is right across from the Excalibur - it is one of the oldest casinos left on the Strip and it's fun to walk through and see how it used to be - also has some interesting photos on the hallway walls.

There is also a free tram that goes between Treasure Island and the Mirage. If you decide to go see the Sirens show in front of Treasure Island, be really mindful of your personal belongings as this place gets REALLY crowded and is a pick-pocket's paradise. Everyone is so jammed in there (think sardines in a can) and concentrating on the show, they don't even notice they've been ripped off until later. Be sure to be mindful of your personal belongings all over Las Vegas because unfortunately there are those unsavory characters who prey on unsuspecting tourists. As long as you use common sense you will have a great time.
bashfulLV is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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I have to 2nd the vote for Danny Gans. Yes, it will run into $100's, but it truely was a great evening of entertainment. The Cirque shows are also very unique and appealing for a wonderful evening of entertainment. Inside the Mirage you have a choice of Love or Danny Gans and the Japonais or Carnegie Deli for dinner and a show. The Japonais is more upscale and the deli is just a riduculous amount of food. But hey, your on vaca and why not! The gambling can get pricey so look for off strip casinos or the small Irish place next to the Denny's and the Venitian. Fun, but very crowded. As far as a car or not WALK! that is part of the fun in Vegas is to see and be seen on the strip, especially with your central location.
SrFlojo is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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We are staying at Bills in a couple of weeks. I would love for you to update this message board when you return. My hubby and will be first timers in Vegas and are clueless of where to go and what to do. I hope Bills is nice.
SDP is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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If your looking for some good show packages, take a look at this site called they have great show packages and also have tons of comps you can receive when watching these shows. take a look
jacktah is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 03:54 PM
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On, no, my mistake, he posted 2nd time!

FainaAgain is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 03:56 PM
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Jack - as a new poster to Fodor's you were supposed to read the rule which prohibit advertising and commercial postings.

2 posts about that site seems to indicate you work for them or have a vested interest.
DebitNM is offline  
May 11th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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Thanks a ton all of you for your helpful tips and suggestions.
I will post a trip report once I am back.
Thanks again
aravind is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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I vote for Danny Gans as well. Yes, it is expensive - but to me it was well worth it. I have seen Blueman Group (we love it), 3 of the Circ shows.. Ka (pass - it was very expensive and none of us enjoyed it), Mystere, and Love - have also seen Lance Burton (years ago though)... and Phantom, I vote 100% for Danny Gans - we have gone two times and I would go again. I have also recommended it to friends and famiy visiting vegas and they all loved him.
dawnnoelm is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 09:39 PM
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Thanks to all who replied. We just returned from Vegas this Monday. Had a fun time. Though it was a bummer that we blew all our money set aside for gambling .

We stayed all the time at Vegas and one weekend was not nearly enough time. We stayed at Bill's Gambling hall and used the monorail pass. We never felt the need for a car.

Bill's had a character of its own. It was very different from the huge hotels/casinos around it and we liked it that way. The tables were relatively low limits. We also decided to go for Ka from cirque at MGM grand.

One piece of advice ,the coke bottle place which sells 2 for 1 ticks doesnt sell tickets for either Ka or Mystere. It sells tickets for O or love. So please plan accordingly.

We loved the atmosphere at the Venetian followed by Paris. The creperie at Paris deserves its rich reviews. The food was sumptuous.

In hindsight, we would probably take the deuce bus pass rather than the monorail pass as monorail involves a whole lota walking. My first Vegas trip was really awesome and it sure is a test of willpower to stop gambling. This, despite the fact that I lost money.

Anyone has any specific questions for their trip, please mail me at [email protected]. Thanks again to all the fodorites who passed on the information.

aravind is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Bill's Gambling Hall. We are staying there next week and cannot wait for our vacation!
SDP is offline  

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