Should I rent a car in Las Vegas?

Old Aug 11th, 2004, 04:21 AM
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Should I rent a car in Las Vegas?

I am going to Las Vegas in September with my boyfriend for 4 days. We would like to see the Hoover Dam, should we sign up for a tour or rent a car to drive there?
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 05:10 AM
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I actually found myself with the same problem. I researched some of the Hoover tours available, and found out some of them would last 5-6 hours, by the time the bus would pick up and drop off all customers at their hotels. I didn't want to waste that kind of time, when I could drive and do it in maybe 3 hours or so.

So, I decided to rent a car, but just for one day. You really don't need one if you plan on being on the strip most of the time.

But, since you will only be there 4 days, you will need to make the most of your time.

So, I do recommend you get a car for one day so you can drive to Hoover Dam. Try to get there when the visitor tours start, before the tours arrive.

Also, since you have the car, you may also want to check out Red Rock Canyon, not far from the Strip, and also you may want to drive to see the Fremont Street Experience at night. I took a cab last year from the strip to Fremont, and it was $16 each way...so you'll save money there.

By the way, I found car rental to be fairly inexpensive, and many hotels have a pick-up center on site. Good luck.
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Elizabeth is correct..go the car route (assuming you are over 25) and just get one for the day. You should definately rent a car at whatever property you are staying at. That will save you airport surcharges.

There are some public transit options on the strip if you do not want to cab it or are trying to save money. The new monorail, buses (for fremont street).
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 07:34 AM
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I agree. Keep in mind that all hotels provide very convenient and free valet parking. Just give the valet a couple bucks when you pick up your car.
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 07:54 AM
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I agree rent the car for one day and visit the Dam if you feel like it, the Grand Canyon West Rim is not much further (another hour) and if you've never seen the canyon well.....it's worth the effort. Have fun.
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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Thank you for all of the information! It is very helpful!
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 05:06 AM
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To the poster who suggested visiting Hoover, then the West Rim of the Grand Canyon...it's really ONLY an hour further than Hoover???

I have never seen the Grand Canyon, so it would be worth it to make the extra hour trip from the Dam.

Do you happen to know the best route from Hoover Dam to take to get there?

Thanks so much!!!
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 08:34 AM
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I also have to add, renting cars in Vegas is extemely cheap. You could find a great deal for a compact car for abput $17 per day.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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Hi Elizabeth! The West Rim is a very well kept secret, but indeed worth the effort. Just follow Route 93 across the dam into Arizona. In about 15 - 20 minutes - Make a left when you see signs toward Dolan Springs, keep going thru Dolan Springs until you see signs at this point you want to take the road that does not go to Meadview. Enter the Hualpai Indian Reservation driving thru the Joshua tree forest. Follow the dirt road up thru the hills to the Quartermaster viewpoint. Please be sure and stop to pay the entrance fee at the visitor center, it is run by the Hualpai people as this part of the Grand Canyon is on the reservation. It's a nice little gift shop/snack bar too. From the parking lot you can drive to the Quartermaster Viewpoint where you'll be able to hike down over a bit all at your own risk. From Las Vegas the whole round trip should take 3 hours without stopping, which of course you will. I would also suggest the tour at the dam, it's very nice.

We like to avoid crowds and long lines
so we go as early as possible (leaving Vegas at 8 am, and doing the dam first). Just a note: The West Rim of the canyon is pretty remote. Restrooms are not very easy to come by, the dam, in Dolan Springs there is a general store and Critter Cafe, but you need to make a purchase to use the facilities. Also at the visitor center.

Sorry I don't know the route numbers but a decent map should work, as there aren't alot of roads out there.

Have fun and let me know how you made out!
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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Elizabeth27, although I haven't been there yet, I've been doing a lot of research here for our trip to Las Vegas, Sedona & the Grand Canyon in Sept, and from what I've read, you should be aware that the West Rim is not where you will see the spectacular views you've seen in pictures, those are at the South Rim, a much further drive. I can't speak from experience, but if you do a search on the West Rim, most people didn't feel it was worth the day trip available from Las Vegas.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 11:08 AM
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Does anyone know of a web site that has pictures of the West Rim? I couldn't find any.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 11:53 AM
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Susan: I have been to the Soth Rim and I respectfully disagree. The West Rim views are every bit as awesome. Although the tours from Las Vegas (Pink Jeep for one) take their tours out to the West Rim it's never been very crowded. It is true that it isn't as "developed" for tourists, but of course some of us prefer that when viewing something so natural.

There is a website, I'll try to locate it and if I can figure out how I will post some photos from our own collection.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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I'm a little confused by the idea of renting the car at your hotel to avoid the airport charges. I'm not sure what the current pick up fee is at the airport, but I didn't have any drop off airport fee yesterday. In any case I suspect you'll spend more for a taxi to and from your hotel than the airport fees would be.

One of the greatest (and last) savings deals in Las Vegas is the free parking, which really does make having a rental car a viable option.
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Old Aug 12th, 2004, 03:17 PM
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My experience in Vegas has always been that it costs more to rent a car at the hotel instead of the airport (even with surcharges, etc., you're paying more for convenience.) However, it normally doesn't cost more to drop the car off at the hotel versus the airport (even if you originally picked it up at the airport.) But ultimately what works best depends on when you need the car. If you need to go out of your way and taxi back to the airport (rather than picking it up on arrival), then the cost difference might be negligible.
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Old Aug 13th, 2004, 01:44 PM
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I would rent the car. Also, you can drive to the dam and stop in boulder City which has some nice tourist stores if that is your thing. There is also a casino on the way.

On the way back to Las Vegas you could stop in Henderson and visit Green Valley Ranch casino for lunch and visit the following factory tours:

Cranberry World West which is located at 1301 American Pacific Drive, near U.S. 95, Lake Mead Drive in Henderson.

Ethel M. Chocolates on the corner of Sunset and Mountain Vista, (702) 433-2500
Ron Lee's World of Clowns, 330 Carousel Parkway, (702) 434-3920.

I would agree the car comes in handy if you want to visit downtown.


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Old Aug 13th, 2004, 01:51 PM
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FYI - regarding valet parking - it can be a real pain nowadays. You know, it used to be that it was always available everywhere, but now that Vegas is so popular, we've found that many hotels are now always posting "valet full - guests only" signs on Saturday night (the busiest night of course). So, keep in mind, if you're going to a hotel valet and you're not staying there, you may be SOL and have to do self-parking.
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 07:01 PM
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If its your first time in LV I would recommend renting a car, it allows you to get away from the strip and see more of the city and surrounding areas. If you're not from the southwest you should enjoy the desert scenery. The Red Rocks state park (which is only 30 minutes from the strip) has a great scenic drive and is a dramatic change from the hotels and casinos. Having a car gives you the opportunity to see and do much more in and around LV.
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