Vegas! Showgirls. Buffets. Wayne Newton. Gold diggers. Casinos the size of cities. Hookers. Omaha family vacations. Red Rocks Canyon. The even bigger canyon between that stripper’s enormous fake boobs. Cirque de Soleil. Free drinks. More free drinks. Hot foreign tourists. And money. Lots and lots and lots of money.
What can I say about this place that has not already been said? It is an ever changing city that is different each time you return but also hazily familiar. From the first time Charlie and I went there ten years ago (driving straight through the night from Denver) to today things have changed a lot.
For us, Vegas is good only for a few days. After that is overkill. The first 24 hours in Vegas are awesome. It’s fun fun fun and you can do and have whatever you want. And we do. But it starts to add up quickly. Mix our Fear and Loathing drug suitcase, constant partying, marathon gambling sessions, questionable stripper/hooker experiences, gorging at the buffets and the desert heat and we turn into Vegas Zombies somewhere around hour 36. We always try to soldier through but we are glad at 48 hour mark to be heading home followed directly by rehab.
But you should definitely go to Vegas, and go with a purpose. It has a fairly high degree of single dude difficulty, so go with a plan as well.
For just a quick overview, Vegas can be split into three zones:
1. The Strip: The hottest property in town, the Las Vegas Strip is where the big gamblers, rich douchebags and gold diggers are. Mega casinos like the Bellagio, the Cosmopolitan, the Wynn, Paris Las Vegas, The Venetian, MGM, Mandalay Bay, etc. attract the big money and hordes of tourists who like to gawk at the very Vegasness of it. Driving down the Strip on a Friday early evening is one of the world’s greatest people watching experiences. Just be prepared for it to take an hour due to the traffic, turn up the AC (it’s hot with the top down), and bring some beers for the road. Walking down the Strip at night high on mushrooms is also a much recommended experience! The Strip is expensive and if you want to blow some serious dough this is the place for you.
2. Downtown: The place of the old Vegas legends, it’s a cheaper option for hotels and a little taste of Old School Vegas. Lots of busloads of fat American tourists drinking out of over-sized cups and many street loiterers are to be found under the video screen on Fremont Street. Downtown is less expensive than the Strip although the opportunity to spend lots of money is always there if you like.
3. Local Vegas. Everywhere else. Deals to be had.
If you want to meet chicks, have fun and party you have to know what you’re looking for. Local Vegas is a nice choice for us single dude travelers. This is the place to hang with casino employees and local college students (UNLV) who don’t gamble (remember, showgirls and hot cocktail waitresses are casino employees). The Strip has plenty of hot chicks everywhere, and a lot of them are tourists from everywhere all hoed up and drunk and looking to get crazy and leave it in Vegas. Be careful, though, there are plenty of hookers on the strip so figure out who you’re hitting on. Remember, all hot chicks by themselves in a high end casino at night are hookers. Downtown has some definite possibilities from the casino employees, but generally it is not a great place to meet women as it’s mostly teenagers, fat tourists and local losers.
My first visit to Las Vegas with Charlie was many years ago. I was being extracted from the jaws of an angry Asian beast at the time. It was a very different Vegas then than it is today. Back then there were affordable places on the Strip to grab such tasty treats as a $1 Shrimp Genocide Cocktail at the Boardwalk Casino, a $1 margarita at Circus Circus and the foot long hotdog at Westward Ho. Unfortunately these places are mostly gone on the Strip. A few exceptions can still be found for cheap eats, but from what I just encountered there, the quality is lacking. As the housing boom took hold years back in the US, Vegas was at the forefront. Huge new mega casinos bought out the old standards and tore them down. Enormous condo buildings were thrown up everywhere with expensive price tags. More people had this higher presumed wealth, so their expendable income shot up in their eyes, thus, so did Vegas. Back in those days the vacancy rate was very low and waiting lists existed everywhere. Now, vacancy rates are climbing.
All of this influx of wealth did do one good thing for Vegas. It increased the number of hot chicks. As has been stated many times on Single Dude Travel, hot chicks will always flock to the money. Period. This does not just mean the hot coke sluts from Los Angeles and Miami that are looking to extend their free ride, it also includes the quality of girls working at Vegas establishments. They can spend more on “talent”, making the local Vegas scene more attractive.
Here’s the game plan for you loyal Single Dude Travel readers, you discerning gentlemen who want to have some real fun in Vegas but don’t want to break the bank and forfeit that Eastern Europe sojourn later this year.
Flights: Getting there is easy, pretty cheap flights are always available. Vegas is a 7 night a week party town, so it doesn’t matter when you go. Weekdays will be less expensive for everything though.
Hotel: Hotels can be had cheap these days. You can stay on the Strip for an average of $100 to $150 for a decent room. You won’t be in your room except to crash, so I would actually recommend staying off strip. Downtown is a fine place but a little sleazier. This is good for late night cheaper gambling and dirty hookups. You can expect to spend $10-75 a night on a room. That’s right, $10. Priceline, Hotwire, and Travelworm can give you some great deals. A few other options which I highly recommend are the Palace Station Casino, the Rio, and the Palms, which are all west of the strip. The Palace Station has had many renovations and rooms can still be had for as low as $15 a night. It is a fine place for a home base. The Rio has an average of $50-75 a night, all rooms are suites, has a huuuuuuge pool area and a sweet rooftop club. There are four pools in the complex and always tons of hot chicks. The Palms will be a little more expensive but has some sweet rooftop clubs where a lot of hot gold diggers hang out. All of these places are within 5 minutes of the strip and all have shuttles.
Entertainment: Listen, I can’t begin to tell you where to go for this. Vegas has it all. Clubs, check. Strip clubs, check. Gambling, mega check. Great food, check. I mean really. You can go anywhere. I will say that you should not go waste all your money gambling. Vegas is a city of posers and some people are sucked into spending more than they are comfortable with to look important. Don’t do it. That is for douchebags. They have nothing else to offer, so they mortgage their life to try to get laid by a hot chick leaving tomorrow. Smart, dudes, real smart. Am I saying don’t gamble or go to strip clubs? Hell no! But hey, just be responsible. The games are stacked against you. How else do you think there is all that water in the middle of the desert? The strippers will cover your ears and ride you out of hundreds, quick. Take it from me, one night with a Vegas stripper is not as good as two weeks in Playa del Carmen.
I will also not bother to even to list every club in Vegas. In the explosion of presumed wealth and casinos there was an explosion of expensive clubs. They are everywhere, have cover charges and expensive drinks. Free drinks go to gamblers, not clubbers. There will be tons of hot convention chicks from out of town partying. You probably will get laid. You will be hung over. Not bad, but you can do that in your hometown and be a more notable big spender.
For entertainment, I say go out into Local Vegas and explore. First, you might want to start off finding a fairy wing man that works at a casino and ask where some good karaoke is (Wayne’s Sushi and Karaoke) that the locals frequent. Or ask that cute waitress where all the locals hang out because you are tired of all the drunk douchebags everywhere. This will get you everywhere. Locals hate to hang with tourists because they are all generally the same. Be different. What you are looking for here is a cute show girl that you can visit each time you are out, right? Right.
One place the locals hang out is the Town Center. It is just south of the strip and is pretty much a mall. Check out earlier articles about picking chicks up at the mall and you will kill here. East Fremont street near downtown also has a ton of bars with live music. Some are dives, but you are guaranteed to meet entertainers who are just off work and need a drink.
Your last bit of research you need to handle before you go to Las Vegas is to find out when the conventions are happening…. oh, wait… ¡Raul! is so awesome that he is going to show you. Just take a look at this webpage. It will let you know what conventions and how many people are coming to town for them. You have always found ‘Independent Mystery Shoppers’ to be enthralling? Well, see you in November. Just head over to the convention center, strike up a conversation about where happy hour is. Enjoy your night banging the ‘Mystery’ out of your target.
Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays there as long as you wear a condom. Otherwise, it stays with you… forever. Go get em, dudes.