There’s no doubt Las Vegas is one serious party town. It’s hard to resist the neon call of The Strip but the thought of blowing your life savings on a turn of the roulette wheel soon brings you back to reality. But you don’t need to accept an indecent proposal or turn to vice in Sin City to find the money for a hot weekend (or week) in Las Vegas. Here are some ways to make some killer savings. Ready to roll the dice?
1. Sleep Easy and Cheap on Las Vegas Boulevard
If you have to do Las Vegas on a budget, you won't want to stay at the Cosmopolitan Hotel or Wynn Las Vegas, where one night's stay will wipe out most of your budget. Instead, head for casino hotels on Las Vegas Boulevard, where standard rooms are not just spacious but offer excellent amenities like soaking tubs and flat-screen TVs. Try the family-friendly Flamingo, which has a lovely pool complex and costs between $67 to $150 per night even in high season.
2. Enjoy Happy Hour and Be Savvy about Clubbing
Enjoying the city's nightlife can be difficult when you have to do Las Vegas on a budget. Take advantage of Happy Hour and special deals. At Red Square at Mandalay Bay you can enjoy fabulous cocktails and Russian-themed small plates for just $5.00 during Happy Hour (4-7 pm Mon-Fri, 2-7 pm Sat & Sun). At Aureole Restaurant you can feast on two-for-one meals in the wine lounge every day from 5.30 pm to 7.00 pm. The poolside Verandah at the Four Seasons Hotel serves Italian-themed hors d'oeuvres and glasses of wine for just $5.00 between 4.00 pm and 7.00 pm every day. If you contact a club promoter, for example Chris Hornak of Free Vegas Club Passes, he'll arrange for free or discounted VIP passes for your entire party. Many clubs also run promotions to entice gorgeous girls into their clubs with free champagne from 9.00 pm to midnight.
3. Downtown Specials
Head downtown in search of vintage Las Vegas and you'll be saving cash right away. Las Vegas Downtown is experiencing a comeback. Visit the Mob Museum and the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in the morning and relax afterwards at stylish but affordable ethnic restaurants or cheap but trendy dive bars. Try drunken noodles at the Le Thai, sip a $5.00 cocktail in front of the fireplace at Fremont East's Griffin's or be seen to enjoy a $5.00 cocktail at the retro-styled Beauty Bar.
4. Affordable Theatre Tickets
If you came to Vegas to enjoy a performance by Penn & Teller, Cirque du Soleil or indulge in chanteuse Celine Dion's concerts secretly, you will blow your budget on full-price tickets, if you're booking online. Instead, head for one of the Tix4Tonight kiosks, where you can buy heavily discounted tickets for same-day performances for most of the big productions in town. Enjoy a "Jubilee!" backstage tour for $19.50 of $14.50 with the purchase of a show ticket, meet cast members, marvel at colorful sequin costumes. Go green with envy at the sight of those showgirls' legs.
5. Beady Eyed Budget Slicers
Extras can eat into your budget quite a lot. You may be staying in a cheap hotel on the Strip but resort fees there run from $15 to $25 per night, although parking is free. Avoid hotels' costly breakfasts and in-room Internet charges by heading to the nearest Starbucks, where you can enjoy free Wi-Fi access and a cup of coffee for just $2.00. By the way, while you're gambling, drinks are free, but if you don't give a tip to the cocktail waitress, she'll ignore you for the remainder of your stay. Enjoy free tourist attractions like the Welcome to Las Vegas sign on the Strip just south of Russell Road or sniff the flowers at the lovely Bellagio Conservatory for free. For under $10.00 you can indulge in Mr. Lucky's Gambler's Special at the Hard Rock Hotel. Your plate will feature steak, grilled shrimp, a selection of potato and a salad. Budget friendly or what?
6. Free Las Vegas Tourist Attractions
Doing Las Vegas on a tight budget is made easier thanks to numerous free tourist attractions. For a few hours of creature comforts try the Wildlife Habitat of the Flamingo, where you can admire pink flamingos, tickle koi carp and go for a lovely stroll, passing lagoons and waterfalls. High above the casino floor at Circus Circus, you'll find the World's Largest Permanent Circus, which offers FREE stunt performances from trapeze artists and acrobats between 11.00 am and midnight every day. At the Fountains of Bellagio you can enjoy an amazing dancing water show every 15 minutes after 7.00 pm.
7. Las Vegas Attractions under $20.00
If you have to do Las Vegas on a budget, chances are you won't be able to afford a trip to Paris in France. How about visiting the Eifel Tower Experience instead ($14.00 for adults during day time, $19 after 7.15 pm)? Located at Paris Las Vegas, the 460-foot replica tower affords amazing views of Las Vegas Valley, the Strip and the Bellagio Fountains. Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat (19.95 for adults for both exhibits, $14.95 for kids) allows you to see wonderful wildlife on the Strip, including lions, leopards and tigers, as well as chirpy dolphins. Follow this penny-pinching tour with a shrimp cocktail for $3.99 at Golden Gate's Du-Par's restaurant, a classic dish since 1959 and you'll have experienced some of Las Vegas' finest attractions on a shoe-string.
Has your dream of a trip to Las Vegas now become closer to reality?