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Las Vegas Travel Tips - Las Vegas Vacations
June 27, 2011

More Low-Fare to Las Vegas

Author: nick21 - Categories: Las Vegas Flights

Discount airlines are especially important for folks who want to book a Vegas vacation. It helps keep cash in their pocket – at least until they hit the casinos (or the gate, more on that a bit later).

Southwest Airlines already offers Portland, Ore. flights to Las Vegas. So too does classy Alaska Airlines. Come Sept. 22, add discount airline Spirit to the list. The competition is welcome because, according to the Port of Portland, “Las Vegas is our most traveled route, with some 450,000 passengers flying each year between PDX and Las Vegas.”

Spirit has scheduled a pair of daily roundtrips. Portland flights to Las Vegas depart at 7:30 a.m. and 6:10 p.m. and arrive at McCarran International Airport at 9:30 a.m. and 8:10 p.m. respectively.

Return Las Vegas flights to Portland depart at 3:30 p.m. and 8:55 p.m., getting to the gate at PDX at 5:30 p.m. and 10:55 p.m.

The remarkable thing about Las Vegas is that the gaming begins the moment you alight from the airplane. Slot machines populate the gate areas. Please, don’t take this to the bank, but this Cheapflights reporter has found one the best times to try your luck is early Sunday morning, after the Saturday night crowd has cleared out of the airport. That’s when the slots seem (could just be my wishful thinking) loosest.

Spirit picks and chooses the places it wants to fly carefully, and the market from PDX to LAS seems ripe. The discount airline is the quintessential “unbundled” carrier – you pay for what you want. Spirit lofts some 150 daily flights to an expanding route structure that, as of now, numbers 40-plus destinations.


June 24, 2011

Main Event Players Follow Their Dreams to Vegas

Author: nick21 - Categories: Las Vegas Gambling

Their rational side warns them not to think too much about what could happen.

They understand the long odds against them. Outwardly, they just hope to enjoy the experience.

But amateur entrants in the $10,000-a-seat Main Event at the World Series of Poker can be forgiven for indulging in an occasional dream of a deep run at the world’s most famous poker tournament.

With a bit of discipline and help from the card gods, they could come home from Las Vegas with tens of thousands — or hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions — of dollars.

“You have to think that way, or you won’t even go out,” said Tracy Belcastro, 61, of Bridgeville, who won one of eight Main Event seats awarded through satellite tournaments at The Meadows in Washington County. Five players won seats through tournaments at Mountaineer Casino in West Virginia. Wheeling Island awarded seats as well.

It’s impossible to predict how many Western Pennsylvanians will wind up in the Main Event, which is so large that it has four Day Ones. The No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em tournament starts July 7 at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The final table of nine players will be set July 19; they will return in November to determine the champion.

Although all seats from local satellite tournaments have been awarded, many players may still try to qualify at satellite tournaments in Vegas or post the entry fee themselves.

Belcastro said he set a modest first goal: getting to the second day of the tournament.
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June 20, 2011

Pay $400 To Play With Bulldozers In Las Vegas

Author: nick21 - Categories: Las Vegas Attractions

If you’re looking for something different to do on vacation this summer, how about playing in a giant sandbox driving bulldozers and earth movers? That’s the idea behind “Dig This,” a “construction theme park” opening in Las Vegas this summer.

It’s a 5 acre dirt park with two Caterpillar D5 track-type bulldozers and three Caterpillar 315CL hydraulic excavators. A 3 hour-package for $400 gets you a half-hour of safety and handling instruction and then you’re free to let it rip. Build a 10 foot deep trench, pile a mound, or pick and move 2-ton tires and snag basketballs from safety cones.

“Once we get our model finalized, we could move to Atlanta and New York as well as Tokyo and Australia,” the developer told Engineering News-Record.

You could also recreate this experience at home by getting a job in construction. Not only is it cheaper, they’ll actually pay you to do it.


June 17, 2011

Goodman Raves About Electric Daisy Carnival’s Move to Las Vegas

Author: nick21 - Categories: Las Vegas Entertainment

Despite problems associated with the Electric Daisy Carnival last year in Los Angeles, including the death of a 15-year-old girl, Mayor Oscar Goodman is expecting the event to be a success this year as it moves to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Goodman gave the June 24-26 electronic music festival and rave a hearty endorsement Thursday during his weekly news conference at City Hall — and even indicated he might show up at the event, which was essentially booted out of LA.

The EDC, which is in its 15th year, will include 200 performers and artists throughout the weekend and is expected to draw more than 250,000 people, making it North America’s largest electronic music festival, Goodman said.

“It’s going to be phenomenal,” Goodman said.

One dollar of each ticket is going to be split among three local charities: the Clark County Community Partnership Program, the Smith Center for Performing Arts and the Injured Police Officers Fund, he said.

Goodman said the three-day festival will provide a carnival-like atmosphere, featuring dancers, fire twirlers, aerialists and stilt walkers, plus 28 carnival rides and attractions.

The event will feature six performance stages, state-of-the-art lighting and sound production, plus fireworks, Goodman said.

“We’re going to declare June 20-26 Electric Daisy Carnival Week in the City of Las Vegas and ask all of our citizens to support this monumental event,” Goodman said.

The mayor also introduced the EDC event’s top official, Pasquale Rotella, the CEO and founder of Insomniac Events.

Rotella said the show was beginning to set up production at the speedway this week.

“EDC is a lot more than a music festival,” Rotella said. “There’s a lot going on, aside from the international performers that we have coming on the stages. We have a lot of theatrical performers and walkabouts throughout the festival. And art is a big part of this festival.”

Those attending will see unique art pieces set up between the six performance stages, he said.

“The Las Vegas Motor Speedway was picked because it couldn’t be better equipped to handle the mass gathering,” Rotella said.
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June 13, 2011

LV Sun: What Las Vegas Really Needs

Author: nick21 - Categories: Las Vegas


For all the debate about what downtown Las Vegas is or isn’t, what it should or should not be, what it needs is simple: It needs Harvard Square.

Of course, you can’t just pick up and plop down an entire neighborhood — imagine the jet lag — but you can learn from one, mimicking its strengths while adapting it for a different environment. And if there’s one to mimic, it’s Harvard Square, the historic town center in Cambridge, Mass., right next to some old university.

If you’ve never visited the square, here’s what you need to know: It’s absolutely packed with locally owned, interesting businesses and busy from morning until morning nearly every day of the week.

There’s an independent bookstore next to a homegrown hardware shop with window displays that make you want to buy duct tape and wrenches. There’s a women’s boutique down the block from a local florist and a tobacco shop that feels straight out of a period film and doesn’t sell belly rings. There are restaurants — whimsical fine dining, Indian buffets, thin-crust pizzas and a brew pub named after — who else? — John Harvard.

There are record stores, comic shops and a few token chains thrown in the mix. And all of it is crammed into one walkable, vibrant, day-and-night destination.
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June 10, 2011

ABC: Travel deals! Las Vegas trip without the extra fees

Author: nick21 - Categories: Las Vegas Flights

Have you been longing for a trip to Las Vegas this summer but have yet to confirm one?

Every Wednesday, features travel deals for Arizonans.

This week’s travel deals feature hotels in Sin City that don’t charge you those extra resort fees, according to AAA Arizona. Maybe these will give you a little motivation to plan your vacation!

Paris Las Vegas starting at $60* per night:
You and your fellow travelers can check out the Arc de Triomphe, a 50-story Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre where sophistication is all around. As the weather heats up, head to the two-acre rooftop pool area with a French Garden, outdoor pool, whirlpool, poolside services, and cabana rentals.

Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino starting at $69* per night:
This one’s all about the glamour! At Planet Hollywood, AAA Arizona says everyone is a celebrity.

Caesar’s Palace starting at $89* per night:
The 129,000-square-foot casino at this resort offers slot machines, table games, poker, keno, and a race and sports book. You can also check out a show at The Coliseum, which is a 4,000-seat stadium that’s home to Bette Midler, Cher, and other events. And, of course, don’t forget to walk around The Forum Shops that have tons of variety.

Contact 1-877-731-3938 or visit for more information or to book your trip.

AAA Arizona Note: These deals are subject to change at any time without notice.


June 6, 2011

Nitro Circus live in Las Vegas

Author: nick21 - Categories: Las Vegas Shows

If you’re looking for life lessons, Las Vegas is probably not somewhere you’d stop on your search. Nor is a circus run by Travis Pastrana and a gang of action sports stars. But Saturday night at the North American debut of Nitro Circus Live, the conversations being held in the crowd of nearly 10,000 were as much about life as they were about the stunts being performed on the floor. I know, because I was involved in many of them. Others, I simply listened in on and took notes. Fortunately for those of you who couldn’t make the trip, I have this column, where I can share those notes and impart to you the Wisdom of the Nitro Circus.

If You Ride It, You Jump It
At the start of the show, the first rule of Nitro Circus is explained to the crowd. If an athlete is seen riding something, be it a Barbie Corvette, a Razor scooter or a 250-pound dirtbike while toting two kids on the front, he or she must carry it to the top of a 50-foot-tall wooden staircase and ride it down the Giganta Ramp or use it to hit a metal moto kicker. While this is happening, the crowd is chanting, “If you ride it, you jump it!” It’s a cute device used throughout the show. It’s also the crew’s mantra. If you start something, finish it. If you do something, do it full out. If you ride it, jump it.

But No One Said If You Jump It, You Must Land It
At any action sports event, especially one featuring a nine-man backflip train and side-by-side FMX and BMX double backflips, fear is a topic discussed in the crowd. “Don’t these guys have any?” Sure they do. Before the show, the cast, including their ringleader, feared a jaded, overly stimulated American audience would be impossible to please. Those fears were calmed at around the third standing ovation. “We went an hour too long, and they stayed,” says BMXer Andy Buckworth, who landed the first Superman double frontflip on the Giganta Ramp. “The first half of the show was so epic that at halftime, people were like, ‘How could it get better?’ And then we upped it.”

In the second half, and in the true spirit of the show, every athlete attempted a trick he had never landed before. So of course there was fear. Skier and BASE jumper Erik Roner threw a double backflip on wheeled skis, something he’d previously only attempted into foam. Australian FMX rider Josh Sheehan attempted to land his first double backflip. Those are scary. But whether or not the tricks were landed mattered very little. (Roner did; Sheehan didn’t.) There was a lot of failure during the nearly three-hour show. A lot of falling. But there was seemingly no fear of failure, because a fall wasn’t a fail. The falls were celebrated almost as much as the successes. Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham received equally loud cheers for landing the first wheelchair front flip as he did for crashing — and likely breaking a rib — on a double backflip attempt. Unlike at a contest, the glory was in the attempt, and the crowd fed off of that. They were emotionally involved in every trick because every trick had a story and the people in the crowd knew these athletes were putting themselves on the line simply for their entertainment. Not for a medal, not for a sponsor. For them.

“This isn’t Cirque du Soleil,” Pastrana said at the start of the show. “This is real. We are all going to attempt things we’ve never done before, and there is nothing scarier than standing at the top of a ramp and not knowing how it’s going to turn out. So whether or not we land this stuff depends a lot on you guys.” At its core, the show was like a three-hour Tony Robbins seminar: If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough. Fall. Fall again. And then climb back up to the top of a five-story staircase and do something no one has done before.

Someone Else’s Success is Not Your Failure
This lesson is best illustrated by a story. A few weeks before Saturday’s show, Buckworth was riding at his local park, Dave Mirra’s warehouse in Greenville, N.C., and saw another rider, James Foster, trying triple backflips into the foam pit. “He was really close, so I took a video of him and texted it to Pastrana,” Buckworth says. “And here he is. He got to try it in the show. People are always asking me what they have to do to be a part of the Nitro Circus and I tell them, ‘Do something that gets people’s attention. Do something no one else is doing.’” Buckworth is one of the best riders in the world on a BMX bike. There would be a lot of glory in being the first person to land that trick. (Foster over-rotated on both attempts and did not ride away from the triple, which was landed for the first time last week by Kiwi rider Jed Mildon.) So it would make more sense for Buckworth to keep Foster as far away from the Giganta Ramp as possible. “But that’s not what this show is all about,” he says. “We consider ourselves a big family. No one is winning or losing and it’s not about trying to beat your friends. At the end of the night, everyone wins.” Even the guys who didn’t land a single trick.

Do As We Do, And As We Say
When Pastrana landed the first contest double backflip at the 2006 X Games, the energy in that arena could have powered the Staples Center for a month. That kind of moment is rare, especially at shows and contests in the U.S., but it happened Saturday night. “Nitro brought the spark,” says skateboarder Bob Burnquist, who landed the first Christ air backflip on the big ramp. After several “world first” moments, I overheard people in the crowd talking about getting tattoos to commemorate the night or what the show was inspiring them to do in their own life. I’ve always wondered if people left the Staples Center that night in 2006 and attempted their own version of the double backflip: Maybe they asked their boss for a raise or asked that cute girl at work out on a date. Whatever it was, I’ve always thought moments like that must inspire people to try something in their own lives that truly scares them. But for a lot of people, it’s difficult to make the jump between overcoming the fear of landing a double backflip and overcoming the fear of being rejected by a girl or guy you like. But something happened Saturday night that made that jump a little easier to make.

A few minutes into the show, skateboarder Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins — the only female in the show because NC regular Jolene Van Vugt is healing from shoulder surgery — rolled down the Giganta Ramp and slid out on her landing. Right after she did so, Pastrana grabbed the microphone and the spotlight picked him up at the top of the ramp. “Sorry to interrupt the show, everyone, but I have to do something,” he said. “My family is here and the love of my life is standing down there.” He pointed to Adams Hawkins, whom he’s been dating for the past year. Then he sat down and slid down the ramp as Hawkins was hoisted up onto it. “Lyn-Z,” he said, “Will you marry me?” Then he handed her a plastic coin purse shaped like a cupcake — an inside joke between the two of them — and inside was a ring. “I wasn’t supposed to do this until the end of the show,” Pastrana said. “But I was so nervous, I couldn’t wait.” The point is, he did it. “That was ballsy,” says FMX rider Blake Bilko Williams. “It was probably harder than the double backflip.” Or maybe it gave him the inspiration to land it.


June 3, 2011

Golf Fest Swings Into Vegas June 9-10 at Angel Park Golf Club

Author: nick21 - Categories: Las Vegas Golf Courses

On Thursday, June 9th and Friday, June 10th from 12 noon - 9pm, Golf Fest presented by the Las Vegas Review Journal will be held at Angel Park Golf Club. Now in its 14th year, with annual shows in San Diego, Vegas and Phoenix, Golf Fest provides golfers the opportunity to meet all the major club companies direct as they see and experience everything new in golf. The show features incredible deals from top golf companies including Titleist, Ping, Oakley, Callaway, Cleveland, FootJoy, TaylorMade, and Nike, plus great values on clothing, golf resorts, golf tee times, and emerging golf company products and services.

With paid admission, Golf Fest attendees will receive a FREE round of golf at Angel Park Golf Club and a one-year subscription to Golf Digest or a 6-month subscription to Golf World. A cart fee and tee time restrictions will apply.

PGA Professional and world-renowned golf trick shot artist, Peter Longo, will be performing his amazing golf trick shot show at 6pm both days. Golf Fest will also feature FREE lessons by PGA and LPGA pros, free driving range use to test the latest technology, a putting contest hosted by the Playboy Club, plus tee time and golf vacation discounts. There will be a variety of presentations and driving range exhibitions with lessons geared for juniors, female and male golfers of all ages and levels.

Angel Park Golf Club is located at 100 South Rampart, Las Vegas, NV 89145. Admission is $10, and children under 10 are admitted free. Show hours are Thursday, June 9th and Friday, June 10th from 12 noon - 9pm. Golf Fest presented by the Las Vegas Review Journal is sponsored in part by Angel Park Golf Club, Blue Green Resorts, Golf Channel, Las Vegas Review Journal, Nike Golf at Mandalay Bay, Pure Energy Bands, SynLawn, Suncoast Hotel & Casino, Taylored Fleet Solutions, ESPN Radio 1100, Fox Radio 920 AM, KOMP 92.3, 97.1 The Point and For more information, call 619-683-3700 or visit


May 26, 2011

Las Vegas a Top Destination for Memorial Day Weekend

Author: nick21 - Categories: Las Vegas Vacations

Despite rising gasoline, airfare and hotel prices, more Americans are expected to travel for Memorial Day weekend this year, and Las Vegas is the No. 1 destination, according to some travel experts.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is predicting a 2 percent increase in visitors this year. Those 311,000 people will fill 96 percent of Las Vegas’ hotel rooms and bring a nongaming revenue of $186.2 million, the authority said., a travel website and sister company to the Las Vegas Sun, said the average daily room rate is up 15 percent for the weekend compared with last year, to $148 a night instead of $129 a night, suggesting greater demand for rooms this year.

But the price increase doesn’t seem to be scaring people away or making them spend less on entertainment.

The travel website said visitors have been planning their weekend trips earlier this year, with the booking window, or length of time someone books a trip before arriving, up 6 percent.

And visitors have purchased 20 percent more entertainment packages this year, said, indicating people are purchasing tickets before arrival instead of at the door.

The expected increase in visitors appears to outpace national trends.
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May 23, 2011

Getting the Best Deals on Vegas Vacations

Author: nick21 - Categories: Las Vegas Vacations

With a world full of travel options, a generous handful stand out as the most popular destinations in the world. For most vacationers, the appeal of these destinations is a no-brainer: Because they’re designed to accommodate tourism and cater to travelers’ every wish, they make for virtually foolproof vacations. Since stress is the last thing you want on vacation, going to a popular destination makes for even smoother sailing.

But because travelers are so drawn to popular places like Las Vegas, Hawaii and Mexico, prices can often skyrocket. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand, but it can put a dent in your pocket book. However, if you’re craving a getaway in one of those destinations, you can still beat the inflated prices and find a vacation that fits your budget.

Vegas - There are few travel destinations where your hotel has so much effect on your stay as in Vegas. You can choose to stay at a casino hotel or something less large-scale, depending on the experience you’re seeking. By searching for Las Vegas packages on travel sites like, you can find the best deals on hotels, and at the same time add on car rental and tickets to shows like Disney’s The Lion King. Bundling items together in a package can help cut costs all around.
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