Introduction

Set in the middle of the Nevada Desert, Las Vegas was created with the sole purpose to entertain and has often been described as the world’s largest adult theme park. Sin City is home to over a million people and welcomes 35 million more tourists each year to its sumptuous hotels and casinos. Visitors today would find it hard to believe that only 70 years ago this thriving city was a backwater with less than a thousand inhabitants and they only tourists they attracted was railway passengers stopping off to stretch their legs on the long journey between LA and Salt Lake City.

Getting there

Las Vegas McCarran Airport is on the outskirts of the City but only about 2kms from the Strip. The International Terminal is actually smaller then the domestic one but still has all the facilities . Assuming you clear Immigration you’re free to collect your bags and hit the strip. If you’ve planned on staying sober enough to drive a car, a shuttle bus from outside the terminal will take you to the purpose built car hire center. If you’re looking to take a taxi to your hotel you’ll find these outside the terminal too… There is a bus service that stops near most hotels on the strip but if you cant afford a taxi journey at this stage then you’re probably in the wrong place

What to do

Well what do you want to do? Seriously you can do pretty much anything your Imagination, and wallet, will allow you.

The Casinos – Las Vegas has 15 of the 20 biggest hotels in the world, all within walking distance of each other. Each one has its own theme to attract people in the hope they will spend some dollars @ the casino tables.
There’s the two BILLION dollar Venetian Hotel and Casino modelled on Venice with its replica of St Marks Square and Canals that run throughout the property complete with gondola travel.
The Italian themed Bellagio is one of Las Vegas’ more opulent hotels with its world famous water and music show featuring the most powerful water cannons on the planet.
The Mirage is an MGM owned casino which has a Volcano that shoots 100ft Flames into the sky every 15 minutes . The aquarium located behind the check in desk is another popular free attraction the 20,000 gallon saltwater tank features all sorts of marine life from Sharks to Angelfish
The Liberace Museum – For those wanting a little more “glam” in their holiday the Liberace Museum was founded in 1979 by the entertainer himself and features all his dazzling jewellery, outfits, sets and other memorabilia.
Freemont Street – Just off the strip, downtown Las Vegas is where it all began. The Freemont St experience is a must for any visitor with bright neon signs and flashing lights lining the streets. The Vintage Vegas casinos are located here and some people are drawn here by the slightly less commercial and more laid back atmosphere. This is best experienced at night.
Roller Coasters – You have four roller coasters to choose from all within close proximity of each other. The Manhattan Express @ New York New York Hotel, The Roller Coaster @ MGM Grand Adventures, The Canyon Blaster @ The Adventure dome and the High Roller @ The Stratosphere.
Hoover Dam – About an hour from Las Vegas, unless you’re a high roller and flying there, the 380m long Hoover Dam holds back the waters of Lake Mead and is one of worlds most famous Dams. Its hydro electric power keeps the bright lights of Las Vegas Shining. Guided tours are available several times daily.
Where to Stay

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As mentioned above the Nevada Desert is home to 15 of the 20 biggest hotels of the world. Visitors can stay nestled in the recreations of New York or Paris. Perhaps discover the Canals of Venice in the Venetian or explore the Egyptian treasures to be found @ the Luxor Hotel? Despite the extravagance the room rates in Las Vegas are actually the lowest in the western world, all subsidised by the gamblers who are convinced this will be their lucky trip. If you’re budget conscious be sure to shop around, with the best rates for many of the hotels to be found on their respective Facebook or Twitter pages.

Nightlife

Nightlife in Vegas is the best in the world, bar none. It’s only when you experience it that you realise why the phrase “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” was coined. Its worth pointing out that money really talks here and if you really want to go all out you’ll need it in volumes with admission for some of the nightclubs @ and a Vodka & Mixer costing upwards of . A Las Vegas show will cost you no less, often more, in admission and have similar prices if they are serving alcohol. There really are far too many Shows, Nightclubs and Bars to go into specifics here. Heres what you should know…

Most of the larger hotels will have Nightclub like, aside from Ibiza, nothing you have seen before. David Guetta, Afrojack, Laidback Luke and all their other Mega DJs will have residencies here. If you’re not on the guest list, and not dropping serious cash on table service, you’ll be expected to wait in line for anything up to two hours for the most popular clubs. The rules are slightly different if you’re female when you can bypass most lines and get free drinks for a period of time at many of the clubs.

The hotels will also have lounges, which are more along the lines of what we have in Ireland. Smaller in scale and without the headline DJs. Many people see these are a pre stage before heading to the main nightclub in the hotel but the action doesn’t necessary stop here when the clubs open and can be worth hanging around if you don’t want to face the club lines. Admission is usually free here and open bars are on offer to the ladies.

For more information on Guest Lists, Table Service and EVERYTHING relating to Vegas Nightlife, check out JackColton.com

The casinos themselves will serve alcohol 24 hours a day and this is free to those who are Gambling. Be careful not to over indulge or your winning streak could turn sour very quickly.

Each hotel will also have a signature show on offer and although it may not sound appealing these really are produced on a scale you’ve never seen before. Definitely recommended for tourists if only once. A good tip is to head to the cheaptickets outlet on the strip across from NY NY early in the morning where they sell tickets for most shows @ up to half price.

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Paul O’Neill is an social media innovator, entrepreneur and self confessed travel addict. His new project combines his knowledge of Travel Industry with the latest social media tools to provide a user friendly way of finding the best value Package Holidays, Car Hire, Flight Only Deals and Hotel Bargains specifically for the Irish Market.

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