Las Vegas

<p>We're back from a week in Vegas. One of the best vacations we have ever had. There was a huge convention of heavy equipment manufacturers in town so lots of big, burly guys wearing jeans (as did almost everyone else) and CAT baseball caps.</p>

<p>Let me ask you: where else would you find Ancient Egypt, the South Pacific, NYC, Paris, Rome, and Renaissance Italy in the space of 7 or so blocks? We spent about $2.50 on gambling, but a lot on shows. Besides Love (GREAT) and Bette Midler, who, about a third of the way through the show at Caesar's, laid down on the stage mock-exhausted and yelled: "Come back Celine. All is forgiven!" She noted that her show is going to rotate with Cher and Elton John, or "the girls" as she referred to all three. We also went to Mystere (more circus-like than Love) and the Blue Man Group. These were available through the discounted ticket place as were, on several days, Rita Rudner and Roseanne Barr. My wife didn't get the Blue Man Group. I noticed the audience for that show was much younger than for Bette who had commented (obviously scripted): "Thirty years ago my audience was on drugs. Now they're on medication." </p>

<p>We ate very well and at reasonably priced restaurants on the Strip. My favorite food was the pomme frites at Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris. We also drove out of the city and did the car tour of the Red Rock Canyon. Some absolutely spectacular topography. </p>

<p>If you go, suspend disbelief and cynicism and you will have a good time. And did I mention it was warm? Got up to 80 one day. What a relief after our long, cold, and snowy winter in Madison. </p>

<p>Best thing about Vegas: free self-parking at all the hotels. </p>

<p>Thanks to UCBChem for the advice.</p>

<p>I agree. I think Las Vegas is a really fun place for a vacation. When my son was about 13 and daughter 15 (she hated Las Vegas) we went on a family long weekend vacation there. My son returned to his elite prep school and was discussing Michelangelo's David in art class. His teacher assumed that we had been to Italy (which would have been the norm for that school). He said, "No, I saw it in Las Vegas!" It became a legendary story.</p>

<p>MWC:</p>

<p>Nice story. </p>

<p>There is a huge amount of what seems to be condo construction going on right on the Strip or just off it. MGM, which appears to own half the town, is building a gigantic complex known as City Center, [url=<a href="http://www.citycenter.com/luxury_las_vegas_condos/?CMP=KNC-Google-City_Corp%5DLas"&gt;http://www.citycenter.com/luxury_las_vegas_condos/?CMP=KNC-Google-City_Corp]Las&lt;/a> Vegas Luxury Condos </p>

<p>I only went to Vegas once, many years ago, but I went to a restaurant called Mon Ami Gabi in Chicago and it was very very nice....</p>

<p>One of my closest friends (we met on the internet 10 years ago) lives in Henderson and has a professional job with the City of Henderson. Real estate prices are really tumbling- even in Henderson, which has been a real boom town. I feel that the Nevade educational system is severely lacking. I don't think her kids got a decent education- even in Henderson. To me that is a huge problem with living there. </p>

<p>When I go to visit, we mainly hang out in Henderson (there is a lot to do there) but go into the Strip one evening and might go to a show. Last time I was there we saw Earth, Wind and Fire, which was really cool.</p>

<p>I worked on financing the first Trump condo tower. It did well. The condo market got way ahead of itself. I'd be very careful on another one. They are auctioning units in some of the exisiting ones at 60% of original prices. I was just there two weeks ago myself. Stayed in Henderson away from the Strip crowds. Saw Blue Man for free as part of the NASCAR race. 20 minutes is plenty.</p>

<p>I love Las Vegas. OP: you didn't mention the gardens at the Bellagio...did you see them? The other thing I love is the tapas restaurant that overlooks the gondliers at the Venetian, you can hear and see them for the cost of a drink and some snacks.<br>
Never gamble when I go there but lots of food, spas, and just walking around taking everything in.</p>

<p>We had Las Vegas on our short list for a May vacation til our 20 year old son said he'd rather wait until he doesn't get stopped at every casino. Not that he gambles; just wants to be able to walk through. But I'm dying to go one day.</p>

<p>(We are probably going on a short cruise to Bermuda instead - from Bayonne, which makes me laugh every time I say it.)</p>

<p>Mon Ami Gabi is part of the Lettuce Entertainment Group Lettuce</a> Entertain You - Restaurants which was started in Chicago by Rich Melman in 1971. He has always been able to understand the dining public and come up with concepts to meet the need. But his true love is 16" softball!</p>

<p>Thanks Marilyn. I see that the Lettuce Group also has the restaurant on top of the LV Eiffel Tower. Nice views, but expensive food.</p>

<p>Can anyone tell me what percent in height the LV Eiffel Tower is of the actual Eiffel Tower?</p>

<p>^^ Las Vegas tower is 1/2 scale of the real thing.</p>

<p>Never actually been to Vegas, but have a great Vegas story.
Anybody remember the Rugrats episode where the extended friends and family get in a motorhome and take a vacation in Las Vegas? This was my kids' favorite episode, and at the ages of about 10 and 6, they thought the epitome of vacation heaven was not WDW, but Vegas. </p>

<p>SSSooooo, our little family goes to a family retreat weekend sponsored by our relatively new church. One of the activities was posting a long questionnaire for each family to fill out over the course of the weekend, answering a number of questions about your family, including, guess what - "If your family could go anywhere on vacation, where would that be?" We didn't really read the questionnaire (and would never have dreamed what they answered), the kids just set to work filling it in. So amongst all the Disneys and beach and grandmas, was our proud little family's "Vegas, stupid". we still laugh about it.</p>

<p>I loved Vegas (for a few days) & I don't gamble or drink. :-)</p>

<p>My hub was there on biz, & I took tours, went to (fabulous) art galleries, met interesting people from all over the world, shopped at high-end boutiques...it was great! Not what I expected. :-)</p>

<p>momofwildchild -- funny story.</p>

<p>I remember taking my 6 year old on a road trip from Colorado to California. When we drove through Las Vegas, she stared and stared at the Luxor hotel with its pyramid and Sphinx. She'd just had a litte unit on Egypt in school and asked, amazed, "Mom, are we still in America?"</p>

<p>Marilyn, your son wouldn't get stopped walking thru the casinos. All the resorts are set up so that you have to walk thru the casino to get anywhere - the restaurants, shows, etc. We were in Vegas 2 years ago with my daughter's dance studio for a competition. She was 14, walked through all the casinos frequently and looked around with her friends all week, and was only spoken to by security twice - both times for lingering in an area where the slot machines were to watch someone she knew (a friend's parent) playing them. </p>

<p>That said, I'd much rather do the cruise to Bermuda! Vegas was ok to do once, but dh and I don't really gamble or drink. The nice part of Vegas is nice but surprisingly expensive, and the inexpensive part is just sleazy.</p>

<p>Glad you had a good time, tsdad. I told you there's tons to keep you occupied! </p>

<p>I'm going in early May...booked the Palazzo...haha. Can't wait.</p>

<p>It's interesting that Vegas is growing up. Luxor is being dethemed and New York New York is going through a casino remodel (removing trees and lamposts). Treasure Island eliminated its kiddy pirate theme show and replaced it with a more risque "Sirens of Treasure Island" show.</p>

<p>All of the newer hotels planned and built are more upscale and luxurious - especially on the strip.</p>

<p>Wynn's Encore will displace Palazzo as most luxurious when it opens, and Encore will be demoted when the planned "The Plaza Las Vegas" is built and opened (themed after New York City's famed Plaza hotel and condos):
The</a> Plaza Las Vegas</p>

<p>I think the Vegas market is getting saturated. How many more luxury hotels, casinos, shopping malls, condos, restaurants, and Cirque du Solei shows can the city support?</p>

<p>That must be the old Frontier site. Great location as the north end of the strip is getting lots of the newer development. </p>

<p>In a recession LV will have a slow year. The hotel deals should be getting better. There also is that mammoth new MGM project north of NY NY. </p>

<p>Las</a> Vegas Resort and Casino - CityCenter</p>

<p>^ You're right Barrons.</p>

<p>I wouldn't mind a condo in the new Mandarin Oriental at City Center, but I think they are well out of my price range.</p>

<p>We just traded in our two bedroom time share at the Barony (Hilton Head) reserved for President's Week for a 1-bedroom at the Marriott Grand Chateau for the first week in March 2009. Can't wait to get back.</p>

<p>This was the first of the condo hotels in LV about three years ago and I worked on the financing for it. I saw some units selling for less than the original price--around $300K. Not a bad value. There also are some good deals on resales in the MGM condos--below original cost at around $400K.</p>

<p>Both have rental plans where you split the income about 50-50 after expenses. They should have some actual historic numbers by now.</p>

<p>Las</a> Vegas Luxury Hotel, Accommodations, Fine Dining, and Spa | Platinum Hotel Las Vegas</p>

<p>Lafalum - my son got stopped at the casinos in Connecticut and Wisconsin - wasn't even allowed to stand at the entranceway. I didn't realize Las Vegas was different (although I did carry him through the casinos when he was 2 years old!)</p>

<p>But I agree the cruise should be great (we haven't actually booked yet; DH seems to think we should wait til the last second our cabin is on hold - I would have done it instantly!). And gambling age is 18 on the ship although none of us actually gambles.</p>