Rima Reviews – Las Vegas–UPDATED

BallysLasVegas

I just made my 8th or 9th trip to  Las Vegas  this week. I actually stopped counting after the fifth one so I could be two or three off the actual times, but who’s counting?

It’s sort of like the gambler. You don’t want to be counting your money at the table. Some of you may have been to Vegas more and would be even a better expert on Sin City than Me, but I wanted to share some of my favorite spots and things to do.

  • HOTEL

I really enjoy staying at Bally’s. I love the location. You are right on the strip. There are lots and lots of choices when it comes to hotels so to each his own but I seem to get the best deal at Bally’s and again love the location on the strip. It certainly isn’t the newest, fanciest or nicest but it works well for me!

  • FOOD

Back in the day this part of your trip to Vegas was usually pretty cheap. Not any more. The all you can eat buffets can cost you are much as $29 to $39 per person. The amount of food and variety at the buffets is incredible. Just to reinforce the point that food is not cheap in Vegas anymore – I had breakfast at Caesar’s Palace Café, two eggs, bacon, toast and potatoes along with coffee cost $21 plus tip. It was really really good but back in the day a similar  breakfast was $5.99.

On this trip I hit a couple of new places, to Me.

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via http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/5805491.jpg

And a few I really enjoy every time I’m here. One of my regular stops was at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. The “cheeseburger in paradise” is, well, just that! The atmosphere is also really cool. Guys walking around on stilts, girls in bikini’s sliding down a slide into a big ‘margarita’ glass. Jimmy Buffett songs playing over the sound system. I always enjoy this place.

I also enjoyed a great lunch at Guy Fieri’s bar on the strip. You know Guy! The guy who hosts Diners Drive Inns and Dives. They have a new burger called the ‘Mac And Cheese Burger.’ It was to die for! A smash burger with veggies, bacon and yes, you guessed it, six cheese mac and cheese on top!  This sandwich has won “best new burger”contests.

  • PLACES TO SEE: Fremont Street Experience

It wasn’t until my 7th or 8th trip to Vegas I did the “Fremont Street” experience. Fremont Street is part of the old downtown district where the Golden Nugget and Binion’s Horseshoe Casino is located. But what they did to this downtown area is pretty incredible! A roof or some sort of covering goes over about a three block area of Fremont Street. There is a laser light and music show that is displayed on this “roof” or covering over the street. There are numerous stages where live entertainment performs and there are street performers too! They also have a zip line that runs the length of Fremont Street that is very popular and looks fun! Since the last time I was here they have added another zip line called “Slotzilla”. It’s promoted as the world’s ultimate zip line. But isn’t everything the “ultimate” in Vegas? I think anyone that goes to Las Vegas this is a must see! Oh yeah, there was an Elvis sighting there too!

The new High Roller Sky Wheel is visible right out my window at Bally’s Hotel and Casino but I haven’t got up the nerve to go ride it yet! The view of Vegas from the sky wheel is reportedly incredible. I haven’t done it so I can’t confirm that but for right now I will take other riders word for it! I do think it would be something you would want to check out if that type of thing excites you.

Here are my “final thoughts” on this past weeks 4 days in Las Vegas:     The Great, the Good, The Bad and The Sad!

*The Great

I really enjoy seeing the sights of Las Vegas. All the different hotel/casinos, stores and restaurants. Every one is different. They all try and deliver a little different atmosphere or glitz and glitter to get you to their place. Also, as I said in the first past of this The Fremont Street Experience in old downtown Vegas is a must see! The other thing that is great is the food. So many different cool places to eat with many having award winning chefs now creating and preparing the food.

The other “great” thing about Vegas is all the shows and entertainment you can take in. Everything from singing, dancing, magicians, comedians and more. You name it they have got it in Vegas. I am not a big “go see the shows” guy but there are some great ones to see in Las Vegas. Also, there are some really cool “free” shows like outside the Mirage “fire” show and volcano explosion and the light and water show in front of the Bellagio. And again, the free ‘in the street” entertainment at the Fremont Street Experience.

*The Good

The cheap but nice hotels that are available on your trip to Las Vegas. If you search around you can stay at a nice hotel for $50 or less. I really enjoy staying at Bally’s and usually get a great rate or comp rooms through their Total Rewards system. If you are going to make the trip to Vegas and you figure your flight is going to cost you from $200 to $350 to get there it is nice to be able to stay for the three or four days you are there for a very reasonable amount for your hotel cost.

*The Bad

There are a group of people that stand on the streets on The Strip and try to hand you cards. The cards are similar to a baseball card that has a pretty girl on it with a phone number for you to call to offer “their services” if you so wish. If you walk the strip you can’t help but encounter this enterprise. It is annoying. I have seen them try to hand the cards to men who are walking the sidewalk with their wives or girlfriends. I would think this is something that the business’s and Vegas would try to clean up and stop.

*The Sad

The homeless. The people living on the streets. Every time I have been to Las Vegas and stayed on the strip I come across numerous homeless people. they are on the sidewalks and on the walkway overpasses. They are panhandling, begging for anything to help them survive. Some are men, some women. Some are vets or at least say they are. I saw one lady screaming and cussing. Basically having a nervous breakdown. Another homeless guy was having a seizure and the paramedics  arrived and tried to help him. It is such a strange thing to see. All the money, all the glitz and glamour, the lights, the fancy buildings on the strip in Las Vegas. And then the poor, the homeless. It is sad and tough to see.

Whether I win or loss at the card tables or the slot machines I always enjoy going to Las Vegas. For this small town boy who grew up in Strawberry Point, Iowa, and have lived in Iowa all my life, it is like I have landed on a different planet every time I go to Las Vegas. Viva Las Vegas!