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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old February 24th, 2005, 11:08 PM   #1
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Las Vegas

Figured I'd start a thread on Vegas, since NAB is coming up. This thread is just about the city itself, not NAB.

For those who have been there, how about travel tips, casino tips, food tips, etc... for those of us that are going.

How about chipping in on the following...
Best free things to do in Vegas
Best places to eat
Favorite places to stay. low end/high end.
Best shows to see.
Can't miss exhibits.
Etc... etc...

I'm taking off to Vegas Monday, wish I was going to NAB, but only one trip ot Vegas per month. :)
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Old February 25th, 2005, 07:06 AM   #2
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If you have any Trekkie in you, the Star Trek exhibit/show is great. I have not been there for new "Borg 4D" show, but the old one (which I think is also running) is great, amongthe best virtual reality rides ever!! If not a trekkie, go to at least one VR ride on every trip to Vegas (this is a rule!!)

Learn to play craps downtown where its cheap.

Go see the girls in Pahrump. :)

Go shoot machine guns (two different options, check the phone book).

The rides at the top of the Stratosphere looks pretty cool, have not tried it yet.

Penn & Teller show at Rio. Buffet at Rio is best in town. Lots of big name shows these days (Celine, Barry, ...), can't comment on them.

IMAX shows are cool if you have never seen one. Imax at Ceasars better than the one at Luxor.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 03:26 AM   #3
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Thanks John.
Someone else has to have some travel tips on Vegas...
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Old February 27th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #4
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IMHO, LV is NOT- repeat; NOT - like ANYplace else in the U.S.
Absolutely SO diversified there is no definitive list of common opinions......
I live here, so if you take it off-board, Dylan, I will give you my responses to your specific interests.........HTH.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 03:09 PM   #5
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Douglas, sent you an email!
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Old February 28th, 2005, 05:23 PM   #6
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Be sure to ride the coaster at NYNY.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 05:37 PM   #7
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........told him already. (and the speedy, backward one at Sahara)
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Old March 1st, 2005, 02:34 PM   #8
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My God, I think the place is called the Tiki Lounge? Best bartenders that do tricks and the drinks will kill you...I got more drunk there...whew! I blacked out and the next thing I know I was painting Vegas' sidewalks!!!!!!
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Old March 1st, 2005, 03:08 PM   #9
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The Bellagio is definitely my fav on the high end... nice poker room too.

As far as free stuff:

The pirate show at Treasure Island is neat... every hour I think.

The Bellagio fountains are great... every 15 minutes at night. Choreographed like ballet, it is really cool.

In the MGM Grand they have a lion exhibit which is nice...

Basically all of the higher end places are just filled with cool stuff to see because they want you to stay there (and want spouses of gamblers to not get bored). Wander around and have fun....
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Old March 1st, 2005, 05:35 PM   #10
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Best be careful WHOSE sidewalk you paint; many of the casinos OWN the sidewalk!!!!!!!! (True- several court cases re-affirm municilpal authority here to do that!!!!!!!!)
e.g.- TI, Venetian, MGM, etc.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 01:55 AM   #11
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Ok, I made it back, alive!

Here's what I did:
Walked up and down the strip every day I was there (used the monorail once) and literealy walked through every hotel/casino of consequence on the strip, from the Mandalay Bay at the bottom, up to Circus Circus at the top. I didn't go up to the Stratosphere or Fremont St. though, just due to time constraints.

Free stuff I liked:
Bellagio water show is fantastic
Treasure Island (TI) Sirens show is great
Mirage volcano is good
Collecting "Hooker trading cards" from street distrubutors.
Listening to Vegas drivers honk at tourists jaywalking.
Lions at MGM, White Tigers at Mirage were both OK.
Just seeing the buildings is fantastic.
The Star Trek promenade at The Hilton is cool if you are there anyway.

Pay stuff I liked:
Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay (possibly overpriced)
Gondola ride through the canals at the Venetian (I was with a girl, OK? See below)
The Star Trek Experience Borg 4D show was cool (but overpriced)
Lots of Imax shows, buy a multi-show package.
Buffets.
SHooting guns.

Things not to waste your time on:
The Alladin "rainstorm" display, even though it is free.
The Venetian gondola rides, at $15 a person for a 5-10 minute ride is a bit of a rip, considering you can just walk around the canals. I guess if you were with a "special friend" it might be a must do (yak, see above).

My favorite buildings:
the New York New York exterior and shops
the Luxor interior and exterior (it's a giant freaking black pyramid with a giant light coming out of it!)
The Venetian Fantastic exterior, exterior and interior canals? Very cool.
The Paris exterior is nice, with the replical Eiffel Tower.

Buffets:
Good God yes.... OHHH YESSSS!!!

Biggest mistake I made:
Not bringing a wide angle lens for my 10d. Huge mistake.

Total amount gambled (and lost) by me:
$40-$50. Ok, I'm not much of a gambler.

Yes, I did go shoot guns. Come on... It's me. Of course I'm going to shoot guns... I spent a few hours on the range and dropped, well, somewhere into the three figure range. I shot a variety of handguns including a S&W .500 hand cannon. The MP5 and M16 were both nice. If only I could bring them home over the border...

Moment of alcoholism:
The last morning I was there, I had a 6 pack of Smirnoff Ice left, so I chugged 4 and poured the last 2 into a plastic soda bottle. I drank them as we walked from the Luxor up to the Paris. At the Paris, my travelling friend wanted a giant oversized Paris balloon souvenier cup, and got it filled with a double strength daqueri (which was probably 6 shots). She decided it was too strong for her after 2 sips. I drank the rest in one sitting, and by noon I was sitting on a bench outside the Paris in the shade staring at my feet. After 30 minutes I sucked it up and stumbled off to the Alladin. Time? 11:30am. :)

Sadly, I didn't have the time to get to any strip clubs.

In the end, if I had to pick one casino that blew me away, I'd pick the Venetian followed by the Luxor.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 02:35 AM   #12
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Getting drunk in (ON!!!!!) Las Vegas seems to be a Canadian pastime; they just keep coming BACK!!!! Few readily admit to a first visit, and almost ALL have an itinerary............that they never complete!! (maybe that's why they're always coming back??????)

Glad you enjoyed yourself, I'll be e-mailing YOU for local info in a few months......
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:27 AM   #13
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Now I can sleep at night knowing that I will not have to bail you out of the county lock-up.

Not walking around outside the Stratosphere was a good idea; that's kind of a sketchy area.

Hope to personally show you my own favorites of Las Vegas someday... also hope to make it back up to Vancouver sometime soon.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 09:38 AM   #14
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Oh, I'll be back to Vegas...
I'll be back indeed!

Thanks for the travel tips Douglas. I took printouts of your emails with me, they definitely steered me in the right direction.
I probably did about 75% of what I wanted to, although now I keep thinking of more things I forgot to do (like the roller coasters!)
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #15
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MP5's?? Cool! count me in!

Were'd you shoot? Are they listed as shooting ranges in the phone book? I missed that the last time I was there.

I did manage to make $400 shooting craps. I started out with $20. I'm hoping to repeat that, but on a larger scale.

After a while I was not that impressed, though. Nothing against LV, it was just kind of like "Oh, okay I've seen it, it's interesting, but it's not all it's cracked up to be." I expected it to be more grotesque, flashy and wild. Maybe my expectations were too high, or I wasn't in the right places. My sister loves the place and tries to go every year.

Unless I get a really good gig, I'm going and will try to attend some of the conferences and/or Super Sessions. And I am definitely going to go and shoot me some machineguns! YEEHAAW!
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