If there is any destination where its reputation precedes itself, it is probably the raucous one of fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.
You likely already have an image in your head shaped by years of pop culture: flashing neon lights, dice rolling across a craps table, singing slot machines and the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” ad campaign from the early 2000s.
But what I love about Las Vegas is that it constantly reinvents itself, meaning your experience will be unique to that moment in time, your interests and the people you’re traveling with. Yes, it is Sin City, boasting gambling and strip clubs, but it is also more than that, catering to a ton of different sins too.
Is yours gluttony? Because there are plenty of high-end restaurants and epic buffets serving up memorable meals. Is it greed? Beyond gambling, there is tons of great shopping. Is it sloth? There is no shortage of amazing spas and pools to visit once you have grown tired of the clattering noise of the casino.
You can still find poker high rollers, Elvis impersonators and drive-thru wedding chapels, but the Vegas of today also hosts megastar residencies like Adele and U2 in spectacular, intimate theaters. It also stays at the edge of technology with novelties like robot room service, champagne vending machines and robo puppies.
Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your first visit.
In most destinations you’re probably trying to avoid the crowds, but you just may want to schedule your Vegas trip to coincide with popular days when the city is buzzing with excitement. Any sporting event (Super Bowl weekend, NCAA college basketball tournament, NBA finals) will see droves of visitors, and federal holidays (Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day) will attract travelers from across the country looking for a fun four-day weekend. You’ll see soaring prices for accommodations, but that may be worth it if you want to be in Vegas when the city is electric.
Another busy time to flag: the Consumer Electronics Show brings people from around the world, with the airport often adding international flights to accommodate the passenger traffic.
Still, there’s no bad time to visit this dynamic city, and if you want to shoot for a period with fewer crowds, you will be rewarded. There's still a party nearly every day of the week, all times of the day. If you head to Vegas mid-week in the summer months, the excruciating summer desert sun (upwards of 104°F/40°C) will drive down resort prices, but you’ll still be able to keep cool with air conditioning everywhere (you’ll likely need a sweater inside) and enjoy the day club/pool party season.
I have visited Vegas too many times to count over the last two
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With MGM Resorts' big move from its multiyear partnership with the World of Hyatt program to a new one with Marriott Bonvoy, there's one question we've all been waiting to ask: Just how many Marriott Bonvoy points per night will cost to stay at big-name Vegas resorts such as MGM Grand, Bellagio, Aria, Excalibur and beyond?
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Alaska Airlines is expanding flight service from its hub at Portland International Airport (PDX).On Monday, the Seattle-based carrier announced plans to add more than 20 daily departures to popular destinations starting this summer. Alaska, which is in the midst of a potential merger with Hawaiian Airlines, said its capacity has increased by 25 percent.Alaska plans to increase service from PDX to a handful of cities, including Las Vegas, Reno, Sacramento and Ontario, California beginning August 20. Starting October 1, the airline will increase service from PDX to Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Phoenix, Fresno and Medford, Oregon.The carrier will also add a second daily roundtrip flight between Portland and Redmond/Bend on October 1 and has extended nonstop seasonal flying from PDX to Billings, Kansas City and Minneapolis until the end of the year.Alaska currently serves 53 nonstop destinations from Portland, recently launching nonstop service to Miami. Meanwhile, year-round flights to Nashville start on March 14. By summer, the airline will have more than 100 average daily departures from Portland."We've been the largest carrier in Portland for more than 20 years. We don't take that for granted. It's important for us to provide our guests with a variety of convenient flight options at PDX along with the addition of new routes. We know travelers have a choice and we want them to fly with us," Kirsten Amrine, vice president of revenue management and network planning for Alaska Airlines, said in a statement."We're thrilled about the added flights out of PDX," added Dan Pippenger, chief aviation officer at the Port of Portland. "As our largest carrier, more Alaska flights means even more options for travelers, whether they're flying cross-country or within the state. And the increase in service means more visitors for our concession and ground travel partners – the local businesses that are the heart of our region and bring so much excitement to our airport."Contact your travel advisor or visit AlaskaAir.com to book the airline's expanded service from PDX.
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