QUESTION #10

This will be our 4th time to Vegas for our anniversary. We usually stay on strip all week and one night at Fremont. This year I am trying to convince my wife to go off the strip and visit the local casinos. Do you have any suggestions, we fly in so we will have to Uber wherever we go.

I want to get off the strip for a few nights out for dinner and gambling. Any help would be great, facing surgery when we return, want to make this something special, might not make it back again

Frodog61, Kentucky | June 10, 2019

 

Congratulations to you and your wife on your anniversary! Vegas is a great place to celebrate and make lasting memories.

Good luck with the surgery — I hope that the recovery is speedy and complete so that you can visit Vegas many more times in good health!

I love your plan to go off the beaten path and explore some locals casinos! My personal recommendation would be to get a rental car and do a coupon crawl with the ACG/LVA coupon books.

 

Rental Car

I’m impatient, especially when there’s gambling to be had, so I would recommend renting a car if at all possible. Especially with limited time in Vegas, you want to maximize your enjoyment.

Since you’ll be staying on the Strip, where paid parking has spread like the plague, you could look into renting a car just for a day or two of your trip (since there is free parking to be had Downtown, and the locals casinos will not charge for parking).

Having your own car will give you the freedom to easily travel between off-strip properties (which will have free parking) and explore, going off the beaten path without having to wait for a shuttle or pay for the Uber/Lyft. I’m a firm believer that time is valuable in Las Vegas, so this is what I would do if I was looking to visit local casinos. It will also unlock some options for locals dining, which may give you and your wife a more low-key and affordable anniversary dinner.

Hard to believe this is just an hour outside of Vegas

Renting a car also gives you the option of doing some scenic drives and sight-seeing in the Valley of Fire state park, which is well worth the ~1 hour drive. My uncle rented a car and drove my mom and I through for her birthday, and it’s still one of my favorite (and most Instagrammable) memories.

Valley of Fire in all its beauty

(I do recognize that I’m slight hypocrite here, since my BAC is admittedly too high to drive from the moment I take off for Vegas through when I leave, so I’ve never rented a car in Sin City before.)

I’m a big fan of using AutoSlash to book rental cars. It’s a search aggregator that will automatically find the cheapest rates for whatever dates you’re going. You put in your travel dates, pickup/dropoff location, desired car(s), and they do the rest! Their aggregator finds great deals, but doesn’t stop after the initial deal; it continuously monitors rates and lets you know if it finds a cheaper deal. When I used Autoslash as a 25 year old (aka high risk) male, I got a rate $100 less than I was able to find on my own for a 4 day rental in Denver.

 

Boyd Shuttles

The Boyd Casinos offer two different free shuttle services:

  • Downtown (California) to Sam’s Town (free)
  • Strip (High Roller) to Gold Coast to Orleans (free)

Boyd even has a live shuttle tracker that shows the location of the shuttles in real-time.

This is helpful if you’ve got time to kill and want to save a few bucks. I’ve taken the Cal to Sam’s Town shuttle before with my grandpa and uncle, and I remember being quite impatient; I’m sure the fact that it was 9am and I was drunkover didn’t do me any favors though.

 

American Casino Guide/Las Vegas Advisor

I highly recommend doing a coupon crawl with the American Casino Guide and Las Vegas Advisor coupon books. They feature many locals casinos, and offer a great excuse to check them out.

The coupons can be stacked, and you can each redeem them separately (on your own players card), giving you even more value. If you each buy a copy of each book, you could even make a fun game out of it to see who can rack up more winnings by the end of the day! I did this one trip with a friend I’d met on a Vegas forum, and was able to rack up about $300 worth of winnings while checking out tons of new casinos I’d never have visited without the motivation.

Each locals casino has its own unique vibe, so it’s hard to make a specific recommendation. It’s very fun to experience their different feels, so I recommend trying out a few and seeing which resonates with you the most! (That said, the Orleans and Rampart were my favorites… but that just may because I had the greatest return on my free play there!)

Casinos along the Boulder Highway are closely concentrated, allowing for “casino hopping” of sorts, and range from seedy (Longhorn is a 2 star hotel that sports $2 blackjack with unlimited splits in a poorly-ventilated casino) to comprehensive (Sam’s Town has a movie theater and bowling alley). The resorts in Summerlin tend to be a bit more upscale and higher-end, but are more of a destination.

 

I hope that helps! If you have any more questions, please comment below (or message me on Twitter) and I’d be happy to answer them! Please let me know how it goes adding a companion and what comps you score!

 

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