Talk about a last minute vacation! I seen a great travel tip on www.yycdeals.com and ended up getting a direct flight from Calgary to Vegas including accommodations and all taxes for $11. Yup. $11. I had about one week to get organized and get on the plane and I was going solo. But why not?
I stayed at the www.goldcoastcasino.com – approx. one mile off the strip heading West on Flamingo Road (between Caesars and the Bellagio). The Gold Coast Casino is across the road from both the Palms and the Rio and a short ride away from the New Orleans. There is a free shuttle that runs round trip every 30-45 minutes between the Gold Coast, New Orleans and the strip (at Bills Gambling Hall at the Flamingo Road entrance). The Gold Coast was nothing fancy, the room I had was dated and the carpet was dirt-stained, and it annoyed me that there was no safe in the room. Oh ya, my toilet broke and it took a couple of calls to get it fixed.
The Ports O Call Buffet was okay and I was glad they had some fruit availalbe, but the Kates Korner Deli and Ice Cream was overpriced for not very good icemilk ice-cream. On the flip side – the lunch featuring Dim Sum at Ping Pang Pong was a lot of fun to try and they also stayed open til 3am so you could get something to eat on those late nights. And bonus! Bottled beer was only a dollar throughout the casino. Same with the Bloody Mary’s I tilted back for breakfast each morning before me and my backpack went exploring.
I’m not a big gambler and I don’t need to stay in the fanciest hotels – although it IS nice too!- But for this trip I thought I’d try something cheap to see what it was like. It was totally do-able and in the right circumstances is a great way to just go somewhere and have some fun. The pool wasn’t open and the entertainment was slim pickings all over Vegas when I was there – but I still ended up having a great time and filled up 5 days easily just bumming around. I definitely spent the extra money I saved on the room by going shopping and taking in a couple of shows. Phantom at the Opera at the Venetian was entertaining and I really liked the gravity-defying Cirque du Soleil show KA at the MGM Grand. I indulged in a 3-course wine pairing menu at the Fiamma Trattoria and Bar http://www.mgmgrand.com/restaurants/fiamma-italian-restaurant-bar.aspx
I walked the one mile to the strip one day (it was broad daylight and a nice day) but after that I always took the free shuttle to save t ime and it seemed safer especially at night. I don’t mind walking as it helps to balance out some of those indulgences I tend to partake in – like food and booze!