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Aladdin Caesars Palace Frontier MGM Riviera Tropicana
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Barbary Coast Circus Circus Holy Cow Monte Carlo Slots O' Fun Westward Ho
Bellagio Desert Inn Imperial Palace NYNY Stardust  
Boardwalk Excalibur Luxor O'Sheas Stratosphere  
Bourbon Street Flamingo Mandalay Bay Paris Treasure Island  

Flamingo Hilton - Located in the center of the Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) the Flamingo Hilton is in an excellent location. Access to the South end of the Strip (MGM, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay) is an easy walk across Flamingo Road to Ballys. Walk through the casino, along the wall with the reservation desk and towards the back. Look for the escalators down a level. On the lower level follow the signs to the monorail. This free 3-minute ride will drop you off at the MGM Grand on Tropicana. Another long walk through the casino towards the strip, up the escalator and out the door to the pedestrian walkway. Across Tropicana is the Tropicana, across the Strip is New York, New York and diagonal is the Excalibur. A tram connects the Excalibur to the Luxor and Mandalay Bay south of the Luxor.

The pool complex at the Flamingo is actual several pools linked with water slides. The larger lower pool has a grotto (to get out of the sun) complete with waterfall. There are misters spraying a cool, fine, well, mist of water to keep the sun worshippers cool (they are mechanical misters, not guys walking around with spray bottles). The landscaping provides the visual "cooling" and a paradise like setting with palm trees, flowering plants and since it is a pool, water. Drink service is consistently good, a snack bar is a short walk and the casino is nearby. Poolside neck and back massages are offered on a price per minute basis.

Check in can be a breeze if you follow this link www.hiltonhonors.com and sign up for the Hilton HHonors program. Membership is free and will allow you to check in at the less crowded VIP counter. Special offers on rooms throughout the world are sent via mail, e-mail or both. Click the link, a new browser will open and take you to the Hilton HHonors page.



Excalibur - Located at the corner of the Strip and Tropicana, the Excalibur is a medieval theme casino. To get to the center of the Strip, reverse the directions above and head to Ballys. The Excalibur casino and Hotel are setup in two towers, which, at times, can be confusing. The pool area is plain with a grotto arrangement in the center. It has chaise lounges, water, sun and adult beverages. There is a show in the Moat after dark with a fire-breathing dragon and Merlin the magician. It's no Treasure Island Pirate show, but it is free.

From the entrance tower of the Excalibur there are signs directing you to the tram for Luxor and Mandalay Bay. This tram runs all night, the monorail between Bally's and the MGM stops at 1:00 A.M. Keep this in mind if you are staying mid-Strip, it is a lot longer walk from the Excalibur to say the Flamingo than it looks.



Ballys - Located at the corner of the Strip and Flamingo, Bally's was the sight of the fabulous "Honeymoon in Vegas" Flying Elvis' (Utah Chapter) landing scene. The casino has moving walkways and escalators to get you from the street to the casino. While you are there, sign up for the MVP card, just stop by the slot club desk, sign up and try the free pull on the slot machine to win a million dollars (hey somebody will win it!). You can get 1 free pull everyday.

If you walk past the registration desk, a few steps above the casino, and continue walking toward the back of the casino you are headed toward the escalators to the lower level. Here there are more machines to play, a couple of tables (last I remember) food places and shops. This is also the how you get to the pool and the monorail to the MGM. Follow the signs. The monorail is a quick 3 minute ride to the MGM and the Southern part of the Strip (though at the rate the Strip is expanding, this might not be the Southern part for long, more a middle Southern). From this corner it is an easy walk (once you get out of the MGM) to the New York New York, Tropicana and the Excalibur.



Paris - Located next to Ballys, it is the newest of the Park Place properties (others include Flamingo, Ceasars and Ballys). The casino, as you may have guessed, is a Parisian/French theme casino. Legs of the 1/2 scale Eiffel Tower poke through the ceiling of the casino giving the appearance of the casino being under the Eiffel Tower. There are art deco like Metro style signs and a Parisian street with stores and patisseries. The ceiling is a blue sky. You can go up in the Eiffel Tower for $8.00 (about what it costs to go up the REAL Eiffel Tower, depending on the exchange rate).



Venetian - Located across from Treasure Island on the site of the former Sands Casino Hotel. The Venetian is a spectacular looking casino. From the bell tower outside to the canals in side there is always something to feast your eyes on. Walking into the casino one can't help but look up at the mural on the ceiling (while trying not to walk down an escalator). Home of Madame Toussads Wax Museum. Shops and restaurants line the canal that winds its way through the streets. Gondola rides are available at $10 per adult, $5.00 per child under 12 years old, with reservations required (available the same day at St. Marks Square). Child care is avalable at the Venetian, check the web page by clicking below.



NY, NY- The casino so nice, they named it twice. Located at the corner of the Strip and Tropicana, it is tough to miss. Look for the Statue of Liberty or listen for the screams from the Coney Island style roller coaster, the casino is right behind it. A (obviously) New York theme hotel-casino, NYNY (or NY2 if you must) is made up of famous New York landmark buildings and sights. The casino is in Central Park where the only muggings are from the one arm bandits and screams of "I was robbed" is heard when the dealer draws a 21 to your 20 at the Blackjack tables. Wouldn't Mayor Giuliani be proud!

The food court is set up to resemble The Village complete with little shops, restaurants, delis and coffee shops. The arcade is very Coney Islandesque and each of the hotel sections are named after a famous NY building (the Chrysler, New Yorker etc.) Outside is the Brooklyn Bridge, brownstones and the Coney Island roller coaster. The beginning of the roller coaster is right over a delightful pool, complete with lounge chairs, bar and two jacuzzis. The pool is only accessible via an elevator, all of which require a hotel keycard to operate.



Bellagio- Built on the site of the imploded Dunes Hotel Casino, the Bellagio is the crown jewel of the MGM properties on the Strip. The fountains at the Bellagio are one of the most popular of the "free" attractions on the Vegas Strip. The fountains pulsate in time to the music being played over the outdoor speakers, shooting towards the sky in graceful bursts and misty retreats. The songs vary from show to show and season to season. Showtimes are every half hour from late afternoon until early evening and every 15 minutes from early evening until midnight, depending on the weather.

The lobby of the Bellagio is adorned with thousands of Dale Chihuly's hand blown glass flowers hanging from the ceiling. To the right of the lobby is the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Walk through and admire the rows of exotic plants in bloom. Within the Garden is the entrance to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. While not what it once was prior to Steve Winn's departure (along with much of the fine art) after the sale of the Bellagio to the MGM group, the gallery continues to have special showings of famous art works. February 7th through September 7th, 2003 has the celebrity portraits of Andy Warhol on display. Admission is $15/$12 for students.

The Bellagio is one top notch hotel though the casino seems very subdued. The machines are turned down to barely audible levels and there is plenty of high stakes action at the table games.



Treasure Island



Mirage- THE VOLCANO - what more needs to be said to identify this Wynnesque hotel casino. Stopping traffic on the Strip with every eruption the Mirage scaled back the number of eruptions for the sake of getting people off the Strip and into the casinos. The fiery malestrom is an awesome sight with the tropical backdrop of palm trees and lush greenery. The water appears to be on fire as if molten lava were flowing from the volcano. The heat blasts are real and noticeable on even the warmest of nights with each roaring eruption.

The lush exterior continues inside the casino with a rainforest of tropical plants and paths over waterways leading you from one part of the casino to the other. As you head towards the reservations desk you can't help but notice an aquarium behind the desk, a 20,000 gallon 50 something foot aquarium filled with a wild variety of beautiful salt water fish.

Heading toward the gift shop will bring you face to face with Siegfreid and Roy's (resident magicians - SARMOTI - it took me a week to figure out that SARMOTI is Siegfreid And Roy Masters Of The Impossible) white Royal tigers. the exhibit had been closed for awhile when one of the tigers had enough of the gawking tourists and decide to give a real show by ripping into one of its cage mates.

The Mirage gives the impression of being just a cut above the rest of the hotels on the Strip as is typical of the casinos that Steve Wynn builds. Lets see what he does with the Desert Inn.






Casino Royale



Circus Circus



MGM Grand (have a Grand Day!)









Barbary Coast

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Bourbon Street

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O'Sheas - This Flamingo Hilton owned casino is a small and lively casino. Music from the 60's and 70's crank from the loud speakers as a younger crowd cheers at the craps table. Two of the blackjack tables that were near the door were removed and replaced with banks of slots. It is an odd mix of slot machines and video poker that fill most of the floor space here. Recent redeployment of the space has brought what appears to be a unifying effort to the variety and type of slot machines. More of the newer machines (Elvis, Wheel of Fortune) are finally making an appearance at O'Sheas replacing the odd mix of nickel video poker and older quarter slots (Wild Cherries, Red, White and Blue). There is a food court at the back of the casino, the restrooms are in the back on the right side just past the cashiers cage. On the left side of the casino floor is the requisite gift shop, actually more a gift counter. A fun place to spend a couple of bucks.



Westward Ho

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Monte Carlo

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Imperial Palace








Mandalay Bay

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Frontier - Rumors are flying that this will be the next casino to be imploded, exploded, ...blown up to make way for a newer and nicer casino. After many visits to Vegas and not going into the New Frontier (some group or other was on strike) finally got to go in and check it out. Still wondering why. Dark, dirty and old come to mind as well as dead. No excitement, very little casino noise and workers that looked like they were just going through the motions. Maybe the strike sucked the life out of this casino, maybe it will be better in its new incarnation, doubt it would be worse. Would I ever stay here? Doubt it.












Holy Cow - A minibrewery/casino across Sahara from, well..., the Sahara. What can you say about a casino that has coupons for free beer on their web site. Kind of a smaller casino, though I didn't spend much time there in the past visits. Maybe next time......when they are in their new home. Currently closed, the link to their parents company webpage will provide details on the re-opening.

On2Holy Cow








Desert Inn - The Desert Inn, one of the casinos from the great era of Las Vegas, was recently purchased by Steve Wynn. Shortly after the purchase Wynn announced that he would be closing the Desert Inn permanently, after 35 years of "losing money", in September 2000 and replacing it with a new casino and hotel. A similar fate was announced for the Desert Inn golf course, citing the cost of real estate as a reason for the future demise of the course. In thoery, the Desert Inn golf course will re-open in the Fall of 2004, we'll see. The DI had been remodeled in the last couple of years but it seems it was too little too late. The casino prior to the remodeling looked like a set out of a fifties movie complete with the older, sedate clientele playing mostly table games. While it is sad to see some of the classics go the way of TNT, they just didn't keep up in even the smallest respects. Oh well, add the DI to the list of the Dunes, the Sands, and the old Aladdin, gone but not forgotten.

On2Desert Inn


Slot's O'Fun

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