U2 in Vegas - Tips for booking hotels, flights and other Vegasy type things.

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Headache in a Suitcase

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With the other morally corrupt bootlicking rubes.
Figure now that tickets are sold and people either have tickets or are actively pursuing tickets - it would be a good time to have a separate thread for all things travel related.

So I'm bringing this over from the Sphere mega-thread thingy...

Headache's guide to choosing a Vegas hotel.

Hotels Closest To The Sphere

The MSG Sphere is located directly behind the Venetian and Palazzo hotels (they're technically two hotels, but they're connected)

-Venetian / Palazzo
-Wynn / Encore
-Harrah's
-The Linq
-Flamingo
-T:I
-Mirage (soon to be Hard Rock)
-Cromwell

Hotels That Are Further Away But Still Within a 20 minute Walk
-Caesars Palace
-Horseshoe (formerly Bally's)
-Bellagio
-Cosmopolitan
-Paris
-Planet Hollywood

everything else is either a longer walk, Uber or bus ride away.


regarding price...

Highest of High End
-Wynn / Encore

High End
-Venetian / Palazzo
-Caesars Palace
-Bellagio
-Cosmopolitan
-Aria
-Resorts World
-Waldorf Astoria
-Four Seasons
-Delano

Upper Mid Tier
-Mirage
-Cromwell
-Paris
-Planet Hollywood
-Park MGM
-Mandalay Bay
-MGM Grand

Lower Mid Tier
-Harrah's
-Horseshoe
-New York New York
-Luxor
-Flamingo
-T:I

Cheaper But Actually Not Bad - The Vegas Equivalent Of A Courtyard Marriott
-The Linq

Meh
-Tropicana
-Excalibur
-The Strat
-Westgate

Literally Just a Small Best Western Shoehorned In Between Other Giant Properties
-Casino Royale

Good God Never Ever Stay Here
-Circus Circus
-Oyo

You Have An Above Average Chance of Getting Stabbed By A Meth Head If You Stay Here
-TravelLodge
-Mardi Gras

Don't Stay Here, But The Casino Is Actually Fun As Shit (with low limits)
-Ellis Island

High End That's Supposed To Be Open By The Fall (but was also supposed to be open 10 years ago so don't count on it actually being open)
-Fontainebleau

Places On The Strip Where You Can Either Book Direct or find a Decently Priced AirBNB
-Vdara (part of City Center complex - Aria is closest casino)
-Signature at MGM Grand
-Elara (behind Planet Hollywood)

Location of the Pre Show TalkU2 Gathering
-Trump

Mid Tier But Isolated So You'll Need A Cab/Car To Get Anywhere - 10 minutes
-Palms
-Virgin
-Sahara

Meh But Isolated So You'll Need A Cab/Car To Get Anywhere - 10 minutes
-The Orleans

Trash But Isolated So You'll Need A Cab/Car To Get Anywhere So Good God Don't Stay Here - 10 minutes
-Rio

Really Nice But Way Far Off Strip - A Solid 30 Minute Cab Ride
-Red Rocks
-South Point
-Green Valley

Downtown (Fremont Street)

Pretty much every hotel down there would rank from Meh to Mid Tier - with the exception of Circa - which is a year old and prices trend between Upper Mid Tier and low High End, depending on the weekend. They also have one of the biggest sportsbooks in town, for those who care of such things (not to mention a giant TV screen by their pool to watch sportsball games).

Fremont Street has lower limit gambling, cheaper restaurants (including some really nice and less expensive steakhouses) and is a never ending party. If you do stay Downtown, try to get a room facing away from the canopy if you're a lite sleeper.

The best low limit blackjack game in town is at El Cortez - $10 3:2 single deck.

What About The Residence Inn Marriott?
There are plenty of, ya know, regular hotels... your Marriotts, Hiltons, etc. They're fine - but they're all off strip - so you're not really going to be able to walk anywhere. The costs will be similar to Strip hotels, and even if you find one that's cheaper? You're cabbing to everything - so when you take that into account you're probably better off staying on Strip.

You also should make sure that the off strip "name brand" property that you got an amazing deal at isn't a timeshare property where they're going to insist you sit for a 12 hour presentation on WHAT A TIMESHARE CAN DO FOR YOU. There are many - like the Holiday Inn across from The Sphere.

I Got A Great Deal At A Timeshare Hotel And It's Closer To The Venue

Be careful. While you'll probably be fine, there are nightmare stories in Vegas of people being held in 2 hour plus timeshare presentations before they're allowed to check in. Read the fine print very carefully before you book any Timeshare Hotel where you're not a member already. It's not always as easy as "just politely decline."

You've been warned.

Resort Fees
Depending on the hotel - you're going to get resort fees tacked on. Expect them to be between $30 and $50 per day, depending on the level of hotel. Even when accounting for resort fees - you're still paying less than you will in most major metro areas like New York, LA, Miami, etc.

Parking
Parking is free for hotel guests at most hotels, but isn't free for non guests anymore (it used to be all free). Check before you go - as this has been known to change.

Some Properties Contain Multiple Hotels
Know what you're booking. Some properties have more than one hotel on site - with varying levels of quality. ..

Mandalay Bay - Mandalay Bay, Delano, Four Seasons
MGM Grand - MGM Grand, Signature at MGM Grand, The Mansion at MGM Grand
Park MGM - Park MGM, NoMad
Planet Hollywood - Planet Hollywood, Elara by Hilton
City Center - Aria, Waldorf, Vdara
Caesars Palace - Caesars Palace, NoBu
Venetian - Venetian, Palazzo
Wynn - Wynn, Encore
Resorts World - Las Vegas Hilton, Crockfords, Conrad


Where To Eat
-Wherever Bono's going... jk jk jk

Not going to touch high end, steak houses, etc. - do your own research... but here's a short list of places where there are a ton of restaurants. Before even going into the list - just know that every hotel/casino have multiple restaurants and bars on property. These are just a few

Places Where You'll Find A Lot of Decently Priced Restaurants / Bars
-The Linq Promenade (in between The Linq and Flamingo)
-The Park (in between Park MGM and NYNY)
-Miracle Mile Shops (attached to Planet Hollywood)
-Downtown / Fremont Street
-Eataly (inside Park MGM)
-Fashion Show Mall

Places Where You'll Find A Lot of Restaurants But They're Going To Be A Little Higher Priced, but still not bad
-Grand Canal Shops (attached to Venetian / Palazzo
-Forum Shops (attached to Caesars)

Hidden Gem
-The Arts District... located just north of The Strat, in between The Strip and Downtown. There's about a half dozen breweries that have opened over the past 5+ years (and counting). Able Baker is the fucking best.

I Want To Go See THE TREE I Hear It's Close To Vegas

It's not.

It's a solid 3 hour drive, each way.

If you are going to do it - it's highly suggested that you don't see it the same day as your show. Traffic coming into Vegas on a weekend can be brutal.

Update 9/14 - the rains from the Hurricane and a few other smaller storms caused massive damage to the roads in Death Valley National Park and the surrounding areas. The area the tree is in - just outside the park - is in an area where the road is closed due to damage. Heck, there's no saying what's left of the tree is even there anymore. Highly recommended that you don't try to visit until the roads reopen.

What About Where They Filmed The Video For I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For?

Fremont Street. By the Golden Nugget Hotel.

It's changed a lot since the video was shot, but that's where it was shot. The hotels are still there, but the street is now a pedestrian open area (no cars) and there's a roof over the street with LEDs.


Random Tips

Sign Up For Rewards

The majority of hotels on The Strip are associated with either MGM or Caesars. You can sign up for a Reards Card for MGM or Caesars online. Do that. Even just having a base level card with zero play will get you cheaper rooms than you would if you don't have a card. If you actually have any play on it (including local associated casinos and/or mobile sportsball betting) you're going to get even better offers, and occasionally comps (but no comps on weekend dates if you don't play a lot).

Besides Caesars and MGM - your local / tribal casino very well may have a place in Vegas, and your rewards card may translate.

Mirage is now owned by the Seminole Tribe / Hard Rock brand. Virgin is associated with Mohegan Sun.

The Golden Nugget in Downtown is owned by the same guy who owns the Golden Nugget in AC. Etc. etc. etc.

Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease

9 out of 10 times you're going to get a hotel room that's freshly cleaned and ready to go. But hey, these are the biggest hotels in the world. If they have a 99% success rate in cleaning every room, there's still going to be 50 or so rooms that they missed. It happens.

If you happen to be one of the unlucky ones, for fucks sake don't just accept it. Complain and ye shall receive. Be nice and maybe you'll get an upgrade out of it.

MyVegas Apps
MyVegas is an app that has fake slots. It's associated with MGM. As you play you collect "VIP points," which can be redeemed for discounts on food and hotel rooms. If you play a lot you can redeem for free rooms (but typically not Friday/Saturday).

Objects In The Rearview Mirror Are Further Away Than They Appear
The properties on The Strip are huge - and because they're huge they look like they're pretty close. They're not. From The Bellagio Fountains to The Sphere is a mile and a half walk. Bring your comfy shoes.

Get A Bus Pass
All access bus pass is $8 bucks for 24 hours - $20 bucks for a 3 day pass. Will let you ride on any RTC bus. The Deuce bus goes up and down The Strip all the way up to Downtown and back. There's a stop on each super block, and you can expect a bus to be there every 15 minutes or so.

Should I Taxi or Uber/Lyft From The Airport?

Short answer - it depends. Taxis have a flat rate - but also tack on a surcharge for using a debit/credit card. Uber/Lyft is typically cheaper during normal hours, but if you fly in when there's an event going on you're going to have to deal with surge pricing. Check your apps, compare it to the list below, and make your decision.

ZonesQuickMap.JPG


Airport Rideshare Pro Tip

Like many airports nowadays - rideshare has it's only separate pickup area. It's a solid 10-15 minute walk from your gate, depending of course on where your plane gets in. If you don't have checked bags - start looking at your Uber/Lyft app as you're deplaning. It's typically a 15-20 minute wait for a Taxi/Uber - so if you order as you're exiting your gate, you'll decrease the time waiting with the masses in the Rideshare Pickup Area

Taxi / Rideshare pickups at your Hotel

Good thing to do is find out where the taxi / rideshare pickup location is when you first arrive. It's not always the same place - so take a look.

It's illegal for an Uber or Taxi to drop you off on the actual Strip. They have to use the designated pickup / drop off spots.

Fun Facts
-There are no open container laws on The Strip or Downtown (just no glass). So feel free to pregame while walking The Strip. It's perfectly legal.
-They have the weed now - just don't do it in the hotels or you're going to get a nice, hefty fee tacked on at checkout.
-Harry Reid (formerly McCarran) has slot machines in the airport. Allegedly the ones by baggage claim are loose, while the ones by the gates are tight. Urban legend, of course.


Here's a map.
--The reds and blueish/purpleish are resort properties.
--The yellow is random places of interest.
--The green line is the Las Vegas Monorail... which costs money to ride. The Monorail is only on the east side of the Strip. The darker green boxes are the station locations.
--The white lines are free trams that connect certain properties. White boxes are the stations.
--The grayish boxes are pedestrian bridges across high road traffic areas.


strip map v 2.png
 
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Doing the Lawrence’s work, babe.

Gonna need a read on the Tier/condition of Uncle Headache’s House of Bitchin’
 
Thank you for all this information!!

Just wanted to mention that I was able to get 3 nights comped (I just have to pay taxes and resort fees) at The Mirage just because I hold a Unity card that the Hard Rock issues to people in it's casinos. I am not a high roller or anything, I've just been to the Hard Rock in Tampa and Hollywood Florida.

So if you've been to any casino across the US, check to see if their player's club has any type of Las Vegas affiliation, you may be able to get some discounts or free rooms.
 
Thank you for all this information!!

Just wanted to mention that I was able to get 3 nights comped (I just have to pay taxes and resort fees) at The Mirage just because I hold a Unity card that the Hard Rock issues to people in it's casinos. I am not a high roller or anything, I've just been to the Hard Rock in Tampa and Hollywood Florida.

So if you've been to any casino across the US, check to see if their player's club has any type of Las Vegas affiliation, you may be able to get some discounts or free rooms.
Great tip!
 
you forgot to include the Flamingo in your hotel list again. and again, i highly recommend it.

i stayed there in 2019, the location is nearly perfect (about half a mile walk to the sphere if you go out the back door), the price was significantly better than the other big hotels all around it (ie caesars/paris/bellagio), and their basic room was newly updated and pretty large, relatively speaking. i was there in the middle of winter but it seems like the pool would be pretty awesome too when it's open.
 
you forgot to include the Flamingo in your hotel list again. and again, i highly recommend it.

i stayed there in 2019, the location is nearly perfect (about half a mile walk to the sphere if you go out the back door), the price was significantly better than the other big hotels all around it (ie caesars/paris/bellagio), and their basic room was newly updated and pretty large, relatively speaking. i was there in the middle of winter but it seems like the pool would be pretty awesome too when it's open.

god damn it

i'd place Flamingo squarely in the lower mid-tier bracket. the dirty bird has seen better days, but is still a good value and better than, say, excalibur.

and yes - location is terrific.
 
May I say again thanks for the info. It's definitely helpful.

And to add, Caesar's properties are currently holding their semi-annual hotel room sale through May 1. So decent rates can be booked at places like Caesar's The LinQ, Harrah's, Flamingo and a few other through this weekend.
 
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Great info- thanks, Headache.
I love Vegas, but hubby is tired of it, so there are certain hints I keep handy for Marital Peace:

1. I avoid what he calls the "DING DING DING" hotels, or casino hotels packed full of slot machines. The last several times we've stayed at Vdara, which is awesome—no DING DING DING, but a very short walk to Aria or Cosmo for casino action when needed. This time we're staying at Signature at MGM. If the Monorail ends up not being an option to get to Sphere or wherever else we need to go, then Uber, Lyft, and standard taxis are easy to use to get around.

2. Alcohol. It's gotten expensive to drink in Vegas, but you can still get "free" drinks while you are actively gambling. You are absolutely expected to tip the cocktail servers, though. Used to be $1 per drink, but you're probably a better person tipping $3-5 now. Last time I was there Cosmopolitan had the best drinks, with cosmos and chocolate martinis available.

3. Free stuff. This is where I echo MyVegas. 2-for-1 meals, etc, really helps, plus you can get things like 2-1 helicopter tours, freeplay in some hotels, other fun things. Also, join the player's clubs. If someone from the casino approaches you while you are gambling and asks if you'd like to join the player's club, ask them what they are offering as a comp. (This may be old info, but keep it in mind just in case.)

4. There's plenty to do that's not gambling-related, to keep those Vegas-exhausted people happy. We really loved the Neon Graveyard and the Atomic Museum, which has an Area 51/alien area that's kind of fun.

5. Take that "objects are further away than they appear" advice to heart. Wear good shoes if you walk to strip, and if you're not sure if you can walk to something, don't. We tried walking to the old Hard Rock (now Virgin) from Planet Hollywood about 12 years ago in the heat of summer, and a cab driver actually pulled over and asked what the hell we were doing and insisted we accept his ride. I'm glad we did. It was much further than we expected. Again, use the bus, monorail, or Uber/Lyft/taxis to get around if you're unsure.

People love Vegas or they hate it. Personally I think it is tacky, overpriced, and obnoxious, and that is probably why I love it with a wild abandon. So have fun and be safe!
 
love it!

Great info- thanks, Headache.
I love Vegas, but hubby is tired of it, so there are certain hints I keep handy for Marital Peace:

1. I avoid what he calls the "DING DING DING" hotels, or casino hotels packed full of slot machines. The last several times we've stayed at Vdara, which is awesome—no DING DING DING, but a very short walk to Aria or Cosmo for casino action when needed. This time we're staying at Signature at MGM. If the Monorail ends up not being an option to get to Sphere or wherever else we need to go, then Uber, Lyft, and standard taxis are easy to use to get around.

i actually love the DING DING DING hotels... which, let's be honest, is most of them. the familiarity of the sounds of slots wizzing and the various hotel specific and very present hotel air fresheners reminds me that i'm back in Paradise :drool:

2. Alcohol. It's gotten expensive to drink in Vegas, but you can still get "free" drinks while you are actively gambling. You are absolutely expected to tip the cocktail servers, though. Used to be $1 per drink, but you're probably a better person tipping $3-5 now. Last time I was there Cosmopolitan had the best drinks, with cosmos and chocolate martinis available.

indeed. booze is still free when gambling - and yes, Vegas runs on tips. also be sure to tip your dealers.

and there are still places to get cheap booze when not gambling... i'll make a list as we get closer.

Blondie's $20 all you can drink happy hour from 3 to 6 pm is a sloppy tradition unlike any other.

3. Free stuff. This is where I echo MyVegas. 2-for-1 meals, etc, really helps, plus you can get things like 2-1 helicopter tours, freeplay in some hotels, other fun things. Also, join the player's clubs. If someone from the casino approaches you while you are gambling and asks if you'd like to join the player's club, ask them what they are offering as a comp. (This may be old info, but keep it in mind just in case.)

indeed. the only reason to not use a rewards card is if you're a card counter and/or concerned about your daily play impacting your comps... which, if you're doing either of those things, you do not not need these tips lol

4. There's plenty to do that's not gambling-related, to keep those Vegas-exhausted people happy. We really loved the Neon Graveyard and the Atomic Museum, which has an Area 51/alien area that's kind of fun.

the Neon Museum is amazing.

Area 15 is a new, very trippy place if you're into that kinda thing.

The Downtown Container Park has a fire breathing praying mantis that insults you. Seriously.

5. Take that "objects are further away than they appear" advice to heart. Wear good shoes if you walk to strip, and if you're not sure if you can walk to something, don't. We tried walking to the old Hard Rock (now Virgin) from Planet Hollywood about 12 years ago in the heat of summer, and a cab driver actually pulled over and asked what the hell we were doing and insisted we accept his ride. I'm glad we did. It was much further than we expected. Again, use the bus, monorail, or Uber/Lyft/taxis to get around if you're unsure.

People love Vegas or they hate it. Personally I think it is tacky, overpriced, and obnoxious, and that is probably why I love it with a wild abandon. So have fun and be safe!

two most common Vegas novice mistakes... thinking the hotel that you can clearly see "just over there" is a short walk away, and forgetting to hydrate yourself while drinking all day lol


seriously though - there's almost no humidity during the time of year the shows take place - and in late September you can still get temps into the upper 90s and even into the 100s.

average temps by month...

Month / High Temp / Low Temp/ Avg. Days of Rain
September / 96° / 57° / 1 day
October / 83° / 46° / 1 day
November / 70° / 35° / 1 day
 
I stayed at Park MGM when I saw the Lady Gaga jazz and piano show there in 2019. Their theater is so nice, it's relatively small and the acoustics were good. If you're staying several days for U2 maybe you could get a ticket to a show in that theater too.

Anyway as far as the hotel it was good, it was clean and felt safe. I had the smallest room and it was quite small, the closet was tiny and that matters to some people. My room had a view of some of the strip.

It's definitely good for a short stay, and there's a Starbucks and some overpriced shops on the first floor. If I remember correctly Park MGM is across from the arena there where the Vegas Golden Knights play. It's the T Mobile Arena
 
I assume the airport still has shuttles (there's a charge) that stop at different hotels, that's what I used in 2019. Park MGM had a large area at the back of the hotel for shuttle, taxi, and Uber Lyft pickups and drop offs. It was operated very well by the hotel.

I'm used to lots of walking so I walked everywhere from that hotel and back. It was later in November, not too hot for walking. There's a CVS within walking distance, cheaper than buying necessities in the hotel shop.
 
Also how common or uncommon is holdem across the casinos?

I prefer avoiding playing against the house, even if other players/ex-cons have angrily threatened my existence for beating them in the past (old man was upset that I called his bet and went all In before the River which gave me a flush, was insistent that I broke some gentlemanly protocol when calling on a community where traditionally you wouldn’t with my hand).
 
(old man was upset that I called his bet and went all In before the River which gave me a flush, was insistent that I broke some gentlemanly protocol when calling on a community where traditionally you wouldn’t with my hand).

Sorry man, I was just in a foul mood that day.
 
Why is 6:5 blackjack the devil? Is it because it is less than 3:2?

you get paid more for a blackjack at a 3:2 table. if you bet $10 and get dealt a blackjack - you should get $25 back at a 3:2 table. Your original $10 bet plus $15 in winnings.

At a $10 6:5 table you're going to get $22 back - $10 + $12.

house edge on a 3:2 table is around half a percent. on a 6:5 table it's around 2.5%.

all things considered - 6:5 blackjack is still a much better play, edge wise, than a lot of the other games you'll find on the casino floor. it's certainly better than Roulette. but if there's a 3:2 table available - yea, you should always play that one - even if the minimums are a bit more than the 6:5 table.

best games to play from an odds perspective are blackjack (at 3:2), video poker and baccarat.
 
Also how common or uncommon is holdem across the casinos?

I prefer avoiding playing against the house, even if other players/ex-cons have angrily threatened my existence for beating them in the past (old man was upset that I called his bet and went all In before the River which gave me a flush, was insistent that I broke some gentlemanly protocol when calling on a community where traditionally you wouldn’t with my hand).

i'm not a poker player so i'll have to do some research - but i know it's not as prevalent as it used to be. you can still absolutely find it though.

horseshoe and aria definitely still have big poker rooms. they're definitely not the only ones left but they're the obvious ones that i always see.
 
This is on the Park MGM site for what is now called the Dolby Live Theater.

"5,200 seats with the furthest seat only 145 feet away from the stage"

Can you imagine seeing U2 there, that would be incredible. Obviously I know they would never play a place like that. I loved that theater. Usher is playing there in November if anyone's interested :wink:
 
I assume the airport still has shuttles (there's a charge) that stop at different hotels, that's what I used in 2019. Park MGM had a large area at the back of the hotel for shuttle, taxi, and Uber Lyft pickups and drop offs. It was operated very well by the hotel.

I'm used to lots of walking so I walked everywhere from that hotel and back. It was later in November, not too hot for walking. There's a CVS within walking distance, cheaper than buying necessities in the hotel shop.

ahhhh i don't think the major hotels have shuttles anymore.

it's best to taxi or ride share from the airport.

there are a couple of busses - one that will drop you off on Tropicana - either by MGM Grand or closer to NYNY / Excal.

the other will take you to the south strip bus terminal - where you can transfer to The Deuce - which goes all the way up The Strip up to Fremont Street.

but yea - cabs and taxis are easier (busses, obviously, are cheaper).

there's also a ton of decently priced limos and car services - if anyone is into that kinda thing. obviously there is... it's vegas.
 
Well I booked a flight and made a hotel reservation for the 12th-15th. Gonna have to find a way to do some dirty things in an alley to get a ticket on the 13th or 14th, will bring new meaning to Dirty Day.
 
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