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Super-Cheap Stays in Vegas
the following article was written for the Wizard of Odds newsletter,
and was reprinted in the Las Vegas Advisor's Frugal Fridays newsletter
My always fun and interesting webmaster Michael Bluejay asked if he could plug his own anti-car, pro-bicycle newsletter. I told him he would have to write a gambling related newsletter in exchange for the free plug. Michael is an authority on staying in Vegas on a very limited budget and does a great job giving us the scoop on the ultra-economy lodging options downtown. As someone who always bikes short distances and only drives about 3000 miles a year I am sympathetic to Michael's crusade for the rights of bicyclists. If the topic interests you I'd suggest giving his newsletter a try. We share the same no-spam policy and no-hassle opting out. Thanks Michael for another funny and informative newsletter (you may recall he wrote another one while I was in Hawaii). Also, best wishes to all my newsletter readers in 2004 and may the odds be with you.
by Michael Bluejay, Professional Cheapskate
I asked the Wizard if he'd mention my hot, hot newsletter, Car-Free World, in his own newsletter. He said sure, except that I'd have to mention it myself, and that I'd have to write an article about Vegas or gambling. Grrr.... Okay, Wizard wins, I'm writing the article. But I win too, because I get the link to my newsletter. And you, the reader, win too, because you're getting a super-exciting article that you won't find anywhere else. Everyone wins! And isn't Vegas all about winning? Win win win win!
Okay, you can see why the Wizard doesn't let me out in public very often. So anyway, my article is about the absolute cheapest places to stay when you're in Vegas. I'm the expert on this one. Jean Scott (author of The Frugal Gambler) has nothing on me, I can frugal circles around her.
Of course the cheapest thing is to just stay with the Wizard when I'm in Vegas. But he lives out by the mountains which is an hour from downtown (by bicycle anyway, which is how I get around), and I'm not down with his crappy 1980's Clavinova electronic piano or the dead chickens or the kids calling me "Mr. Bluejay!" So that's out. Fortunately, there are cheap alternatives.
Las Vegas Backpackers Hostel, $0-13
Hostels are usually supposed to be just for international travelers, but LVBH sometimes takes Yanks -- especially in the slower seasons, like winter. Last time I was there the rate was $13/night. The catch is that you share your room with up to three other people. But if you can deal with that, you won't find cheaper.
The Western, $22
The Western is my favorite casino in the whole world. Why? Because it's CHEAP! And it's DANGEROUS! You can't have one without the other. And you've got to expect that when you have $1 blackjack and $0.25 roulette in an unclean, stinky building with blazing fluorescent lighting in the middle of a crack neighborhood that it's not gonna be Utopia. Two guys tailed me out of there when I left one night, probably trying to nab the $67 they saw me win. Fortunately I noticed them and got back into a public area before anything bad happened.
The Gold Spike, $25-30
If dangerous thrills aren't your idea of a good time, then you might like the Western's sister casino, the Gold Spike. The rooms there are pricier -- $25 week nights and $30 on the weekends -- but what do you expect in exchange for not having to politely decline the opportunity to buy large quantities of narcotics as you walk to your hotel? I don't like this place as much because the casino is a lot smaller, it's dimly lit (compared to the Western's blazing fluorescents), and it's not as dangerous.
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