Useful info you won't find anywhere else
Getting from the airport to your hotel
wouldn't know you can even take a bus because there's little signage at
the airport and the stop isn't well-marked (probably from the
the taxi lobby), but I'm about to demystify it.
Go to the spot right
between the two baggage claim areas, and take the escalator down.
Go outside, and the bus
stop is the last stop on the right, right under the little
(Last I checked, it was just beyond the last numbered slot, #23, where slot
#24 would be if there were a #24.) You'll see airport employees
waiting for it. It's usually best to pay $7 for the 24-hour
pass when you board. The 24-hour pass works on every bus in
the city. More on fares below.
Here's which bus to take based
on where you're going. (You can find your hotel on our map if you don't know where it is.)
The Westcliff Airport Express goes straight from the airport to the South Strip, then it takes the highway to go to downtown. But it runs only once an hour. By the way, it took the geniuses at the bus agency until 2010 to create a route that goes straight from the airport to the Strip. Go figure!
The #108 normally runs every 20 minutes,
except every 30 mins.
between 11pm-1am, and then once an hour until 2:00am. The bus
run between 2-4am, but then neither do the planes.
The Deuce and the "Strip & Downtown Express" (SDX) buses run up and
down the Strip, and also to
Downtown. See at right for info on these buses.
Getting around the Strip & Downtown
WalkingWalking the strip is a viable option. Cabs are expensive, and you usually have to wait in a long line at the hotel to get one. (They can't and won't stop on the street.) The bus is cheaper but it's often not much faster than walking. Renting a car is often a big waste -- traffic on the Strip is often gridlocked and you have to park so far away that you'll wind up walking anyway. Walking is my preferred way of getting around the strip. The whole thing is only four miles long and you could walk the entire strip in an hour and a half.
But walking isn't a perfect option. First of all, the Aria/Cosmo/City Center monstrosity is absolutely hostile to pedestrians. In that area you can't cross at street level, and the detours to the walkways are lengthy and laborious. You could walk on the other side of the street, but that area of the south strip is packed with people so walking is slow-going. Another annoyance are the guys who constantly thrust ads in your face for call girls. Finally, walking is the summer often means braving 100°+ heat. Still, I walk if I'm going only a mile or two. For longer distances, I take the bus.
By the way, please wait for the green light when crossing! Tourists seem to have no regard for the traffic signals, and many of them pay the ultimate price for that lack of judgement. Vegas is twice as dangerous as the national average for pedestrians. It's the 6th-most dangerous city for walkers in the U.S. A ped gets killed about every four days here. Pay attention and obey the signals!
Buses: The Deuce and the
Strip/Downtown Express (SDX)
The City is constantly screwing with bus routes, names, and service
times. The following is current as of Nov. 2010. If you
encounter any changes, please let me know!
In the meantime, you can check the bus website
to double-check your trip.
& Downtown Express (SDX)
||Up & down the Strip, and Downtown
||24/7, every ~12 minutes
(except every 30 minutes between 2:00-5:30am)
||$5 for two-hour pass • $7 for a 24-hour
No, you can't buy a single trip for less.
You can buy the $7 pass on the Deuce, or from a machine at an SDX stop, and the pass works on every bus in the city, and the 24 hours starts from the time you buy it.
|Where to get
machine at the bus stop (NOT on the bus)
(i.e., every casino)
|Goes to LV
|Goes to LV
|Goes to the
South Strip Transfer Terminal (SSTT)
The SDX is usually fast, but the Deuce can be pretty slow, and when the Strip is congested the Deuce isn't much faster than walking. Downtown to Mandalay Bay (5.7 miles) is as quick as 40 minutes, but once it took me 1:23 in traffic, and I could walk it in 1:44. (When I ran the Vegas Marathon, I did that route in 51 minutes -- almost as fast as the fastest bus.) But even though the Deuce is often barely faster than walking, it does get you out of the heat, and is a relief when you're tired. Also, if you're able to snag the front two seats upstairs then you get a great, cheap tour of the Strip. And of course, the SDX is always faster than the Deuce.
Note that if you have occasion to
ride a numbered local bus (not the Deuce or SDX), you can buy your $7
day pass on any bus in the city, and that pass works on any bus in the
city, including the Deuce and SDX.
Some casinos run their own private trams between their properties. These trams are fast, free, and run from 9:00am to 10:30pm, every 8 minutes. The only downside is they don't take you very far. Trams run between:
The monorail is a joke. If you're going to or from the Convention Center or the Hilton it's great. But it's useless for traveling the strip. It's too far away, too expensive, has too few stops, doesn't run as late, and doesn't go the whole length of the strip, For traveling the Strip, it's often much faster (and cheaper) to take the bus or walk.
The monorail isn't even on the strip itself. You have to walk one long block to the west to get on it. When you do you'll pay a $5 for a one-way ride or $12 for a day pass (vs. $7 for a day pass on the bus). Then when you get off the monorail you've got to walk a long block back to the strip. Unless it picks up and drops off exactly where you need to go, which is almost never the case, skip the monorail.
Progressive jackpot warning: I recently discovered what I believe to be a glitch that makes certain progressive slot jackpots at Bovada unwinnable. Until Bovada fixes this, I suggest you not play the progressive slots (or at least don't make max bets).
Reason I like Bovada #3:
Let me share my experience at another online casino whose name I won't mention: I wanted to try out their free-play games, and they made me sign up for an account. That was annoying, just for free-play, but actually most casinos make you register, so they can annoy you by email to pressure you into depositing real money.
I didn't get to choose my own username, they assigned one, and it was long! An astounding twelve digits of mixed numbers and letters. There was no way I'd be able to memorize it, I'd have to write it down.
After trying out the free-play games I decided to deposit money and play for real. And guess what? I had to register a separate account to play for real. They assigned me a brand-new twelve-digit username. Great.
Shortly thereafter they started offering play-in-browser games. That's convenient, so I wanted to get in on that. Guess what? Yet another username.
And guess how they handle they money they give you as a matching bonus on your deposit? You guessed it, another account.
Okay, now let's fast-forward to Bovada: One account gets you everything. And I mean everything. Real money, fake money, bonuses, you name it. I didn't get to choose my account name, but at least it's easy to remember.
And if you want to play for free with fake money, you don't even need an account at all. For example:
Play for free, no B.S.
One click and you're in.
Admittedly, Bovada's not perfect. I recently discovered what I believe to be a glitch that makes certain progressive slot jackpots at Bovada unwinnable. Until Bovada fixes this, I suggest you not play the progressive slots (or at least don't make max bets).
All in all, I think Bovada is the best bet for U.S. players. Though if someone knows of a U.S.-facing casino that has browser-based games that you can play without registering an account, please let me know!
Also, know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.