Travel Fanboy

Episode #31- Crowd Control

In this episode I discuss, among other things, tips for dealing with large crowds in Las Vegas. Here are some of the main discussion points:

Why avoid the crowds?

This was a fair question asked by listener Travis. He astutely pointed at that joining in the revelry is what makes Vegas exciting and fun. That’s is certainly true most of the time. There are occasions, however, when we may want to enjoy a low-key Vegas vacation. Perhaps have a drink or two, play our favorite games, and perhaps enjoy a day in the pool or spa, without the boisterous crowd that can accompany major events.

Avoid holidays

New Years Eve, Cinco de Mayo weekend, Cuatro de Julio, and my birthday tend to bring about the celebrations and are a bit busier than the average day. Avoid these if you’re looking for a quiet stay.

Know where the crowds will be

You can use event calendars to help decide where you should stay to avoid the masses. Knowing where concerts or large conventions will be taking place can be valuable in that regard. For instance, Rock ‘N Rio took place at the north end of the Strip, which made it a busier neighborhood than usual. Also, the sister properties, Venetian and Palazzo, and Mandalay Bay are popular convention hotels, which can cause some congestion during major conferences. It may also help to know the property sponsors for major events. MGM properties acted as the NFR hosts.

Event and convention calendars: event calendar

Convention calendar

Stay Downtown or off Strip

As I detailed in the last episode, despite it being a busy fight weekend, Downtown was typical Downtown. Perhaps a little busier than usual, but not difficult to navigate. There were plenty of cheap table games available and it was never difficult finding a spot to eat. If you plan to vacation during a busy holiday or event and have never stayed near the Fremont area, that would be a good time.

Also, don’t be afraid of to utilize off-Strip locations if you dislike crowds. The Rio, Palms, Gold Coast, The Orleans and more offer free shuttles to the Strip for hotel guests. They typically run on a schedule, but can be convenient nonetheless.

Bonus: Downtown and off-Strip hotels will likely be much cheaper.

More on getting around

Dr. Thomas- Blend in: Be a Zebra in a herd of Zebra if you don’t want to be bothered. This is especially true of the timeshare sellers and others that may want to bother you. My wife actually adopts my resting face. She claims that most of the time I look angry, which ultimately means people don’t bother me. She actually said that she tried it on a not quite full plane to ensure she had an open seat next to her with success.

Eat and play during off hours

Steve- Make restaurant reservations at off peak times. You’ll be more likely to get a seat at your restaurant of choice. Plus, you may be able to take advantage of happy hour deals, as this is when they are usually offered.

Steve- keep a stash of booze in your room. It’s cheap and quick, just like…nevermind. No need to waste money and time getting a pre-game buzz at a crowded bar. Have your group meet in a central room, enjoy a toast, and hit the town.

It may help to gamble at off-peak hours as well. You’ll not only be more likely to find a table, but can take advantage of cheaper minimums as well. Drink service will also be expedited. A busy casino means less free drinks, as cocktail waitresses can only accommodate so many so quickly.

Any other tips? Let me know!

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Host of the Vegas Fanboy podcast. A reluctant Millennial. An amateur human.

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