How to Experience Las Vegas Like a Gentleman

by A Manly Guest Contributor on March 13, 2012 · 48 comments

in Travel, Travel & Leisure

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Joe Weber of 

First, a word on the word “gentleman.”  To some, it sounds a bit snooty.  Like some stuck up Victorian-looking fellow who would never get his hands or clothes dirty.  But for the purpose of this article, know that the term is really in reference to that large swath of men who want to experience Las Vegas without feeling like they’re an extra in The Hangover.  Y’know, the type who’d like to visit Sin City without committing sins so egregious that St. Peter has the evidence bookmarked for easy access when he finally hits the pearly gates.  There are plenty of wrong turns to take in Las Vegas, and far too many dark alleys to wander down.  These suggestions should help you maximize your enjoyment of America’s Playground, all while keeping at least some money in your pocket and letting you actually tell people about your trip once you get back.

Pay for your trip in advance, in cash.

Here’s how it usually goes:  “Whoo hooo!  Vegas trip!  I’ll just put this on my credit card, and once I get back I’ll pay it all off at once.”  Bad idea.  If you’re planning a vacation a few weeks or months in advance, pay for it when you book it in full.  That’ll leave your mind clear of any nagging financial obligations while you’re down there.  And a clear mind means better decisions.  You’d be surprised how many people head to Las Vegas knowing they’ve got the bill to pay once they get back, and gamble recklessly attempting to “win” their trip while they’re there.  Pay for the hotel and airfare as well as any pre-planned activities ahead of time.  You’ll have much, much more fun.

Arrive on a Thursday and Leave on a Monday.

A Friday arrival / Sunday departure just doesn’t leave you with enough time to relax.  That, and McCarran Airport is jammed on those days.  Show up on a Thursday and leave on a Monday.  You’ll pay a little less in airfare and much more on hotel thanks to the extra days, but it’s awfully worth it in the long run.  Want to go full maverick, and you have some flexibility in your work schedule and vacation time?  Consider a weekdays only visit.  The town is far from deserted, but it’ll be a lot easier to do what you want to do.

Stay in a decent hotel.  Gamble less.

Men usually skimp on accommodations so they can gamble more.  That’s a rookie move.  Unless you’re seriously good and you go to “make” money you’re losing out.  No doubt, hitting the tables can be a great time.  But the house (almost) always wins.  And unless you win a ton of money, your dump of a room at the Laughing Jackalope (I stayed there before the motel closed–big mistake) is still going to wipe whatever smile off your face once you crash for the night.  The amenities at the nice hotels are worth the extra cost.  Access to good food, non-smoking floors, exhibits, gardens, shows, the pool, good staff, friendly dealers, a decent bed, a bathroom where a cockroach doesn’t crawl out of the roll the first time you spin a few sheets of toilet paper off it (true story)… it’s all worth it and then some.  Most of us who have gone to Las Vegas more than once stay in a cheap and dirty place the first time, learn our lesson, and then cut the gambling budget for accommodations.  It’s a lesson that I hope no one has to learn firsthand in the future.

Dress well.  Hardly anyone else does.

And that means bringing a well-tailored suit.  Las Vegas might be the only place in the world where you can be enjoying an expensive, gourmet meal in an amazing restaurant, and the table next to you is filled with dudes wearing cargo shorts and crocs.  And that’s fine.  They’re probably all millionaires.  But you’ll be treated better by everyone if you look like you deserve respect.

Dressing your best while on vacation also makes it feel more special than it already is. You’d dress up for your girlfriend or wife if you two were having a big evening out, right? Consider this a big few-days out. No need to be dressed to the nines 24/7, but getting on the plane and hitting the hotel in something other than what you’d wear when you’re stricken with the flu makes the entire trip more enjoyable—more of an experience. You don’t want to look like you’re headed to a board meeting or court, so skip the pinstripes and double-breasted numbers.  And no black suits either (you’ll look like a hotel employee).  The safe play is a light grey two-button with lighter brown dress lace-ups.  Wear it on the plane if you don’t want to check luggage.  Bring a few bright white and light blue dress shirts, a pair of dark wash jeans, a navy cotton sport coat, and a pocket square or two, and you’ll be set for almost any situation.  If it’s during any part of the year where the temps get brutal, keep fabrics light in color and weight.

Avoid getting drunk.

This is obvious for those that either don’t drink or don’t like the feeling of being intoxicated.  But if you’re the type who likes to drink, know that if you don’t ACTIVELY avoid overindulging in booze, you’ll spend at least a full day if not more hungover in your hotel room (another reason why you want a nice, clean place to crash).  There’s a reason why there’s alcohol everywhere in Las Vegas:  the looser you get, the looser your wallet gets.  Don’t get a free drink every time the cocktail waitress comes around with the freebies at the tables.  She’ll bring you water or club soda. Ask for it.  And if you do start to feel like you’ve had too much to drink?  Get back to your room, drink some water, and get some rest.  And for the love of the person who’s stuck sitting next to you on the flight back, don’t get hammered the night before you leave.  If you don’t think you’re the type that gets airsick, wait till you have a pulsating hangover on a too warm flight that’s a little bumpy on takeoff.  You’ll get very familiar with that little blue bag in front of you real quick.

Gambling: Be polite and tip your dealers.  Even if you lose.

It’s not their fault you bet big and lost.  Always save a few chips for your dealers.  You’re done before you use those, because those should go to the dealer as long as they’ve been courteous.  The best dealers can often make you feel like your session of losing at a table, especially if it’s an hour or so at craps, has been more than worthwhile.  Show them you appreciate their work.  And tip the cocktail waitress too when she comes around.  Especially if she asks what you’d like, you politely inquire if she can commandeer some top shelf stuff (don’t get too greedy though), and she returns with it in hand.  A $10 – $15 glass of booze at the bar can cost nothing more than a $4 tip if you treat your cocktail waitress right.  Everybody wins here.

Know who else to tip.

Yes, the dealers and cocktail waitresses will appreciate the tip.  But so will the doorman/bellhop in charge of getting you a taxi at the hotel, as well your cabbie, the guy who checks your bags at the airport curbside check-in, and the housekeeping staff that cleaned your pigsty of a room during your stay.  It’s a few bucks here and there that can add up, but you’ll be treated much better in the long run.

Research restaurants and their menu prices.

There’s always the possibility you’ll get a bad waiter.  Better to spread out your money on a few mid-level priced meals, than going all in on one restaurant only to get stuck with a snob of a server.  As one awfully nice rake man once said to me while playing craps after a particularly bad experience at a particularly expensive restaurant: “Some people in this town forget what business we’re in.  It’s the hospitality business.”  There are bad eggs out there.  Know what you’re willing to spend at a restaurant, poke around online before you go, and don’t overspend at one place.

See a show… or three.

There’s so much to see there.  A blinking slot machine is as boring as it gets.  Most want to gamble.  That’s fine.  But there’s some serious world class entertainment in Las Vegas.  Set aside a night or two (or more) to NOT gamble.  Get a great meal.  See a show.  Walk around and enjoy the lights and atmosphere.  Watch the fountains at the Bellagio.  Turn in knowing you won’t wake up the next morning with a raging hangover nor will your wallet have been cleared out thanks to a bad half hour at the blackjack table.  Las Vegas is much, much more than what every bachelor party stocked with 23-year-olds experiences there.  This, if you’ll pardon the word, “gentleman’s” approach, should leave you with no regrets (imagine that) and actually feeling like you won in Las Vegas.  Even if you leave a little lighter in the wallet than when you arrived.


Joe Weber is the Director and Editor of where affordable style is the one and only focus. He believes that living right, living well, and looking good doesn’t mean you should go broke in the process.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sam March 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm

My parents love going to Vegas, and used to take us kids as well. Waterparks during the day (necessary in August), shows/attractions at night, and the Paradise Garden Buffet in the Flamingo for most meals.

Vegas is so much more amazing than gambling, and lots of non-gambling activities are cheaper than they’d be in, say, Orlando since the gambling subsidizes the attractions.

2 Rob March 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Bring Girls. Really do this; bring girls. You will not get into any club or dance hall without the girls. If you do, they pour small drinks as a disincentive. They do the frat-boy thing and try to keep a ratio of 2:1 in Vegas. No cell-phones either, you don’t want to call your girl like I did.

3 Nicholas Crawford March 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Nice work, Joe. I’d like to see this turn into a series around the nation. Time to expense your business travel, Mr. Dappered!

4 Tucker March 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Im 28 and have been to Vegas a few times. Mostly drunken disgraceful experiences with friends which I chalk up as regretful learning experiences.

Last month I went to Las Vegas and tried to gamble and drink less, and enjoy myself more. I went to a show at Planet Hollywood, called, “Vegas! The Show” I recommend it to all of you on your next trip to Las Vegas, it is an adequate historical primer of Las Vegas and not too expensive. It is a fun show that includes classic Vegas icons, musicians-dancers-magicians-gymnasts and story-telling through the show’s MC, who happens to be a janitor who see’s all like a fly on the wall, which is a humble reminder that Las Vegas is a place to be enjoyed by all. I think if you can’t enjoy a show like that you probably have no business calling yourself a gentleman.

5 Mark March 13, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Did the suit deal with a buddy for the first time a few months ago. It was amazing how many times a conversation was started around “why you’re dressed up”. Great ice breaker for meeting ladies! Bringing the suit or blazer every Vegas trip!

Also, the higher end places have higher end well drinks: Makers is the bourbon well at Ceasars and Bellagio, other places have whatever off brand is the lower bidder when the contract goes out.

6 Hot Tip March 13, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Don’t bring sand to a beach, and don’t bring girls to Vegas.

If you really want to get into a club, make friends with girls during the day – at the pool, on the Strip, in the elevator, wherever. Get their numbers and meet up later before the clubs.

If you don’t have enough game to pick up girls in Vegas during the day, which has to be the easiest situation in the world to do so, then you’re not going to have much success in the clubs anyway.

7 Steven Horvat March 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I enjoyed reading this post. My wife and I could possibly spend a week in Vegas this summer. Not for the gambling but to see the shows and the attractions that are EVERYWHERE. She’s never been and I have been three times. Gambling is fun and the time to go for cheap is from 3am-7am where BlackJack is $2 a bet and the noise is at a dull. I just want to know how to stay cool in Sin City, Jeans and a sports coat is not going to cut it during the hot summer heat!

8 Ray March 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Here’s a little trick that has always worked for me: When you first arrive, discretely sandwich a $20 bill between your credit card and ID at check-in, and when you hand it over to the person checking you in, ask if there are any “complimentary upgrades” available. It’s never let me down, probably because I also follow the already-stated tip of always arriving on a Thursday when there are a lot more rooms available. I usually pay for a standard room before I get into town, and end up getting upgraded to a mid-sized room, but last time I went I tried it differently and paid for a mid-sized room to start — the size between a standard room and a suite — and sure enough, got the enormous upgrade to the executive suite with a steam room and hot tub for just twenty bucks. I can’t vouch for this working at the more expensive hotels, as I’d rather spend my money on another show than a nicer room, and regrettably I haven’t tried staying in old-town Vegas yet, but I can say that the NYNY/Luxor/Bally’s/Tropicana/Flamingo/Harrah’s/Stratosphere price range has had a 100% success rate in my experience.

It’s also nice to have a new friend at the desk from then on, when you’re looking for inside tips on places to go or things to do during your stay. Which brings up another good Vegas tip — don’t just tip, but get names and remember them! You’ll likely be running into the same people several times during a three night stay, and if you’re on a first name basis the entire time, not only will you be remembered and treated better, but you’ll feel more at home in what can otherwise feel like an overwhelming city to the unfamiliar.

9 Jimmy Nickel March 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I second Ray’s advice (having done the same thing several times).

If you are afraid to do this, just remember this fact:

There are TONS of free upgrades available that most people do not know about. Hotel and restaurant staff are usually happy to give them away for the tiniest of reasons. This is especially true during the weekdays if it’s slow.

10 Colonel March 14, 2012 at 12:19 am

I also wore a suit the last time I went to Vegas, and all it got me was hassled by middle-aged wise asses wearing t-shirts.

11 The Dutch Dastard March 14, 2012 at 4:50 am

Ahh….the day you can’t go to a casino wearing a suit without being asked why is a day to be mourned. It is a shame that people find being physically comfortable more important than being psychologically comfortable (by looking good in the right environment that is).

Another tip: Be sure you know the rules of the games you are playing. Not knowing exactly what’s happening can make a loss a real bummer. Knowing exactly what’s happening gives you that ‘man of the world’ feeling. Feel like a roller, not like a noob.

12 Belligero March 14, 2012 at 7:43 am

Even though visiting modern-day Vegas is about as appealing to me as going to a mall (which is to say not at all), I have to say that it looks pretty decent in the vintage photos.

13 Chris March 14, 2012 at 8:15 am

My wife and I went a couple of years ago for a conference. She likes playing the slots, and we wanted to see as much as possible, so our plan was to park at one hotel on the strip, play for however long $20 got us on the slots, then walk to the next hotel. We wound up seeing 8-10 hotels a day, walked around and SAW the hotels, not just the casinos, and we got a $1 token from each as a cheap souvineer.

Also, if you have the time and are so inclined, I highly recommend the Hoover Dam tour. Go early in the day and take the tour before looking around the museum to avoid the crowd. Of everything we did in Vegas, that’s the side trip I remember most.

14 Shaun Neil March 14, 2012 at 8:25 am

Great article! There are a lot of great tips like the ones in this article in the book, “A Guy’s Guide to being a Mans Man”. I heavily recommend it for the reading list too.

15 Jeff March 14, 2012 at 8:49 am

Great post. I have never been to LV, mainly because I hate losing a ton of money when gambling. I would love to go with my wife, dress up Rat Pack style every night and enjoy the sights, sounds , food and entertainment.

In response to others comments about the Hoover Dam, I also have heard amazing things about it.

16 Rick March 14, 2012 at 9:41 am

Another point: don’t get too wrapped up in the sights, you don’t need to see everything at once…give yourself some time to take it in.

I went two years ago for a bowling tournament (2 day tournament, but we stayed all week). Everything was photo opportunities. Stop by the Vegas sign, take pictures inside the Venetian, etc. An entire week there and the only real event we did was watch the overhead show on Fremont St. The rest of the time was spent driving around taking photos and sitting around slot machines. The 6 of us went in on a rental van, so we essentially went everywhere together, and while the trip was fun, it never felt like an experience. We were like a bunch of random tourists who didn’t know what to do.

Needless to say, next time I go, I’m going with a more intimate group of friends, and planning out stuff.

17 Marc March 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

I’m european, and going to a Casino without dressing up sounds a little bit like a contradiction in terms. I mean, at least, wear a sports shirt and nice jeans, else, you don’t get past the door.
This summer I spent a night in Baden Baden, and I decided to see the casino. Not to gamble, but just take a stroll inside, have a drink and get back to the hostel. Response from the doorman: “Sorry Sir (it always feels nice to go to Germany, where all men over sixteen years old are called “Herr” or “Junger Herr”), not without a Jacket and a tie!”

18 JonathanL March 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

My wife and I went with our young son and both of our parents when we renewed our vows with a nice Vegas wedding (I mean nice – it wasn’t Elvis or hokey or anything). We never got sauced, we combined for 20 minutes tops on the slots, and despite constant 115-degree weather, we had a pretty great time.

The lessons I learned the most were to not underestimate the time it takes to get somewhere, whether by bus or walking (our idiot concierge at the Wynn said it was an easy walk to the Strat when it took the better part of an hour and we were all sweating underneath the morning sun by the time we got there), and stay at the environment that fits your stay. We were at the Wynn, and it’s a very nice place, but as a family with a small child, we definitely felt out of place compared to a vast majority of the patrons.

Go to some fun restaurants and see some shows. Phantom ends at the Venetian this year, and it’s awesome. I didn’t buy a single souvenir because I can’t stand the very idea of it, but I remember the great shows and sights and people like I just got back yesterday.

19 RobM March 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I haven’t been out there in a couple of years, but have been many times. I “like” the idea of the suit trip; I’ll have to try it…maybe. I’ve found just remembering names makes a big difference and agree on tipping.
The best trip I had , I and my GF sat down at a blackjack table after brunch and played until 6pm. We had a blast getting to know all the dealers on shift and they treated us great. Very relaxing. ($5 table, she won $900 and I won $100) but we were playing for time, as long as the money held out.. and it did. The dealers were also very eager to help and we tipped them all well.

20 Brucifer March 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm

It is telling, to post pictures of Vegas in the old days to accompany this article. Today, Las Vegas has become Disneyland for uncouth and unkempt rubes. Even in the best restaurants in town and in the priciest shops, a man in a suit is an anomaly…. or mafia. And walking a lady past the ever-present gauntlets of homeless who persistently thrust adverts for strip joints and “escort” services into the hands of everyone m/f who passes, does not make for a genteel evening. I’ll not go back.

21 M. Sutphin March 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I recently went to Vegas with a couple friends and we had a fantastic time. I pretty much agree with everything Joe posted, but I’d like to add my own tips.

1) Learn how to play the games- You don’t have to learn every single nuance of each game, but you should be able to play without referring to a book at your side or pestering the dealer. Stop by early in the morning when there aren’t too many people around, and let the dealer walk you through the game.

2) Consider renting a house: Instead of going to a hotel (we had a large group), we rented a 6 bedroom in the nearby suburbs. For 5 days and 4 nights it cost less than $100 per person, and we had plenty of space, a nice sized pool and sauna, BBQ, and we were about 10 minutes from the strip and airport. Even considering we rented cars, it was a fantastic deal.

22 John March 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Great article! I can’t wait for my Company trip to LV in May. It is a business trip, so the tailored suit is actually a requirement.

23 suburban sentinel March 14, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Wife and I went to Vegas years ago and split the trip, half in the city half exploring the desert. Rented a Jeep for the desert and left our four day itinerary with the hotel parking lot attendant. Told him we would do daily check in phone calls by a certain time and that if we were more than 6 hours late call the cavalry. This was before cell phones and such. Cut a $100 bill neatly in half and gave him one half, the second to be delivered upon our return.

Wouldn’t you know it the damn jeep broke down and we missed a scheduled call. Was able to get it the jeep going but not before a sheriff had found us after the parking lot guy called the authorities.
I still have a picture of the wife and I standing next to the parking guy with his taped together Franklin. Best $100 worth of insurance I ever had.

24 Don Keefhardt March 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Get some exposure to the old-time, hairy-chested Vegas.

1. Hit some old-timey casinos. Binion’s has a whole lot more character than anything on the strip. Low ceilings, cigar smoke, and you could always find low-limit blackjack tables waaaay in the back.

2. I know this will come as a shock to some people, but there is a DESERT right outside the door !!!!! Who knew ?!?!?!?! Red Rock Canyon is convenient and cute, but take a ride up to Valley of Fire, and hike some of the trails.

25 DClark March 14, 2012 at 11:36 pm

One piece of advice I was given regarding shows was buy tickets in advance. If it’s a hot/popular one, chances of you walking in off the street for a seat are almost nil.

26 Kaye March 14, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I live in Las Vegas and work in the hospitality industry and my biggest advice is to treat everyone with respect. Although our job is to make you have a good vacation, we are also dealing with hundreds if not thousands of other people a day.

Concierges, club promoters, limo drivers, waiters, cocktail waitresses, et al are all in one (surprisingly chatty) industry. When I hear about a customer who’s rude or overly demanding, if I know someone else who might come into contact with that person, I warn them. But I do the same thing with people who are courteous and kind, and sometimes ask that they go a bit above and beyond to make sure they get treated well.

I’m not saying that saying please and thank you will get you free show tickets or bottle service at a night club, but it certainly will never hurt you.

27 Fucking broads March 15, 2012 at 7:17 am

Went to vegas a while back for the porn convention. Fucked a couple of porn star escorts. It was awesome.

28 Fergal March 15, 2012 at 9:42 am

This is all good advice. Went to LV last month – travelled from the UK for my first visit. What a city. Went from Tuesday to Monday but broke the trip up. Arrived Vegas on Tuesday evening spent Wednesday in the city taking in the sights. Went to a gun club then found a great bar opposite – way off the strip – PT’s Pub on Spring Mountain. Happy hour, food and pool tables. Thursday and Friday we went to Grand Canyon and hiked below the rim. Back to Vegas but instead of a show we went to the US Rugby Sevens tournament. Were due to leave on Monday but the plane broke down on the Tarmac (better than in the air) and Delta airlines put us up in Vegas for a free night!! Bonus!!
Went into every casino but didn’t gamble a cent. Still had an amazing time, making friends, seeing the sights, eating out. Didn’t miss a thing. All paid for before we went. Came home under budget.

29 Richard March 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

Don’t forget that the Grand Canyon is a day trip away from LV…

One other thing I can suggest is to save your gambling for your last night in town (after carefully putting aside all the cash you will need for your trip home). You’ve already had your day trips, seen the shows, and dined at the many fine restaurants, so you won’t risk losing that money. You have an automatic cutoff point (“I have to go now; I have to get up early for my flight”) that should help keep you from throwing good money after bad by trying to make that one last jackpot to cover any losses.

And if you should win, you go home happy.

(Perhaps an essay on ‘How to Gamble like a Gentleman’ is in order? Who hasn’t imagined themselves as James Bond at the baccarat table?)

30 Richard March 15, 2012 at 10:51 am

Oh, by the way…

Las Vegas does have a number of “adult entertainment” venues. Remember that the staff and entertainers there are just as deserving of your respect and proper treatment as those at any other venue.

31 Not James Bond March 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Wear a suit on vacation? Oh, puhleeeze. I’d rather stay home and go to work.

32 Paying In Advance March 16, 2012 at 3:11 am

One warning about paying for your trip in advance. It’s more than likely completely non-refundable.
You can’t make it? too bad.

If you’re the type of person (and I hope you’re not) that likes to complain to the hotel staff and try to weasel a discount/refund, not happening. You paid in full.

So before you fork over the dough, do your research and curb your expectations.

33 Steve Scarfia March 16, 2012 at 3:19 am

So I went to Las Vegas for the first time last January with a group of friends. I will tell you that it was easily one of the most fun times I’ve ever had in my entire life. I can definitely affirm what the author says about springing for the better hotel. It’s totally worth it. My friend had an awesome offer from his Amex card that allowed us to get 2 amazing suites at the Planet Hollywood Towers for like $150 a night, which was split between 5 people. Totally affordable, and the rooms… Nicer than most houses I’ve been in! We spent the first night having my friend tutor us on the odds of different Black Jack hands using mathematical probabilities while we drank some good liquor. We then hit the one dollar BJ tables and had a great time. Seriously, I lost about $40 over a three-day period, while getting tons of free drinks and having a fun time playing with some fun dealers and random people who come to the table. Black Jack is especially great because it’s really you and the entire table against the dealer, except the dealer will help you win by telling you when you should hit or stay, so it’s really more like you, the rest of the table, and the dealer vs. the house. I also saw a great show there at the Venetian. First, just visiting the Venetian is amazing as it’s one of the coolest buildings ever built (indoor river anyone?), but then seeing Blue Man Group there…. Really awesome!
Another notable thing to do while there, get to the Bellagio around 11:30am for their Breakfast buffet, but then you’ll get a two for one, as the lunch buffet starts at Noon. Probably some of the best food I’ve ever had, let alone best buffet food. Lastly, if you have a little extra cash (as I did from hardly spending any money while there), then you should also take advantage of another cool thing about Nevada… The fact that you can shoot full-automatic firearms at any shooting range there! Seriously, for I think about $200, I got to shoot a Tommy Gun, an Uzi, A sniper rifle, a shotgun with some powerful slugs, and a couple of handguns with silencers on them. It’s just an experience that you have to experience in your lifetime.
Las Vegas = Adult Disneyland (and I am not necessarily referring Adult in the X-rated sense, although I’m sure that can be said as well). Also, never got drunk once.

34 Joe mateix March 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I absolutely despise what vegas has become. Long gone are the days of the old casinos and vegas cool where you on a nice suit and take your girl out for dinner and a show. Last time we were there we stayed at the bellagio which was okay, but it just didnt have a vegas feel. It was more like going to epcot with the amount of old people and kids running around. My advice is save some money and go to monaco!

35 Aaron March 17, 2012 at 9:13 am

Article’s advice is spot-on. Some additional idea:
Instead of pre-paying the hotel, why not simply set the money aside along with a payment slip, and simply resolve to make an in-person credit card payment when you return?
I’ll second Don Keefhardt’s notion about seeing the deserts outside of Vegas. Both Red Rock and Valley of Fire are close by, and feel quite otherworldly.
And Steve’s idea about “renting” guns is spot-on – definitely do that, too! Even if you’re anti-gun or indifferent to firearms, at least give it a try! Hint: the place that advertises in the airport, The Gun Store, is perhaps the most popular, but is the busiest and most crowded. More and more of these places are springing up, so do a bit of looking around…

36 Derek March 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Vegas is a vile and disgusting place. It is the shameful image of what America has become which is fat people walking around in disheveled clothes, often with a feedbag or large sugary drink around their neck (literally), and ogling a bunch of “shows” which are mostly just inane plotlines around lots of women in lingerie. If you have an IQ over 90 or a weight under 250, and especially both, skip Vegas now and forever.

Having lived on the west coast for years I have been there 5-10 times (it becomes “the place” for unoriginal west coasters looking to make an event out of things). I’ve stayed at Wynn, Bellagio, Venetian, etc. No matter, its all the same disgrace, just dressed up nicer. In 2010 I was there 3 times and each visit was more vile than the last. Furthermore after going there for a span of some 10 years, I can also tell you it gets worse every time. Even 10 years ago it still had some character. Now its all tits and ass everywhere, banner ads for prostitutes, and open drunkenness often to the chagrin of the people who brought their kids thinking it was a family destination. I’ll never make this mistake again.

If you want to dress up to go to a children’s party where all the kids eat too much cake and throw up everywhere, be my guest. But you’ll still find that there’s nothing classy or adult about it.

37 Carla March 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I definitely agree that wearing a suit will improve your chances with the ladies. Last time I was in Vegas, I only saw one group of early-30s men wearing suits and they looked GREAT. As LA women, we are rarely treated to the sight of a man in well fitted suit and women tend to get even more dress up in Vegas than usual (i.e. sequined dresses, pin curled hair), so seeing a man take those extra steps makes a great impression.

38 Mike March 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Also, if you plan to gamble one evening… first set a budget for how much you want to spend on gambling and hope that it lasts you all evening… view this as entertainment expense. It has worked well that I leave my credit card and debit card in the hotel room and only bring cash for my gambling budget and dinner.

39 Tryclyde March 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I’ve been to Vegas a number of times and never would dream of bringing a suit. I’m all for dressing nice at night out there, but there’s no way I’m flying across the country on vacation to wear a suit.

Also, at the end of my second trip out there I learned something: Fremont Street (which is the actual city of Las Vegas since most of the strip is in Paradise, NV) is superior to all the behemoth hotels/casinos on the strip. The casinos are all more intimate and have more of an “old Vegas” feel, everything from drinks to the tables are cheaper overall, and the employees are friendlier (I once had a half hour conversation with a pit boss while I was shooting craps). In addition, instead of it taking 20 minutes to walk to the casino next door like on the strip, it takes 20 seconds Downtown. The ridiculous overkill of the strip is much overrated in my book.

40 Tryclyde March 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm

One more thing, if you want to shell out the cash, see Beatles Love, it will blow your mind.

41 Clockwork March 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm

The great pictures accompanying this article show a bygone era. Las Vegas does not have 1% of the charisma it had back then. Sadly, the Rat Pack is gone and is not coming back.

42 Brooks Martyr March 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

I grew up in Vegas. Its amazing to see how far that city has fallen. It used to have class. The last 20 years have been harsh to that place. Its not even worth it anymore. Just walking down the strip you’re bound to get a whole trees worth of fliers for hookers, at least one std (that won’t stay in Vegas), and your suit will most likely end up with fake tan all over it. America needs a new playground.

43 LPB March 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Fond memories of Hamilton’s in”New York, New York”, one of the last places I know of to require men to wear jackets.

+1 on Hoover Dam, also check out the Pinball Museum across from the old (now defunct) Liberace Museum.

44 mantic59 March 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Having been to Las Vegas many times (in fact my wife and I were married there) I think these are good tips except for the “arrive Thursday, depart Monday” idea. I think it should be the other way around: arrive Monday, depart Thursday (or Friday)! At least for your first trip. There will be fewer crowds and it will be less hectic, less intimidating for the new visitor. After you’ve gotten a hang for the place, then try a long weekend.

45 J Rye March 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I just got back from a 24-hour excursion there and I have to say, I had the best time ever and didn’t follow any of this advice.

The reason being is that my gentlemen’s advice probably only applies to someone who can do the trip in a short period of time. I came there with $500 dollars, stayed in a nice hotel, checked in the early afternoon, drank and ate, gambled very little (mostly watched friends), walked around a bit, and went to a gentleman’s club later on in the night and ordered bottle service. The fact that it was just a few of us at the club with plenty of extra seats made for a fun night of meeting strangers from all over (both men and women) who came up to sit next to us and have a good time. I’m sure you could change “gentlemen’s club” with any type of club for that matter and get the same experience.

Anyway, I’m probably all Las-Vegas-ed out at this point. Just needed a quick, less-than-ordinary experience.

(Oh, the city actually smells now, too.)

46 RBA April 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

For late night, ask the concierge for a tip to the best club. Tip $20 and ask them to get you past the line. They’ll give you their card with a name or two on it. Save the card, it will get you in places forever.

47 Urbasm February 27, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Tip from the locals… Ellis Island – the best steak you can fund for under $10. No, I’m not local, a cab driver told me.

48 Mike March 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm

This is some great advice!

You should always dress fancy. Please, don’t wear crocs, even if you’re a millionaire.

I must admit it’s a bad idea to get druk in vegas. You’ll always spend way too much ;-).

Have fun!

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