Just Returned From Las Vegas: $20 Trick Worked, Loved Viva Elvis, Too Many Kids

I have been receiving your newsletter for some time, and I enjoy reading it every week as it has lots of helpful information. We just returned from four days in Vegas, and I would like to make these comments:

1. The $20 “Sandwich Trick” worked great at our hotel. The young man at Bally’s was very appreciative and immediately upgraded our room to a Diamond Level room in the North Tower.

2. Don’t believe what the critics say: the Elvis tribute show at the Aria City Center is fabulous! Our entire party thoroughly enjoyed it, and we plan to go again the next time we’re there.

3. There are WAY too many children running around the casinos, sidewalks on the strip, and restaurants. There were children on the edges of the casino floors as late as midnight — their moronic parents pulling and tugging them along! I have always believed there is a time and place to take children on vacation, and Las Vegas is definitely NOT the time nor the place!

Thank you,
Gatesville, TX

Ted Responds:

Thanks for the great report. Bally’s Las vegas is often overlooked but it is still a decent hotel with an incredible location!

Since a few people still don’t know what the $20 trick is:

The “$20 Rule” is always worth a try. Many Las Vegas hotels charge a premium for a Strip view, higher floors, better rooms, etc. The desk staff often has some latitude on upgrading guests. Place a folded up $20 bill on the counter partially under your ID and/or credit card so that the denomination is visible. As you slide them across, ask if a room with a Strip View or other upgrade may be available.

If they can’t accommodate you or insist on an extra charge you can simply retract the bill (they will only pick it up if they can take care of you). If they accommodate you, a small price to pay to see one of the most famous views in the world out of your window. If not, you are out nothing. You came to Las Vegas to gamble!

Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis is getting a 100% thumbs-up from all our readers. Critics didn’t seem big on the show when it opened, but what really counts is what the audience thinks.

While some parents will argue that they can do a successful vacation with their kids in tow, let’s face it: Las Vegas is a LOT more fun if just you and your special sweetie. Take the kids to Panama City Beach. Leave them with grandma when you come to Las Vegas.

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

5 Night Vegas Trip – Cher, Criss Angel, Valley of Fire Tour, Stratosphere Tower

I just returned from 5 wonderful nights in Las Vegas. I have vacationed there the last 11 years. One of my favorite things to do WAS go up on the Stratosphere Tower to watch the lights. I was really disappointed this year with the addition of the new attraction. What was once a beautiful view (inside & outside) is now ruined. I didn’t enjoy looking thru the beams and cables in direct view of the Strip. What the heck are they thinking??? Unfortunately the Strat will probably be crossed off of my things to do for future trips. I would love to hear from other readers how they feel about this.

All in all the rest of my vacation was great. The weather was beautiful with temps 92 – 96 with a nice breeze. We did the Pink Jeep Tour to Valley of Fire. Wonderful trip, highly recommend. Two shows we saw were Cher & Criss Angel. Cher was very good, but would not recommend Criss Angel. Glad we saw it but would not recommend it. I will have to stick to his MindFreak TV show to be amazed.

Thank you for a great Vegas newsletter. Love all the helpful tips. Keep up the good work.

I am already looking forward to next year’s trip.

bvmlr (screen name)

Ted Responds:

I do miss the Stratosphere before there were so many rides. You used to be able to walk all the way (360 degrees) around the outside deck in the open air. The view is still enjoyable (and you can still walk all the way around the inside viewing deck) but not like it used to be.

You hit the right time as the weather has warmed into the 100’s F and will stay that way until about Labor Day. Fortunately, we have not had anything go over 110 yet!

The Valley of Fire is breathtakingly beautiful and beyond unique. And… it is only about an hour from town so you really have some time to enjoy it while they have you out there. For those interested, check out our Valley of Fire Tours page. Side Note: Don’t take this tour in June, July, or August when it is hot!

Cher gets mixed reviews. Either you like her, or you don’t. But… she’s well known enough that people should know what they are getting into. She’s certainly irreverent. Criss Angel’s show Believe has drawn comments such as “I can’t BELIEVE it was such a bad show” and “I can’t BELIEVE that they gave him a 10 year contract”. Obviously, you are a Criss Angel fan and if you want to see him, by all means go. It sounds like you enjoyed that part of it. But if someone wants to just see a Cirque show, I’d suggest Mystere or O by Cirque du Soleil for your first one. Our readers are loving Viva Elvis as well!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor