Las Vegas Shows and Tours, How Far Out To Book?

Hi, love reading your column. My question is regarding the double-decker tour bus I saw that only Feb and March are available. Are those the only two months it is offered? I was thinking about coming in May.


Colleen in Florida

Ted Responds:

Good Question: Tour availability and prices can be subject to change. Same can happen with some Vegas shows. Our advice? Book a show as far out in advance as possible for best seats. Yes, the economy has many shows not selling out. But isn’t your Vegas vacation worth planning ahead enough to get an awesome seat?

As for tours, keep an eye on a tour you want every week or two until your travel window is offered.

We see the double-deck British buses all the time (which have a celeb-impersonator as your fun tour guide), and it always looks like people are enjoying themselves! (Something else for my short-term to-do list). For those wanting more info, click over to Las Vegas Double-Decker Bus of the Stars

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Las Vegas Discount Ticket Booths A Marketing Scam – Buyer Beware

Editors Note: This was originally a comment to the post What Are Free and Cheap Activities To See In Las Vegas?

Just got back from a week in Vegas one thing that isn’t a deal is Tix 4 Tonight. They have grown from a discount ticket vendor to a marketing scam. Wanted Price is Right Tickets. Big line in front of Bill’s, 30 people at least around 9AM. No one would be specific comments like yes they are showing today no mention if they have discount tickets available just the price if they would have them.

Asked a worker where the closest next Tix was and he informed me Casino Royale but at this time of day all will have lines. Took a chance and started walking. Wow, right in the door way at O’sheas was a Tix, 2 guys and not 1 customer. They had no discount Price is Right Tickets ($49 regular price only). Obviously the Tix guy at Bill’s was less than honest. Long story short: went to Bally’s where I was staying for $27 a night great room, showed my player’s card and got a 25% discount ($38 a ticket — 1$ less than Tix advertised discount). Buyer beware.

Marcus Liggett

Ted Responds:

No question that you get what you pay for when it comes to show tickets. First off, there is a good chance (and I don’t know it for a fact, but I know how the town works) that the people at the discount ticket booths are on commission. Or get bonuses for selling certain shows over other shows (certain shows pay a higher bonus). I’d never ask them for a recommendation as they might steer you to the show they need to sell. Not the one you’d like to see.

Side Note: We’ve always avoided this practice. Some of Las Vegas’ top shows are our advertisers. You’ll see them on the right sidebar of this page. However, that doesn’t determine our show suggestions. We try to guide each person to a show they would most enjoy.  Cirque du Soleil (for example), is not an advertiser at the present time. However, if someone asks me about Cirque’s Viva Elvis, I don’t try to steer them to Jersey Boys (although if you enjoy one, you’ll probably enjoy the other). I tell them that our reader feedback for Viva Elvis has been 100% positive (and it has).

The second thing to remember is this: There is a reason the shows are at the “day of show” discount booths. Either the show isn’t selling well, or the few tickets left for a bigger name show are towards the back. Remember, these are the leftovers. So, either they will try to talk you into a show you weren’t really interested in seeing. Or, you’ll get tickets for a show you wanted to see but the odds are they won’t be good seats.

Third thing to think about: Your time in Las Vegas is valuable. Most of you are only here for a few days and when you factor airfare (or gas) and food and hotel costs into the number of waking hours while you are here, you’ll often find out that each hour is very valuable. Is it worth it to line up in the morning at one of these booths (hoping to grab the good stuff)? You didn’t come here to stand in line! They are necessary evil at check-in or buffets but you don’t want to spend half your vacation in line.

We suggest buying your tickets as far in advance as possible. Even if you have to pay more (or gasp… full price). You’ll be all set up, you’ll get the best seats, and won’t have to spend part of your valuable vacation time scurrying for tickets.

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor

Las Vegas Trip Report: THE Hotel, Blue Man Group, So Much To Do And See, What Next Time?

I really enjoyed reading your ‘column’ before our (my husband and I) trip to Vegas. We arrived on April 17th and left on the 22nd. It was my first time on a plane; so that was an experience all by itself.

We stayed at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. A very quiet and comfortable room but we had a bunch of little ‘issues’ such as a ‘whistling’ shower and not being able to get in our room after a 14 hour Grand Canyon Tour (get this, the batteries to the room lock died!! ). But, we were determined to enjoy our time there in spite of the little blips along the way. We liked it enough that we are planning on bringing the kids with us next year.

The issue with us was that we were so overwhelmed on what to do. We had Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday to do all that we wanted to do. We managed to see The Blue Man Group (awesome show!), The Tournament of The Kings and Defending The Caveman. We had our Grand Canyon Tour on Monday which took all day. In between all that, we only managed to walk the strip and maybe walk into a casino or more it was through a casino and play a few slots here or there.

We wanted to go to the Stratosphere, see the dolphins, go up the Eiffel Tower; it just seemed like too much ‘strip’ and not enough time (or energy for that matter). If you were us, and you had three kids (one in the 20’s, a 12 yr old and a 3 yr old) and a 10 day vacation in Las Vegas, what would you do? Any advice you can offer to help us plan in the upcoming months wold be great. Thank you!!

Cathy in Massachusetts

Ted Responds:

Wow… you did pack a lot a lot into your visit! That is what hooks people about Las Vegas: You come for a number of days and realize that you didn’t begin to be able to see and do everything you wanted!

No question, you saw some great shows. Aren’t the Blue Man Group a trip?

Seeing the Grand Canyon is great. The downside? If you do it by motorcoach (bus), it takes all day. As you found out, ALL DAY. We strongly suggest people look into Maverick Helicopter Tours (click to see video). It only takes 1/2 a day, the views are unparalleled, and they actually have one tour that lands you in the bottom of the Grand Canyon!

We shy away from suggesting itineraries only because everyone has different tastes and there is SO much to do and see. Basically, just keep an eye on the newsletter (where we cover it all). Also, if you go to the newsletter archives and scroll down the right sidebar, you’ll find links to past months (and years) issues. Scan though the past 3-4 years and you’ll pick up plenty of info!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor