Surviving Las Vegas, A Podcast

Last week was an extended week in Vegas, 4 nights in the MGM and one night at the Rio.

A big difference between the two hotels and it wasn’t only the price. At the MGM I was greeted by everyone, from bellhop to security. At the Rio I not only checked myself in but also out. Even directions to my room were printed out, I never once spoke to an employee. However, I am a member of the Ceasers Palace reward club, probably checked something I shouldn’t




On the way out, I connected in Denver, a first…… complete with entertainment.

The return trip was a 10-hour odyssey, including an unscheduled stop in New Orleans.

By 4:00 PM I knew we were screwed, even if Southwest wouldn’t admit it.

Las Vegas, business or pleasure it can be a grind. I’ve been traveling here for 15+ years. I’m not much of a gambler, I play with scared money.

SIN CITY – There’s a reason.

Canibas is legal in Las Vegas. Booze, you can drink everywhere. Be aware of this when walking on the strip.

Las Vegas is designed to separate your money from your wallet, and it’s done psychologically.

Vegas might be the mirror capital of the world. More than likely your hotel room will have mirrored walls. The casino will be littered with mirrors mixed lots of flashing neon. This combination makes it harder to find your way out of said casino.

Elevator buttons display “Casino” instead of “Lobby”.  No matter where you want to go, be it the Hakasan Nightclub or to practice your swing at Top Golf more than likely you’ll go through a casino to get there. All very psychological.

Most hotel rooms will lack:

  • A clock
  • A coffee pot
  • A fridge, but you can rent one.

The reason, those things will keep you in your room, which means no money for the casino.

Women – You’ll see them, they are also focused on separating your money from you. There’s a reason that random women are talking to you. If you’re in town for a convention don’t wear that fancy lanyard around, it’s a giant sign that says, “Hey, I’m from out of town”. Honestly, these women will approach you while you’re with your SO.

They will have a mini-bar. A very sophisticated mini-bar that has sensors to detect if you picked up the Dr. Sex Kitten box of fun just to see what it contains. No, you can’t put your stuff in their fridge, well you can for another fee. Don’t ever buy anything from the mini-bar there’s a huge markup on everything in there. Actually on everything sold on property…… $11.00 for toothpaste.

Food is also crazy expensive two pieces of pizza and a soda $24.00 at the MGM. If you’re near the strip there’s a CVS & Walgreens just past New New York New York. When visiting most of my meals are served “convention style” however outside of the event space the food is really good. There’s also a “food court” on the strip that offers almost regular prices for Orange Chicken.

Stock up munchies and beer, Get your laundry bag fill it with ice and chill your beer in the sink. If you need more kick there’s an ABC store right by the Walgreens on the strip. Drink in your room it’s cheaper than drinking on the floor, but don’t be the guy that shows up with a case of Jack….. they’ll quickly slap a corking fee on you.

Distances are deceiving, The MGM Grand is 6.6 acres, 380,000′ square feet, 6800 rooms. Looking down the strip everything looks close… the reason is that they are close to each other.

Resort fees, my RIO room was $100.00 but the resort fee was $30.00… that’s expensive internet.


  • Hydration is a must including chapstick
  • Pack snacks
  • Jet lag, stay on your time zone
  • Drinking, caution
  • Bring cash the ATM’s charge $8.00 for a withdrawal. Plus it’s expected to tip anyone that provides a service.
  • Casinos are cold, pack a jacket.
  • If it’s your first trip to Vegas, let your bank know.
  • Reward Clubs join all of them
  • Social Media, use hashtags
  • You can’t hail a cab on the street.
  • Verify your check-in time, I paid an extra $20.00 at the Rio to check in 3 hours early.

Free Stuff

  • Caesars offers free “live statues” and a 50,000-gallon aquarium.
  • The Bellagio offers a free water show every 30 minutes and their lobby is amazing and free.
  • Circus Circus has trapeze and high wire acts every 30 minutes.
  • Flamingo has a Flamingo habitat.
  • Golden Nugget has an aquarium.
  • MGM Grand offers a lion exhibit.
  • Mirage has a volcano show every hour.
  • Rio offers an aerial Masquerade Show (Daily performances at 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm,
  • Venetian is worth walking through just to see all the sights.