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Exploring The Las Vegas Strip On A Budget

March 26th, 2014

My most recent trip to Vegas started on Sunday January 5th and ended on Sunday January 19th.   It was a blast! :)   But I'm getting ahead of myself, booking the flight and hotel came first.   My friend was advising that I wait until the last minute to book the direct flight with Sunwing because in the past they've deeply discounted the price of the ticket a couple days before take-off.   However it appears that there's been a change in policy.   No discounting occurred, despite the plane being only at one third occupancy on the way there and half occupancy on the return flight!   Even worse, their website doesn't let you specify a 2 week duration, and they jacked up the price by an additional $200 when I booked the "unusual" flight over the phone.   Still, Sunwing is a good choice if your vacation is only a week long.   Otherwise use Priceline.com just to book your flight well in advance (six months earlier can be advantageous).

Canadians will definitely need to get their hands on some American currency.   Ordering US Dollars through your local bank branch actually isn't the best way to go about this.   Royal Bank Of Canada offers a better solution to the problem.   Your local RBC branch will allow you to open a USD account at a Royal Bank in Pennsylvania.   You will need both your Canadian passport and driver's license, and you'll have to provide your Social Insurance Number.   Use the local branch finder on the RBC website and call them to make an appointment.   You will first need a Canadian Dollar account; I went with the RBC Day To Day Savings account.   This particular account has no monthly fee, unlimited electronic transfers, but only one free physical withdrawl per month.   You will also need to request a U.S. Dollar Ambassador Account (this will be the one in Pennsylvania).   I opened the account with $50 to ensure the $4 monthly fee was covered.   On the plus side that fee includes unlimited electronic transfers and paper statements.   Once this has all been setup, you're able to call up Royal Bank in the U.S. and transfer/convert funds between currencies at a reduced rate on a whim!   Even better, you can request reimbursement for up to two ATM surcharges per month; which will save you a bit when withdrawing vacation cash. :)   This solution works nicely with any of the Wells Fargo ATMs located in the Las Vegas airport.

MGM Room With A View MGM Room With A View

When it comes to booking your hotel the rules have definitely changed since I last was in Vegas seven years ago!   Back then a $50 dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants, ordering room service with a movie one day, and gambling away another $50, would let you negotiate a discounted room rate.   Because of my previous stay with the MGM seven years earlier I received an initial 2 free days of lodging.   However, when I tried to negotiate an extended stay with the front desk I was told that everything is now handled through an offsite call center!   Over the phone they offered me a rate of around $300/night; no thank-you!   And this is after spending $50 (huge price increase) for a breakfast order of mediocre french toast with chocolate milk.   Room service is definitely a bad idea at the MGM.   To add insult to injury the tap water at this hotel, while certainly safe, tasted horrible!   I'm not just talking about the water from the sink in your room either; the same water was dispensed from water coolers in the exercise facility!   Notabene, Planet Hollywood sells bottled water that's equally bad.   Suffice it to say that I'll never stay at the MGM again, however someone else has informed me that the water at the NY NY Hotel (their sister establishment) is ok.   I'd definitely recommend booking your lodging through the Hotels.com website.   I booked a 12 night stay at the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino for under $90/night including resort fee!   Even better, the water was great and they offered discounted tickets to see Claire Sinclair's "Pin Up", a fun and titillating musical with some magic thrown in.   One thing to note: you pay for your actual room through Hotels.com, but the resort fee portion of your bill must be settled in person when you check-in.   Here's an added tip when booking on Hotels.com.   Go through all the motions far in advance of your trip, but don't complete the purchase.   Roughly two weeks later you'll probably receive an email offering a discount on the exact itinerary you were considering! :D

Stratosphere Air Conditioner Stratosphere Air Conditioner

The Stratosphere seriously needs to change their in-room movie solution though.   Requiring an up front deposit and charging between $12 and $20 for a single movie is nowhere near what I consider reasonable.   The room did come with an A/C unit, but there was a trick to making it work ok.   The pic shows the two knobs on the unit.   I had to turn the Temperature knob all the way to maximum cooling, but operating the Mode knob correctly was far more important.   The trick is in understanding that when ice forms on the hidden coils and airflow is restricted the unit turns itself off.   The solution is to temporarily set the unit to Fan mode for 5 minutes to melt the ice when this occurs.

Don't expect much from the Stratosphere's conceirge service.   They're mostly focused on selling overpriced "solutions" which don't even meet your requirements.   I had already experienced the small dance floor at the Cosmopolitan's Marquee nightclub, thanks to the two free entry events associated with CES.   The Vegas club scene is very different from Toronto, in that the clubs have allocated most of their floorspace to lounge chairs for bottle service.   I asked the conceirge staff if I could obtain through them discount entry into a club with a large dance floor.   They proceeded to try and sell me an expensive club hopping package; without even considering the large dance floor requirement!   I ended up going to Pure at Caesar's palace after calling the club directly to get on the guest list.   Over the phone I was promised line by-pass with $30 cover charge.   When I got there they had no record of my name on the guest list, but provided entry for $20.   I would strongly advise obtaining the name of the person to whom you are speaking with by telephone; doing so would have likely proven to be invaluable.   Overall my Pure experience wasn't bad, but I'd rate their dance floor as merely moderately sized, for it too became overly crowded.   The really cool highlight of the evening was the free foam LED lightwands (as shown in the video) they tossed into the crowd. :)

This trip wasn't just about fun; I spent the 7th through the 10th walking from booth to booth at CES promoting JAFLE, my revolutionary new 2D Layout Engine for iOS.   Walking the rows of displays at the Consumer Electronics Show is no joke.   I swear I must've traversed at least 30KM (20 Miles) after covering all three main buildings plus the additional rooms at the Venetian!   That said, the experience was totally worthwhile.   I made a lot of new contacts and got to experience the larger consumer electronics community as a whole.   I didn't really pick up much in the way of SWAG, mostly because that wasn't my primary focus.   My advice to anyone attending CES in the future: visit everything in the Central Hall on the first day because they start packing all of that stuff up early on the last day of the conference!   Also, don't forget to use the free Interloop Shuttle Bus to travel between buildings as much as possible.   Despite doing this and wearing comfortable socks and shoes, my feet were still killing me at the end of each of the four days!   It should also be noted that there are free shuttle buses to and from most of the hotels on the strip.   The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino however was not one of those serviced by these buses.

When departing for your hotel from the Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport you'll want to use the Bell Trans airport shuttle, since it's the most economical option to conveniently tranport both you and your luggage.   They have a little ticket booth against the wall near the Taxi pickup.   $13.50 will buy you two trips; taking you directly to your hotel on the strip and back again.   You call ahead for your return trip pickup, giving them at least two hours notice and you're to assume that the actual ride could take up to an hour if the mini-bus is packed.   One of the mistakes I made in Vegas was buying a 7-day Monorail pass.   The 7-day pass lured me in with a cost of $56, which works out to $8 per day; a discounted price when compared with the $12 24-hour pass.   Tourists are much better off buying the $34 15-day RTC Bus pass.   These passes are good for use on all RTC bus routes, including both the Deuce and the SDX on the strip.   Furthermore, they don't starting counting down their usage period until you use them for the first time!   The trick is to buy the pass from a 7-Eleven off the strip and avoid the artificially inflated tourist pricing.   I'd recommend using their store locator and calling the most convenient locations to determine if they have 15-day passes for sale.   You'll likely need to pony up some premium cash to actually reach such a store location of course.   I actually bought mine from this location.   You should still call ahead (that location's number is 702-733-9253), because there's no guarantee that they'll have some on hand.   There's actually a good reason why I had already traveled to that particular location.   According to several different locals I spoke with, the laundromat operating closest to the Stratosphere is actually behind this 7-Eleven.   Doing laundry there was quite inexpensive at under $5, but next time I'll be bringing my own liquid detergent (they only sell powder) and dryer sheets.   It turns out that most of the other laundromat's in the area have gone belly up, and the one in the Stratosphere was ripped out years ago.

RTC Strip Routes RTC Strip Routes

Check out the RTC System Map to see where you can go by bus.   I've posted two pages, side by side, from the RTC strip pamphlet as a single image.   Definitely take notice of the "Fremont Street" stop in Downtown Las Vegas, north of the strip.   The $15 steak and lobster dinner I had on Fremont was amazing (you'll see a large sign for it walking down the street)!   The meal wasn't just inexpensive, it was superbly prepared and very tasty!   A definite must-dine spot, but note that the special is only available between 9pm and 11pm.   Ironically the opportunity to eat there only presented itself one time.   However I was able to sample one of Fremont's other food draws, the $1.25 beef hotdog.   Believe it or not these are actually good quality too!   Don't look at me that way, my tastebuds don't lie. :P

Kodak Size C Zinc Chloride Batteries: Front Kodak Size C Zinc Chloride Batteries: Front

I also discovered 99 Cent Stores while riding the RTC.   I shopped at the "1155 East Charleston Blvd" location.   Unlike the dollar stores in Toronto, all of the items in these stores really are just a buck and some of them are excellent buys too!   For instance Popcorners, the best chips I've ever eaten, are sold there.   Sadly only the mediocre Cheesy Jalapeno ones were available at the time, instead of my Caramel flavoured favourites.   Discount stores in Toronto only sell Zinc-Carbon size C batteries.   99 Cent Stores sell pairs of better quality Zinc-Chloride's; however the back of the Kodak packaging lies, the chemistry of these batteries is acidic and definitely not alkaline!

Pop Corners Cheesy Jalepeno Pop Corners Cheesy Jalepeno
Kodak Size C Zinc Chloride Batteries: Back Kodak Size C Zinc Chloride Batteries: Back
CVS Full Head Medium Bristles Toothbrush CVS Full Head Medium Bristles Toothbrush

Another prized find (at least for us Torontonians) in Vegas is, I kid you not, toothbrushes!   Yes we have drug stores up here in Toronto, but as of about a year ago they all (even Walmart!) stopped selling the inexpensive classic full head (lots of bristles) toothbrushes with medium firmness.   Sure you can still buy the "soft" ones easily enough, but most people need a little more firmness than that!   I believe this is a lame strategic move designed to try and strongarm the general public into buying the extra fancy brushes with very few bristles.   Oh yeah, it's not coincidental that those fancy brushes also cost a lot more.   I was therefore ecstatic to find that CVS sells the brushes most of us want, and for only $1.59 each too!   Needless to say; I bought all 5 units they had in stock at this particular location. :)

The buses on the strip have LCD screen prompters, however their behaviour gives the distinct impression that a third party contractor designed them with the mantra "minimum effort, maximum profit" running through their head.   The two photos show what's displayed on the screens both before and after someone requests the next stop on Charleston Boulevard.   Where they totally screwed up was highlighting the previous stop in red, instead of the next one coming up.   This is a total design failure since most people are focused on wanting to know if they need to request the next stop, not the one that just passed by!   Things are considerably worse once you travel by RTC off the strip though, since most of those buses only have animated LED prompters with poor quality audio.   The TTC system in Toronto uses a similar solution; except ours actually works well!   The RTC's use of el cheapo prompters off the strip resulted in my reliance on the iPhone's Google Maps app to track the bus's current location and ensure I exited at the correct stop.

RTC LCD Screen: Before Stop Request RTC LCD Screen: Before Stop Request
RTC LCD Screen: After Stop Request RTC LCD Screen: After Stop Request

Speaking of cell phones and data plans, you're gonna wanna avoid the extortionist roaming fees your regular carrier charges at all cost!   As a Canadian I found that Airvoice Wireless offers the best solution to this problem when traveling to Las Vegas.   They offer refillable "pay as you go" plans, with both voice and data, at much lower rates than what my Ontario carrier, Rogers, provides.   Keep in mind that you will need an unlocked phone in order to do this; one of the many reasons why I'll never signup for one of those multi-year contracts and Rogers' (not really) "discounted" phones.   After verifying that your phone is compatible with Airvoice Wireless and is unlocked, your next challenge will be acquiring a SIM card.   The EBay seller Ultimate Mobile Deals is definitely the way to go; offering Mini/Micro/Nano SIM cards for only $1 with free shipping to anywhere in the continental United States!   The tricky bit here is they won't ship to Canada at all.   My solution was having the SIM shipped to my good friend Alan's UPS P.O. Box in Amherst, New York.   He makes a trip down to his rental box every two months and was willing to get the SIM to me if I ordered it several weeks in advance.   Once you get your hot little hands on the SIM card, wait until just a couple of days before your departure and then activate it for free over the phone.   Your plan is chosen at the moment a SIM card is activated and cannot be changed.   I went with the $40 unlimited plan because of the 1GB of data and 100 free outgoing international text messages.   Notabene, the $10 of free long distance with this plan is through a third-party provider and has horrible sound quality.   After activation ask the Airvoice Wireless rep to transfer you to Prepaid Wireless so you can "refill" your plan; there's a $2 surcharge (so in my case $42 in total).   Don't actually switch SIM cards until you're in Vegas.   Once there and you've completed the swap, if you've got an iPhone like me, enabling data through Airvoice Wireless will require you to download and install the Unlockit APN Changer.   In order to do this you'll obviously need to find a WiFi access point in Vegas (Apple stores and some hotels offer free WiFi).   During the installation process select "United States" and "Airvoice".   Overall I really did like the service and especially found the data access invaluable during my vacation.

Where Maps Pamphlet Where Maps Pamphlet

There are actually a few situations where the monorail proves useful.   Heavy traffic during late afternoon and early evening makes navigating the strip a nightmare.   Getting somewhere in a hurry by bus, cab, or even walking becomes nigh impossible.   However, availing yourself of the monorail under rushed circumstances such as these also affords you access to a hidden benefit.   There are free "Where Maps" pamphlets on the monorail platforms, as depicted.   These pamphlets contain at least one really useful coupon; 20% off your entire party's bill at Denny's.   Grabbing some of these can save you considerably more than the cost of your monorail ticket, and they're for a venue that already offers good value for your money!   There happens to be a Denny's just a short walk north of the Stratosphere. :)   One additional word of caution; don't touch the hand rails of the escalators!   For some bizarre reason the Las Vegas Monorail Company hasn't installed a self-cleaning system on them.   They're so dirty that your hands will actually start turning black with grime!

Hotel Location Map Hotel Location Map

Navigating the strip gets really complicated sometimes.   The gambling consortiums which own the strip have in most cases deliberately made it as difficult as possible to get from point A to point B.   Their objective is to maximize your exposure to their stores and casinos.   Doing this kind of thing within an individual casino is fair game in my opinion, but they've now extended this kind of foot traffic engineering to almost the entire street.   Even worse, some signage is deliberately incorrect to further this cause!   An egregious example of this is the MGM monorail station.   The signs in the station which purport to show you the way to the front of the MGM (where the lobby is), in fact exit you on the far side of the casino!   You actually want the other exit; the one without the attention grabbing signs!   There is one silver lining to the MGM monorail station setup.   With a monorail pass you can use the station itself as a way of bypassing the MGM's casino, thus saving time walking from one end of the complex to the other. :D   In a perfect world a single unified map, one showing all of the bus stops, crosswalks, and pedestrian bridges, would be freely available.   Presently the best way to navigate the strip is to reference several different maps, each distributed in a separate pamphlet.   I've included some of these maps here.   Google Maps can also prove very useful when outdoors.   At some point in the future I plan on using JAFLE to create a social mapping app for iOS.   It will coordinate a group effort to map out pieces of the Vegas strip, including the numerous indoor casino floor layouts, thus aiding navigation.   The gambling conglomerate's evil can't match the combined power of the people! :)

Monorail Map 1 Monorail Map 1
Monorail Map 2 Monorail Map 2
Strip Map With Bridges 1 Strip Map With Bridges 1
Strip Map With Bridges 2 Strip Map With Bridges 2
Stratosphere Neighbourhood Map Stratosphere Neighbourhood Map
Outside Aztec Inn: Point E Outside Aztec Inn: Point E
Outside Stratosphere Main Entrance: Point F Outside Stratosphere Main Entrance: Point F

The strip offers a plethora of great eating establishments.   Here are a few deals I recommend.   Right across from the Stratosphere is the Aztec Inn Casino (depicted).   The eatery in front offers a simply huge $4 breakfast bagel with bacon, egg, and cheddar cheese.   It's the best deal around before 2pm; especially when the Stratosphere jacks up the price of their buffet on weekends. :)   If you're staying at the Stratosphere be sure to signup for a free "ACE Play" card.   With this card you can dine at the Stratosphere's brunch buffet for $14 including taxes on any weekday.   The brunch buffet isn't worth the price premium on the weekends in my opinion, but provides fantastic value during the week.   It offers a lot of different food choices, all of them freshly made.   Some of my favourites were: salmon fillets, DIY burritos & tacos, barbeque pork ribs, french toast, bacon, pineapple, raw brocolli with ranch sauce.   Oh and their chocolate frozen yogurt, I swear to god, was indistinguishable from ice cream!   That may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but as a resident of Toronto it was a shockingly pleasant surprise. :)   Eating dinner at this buffet can be totally worthwhile too, but only if you take advantage of the Tix4Tonight discount. ^^   The voucher from Tix4Tonight costs $2 and lets you access the dinner buffet any day of the week for an additional $13; a pretty decent value!   Please note that you must use the vouchers within 7 days of their purchase.   Furthermore, while you can use them towards anyone's meal, you yourself must be a member of the dinner party.   I'll go more into how Tix4Tonight works in a bit.   Roxy's Diner offers a simply huge chocolate milkshake for only $5.   Their french toast and fresh salmon were very good as well.   However, I suggest avoiding the popcorn shrimp.   Not only did the dish lack flavour, but the usual seafood/cocktail sauce (ketchup + horseradish) was unavailable!   The substitution of a bland tartar sauce was quite annoying.   I'd list this venue as a breakfast option.

Shortcut To Stratosphere Through Plaza: Point B Shortcut To Stratosphere Through Plaza: Point B
Shortcut To Stratosphere Through Plaza: Point C Shortcut To Stratosphere Through Plaza: Point C

Across the road from the Stratosphere and the Aztec Inn, on the east side of South Las Vegas Boulevard, is the Fun City Motel.   You'll discover in the lobby a whole lot of pamphlets that are free for the taking.   This includes the one depicted, which contains a 50% off coupon for Nathan's Famous.   BTW, ignore that "MJ Live" coupon; it isn't for the awesome "Michael Jackson ONE" Cirque du Soleil show.   To see all of their venues on the strip, simply enter the 89109 zipcode into the Nathan's Famous store locator.   AFAIK the location in the MGM foodcourt offers the largest selection.   I ironically only got the chance to eat there one time.

Brochure With Nathans Famous Coupon Brochure With Nathans Famous Coupon
Their Philly Steak Sandwich seemed to use high quality ingredients, yet for some reason just wasn't very tasty.   Honestly, if I had the chance I would go back and try some of their other food items; in particular the hotdogs.   50% off certainly makes it worthwhile.   I regret not trying some of their flavoured pretzels, which were quite temptingly presented at the NY NY Hotel & Casino foodstall location at the top of the escalators.

Nathans Famous Coupon Nathans Famous Coupon
Ginormous Snickers Flapjack Ginormous Snickers Flapjack

My favorite meal during my last trip to Vegas, 7 years ago, was the breaded jumbo shrimp from the Fulton Fish Frye in the NY NY lower level food plaza.   I fondly recall the shrimp being both good and inexpensive.   The shrimp are still very good, but now cost around $10 for 6 and are served with mediocre fries.   Despite now being pricey, I still recommend eating there once and certainly also trying a tasty order of hushpuppies for $3.   One of my most memorable meals on this trip was a brunch at Hash House A Go Go.   The pic is of my ginourmous Snickers flapjack that was simply awesome!   However, the title of "best meal" this trip definitely goes to the Wicked Spoon buffet at the Cosmopolitan.   Even though dinner service costs $43, the braised beef pasta in cream sauce made it sooo worth it!   I totally pigged out and ate three servings of this one dish.   I've been told that the Wynn's buffet costs only $35 for dinner, and not only offers an equivalent dish but also a lot more.   Suffice it to say that I'll be investigating this rumor on my next trip. :)

NYNY Fulton Fish Frye NYNY Fulton Fish Frye
NYNY Fulton Fish Frye Hush Puppies NYNY Fulton Fish Frye Hush Puppies

Want to have fun making a little spending money without risking a dime?   Sign up for the Red Card (casino rewards card) at either the Wynn or Encore casino.   At Encore I received a $10 credit, which was only usable on the multitude of slot machines.   You have to "prime" a given slot machine with a dollar bill (I actually used a twenty), but are under no requirement to actually gamble the real money.   I picked the oldest slot machine I could find (older machines are rumored to offer better odds of winning) and bet the smallest amount possible repeatedly until I'd spent all of the $10 credit.   Thing is, you're spending credit but your winnings are real cash!   All told I cashed out with $34; $14 in actual winnings plus the unspent $20 I used to prime the machine.   Not a bad way to have fun for an hour! :)

The other offer of some interest is the one at Casino Royale.   They sort of provide more than $10, but not really.   The voucher they give you can only be used on a specific set of slot machiness that have an extremely small chance of scoring real money.   Most of the time "winning" on these machines merely gives you more credit, which can't actually be cashed out!   That said it's still a good way to kill some extra time, and supposedly every so often someone really does hit the jackpot and walk away with actual cash.

There are other kinds of free entertainment on the strip besides gambling.   Every night at 6:15pm the Blue Man Group Parade marches through the Monte Carlo's casino floor.   It's a free electroluminescent spectacle to entice people into buying tickets to the real show.   I saw the show 7 years ago, but because I was unaware that it had changed dramatically I didn't buy tickets during this trip.   I'll be sure to see it again on my next trip however.   If you're into karaoke, definitely check out Yolo's at Planet Hollywood between 10pm and 2am.   They have the largest song selection I've ever seen!   Oh, and they hand out free Jello shot tickets to anyone that sings.   I gave mine away since I don't really drink alcohol.   A small reminder though; Planet Hollywood's bottled water is atrocious!   If you're staying at the Stratosphere then you and your friends can ride up the tower elevator to the Level 107 Lounge for free!   You'll be shocked when you see for yourself just how large Las Vegas really is, and how insignificantly small the strip is in comparison.   The Level 107 Lounge is also a great place to meet new people vacationing from all over.   I simply kicked-back, relaxed, and enjoyed some pleasant conversation while sipping some of that great-tasting free ice water.   I of course tipped my waitress. :)   Access to the pool and hot tub on the roof is of course included in that dreaded resort fee, but as a bonus you're able to bring some friends with you for free.

I traveled to Vegas for more than just CES and the great food.   The strip is also home to fantastic live entertainment!   The best way to obtain tickets for most of these shows is through Tix4Tonight because of their deeply discounted rates.   AFAIK the only way to get cheaper tickets is if you're staying at the hotel which hosts a given show.   Even the discount offered to local residents isn't as good as Tix4Tonight!   Here's the scoop; you have to visit one of their physical locations in person.   Note that their "Slots A Fun" booth isn't open as often, and their "Circus Circus" location doesn't sell dinner vouchers.   I mostly frequented their Showcase Mall Booth and Fashion Show Mall locations.   They only offer tickets the evening before a particular performance.   When you buy your non-refundable tickets, what you really receive is a voucher which must be exchanged for the actual tickets at the box office specific to that show.   The tricky detail is that the vouchers will specify a class or seating section, but not exact seats.   Your actual seating assignment is on a first come first serve basis when you hand in your vouchers.   Consequently there's strong incentive to visit a show's box office early, in order to get the best seats possible.

Me and Penn Jillette Me and Penn Jillette

I saw the Penn & Teller show at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino.   If you see the show, don't depend on the free shuttle from Harrah's; it didn't show up on time and I was forced to share a cab with someone else after waiting over half an hour!   The staff at the theatre are very friendly and provided good quality free ice water upon request. :)   One part of Penn and Teller's performance duplicates the seemingly impossible trickery that TV mediums use.   They do this in a benign and ethical manner; using jokes instead of revealing personal details of audience members.   I would strongly recommend watching "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!", their American TV series which reveals a lot of the bullshit out there.   Half of the episodes aren't great and kind of boring, but the other half are absolutely phenomenal!   They were unfortunately forced to end Bullshit after Showtime capitulated to the Vatican's threats!   This is why the Vatican episode is mysteriously missing from the final season's DVD release.   Their UK show, "Penn & Teller: Fool Us", should also be on your "must watch" list.   In this series other magicians attempt to confound Penn and Teller with tricks that they hope have never been seen before.   Only occasionally were Penn and Teller fooled, but every episode was very entertaining!

Zumanity by Cirque du Soleil is another titillating show that I found quite enjoyable.   This theatrical production is at the NY NY Hotel & Casino.   Yet it's a different Cirque du Soleil show that's my absolute favourite by far.   If at all possible you simply must see "Michael Jackson ONE" at Mandalay Bay!   The performance helped me rediscover MJ's greatest hits; each one presented in a completely different style.   Some of the things I witnessed during this theatrical extravaganza were truly unique.   One song was showcased entirely as silhouettes of live dancers rear-projected onto the center screen.   An usher after the performance verified that this was indeed done live (you really couldn't be certain)!   I suggested that they might want to start using the side screens to show what's going on behind the proverbial curtain for this segment.   I suspect the audience would experience much greater astonishment.   The segment I found completely jaw dropping was the dance number using the LED body suits.   The dancers were on a completely dark stage with individual parts of their bodies lit up at different times in various colours.   The magic was in the choreographed layering of the dancers.   It was done in such a way that the multi-coloured patches of light cascaded in three dimensions!   I'll never forget the experience; it was certainly worth the astoundingly high $220 pricetag for a good seat.   This is unfortunately one of the shows that cannot be purchased at a discount through Tix4Tonight.   All in all I had a great time in Vegas.   I hope you've found this editorial informative and are also able to enjoy Las Vegas on a budget. :D

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