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As We See It

5 things every tourist should know for MDW in Las Vegas

The 2010 Memorial Day weekend bikini bash at Pleasure Pool in Planet Hollywood.
Photo: Tom Donoghue/

1. Guys: You’re not going to get into the club you want to get into. Not without paying up. That “connection” that worked two months ago? Not this weekend. So have a backup plan in place (e.g., a different club, a casino center bar, a strip club). Either that or bring lots of money or lots of girls. Ideally, both.

2. Expect valet to be full. Most casinos will only valet cars of hotel guests, so if you’re the real deal, be sure to have your room key on your person. And if you're trying to make it down the Strip and park in 10 minutes to make it to the start of that concert you have tickets to ... well, good luck.

3. Try to eat where your sleep. A cab ride from, say, Cosmo to Wynn would usually take six or seven minutes. But on MDW, factoring in traffic, crowds and cab lines, it could take five times that long. Double it for a round trip. So if possible, eat, drink and sleep at the same property. That will leave more time for the fun stuff, like more drinking, clubbing and gambling.

4. Don’t forget about Fremont Street. Yes, it’ll be super-crowded, too. But not as crowded as the Strip. And while it's not the best spot to drink and dance, if you'd rather drink and walk and gawk, Fremont is the easier—and perhaps more entertaining—place.

5. A tip for the ride home: Suck up your hangover and head to the airport at least two hours before your flight takes off. Usually I tell people to leave an hour and a half early. Memorial Day Weekend isn’t “usually.” And if you're driving home on the I-15, bring lots of water. And God help you.


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