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Male using a laptop to book a cheap vegas trip.

Vegas on a Budget

Las Vegas is synonymous with luxury and opulence. A land notorious for its grand mega casinos and lavish experiences, Vegas can make a severe dent in your wallet. But it doesn’t have to. We’re here to dispel the rumors that in order to do Vegas right, you need to spend a lot of money. Thanks to budget-friendly restaurants, free attractions, and affordable accomodations, you don’t have to cut your experience short to save a pretty penny. Let’s look at some top tips to make the most out of visiting Vegas on a budget.

Affordable Hotels in Vegas

When you’re wanting to do Vegas on a budget, the first expense you need to tackle (outside of airfare) is accomodations. Despite what you may think, nightly hotel rates in Las Vegas can be quite affordable when you take more time to do some research. Here are the top tips for finding deals on Las Vegas hotels:

1. Join a Membership Program for Discounts – Every major hotel and casino in Las Vegas has a gaming club that offers discounted room rates, exclusive deals, and promotions.

2. Visit Mid-Week – Las Vegas hotels slash prices Monday through Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to visit Las Vegas.

3. Shift Your Weekend Getaway – Can’t swing a weekday trip? Fly in Saturday and out Monday for cheaper flights (and a room rate drop on Sunday night).

4. Don’t Go on a Busy Convention Weekend – Las Vegas is the convention capital of the United States and while there are always smaller conventions taking place, avoid any major convention weekends like CES, which has upwards of 175,000 attendees. For more information, consult the Las Vegas Convention Calendar.

5. Avoid Major Sporting Event Weekends – Las Vegas is a city founded on gambling, so weekends with major sporting events like the Super Bowl or any big fights are the city’s busiest times. This also means hotel prices will skyrocket.

6. Avoid Festival Weekends – Las Vegas is home to many major music festivals which draw crowds of 25,000+. Avoid these popular weekends to save a little money on your accommodations.

7. Share Your Room – It’s simple math. The more people you have in a room, the smaller percentage you have to pay. If you have 4 friends, consider booking a room with 2 queen beds to save.

8. Stay Away From The Strip – Downtown Vegas has underwent many changes over the past several years and has so much fun and entertainment to offer for less than comparable Strip attractions.

9. Book with the Hotel Directly – Booking directly with the hotel can be better than using a third party booking site because it eliminates extra fees. Booking directly usual offers a best rate guarantee so you can rest assured you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Container Park in Downtown Las Vegas is made out of shipping containers.Attribute: Downtown Container Park

Free Things To Do in Vegas

-Local chocolatier Ethel M is located in one of the largest botanical cactus gardens in the world. The factory tours offer free samples after a walk through the unusual gardens.

-You can’t miss this Vegas staple! Watch a dazzling display of waterworks at the Fountains of Bellagio as you listen along to an enchanting concert of classical and pop tunes.

-Stroll along the new LINQ Promenade, a high energy marketplace, all the way to the High Roller.

-Snap a photo at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on the south end of the Strip. The sign itself is now solar powered and has plenty of parking nearby.

-Head to the Downtown Container Park, a retail, dining and play park made entirely of shipping containers. The Container Park offers free entertainment and a 55-foot-tall fire breathing praying mantis outside.

-Do a self-guided tour of the Fremont East Entertainment District when night falls and check out all the refurbished vintage neon lights!

Eating on a Budget in Vegas

If you’ve got 5-star taste on a 1-star budget, you’re in luck! Vegas offers an abundance of cheap eats within the city. Here are some tips to save money on drinks and dining in Las Vegas.

-Gamble Your Way to (Nearly) Free Drinks – The best way to drink for free is to play the slots at older downtown casinos, where the play amounts are lower.

-Eat at the Hotel Food Court – Many hotels and casinos in Vegas offer a food court with awesome hours that work for lower budgets.

-Skip Room Service – Keep in mind that you’re paying for the convenience. If you’re looking to do Vegas on a budget, eliminate room service.

-Dine on a Pre-Theater Menu – Most restaurants inside hotels that have a nightly show offer a pre-theater prixe-fixe menu where you can get quality food at a cheap price. Most times, you don’t even have to show a theater ticket to keep the reservation.

-Take Advantage of Happy Hour – Prime-time seating at the Strip’s five-star restaurants is between 8 and 10pm, but these hot spots like to be full all the time, so most host a happy hour between 4 and 7pm. Details vary by restaurant so call ahead or ask your concierge first.

-Affordable 5-Star Restaurants – While spending between $40 and $80 to enjoy a five-star meal may sound a bit pricey, the value is certainly there. Under typical conditions these meals can reach into the hundreds. If you want to eat like a King at a fraction of the cost, here are a few options:
>L’Atelier Joel Robuchon, MGM Grand
>Michael Mina, Bellagio
>Milos, Cosmopolitan
>Jean-Georges Steakhouse, Aria

There are so many ways to cut costs and score some Las Vegas deals. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to deplete your life savings to have an awesome experience. In fact, doing Vegas on a budget is one of the best ways to experience this spectacular city!

GAMING TODAY: Golden Gate blends the future with the Vegas past

Gaming Today
July 07, 2015 3:01 AM by H. Scot Krause
Full Article Here

The 1906 Club derives its name from the opening year of the Golden Gate, Nevada’s oldest hotel. While the property still maintains elements of its quaint and charming past, new owner Derek Stevens has remodeled to blend the old with the new. The 1906 Club derives its name from the opening year of the Golden Gate, Nevada’s oldest hotel.

While the property still maintains elements of its quaint and charming past, new owner Derek Stevens has modernized and remodeled to blend the old with the new. The casino floor offers the latest in slots and video games plus traditional craps, blackjack, and newer table games like Riverboat Roulette, 3-Card Poker and Let It Ride, all in the setting of Las Vegas’ most historic hotel. The Golden Gate pays 10x odds on dice and 3-to-2 on all blackjacks.

For starters, new members who sign up for the 1906 Club and earn 100 points on their card within 24-hours of signing up receive $10 free slot play. Points earned can be used for rooms, dining, merchandise and free slot play, downloadable with your PIN from any machine.
Several years ago, I reported in another publication that the Golden Gate 1906 Club had changed their slot club formula to become the No. 1 club with the highest return free play program in Las Vegas. That still holds true today. I’m talking about base earnings.

Some other clubs can come close or surpass the base rate when applying multipliers but as far as base rates, no one we know of beats a 1% return on slots from base point earnings. The formula for slots is as follows: $1 slot coin-in equals 1 point. 100 points equal $1 free play. This equates to a 1% rebate for slot play, something we haven’t seen in Las Vegas (or perhaps anywhere else in the country) for many, many years.

For video poker players the formula is not quite as strong but still a very respectable .25% rebate. $4 video poker coin-in equals 1 point and 100 points equal $1 free play. Players also earn comp dollars based on their play in both slots and table games. Uniquely, while the clubs remain separate entities, comp dollars can be used at Golden Gate and at their sister property, the D Las Vegas (and vice versa).

One card does it all at the Golden Gate. No tiers or levels. Higher play will earn you higher mailed reward offers that may include rooms, free slot play, dining comps and special event invites and tournaments. You can also talk to a casino host if you feel your play warrants it. Downtown casinos are usually pretty generous to their good customers.


LAS VEGAS – October 15, 2014 – The Las Vegas original, Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, invites guests to step back in time with a new “Vintage Vegas” package. The experience includes accommodations in the historic property’s newly upgraded rooms or sleek suites, classic cocktails at Bar Prohibition! and tickets to The Mob Museum.

Opening its doors in 1906 at One Fremont Street, Golden Gate sits across the street from the site of the railroad land auction that founded Las Vegas. With a rich history spanning the dry days of Prohibition, the glamour of The Rat Pack Era and the rise of a neon metropolis, Golden Gate has seen it all.

The new package takes guests back to where it all began in Downtown Las Vegas:

One Swanky Joint – Accommodations For Two – Check-in at the hotel’s lobby where artifacts like Vegas’ first telephone and original guest and gaming records are on display. Thanks to a multi-million dollar upgrade, Golden Gate offers today’s guests all the luxuries of modern day while staying true to its roots, evident in design details such as Victorian era tin ceilings and statement wall papers inspired by the fringed dresses worn by flappers. Stay in one of Golden Gate’s recently updated original rooms or opt for a swank new suite, located in the new luxury tower. Each of the hotel’s suites feature Swing era-inspired pinstriped carpeting; Art Deco accents; and a photograph of an iconic Las Vegas celebrity, many of whom frequented Golden Gate.

Toast to the Past – Two Classic Cocktails – Pull up a stool to Bar Prohibition! and enjoy a craft cocktail at the same bar once frequented by Frank, Sammy and Dean. Inspired by Vegas’ storied past, Golden Gate’s Vintage Cocktail Menu includes classic drinks with a modern twist like the Frankie Two Fingers, Italian Kiss and Flaming Side Car. The cocktails on the throwback menu are served in discreet coffee mugs, a method used by Prohibition drinkers to evade law enforcement. Hang around until 6 p.m. when Golden Gate’s gorgeous dancing dealers take over the nearby casino floor. Their vivacious spirit and sexy outfits are a bold take on the style worn by the liberated women of the 1920s.

The Mob Life – Two Tickets – Get the lowdown on the dark side of Vegas’ past at The Mob Museum. This world-class destination dedicated to the thrilling story of organized crime and law enforcement presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on the world. Shockingly true stories are brought to life with interactive exhibits and more than 600 authentic artifacts, the largest collection of Mob and related law enforcement memorabilia under one roof. Objects on display include the infamous St. Valentine’s Massacre wall, the barber chair in which Gambino crime boss Albert Anastasia was murdered, real FBI wiretap recordings and a variety of artifacts belonging to famous Mobsters such as Al Capone, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Ben “Bugsy” Siegel, Sam Giancana, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, Moe Dalitz, John Gotti and other notorious individuals.

Guests should request to upgrade to the Vintage Vegas package when booking their accommodations. Call (800) 426-1906 for package options.

About The Mob Museum
Since opening in 2012, The Mob Museum has accumulated numerous accolades, including being named one of “20 Places Every American Should See” by Fox News and Budget Travel magazine, “Las Vegas’ Best New Attractions for 2012” by Travel + Leisure magazine, “9 Reasons to Visit Las Vegas” by CNNgo, a finalist for the “Best Wider World Project Award,” by the British Guild of Travel Writers and “Best Museum” by Nevada Magazine and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Admission is $19.95 for adults ages 18 and over with special pricing for children, seniors, military, law enforcement, Nevada residents and teachers. Museum hours are Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. For more information, call (702) 229-2734 or visit Connect on Facebook: and on Twitter: @TheMobMuseum.

About Golden Gate Hotel & Casino
Opening in 1906 at One Fremont Street, Golden Gate’s legacy spans the birth of Las Vegas, the Roaring 20s, the Rat Pack era and now the 21st century. Staying true to its roots, the property’s recent renovation draws inspiration from its colorful past, seamlessly blending old and new. Boasting a prime location under the lights of the Fremont Street Experience and three distinctive bars, the historic property delivers an experience that is authentic and energetic. Home to “The Original Las Vegas Shrimp Cocktail,” the boutique hotel and casino still serves the best tail in town! Golden Gate – where the past meets the future and the spirit of Las Vegas is very much alive.