Saturday, January 25, 2014

Getting About Town: The Monorail and Alternate Routes

We have a guest visiting Vegas for the weekend who has some issues with walking long distances, a real dilemma for anyone who wants to do some real exploring of the sprawling casino properties on the Strip. The obvious solution was a pass for the Las Vegas Monorail, which will take you from one big hotel to another up and down the East side of the strip for a nominal fee. We bought a two-day pass for $18: that was $4 off the regular price with a coupon that's available in several of the visitor's guide magazines, including one available in racks right there at the monorail station. There's still a stop at Sahara and Paradise by the site of the old Sahara, then the LVH (which puts you across Paradise from the Riviera), Las Vegas Convention Center, Harrah's/The Quad (across Las Vegas Blvd. from the Caesars Forum Shops), Flamingo (across from Caesars Palace), Bally's/Paris, and the MGM Grand.

One you cross over to the West side of Las Vegas Boulevard...or let's assume, for the sake of argument, you were too cheap to spring for the Monorail...there are free trams and monorails that connect several of the properties to save you even more walking. There's a rail connecting Treasure Island with the Mirage. Make it across Caesars and a monorail connects Bellagio, Aria/City Center and the Monte Carlo. Make it past New York, New York and across the walkway to Excalibur, and another tram connects the big castle with the Luxor and Mandalay Bay to the South. Another walkway connects New York, New York with the MGM Grand and hey, there's that monorail again.

Conventional wisdom has it that the Monorail is no sightseeing expedition as it passes behind most of the casino hotels, but you get a nice close look at the Skywheel going up as part of the new Linq complex, and from the rear you can see some of the old Imperial Palace architecture that Caesars Entertainment is obscuring as that property gets remodeled into The Quad.

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