Visiting Las Vegas and Its New Ice Experience Attraction
Las Vegas Is Attracting Tourists A Well As Gamblers
As gambling options expand, Las Vegas, once the only place in the United States where one could gamble legally, has been aggressively marketing itself as a family tourist destination. Their effort appears to be a success given the number of families, with young children and even babies in tow, milling about the resorts and strolling along the famous Las Vegas Strip.
Gambling is still popular and crowds can still be seen in the casinos. Vans still cruise up and down the Strip with their loud speakers offering free transportation and no cover charge to visit strip clubs. There are still a number of guys handing out cards with photos of nude women on one side and directions to a strip club on the other side. However, they no longer try to shove the cards into the hands of passing men who have their wives or children in tow.
New Attractions Are Multiplying
For the past few years my wife and I have been meeting up somewhere with our daughter and her husband for a week long vacation. This year they flew to Las Vegas where we drove up and met them. Our plan was to pick them up in Las Vegas then drive to Death Valley and three other National Parks on the other side of the mountains from Death Valley then return them to Las Vegas the afternoon before their flight.
However, a big storm with rain and snow rolling in off the Pacific Ocean forced us to flee California after a couple of days with the result that we ended up spending a major part of our vacation in Las Vegas and nearby Laughlin, Nevada.
The Coldest Part Of Our Trip Was At the Venetian Resort
Our daughter and son-in-law had arrived in Las Vegas the previous Saturday afternoon while, because of my wife’s work, we didn’t arrive until Sunday morning. Among the places they visited on Saturday was a new attraction in the Venetian Resort known minus 5° ICE EXPERIENCE. They were very impressed with this Attraction and, once back in Las Vegas, urged us to join them while they visited it again.
It is a somewhat pricey but interesting experience. The cost is $17 per adult ($13 for a child) for what they call the Cool Experience, which is what we took. The cool experience consists of a blue parka, gloves and admittance to he attraction which is a large room where everything, including the walls, is covered with ice and the temperature is a constant -5°Fahrenheit (about -20.6° Celsius).
For $45 per person a visitor receives a pair of gloves, a white faux fur coat, an ice cocktail served in a glass made out of ice and admission to the Attraction.
There doesn’t seem to be any time limit but after about 20 minutes or so one has seen everything (the room is not that big) and is starting to think about returning to the warm hall outside the door to the room.
One Can Easily Spend Hours Wandering Around The Vast Venetian Resort
As mentioned above the minus 5° ICE EXPERIENCE Attraction is located on the Las Vegas Strip inside the vast Venetian Resort. While we have never stayed there, the Venetian Resort, in addition to its hotel and casinos (which I have never seen) is a great place for a leisurely stroll. It is like Venice, Italy without the pigeons or cars.
The interior decor on the main floor and mezzanine level is an Italian Renaissance style one expects to find in Venice, Italy. A canal with gondolas winds through the main floor. The price is $30 per person with 4 people in the boat. If you want to ride alone or just with a friend or two, the price is higher. A few years ago when my wife’s brother was visiting from Russia we took him on the gondola ride and, as I recall, the cost was a little less.
LIke the other resorts on the Strip, most of the floor space is taken up with high end retail shops and very nice restaurants. We were in Las Vegas over our anniversary a couple of years ago and had a great dinner at one of their restaurants. However, there is no charge to simply stroll around and enjoy the sight and occasional free music.
While I am not a big fan of Las Vegas, it can be a fun place to visit. I don’t like the traffic so I find a place to park the car and leave it there until we are ready to leave town.
Even if you are like me and not interested in the casinos there is still plenty to do and see. While it can be a very expensive place to visit, there are many things that are free. One can spend a day just walking along the Las Vegas Strip taking in the sights without having to spend a dime.
Many of the big resorts on the strip are themed and there is no charge to simply wander through and enjoy the dcor and exhibits - of course they hope you will pull out your credit card and do some shopping, dining, seeing a show or gamble.
Many Of The Resorts On The Strip Offer Deals On Rooms
Room rates at the resorts on the Strip can be very reasonable. My Daughter and I went online with our smartphones and found a deal at the Flamingo Resort for about $25 per night.
In addition to the tax all the resorts add a resort fee which was about $30. When we got to the hotel and tried to check in at the automated check in the computer found our reservations right away and told us we had to check in at the desk. It appeared that everyone who checked in using an online app other than the Flamingo’s website was directed to the desk.
We had about a 20 minute wait in line and then another 10 minutes (I clocked it while waiting in line) where they requested basic information the booking site already had and I am sure had been forwarded to them. It soon became clear that the purpose of the manual registration was to give the resort a chance to upsell our reservation. We were offered a chance to upgrade being told that the rooms we had hadn’t been renovated yet. Our daughter decided to take it and, wanting to have rooms close together (rather than literally being located a thousand rooms away) we took the upgrade also.
Finally there was a $15 per day for parking and then an offer to forgo the housekeeping service in exchange for a $10 credit. My wife thought it was a good way to save money so I took it.
After the reservation was completed I was given a statement and list of five shops in the hotel where I could make a purchase, charge it to my room and have the $10 credited to it. In order to get the $10 credit I ended up buying 2 beers (which we didn’t necessarily want) for $6.50 each. So I ended up paying $2.50 to get the credit (my wife drank one but since I was going to be driving I put the other one in one of the cooler bags we had and as of this writing it is still sitting in our refrigerator,
Despite The Added Charges The Final Price Was Reasonable
I will say in conclusion that in spite of the reservation process, the clerk that handled it, and every other staff member we interacted with were extremely courteous, knowledgeable and professional. Our room was also great and, despite all the added charges the price per night we ended up paying was what we usually pay per night when traveling.
Map Showing Easy Side Trips from Las Vegas
Natural Hot Springs in Lake Mead Recreation area. Hot Springs approx 45 min drive from Las Vega turnoff along I-11 & 3 mi hike each way
State Park with beautiful rock formations and easy to moderate hiking trails
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Chuck Nugent