Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Las Vegas Strip Casino-Hotel Parking Garage Tips

Access to and navigation of Vegas strip casino-hotel parking garages can at times resemble swimming upstream depending on traffic volume , security levels, and varying driver patience. Individual hotel garages have varying capacities, distances to casino-hotel entrances, access from surrounding roadways, and ease of navigation once inside them.

Some people enjoy driving down Las Vegas Blvd. (the main "strip" road) to access their intended hotel. All of them are accessible from this main route and most are reasonably well-marked with "self-parking" signs for direction. During high traffic volume periods, it can be quite time-consuming to drive down Las Vegas Blvd. to access hotels and..anything else. During crowded traffic conditions, this road is analogous to the world's longest parking lot. First-time or limited experience Vegas drivers should have an easily readable strip map and an approach plan worked out prior to diving into the traffic mix. GPS systems are also an option ( personal or available on some rental cars).

There are some back-door / alternate routes available that can ease and speed up access to the garages ; busy weekends sometimes even clog these roads with drivers, most of whom have frustrating adrenaline and patience levels. There are some
roads that roughly parallel Las Vegas Blvd on both the east ( Paradise, Koval, and Audrie) and west ( Frank Sinatra and Industrial aka Dean Martin roads) and these optional thoroughfares can at times provide for speedier and more efficient access. The following offers a brief description of parking garage access routes for the strip hotels with a few comments.

BELLAGIO - Flamingo Rd. (runs east and west and at times can be at a standstill itself) ; Las Vegas Blvd. ; Frank Sinatra Rd.
from the west side of the strip. Bellagio's garage is well marked and comparatively very easy to navigate once
drivers get there.

CAESAR'S PALACE - Frank Sinatra from the west side, turn on Jay Sarno Way or Empire Drive ; two entrances off Las Vegas
Blvd.

CASINO ROYALE - From east side of the strip, access their parking facility from Koval Lane by turning on Winnick or Ida
Avenues; this casino lies between Harrah's and the Venetian; Las Vegas Blvd access as well.

CIRCUS CIRCUS - Industrial / Dean Martin Rd from the west side of strip by turning on Circus Circus Drive ; Las Vegas Blvd

EXCALIBUR - From the west side , turn onto Excalibur Way from Frank Sinatra ; From the east side from Koval Lane which
transitions into Reno Avenue, cross Las Vegas Blvd at light ; Tropicana Road runs east to west just north of
Excalibur and you can access from it, if it's not swamped with traffic.

FLAMINGO - From east side of the strip, access from Koval Lane to Audrie (via Albert or Ida from Koval) ; Audrie is also
accessible from Flamingo Road (runs east and west) but it may be packed with traffic; Las Vegas Blvd.

HARRAH'S - Use Koval to Audrie routes (via Ida or Albert from Koval) ; Las Vegas Blvd.

HILTON - Located on Paradise Road (just east of the strip) and can be accessed here; Joe Brown Way runs north and south
behind (immediately west) this hotel

IMPERIAL PALACE - Use Koval to Audrie route from east side of strip (via Ida, Albert, or Winnick roads) ; Las Vegas Blvd

LUXOR - Use Frank Sinatra Rd from west side of strip and turn on Luxor Way ; From east side of strip, use Koval to Reno
route, cross Las Vegas Blvd. at light ; Las Vegas Blvd.

MANDALAY BAY - Two routes from west side , Frank Sinatra to Mandalay Bay Rd (east side of I-15) or Hacienda Road loop
from Industrial aka Dean Martin Road (west side of I-15); from east side of strip use Koval to Reno route or Koval
to Reno to Giles roads and cross Las Vegas Blvd at lights ; access from Las Vegas Blvd as well

MGM GRAND - Tropicana direct access (runs east and west adjacent to MGM on south side) ; access from Koval lane from east
side of strip to Audrie, lots of directional signs ; it's a marathon walk from the parking garage to the hotel ; we
always valet park here..ugh; no direct access from Las Vegas Blvd.

MIRAGE - From west side of strip use Industrial Road to Pershing Ave. or use Spring Mountain Road to Vegas Plaza Drive
(just north of the Mirage); Las Vegas Blvd access

MONTE CARLO - From west side of strip, turn onto Rue De Monte Carlo from Frank Sinatra ; Las Vegas Blvd access as well

NEW YORK , NEW YORK - From west side of strip, turn onto Rue De Monte Carlo (runs east and west between Monte Carlo
and New York, New York ) from Frank Sinatra and turn south , follow signs; access from Tropicana which runs
adjacent to and just south of hotel

PARIS - From east side of strip, use Koval to Audrie route and turn on Paris Drive ; Las Vegas Blvd access as well

PLANET HOLLYWOOD - Use Koval to Harmon and/or Audrie routes from east side of strip ; Las Vegas Blvd access

RIVIERA - From Paradise Road on east side of strip, turn west onto Riviera Blvd; Las Vegas Blvd access

SAHARA - From Paradise Road on east side of strip, direct access to garage; no access from Las Vegas Blvd.

STRATOSPHERE - Access from Las Vegas Blvd by turning west onto Baltimore Avenue ; it's well marked for self-parking

TI (TREASURE ISLAND) - From Spring Mountain Road to Vegas Plaza Drive (just north and west of TI); Las Vegas Blvd. access

TROPICANA - Access from Tropicana Road ( hotel is adjacent to and just south ) or from Las Vegas Blvd.

VENETIAN - Use Koval to Audrie routes (via Ida, Albert, or Winnick from Koval) on east side of strip ; Las Vegas Blvd. access

WYNN - Fasion show drive (west side of Las Vegas Blvd) , cross Las Vegas Blvd and take quick left to garage; can also access
from Sands Avenue which runs just south of hotel and extends to Koval and / or Paradise to the east of the strip;
Las Vegas Blvd access as well.

General Parking Garage Tips;
1. Plan ahead /' develop routes / use maps / take a pistol?
2. Be certain to WRITE DOWN the floor level and accessory indicators (eg 3 A, B, or C, etc.) as you leave the parked vehicle;
it's very easy to forget specifically where you parked when you return from the casino-hotel, partially because some of
these garages are monstrous in size; look over your shoulder at some visual landmarks such as the general direction
toward the elevators / stairs from your vehicle and even some of the other vehicles in the general vicinity of your parking
spot. Nowadays, almost all rental cars have key remotes that open the car and flash the lights from a distance and this can be a huge plus even if you did write down where the hell you parked.
3. Make certain all lights/ accessories are off inside the car..dead batteries suck .
4. Where's your keys? If you rent a car, request 2 keys and keep one in your pocket or your wife's purse (hopefully she won't
run off and leave you when she can't pry you away from the blackjack pits).
5. We suggest you park away from corner parking spaces so some overanxious gambler or inebriated grandmother doesn't
smack your ride with their vehicle as they're navigating the loops/ turns in these huge concrete caves.
6. We suggest that the ladies (chivalry is not dead ) do not park in these garages at night when traveling alone ; valet parking
is much safer plus you'll feel like a VIP..this approach is well worth a $2 tip vs a potential nightmare; be safe
7. Don't leave valuables in plain sight within the vehicle..use the trunk or toss something over them. Out of sight..out of mind.
8. Park the car well ; within those lines, etc.; might avoid a door scraping from adjacent parkers
9. "Self - Parking " signs are the signs to track for these parking monoliths
10. Watch the road/ traffic ; it's easy to become distracted when you're looking at / for directive signs, etc. and a lot of other
drivers are being distracted as well ; drive defensively.
11. It's intended that more efficient and safe parking options will ultimately result in savings of time, frustration, and a few
dollars when visiting Vegas.


Other generalities to consider include parking in a semi-centrally located garage that lends itself to relatively easy access to several casino-hotels from one parking spot. For example, parking at the Luxor garage on the south strip provides for tolerable access to Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, New York, New York, Tropicana, and MGM Grand due to presence of monorails
and / or walkways. At midstrip, consider parking at the Paris garage to access Bally's, Planet Hollywood, and Bellagio ; also
consider parking at Venetian to get to Harrah's, Mirage, TI, and Casino Royale.

If we stay in Vegas for several days, most of us exhaust ourselves due to endogenous adrenaline , too much alcohol consumption, constant activity, and / or lack of sleep. If you just simply can't stand another parking garage hike to and from
your vehicle, there's always valet parking. We highly recommend it..it's not that expensive and almost always lends itself to
easier hotel - casino access.

A decent source of parking garage info (including off-strip hotels) on the web is at
http://www.vegas.com/transportation/parkinggarages.html


Cheers..
Chuck60

6 comments:

novice_blogger said...

nice information for a first time vegas traveller. I agree with all your tips! I travel to vegas about 3-4 times/yr, and have experiences where we got lost in the MGM parking lot trying to locate our vehicles, I always prefer walking or taking the cab!

novice_blogger
http://kewlblogger.blogspot.com

Chuck60 said...

Thanks,novice blogger;
Early in our Vegas experiences, my wife and I were convinced that our car had been stolen from the Luxor parking garage; we were just on the wrong level and were just suffering from typical Vegas visitor stupidity. A grinning security patrol rep drove us up to the next level and we spotted the "stolen" vehicle ; we had red faces for about 30 minutes but learned. :) Thanks for the comments..

Cheers..
Chuck60

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Audree said...

Thanks for the information you've shared to us. You've really got some great tips out there. Keep it up! Big thanks to you and your blog.

Audree

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Mostly Useless (and approximate) Las Vegas Facts

1. Number of Las Vegas citizens   500,000
2. Number of Clark County residents   1,500,000
3. Year first casino licensed   1931
4. Number of slot machines in Vegas   200,000
5. Number of annual Vegas visitors   40,000,000 (and dropping)
6. Number of licensed gambling entities   1700
7. Hours per day average visitor gambles   4
8. Annual state gaming revenue   9 billion (and dropping)
9. Average gambling budget per trip   560  (and dropping)
10. Mean price per acre in valley   161,000.00
11. Price per acre on the Strip   11,000,000.00
12. Number of  hotel rooms   137,000 +
13. Number of pillowcases washed at MGM daily   15,000
14. Number of doors at MGM  18,000 
15. Annual no. toilet paper rolls used at Bally's   1 million
16. Lucky The Clown marquee sign at Circus Circus has
      1232 fluorescent bulbs, 14,498 incandescent bulbs, and
      3/4 mile of neon tubing light  (no wonder they're replacing
      it!)
17. In good times, Excalibur goes through over 44,000 
      Cornish game hens, 15 thousand pounds of hamburger
      meat, and 4200 pounds of prime rib monthly
18. Caesar's Palace has used 2 million plus maraschino 
      cherries, 11 thousand ounces of caviar, 2 million ounces
      of tomato juice, and close to 600 thousand ounces of
      vodka yearly (bloody mary winner?)
19. Mandalay Bay has 5,300 palm trees and their wave pool
      has a capacity of 1,640,270 gallons of water
20. Average nightly room rate  119.00 (and dropping)
21. Average number of Vegas weddings per day   300+
22. Number of golf courses  37
23. Miles of neon tubing on the Strip and Downtown  15,000
24. State's nationwide rank in gold production  1st
25. Cost of Nevada marriage license   35.00
26. Average cost of filing for divorce  450.00
27. Average length of stay for visitors    3.7 days
28. Number of hosted conventions annually  3750
29. The electric bill to operate the Luxor pyramid beam is
      approximately 55.00 per hour.
30. Las Vegas has 17 of the world's 20 largest hotels   

"WHERE'S MY WALLET , ETHEL!? "

Just a cautionary tip when in Vegas.. there are active
pickpockets all over town. I experienced this first-hand
and came within 10 seconds of losing my cash stash last July
while visiting one of those upper end joints on the strip.

I was gambling significantly at a video poker machine, unabashedly slipping C-notes in them. Somebody had been
observing my wagering behavior. I was happily winning at the time and my cautionary tendencies regarding my bankroll
money went south and out the window.

A lady approached me from behind as I played and was all aglow with my run of good luck. She initiated a conversation about nothing and anything . I was concentrating on proper VP strategy and responding to her comments with a lot of "yeah-yeahs". I was fortunate enough to get ahead on the machine again and I cashed out. I had a satchel (I normally never gamble under those conditions) with me that had assorted trip stuff in it. The satchel presence and the relatively high denomination coin-in amount collectively screamed " please rob me!" I placed my wallet in the satchel along with the machine cash-out tickets and proceeded to reconnect with my family and head to our room.

I had developed a sense of cautionary unease as I mulled over the contact with the effusively talkative woman at the VP machine. My senses told me that something about that encounter was skewed, although at the time I didn't know what it was and I wasn't bleeding profusely..yet. My group then proceeded to meander through a very crowded slot machine aisle and some other 6th, 7th, or 8th sense that vaguely detected an impersonal yet succinct encroachment into my personal space kicked in. Instinctively, I immediately dug into the satchel to locate my wallet and it was gone. I then immediately turned around and backtracked about ten feet (a matter of maybe 3 seconds, tops) as my endogenous adrenaline kicked in. I'm not sure that my hair wasn't on fire briefly.

I then spotted my wallet (and life) in a woman's hand who was playing a slot machine. I walked straight at her and demanded it post-haste in a tone that screamed seriousness. I immediately grabbed the wallet and called for security. The woman claimed she picked it up off the floor and so did the man (her accomplice) behind her, both vowing that they were planning to remit it to the security desk. My svelte ass they were.

This team of thieves including the woman who was all goony-googoo at the VP machine were pros. I have to claim part of the blame for the openly careless manner I had displayed with my money. They were held by security and the eye-in-the-sky tapes were to be reviewed.

The good thing is I didn't lose a cent because my peripheral senses kicked in immediately and they didn't have time to bury the evidence ( perhaps they weren't the best of pros?). Take heed folks..these people are everywhere in Vegas. Know where your cash is at all times; take precautions to protect it, don't flaunt it around carelessly as I did, and if you sense something is awry while gambling trust your instincts.

Distractions from one member of a team of thieves is a common MO. Store your gambling session monies in a front pants pocket or in one of those god-awful front-loaded fanny packs (pride be damned). The lesson I learned here after several years of Vegas gambling experiences turned out to be one of the most valuable for me personally.


Cheers..
Chuck60
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