Leadership / 11.01.23
Lights, Camera, Las Vegas! Making the Most of Your Time on the Strip
We are counting down the days to Las Vegas!
In January, more than 1,200 of our closest ticketing industry friends will meet in the “Entertainment Capital of the World” to network, learn and share visionary ideas at the 45th Annual INTIX Conference & Exhibition.
Our first Vegas preview story shared recommendations for things to do that are beyond the glitz and glamour of the Strip — from visiting natural wonders and breathtaking landscapes to learning about the city’s history and more.
Now that we have revealed some of the hidden treasures of Las Vegas beyond the Strip, we are shifting our focus to other vibrant and unforgettable experiences that are waiting for you right in the heart of this bustling entertainment capital.
In no particular order, here are recommendations from INTIX Board members, our President and CEO Maureen Andersen and the writer of this article, too.
We begin our journey by sharing a mode of transportation that will help you immensely as you journey along the Strip — the Las Vegas Monorail. It whisks you along this busy stretch easily, conveniently (there are trains every few minutes) and affordably. There are options from one-ride tickets to day passes of up to seven days. Buy them online to save money, then scan your phone at the gate. Paper tickets are also available for those who can’t resist a hard ticket (ha!). Visit the ticket vending machines or customer service booths at Monorail stations for these full-price fares.
Iconic Las Vegas Sign
Many Las Vegas visitors travel south of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino to take their photo at the iconic Las Vegas sign. It is walkable from there (just under a mile), though many say the best way to get there is by car. Grab an Uber or Lyft if you don’t have a good pair of walking shoes.
Visit Venice, Paris and More
Have you ever dreamed of visiting Venice? Well, you are in luck, because you can do that in Las Vegas. After her recent visit to The Venetian Las Vegas while in town for an INTIX Board meeting, Aren Murray, US Operations Manager for Tixly, said, “Pretend you are in Venice. Have a gondola ride while being serenaded and shop the high-end shops. The indoors is a ceiling painted like the sky.”
Closest Monorail stop: Harrah’s/The LINQ Station.
To go from Venetian dreamscapes to cobblestone streets, journey to the Paris Las Vegas hotel, where you can experience the romance and elegance of the Eiffel Tower right in the heart of Las Vegas. It extends 46 stories up and is a half-scale replica of the famous Paris, France, landmark.
Closest Monorail stop: Horseshoe/Paris Station.
Seeing the Fountains of Bellagio in person is unbelievable. Shows start every 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the time and day of the week. Each show is unique and set to different music. The fountains have been closed for construction and the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix but will be back open in time for INTIX 2024.
“Free for all and a quick walk from the hotel, you can watch the beautiful Bellagio fountains every night! Before or after the fountain show, check out the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, another free and beautiful excursion,” Christina Allen, Senior Manager, Box Office for the Ottawa Senators and Canadian Tire Centre and an INTIX Board member, recommends.
Bellagio Fountain video.
After experiencing the serene beauty of the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, some INTIX attendees may want to shift gears and experience the fiery spectacle of the volcano at the Mirage. It, too, is just a short walk from Caesars Palace.
“Boom. Pow. Wow.” We don’t disagree with that website description at all. “Our iconic front yard has more bang than ever, thanks to taller explosions, more fireballs and a driving soundtrack from The Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Indian tabla sensation Zakir Hussain,” it boasts. The volcano fires on the hour (check the website for showtimes). The show lasts about five minutes and shoots fireballs more than 12 feet into the air.
From TV Screen to Plate
Christina also recommends dinner at Hell’s Kitchen, located in Caesars Palace. Described as “drawing inspiration from the global hit reality television show starring world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, guests will feel like they are on the studio set.”
“If you are a fan of the show, it is such a cool experience,” Christina says. “You can have Gordan Ramsay’s classic dishes like Beef Wellington or sticky toffee pudding!”
Christina was also blown away by Sphere, the groundbreaking new venue that combines technology and entertainment into a mesmerizing experience that redefines the city’s skyline. Christina said, “Without even stepping inside, it amazes me!”
U2 has several shows as part of its residency at Sphere around the conference dates — they play on Jan. 26, Jan. 27, Jan. 31, Feb. 2, Feb. 3 and Feb. 4.
There is also the Sphere Experience show, a two-part program that begins when you enter the venue. It features immersive technology and a multi-sensory cinematic experience — Darren Aronofsky’s “Postcard from Earth.”
The High Roller at the LINQ Hotel is another attraction you can’t miss, literally speaking. Shown in the photo above, it soars 550 feet above the center of the Las Vegas Strip and is the largest observation wheel in North America.
Also at the LINQ, you can ride the Strip’s only zipline, Fly LINQ. “Riders launch from a 12-story tower and soar 1,121 feet from Las Vegas Boulevard, down the LINQ Promenade and finish at the High Roller at speeds up to 35 miles per hour (mph).”
Closest Monorail stop: Harrah’s/The LINQ Station.
If you are looking for more adrenaline rush adventures, you won’t want to miss Thrill Rides at The Strat, including the Big Shot and the X-Scream roller coaster that teeter-totters you over an edge 866 feet high.
Closest Monorail stop: Saraha Las Vegas Station.
There is also the Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York. “Get your thrills going over 67 mph on the world’s first coaster to feature a 180-degree ‘heartline’ twist and dive maneuver and 203-foot drop.”
Closest Monorail stop: MGM Grand Station
The Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights NHL team are on a road trip around the time of INTIX, but there is still lots to see in the area of T-Mobile Arena. Take amazing photos in any number of locations on the plaza, like in front of a huge wireframe sculpture or hockey puck. The wireframe sculpture by Marco Cochrane is called “Bliss Dance.” As printed on the plaque beneath it, “‘Bliss Dance’ celebrates the strength and energy of a woman who is safe, present … whose voice is clear … whose power, purpose and humanity shine.”
About a 30-minute walk from our hotel is a gaggle of fun touristy stores — The Hershey Store (located in New York-New York), the M&M store (close to MGM) and the Coca-Cola Store (also close to MGM)!
Dare we say these are among the sweetest stores on the Strip?!
Closest Monorail stop: MGM Grand Station
From high-end fashion to quirky keepsakes and everything in between, shopping on and near the Las Vegas Strip offers something for everyone.
You will find upscale boutiques and the world’s most popular brands at The Forum Shops and Appian Way Shops at Caesars Palace. At The Venetian, you can stroll along the canals as you check out the Grand Canal Shoppes. The Fashion Show Mall on the north Strip is close by, as are other options that Christina enjoyed during her trip.
“A quick Uber ride from the hotel is the South Premium Outlets,” Christina says. “Canadians looking to hit up Target? It is about a 20-minute walk or a quick Uber down the street! I stocked up on all my fun American treats at the CVS just a few minutes walk from the hotel.”
The King of Rock & Roll
Once you have shopped ‘til you’ve dropped, how about checking out the King of Rock & Roll? Fans of Elvis Presley can visit the Westgate Hotel and take their photo with a bronze statue of the legend himself.
Elvis Presley’s first show at the Westgate (then the International Hotel) was on July 31, 1969. This was his residency venue for the next seven years. In total, he performed 636 sold-out shows, a now-broken record by current resident Barry Manilow.
Closest Monorail stop: Westgate Station
Viva Las Vegas! While you are in town, it is also possible you could be as lucky as Maureen. She got her photo with our INTIX Elvis, played by Bruce Bielenberg, when the 2024 conference was announced in Seattle. You also can’t help falling in love with INTIX 2024 Conference Chair Amy Graca on Maureen’s right, Paige Howarth (far left) and Kristen Santero (far right). Yes, I admit, it was hard to resist incorporating Elvis’s songs into this part of the story!
Vegas Wildlife Adventures
You won’t find a Hound Dog at the Flamingo Hotel’s Wildlife Habitat (OK, last Elvis reference, I promise!), but you will discover a serene oasis with meandering streams, waterfalls, exotic birds, koi fish, turtles and beautiful Chilean flamingos. The four-acre gardens are a relaxing way to escape the hustle and bustle of the Strip, and there is no cost to enter. The Flamingo Hotel is located across the Strip from Caesars Palace.
If you prefer to explore underwater, check out the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. There, you can see more than 2,000 species, including majestic sharks, sea turtles, lionfish, jellyfish, octopus and terrestrial animals like a Komodo dragon, crocodiles and more.
Closest Monorail stop: MGM Grand Station, then cross the strip to New York-New York and head next door to Excalibur. From there, hop on the free tram to Mandalay Bay.
Shark Reef Aquarium video.
Fremont Street Experience
If you want to see where it all started, you won’t want to miss Downtown Las Vegas and the Fremont Street Experience. Fremont Street was the city’s first paved road, and the original Las Vegas remains a popular entertainment district today, just a quick Uber from Caesars Palace. It is known for its stunning LED canopy, which stretches over five city blocks. Fremont Street also has classic casinos, a plethora of street artists and performers, a zipline where adventure-seekers can fly seated and a zoomline if you prefer to fly superhero style.
Whether you are a first-timer or a return visitor to Las Vegas, there is just so much to see and do. Come early or stay after the conference — and if you are not already registered, what are you waiting for? Visit INTIX.org to register today.
Stay tuned for future Access stories about our highly anticipated venue tours, 2024 conference keynotes, session previews and more!
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Tags: Leadership , INTIX2024