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Places to Stay in Vegas
  Las Vegas Travel Tip

In Las Vegas, big is in. Big shows, big casinos and big hotels.

At the time of its opening in 1990, Excalibur with 4,032 rooms, was the world's largest hotel. In 1993, the MGM Grand Hotel came in with 5,005 rooms making it the largest hotel-casino in the world. When the Sands tower imploded in 1996, owner Sheldon Adelson's announced he planned on building the Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, a 6,000 room resort: The $1.8 billion project began in 1997 and phase one of the mammoth undertaking opened in 1999 with a tower of 3,036 suites

With all that construction, it comes as no surprise that Las Vegas has enough rooms to accommodate well over a million people. (30.6 million visitors in 1998). In fact, the city has more hotels and motels than any resort destination in the world. In addition, RV Parks are scattered around the city, from simple dry sites in motel parking lots to fancy resorts with all the trimmings. The KOA campground (800-562-7782) is located by the best buffet in town. (See dining under tips.) Recreational parks are also located at a half dozen major hotel-casinos. And many parking lots of casinos have sections especially assigned for RV's.

Room rates are varied; there really is a price that will fit every pocketbook. Listen to the radio, watch tv and read the travel section in the newspapers for special packages from your location. Most include transportation and accommodations. Sometimes, the package is so low, it seems the room is free. And occasionally it is, particularly if you're a high roller. A high-roller is someone who plans on spending a certain amount of money gambling. In fact, for guests who come ready to risk thousands of dollars, the room is free at some casinos.

Most of us, however, are on a budget. Tips on budget accommodations are: If you're coming by car come mid-week. Even the most expensive hotels offer discounts. Weekend rates usually require two nights lodging. Read the signs on the highway. Bargains are posted on giant billboards. If you plan on staying longer than a few days, consider one of the motor inns or motels outside of town. Weekly rates are quite reasonable in those establishments. The busiest times and the most expensive nights are holiday weekends, summer holidays, and New Year's Eve.

Places that I've stayed include:

The Mirage: a 30-story hi-rise on the strip with more than 3,000 rooms. Phone numbers: (702)791-7111 or (800)627-6667. Rates medium to high

Circus Circus Hotel, Casino and Theme Park: This hotel caters to families and RV'ers. There's a free circus on the grounds and a 384-space recreational vehicle park. Phone numbers: (702)734-0410 or (800)634-3450. Rates low to medium

Bally's Las Vegas offers over 2,800 rooms and suites of luxurious standards and caters to honeymooners. Phone numbers: (702)739-4111 or (800)634-3434 (800)634-3434. Rates medium to high.

Most major resorts have toll free numbers for reservations. Call (800) 555-1212.

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