In the last installment of “Prepping for the WSOP,” we discussed how to get to Las Vegas for the series and options for where to stay. This week, we will talk a bit about how to travel around Las Vegas once you have found a place to stay.
Keep in mind that these options assume that you did not drive to Vegas. My personal preference is to drive that option isn’t feasible for everyone.
Some players will go to Vegas and never leave the Las Vegas Strip. While that’s completely understandable, you really don’t get the full Vegas Experience. Also, you will have to leave the Strip in order to play at the World Series of Poker.
Below are options for getting around Vegas, including free options for getting back and forth from the Rio.
Taxi – The Old Standby
The classic standby for getting from point A to point B is the taxi. If you’re staying at a casino property in Vegas, you will only need to go out front to find a taxi during most of the day. If one is not available, your casino host can usually get one for you pretty quick.
For quick trips or if you only need a ride a couple of times a day, a taxi could be the perfect option. Obviously, you’re going to pay more the farther you go but if you are going to Vegas with some friends, you can always split the fee.
Guy: "To MGM please."— LV Cabbie Chronicles (@LVCabChronicles) May 11, 2016
Me: "Ok. I think I know where that is."
Guy: "If you don't know you tell me right now."
Me: "It's called sarcasm sir."
Rent a Car
Depending on your budget and your plans for your time in Vegas, you may want to rent a car for your stay. Depending on your needs, you can rent a car for as little as $27 a day (based on recent searches).
Renting a car is a smart option if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing or if you’re staying an extended distance from the Rio. It also gives you the freedom to come and go when you want without having to secure a ride.
There are many properties in Las Vegas that offer free shuttle service to various locations in Vegas. Some merely offer free shuttle service from the McCarran Airport while others will take you to the Vegas Strip and other locations.
For those that are staying at Bally’s or Harrah’s, there is a free shuttle to the Rio that runs daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Pickup times are every 30 minutes.
Also, several Vegas hotels offer shuttle service so you don’t have to stay at a casino to take advantage of a shuttle.
Click here for a list of properties currently offering shuttle service in Las Vegas and what areas they service.
Trams and the Las Vegas Monorail
Depending on where you’re staying in Vegas, you may have access to tram or monorail transportation. The Las Vegas Monorail is the largest and has various stops from the MGM Grand all the way to SLS Station near the Stratosphere.
The Monorail stops at Bally’s, the Flamingo, Harrah’s, the Las Vegas Convention Center, Westgate Las Vegas and SLS Las Vegas. One-day passes are $12 or you can get a five-day pass for just $43 with unlimited rides.
There are three free trams in Vegas. One will take you from the Mirage to Treasure Island, one from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur and the last being the Aria Express. That one will take you between Bellagio, Aria and the Monte-Carlo.
If you’re making your way to the Rio and are on the Vegas Monorail route, you could possibly take the monorail to Bally’s or Harrah’s and then the free shuttle to the Rio.
Catch the Bus
If you want to travel along the Strip or looking to head to Downtown Vegas, consider taking either the Deuce or the SDX (Strip & Downtown Express.) You can get a three-day pass on the busses for just $20, saving you money over most options.
The only catch is that the bus runs a bit slower than most any other option you wish to take. However, if you are not in a rush, this is a cheap alternative to get around the strip or to take a jaunt to Fremont Street.
Uber / Lyft
An alternative to taxis are Uber and Lyft. Classified as “ride sharing,” you request a driver to come to your location and give you a ride to where you need to go. All of this is done from your mobile phone using the Uber or Lyft app.
Unlike taxis, you don’t have to worry about having cash on hand. Rather, you pay through the app. With that said, you won’t have an idea of the total cost of the ride until the ride is complete. There’s no running meter like in a cab.
If you aren’t staying at a casino, this could be an option for alternative transportation over cabs.
Fun fact: Joe McKeehen only had one person on his rail: the Uber driver who drove him there. #wsop— Reading Poker Tells (@apokerplayer) November 11, 2015
Check With Your Casino Host About a Ride
One option that many overlook is transportation provided by the casino. Yes, we did mention shuttles in an earlier section, but some casinos will provide transportation around Vegas on an “As Needed” basis for their customers.
To find out whether your property offers this service, contact your casino host or check with the front desk. One caveat is that some services may only be available based on your play. That is why it is a good idea to do some of your gambling at the place where you stay.
For example, a few years back I stayed at the 4 Queens for a month while playing / working the WSOP. While there, I was running very well in Video Poker and played it some just about every day. One day I went to get my car and my host reminded me that the casino would provide a shuttle to anywhere I needed. I never used their service but it was nice to know it was there.
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Next week, we will discuss safety at the WSOP and in Las Vegas. This will cover both personal safety and properly securing your funds.