A perennially popular place to lose (and win) money, eat a lot of great food and smoke a lot of cigars, get married (although with new legislation that prohibits middle-of-the-night nuptials, that's being threatened), Vegas never ceases to reinvent itself on a seemingly weekly basis. A recent visit confirmed that it's perfect for a long weekend visit. Any more than three or four days and your skin starts to take on that pallid, ghostly glow of someone who has seen far too many neon lights and not nearly enough sunlight. Going there when it's not, as my husband called it after a summertime conference sent him there, "like walking around in a blow dryer" is always advisable. Hence, the plethora of September deals. Of course you can always start your searching with a stop at the tourism website for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (tel. 877/847-4858; www.visitlasvegas.com)
Expedia (tel. 800/EXPEDIA: www.expedia.com) has an offer for Caesars Palace for $394 for two nights and round-trip airfare. As one of the classics places to stay on the Strip, Caesars offers restaurants, luxury, three big casinos and sprawling shopping. Hotel and service charges are included in the price but air taxes and fees are not. The price is even based on flights from New York City for midweek travel. Included in the offer is a $25 beverage and dining credit, which will probably cover a fraction of a meal -- but hey, every little bit helps, right?
Expedia also has a deal for an inexpensive Vegas fling -- the three-star Sahara Hotel and Casino is available for a mere $39 a night. The deal is good for travel through September 29 as long as you book by September 27. The hotel has a NASCAR cafÃ©, simulated race cars, a casino and pool -- and it's also a little further away from the action, on the north strip about two miles from the Convention Center. Of course, Vegas has elevated kitsch to high art, and the Excalibur Resort and Casino, with its drawbridge, moat and white castle, is no exception. It is available from $48 per night, for stays through September 22 if you book by September 19. (Regular rates are usually $100 or more per night.) Hotel taxes and service charge are not included.
For autumn and winter flights, AirTran (tel. 800/AIR-TRAN; www.airtran.com) has a system-wide fare sale), good for travel through February 1 as long as you book by September 19. You can fly to Vegas from a number of cities, either $129 or $139 one-way from Boston, Charlotte, Dayton, Memphis, New Orleans, Detroit, Tampa, and more. Fares are nonrefundable and a ten-day advance purchase is required.
JetBlue (tel. 800/JET-BLUE; www.jetblue.com) just announced its latest SuperFly Fares for travel to a number of cities, including Vegas. Sample fares include Long Beach or Burbank from $39 one-way, Washington, D.C., from $99; and New York City from $119. Best prices are found for mid-week travel. The fares last as long as there's availability, but you have until February 14, 2007 to travel. Some routes require a 7-day advance purchase; others, 14 days. Taxes and fees are not included.
Orbtiz (tel. 888/656-4546; www.orbtiz.com) has a fare sale for weekend trips to Las Vegas. Sample round-trip fares include Chicago or Seattle ($224), Denver ($123), and Newark ($325), among others. The prices quoted include all taxes and fees. Prices are going to vary, although sometimes in your favor: A search for flights from Newark on Friday September 15, returning Monday September 18 revealed a price of $303, less than the quoted price.
Orbitz is also running a special on hotel stays, too, if you've found cheap airfare elsewhere. Treasure Island is priced from $78 per night, Caesars from $144, The Bellagio from $199, the newly renovated Aladdin from $99. Prices are based on early October stays in mid-week.
Travelocity (tel. 888-TRAVELOCITY; www.travelocity.com) has a whole section on Vegas deals that are competitively priced. They're based on flights from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for travel November 8-10; prices will vary based on city and date. Advertised specials include round-trip airfare and three nights from $246 for New York, New York, $151 for the family-friendly Circus Circus, and Hard Rock from $214.
Vacation Outlet (tel. 800/690-2210; www.vacationoutlet.com) has several deals for Vegas travel in September. Stay at the Luxor, an Egyptian-themed casino-hotel that looks like a pyramid, for three nights and round-trip airfare from New York for $325. The price excludes air taxes and fees but hotel taxes and service charges are included. Or try the MGM Grand for $485, also with airfare from New York and three nights accommodations base don double occupancy. The hotel has five swimming pools, tropical landscaping and more than 5000 guest rooms. It is also close to the monorail, which gets you to some casinos on that side of the strip, but not all. The MGM Grand was selected as one of AAA's 2007 Four Diamond Award Winners, and it's home to trendy dining spots Craftsteak and Seablue, among others. Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is available for September travel for $409 for flights from New York and a three-night stay. Located near the newer end of the Strip, Mandalay Bay has its own sand beach, spa, and of course swimming pools, casino and other imaginative adds, such as a wave pool and walk-through aquarium.
Every once in a while, you'll find a special offered by the property itself that's worth noting. For select dates during the month of September, The Venetian Hotel Spa and Casino (tel. 866/403-8046; www.thevenetian.com) has a special package for weekdays at $169 per night and weekends at $199 per night, a substantial savings. When you book a suite, you'll get upgraded to the newer tower, Venezia, in a room with two queen size beds. Amenities include a pool garden, express check-in, daily turndown, shoe shine, newspaper delivery, $25 in promotional slot credits or table match play, and coupon booklet redeemable at the resort's Grand Canal Shoppes.
Finally, if you like to keep your distance from the glitz and glamour, there is no shortage of resorts with golf courses, spas and pools within easy driving distance of the Strip. Through Luxury Link (tel. 888/297-3299; www.luxurylink.com), which works somewhat like an auction, there is a package available at the recently opened Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa, good for two people for two nights for $799, a savings of approximately $200. You'll stay in a canyon view room -- the hotel is just outside the Strip -- with a king bed, and transfers between the airport and resort are included, along with free admission to the spa, fruit, cheese and crackers upon arrival, and a $50 resort credit (one per person). It is valid for travel through December 31, 2006; blackout dates apply during major holidays. You must book by December 4, but chances are the deal won't last that long. Additionally the Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas in Henderson is available as low as $163 per night through Trip Reservations (tel. 800/255-0372; www.tripres.com) for mid-week, mid-September stay.
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