The holiday season in Las Vegas used to be a time when shows went dark, rooms went unoccupied and hotel workers went out of town because of the seasonal slowdown. Not any more!
The holiday season has emerged as a popular time to visit Las Vegas. Many vacationers are discovering the milder weather and plethora of things to do entertainment, shopping and gaming -- and the extra time to do them.
Many Strip hotels ply visitors with special room rates and travel bargains. The Tropicana, for instance, offers rooms starting as low as $29 (Sunday-Thursday) and $59 (Friday and Saturday) plus tax.
The Trop also offers coupons that include 2-for-1 tickets for the Comedy Stop, $10 discount on Folies Bergere, free admission to the Legends Hall of Fame Museum, and other discounts and freebies.
The Imperial Palaces Christmas Fling Special includes a free room when you stay a minimum two nights, free Legends in Concert show ticket, free Emperors Buffet breakfast and dinner and free car rental day all for $15 per person (per night, double occupancy).
The Boardwalk-Holiday Inn has some Red Hot Dates in December (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21), when rooms are only $29.99 per night plus tax.
The Monte Carlo offers a "Rendezvous in Monte Carlo" promotion through Jan. 17. The special features a $59 room rate (Sunday-Thursday), which includes 2-for-1 microbrew at the Monte Carlo Pub & Brewery; free tiramisu or cappuccino with purchase of dinner entrée at Market City Café; free bowl of egg flower or hot-and-sour soup with the purchase of a dinner entrée at the Dragon Noodle Company; 2-for-1 admission to the Spa; plus other 2-for-1 food specials.
At The Rio, guests can get a room (suite) plus two tickets to the avant garde new show, De La Guarda, for $59 per person per night, plus tax. The offer is good Dec. 11-15, 18-22 and 25-29.
The Rio also has room-show specials for "At the Copa" starring David Cassidy and Sheena Easton; the Masquerade Show in the Sky; the unstoppable Earl Turner; the VooDoo Lounge; and Club Rio nightclub. Call reservations for information.
There are still a few days left for NFR. You can catch a few rodeo specials around town. At the San Remo, drawings are held for NFR gold buckle packages, jackets and other prizes. You can also earn raffle tickets for a Circle J two-horse trailer.
The San Remo also has a great steak special: a $6.95 T-bone with all the fixings, served 24 hours in the Ristorante Del Fiori.
Across the street, the Barbary Coast serves a hearty nine-ounce rock lobster tail dinner, with salad or soup, baked potato, rolls and butter, for only $13.95 (24 hours).
If youre downtown, check out the Las Vegas Club, which has a 2-for-1 crab legs dinner for $7.95 on Wednesdays (3 to 11 p.m.), and a 2-for-1 prime rib dinner for $7.95 on Thursdays (both in the Dugout Restaurant).
If youre a night crawler, the Dugout has a $2.95 New York steak-and-eggs special, served from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.