United States 1: Las Vegas

Receiving their first clue at Brisbane Airport, Ang and Simon boarded a 13 hour flight to Los Angeles. A slight delay at the airport was overcome in the air and the flight arrived on time at 7am. Clearing customs, the team transitioned to the domestic terminal for the wait for the Delta flight to Las Vegas.

Arriving at Vegas a few short hours later, the team checked into their hotel for a well earned rest. Strategically, they did not sleep straight away, instead heading to the strip on sun down to check out the lights and sights and complete the major task of this leg of the race, a grand survey of the major Vegas Casinos.

At the pool – Platinum The view from our room

The walking tour of the strip included reviews of the following (in order of visit):

  1. Bellagio (1st night – $1.6 billion construction cost)
  2. Bally’s (1st night – air con for part of the walk home)
  3. Paris (1st night)
  4. Planet Hollywood (1st night)
  5. Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon
  6. Flamingos
  7. Caesar’s Palace
  8. Bellagio (again cause it is pretty stunning for a hotel – think Ocean’s 11)
  9. Aria
  10. Crystals (not a casino, but a slick expansive mall)
  11. Mandarin Oriental
  12. Monte Carlo
  13. New York – New York
  14. Excalibur
  15. Luxor
  16. THEHotel
  17. Mandalay Bay
  18. MGM Grand
  19. Cosmopolitan
  20. M&Ms world (4 levels of chocolate candy fun – including a hilarious false fire alarm situation – staff had no clue and the alarm was quieter than the music)
  21. Coca cola world (strangely not as fun as M&Ms world)
  22. Planet Hollywood (Erotic dancing dealers = classy)
  23. Fremont Street Experience (not a casino, but an interesting bus ride there)
  24. Wynn & Encore (+$2 Billion per tower buys a lot of class! The team remarked that along with the Bellagio, this was their favourite. Ang said “if it wasn’t 1am by the time we reached the Wynn, we’d so would have taken a dip in their gorgeous pool”)
  25. The Palazzo
  26. The Venetian
Lobby ceiling flowers (Bellagio) Ang and I (Bellagio)
Mashmellow train! (Bellagio) Liberty bell garden (Bellagio)
A bike in the Bellagio Real flower painting (Bellagio)
Caesar’s Palace entry Best review ever (Caesar’s Palace)
New York Vegas style Cheesy streets of New York New York
Luxor on the outside Luxor Lobby
Extreme wine rack (Mandalay Bay)

The tour totalled approximately 6.5 km of straight line foot travel and a lot more when you consider casinos are built to keep you at gaming tables and not make it easy for you to walk about.

Over the course of their walk the team marvelled at the alternatively ornate and silly entries into each of the casinos, engaged in a few gaming related challenges (including a couple of rounds of a hilarious mechanical horse race game) and managed to get within 5cm of a pair of live casino tigers.

But, Vegas being the cruel money hungry mistress that she is, soon had to be left behind.  The next leg would take the team through to the Grand Canyon…

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