Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Las Vegas at the Red Rock Resort

I recently attended a business conference in Las Vegas at the Red Rock Resort and Casino. As with most conferences, I spent the majority of my day in the hotel, and very little time experiencing the Las Vegas nightlife!

The trip started with an early morning in Toronto. I pre-cleared US customs in Canada in about a minute, using my Nexus card. The same was true on my return to Canada. The Nexus card can also be used at land border crossings. It's only $50 and is valid for 5 years. It's great to have if you travel to the USA often.

I flew from Toronto to Las Vegas on nonstop flights with WestJet. The flights were on time, and time passed quickly with WestJet's satellite TV. WestJet recently changed to Terminal 1 in Las Vegas. Terminal 1 offers several shops for your last minute purchases, but the walk from the gate to the baggage is quite a distance. Although, since it took so long to get to the baggage claim, my bags were already there before I arrived.

I had a Dollar car rental during my trip. In Las Vegas, all of the car rental vendors are in a single off-site location, with efficient and frequent bus service. There is always a bus loading for the car rental centre, and it's only a 5-minute drive. Unfortunately, after the quick trip to the car rental center, I spent 45 minutes in line to pick up my car. All of the other car rental companies had similar lines, and the only way to avoid the wait is to get a frequent renter account in advance with your preferred car rental company.

The Red Rock Resort is a great place for those looking for a vacation getaway without all the busyness of the Las Vegas strip. It's located about 16 miles NorthWest of the Las Vegas airport/strip area. The adventure spa offers kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, river rafting, and more. Traditional spa experiences include manicure, pedicure, and massage. And, don't forget the kids, with a 16-screen movie theatre, a 72 lane bowling alley onsite, and Kids Quest, a floor-to-ceiling climbing maze and play structure. Or, leave the kids at home and enjoy the Red Rock Casino, nightclub, and many restaurants.

I highly recommend the Red Rock Resort for a "non-strip" Las Vegas vacation. There is so much to do onsite. A car rental is a necessity, since cab fare from the airport is about $50 one-way. Add an excursion to the strip, and you can quickly spend $200 or more on taxis.

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