I have this friend. He’s kind of a naysayer, and when it comes to Las Vegas, he refuses to have anything to do with it short of a layover at the airport.
Not surprisingly, he doesn’t like gambling and has absolutely no interest in casinos, and since he’s never been beyond the terminals at McCarran International Airport, he’s unfairly written off the whole city and Las Vegas Tourism in general. I thought this was ridiculous.
“You like helicopters, right?” I said, recalling that he’d taken an aerial tour of Maui a couple years back. He replied that he did, so I looked up a couple Grand Canyon helicopter tour packages. One included a free limo upgrade from your hotel, as well as a champagne lunch inside the Canyon. At around $285, he thought it was a reasonable deal, considering that the helicopter flight from Vegas to the Grand Canyon takes you over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. “I’ll think about it,” he said.
He might not have been terribly enthused about a Grand Canyon helicopter tour, but he was a definitely interested in Hoover Dam. Apparently, his parents had taken an anniversary trip to Las Vegas the year before, and they raved about the Hoover Dam tour they booked. “My parents said the tour guides were pretty funny,” he said. We looked up some of those. I found a tour that featured standup comics as guides, lunch and complementary tickets to a comedy show at Harrah’s, not to mention an exclusive walk on top of the Hoover Dam, from about $80 per person.
As we browsed the various Las Vegas tour packages, I could see that the city’s sights and sounds started to pique his interest. Eventually, he booked a bus tour of the city, the aforementioned Hoover Dam tour and got tickets to a magic show at the Monte Carlo. My friend is a tough customer, but I was glad to see him open up enough to discover that a Las Vegas vacation can be more than burning money up and down the strip.