Las Vegas Information
Metropolitan Population: 1,563,282.
Time Zone: 8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-8 GMT). Las Vegas is in the Pacific Time Zone. When it is 12:00 noon in New York City; it is 9:00AM in Las Vegas. Daylight Saving Time is observed from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.
Voltage Requirements: 110 volts.
Telephone Codes: 702, area code.
Las Vegas is in the desert, and that can mean hot temperatures. In June, July and August, expect temperatures above 100 F. May can produce highs of 90+ F, as can September. The desert also means great changes in temperature. The mercury can drop nearly 30 degrees from daytime highs to nighttime lows, especially in winter. And, of course, the desert creates low humidity, bright sun and hardly any rain (annual rainfall averages 4 inches). For about two weeks in July or August, there can be slightly higher humidity and thunderstorms. Winters are mild (January temperatures are 33-56 F. If snow falls at all, it usually melts soon after it touches the ground.
New Year's Day Jan. 1
Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.
President's Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.
Memorial Day last Mon. in May
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.
Nevada Day October 31
Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25
New Year's Eve Dec. 31
Most of the large hotels have a means for their guests to access the Web. Internet cafes are also found around town.
Mail and Package Services
U.S. Post Office
Known as "Strip Station," this is the closest post office to most of the large resorts. Monday-Friday 8:30 am-5 pm. 3100 S. Industrial Road (behind the Stardust Hotel), Las Vegas.
Newspapers and Magazines
The Las Vegas Review-Journal is published weekday mornings, The Las Vegas Sun weekday afternoons. The two papers publish joint editions on the weekends.
Both the Review-Journal and Sun publish entertainment guides on Friday. The Sun also puts out Showbiz, a weekly glossy containing entertainment features, a map and guides to shows and restaurants. The weekly City Life contains fine arts and recreation listings in addition to a guide to shows and dining. The biweekly What's On includes nightlife information.
El Mundo, Las Vegas' major Spanish-language publication, comes out on Friday. The Las Vegas Business Press is published each week on Monday.
If you're planning to travel to out-of-town sights or to spend a lot of time in the less-touristed parts of the city, rent a car. Otherwise, use a combination of your feet, the Strip trolleys and taxis to get around. Walking the Strip is one of the quintessential experiences of Las Vegas--the best way to see the astounding sights that line the street. Because of the daytime heat, try to explore the Strip at night when it's cooler and most active. You should also approach it in sections. The hotel/casinos stretch along the boulevard for miles, and you'll no doubt do a lot of walking within each of the massive resorts. Avoid walking the section of Las Vegas Boulevard between the north end of the Strip and downtown: The area is relatively deserted, especially after dark.
McCarran International Airport (LAS) is just east of the southern end of the Strip.
Shuttles and taxis are available at the airport.
Citizens Area Transit (CAT) buses provide service to and from the airport, but if you're headed for the Strip, you'll have to transfer buses (difficult if you have luggage).
Major car rental agencies have booths adjacent to the luggage claim.
Greyhound Bus Station
200 S. Main St. (next to Jackie Gaughan's Plaza Hotel), downtown, Las Vegas. Phone 702-384-9561. Toll-free 800-231-2222.
If you're confining your visit to the Strip and downtown, you won't need a car, and you will probably be better off without one. Traffic is congested along the Strip itself: Those who have to drive should quickly learn to use parallel streets to go north and south. In the rest of the city, there can be tie-ups, especially during rush hour. New roads and highways are being built, but the city's fast growth means that the roads are always playing catch-up with the ever-increasing number of vehicles.
Most Strip and downtown hotels offer free self-parking or valet parking, and both are available even if you're not staying at the hotel. Downtown hotels may require validation for free self-parking. Valet parking is always free, but a tip is expected. The municipal, county and Fremont Street Experience parking garages are also available downtown. The Convention Center has a visitor parking area just one block off the Strip.
The Strip Trolley is perhaps the most useful means of public transit for visitors. The trolleys operate between the Stratosphere (north) and Mandalay Bay (south) and stop at major properties along Las Vegas Boulevard. In addition, several of the major hotel casinos are connected by tram or another form of transit, but these are limited systems that operate only between select properties (Bally's and MGM Grand, for instance). The Fremont Street Downtown Neighborhood Trolley serves downtown. Citizens Area Transit (CAT) buses run throughout the city.
Citizens Area Transit
Better known as CAT, Citizens Area Transit is the city's public bus system. Route 301 and a few others run 24 hours a day; others usually operate 5 am-1 am. Fare is just over a dollar, except for Route 301, which originates on the Strip and costs a little more. All fares require exact change, tokens or passes. Transfers are free. Phone 702-228-7433 for schedule and current fare information.
Fremont Street Downtown Neighborhood Trolley
Serves the downtown area. Daily 7 am-11 pm. Phone 702-229-6024.
Runs along the main hotel/casino segment of Las Vegas Boulevard, between the Stratosphere (north) and Mandalay Bay (south). Trolleys run daily 9:30 am-1:30 am at roughly 15 minute intervals.
Order by phone or get a cab at the valet stations at major hotels. It's illegal for any public vehicle to stop in travel lanes in Clark County, so hailing a cab on the street may be difficult (although taxis can pull into the nearest public driveway). Taxis operate 24 hours, are metered and don't accept credit cards.