Posts Tagged ‘Venetian’


Cheap Thrills On A Very Vegasy Afternoon

April 11, 2008



Many people decry the lack of inexpensive alternatives to the current costs of enjoying oneself in the “new” Las Vegas.  Vegas used to be a town of cheap rooms, inexpensive food, and free entertainment.  But all that’s been changing since the sixties when they figured out they could take the talent in the lounges, build a closed-in theater, put the acts in there and start charging admission.  Little by little as the town progressed to a corporate bean-counting oasis and the mob self-destructed, things that were free or cheap disappeared.  Of course now Strip land is worth $40 million an acre and the costs of greed flow downward. 

Regardless, here’s a great way to spend a lovely afternoon for less than $10 for two.
 Find your way to the new Palazzo Hotel and admire the beautiful granite and marble accoutrements, a two-story waterfall, as well as the gorgeous artwork and design that CEO and founder Sheldon Adelson is noted for since he constructed the building of the adjacent Venetian Hotel Casino.  The Palazzo Hotel connects directly to the Canal Shops in the Venetian and one can access either property quite easily.  The one thing that you notice about the Palazzo that is different than most casino areas is the wide open floor plan with more than enough room to move and a very good ventilation system.  As the stench of the cigarette smoke is impossible to eliminate altogether it is a vast improvement on all other gambling joints. 

You never do know what you’re going to see on any given day.  The day we were there we kept running into a dozen drop-dead gorgeous contestants for the Miss USA pageant, as they were shopping and simultaneously being filmed, and escorted by a bevy of security guards.  Directly above the Palazzo casino floor Emeril Lagasse’s “Table 10” restaurant, high end jewelry stores and accessory boutiques, and the Double Helix bar were open for business but other stores were still under construction.  Smooth jazz emanated through the area as a pianist and bassist played unmindful of their surroundings.  Walking on, my wife and I stopped into Barney’s of New York so she could look at $8,000 dresses and $1200 shoes.  The salespeople seem grateful for any traffic as there were a few buyers that day.  We then made our way up the escalator to the Canal shops.  We stopped at Godiva chocolates and split a tasty peanut-butter filled chocolate to the tune of four dollars-pricey but Heaven in small bites.  Walking through a replica of St. Mark’s Square, a crowd gathered around a living statue dressed in pure white and whiteface and people posed with him taking pictures and leaving generous tips.  At the Peter Lik Photographic Gallery we spent time gazing at his beautiful imagery, recognizing many of the places that we ourselves had been on these huge enlargements of scenic wonder.

We walked past the many shops and of course watched the gondolas go by and stopped for a cappuccino and banana nut muffin.  We sat and people-watched as the ultra rich, beauty queens, and normal people bustled by, all on their own singular quests.  The shops there are quite diverse from Venetian glass and ceramics to high-end lingerie, Magic shops and modern art to gowns and denim.  All said and done we spent a little less than $10, and didn’t even have to spend that, for an interesting and fun afternoon.  So you see, a cheap date is possible here and having lived here now for close to 15 years, it’s still never ceases to amaze me how incredible this town really is.