Travel to Las Vegas, Nevada – Episode 338

categories: USA Travel

The Amateur Traveler talks to Hunter Hillegas author of the Vegas Mate iPhone app about Las Vegas. The Amateur Traveler has covered Las Vegas before but the city is constantly changing.

“Between the effects of the recession and some pretty high profile construction projects that finished and opened, the last five years have been incredibly impactful how the Las Vegas strip has changed. In the last five years, they have added City Center which was a massive 10 billion-plus dollar development, the expansion of the Wynn property with their Encore hotel, and the Cosmopolitan which was the most recent property and the last one we will probably see for a while.”

Hunter takes us through the various hotels, casinos, shows, restaurants, and sites of Las Vegas include the recently opened Mob Museum and Neon Boneyard.

“Vegas for many many years was driven by gambling revenue and everything was sort of seen through that lens, especially when you were going to design and build a property. It was very much about how can we get people to come and spend time in our casino and that has changed quite a bit over the past decade or so.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

City Center, Las Vegas
Cheap Food In Las Vegas
Bellagio Hotel
Vegas Reviews, Tips, Recommendations
Transportation in Vegas
Caesar’s Palace
Encore, Las Vegas
Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops
José Andrés (Chef)
BLT Burger
The Mob Museum
The Neon Museum


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JT writes “Just to say I enjoy the podcast a great deal. I know it takes work and time and I am very appreciative of all your efforts. I’ve always found your podcast the most interesting by way of guests and an infinitely likable host. So in summation, thanks.”

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “Travel to Las Vegas, Nevada – Episode 338”

Barry S. Kramer


Hi Hunter and Chris;

I thoroughly enjoyed the latest podcast on Las Vegas. In June, I visited Vegas for the first time, and I can truly say that Vegas is a lot of fun. Regardless of whether you go there for the gaming, a convention, entertainment, nightlife, spas, architecture, or food; Vegas has something for every adult. Hunter did a great job of covering the basics anyone would need to make a visit to Vegas.

There are two items I thought listeners may find of value if they decide to visit Vegas.

I did see three shows, a Broadway show, a magic show, and a Cirque du Soleil show, in Vegas, and I purchased a discount ticket for each show at (the agency mentioned in the podcast). The agency sells same-day tickets for popular shows on the Strip at significantly discounted prices. In many cases, they also sell next day tickets for the same shows. One thing listeners should know is that you do not get the actual ticket at the agency, but rather a voucher that you then have to take to the box office of each show to redeem for actual tickets. Listeners should be aware that most likely they will need to make an extra trip to the theater box office well before each show in order to get better tickets. It is your choice when you redeem the voucher, but it seemed to me that the sooner you got to the box office, the better seat you received. The tickets I was issued for each show were in prime locations, and I was very pleased.

A few day trips were mentioned, but another popular trip that many people take when they are staying in Vegas is to the Grand Canyon. You can argue as to whether or not this is the best way to see the Canyon, but for many people who are not able to take a tour of the American Southwest, this is a prime opportunity to see one of the United States’ greatest treasures.

Most of the day trips from Vegas to the Grand Canyon either go to the South Rim or the Skywalk on the Western Rim. They also usually include a stop at Hoover Dam and some location on Route 66 such as Seligman. I took a day trip with a small group to the South Rim and would highly recommend it. Even though it was a long all-day trip, I found it to be an incredible experience and even had the opportunity to hike a good portion of the South Rim Trail. It was enough to whet my appetite and convince me that I had to dedicate another trip to exploring more of the American Southwest.

Thank you again for all the time and effort you put into the Amateur Traveler podcast. It is very much appreciated!

Barry S. Kramer

Robert Morales


Hi Chris,

I recently traveled to Las Vegas and used you episode to plan my trip. I really enjoyed the Neon Museum bone yard. They have a very informative one-hour tour. I also enjoyed Red Rock Canyon. These are places which are not on the radar, and since this was my third trip to Sin City, I was grateful to learn about them. We also went to Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon south rim. The drive down Route 66 is surreal. Always enjoy the show.

Robert from Miami.

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