Viva Las Vegas: Why you'll never visit the same Sin City twice
You'll never visit the same Sin City twice, says Eva Hall, who catches up with some of Nevada's newest arrivals.
Set the mood
Vegas never stands still.
From railroad town to Rat Pack, from casino kingdom to a new era of shows, food and shopping, Sin City has made a career out of change.
The Strip's latest makeover catapults it into the 21st century. The 550ft High Roller Ferris wheel and The Park, a sprawling patio filled with fresh bars, restaurants and the brand new T-Mobile Arena, are just two of the new arrivals.
Every time I return, it feels like a different city.
In The Park, get thee to Sake Rok (sakerokvegas.com), which really needs to be experienced to be believed. The Japanese venue not only boasts a tantalising menu, but the staff - who are dressed to thrill (think geisha meets Marc Bolan) - perform impromptu numbers such as The Backstreet Boys' Everybody (Backstreet's Back) as you're dining.
It's the perfect place to get you fired up before a gig or a saunter down The Strip.
If you're going to Vegas teetotal, I commend you.
There are myriad things to do that don't involve alcohol - visit the Grand Canyon, the Mob Museum, catch a Cirque du Soleil performance - but if you're fond of a tipple, like me, buying a frozen margarita (or cocktail of your choice) in a yard-long glass will only cost you $30/€27, and should do for at least the daytime.
Take advantage of one of the free public seating areas on The Strip, right outside Tom's Urban is a particularly good spot between New York New York and the Monte Carlo, as you can listen to their DJ without paying bar prices. Margaritaville at the Flamingo is our fave for frozen cocktails - the glass lights up and makes for a jazzy souvenir.
So many bars on The Strip have 'Ladies night' - PBR Rock Bar and Grill's is Thursday (pbrrockbar.com), where everyone (male and female) is treated to free whiskey shots on arrival. Ladies get discounted drinks for $2 at the bar, as well as additional free shots. Sorry guys! You can instead enjoy laughing at everyone attempting and failing the bucking bronco, or take part in the many drinking games on offer - flip cup anyone? - where there are usually drinks promos galore. Rock music on tap, too.
If you're booking tickets for an event in the new T-Mobile Arena (t-mobilearena.com), do not book top-tier seats if you have a fear of heights. This writer doesn't, but still suffered vertigo throughout an entire Killers gig. The Park (theparkvegas.com) is about three minutes away on foot.
If you're staying at the MGM Grand (mgmgrand.com, above), check out its event schedule. With so many boxing bouts (UFC's new home is the T-Mobile Arena) there's always a weigh-in or press conference to be seen. Weigh-ins are public. The press conferences are a little harder to get into, but, take a blagger's word for it, with some Irish charm it is possible to get beyond the black door without a pass.
Those pesky escalators on The Strip. There are at least three on either side you have to use to cross the road, and if you're staying on the south end, they're impossible to avoid. There is zero tolerance for jay-walking, too.
Get me there
Eva flew from Dublin to Vegas, via Philadelphia, with United Airlines (united.com). Economy fares start from €456 return for travel between November 1 and December 17, and December 25 and March 30.
Savvy travellers might take advantage of the effect Donald Trump's Presidential candidacy is having on his hotel rates - you can book a superior room in Trump Tower (trumphotels.com) from $190/€169 a night.
Or, for something different, check into one of the newer hotels in Vegas, Delano, for a gaming and smoke-free spa-filled environment (delanolasvegas.com; deluxe suites from $233/€207 a night).
For more to see and do in Vegas, visit lasvegas.com.