Thursday, April 8, 2010

Close But No Life Preserver, Lake LV

On our Feb. 22 episode of The Strip, the Top Secret Tourist Tip of the Week was a list of Vegas resorts that offer free shuttles from the airport. I came up with the list while working on the hotel content of the VegasMate iPhone -- and now iPad -- app.

It was right at the time the Ritz Carlton and the Casino MonteLago announced their closures out at Lake Las Vegas. We wondered why the LLV peeps hadn't realized that it's an expensive haul from McCarran to get out there and they really ought to make it free.

Now they've come close. The Loews Las Vegas and what's left of the ghost town of a shopping arcade and the rentable condos known as MonteLago Village Resort will provide a free shuttle to the Strip three times a day furnished, evidently, by the tourism board in Henderson, Nev. It's a good idea, although you have to leave the Strip at 10:45 p.m. and that's no fun. These days, it's cheaper to just get a room on the Strip if things are going well than it would be to pay the cab fare to get all the way out to the Loews if you miss the bus.

Sorry, LLV. This only solves half of the problem. Get yourself a bus from the airport, too, and maybe you'll save yourselves from elimination. Also, the press release says to send people here, but I don't see anything obvious about the free Strip-route buses there.

By the way, to see the other hotels that do provide free airport shuttle service, visit the Tourist Tips Section of TheStripPodcast.Com. One surprise: The only downtown casino that does so is the El Cortez. Why are the rest ceding this competitive advantage?