Off the Strip 101

With prices rapidly rising up and down the Las Vegas Strip, resorts off the beaten path are quickly becoming a formidable alternative. Although these hotels might not grab all the headlines, they do offer approachable, scaled-down comfort at an affordable price. Red Rock's Master Guest Room is the epitome of hip style

Fortunately, your clients won't have to scale down the fun. For those who are not as into gambling, there are a wealth of amenities. This is especially true down at the Fremont Experience (, a loosely collected assortment of hotels, entertainment, bars and restaurants all within a few blocks. The other major hotels are all located in various parts of town, but also offer a great stay.Red Rock Las VegasThe sexiest of the off-Strip properties, Red Rock Las Vegas ( is heavy on hip style and is the most expensive casino resort ever built on a per-room basis. It opened less than two years ago about 10 miles west of the airport. The vibe of the place is meant to evoke a classic, cool Las Vegas, reinvented for a savvier 21st-century crowd. Green Vally Ranch is a 400-room casino resort

The property boasts more than 800 rooms, which feature such treats as 42-inch, high-definition plasma TV, Bose sound system with iPod connectivity, in-room martini bar and a 15-inch LCD TV in the bathroom.

Other amenities include nine restaurants with a wide array of options, including barbecue, Japanese, Mexican and Italian; a food court, 16-screen movie theater, 25,000-square-foot spa, 72-lane bowling alley and the Rockwell Group-designed Cherry nightclub. For more information, call 866-767-7773.Sam's TownAbout 10 minutes from the Strip, Sam's Town ( is a country western-themed nearby alternative to the Strip featuring 650 rooms and suites. A glass-enclosed atrium called Mystic Falls Park features waterfalls, live trees and birds. It's also home to a laser light-and-water show with fountains that shoot up more than eight stories. Their 1,100-seat theater attracts many southern rock and country acts. It's also home to an oversized western wear shop, a movie theater, a food court and a 100,000-square-foot casino. There's an RV park too. Travel agents can submit their number right through the hotel's online reservation system, or call 702-450-8300 for more property information. Green Valley RanchIn neighboring Hendersonville, the Green Valley Ranch ( is a 400-room casino resort that opened in 2001 and saw a $110 million renovation this past year that included new gaming venues, restaurants and a lounge. The property is Mediterranean styled and features exposed stone walls, ornate vaulted ceilings and mosaic floors. Golden Nugget's recent renovation project saw many additions to the property

The pool area, known as the Backyard, combines Vegas chic with a vineyard vibe. This three-acre area includes a zero entry pool, sand beach and vanishing-edge waterfall. There is also a full-service spa. For more information call 702-617-7777.Golden NuggetNestled in the center of a revived downtown, the Golden Nugget ( is just off a massive renovation project that's been underway for two years and cost more than $170 million. Just this past New Year's, the hotel unveiled a multi-purpose events center, expanded gaming floor, new sushi restaurant and Gold Diggers. This nightlife venue is a 180-degree, oversized balcony with views of the Fremont Street Experience, the Viva-Vision lightshow and First Street performance stage.

The renovation was wide sweeping, touching every corner of the property. The most notable changes include The Tank, which incorporates an aquarium built into the pool, which lets guests swim inches away from sharks and other marine life. Golden Nugget is the only Nevada hotel to earn the AAA Four-Diamond Award consecutively since 1977. You can book rooms through the general reservation system and still get 10 percent commission after guests depart. For groups, call Director of Sales Sandi Schroder at 702-386-8220.

— GH


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