Agents looking for a different angle to sell Las Vegas should suggest to clients not to spend their next trip there entirely in a casino or a nightclub. While those, of course, are staples to any Las Vegas vacation, there are experiences in the low-humidity fresh air that provide a change of pace and perhaps a welcome respite from the neon and glitter. For those ready to venture off the Strip a little, a world of outdoor activities awaits by land, air and ‘sea’.
Bulldoze and Excavate: Just off the Strip near the Wynn and Encore hotels is Dig This, a heavy-equipment playground. Visitors can hop into their own piece of machinery and get to work. All guests will go through a quick introduction on how to operate the machinery and take a breathalyzer test before getting behind the wheel. Guests needn’t worry that they won’t remember all the how-tos as drivers are connected to headsets with instructors on the other end at all times. At Dig This, guests can operate a Big Dig Bulldozer or a Big Dig Excavator. Those afraid of size can choose the Mini Excavator Experience or the Skid Steer Track Loader Experience.
Dig This can be a great activity for team building or families (with children ages 8 or above), as the park offers group packages and rates for gatherings as small as five people. Tip: Tell clients to dress down for this, keep comfy and wear something casual that they don’t mind getting dirty.
Start Your Engines: Whether it is to watch a race or get behind the wheel, Las Vegas Motor Speedway seems to have something for everyone. The Neon Garage grants access to race teams and drivers, as well as unique concession areas, live entertainment and the Winner’s Circle. Located in the center of the speedway’s infield, here race fans can watch the drivers and crews of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from both ground level and elevated locations. In March, the Speedway is hosting the 2017 NASCAR Weekend, a three-day event featuring the Kobalt 400 NASCAR Series race, the Boyd Gaming NASCAR Xfinity Series race and the Stratosphere Pole Day. Aspiring racers won’t want to miss the opportunity to get on the track themselves with one of the speedway’s many driving experiences. The Exotics Racing experience lets guest drive supercars such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche or Aston Martin, while Pure Speed Drag Racing puts them behind the wheel of a dragster to drive solo or challenge a friend in a Side-by-Side Camaro Competition.
‘WOW’ on Horseback: At Red Canyon National Conservation Area, Cowboy Trail Rides takes guests through the area on horseback along a variety of trails for riders of all ages and experiences. The company’s most popular ride, which is recommended for the more adventurous rider, is the WOW Ride. The WOW Ride starts in the morning and heads into a nearby canyon for an hour-and-a-half climb to the top of the ridge, where the group will stop for a packed lunch. From here, riders can see Las Vegas below, as well as Lake Mead and, on a clear day, the western rim of the Grand Canyon. The ride takes about five hours, roundtrip. Cowboy Trail Rides also has bus tours of the conservation area, which some members of the family can take while others are on horseback, before meeting up for a traditional western barbecue dinner. The Sunset BBQ Ride follows trails through the canyon floor before going back to camp for a dinner of steak, potatoes, corn on the cob, baked beans and more. Chicken, salmon or vegetarian options are available with advanced notice.
Drive, Fly and Float Adventure: The all-day Pink Jeep Tour to the Grand Canyon starts with a custom pick-up of guests from their Las Vegas Strip hotel. Tour vehicles come equipped with car seats for children under 60 pounds / six years of age; children under two are not permitted, as mobility is a necessity for this excursion. As groups head toward the Grand Canyon, guides point out eye-catching views, such as Lake Mead, the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree forests. At the Grand Canyon, guests board a helicopter and fly 4,000 feet down into the canyon before landing and boarding an excursion boat for a 10-minute ride down the Colorado River. Back on land, travelers are guided to view points of the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, where they’ll have time to eat an included barbecue lunch. Before departing the Canyon, suggest purchasing a ticket to the Skywalk experience, where the brave can extend 70 feet out beyond the rim on a glass walkway, seeing the canyon floor thousands of feet below them. On the ride back to the hotel, tours make a final stop at the Hoover Dam.
Up, Up and Away: For bird’s-eye views of Red Rock Mountains, the Strip and more, suggest Vegas Balloon Rides. After about an hour in the sky, the balloon lands and a traditional champagne toast is held to celebrate the adventure. Non-alcoholic beverages are also available.
Zipping and Zooming Downtown: The Fremont Street Experience is a five-block entertainment district that’s covered overhead by Viva Vision, the world’s largest video screen, which is suspended 90 feet above the mall. Just beneath the screen (which displays nightly music and light shows) is the SlotZilla Zipline. Riders can choose between sitting in a harness 77 feet above the street to ride along the 850-foot zipline, or fly “Superman style” from 114 feet up on the 1,750-foot Zoomline, reaching speeds topping 35 miles per hour. Guests then take off from a 12-story slot machine-themed tower and fly under the canopy. While flyers on the Zipline must keep their hands on their cables, those on the Zoomline can reach out and nearly touch the canopy as they go by.
Las Vegas Hotel News
W Las Vegas, the 289-room tower within the SLS Las Vegas, began accepting guests on December 1 and is set for a grand opening celebration in February. The hotel has a private entrance as well as W Brand amenities, including the WET open-air rooftop pool and The Living Room. Guests also have access to the 24-hour FIT [gym], the AWAY spa and SLS Las Vegas’ restaurants, bars, lounges and nightlife venues.
The WOW Suite of W Las Vegas has a separate living room overlooking the mountains.
Also new this month is The Venetian Las Vegas’ newest modern cocktail spot, The Dorsey. Conceived in partnership with David Rabin (of NYC hot spots like Café Clover, The Skylark and Jimmy at the James), The Dorsey has a menu of hand-crafted cocktails by Sam Ross of Attaboy and Milk & Honey.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has partnered with interior designers Tihany, Daun Curry and Richmond International to create 21 unique Boulevard Penthouses in its Boulevard Tower. The new luxury accommodations range from 2,000 to 5,000 square feet, and are slated for completion at the close of 2016 or early 2017.