Places to Avoid, Las Vegas
I was there in February on business and I'm not a fan of Vegas, don't get me wrong its great if that's your thing, but I wanted something more lowkey so I went to Downtown and had a great time. There is a new hipster vibe there now. There is a really cool coffee shop with great wifi, a couple of restaurants and a the best brunch I've had in a long time and apologize because I can't remember the name, I think it's something weird like Eat, with lots of organic food choices there, but if you want a hearty meal as well it works. There is also Container City which is a playground for kids during along with bars and local restaurants. The Mob Museum should NOT be missed. I spent a couple of hours there. I didn't venture beyond those areas and this was during the day. Took a $2 ride on the bus that has stops all along the Strip.
Ive been a resident of Sin City for 27 years. Ive lived from one end to the other, from nice places to killing fields and i feel the need to let you in on where to go and where NOT to. Im only covering that part in this review.
The city is weird, its a patchwork of nice neighborhoods and bad ones checkerboarding amongst eachother, but some areas are much worse than others. First, the good....
The 'resort district', basically, the South Strip from Town Square/Airport up to the south side of Sahara is all good...if you stay ON the strip! Summerlin on the West Side is pretty nice, but its starting to slip a little bit in places. But the further west you go toward the mountains, the nicer it gets. Boulder City is nice, no gambling and lots of cool, old retirees. Anthem, to the far southeast is ok too. Lake LV was nice, but its sitting idle and starting to attract a lot of East Las stuff. Seven Hills and Spanish Trails is nice, but gated. Asiantown, west of the strip on Spring Mtn is pretty cool. Lots of really fancy gated areas surrounded by run down neighborhoods here. Downtown used to be downright deadly, but has cleaned up, especially due south by the Spaghetti Bowl, you will still get stabbed to death, then mugged, but only at night now. The arts district moved in there, so its snooty in addition to being dangerous...but the container park is great (stay away from the outlet mall down there, it sucks). Spring Valley is still ok. Rhodes Ranch and 215 area is old, but still nice...lots of famous folks live in the desert there. Blue Diamond is nice, but its not really Vegas.
The bad...D street. Stay out of the whole area unless you have business there. MLK, Owens and basically anywhere north of Downtown. E Lake Mead, E Carey, East Charleston...all jacked! East Las by Sunrise mtn, all LA Latino gangs, you gonna die, guero. Much of Northtown from 93 up to Craig, and from the 95 east to the air base. Southern Highlands is nice in areas, but getting bad around Silverton. Asian and Islander elements by the Belz outlet mall to Silverado Ranch and down to St Rose, but if you respect, you should be fine. Downtown/Fremont is bad...east on Fremont is bad all day. Charleston from Jones all the way east is bad. Even Grand Teton in the far NW is getting sketchy. Much of Boulder Hwy/Pittman area is really trailer-ish and run down. Lots of stabbings and burglary there. Downtown itself is bad at night, its ok in the day time so you should be fine. Maryland from the airport all the way north is bad. Especially by the Blvd mall and UNLV. Charleston north on the strip is rougher at night as thats the older part. Naked City, behind the Strat, is really bad. Trop and I-15 has the zombies, Trop and Boulder hwy is heavy gangland. Anything by the base and Nellis blvd is always going to be a heads up. Henderson is patchy, really nice in areas like Green Valley, crappy in others like Boulder Hwy and Water st...and Wagonwheel by the college is bad. You can be just fine in most of these places if you are cool and dont be acting up and getting all bold. Dont hang yourself out there and showing off, just do what you got to do and get where you got to be and look like you know what that is. Tourists should stick with the strip, the few attractions off the strip and the surrounding areas like the dam/BC, Mt Charleston and the lake.
The gangs we have include the regular LA gangs as there is money to be made here, LOTS of drugs! Bloods, Crips, Rollin' 60's, Hells Angels and Mongols are still at war, the Vagos dont like either one of them. The Tribe, 28th st, 18th st, Los Hermanos, Pinoy boys, Donna Street, MS13, Irish mob is strong here, LK, Playboy Bloods, 311, etc....there are over 20,000 gangsters here. walk lightly. Thats not counting the insane homeless and tweakers. The cops are a paramilitary force here with a hot temper, keep that in mind and just be cool and do what they say. Its like the Gaza strip in some places, dont *** them off!
At night, the strip around MGM gets a little 'tough guy', but you should be ok, just be cool, move fast and swivel that head and enjoy the sights. The Strip from Trop to the Wynn is our weirdo part...especially by Harrahs down to Paris. Lots of costume guys on the street charging to take pics with them. Be sure to check out Manwhore...hes hilarious.
I suggest you toughen your skin because we are not very nice people here at all. Dont be a D-bag or demanding. Hook up your servers and it will go better for you. Be nice and you will be surprised. Never complain about the prices here, its a tourist spot, just pay it. Nobody cares how much it is back home. Try to have fun, but dont wander across the LV blvd drunk, theres a lot of traffic and cabs who wont see you, like so many before you, you will die. Dont wander off the strip, you will be robbed....or die. Sorry, i just cant candy coat the place, lots of people die here.
Oh, one other thing...The drivers are the worst! I dont care who tells you differently, i live here, i drive here, i try not to die every time i open my garage door...they are the worst part of this entire, dirty, hot place!! If you rent a car, be careful.
Thanks and try to have a good time...try not to die. :)
I honestly don't think the Las Vegas strip or Freemont street area is any more dangerous than any other tourist area/city. Any tourist who is not vigilant and does not take care to avoid dark alleys or walk around an unfamiliar place without a group is not being smart.
1. Strip visitors who wish to experience the Freemont street experience or downtown during daylight or evening hours should take the very inexpensive transit system. It's easier on your feet and safer.
2. Strip visitors should know that they are obviously tourists and avoid places where they can be taken advantage of. They become a target automatically when they step out of populated areas.
3. Strip visitors should not explore the city alone. You are a visitor and, therefore, an obvious and easy target for criminals who see you as prey.
4. Visitors who plan to get drunk should do so in their own hotel. It may save your life or the life of another and will prevent you from being taken advantage of.
5. AND MOST IMPORTANT, please respect those who live and work in Vegas while you visit. We are human beings. Please enjoy our city with respect. There are almost 2, 000, 000 of us. Our children attend schools here. One street houses the playland of the country, touted as "sin city," but the remaining portion of our city is vastly comparable to every other city in our country.
Conclusion -- Please visit. Please think and act safely while here. :-)
Sahara Casino is advertising $1 Blackjack tables, which they do have, four of them the day I was there. So that was a good thing, but...read on...
They were full, which I kind of anticipated as $1 Blackjack tables are getting to be as rare as a $9.99 AYCE dinner buffet, especially on the strip, anymore.
I was lucky and didn't have to wait long and also had the luck to get on a table with a friendly dealer and nice co-players. I sat and played for over 3 hours and we all enjoyed our dealers, Lisa and Terri. After about 3 hours one of our co-players was getting a little too full of Christmas cheer and let out with some loud expletives. We calmed him down, he wasn't angry, just having a good time, but a little too boisterous. The floor boss heard this and told the dealer to have us keep it down. Which we did. But then he told the waitress, without telling us, that he cut us off from ordering any further drinks. When we tried to order again, the waitress told us the floor boss cut the table off. I thought that was rather cowardly of him to exert authority in that way, as did the guy who was being boisterous. He went over to talk to the floor boss to tell him not to punish us for his indiscretion. But he would not hear of it. He just blew the guy off. All he told him was that we were all "an annoyance" at that table. So, we all left upon hearing this. I cashed my chips and on the way out a security manager cut me off and asked if I knew the guy who had confronted the floor boss. I told him, I didn't and I didn't talk to any management personnel directly or indirectly. He just kind of grunted and bid us a good night.
I don't know what to say except that it seems Sahara doesn't want their guests to have too good a time. We weren't rude to the dealers, the waitresses or managers until they started their heavy, under-handed tactics on our table. I feel management could have dealt with the situation with a little more tact and diplomacy. I thought businesses who are customer service oriented were suppposed to be more sensitive and respectful towards their customers, but I guess this is not the case with Sahara. Because of this experience, I doubt I will be going to Sahara again, if I visit Las Vegas in the future. If they want to ban me, fine, there are 60-odd other casinos in Las Vegas I can frequent.
I've lived in Vegas for a year now and feel I can share a little bit of what I've learned. No matter where you are in the city you really need to be vigilant, as crime can happen anywhere. If you're planning to go to the main strip area (Caesar's Palace, Bellagio, Mirage, Treasure Island, etc), you should be pretty safe as long as you stay on the boulevard. Don't go down the alleys or side streets as a lot of drug deals etc happen there. Also be alert in the parking garages. Once you get past the Encore casino heading north, you should be extra cautious.. between there and the Stratosphere is more dangerous. If you're planning on visiting Fremont Street and downtown, be very cautious and stick to the boulevard. Stay where there are lots of people. Downtown is a very scary place, especially at night. As far as other areas besides the strip and downtown, I know the area around the air force base is dangerous and the area of Martin Luther King Blvd between Cheyenne and the I-15 has a lot of shady neighborhoods. North Las Vegas definitely has it's share of run-down neighborhoods but they're mostly as you get closer to downtown going south. The farther north you go, the nicer the areas tend to be.
I generally follow this as a rule of thumb, no matter what city I happen to be in. For sure in Vegas, stay away from any streets that are numbered or lettered. (i.e. 1st street, 2nd street, A street, B street, etc....) Numbered and lettered streets marks, obviously, the oldest part of town and is usually, therefore, the bad part. I've had to drive through these areas before and might as well have has a neon sign asking to be the victim of a drive-by... I wasn't, but driving through that area was one of the most nervous, scary experiences of my life. JUST STAY ON THE STRIP.
As fun and exciting Las Vegas may be to many. There are many areas you need to always be aware of. Vegas has tried to make this area as safe as they can, but you need to be responsible for your own safety too. Fremont Street is exciting and fun, but I would recommend you stay within the confines of the main strip. When myself and my hubby ventured along Fremont street enjoying the Neon Displays they had along in the middle of the street, it was sort of outside the confines of the main area and we were a little uncomfortable. Although, we did not encure any trouble, but just something to think about. You should always keep that in mind even when in the parking garages on Fremont Street and the Las Vegas Strip
Stay in lighted areas and do not wonder off in areas you are not familiar with.
LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT
3141 SUNRISE AVENUE
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA 89101
Be careful about getting ripped of for drinks in caisno bars and clubs.
Most of these places will let you in for free but when you get to the bar they'll fleece you and take the shirt off your back.
One example is the House of Blues bar in Mandalay bay casino. Now I'm not talking about the HOB club/venue itself but the bar right next to it where they have a little stage at the front, some seating/stools and a bar at the back.
Beer not so bad ($7/8) but we ordered a Red Bull & Vodka and got hit for 16 dollars! Also the bar girl was a real misery, spilled our beer all over bar wehn she slammed it down and could have turned the milk sour with her face when we refused to budge until she gave us another. Silly girl!
There are two major casino areas. The Strip and Downtown. Do not walk from the strip to downtown. It is not safe. Also, if you are in the downtown area, stay in the Casino zone. The surrounding area is questionable for safety.
At night avoid the side where the Flamingo is I was approached by a very disrespectful young man and it took a lot for me not to slap the spit out of him. For some reason that side of the street has a lot of hustlers. Even in the daytime some of the salesman over on that side of the street were very rude. They call people names and make fun of them if they don't buy what they are selling.
This is why I prefer to walk where Ceasars, Bellagio, Mirage, Treasure Island side of the street. The Ballys and Bill's Gambling Hall and saloon area is not to bad either.
As with any major city, there are places in Vegas that you won't need or want to go. You may think you've been here so many times that you know it like the back of your hand, but there are places around the tourist traps that even locals don't like to go. Dark alleys and run down industial areas are pretty close to the Strip and dowtown (Fremont), but definitely not a place for out-of-towners. The Strip is where the fun, pretty stuff is. If you must venture off the Strip (to, say, a strip club) take a cab or your own car if you have one.
When we left the Monte Carlo after our great dinner at Blackstones, we unknowingly exited by the rear entrance. But not to worry, a driveway promised to take us around the building and out to the Strip. Whoops, dead end...deliveries only.
So, not to be detered, we scanned the horizon and saw our hotel, Caesar's, in the distance and we headed out across a construction site. Now, picture this: An 80 year old grandmother, a young lady in high heel spikes, Another lady with a gimpy knee, Mrs. B, and three men to guide the way. No, we didn't think to backtrack.
As we stumbled through the construction site we could see an entrance about three blocks away. We sent our scouts up ahead to reconnoiter. Yes, it was an exit onto the Strip. Meanwhile, security is alerted...The Man drives up and says, "You can't re-enter this parking lot once you leave."
Man,we didn't want to go back. We were like the pioneers crossing the desert, limping along, stumbling over whatever. We exited and never looked back. Come to find out we were traversing the Bellagio employees parking lot.
And all we had to do was retrace our way back through the Monte Carlo...but why do the obvious?
I just visited Las Vegas for the first time in 25 years. If you go to Fremont street use the bus, shuttle or taxi. I used the bus and was surprised how from the Stratosphere to Fremont Street was not a place I would walk at night. I would not wonder to far from Fremont street on foot. There are a lot of gangs in the area and do not carry more than you can afford to lose to the slot machine or being mugged. I did not have any problems but be careful when traveling.
Originally, Treasure Island had a really cool pirate show, where pirates fight against the Britts. However, the show was changed last summer, which reopened October 26, 2003. This show is the worst show I have ever seen anywhere! There are not enough negative words to describe this show.
Treasure Island tried to add sex appeal to their show, but what they did was ruin the entire show altogether. Pirates battle (if you call it that) against the Sirens (from Homer's: The Odyssey). We are not talking about awesome sword play, but more like carefully clinging swords together in a gaylike fashion. There are a few special effects here and there, but not enough to make a difference. After the battle is over, all the characters bust out with some type of poorly choreographed dance routine; which they dance to some terrible loud music; which is played by one of the Sirens on the steal drums.
Just about the entire time I was there, I was thinking to myself, "I can't wait for this show to be over," which never seemed to end. And the worse part is, once you start watching, there is no way of escape. Everyone was packed into the show like sardines or fans at a Mexican soccer game (you get my point). And once the show was over, mass chaos in trying to get free. It must have taken us 20 minutes of pushing, kicking, screaming, and farting, to go 100 feet. Luckily I had my two-year old son in a stroller to run people over with.
Do yourself the biggest favor and skip this one. And don?t go just so you can write your own Virtual Tourist page. To make matters worse, Treasure Island took down their most famous skull & crossbones sign and changed it with a digital screen formed together by the lowercase letters of "t" & "i." This is another big mistake, because you can hardly make out what's on the screen. I?ll bet some people are going to loose their jobs over these new disasters.
In conclusion, don't go!!!
However, if you somehow feel compelled to go, the show times are as follows:
5:30pm / 7pm / 8:30pm / 10pm ? 7 days a week
I agree with what the others have said...do not wonder off Fremont Street and avoid North Las Vegas. In addition, I would avoid Maryland Ave and sidestreets off the main strip.
I had mixed feelings of the Fremont Street Experience. It's nice to see all the lights and the famous "Vegas Vic" sign but other than that I wouldn't recommend leaving the poshness of the strip to come to downtown. You see a difference in clientele on Fremont Street than those on the Strip.