Las Vegas…, the lights, the shows, the stars…and the gambling. The city of lights in the town that never sleeps has finally been hit by the economy, making it a great city to visit on a budget and… your pennies because despite its reputation, there is plenty to do for the non-gambling visitor.
Every top chef in America has a restaurant…or two in Vegas, every top line performer has a show in Vegas and there is no better place to people watch!
On a recent trip, purchased as a package through a vacation vendor, the airfare and three-night hotel stay were included as one price making both the return flight and the hotel less expensive than purchasing a la Carte.
This trip, we stayed at The Venetian, modeled after Venice with the beautiful vast ceilings, gorgeous decor, Romanesque columns complete with singing gondolier, this was the best hotel room I had ever stayed in.
“The rooms are literally huge,” described Anne St. John, celebrating husband Dave’s milestone birthday with a weekend getaway. “Floor to ceiling windows, sunken living rooms and a television in the bathroom almost makes this room better than home!”
In addition to beautiful rooms, The Venetian is connected to The Palazzo resort next door and guests receive privileges to both sets of amenities including pools, hottubs and lounging chairs. Try the ‘sandwich’ technique found online, it really works!
We recommend bypassing  Venetian pools and heading straight over to the cushioned loungers near the Palazzo pools offering a little more serenity. Staff circulate with chilled pineapples, orange slices and cucumber slices throughout the afternoon.
The Venetian is located centrally on the strip and within walking distance to The Wynn, with our favorite cocktail lounge, the Parasol Down with outdoor seating, serene waterfall surroundings and digital water shows to entertain every 15 minutes. No cover charge and worth the wait if filled to capacity.
Of course, no trip to Vegas is complete without a walk down Las Vegas Blvd. and all of the complimentary entertainment along the ‘Strip’.
The famous Bellagio fountains are synchronized to music and the show performs every 15 minutes throughout the evening.
With only three nights in Vegas, there are so many things to see and do, of course, casino owners would also like play the games of chance.
With pricing available for a bargain, Las Vegas is now an option for vacations on a budget. 

Viva ELVIS by Cirque du Soleil , is one of the newest additions to the family of Cirque du Soleil shows and is a respectful fusion of dance, acrobatics and live music, dedicated to the King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley. The show opened this year in a custom 1,800 seat theater at ARIA Resort & Casino.
And, for Elvis fans outside of Vegas, in November, Legacy Recordings, in cooperation with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and Viva ELVIS by Cirque du Soleil will release Viva ELVIS – The Album, a 21st century celebration of Elvis and his music, featuring the voice of the King in a whole new context. For more information, please visit
“Burning Love,” “Suspicious Minds,” “Blue Suede Shoes” and “It’s Now or Never” are among the songs that have been re-imagined and transformed for Viva ELVIS – The Album.

About Cirque du Soleil
From a group of 20 street performers in Quebec, Canada at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major international organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. Since its founding, Cirque du Soleil has thrilled over 100 million spectators in close to 300 cities on five continents. In Las Vegas , Cirque du Soleil has a privileged partnership with MGM Resorts International to create and present unique and innovative productions. In addition to Viva ELVIS, these productions include: Mystere at Treasure Island, “O” at Bellagio, Zumanity at New York-New York, Criss Angel Believe at Luxor and KA at MGM Grand.
For more information, visit the Cirque du Soleil website at .
In Florida, Cirque du Soleil offers La Nouba. If you can’t get to Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil has had a permanent home at Downtown Disney, Orlando since 1998. Shows are performed Tuesday through Saturday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. La Nouba originates from the Frenchphrase “faire la nouba,” which means toparty, to live it up.
La Nouba features a cast of 67 artists representing 13 countries. Ticket prices range from $57-$144 plus tax per person. For tickets, call (407) 939-7328.

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Marie Gilmore
Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!