February 26th, 2022
Our first full day in Vegas and we started the day off nice and early as is usual with Jet Lag kicking in. We started off with a gentle run down the strip. This is not everyone’s perfect start to a trip but it’s a nice way to see the City in the early hours when things are quiet and peaceful and it’s always nice to have these activities uploaded to Strava as a reminder!
The weather was really cold, around 2-3 °C (35-38°F), but the skies were clear and the sun started to rise. The weather in the UK since early December has been neat continuous rain so it was nice to just see the sun. Forecasts were for the temps to start rising nicely as the week went on but the sun to remain ever-present.
After running down as far as Planet Hollywood we made our way back. This is a very sedate style of running with multiple stops for sightseeing and photo taking along with endless crosswalks that break things up, but you can see a lot of the strip in a very short time. We then stopped at Starbucks for a coffee then back to the room.
After a shower, we headed to the CAnel Shopped for breakfast in St Marks Square which is always very surreal!
We are big fans of the various City Passes that are available and we were planning on checking out how these were working in a Post-Covid world. We had a Go Las Vegas Explorer Pass and were intending on putting it to good use. The first stop was Madame Tussauds.
We headed to the gates and presented the Pass and walked straight in. It really does not get any easier than that. We really like the Las Vegas location of Madame Tussauds as the Wax Works really reflect the City. With loads of nods to Las VEgas’s present and history. Such as the Hangover, the Rat pack, and Las VEgas’s sporting heritage. It’s really quite a fund little attraction.
We then had to head out to pick up our Rental Car.
Rental Prices have gone insane since the pandemic. A perfect storm of rising Car prices, Chip shortages, Hire Car Firms selling off their fleets, and the general need to try and recoup huge losses over the last two years have meant prices have become eyewatering. We do not really need a Hire Car in VEgas and are happy getting around using Uber, public transport, and Walking, in fact with our drinking habits in Vegas this is often the only way for us to get around! But we do like to get out of the city and see the surrounding area and desert and we had some very specific plans to fulfill the following day so just wanted a car for a couple of days and we had FREE parking at the Venitien.
We were looking at $300 for a few days with a basic compact. Some quotes coming back in the $1000’s! It was madness. So we started looking outside the box. If we are going to pay through the nose we might as well get something worth having!
Last time here we rented a Lamborgini Huracan, which was A LOT of fun, but it was also A LOT of money so we paired that down a bit. We were looking for a more basic but still fun experience when we came across Enterprises Exotic Collection. They were offering a Muscle Car for around $180 a day with limited miles and while fairly pricey, it was only a bit more than we were looking at paying for a compact. The Selection was a Mustang GT 5.0, Dodge Challenger RT, or a Chevrolet Camaro SS. So we were guaranteed a lot of HP for our money.
There are two locations in Vegas for the Exotic Collection, the Airport, and a locale just off the Strip on Flamingo rd. It was easier for us to just head to the Flamingo rd location rather than heading back out to the airport.
When we arrived at the location we found the agent really unhelpful. After hiring hundreds of cars in the states, and plenty in Vegas, including Exotics, the agent demanded we provide our Passports, which were safely tucked up in the hotel safe. No effort was made to help or offer alternatives, passport, or go away, in just as unfriendly terms as that. With our plans in tatters without the rental, we simply had no option but to head back to the hotel, hike up to the room, recover the passports and head back.
Finally after giving incredible details about our stay, return flights, blood type, and DNA sequencing, (ok we exaggerated the last two) we finally got onto the horrific Insurance upsell. To which we produced our personal insurance policy that covers everything and more, for 5 times less than they were quoting. After 2+ hours of hassle and extra expense, they finally released the car. A Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Convertable.
Honestly, it was the last car on the list we wanted, and when we enquired about an alternative we were told simply “no”, thanks for that. At this point, We really were close to telling them to stick it and head over to LVC Exotics who we have used in the past, but it was the last step and we just caved in and went ahead. The final nail in the coffin for these guys was the fact they were helping customers all around with gifts to and from the hotels, when we had to head back to our to get the passports there was no offer of a lift them or any kind of assistance or even apology or contrition, in fact, the agent simply walked off!
Finally away from the terrible customer experience. We were out on the open road in the Mustang. Well cruising the back streets of Vegas. We popped into a Walmart to pick up some snacks and Tequila (Termana Respado) and then headed down the strip with the top down. Which is a lot of fun. We cruised down the strip, stopped off at the Vegas sign for the obligatory Selfie, and hit a few other photo ops before heading back to the Hotel and Valet Parking.
The Venetian Pool
We had a couple of hours to kill before our next excursion so decided to hit the pool. The temps had crept up throughout the day and were now hovering around 15°C (60°F) which is pretty cool for pool temps but we braved it due to the fact we had flown in from the freezing cold United Kingdom.
There were only two pools open on the new Venitian pool deck, but the crowds were low and there was a lot of space to grab a bed right by the pools. It was a little chilly as the winter sun was now quite low. But in the pool the water was warm and we relaxed for an hour or so as we let the stress of the trip and the Hire Car Company melt away.
Once out of the pool it was seriously freezing, there was a slight breeze and it chilled you to the bone, we were certainly looking forward to the warmer temps on the way.
Back in the room, we got ready for our evening excursion, a RockStar Club Tour, but we headed out to dinner first at one of our favorite New York Pizza Joints, Grimaldi’s, which has an outlet in the Pallazzo, Las Vegas.
RockStar Club Tour Las Vegas
Included on the Pass is a Nightclub tour organized by Rockstar. We were really big fans of these before the Shutdown as they hit some of the best clubs in town and offered a really fun and hassle-free way of going clubbing. While our big clubbing days are behind us we still like to get out see the raucous Vegas nightlife, so we booked onto a tour to see how things are going as the Covid shadow lifts.
After getting confirmation of the Itinerary we were pretty despondent. The line-up was terrible. We were to meet in Chickies & Pete’s, a sports bar in the distant Sahara Hotel. This hardly counts as a bar and is free to all, so not exactly a great start and it was cunted in one of the three “nightclubs” we were visiting. We were given a discount on drinks, but we really do not think the meeting place should count and especially when it’s a walk-in restaurant.
Anyway, the next on the list is the new AZILO Ultra Lounge, an add-on to the AZILO Ultra Pool which didn’t appear to be open yet but looked very nice, something to look out for in the future. The problem with the AZILO Lounge was it was also in the Sahara so we simply got walked from the sports bar to the new lounge, no Party Bus!
After a few drinks in here, with very attentive staff, and half-price drinks, it was finally onto the party bus for our drive over to our final stop “On the Record” at the Park MGM. The ride over was a lot of fun with our host liberally plying everyone with plenty of Booze, solely in the form of Vodka Cranberry’s which seemed to get stronger and stronger as the cranberry ran low but the Vodka Flowed.
Eventually, at the Club, we realized a little miscalculation. We were starting to run headlong into Jet Lag. The 12am Vegas time was more like 6 am our time and we really were feeling it, so we bailed early and headed back up the strip, rather drunkenly.
As such we really can’t comment on “On The Record” Too much, but the Club is a new and very hot nightspot, it’s just a shame the others were not quite up to muster. Our last tour saw us at the Foundation Room, Voodoo Rooftop Lounge, and Hyde, which has shut down, all A-List venues, being forced all the way up to the Sahara for two so so locations was a bit of a chore, but the final destination was good and the bus ride pretty epic.
Overall we have a good night, just wich we had been less tired to really enjoy it. We were very drunk by the end of it!
Go Explorer Pass – Running Total
The club tours are charged at $99.00 per person, which is pretty savage when all you get are discounts, some free Vodka, and entry to some Free Bars and one nightclub …that is often free! But it was on the pass so feel like we got a lot for our money.
Madame Tussauds is charged at $37 which again is pretty expensive, but it’s on the pass and as such is very heavily discounted.
- Madame Tussauds – $37
- Rock Star Club tours – $99.00
Total – $136 – 2 Attractions
5 Attraction Pass – $119
As you can see we have already broken even and more on the pass so we are basically guaranteed to get great value out of it. Tomorrow we are away from the Strip so needed the Explorer Pass to break up our sightseeing.
Walking Total – 30,601 Steps – 15.5 Miles
Today’s total was EPIC and actually undercounted as we clocked up a few thousand after midnight so they count as tomorrow. Some of this was the morning run, but that was only 3miles so we still ended up hiking a huge amount around the strip. The Venitian Resort is huge and just getting to and from the room is a huge hike!