Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display

The Bellagio Conservatory Christmas display is probably their best display of the year. The Bellagio Conservatory always looks nice but they take things up a notch for Christmas.

I visited last weekend and it was so crowded that it almost impossible to move. You can see my mediocre pictures on Instagram and Twitter. Here are some pretty pictures direct from a professional photographer.

The Whole Shebang

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display

Polar Bears, Sponsored by soda

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display

Life Sized Bellagio Snow Globe

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display

Las Vegas Bowl Scheduled For Saturday Before Christmas

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
Las Vegas Bowl

The Las Vegas Bowl is one of the most popular early college football bowl games. This year the game will be played December 20th, which is the Saturday before Christmas. Tickets sell really well (42K last year, that’s more than UNLV football sells all season <burn>) and since the Pac-12 and Mountain West teams are relatively close there are always plenty of people visiting Vegas for the game. Last year’s game was USC vs. Fresno State.

Tickets aren’t on sale for the game yet but you can follow to stay up to date on that. Likewise, I’ll probably have a blog post on Vegas Chatter when the game is announced like I did last year.

The week before Christmas is one of the cheapest times to visit Las Vegas. Even if you’re not sure that you want to make the trip for the game you might want to put rooms on hold sooner than later just in case. You can always cancel hotel reservations, just ask for the cancellation policy when you hold your room.

College Football Talk has more information:

The Las Vegas Bowl will be played on the Saturday before Christmas, December 20. ESPN announced the date and time for the bowl game, which pairs up teams from the Pac-12 and Mountain West Conference, on Tuesday.

This year’s Las Vegas Bowl will be given a mid-afternoon kickoff time, 3:30 p.m. EST (12:30 p.m. PST), and will be televised nationally on ABC. The game typically takes the Mountain West champion — it is not obligated to take the conference champion — and has the sixth pick of available Pac-12 bowl-eligible teams. Last season’s game saw over 42,000 fans come out for a match-up between USC and Mountain West Conference champion Fresno State. The Trojans won the game, 45-20. In a bit of an odd scheduling quirk, Fresno State and USC will open the 2014 season playing each other in a quick turnaround rematch, this time in Los Angeles.

The Mountain West Conference owns a record of 9-6 n the Las Vegas Bowl. The Pac-12 is 6-6.

Snow In Vegas

When I moved to Las Vegas two years ago I was greeted with the disturbing image you see above. GASP!


It turned out to be one of the coldest winter’s in Las Vegas history. It wasn’t much of a big deal for this east coast guy. I never had to wear more than a hoodie even though the wind in Las Vegas can be brutal.

The last thing I expected to see when I moved to Vegas was snow. I woke up to a mini storm which left an inch or two by noon. Shortly thereafter the snow melted and turned to water. By the time the sun was going down the ground was dry. VIVA LAS VEGAS!

Have a merry and saft Christmas!


Venetian Renovations Almost Complete

I usually visit Venetian a couple times a week, but haven’t been here in a couple of weeks as I was staying next door at Palazzo then stayed away from the strip for Christmas. In that time there has been major progress in the construction to the walkway from the parking garage into the Grand Canal Shops.

The photo above should give an idea of the Italian inspired wall trimmings and marble flooring. The floors look similar to the marble floors in the casino that aren’t in the lobby. Thankfully they don’t make me as dizzy or remind me of the video game Q-Bert.

Venetian Construction
Venetian Construction

While the ceilings aren’t complete, you can get an idea of what it will look like. The floors seem to be complete as you can see from the picture above. One half of the walls are also complete with fixtures and trimmings as you can see below (click image for larger size).

Something I’ve never seen before are tables being laid out with new felt. I always assumed this was done behind the scenes but I snapped this picture of a couple of felts while a worker was stapling felt to a roulette table.

Venetian Construction
Venetian Construction

The rest of the casino floor seems to be almost cleaned, but to my disappointment my favorite penny Top Dollar slot machine was blocked off. That’s probably a good thing since I usually lose money there.

How Many Hotel Rooms In Las Vegas?

There’s a lot of talk about the amount of hotel rooms in Las Vegas with the poor economy and lack of occupancy.  I never did the math to even guestimate the answer.  The Associated Press was kind enough to share the information, when reporting on the Marriot/Cosmopolitan deal.

The Cosmopolitan’s opening will push Las Vegas to more than 151,000 hotel rooms, and before the Marriott deal, it was starting from scratch on customers.

When I started going on my annual December trip years ago, I was told that the week before Christmas was one of the most quiet weeks in Las Vegas and that room occupancy was about 23%.  That would mean just under 35,000 hotel guests at that time.

That’s still nice and quiet as there will be more places to spread the people out.   It also means that there will continue to be bargains for a while, as long as you don’t have to stay at the hot new joint.