Las Vegas is an unusual place and there may be things about it you hadn’t stopped to consider.  There are also a number of misconceptions people have and we should really clear up some of them.  Lets start with an easy one:  prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas or anywhere in Clark county.  You may see ladies of the evening and may even be approached by one while walking through a casino, but they are operating outside the law.  The nearest legal brothel is in Nye county.  Here’s a few more things you should know.

  • Las Vegas is in the (relatively) high desert.  It becomes nearly uninhabitable in July and August when temperatures can exceed 110 degrees.  That being said, it can get downright chilly in December and January and you should not expect to wear shorts and sit by the pool if you visit at that time.  A jacket will be required, particularly at night.
  • Speaking of pools, they tend to close down very early in the evening.  After all, you are supposed to go spend your money in the casino, not just lounge around all the time.
  • Don’t try to hail a cab on the street.  They are not allowed to stop.  Go to the nearest hotel registration entrance and you’ll find them lined up and ready for you.
  • If you can avoid using the ATM machine in your hotel, you can save a lot of money in fees.  If you do need to use one, take out as much as you are going to need for the day.  The cheapest ATM on the Strip is at Casino Royale as it only charges $3.  Downtown, you could stop into the Heart Attack Grill where the fee is just 75 cents.  If you just need a small amount, you should be able to get at least $20 back at one of the Walgreens locations if you buy something.
  • Las Vegas is a community built on poor judgement and tips.  Be sure you don’t forget the last part.  You should tip the maid, the waitresss, bartender, driver, bellman and pretty much anyone who provides you a service.  Many people swear by tipping before the service is provided, particularly with a hotel maid or cocktail waitress.
  • While you can carry a drink around in Las Vegas, there are a few rules.  On Fremont Street, your beverage will need to be in a plastic cup.  On the Strip, you can carry a can around but no glass bottles.
  • Las Vegas is a huge convention town.  In addition to the massive Las Vegas Convention Center, there are large convention spaces at the Venetian and Mandalay Bay and almost all the hotels host fairly large meetings.  It is best to avoid visiting when the town is overrun with convention attendees as room rates tend to be high and restaurants and bars are often crowded.  You can check the website of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau for a list of upcoming events.
  • Marijuana is legal in the state of Nevada and you can purchase it at a number of so-called dispensaries around town, including one right on Las Vegas Boulevard, across from the SLS.   That being said, there is essentially no place a visitor can legally use it.  Hotels and other public places are still technically pot free zones.  If you decide to do it anyway, consider edibles, as they have no telltale smell.
  • If it is your first visit, you may be surprised at all the showgirls and costumed characters on the Strip and Downtown.  These are free lance “performers” and, if you take them up on their offer of a photograph, they will expect a gratuity.  Be prepared to be hit up for $5, $10 or even $20 If you engage their services.
  • If you are an active duty member of the military or a veteran, both Caesars and MGM will reward you with some special perks.  Caesars has a special card called a Salute card which grants the holder Platinum status.  MGM simply upgrades you to it’s second tier, Pearl . There are a few discounts and other perks that go with these, but the biggest and best is free parking.