Brad Keselowski wins Las Vegas NASCAR playoff opener for Penske’s 500th win

Brad Keselowski raced to his third consecutive NASCAR Cup victory Sunday, persevering through a wreck-filled Sunday afternoon and roaring away from the field in overtime to claim the playoff opener.

Keselowski secured team owner Roger Penske’s 500th victory across all competitions with a resourceful performance amid trying circumstances and 99-degree Las Vegas heat.

Kyle Larson was second, and defending Cup series champion Martin Truex Jr. third after a stop-and-start finish to a race that featured 12 cautions.

“To start off the playoffs with a win, that’s really strong, let alone three in a row,” Keselowski said. “We nailed the pit stops and the restarts when it counted, and we were strong.”

Eight of the 16 playoff drivers had various problems in the opener of the 10-race postseason. Four playoff drivers failed to finish — including co-leader Kevin Harvick, who wrecked with 120 laps to go when he blew his right front tire.

Michael McDowell and Kurt Busch wrecked with just two laps to go, forcing a red-flag stop and overtime. After the drivers re-fired their engines for the two-lap shootout, nobody could keep up with Keselowski’s Team Penske Ford.

“We did it, boss!” Keselowski shouted. “That’s quite a number, right? It’s really great to be a part of that, and to get the last one to get us there, that’s pretty great.”

Penske was in attendance for his landmark victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He formed Team Penske in 1966, and it has fielded 50 winning drivers across 14 race series during the ensuing 52 years.

Keselowski won at Darlington and the Brickyard in consecutive weeks before Vegas. His late surge has added some intrigue into a NASCAR season dominated by the Big Three of Truex, Harvick and Kyle Busch, who finished seventh in Vegas even after skidding and plowing through the infield grass with 35 laps to go.

Joey Logano finished fourth, and Ryan Blaney was fifth.

Truex moved into the overall points lead over Busch and Keselowski, who leapfrogged Harvick.

Harvick’s blowout also wrecked pole-sitter Erik Jones, who couldn’t react quickly enough and rear-ended Harvick.

Harvick likely doesn’t need a fantastic result from the first set of playoff races to advance, but the veteran driver was still furious about his tire failure.

READ FULL STORY: http://www.foxnews.com/auto/2018/09/16/brad-keselowski-wins-las-vegas-nascar-playoff-opener-for-penskes-500th-win.html

 


 

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Capitals commemorate Golden Knights with full-page ad in Las Vegas paper

The Capitals have a lot to celebrate, but wanted to acknowledge their competitors first.

The Stanley Cup champions took out a full page in the Las Vegas Review-Journal to congratulate the Golden Knights on a competitive run in the championship series and a historic first season in the league.

 

“Congratulations to the Vegas Golden Knights on the most successful inaugural season in the history of professional sports,” the ad read. “World class ownership, front office, coaching staff and people. A magnificent team of talented, hard-working players and stars. A fantastic venue filled with passionate, loud and proud fans.

“It was an honor to compete against you in the Stanley Cup Final. We are truly VEGAS STRONG.”

Vegas Golden Knights are four wins from the NHL’s ‘Miracle On Ice’

Steve Rosenbloom
Chicago Tribune

The Vegas Golden Knights won a spot in the Stanley Cup Final.

The expansion Vegas Golden Knights.

This is as NHL as it gets.

A year ago, this team didn’t even have a team, and now this team will have a chance to win sport’s toughest trophy.

This is why the NHL rocks. Anything can happen. Anything just did.

By beating the Jets 2-1 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday, Vegas continued to beat the odds. The Knights were a 500-1 shot last October. The Knights just became the first team to earn a spot in the championship round.

Top that, NBA. Top that, any major U.S. sports league. Talk about a miracle on ice. This championship possibility would be all the rage if the NHL mattered in the U.S. If only Tim Tebow skated. But no matter. This is historic. An expansion team outside of an all-expansion setup making the championship round just doesn’t happen, except in an NHL known for regularly scheduled upsets.

The NHL is the anti-NBA, and thank goodness for that. The NBA is as predictable as it gets. The NBA drags you through seven months that don’t mean anything because it was always going to be Warriors-Rockets and Cavaliers-Celtics, and here we are and there they are. Is that what you want?

I’ll take drama. I’ll take the unexpected. I’ll take the inexplicable and the insane. The cherished randomness of the NHL demands that you watch. Sports charm us with moments we’ve never witnessed. This is that. This one of the big reasons we watch.

Some people, however, believe the Knights are living out one of the more embarrassing stories in sports history because the Knights have made it look easy this season and because their success indicts the NHL’s diluted product borne of a hard salary cap and soft-headed GMs.

If it was that easy to win 51 games, then the Blackhawks would’ve done it. If the league was that diluted, then the Hawks should swap leagues with the Regina Pats. The more you hear people rip the league for such a spectacle, the more you diminish whatever Hawks dynasty talk you spewed.

This isn’t embarrassment. It’s history. Embarrassment is demanding a new owner fork over $500 million and then sticking the new franchise with a last-place team for five years. The NHL didn’t hose the new guy. The reward for the league and the new owner is one of the biggest and best stories in sports history.

The NHL expansion draft rules were more generous than previously seen, but still, other teams were allowed to protect at least eight skaters (including all players with no-movement clauses), all players with less than three years’ pro experience, and their No. 1 goalie. The Knights managed to acquire speed and talent thanks to general manager George McPhee’s deft handling of the expansion draft. And these pieces of ore and other mixed metals were alchemized into Golden Knights by coach Gerard Gallant, who had been fired by the Panthers and so had a lot in common with his players.

The Knights finished fifth in goals per game and eighth in goals-against per game. Their goal differential of plus-44 was sixth-best in the NHL. That’s playing a team game all over the ice, a point underscored when you realize the Knights went through five goalies this season because of injuries, including one netminder they had to recall from juniors.

In winning the Pacific Division with a 51-24-7 record, the Knights finished 29-10-2 at home, the best record in the Western Conference and second-best in the league. It would appear NHL players didn’t know how to act during a night in Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas stays in the loss column. Stick tap for the Knights’ discipline and smarts on and off the ice.

And for everyone who believes they are riding nothing but home-casino advantage, there’s this: In sweeping the Kings in the first round, eliminating the Sharks in six games in the second and wiping out the Jets in five in the conference finals, the Knights clinched all three series on the road. What happens in Vegas also happens everywhere else.

And now the Knights might get their names etched on the venerable Stanley Cup. It sounds crazy, but it’s as real as four more wins.

READ FULL ARTICLE: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/rosenblog/ct-spt-vegas-golden-knights-stanley-cup-finals-rosenbloom-20180521-story.html

 


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Marc-Andre Fleury has tickled the fancy of Vegas Golden Knights fans all season

MAY 17, 2018
LAS VEGAS

Such are the extraordinary powers of Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury that he didn’t even have to be on the ice to earn an assist.

A scoring review after his spectacular 33-save performance against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday confirmed he deserved the second assist on the empty-net goal by Jonathan Marchessault that gave the Golden Knights the upper hand in the Western Conference final. Fleury was surprised to hear he had gotten the assist. His teammates aren’t surprised by any of his feats. “He does it all,” forward David Perron said.
Fleury, 33, did the Pittsburgh Penguins an enormous favor last season when he accepted their request that he waive his no-move clause so they wouldn’t have to protect him in the expansion draft that stocked Vegas’ roster and could keep younger, salary cap-friendly Matt Murray. The Golden Knights got instant credibility when they claimed Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion. They also got a man who taps his goalposts and thanks them in his native French and in English when they stop pucks, a man who learned to use humor to defuse white-knuckle situations.
“I think that’s the key to making sure you don’t tense up at the wrong moment,” said Perron, who is expected to return Friday after missing two games because of an illness. “You make sure you keep playing your game, and that’s what he does. At the end of the day when he lost to Matt last year because he’s a younger goalie and the salary cap and all that stuff, he wants to prove himself. Every single day he’s out there he’s having fun.”

During the Golden Knights’ unexpected playoff journey, Fleury has joined fans in doing the wave and, on Wednesday, he slyly tickled the ear of Winnipeg forward Blake Wheeler when players began pushing and shoving in front of his goal crease. “I’d be having fun too if I was up 2-1 in the series,” Winnipeg forward Adam Lowry said as the teams prepared for Game 4 on Friday at T-Mobile Arena.
The Golden Knights hold that lead because Fleury has backed up his humor with seriously clutch efforts and is 10-3 with a 1.70 goals-against average, .945 save percentage, and a playoff-leading four shutouts. Among his most impressive work were a toe save and a scrambling body block in quick succession against Winnipeg forward Mark Scheifele in the third period Wednesday while protecting a one-goal lead. Asked where he ranked those stops among all the timely saves he has made during his career, he grinned in embarrassment.
“I don’t remember all my saves,” he said.
But his teammates will remember those two saves for a while. “I was on the bench. I was freaking out. I couldn’t believe they didn’t score, honestly,” said forward Alex Tuch, who scored Vegas’ third goal, at 8:13 of the second period, on a pass from James Neal. “It was an unbelievable couple of saves there. He kept us in the game the entire time. He was the key to our success.”

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From GM George McPhee, with love: Golden Knights want to thank you for our unparalleled success

Kevin Allen, USA TODAY Sports
Published 1:24 p.m. ET May 17, 2018

LAS VEGAS — Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee was named a finalist for the NHL’s GM of the year and we don’t need Las Vegas bookmakers to tell us he’s a prohibitive favorite to win the award.

The man has built the best expansion team in professional sports history. The Golden Knights are two wins short of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Final heading into Friday’s Game 4 at T-Mobile Arena (8 p.m, ET, NBC Sports Network). They lead the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 in their Western Conference final series.

The always-gracious McPhee will want to thank those who helped him get here, so we’ve tried to be helpful by filling out “Thank You” cards for him:

Dear Marc-Andre Fleury: Many thanks for your decision to waive your no-trade clause with the Pittsburgh Penguins to allow us to select you in the expansion draft. We wouldn’t be where we are without your goaltending and your presence in the dressing room. Your goaltending has been out of this world and your willingness to promote our team and the game in Las Vegas has helped us grow strong roots in the community. People said you were a classy gentleman and the perfect teammate, but you can’t fully appreciate those traits until you see them up close and personal as we have.

Dear Vegas owner Bill Foley: Thanks for everything, especially the “Golden Knights” nickname and for saying we could make the playoffs in three years and win the Stanley Cup in six. We’re not afraid of high expectations in Vegas.

Dear NHL commissioner Gary Bettman: Thanks for signing off on a more generous player dispersal system for the expansion draft. This should be a model for future expansion in all sports. When you see how this has helped establish our team in Las Vegas, you wonder why we were so hard on past expansion teams. When McDonald’s Corporation awards a new franchise, the company doesn’t insist that it launch with inferior items on the menu. Why did sports leagues do that for so many years?

Dear Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon: Should probably send you a box of chocolates along with this ‘”thank you” for the sweet deal you gave us on Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith. Landing Marchessault to take Smith’s contract off your hands gave us two-thirds of our top line. Forever grateful.

Dear NFL: Thanks for moving slowly on coming to Las Vegas because we’ve been the first plant our flag and win over this incredibly passionate fan base. It’s laughable now that some people believed pro sports wouldn’t work here. Our fan base is electrifying. If you want to know how to ignite them, we can help.

Dear Florida Panthers: Thanks to whoever made the final decision to fire Gerard “Turk” Gallant as coach. (Dale Tallon didn’t have final say at the time). All that matters is Turk – no one calls him Gerard – was available to be our coach. He’s perfect to lead our band of Golden Misfits. He relates to players and he understands the game at a DNA level.

Dear Expendables: Thanks to all of my players who came in with the attitude that their former teams were wrong to make them available to us. William Karlsson went from six goals for the Columbus Blue Jackets to 43 for us. Erik Haula went from 15 goals for the Minnesota Wild to 29.  Nate Schmidt went from third-pairing defenseman in Washington to a top defenseman for us.

Dear former Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher: Sorry you had so many skilled players on your roster that you couldn’t protect them all. You were in a difficult position that forced you to give us two quality players (Haula and Alex Tuch) to protect players such as Mathew Dumba and Marco Scandella, etc. P.S. We think Tuch is going to be a force for us.

READ FULL STORY: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/allen/2018/05/17/nhl-playoffs-golden-knights-thank-you-nfl-gary-bettman/619497002/

 


 

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Vegas Golden Knights’ Success Should Change The Way NHL Teams Do Business


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June, 2016: It seemed like a perfect plan.

  • Collect $500 million from a rich Las Vegas businessman in exchange for the first new NHL expansion franchise in 17 years.
  • Divide that money between the NHL’s 30 existing clubs, for a cool cash injection of $16.667 million per team.
  • Surrender one player to the new franchise in an expansion draft. For that kind of money, general manager George McPhee and his team could even have access to mid-level players. What could possibly be the harm?

We all had a good chuckle when Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley said in 2015 that he wanted to see his team make the playoffs by Year 3 and win a Stanley Cup by Year 8.

Scott Cowan@GolfYeti

Listening to Bill Foley talk hockey in Las Vegas. Says playoffs in 3 yrs, Stanley Cup in 8. Positive man.

He later revised that projection to a Cup in six years. Turns out, that still may have been conservative.

You know the story by now: the Golden Knights won their division, made the playoffs and swept the Los Angeles Kings in their first-round series. On Sunday, they reached the Western Conference Final after recording their fourth shutout win of the playoffs and eliminating the San Jose Sharks.

The favored hashtag now running beside #VegasStrong is #CupIn1.

The Golden Knights’ success is so unprecedented, it’s still difficult to understand how the team can actually be this good. It’s supposed to take years to build a Stanley Cup contender — nurturing top prospects after they’re acquired in the draft, retaining good players with lucrative long-term contracts and supplementing rosters with free agents. Successful teams are supposed to build winning cultures over many years, with veteran leadership groups that keep the dressing room united. History matters.

Nobody argued that McPhee got off to a good start when he anchored the Golden Knights’ roster with three-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins. But Vegas charted its course for the playoffs without him, going 16-8-1 during the 25-game stretch between October and December where Fleury was sidelined with a concussion.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT FORBES.COM: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolschram/2018/05/07/vegas-golden-knights-success-should-change-the-way-nhl-teams-do-business/#75d92dd46123

 


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Column: Vegas provides a new template for expansion teams

Dan Bouchard can appreciate, better than most, the Miracle in the Desert.

He was a goalie for the expansion Atlanta Flames back in the 1970s, so he knows how difficult it is to build a competitive team from scratch.

“It’s astonishing what they’ve done in Vegas,” said Bouchard, who still lives in the Atlanta area, when reached by phone this week. “I think it’s the greatest thing to happen to hockey since the Miracle on Ice,” he added, referring to the seminal U.S. upset of the mighty Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympics. “It’s that good.”

Indeed, Vegas has set a new norm for expansion teams in all sports. No longer will it be acceptable to enter a league with a squad full of dregs and take your lumps for a few years, all while fans willingly pay big-league prices to watch an inferior product.

The Golden Knights have come up with a stunning new template for how this expansion thing can be done.

They romped to the Pacific Division title with 51 wins. In the opening round of the playoffs, they finished off the Los Angeles Kings in four straight games , casting aside a franchise that has a pair of Stanley Cup titles this decade while becoming the first expansion team in NHL history to sweep a postseason series in its debut year.

Imagine how storied franchises in Montreal and Detroit and Edmonton must be feeling right about now.

They didn’t even make the playoffs.

From Bouchard’s perspective, it’s all good. Vegas’ success right out of the starting gate will make everyone raise their game in the years to come.

“This will wake up the teams that are sitting on $90 million budgets and not doing anything,” he said. “People will say, ‘If Vegas can do it, we can do it.’ That’s a paradigm shift in the game.”

When one considers how NHL expansion teams have fared over the years, the Vegas story becomes even more compelling.

The Golden Knights are the first new team in the NHL’s modern era to have a winning record in their inaugural season, a period that began in 1967 and encompasses 26 new franchises (including one, the ill-fated California Seals, who are no longer around).

Only six other first-year teams have made the playoffs — and that includes four that were assured of postseason berths in the landmark 1967 expansion. You see, when the NHL finally broke out of its Original Six format, doubling in size to a dozen teams, it placed all the new franchises in the same division, with the top four getting postseason berths even with sub-.500 records.

Until the Golden Knights came along, the Florida Panthers were the gold standard for NHL expansion. They finished one game below .500 in their first season (1993-94) and missed the playoffs by a single point. In Year 3, they had their first winning record and made it all the way to the Stanley Cup final, though they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche.

That remains the closest the Panthers have come to winning a title.

In Sin City, the wait for a championship figures to be much shorter. Heck, the Golden Knights might do it this year.

They’re 12 wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup in a city that has always had a soft spot for long shots.

“We’re still a few wins away from this being a great story,” said goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, a key contributor to the Golden Knights success.

Even now, it seems like a bit of dream to coach Gerard Gallant, who thankfully will be remembered for something other than getting left at the curb to hail his own cab after being fired by the Panthers.

“When this all started in October, we just wanted to compete,” Gallant said. “Now we’re going to the second round of the playoffs. It’s unreal.”

For sure, the Golden Knights wound up with a much more talented roster than most expansion teams — partly through astute planning, partly through getting access to better players as a reward for doling out a staggering $500 million expansion fee, which was a more than six-fold increase over the $80 million required of Minnesota and Columbus to enter the league in 2000.

The expansion draft netted a top-line goalie in Fleury, who helped Pittsburgh win three Stanley Cups; center Jonathan Marchessault, a 30-goal scorer in Florida who was surprisingly left exposed by the Panthers; and winger James Neal, who had scored more than 20 goals in all nine of his NHL seasons. It also provided a solid group of defensemen: Colin Miller, Nate Schmidt, Deryk Engelland and Brayden McNabb.

In addition, the Golden Knights wisely nabbed young Swedish center William Karlsson, who hadn’t done much in Columbus but became Vegas’ leading scorer with 43 goals and 35 assists.

“They’ve got some top centers. They’ve got some real good defense. They’ve got good goaltending,” Bouchard observed. “They went right down the middle. That’s how the built it. Then they complemented it with the fastest guys they could get their hands on. They went for speed.”

READ FULL ARTICLE: http://www.tampabay.com/column-vegas-provides-a-new-template-for-expansion-teams-ap_sportsc8fdd0dc37cc40489d74e3bc039db308

 

 


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Vegas Golden Knights Among Stanley Cup Favorites After First Round Sweep

In only a matter of four games, less than a week, the Vegas Golden Knights have gone from one of the best stories in hockey history to one of the best bets to hoist the Stanley Cup.

The Golden  Knights not only opened as the favorites in their second-round matchup against the San Jose Sharks, but they are now officially championship contenders. According to bookmakers, the Knights currently have the second-best odds of winning the Stanley Cup (4/1), just behind the Nashville Predators (7/2).

The expansion team has come a long way since opening the season as a 200-to-1 longshot to win hockey’s biggest prize.

After sweeping the Ducks in Round 1, the Knights continue calibrate everyone’s expectations. They’re now even bigger favorites in the second round than they were in the first round of the playoffs. Vegas opens  as -140 favorites to win the series against San Jose, better than their odds of -135 against Anaheim in the opening round.

Sin City vs. Silicon Valley

It’s a curious betting line for the series considering that San Jose not only had a better regular season than the team Vegas just eliminated, but the Sharks also looked equally dominant in a first-round sweep where they limited the Ducks to just four goals.

The Golden Knights do have home-ice advantage in the series, however, and they collected seven of a possible eight points in the regular season, posting 3-0-1 mark against the Sharks.

Surprises have become the norm for the Golden Knights, and the betting public wants a piece. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has  seen an unprecedented amount of betting on hockey, with the action on the Golden Knights approaching NFL-like levels at times.

READ FULL ARTICLE: https://www.onlinegambling.com/news/2018/04/vegas-golden-knights-among-stanley-cup-favorites-after-round-1-sweep/

 


As Golden Knights Soar, Las Vegas Stakes Its Claim as a Sports Town

When the N.H.L. released its schedule last summer, Kelly and Lindqvist saw that their beloved Pittsburgh Penguins would visit Las Vegas to play the expansion Golden Knights on a Thursday in mid-December.

Eager to see their team play in the newest N.H.L. city, Kelly, Lindqvist and a dozen friends planned a long weekend around the Penguins game. They booked rooms on the Strip, at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, and spent the weekend seeing the sights.

“We bought tickets as soon as they went on sale,” said Kelly, who has had Penguins season tickets with her husband for a decade. “We go to about one road game a year, to Chicago, Buffalo, New York, D.C.”

Before game time in Las Vegas, she looked across a plaza outside T-Mobile Arena, where many hundreds of Penguins fans were congregating, and said: “We did not expect to see this.”

It’s fair to say the owners of the Golden Knights, the N.H.L. and the city of Las Vegas did not expect that, either. By most measures, the hockey team’s inaugural season has been a smashing success — one the Raiders hope to duplicate when they move to the city from Oakland for the 2020 N.F.L. season.

With 41 wins and 87 points through Monday, the Golden Knights have been extending the record for most wins by an N.H.L. expansion team week after week. In first place in the Western Conference, they are the second-highest scoring team in the league and look poised for a playoff run.

A big reason for the Golden Knights’ success is their play at T-Mobile Arena, where they are 24-5-2. Through the first 31 home games, the team averaged17,969 fans, or 103.5 percent of the arena’s capacity, when including standing room tickets. All 44 luxury suites have been rented. The team sold its entire allotment of 12,500 season tickets, and Kerry Bubolz, the team president, told LVSportsBiz.com this month that about 2,500 fans had paid deposits to be part of the season-ticket waiting list.

Oscar Lindberg and the Golden Knights have the best record in the Western Conference and set a record for most wins by an N.H.L. expansion team. CreditL.E. Baskow/Associated Press

According to Fanatics, the largest online seller of licensed sports goods, the Golden Knights have ranked fourth in N.H.L. merchandise sales this season — and first since the start of 2018.

The fast start by the Golden Knights has, for now, allayed fears that the N.H.L.’s decision to put another team in a desert city would lead to financial trouble. (See: Coyotes, Arizona.) Commissioner Gary Bettman has for years pushed for new teams in the Sun Belt, with mixed success, and aiming for Las Vegas, in particular, seemed like an overreach.

It is the country’s 40th largest television market, best known as a destination for tourists and gamblers, and has a population heavy on retirees and service industry workers, who are unlikely candidates to spend thousands of dollars on season tickets. The city had little hockey tradition; it has hosted minor league teams but has few ice rinks or youth leagues.

But an influx of out-of-town fans has complemented the Golden Knights’ fast start on the ice and at the box office. This is good news for local hotels, restaurants and casinos, which host 43 million visitors a year, and for the team as it gets its bearings in the market.

Other N.H.L. teams in areas that attract transplanted retirees — like the Arizona Coyotes and the Florida Panthers — also tend to have strong crowds supporting the opposition. The Golden Knights, though, appear to have specifically designed their game nights like most things in their city: as tourist attractions.

READ FULL STORY: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/27/sports/vegas-golden-knights-raiders.html


 

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The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit Las Vegas

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by Bridget Hallinan

February 23, 2018

Follow these tips, and you may even be mistaken for a local.

By and large, Las Vegas may be a tourist town, but this guide will help you tackle Sin City like a local. Got gambling questions? We have the answers (hint: don’t cheat). Unsure of what to wear on a night out? We’ve got the dress code, straight from experts. So whether you’re traveling for business or just, well, there to party, here’s how to do Vegas right.

Go Off the Strip

While it may seem tempting to camp out in your luxe, amenity-filled hotel, there’s more to Vegas than casinos and swanky bars. Head downtown for vintage shopping at Container Park or an Insta-worthy trip to the Neon Museum. Jon Gray, Vice President and General Manager of the Palms Casino Resort, suggests buddying up to locals for intel on the best bars and restaurants; some of his own favorites include Herbs & Rye, Sen of Japan, and Other Mama.

How to Get Around

According to Visit Las Vegas, the most common form of transport in Vegas is taxis. Don’t try to hail a cab on the Strip—it’s illegal. Instead, look for designated taxi stands, which most major hotels have. Once you snag one, ask your driver to avoid driving down Las Vegas Boulevard, as it’s very congested, according to Gray. And Traveler Contributing Editor and Vegas aficionado Mark Ellwood recommends paying with cash, to avoid credit card surcharges.

Other options include the monorail (which runs between the MGM Grand and Sahara Avenue), and the RTC buses, which have 39 different routes across the city. Day passes cost $12 and $8, respectively. Uber and Lyft recently became available in the city, so you have those as back-up options. You can always try walking, but at four miles, the Strip is deceptively long—and crowded. (Try to pick your hotel based on your itinerary, so everything is easily within reach.)

What to Wear

Ellwood says, “You should dress in Vegas like you’re meeting your future in-laws for the first time.” Keep it smart and sophisticated, and avoid anything too flashy (in other words, tone down the sequins). For men, make sure to pack a dinner jacket, as some restaurants require them. And definitely remember a bathing suit, because Vegas pools party all year round.

Most clubs have the same dress code, which JEWEL at Aria describes as “upscale fashionable attire.” On their list of no-no’s: hats, sandals, flip flops, sneakers, steel-toed shoes and work boots, ripped or baggy clothing, shorts, or athletic wear. (Men also have to wear collared shirts.) Basically, as long as you don’t look like you’re fresh off a workout, you should be good to go.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Be a courteous gambler. A Smarter Travel article recommends: 1) Tip your dealer 2) Let them count out your money on the table for the cameras, instead of handing it to them directly 3) Don’t bend the cards 4) Don’t use your phone 5) Don’t be that guy, giving unsolicited advice to your fellow gamblers.

Try to learn the basic game rules beforehand. But Gray says you can always ask your dealer for help, if you’re unsure. “‘What’s the book say?’ is code for ‘should I hit or stay?'” he said.

Don’t: Gamble away your winnings. Cash out your vouchers whenever you win big, and repeat until you leave. This way, you might leave with more money than when you came in.

Do: Carry cash, and have a good amount on hand when you arrive. You’ll need it for tips and cover charges: Plus, casino ATM fees are ridiculously high (we’re talking $5 or $6 a transaction).

Don’t: Jaywalk. You could be fined if you’re caught.

Do: Budget! It’s all too easy to be swayed by Vegas’s over-the-top atmosphere and drop a few hundred $$$ on dinner at Picasso every night. But as you’ll soon find out with your credit card bill, not everything that happens in Vegas stays there.

Don’t: Overdo it. Vegas is a 24-hour town, but don’t feel pressured to keep up. Gray advises travelers to pace themselves and drink plenty of water.

Do: Get brunch. Whether you opt for a dizzyingly large hotel buffet or a sandwich at Eggslut, Vegas definitely does breakfast right.

 

READ FULL ARTICLE AT CONDE NAST TRAVELER: https://www.cntraveler.com/story/essential-things-to-know-before-you-visit-las-vegas

 

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