You know, it looked so close to me when I stayed at The Venetian a couple of weeks ago, but I learned my lesson on that my first time to Vegas a few years ago. The reason the signs are so big is to make it appear that they're so close!
I was in downtown Vegas the night the scaffolding at top of the Stratosphere Tower, which was still under construction, caught fire and was raining down to the street 1,000 feet below. My hotel was the Luxor. With Las Vegas Blvd closed at the Stratosphere and traffic at a snarl my friend and I decided to walk back to our hotel.
I stayed at the Sahara when we were in Vegas and I really didnt find that end of the Strip to be as bad as Jeff makes it out to be. Sure it isnt Luxor or Paris. But it has it's own quirks and uniqueness without which the part of Vegas that Jeff likes might exist without. Speed was ok. Worth the credit but nothing too exciting. The Stratosphere rides on the other hand....now that was something to be excited about. Didnt get a chance to ride anything at Circus Circus as the entire dome was closed when I was out there. Also the coaster at NYNY was HORRIBLE! Maybe not quite as bad a Looping Star at Beech Bend but darn close.
Aw, come on... Circus Circus isn't THAT bad. I took my 2 year old there, and never felt threatened. Besides, Canyon Blaster is surprisingly good for a smallish Arrow.
I also say Speed is rather underrated. It's great. Not much to it, but fun nonetheless. I'm also a big fan of Desperado at Buffalo Bill's, call me crazy, but I can ride that all day. Fast and crazy, it has its rough spots, but in general, a good ride. Make the drive.
I enjoyed Speed - The Ride at Sahara, but Manhattan Express was meh. Since I wasn't wearing cargo pants, I hadn't yet put my cell phone away before approaching the platform, whereupon I was told I had to put my phone in a 50-cent locker. But I had no change, and there was no change machine, so I had to go back down to the cashier for some quarters. And the ride already costs $14.00.
On the plus side, after all this screwing around, our intended train had left so we got to sit in front on the next one. It's possible I was too busy being pissed about the 50-cent cell phone locker to enjoy the ride, but regardless I didn't think much of it. A coaster that rough needs some speed or semblance of thrill to make up for it, and Manhattan Express doesn't deliver... IMHO.
Got the credit, will probably never ride it again.
The central strip (Bellagio to Wynn) is the hot area now, if you can ignore the blight that is Imperial Palace. Points south aren't going to decline any time soon, especially with that big city-in-a-city complex going up. Planet Hollywood got much needed love replacing Aladdin too.
With Frontier and Stardust gone, the empty lot across from Sahara, all the crappy little stores between Wynn and Riviera, more empty lots and parking garages, that whole half of the strip just kind of blows. The couple blocks between Stratosphere and Saharah are also shady.
Comparing Circus Circus & Sahara to Bellagio & The Winn, well of course CC & Sahara are going to come up short. I'm just saying that you can go to those places without fearing for your life.
The real dodgy part is the stretch between Stratosphere & Freemont St. Then there's Freemont St. itself. Stay to the front where the canopy is, and it's great. Wander to the back alleys, and it's like a different world. I have stayed at Golden Nugget, that was surprisingly nice. I have also stayed at Union Plaza, that was horrible. *** Edited 4/15/2008 2:57:34 PM UTC by Soggy***