Budget

Best Vacation Deals 2009

by Bob Payne

Las Vegas

Busted: the myth that in this city the good times are always in season. The lights still glow on the street of high hopes known as the Las Vegas Strip, but there is a sense that their bulbs are of the energy-saving type. The gambling take is down even more than it was following September 11, 2001, and a badly timed round of new megahotel openings has added to an oversupply of rooms. Even Elvis impersonators are having a tough time of it. As a result, lucky-feeling travelers are discovering that what happens in Las Vegas costs considerably less than it used to. The many-shades-of-red-themed Encore is among the newer hotels on the Strip that started shaving rates almost from the day it opened; the 2,034 suites go for as little as $149 (with a $75 resort credit thrown in if you book online). To experience classic Las Vegas—which is to say, over-the-top taste that predates Encore developer Steve Wynn—Caesars Palace, inspired by Rome in its declining years, can happily accommodate you starting at $90. Vegas is a good city for package deals, too. Travelers from New York, for instance, can get airfare and four nights at Bellagio for $696 per person. With Vegas shows also feeling the pinch, expect to get a deal on ticket prices, too, with Web sites like bestofvegas.com offering up to $30 off some tickets.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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