At least once a year, and sometimes even more often, I have to make my way to Las Vegas. For me, it's generally because there is a convention ("sorry, Mr. President") or some other event. There was even a period in my life when I was flown in to review the likes of Elvis Presley's shows or working with Paul Anka, and then with Wayne Newton on projects. So, I was flying in on Paul's lear jets and staying at Ceaser's or some other high end hotel. You might think that these days, making my way across the Tehachipi mountains in my class B RV and staying at an RV park might be a comedown from the limos I rode in, in those high glamor, record business days, but it's just the opposite. It's a "come-up." All I remember about the Anka/Newton days was the hassle. Pack the bags, run to the airport, land, find the bags, get the bags in the car, go to the maddening rush of the hotel, look for a bellman, ("where are my bags?...), get up to the room, unpack a few things, look for a cup of coffee or something to drink from the mini bar ("Oh, Cokes are just $5, what a bargain") and then take a nap from all the hassle.
It was faster to get there...from my house to my hotel room in Las Vegas usually took about four hours or so via Paul's jets. Today, it takes twice that long to drive the RV. But, with internet, RV Dream Radio
(plug, plug) and all the music and news I could want from my Droid
plugged into my beautiful five speakers on the RV, I am never bored by the drive. And, I've gotten to see and meet people on the road in places like Bakersfield, Mojave, Baker (great Mexican food there, by the way) on my way. I'm in touch with my office on a constant basis (thank you Verizon Wireless) and get a lot done without taking my eyes off the road.
But, the best part is when I get there! I exit on Sahara, go about two minutes, take a right and then another right and turn into the KOA at Circus Circus
. I check in, pull over to my space, plug in the electricity, usually turn on the air conditioner, plug in my laptop and go to work. The first thing you'll notice that's fantastic about the Circus Circus RV park is the location. If I have a meeting at the convention center, I pull out of the KOA resort and am parked and heading into the first session in about two minutes. My friend and I did a race one day where he left his room at the Hilton the same time that I did Circus Circus and I beat him to the meeting. And, during the day at the convention center I don't have to go on the long trek back up to "my room," if I've forgotten something. My home and all my stuff are right out in the parking lot (oh, did I mention that at I didn't "pack" or "unpack" anything?..it was already hanging up.)
And, at the end of the day, I'm two minutes back to Circus Circus with great wi-fi, and all the amenities I could want. If I've walked too much for the day, I take a few minutes and head over to the spa (30 seconds away) and get the bones massaged..then a quick swim and occasionally even a few minutes into the sauna. I could walk the two minutes over to the Circus Circus casino where I've got a great choice of some great restaurants, or walk the 90 seconds to the "Strip" and get something there. For the most part, however, I've got my own favorite food inside the RV..pop it into the microwave, or heat it on the range, drink what I want to drink from the fridge and have dinner. I could also barbecue outside if I wanted, as well.
Here's the weirdest part about the Las Vegas KOA at Circus Circus. It's just a long block from the panic of the Las Vegas strip, and yet it is almost as quiet as if it were in the country. The sound of tour helicopters does dot the Las Vegas sky with their noise, but that dies down and here I am in the middle of "peaceful" Las Vegas. That's true in the morning...I'm greeted to the sound of birds in the morning as if I was home.
I have a shower in my RV but, it's more convenient ("I'm not big on 'dumping' but, that's another story") to just walk across the very clean and wonderful showers at KOA...thoughtfully, benches and places to hang your clothes are strategically placed in the private shower rooms. And, the required codes to get in, add a measure of security.
While on that subject, I had the pleasure of meeting Greg Dunagan
, the manager (check the videos above) and if you watch the interview we did you will see the video monitors in the office watching all over the park. I've stayed at the KOA there several times and never have seen any problems, security wise. And, people are friendly. Certainly Greg and the people at the front desk always are, but once on this trip I needed some help with something on my RV and one of the hosts in a golf cart stopped to give me some assistance even though it wasn't in his job description.
If you bring kids to the Las Vegas KOA it's even better. Certainly, there's the pool and a great playground..but also, you're two minutes away from the huge "Adventuredome" (also see videos above) which has every ride your kids could want, including an incredible roller coaster...all inside and air conditioned ("why didn't you think of this Disneyland?"). Circus Circus also has free daily "circus" type shows and these are really professional and more entertaining than you would expect.
And, I don't usually take my Golden Retriever, "Easter" with me on convention trips, but if I did, he would think he was on vacation as well. The KOA at Circus Circus has one of the most extensive dog runs I've ever seen at an RV resort. It's "Dog Friendly" in caps.
The Circus Circus KOA has all the other amenities..a nice clean laundry room, a library with computers and a big screen TV, an arcade..even a full sized pool table and air hockey, and a store with all the stuff you forget to bring. We did a video tour of those areas as well, if you click on the play list above.
If you've read this far, then I have tweaked your interest. Maybe you don't go to conventions in Las Vegas, but you're looking for a great place to take the kids, that isn't going to cost you a fortune. There is no more kid friendly hotel/casino in Las Vegas than Circus Circus. And, there is no better, outdoor, more secure or convenient place for the kids than at the KOA at Circus Circus.
But, you may say, "that's all well and good, but I don't have an RV." KOA has that covered as well. They're the only chain of RV Resorts where you can go into the park and rent a beautiful AirStream Tailer for your stay. Prices when I was there were about $100 for the night...they fluctuate...but, no where can you have a suite complete (with kitchen, shower, etc) for a family of four or five any place in Las Vegas at these prices than you can at the Las Vegas KOA. And, if you don't know Airstream, these are luxurious, beautiful suites...and, it will give you a chance to test out the RV lifestyle as well.
For full disclosure I want you to know that Circus Circus KOA did some advertising with us back in April, but I am not being paid to write this piece and had no obligation to do it. But, I was just sitting here this Saturday afternoon looking at the videos we shot over there and thought I'd share my experience and enthusiasm for this great resort, so you knew what is was really like.
And, if you're name is Paul Anka, this is a particular message for you...no need to send the Lear...I've got my RV and KOA at Circus Circus, the REAL luxurious way to travel to Las Vegas.
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