Many of my trips to Las Vegas have coincided with Viva Las Vegas. This hasn’t necessarily been intentional – Viva almost always happens the weekend of my birthday in early April. I can’t complain, though. In my experience the Viva attendees have been a lot of fun – both to hang with AND to look at!
Since I usually have my own itinerary when I’m in Vegas in April, the only event I have attended (that is officially put on by Viva) is the car show. It is a four day event that takes place in the large rear parking lot of the Orleans hotel. It is a bit on the pricey side – last year’s tickets were $30/day in advance or $50 for the full 4 days. But, if you like cars, it is well worth it.
The cars are amazing! What makes this car show unique is that each car is a real work of
art and a direct reflection of it’s owner’s tastes. No two cars are alike and, with over 700 registered cars, there was a lot to look at. I would suggest late in the day on Friday or Saturday as the best days to go. It seems like the majority of the cars arrive by Friday night and some people are starting to head out by Sunday morning.
There are also a lot of interesting vendors offering everything from clothing to art to burlesque items. There was even a tent set up for Counts Kustoms, a dealer of custom choppers and hot rods which has been featured on Pawn Stars and Counting Cars on the History channel. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to check out all of the vendors since a lot of them were located towards the back of the show. It took about a couple of hours to get through all the cars and, by the time I got to the rear of the show, it was closing time for the day.
I have so many pictures of this show that it is hard to pick and choose. I have attached quite a few images of what I felt were the more interesting cars. And, if you are ever in the area during the show, I suggest you check it out yourself.
Viva Las Vegas 2013 will be held on March 28-31 at the Orleans Casino. The car show is March 30th.
Photo – Boyd Gaming
One of my favorite places to stay when I’m in Las Vegas is The Orleans hotel. Located a bit off strip, it is definitely more of a locals hotel and casino – which is kind of what makes it so cool.
Let’s start with some of the amenities. There are the typical things one would expect – a gym, pool and spa. The rooms are comfy, spacious, clean and reasonably priced. But they also have some other great extras – including a shuttle to the strip, a movie theater and a bowling alley.
As someone who rents a car each time I go to Vegas, I really like the convenience of this hotel. Being off strip makes it a lot easier to get to during busy times. It has a huge lot so there is always parking (even when they have conventions). And, if I don’t feel like driving for a few days, I just park the car and take the shuttle. The free shuttle has two stops – at the sister property (Gold Coast) and right outside of Bill’s Gamblin Hall/across form Bally’s. For those of you who don’t know, that is right around the center of the strip. It’s a great starting point to head out from. Or, if you want to relax for a few minutes, Bill’s has been known to have some nice drink specials – like $1 Newcastles.
The rooms, like I mentioned above, are clean and spacious. Nothing extraordinary but they are a decent bargain. Since you are away from the noise of the Strip and downtown, it is pretty quiet.
The pool and the gym are very nice – especially when you consider that they mostly cater to locals. While I have only seen the pool from behind some windows (I am not a lounge around by the pool type) I can say I was impressed. The Viva Las Vegas convention is hosted here each year and they hold a lot of events by the pool. The gym looks right out onto the entrance to the pool and, let me tell you, when we stayed there during Viva I had the most memorable workout ever. I was able to watch as the Viva people came and went from the pool – it was like a Rockabilly parade!
Seriously, though – if you’re looking for a place to stay that is a little quieter but with easy access to the strip, try the Orleans.
- Update: Bill’s Gambling Hall is closing for renovations on Feb 4, 2013. Starting Jan 28th, the Orleans shuttle will stop at the North Flamingo Entrance of Bally’s.