Sure, Las Vegas will always be known for its endless amounts of slot machine fun, $3.99 steaks and adult-only revelry. But if you haven’t been to Las Vegas in a while – or ever – then you’re in for a big surprise. Because that’s not all Las Vegas has to offer…not even close! So sit back and relax because I’m about to take you through the family-friendly side of Las Vegas!
First Thing’s First
What’s now considered “The Strip” may not be where you think it is. Has it moved? Kind of. The original strip – now referred to as “Fremont Street” – is actually located almost 10 miles away from the Strip we all know on Las Vegas Blvd. Though its heyday was in the 50s and 60s, Fremont Street is still home to famous hotels like the Golden Nugget, Four Queens Hotel and the Fremont Hotel & Casino. Its addition of the “Fremont Experience” in the 90s, complete with a Zip Line and 1,500 foot long canopy light show, still makes it a popular spot for tourists. Zip Line rides range from $25-$45 and are open to ages 13 and over, while the light show is free and runs every hour in the evenings!
So, Where’s Expo?
Glad you asked. As luck would have it, Powertrain Expo is actually being held right in the center of “The Strip” at the Paris Hotel & Casino – literally. The Encore Hotel to the north is 1.5 miles away, and the Mandalay Bay Hotel is 1.5 miles to the south. The Paris Hotel & Casino sits in the middle of some of the most popular hotels in Las Vegas – Bally’s Hotel, Caesars Palace, The Bellagio, Planet Hollywood and The Cosmopolitan are all neighbors. So if you’re looking for the best location on the strip, well, it can’t get much better than this – especially with the great room rate of $179/night! So what does that mean for you? Options! For starters, Bally’s isn’t just next to the Paris, it’s connected internally by a short walkway. And just in case the French themed atmosphere is not your style, ATRA secured a room block with the room rate of $119/night at the adjoining Bally’s Hotel as well.
I Don’t Gamble, I’m Allergic to Alcohol and I’ve Got My Kids With Me, Now What?
Yes you’re in Vegas, but you don’t need to have won the lottery or be a party animal to have a great time! For starters, it wouldn’t be Paris without the Eiffel Tower right? The Paris Hotel has its very own 1:2 replica of one of Europe’s most famous landmarks built right above – and through! – its casino. If you purchase the Family 4 Pack, tickets are only $12.49 per person to ride up the 45 stories to the very top. During the ride up you’ll listen to narrators point out Las Vegas landmarks, and once at the top, you’ll enjoy 360 degree views of the Las Vegas Valley.
This is where the “best location on the strip” comes in handy because once you venture outside, you’ve got so many things right at your fingertips. Directly across the street is the Bellagio, and with it, one of the most famous landmarks on the strip – The Fountains of Bellagio. Thousands of fountains dance to music and light…spanning 1,000 feet across and reaching heights of 460 feet into the air. Depending on the day, the fountain shows run from 11am to midnight, every 15 or 30 minutes and absolutely free. Plus, if your hotel room at the Paris Hotel faces Las Vegas Boulevard, you can be one of the lucky ones that can view this amazing show right from your room!
Shop ‘Til You Drop
If shopping is what you’re looking for, there are more than enough options within walking distance from the Paris. Next door, directly in front of Bally’s is the Grand Bazaar Shops. This outdoor shopping experience is modeled after some of the world’s greatest open- air markets: Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Jerusalem’s Old Market, London’s Portobello Road, Seattle’s Pike Place Market and Morocco’s Marrakesh Souk. With 120 stores stretched out over 2 acres, famous restaurants like Wahlburgers and Giordano’s, and a light show at midnight, you and your family will be entertained for hours just outside the doors of your hotel!
And of course probably the most famous shopping center in all of Las Vegas, the Caesars Palace Forum Shops, located just on the opposite corner from Paris/Bally’s. The Forum Shops boasts over 270 retail stores and restaurants such as the Apple store, the Cheesecake Factory, Harley Davidson, Planet Hollywood Restaurant and Louis Vuitton, just to name a few. Still not enough for you?
Well, it wouldn’t be a Las Vegas mall without a little excitement, because while you and your family are enjoying these great restaurants and stores, you can also be entertained – for free! The Fall of Atlantis animatronic show, a compelling and stimulating take on the legendary story of the ill-fated city of Atlantis, plays daily on the hour starting at 11:00am. Nearby is also a giant 50,000 gallon aquarium where more than 300 unique species of tropical fish life can be found.
Whether you drove into Las Vegas, or flew into McCarran Airport, one addition to the city’s skyline might’ve caught your eye: the new “High Roller”. The world’s tallest observation wheel, which sits behind the Flamingo Hotel and is definitely walkable from Paris and Bally’s, is complete with a LED light show and 360 degree views at the height of 550 feet above the ground. That’s over 100 feet taller than the London Eye!
Time to Eat – But Aren’t Las Vegas Restaurants Pretty Pricey?
Not all of them! Don’t get me wrong, Las Vegas is known for having some of the most luxurious and renowned eateries in the world. Some even with celebrity chefs! But Las Vegas didn’t become the 2nd Most Popular Tourist Destination by appealing to just one demographic. That’s why the nice thing about having easy access to both the Paris Hotel and Bally’s, is the unique opportunity of being able to take advantage of the best of both worlds!
For instance, if you and your family are in the mood for a steak and want to “go all out”, there’s Gordon Ramsay Steak restaurant on the Paris side. Opened in 2012 by the famous chef himself, it’s been named the city’s best steakhouse several times over. But luckily, you can still get yourself a great steak without spending a fortune, because a 7 minute walk over to Bally’s will put you at the door to BLT Steakhouse – which is also award-winning, but at the fraction of the cost!
Las Vegas didn’t become the 2nd Most Popular Tourist Destination by appealing to just one demographic.
Of course, since you’ll also be immersed in over 40 hours of Technical and Management training, a long, leisurely meal might not always be ideal. Bally’s has the perfect answer for those wanting to be “in & out” and not spend a fortune. In the middle of the Bally’s casino you’ll find an escalator that will take you down one level to their “Shopping & Dining Promenade”. There, you can grab a quick hot dog at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog, a slice of pizza at Sbarro, a croissant breakfast sandwich at Nosh or a fruit smoothie at LavAzza. Away from the hustle and bustle of the casino floor, this hidden gem is the perfect spot when you’re on limited time, and a limited budget!
If you’ve walked through the Paris Hotel, chances are you’ve passed by the beautiful new Italian restaurant, Martorano’s, opened by celebrity chef Steve Martorano. Its eye-catching indoor/outdoor setup with its bright white tablecloths and edgy lighting is the perfect blend of a classic Italian restaurant, with a splash of modern. However, we know edgy and modern isn’t for everyone, that’s why once again Bally’s doesn’t disappoint with their Italian option of the well-known restaurant Buca di Beppo. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, their meals start at $13.99, and with sides as low as $5!
Let’s face it, sometimes all you need is some table-side guacamole and chicken tacos. Tequila Taqueria at Bally’s has every Mexican dish you can think of, and they’re open as late as 6am on some nights – or mornings, however you want to look at it!
Something for Everyone!
This was just a little glimpse into what you and your family can experience while in Las Vegas for ATRA’s Powertrain Expo. Did you notice that I didn’t even mention having to jump in a car? That’s because everything listed in this article is completely walkable. And if at any time you feel like exploring a bit further – there are literally hundreds of other entertainment options up and down the Strip – some inexpensive, and some free!
However, if you do have a car, you’ll be happy to learn that despite the city-wide hotel parking charges that are now in place, ATRA has negotiated free parking for Powertrain Expo attendees!
So for a safe, clean and family-friendly getaway topped off with state of the art Management and Technical training, don’t miss the ATRA Powertrain Expo in Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel & Casino. We’ll see you soon!