Las Vegas is served by McCarran International Airport, 5757 Wayne Newton Blvd. (tel. 702/261-5211, TDD 702/261-3111; www.mccarran.com), just a few minutes' drive from the southern end of the Strip, where the bulk of casinos and hotels are concentrated. This big, modern airport--with a relatively new $500 million expansion--is rather unique in that it includes several casino areas with more than 1,000 slot machines. Although these are reputed to offer lower paybacks than hotel casinos (the airport has a captive audience and doesn't need to lure repeat customers), it's hard to resist throwing in a few quarters while waiting for the luggage to arrive. We actually know someone who hit a $250 jackpot there on his way out of town, thereby recouping most of his gambling losses at the last possible moment. (He was surprised, too.)
Getting to your hotel from the airport is a cinch. Bell Trans (tel. 702/739-7990) runs 20-passenger minibuses daily between the airport and all major Las Vegas hotels and motels all day (7:30am-midnight). There are several other companies that run similar ventures--just stand outside on the curb and one will be flagged down for you. Buses from the airport leave about every 10 minutes. When you want to check out of your hotel and head back to the airport, call at least 2 hours in advance to be safe (though often you can just flag down one of the buses outside any major hotel). The cost is $4 per person each way to Strip and Convention Center-area hotels, $5.25 to Downtown or other Off-Strip properties (anyplace north of the Sahara hotel and west of I-15). Other similarly priced shuttles run 24 hours and can be found in the same place.
Even less expensive are Citizen's Area Transit (CAT) buses (tel. 702/CAT-RIDE). The no. 108 bus departs from the airport and will take you to the Stratosphere, where you can transfer to the 301, which stops close to most Strip and Convention Center-area hotels. The no. 109 bus goes from the airport to the Downtown Transportation Center at Casino Center Boulevard and Stewart Avenue. The fare is $1.50, 50¢ for seniors and children. Note: If you have heavy luggage, you should know that you might have a long walk from the bus stop to the hotel entrance (even if the bus stop is right in front of your hotel). Vans are able to get right up to the entrance, so choose a van if you're lugging lots of baggage.
All of the major car-rental companies are represented in Las Vegas, if you choose to rent a car while you are in town.
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