Las Vegas

What’s on in Las Vegas? National Finals Rodeo and other latest top picks

Las Vegas long ago put aside its image of the gambling mecca that flourished under the mob when Nevada legalized casinos in 1931. Since then, it has evolved from a seedy gambling town to glitzy showgirl glam-a-rama to a family vacation destination spot. But it is still the sin in Sin City that most tourists come for. From the strip clubs to the casinos, vice is doing its usual brisk business.

One glitch: The Las Vegas Monorail, which opened to much fanfare in July, was shut down Sep. 8 because of mechanical bugs; information, www.lvmonorail.com.

LATEST TOP PICKS

Desert Dollar National Finals Rodeo: From bareback riding to steer wrestling there’s no place in the world that does rodeo like Las Vegas. Sign up as a new player at Desert Dollar during October to qualify for the Bull Ride Lucky Draw, where you could win VIP tickets to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. This remarkable prize includes:VIP Seats to the National Finals Rodeo for one lucky winner and their friend or partner,

A weekend in Las Vegas and,

Return airfares to Las Vegas for the winner and their friend or partner.

Desert Dollar (online) Casino

PLATINUM PLAY:

As a first-time Real player, you’ll get a 200% match bonus of up to $100 (£) free on your first deposit of up to $50 (£). All deposits over $50 (£) will get an extra $10 (£) bonus! That’s a total bonus of $110 (£) when you sign up.

ROYAL VEGAS:

New Player Free Money Bonus

As a first-time Real player, you’ll get a 100% match bonus of up to $100 free on your first purchase of up to $100. That means that you get double your money when you make your first purchase!

FORTUNE ROOM:

New Player Free Money Bonus

When you sign up and make your first three deposits with Fortune Room Casino, we will give you deposit matches as follows:

First Deposit: 50% Purchase Match on up to $500, a $250 bonus

Second Deposit: 50% Purchase Match on up to $500, a $250 bonus

Third Deposit: 50% Purchase Match on up to $500, a $250 bonus

A Total Bonus of $750

EVENTS/SIGHTSEEING

Las Vegas is a fast town. Need proof? Head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 7000 Las Vegas Boulevard N., Nov. 5 and 6 as the World of Outlaws, the nation’s top sprint-car series, takes to the dirt oval. Tickets from $26.25; 800-644-4444, www.lvms.com.

On Nov. 26, Cirque du Soleil will begin previews of KA, at the MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South. From $99 to $150; 800-929-1111, www.mgmgrand.com.

Burnt on gambling? Less than 20 miles west of the city is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, 702-515-5350, www.redrockcan yon.blm.gov, a serene landscape of desert valleys and rugged sandstone cliffs; $5 a car.

WHERE TO STAY

The Palms, 866-725-6773, www.palms.com, is a mile off the Strip at 4321 W. Flamingo Road. Down comforters are enveloped in 300-count duvets and the TVs play the latest hits from artists you might see in the lobby. The 425 rooms range from $59.

Don’t expect much in the way of frills at Bally’s, 3645 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 888-742-9248, www.ballyslv.com. The 2,814 rooms here have very little personality, but make up for it in location: across the street from the Bellagio and adjoining Paris Las Vegas. From $69 for a standard room.

You can’t beat the 3,005-room Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 888-987-6667, wwwbellagiolasvegas.com, for sheer luxury (and deep bathtubs). But the real reason to stay? The service. Big spenders can request their own butler. $139 to $799. At the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 877-857-1861, wwwvenetian.com, every room is a suite with a bed, couch and two plush chairs, and marble sinks in the bathroom. The furniture is Italian, and carved armoires conceal televisions. $169 to $899.

WHERE TO EAT

The red and blue tile floor, crisp white table linens, and wall paintings of baguettes, corsets and the like set the tone: Bouchon, at the Venetian Resort, 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-414-6200, is as close to a Paris bistro as there is in Las Vegas. $180 (dinner for two with wine).

If you’re looking for a cheap and tasty sit-down dinner, the well-regarded Chinese restaurant Chin Chin, 702-740-6300 has an outpost at the New York-New York Hotel, 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South. What it

gives up in its cafeteria-like style, it more than makes up for in selection and price. $55 (dinner for two with wine).

Simon Kitchen and Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, off the Strip at 4455 Paradise Road, 702-693-4440, is one of the toughest dinner reservations. Celebrities come for the expensive comfort food and industrial-chic touches like the silver metal bar. The meat loaf is tops. $130 (dinner for two with wine

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