Long Haul Taxi Scam in Las Vegas

If you have taken a taxi cab in Las Vegas you no doubt have heard the phrase long haul taxi scam. Or maybe you have heard people mention getting long hauled. The scam may also be referred to as being “tunneled”. The long haul taxi scam in Las Vegas entails a cab driver taking you from the airport or to the airport on a longer route than normal in order to charge you more for your ride. If you have prepaid for a limo or shuttle service the long haul does not apply to you.

The Long Haul Route

There are two routes out of McCarran International Airport. Swenson St which turns in Paradise runs somewhat parallel to the strip. You can cross over to the strip via streets like Tropicana. The Tunnels which go under the runways to the south connect to Highway 215. This is why being scammed is sometimes referred to as being tunneled. This route is often twice as long resulting in a larger fare. Take the route below to the Bellagio from Google Maps. The route up Swenson is 3.2 miles while the tunnel route is 7.7 miles.

If you go through the tunnel or end up on a highway south of the airport you are no doubt being long hauled. A recent taxi fair estimator website figures the above ride just over $20. If your ride ends up being much more and traffic is normal you could be a victim of long hauling.

long haul taxi route las vegas

When the tunnel route is justified

It is important to note that the “tunnel ” can possibly be a legitimate route depending on where you are staying. If you are staying at any of the southern hotels such as the Silverton then the route is preferred. This does not hold true for Mandalay Bay or the Luxor. The same can be said about staying downtown in the Fremont St area. If you are driving downtown you would likely want to take the highway and avoid the strip at all costs.

Depending on the time of day and traffic congestion you may want the tunnel. For example, if you are staying on the north part of the strip like The Mirage or Treasure Island. We have been caught in a couple of traffic snarls heading to Treasure Island / The Mirage. These could have been avoided going the highway route.

How to not get tunnelled

Act like you are a season veteran. Use Google Maps like we did above and plot your route out. Familiarize yourself with street names and the possible routes to the hotel. When you get in your taxi at the airport tell them that you want to take Swenson to Tropicana etc. If you tell the cab driver the  route  you want to go they must follow it.

What to do if you are a long haul victim

If you feel you have been long hauled you have options. Some travelers report that they have confronted the cab driver and told them flat out that they are not paying. Calling their bluff. I witnessed this at The Mirage one morning as we were heading back to the airport. A couple was long hauled first thing in the morning and had the bell employees help them confront the driver.

You can take a less confrontation route by filing an official complaint. You would do this by contacting the Nevada Taxi Authority at 702.888.4888. or by filing out an online form at “Long Hauling Suspicion Form,

Las Vegas Street Scene 1955

Las Vegas in 1955 was very different then what it is today. This Las Vegas street scene photo from 1955 shows the Golden Nugget and a host of other casinos and hotels that are no longer part of Vegas. The Golden Nugget was built in 1946 and is still a prominent part of the Fremont St experience. If you get a chance stop by and see the shark tank.

Las Vegas street scene 1955

Make sure you click on the photo for the larger image.

Interesting Las Vegas Facts

Las Vegas may be famous for its luxury hotels, fine dining and cirque shows but there are many interesting facts that the average visitor does not know. Here is a list of interesting facts about Las Vegas that you may not be aware of.

Interesting Las Vegas Facts

The famous strip is 4.2 miles and is not even located in Las Vegas proper. It actually sites in the town of Paradise which is within Clarke County. Las Vegas proper would be Downtown or Fremont St, where the original hotels and casinos are located.

It is estimated that 41 million people visit Las Vegas every year. There are not shortage of rooms for those visitors. Statistics show that in 2017 there were 104 Casinos and 148,690 hotels rooms in Las Vegas.

NASA has dubbed Las Vegas as the brightest spot on earth. There are 9,900,000 light bulbs just on the strip. The Luxor Light Beam which sits on top of the Luxor Pyramid can be seen from 100 miles away and the beam is only at half power. That light beam cost $51 an hour to operate.

luxor vegas photo
Photo by Jay Abramson

The design for the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign was never copyrighted. The sign was designed by Betty Willis and erected in 1959. The circles around the word “welcome” represents silver dollars. They are a tribute to Nevada being the “silver state”.

las vegas facts

Las Vegas really is the wedding capital of the United States. There are anywhere from 300 – 500 wedding a day. They make it pretty easy, you only need a driver’s license or passport around $50 to get a marriage licence.

You won’t find lottery tickets in Vegas. Looking for a power ball ticket? You will have to go to Utah as lottery tickets are not allowed in the state of Nevada.

Prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas. It is against the law in Clarke County.

There are an estimated 1,000 people living in the tunnels below the city. Matthew O’Brien a reporter who first brought the story to light has published a book called Beneath The Neon.

Seafood is king in Vegas. It is estimated that 60,000 pounds of shrimp is consumed every day. Resorts like the Aria are moving to recycle their food waste and sell it to farmers to be used as pig slop.

Thinking of swimming the Bellagio fountains? You might want to think again as the water used is referred to as “grey water”. The water in many of the fountains and displays is recycled from sinks, bathtubs, and showers.

bellagio fountains photo
Photo by gilbrit

Elvis Presley performed 837 consecutive sold out shows at what is now the Westgate Casino and Hotel. Elvis still has a strong presence in Las Vegas with impersonators and shows being found all over the strip and downtown Fremont St.


The High Roller at the Linq Review

One of the most noticeable attractions in the Vegas skyline is the The High Roller at the LINQ. Night or day when you leave McCarran airport you are sure to notice The High Roller. We have been on the High Roller for three rides during our trips to Vegas so we thought we would share some photos and review our experiences.

The High Roller at the Linq

The High Roller was constructed in 2014 and sit at the back of the Linq Promenade. It is a 550 ft high ferris wheel. There are 28 cabins which can accommodate up to 40 people each. The cabins or pods themselves rotate in place so as to maintain a perfect horizontal view throughout the ride. The wheel takes approximately a half hour to rotate. There are approximately 2,000 LED lights which can display multiple colors.

Las Vegas High Roller

Rides are offered as either a daytime ride or a nighttime ride and the price varies as to which one you choose. There is also a Happy Half Hour ride which offers an all you can drink option. A bar car is wheeled into the pod and set up by a bartender. There are no washrooms in the cabins so you might want to take that into consideration when choosing the Happy Half Hour option.

Note that if you do not want to pay for the Happy Half Hour ride you can buy beverages at the bar before you go out to the cabin platform. There has been questions on social media if you can bring your own refreshments and the answer is no. You have to purchase them at their bar which of course has Vegas prices in full effect.

Sunny day in #Vegas at the #linqlasvegas. #highrollervegas #vegassavvy

A post shared by Vegas Savvy (@vegas_savvy) on

We obviously believe that the High Roller is worth it having done it three times. It’s an amazing way to take in the enormous view and size of Las Vegas. We featured it our Best Bars in Vegas with A View post although its not a proper bar. If you want to see Vegas from the top and experience the lights The High Roller is a perfect way to do it.

Cost of High Roller at the Linq

As mentioned the costs to do the High Roller varies on whether you do it during the day or the night and if you choose the Happy Half Hour ride. The ticket prices below have been take right from the official website.

  • Daytime Ride
    • Adult $22
    • Youth $9
    • Happy Half Hour $35
  • Nightime Ride
    • Adult $32
    • Youth $9
    • Happy Half Hour $47

If you want to find a deal the your best options are either Groupon or Travel Zoo. They always have a coupon on sale but the extend of the sale varies greatly. In December we paid $59 for two nighttime happy half hour passes and previously we paid $35 for two daytime happy half hour passes.

It is not like the attraction sells out so there is no reason to buy tickets months in advance unless you find a good sale. If there isn’t a good sale on we would prefer to wait until a week or two before our trip to buy passes.

Daytime or Night High Roller Ride?

We have done two day time rides and one night time ride. One of the day time rides we did roughly around sunset so we could see the sun fall on the Vegas horizon. Which ride is better? They are both awesome for different reasons. With the daytime ride you get to an amazing view of the properties. It really gives you perspective of just how big the resorts are in Las Vegas. The night time ride of course you get to experience the lights of Vegas and that is spectacular in its own right. The only part about the sunset was the glare that the sun caused when trying to take photos.

Photos from the Daytime ride

High Roller Las Vegas Linq

The High Roller Las Vegas

Photos from dusk ride

High Roller at the Linq

High Roller view at sunset

Photos from the nighttime ride

High Roller nigh time ride view

High Roller view at night

Where to get coffee in Vegas

Did you know that most resorts and hotels in Las Vegas do not have coffee machines in the room? Many people are surprised when they find this out. It kind of makes sense. Hotels in Vegas do not want you sitting in your room drinking free coffee. They want you on their casino floor or in their restaurants drinking coffee. It’s as simple as that. Where do you get a decent cup of coffee in Vegas then?

Where to get coffee in Vegas

Make Your Own Coffee

I have read where some people bring their own Keurig. You can purchase a small sized Keurig machine in Amazon or places like Ebay relatively inexpensive and pack it for your trip. You can also buy a variety of small instant coffee makers from Walmart and bring them along. It doesn’t have to be a Keurig.  Making your own coffee in your room is an option if you want to bring your own machine. Pretty easy to do if you aren’t flying into town.


You would be shocked to know that there is practically a Starbucks on every corner on the Las Vegas strip. We would say that in every hotel and resort there is a Starbucks waiting to serve you up your coffee fix. The following map will give you an idea of just how many of Starbucks locations there are on The Strip in Las Vegas. Nothing is cheap in Vegas and Starbucks in no exception. Be prepared to stand in line. Any of the shops we passed by were lined up out the door in the morning hours.

Here is the link from their website which shows all Starbucks Location Vegas Strip.

starbucks las vegas

Recommended Coffee Shops

If you are not a Starbucks fan there are quite a few really good coffee shops on the strip. Most hotels will have their own breakfast restaurant or cafe onsite where you can grab a cup. For example, there is The Pantry at The Mirage or The Aria Cafe at The Aria.

Looking for other recommended  coffee shops along the strip? Here are a few other places you can visit.

Amorino Gelato at The LINQ

Amorino at Linq photo
Photo by Roller Coaster Philosophy

LavAzza at Bally’s

Va Bene at The Cosmopolitan

The Coffee Bean at Grand Canal Shoppes

There are lots of hidden gems for coffee along the Las Vegas strip. You just have to explore a little to find the really good one. We have given you a bit of head start on your journey. If you find a coffee shop you think people would like drop us a comment.

The 2018 American Casino Guide

The 2018 American Casino Guide

There are basically two coupon books for Las Vegas that are worth buying. The American Casino Guide (ACG) and the Las Vegas Advisor (LVA). Both offer great value to any Vegas traveler offering a number of 2-1 Coupons for dining, gaming and shows. We have used both coupon books and it’s really a matter of what coupons interest you or fit your trip better. Lets focus on the ACG for now.

The main features of the American Casino Guide are:

  • 177 coupons in the book.
  • 150 coupons for Las Vegas.
  • The ACG is the cheaper of the two. You can find it for under $15 on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
  • Offers coupons for Las Vegas casinos and all over the United States.
  • The book estimates that there is over $1,000 in savings.
  • Included are guides and information about casinos and resorts all over the Unites States.

Is the American Casino Guide Worth It?

The biggest question you come across online is whether the American Casino Guide is worth it or not. It’s a $15 coupon book so think about it that way. You don’t have to use very many coupons from the book to get your money back. If you use only one or two of the 2-1 Buffet coupons you have save money with the ACG. And that is not to mention the number play coupons and attraction coupons like the 2-1 Madam Tussaud Wax Museum or the 2-1 Eiffel Tower Day coupon. Even if you only use a few random food and beverage coupons your books is paid for.

American Casino Guide 2018 Edition

How does the American Casino Guide work?

  • There is a “membership” type card in the book that you may be asked to show when redeeming coupons. This prevents people from giving coupons away but I would say that it is rare that you would have to show it. It is thin and will fit in your wallet so it’s not a problem.
  • The majority of the coupons require you to have a Players Club card at the hotel you using it in. The only draw back is signing up for cards as it can be sometimes busy.
  • Gaming type coupons you present to the hotels Players Club and they will present you with a coupon or add the coupon to your players card.
  • Food and beverage coupons you present to your server.

Can you use ACG and LVA coupons at the same time?

The general consensus is that you can use them at the same time with no problems. You may have to cash them in at separate times as in use one for gaming and come back after and add the other.

2018 List of American Casino Guide Coupons for Las Vegas

Free deck of cards at Downtown Grand Las Vegas
$10 match play for any even-money table game bet at Rampart Casino Resort at Summerlin
$10 match play for any even-money table game bet (one coupon per calendar year) at Plaza Hotel and Casino
$10 Matchplay on any Even Money Table Game Bet at Ellis Island Casino & Brewery
$10 off any service of $50 or more at Uno Salon at Flamingo Las Vegas
$10 off Entree at Voodoo Steak at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
$10 Table Game Match Play at Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
$10 Table Game Matchplay at Hooters Casino Hotel
$10 Table Games Matchplay at The Orleans
$15 off a purchase of $30 or more at Baliwick at The Orleans

Continue reading “The 2018 American Casino Guide”

Knight – The newest @LVMPD service dog

The latest Vegas Golden Knight fan is a true beauty. Glad he is on our side!!! Not sure if you will be sitting beside Knight at any games at the T-Mobile Center but it’s good knowing he is out there hard at work.

Current Uber and Lyft Pick Up and Drop off Locations in Las Vegas

Uber and Lyft Pick Up Locations

lyft photo
Photo by stockcatalog

My first ride share mistake in Vegas was calling a Lyft to Aria to the wrong door and having to high tail through the casino. The hotels are very specific on where you can get picked up and dropped of. They will tell you if you are in a resort and not sure where to to find go but have a look at this list if you are into pre-planning.

Get Free Rides Using Our Codes (don’t sign up until you are in Vegas as bonus are time sensitive):

Uber use code kevinw11058ue

Lyft use code KEVIN76225

Terminal 1 Pick-up point:
After you collect your baggage or take the train towards baggage claim. Go ahead and request a ride with Uber or Lyft. The pick up spot is in the Parking Garage, on Level 2M of McCarran International Airport Las Vegas to get a pick-up from their driver. Please follow the Rideshare signs.

Terminal 3 Pick-up point:

After you collect your baggage or take the train towards baggage claim. Go ahead and request a ride with Uber or Lyft. The pick up spot to catch your ride is the Parking Garage on the valet level of McCarran International Airport. Please follow the Rideshare signs.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north entrance of the ARIA Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver. It is not allowed to get a pick-up from the main entrance.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the side of the Bally’s Hotel closest to Flamingo Road where the Tour Bus Pick-up Area is to get a pick-up from their driver. It is not allowed to get a pick-up from the main entrance.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to South Tour Lobby, which is at the right side of the main entrance of the Bellagio Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

This hotel has a designated area for Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft which is directly across from the main entrance on the other side of their fountain.

This hotel has a designated area for Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft at their Main Entrance.

COSMOPOLITAN This hotel has a designated area for Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft at their Main Entrance.

CROMWELL Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the side entrance, then past the roundabout at the Flamingo hotel entrance to get a pick-up from their driver (there is a sign for the pick-up spot).

Pickup is by the valet. Just walk a bit west past it and turn right for the pick up area.

ENCORE Customers using Uber or Lyft can go to the main entrance of the Encore Hotel, the main entrance of the Encore Tower Suites or the Wynn self-parking garage on floor one (for Encore Beach Club).

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to Tower 1 Drive at the corner of the hotel, past the main entrance toward self parking.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the main entrance of the Flamingo Hotel, past the roundabout to get a pick-up from their driver.

Hard Rock Hotel
Pick-up is in the Paradise Tower parking garage (Rehab entrance).

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north side entrance and then go to the parking garage, just before the valet of the Harrah’s Hotel.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the Bus and Tour Lobby of the LINQ Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north entrance of the Luxor Hotel at the right side to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the lower level at guest pickup of the Mandalay Bay Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must follow the signs near the main entrance to the pick up spot in the garage of the MGM Grand Hotel.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north entrance close to the valet at The Mirage Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go pas the main entrance of the Monte Carlo Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to past the main entrance of the New York New York Hotel at the right side.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north end, in front of the shuttle area of the Palazzo Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north entrance of the Paris Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the hotel lobby, then go outside and walk left to the Tour Bus Pick-up at the Planet Hollywood Hotel.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the main entrance of the SLS Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the back entrance of the Stratosphere Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the main entrance of the Treasure Island Hotel and then go to Siren’s Cove Boulevard across the street.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the north entrance of the Tropicana Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the 3rd level valet of the The Venetian Hotel parking garage to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the main entrance of the Vdara Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

The Waldorf Astoria
Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the main entrance of the The Waldorf Astoria Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Customers using Uber or Lyft must go to the South Entrance or Tower Suites of the Wynn Hotel to get a pick-up from their driver.

Thanks for LasVegasTravelWizards.com and @LVTWs for comping this big list. We will be editing it as we hear of changes to pick up and drop off spots. If you come across a change please leave a comment for us to have a look.

Vintage Vegas in HD

If this video doesn’t make you wish of days gone by in downtown Las Vegas we don’t know what will. This video footage was take in 1952 and primarily features Fremont St. It was the time before corporations took over the hotels and casinos and long before they covered it with a roof. We love to see the marines and other service men walking down the street, not much has changed from that respect. Enjoy the trip back in Vegas time.

Current Las Vegas Resort Fees

If you plan on staying at most hotels or casinos in Las Vegas your stay will be subject a Resort Fee. The Resort Fee is payable directly to the hotel and is added on your bill at check out. If you have booked with a third party site like Expedia or Travelocity  you will still owe this fee to the hotel and it is not included in your quoted price. There is also tax charged to the Resort Fee.

In exchange for paying the Resort Fee hotels state you will get the use of a list of services like the gym or fitness center, property wide wifi, newspapers, local phone calls and being able to print boarding passes. The strangest service offered is under MGM Properties who give you access to a notary, not sure why you would need that. Some of the hotels like the Downtown Grande state you get complimentary free parking which isn’t really free if you are paying a fee for it.

**Remember the Resort Fee is not included in the fee you are being quoted on third party websites.

2018 Las Vegas Resort Fee Guide

This list is a guide to resort fees in Las Vegas but as of late is changing constantly. We will try to keep up, let us know if you find an error or want a resort added. We tried to publish generally what is included with each hotels fee but there could more specific inclusions per hotel.

MGM Properties (Property-wide high speed internet access (public spaces and in-room), unlimited local and toll free calls, airline boarding pass printing, and fitness center access for guests 18+.)

  • Aria, Bellagio, Vdara – $39 plus tax.
  • Delano, Excalibur, Luxor,  Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, NYNY – $35 plus tax.
  • Circus Circus – $32 plus tax.

Caesars Entertainment (Daily in-room high speed internet access, all local calls, fitness center access for two daily)

  • Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s and The Linq – $35 plus tax.
  • Cromwell, Paris and Planet Hollywood – $37 plus tax.
  • Caesars Palace – $39 plus tax.
  • Rio – $32 plus tax. *Updated from $30 May 2nd, 2018

welcome to las vegas

Cosmopolitan -$35 plus tax. (Standard high speed internet access, 24 hour fitness center access, tennis court access, unlimited local toll-free and domestic long distance calls).

Hard Rock – $33 plus tax (Internet access, daily newspaper, fitness room, shuttle service to Fashion Show Mall, local and toll-free calls, unlimited domestic long distance calls, notary service, and printing of boarding passes.

The Orleans – $21 plus tax (In-room coffee, Wi-Fi, unlimited local and toll-free calls, daily access to the fitness center, and shuttle to Las Vegas Strip)

SLS Las Vegas – $32 plus tax. (Wi-Fi, local and toll-free calls, pool and fitness center access, concierge services, valet and self-parking).

Stratosphere – $33 plus tax (Daily unlimited admission for up to four guests staying in the same room to the Stratosphere Tower, access to the fitness center, in-room Wi-Fi, 2-for-1 discount tickets to see the PIN UP show, and all-day Thrill Ride pass for a discounted price).

Ellis Island –  $17.99 plus tax (Complimentary breakfast buffet, wireless internet, complimentary airport shuttle).

Treasure Island – $35 plus tax (High-speed internet access, access to fitness center, 2-for-1 cocktail , newspaper, local and toll-free calls, boarding pass printing, and a $25 future stay credit (one per stay.) Note: TV Ad Special booked online allows RF to be waived at check in.

Tropicana – $35 plus tax (In-room internet, daily fitness center, ticket discounts, BOGO cocktails, two bottles of water in-room per stay, faxes, copies, and boarding passes in the business center, local and toll-free calls and free valet and self-parking).

The Venetian/Palazzo – $45 plus tax (Access for two to the gym, in-room Internet access, boarding pass printing, unlimited local and toll-free calls)

Westgate –  $34 plus tax (Wireless internet, local and toll-free domestic calls, access to the fitness room and resort credit towards a future stay).

Wynn/Encore  $39 plus tax (In-room Internet, unlimited local and domestic long-distance calls, and two fitness center passes per day).

This covers most of the strip and some of the surrounding hotels. We will update with Downtown Fremont and the remaining hotels soon.