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Weekend Pass

Viva Las Vegas

Military discounts help make weekends in 'Sin City' affordable

Northwest Guardian

Published: 11:46AM September 27th, 2012
Viva Las Vegas

Julie Smith/Northwest Guardian

Visitors await the next "Fountains of Bellagio" show along the Las Vegas strip.

The glitz, the glamour, the nightlife — Las Vegas has it all. And with military discounts for lots of Vegas attractions and venues, Sin City has returned to its roots as an affordable destination. Keep in mind that many of these discounts require a valid military ID card or may only be offered to active duty service members, so remember to get clarification.

Hotel accommodations

Hotels almost always offer some sort of lodging discount for military personnel. While the discount is usually minimal, hotel rooms in Vegas can be had for as little as $40 per night on The Strip, depending on the season and the day of the week. Downtown hotels are usually a little cheaper at about $30 per night, costing a little more on the weekends.

Las Vegas hotels have become destinations in themselves with elaborate themes, and some offer free entertainment, such as laser light shows, fountain shows, or lounge acts. Call the hotel directly to ask about military room discounts.

Entertainment discounts

Entertainment is a big industry in Las Vegas, and a trip to the city wouldn’t be complete without tickets to a show. Some shows offer steep discounts — as much as half off — to military personnel. Irene Robles, a concierge at the MGM Grand, advises individuals to decide which show they want to see and when, and then call the hotel box office directly to receive the discount.

“It never hurts to ask,” Robles said, encouraging visitors to plan ahead and remember that not all shows offer military discounts.

Las Vegas has culture, too

Believe it or not, Sin City has several attractions that appeal to the cultural side of Vegas. There are several museums to choose from, including the newest one, the Museum of Law Enforcement and Organized Crime. Housed in a former federal courthouse, the museum chronicles the battle between organized crime and law enforcement, highlighting the peak of mob activity in Las Vegas in the 1960s. The ticket discount is $4 with a valid military ID card.

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino has it’s own Gallery of Fine Art, featuring paintings by famous artists and a photography exhibit. Admission is $10 with a valid military ID card. Opening in October, The Neon Museum offers a unique record of the history of Las Vegas through a collection of classic neon signs from the 1940s to present day and will offer a $6 military discount.

Where to find adventure

Beyond the scenery of flashy Las Vegas, visitors can enjoy sights of a different sort. Just a short distance from the city is Red Rock Canyon, a popular destination for hikers, bikers, joggers and rock climbers.

Other areas worth visiting include Old Nevada, a replica of a wild west town complete with horseback riding, cowboys and fake gunfights. Another destination, Boulder City, lies 30 miles east of the Las Vegas strip on the way to Lake Mead. This town, built in the 1930s for Hoover Dam construction workers and their families, is the only Nevada city that does not allow public gaming.

For thrills of a different nature, try the 800-foot-long zip-line over Fremont Street, or thrill rides located 100 stories above the ground at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino.

For more information, visit these websites:

Nellis Air Force Base MWR: Military discount blog: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority: Visitor information: