Gay Guru: Vegas Bound in Voluntown

Dear Gay Guru,

I’m going to Las Vegas for 3-4 days on Labor Day weekend and I’m looking for some tips on what to do, what to see, what to eat, and what to avoid. Dazzle me with your wisdom.  Thank you!

P.S I’ll be staying at the MGM Grand!

Sincerely, Vegas Bound in Voluntown



Dearest Vegas Bound,

Oh how exciting darling! As you well know I’m sure, I just love Las Vegas. As I’ve mentioned many times before, my very own mother lives in Vegas and performs as Showgirl on the famous Las Vegas Strip, so I travel there quite often.  I imagine, like me, you’re flying first class which is a great start to your holiday weekend trip!

The Las Vegas MGM Grand is a great location for exploring the Strip.  As soon as you get there, proceed immediately across the Street to the New York, New York hotel and purchase tickets to Cirque du Soliel’s “Zumanity.” It’s Cirque’s naughty Las Vegas show. It’s very burlesque and wonderful. Another wonderful thing is that, as with almost all Cirque venue’s, there is almost never a bad seat in the house. So go right ahead and buy the cheap seats and don’t be embarrassed for being such a cheap-skate. You won’t be sorry.

If people watching is your thing, then Vegas is certainly the town for you. Make your way over to the Cosmopolitan Casino Hotel, almost every night around 9 p.m., the “ho train” rolls in with just gaggles of girls in very short dresses and excessively high and pointy heels. Watching them attempt to walk on the high-gloss floors is….well it’s hysterical.  Make your way to the Chandelier Bar for a drink with a view in what I think is the most fabulous bar on the strip.

You absolutely cannot miss the Fountains at the Bellagio. It sounds so trite, but they’re really awe-inspiring.  Columns of water that spurt several stories into the air, choreographed to music. So exciting! If you’re lucky you’ll catch the show that’s paired to Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s duet of “Time to Say Goodbye.” It’s beautiful and brings a tear to my eye every time.  If you’re so unlucky as to catch the show that’s paired to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” you’ll be one of hundreds of tourists vomiting into the fountain, so you won’t feel alone.

A great dining option, if you want a fancy and pricey meal (oh go ahead, you saved so much money on those Zumanity tickets….treat yourself) then head across the street to the Eifel Tower restaurant. You can save some money, and having to dress up by eating in the bar. If you would like to dine in the restaurant, it’s a jacket and tie sort of place, so plan accordingly. The restaurant looks out over the Bellagio Fountains and the view never disappoints.

It’s very important that you know darling, that Las Vegas is HUGE. The casinos on the strip all appear to be smashed together and as  though they will be an easy and close walk from where you are….this is blithely untrue! If you’re planning on going any further than across the street or next door one or two properties, take a cab. You see darling, in addition to the hotels not being as close as they appear, Vegas in September is still just a few degrees cooler than the surface of the sun. It’s also a dry heat, and while I just adore that because I have a tendency to be shvitzy in Connecticut’s summer humidity, the mere 4-6% humidity of the Nevada Desert will just wipe you out. So dearest Vegas Bound, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!!

If games of chance are your thing and you’re looking to do some serious gaming, it’s worth taking a trip to an off-strip “locals” casino like the Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, or the Red Rock Resort in Summerlin. Both are about 20 minutes from the strip by cab. The play at the local’s casinos is usually better than the strip. Their machines have a tendency to be a little looser, and you get more play for the money. Wherever you play, make sure to sign up for their player’s club card.

Now, if your tastes are for something a little more torrid dear sweet Vegas Bound….hello, it’s Las Vegas…do you really need my advice for that?  You can guarantee you’re never far from a hooker. But if pay for play isn’t your thing you my two go-to’s are and The latter of which will highlight all of the local foot-tapping locations for you. There’s a lot and just thinking of them aggravates my now arthritic ankle, so I’m not going to list them out for you here.

As always, whatever “games” you involve yourself in play smart, and play safe!!! Have a wonderful trip darling!

~Gay Guru