Casino Walk Explained
So what exactly is a Casino Walk? It entails is stepping into every casino on Las Vegas Boulevard (commonly known as The Strip) in one continuous journey. Not every hotel on The Strip has a casino, and not every casino is attached to a hotel. A casino is defined as a place where gambling takes place, be it slot machines only, or slots and table games.
As I embarked on my original Casino Walk in 2013, I was attempting to do this in as little time as possible. When I first spoke of this to a co-worker of mine in early 2014, he was determined to try it himself while in Vegas that April. And while he was not sure he could beat my time, he was still quite interested in just how quickly he could do it.
I thought there might be other similar-minded people who might also like to attempt this unique endeavor. You can shoot for a quick time, or simply embark on a Casino Walk as a unique way to enjoy The Strip! Either way, we want to hear about your adventure. So I built this site to be the website of record for Casino Walk attempts.
The Challenge of the Casino Walk
There are currently 32 active casinos operating on The Strip. The Strip is commonly stated to be roughly 4.2 miles long, meaning that a walk of the Strip down and back would encompass a total distance of around 8.4 miles. For the purposes of a Casino walk, the total distance could be slightly less than that, depending on starting and ending points (eliminating the need to "double back" certain sections). In runner's parlance, you would be talking about a 13K event.
But it's not quite that simple.
In order to establish oneself into each casino for a properly completed Casino Walk (see: Rules), you would be walking a total distance much further than that. As anyone who's ever been to Las Vegas knows, there are very few direct ways to anything, and the entrances to the casinos vary widely in their distance from Las Vegas Boulevard. The process of getting into and out of these facilities adds considerable length to the total distance covered (and thus time) while walking the length of The Strip.
Further complicating completion of a Casino Walk in as quickly a time as possible is the fact that Las Vegas is a pretty busy place, and most people get around The Strip on foot a good portion of the time. So the sidewalks can get pretty crowded at certain times of the day. This certainly hampers anyone trying to get thorugh these areas at anything more than a leisurely pace.
Over on the Origins page I note my route for my original Casino Walk; I started the clock at Riviera, and ended at Encore. At the time Sahara was still closed and had not yet reopened as SLS, so the walk from Riviera up to Stratosphere was essentially wasted time. Had I started the clock at Stratosphere I could have finished at Riviera. That long, lonely distance from Riviera to Stratosphere would only have needed to have been traversed once, saving considerable time.
Now that SLS is open, this point becomes fairly moot. However, the sections between Riviera and SLS, and between Stratosphere and Circus Circus, are farily devoid of foot traffic. These would have been an excellent sections in which to jog or run, further reducing the potential elapsed time. Unfortunately I've come to discover that at my age my knees are not exactly suited to running on concrete! Your fitness level may differ, offering you additional opportunity to reduce time.
But still there is the Mandalay Bay problem. Mandalay Bay sits at the furthest southern end of The Strip, much farther south than Tropicana on the other side of Las Vegas Boulevard. There is no casino directly across the street from Mandalay Bay, and this will necessitate a certain amount of "doubling back" over the route you have just walked. It helps that Luxor and Excalibur are connected through a series of walkways and malls, but the doubling back is unavoidable unless you begin or end your Casino Walk at Mandalay Bay.
Now that SLS is open for business, I believe that most serious "speed" attempts at a Casino Walk will begin at Madalay Bay and end at Tropicana, or vice versa. This will prevent the time loss of doubling back due to the Mandalay Bay problem. SLS and Stratosphere are not exactly across the street from each other either, but at least the distance disparity is not as great as at the southern end.
The other challenge of a Casino Walk is negotiating the large amount of foot traffic along Las Vegas Boulevard. There's a lot of people visiting Las Vegas at any given time, and most of them aren't in as big a hurry as we might be! I found the early morning time to be ideal for my original Casino Walk, and by early morning in Las Vegas that meant I embarked at 8:43. There's a lot less people out then, making brisk walking much easier. But given that you're going to be at it for several hours, by the time you finish the sidewalks might be full anyway!