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October 6, 2016

Downtown Casino Walk -- All New!

Today I'm pleased to announce a brand-new Downtown Casino Walk! I'm mostly a Strip guy myself, but some folks LOVE Downtown. Also, I have come to recognize that 8+ miles of speed walking might just be too daunting for some folks. Hopefully this new Walk is more accessible to beginners; instead of hours of walking there will be only minutes, and I figure total distance at about a mile. There is no benchmark time for this Walk yet, so get your shoes ready to explore the Fremont Street area casinos!

Rules will be the same as the Strip Casino Walk -- we will need a photo of at least one of the (same) participant(s) inside each casino, with identifiable decor and gambling activity in the photo. We will need timestamp evidence of some form -- easiest way is to post your photos to our Facebook page, or to your own and then screenshot them for us. Apps like Runkeeper get lost indoors but they are useful to confirm Start / Finish times. However we still need the pics inside the casinos to prove you were in there.

Moving walkways are permitted, trams are not, but Downtown doesn't have any that I'm aware of so never mind. Starting / Finishing points are of your choosing and order in which you visit the casinos is free.

For Downtown, we are accepting "standard" Casino Walks (just get in and out), or the new Place-A-Bet-At-Every-Casino version.

The List of Casinos required to visit is below (too bad we missed out on Las Vegas Club, Mermaids and La Bayou):

Main Street Station
California
Plaza
Golden Gate
Binion's
Golden Nugget
Fremont
Four Queens
Downtown Grand
The D
El Cortez

Have at it folks! Looking forward to what you've got!

September 28, 2016

Bet-In-Every-Casino Category Established

Due to recurring suggestions from our loyal followers, we are officially declaring a new category for Casino Walks.  This one will require placing a bet of some kind in each casino on the Strip.  This format will place a little less emphasis on outright speed, but it will take a bit longer than a "standard" Casino Walk.

The basic rules are the same as before.  The bet placed can be at a slot machine, video poker game, or table game or whatever.  For proof of the bet placed, we will require a photo of a cashout voucher from each casino.  These are time and date stamped, with the casino name, thus providing a record of the Walk stops.  Your start time will be the time stamped on the first voucher and your end time will be the time stamped on your last.

My preference is to require the photos to include the participant in selfie style alongside the vouchers, as per The Rules, in order to authenticate that the same participant(s) was/were in each casino.  However, selfies of this style might not give us enough detail to see the time and date stamp of the cashout voucher.  If you are able to take a selfie with a legible cashout voucher in the photo, then please use this method.  However I will accept just the cashout voucher photos, as long as everyone keeps honest as per The Rules.  I am aware that a highly coordinated effort by a team of people could theoretically cheat the system, by not using selfies.  Quite frankly if you've gone to that effort then you are taking this more seriously than we do.  

So let's keep it fun!  Show us what you've got!  And good luck with your bets!

September 1, 2016

Casino Walk Record Smashed!

On August 26 I was back in my Happy Place of Las Vegas and had another go at a Casino Walk.  My wife went along with me, just as in 2014, but this time we completed our mission (my wife declined to appear in the selfie photos)!  I'm happy to report that we took a significant chunk of time off the old record, and the new time to beat is...

Two Hours, 27 Minutes!

Now, I will admit that a big portion of the 21 minutes we shaved off the old record was likely due to a change in strategy.  I'd always seen the Strip as an East-West setup; I've come to realize that the far North casinos kind of form a group of their own.  Make of that what you will.  ;-)  Having said that, we walked at a torrid pace, something that our knees would remind us of for the rest of the weekend.  In my opinion, this new mark will be very tough to beat.  

However, I still think it's possible to go even quicker.  We lost a few minutes using the "wrong" exit at Mandalay Bay, as well as another few in New York New York (my wife's fault, don't ask).  Furthermore we only jaywalked once (standing motionless waiting for pedestrian crossing lights can be agonizing), and we only jogged for a few hundred feet.  

Running or jogging for even short distances would have potential to shave good amounts of time from the record.  However, I am "of a certain age" and running is really not in the playbook for me, unless perhaps a little more training beforehand might help.  But old knees are still old knees.  Sadly, this might represent my ride off into the sunset from official Casino Walk speed competition.  But then again, that could depend on whether or not this record gets topped.

As before, I have a few observations:

1. I still believe that any Casino Walk under three hours is a quite respectable achievement.
2. Casino Walks for speed are hard.  Really hard.  It probably explains why to this point there's been so few takers to the challenge.  It's three hours speed walking nearly nine miles in Nevada heat, in and out of 32 casinos...  
3. ...which is why you have to be just a bit nuts to try this.  That's what my wife says.  But that's exactly the point to me.  The feeling of accomplishment at the finish can't be denied, and even my wife came to recognize that.

I hope the new record inspires other to take up the challenge!  Even if you can't beat it, I'm still interested in what you've got!
August 12, 2016

Tropicana Avenue Pedestrian Bridges Under Reconstruction
Implications For Casino Walk Participants

As you might have heard, the Nevada Department of Transportation is undergoing a multi-year project on the pedestrian overpasses and their associated (oft-broken) escalators at the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.  My apologies for being a few months late with this update, but I only recently became aware of pedestrian bridge closures involved with this repair and renovation work.  Obviously these closures will have significant impact on Casino Walk attempts.

Here's what you need to know --

Fortunately only one bridge at a time will be closed, although each closure will be for approximately six months.  Work will progress counter-clockwise from the south bridge.  Here are the scheduled dates of these closures:

June 2016 to December 2016: South bridge (between Excalibur and Tropicana)

December 2016 to June 2017: East bridge (between Tropicana and MGM Grand)

June 2017 to December 2017: North Bridge (between MGM Grand and New York New York)

December 2017 to July 2018: West Bridge (between New York New York and Excalibur)

Keep in mind that these dates may of course vary due to construction delays and other unexpected events.  But as you can see this work will be affecting Casino Walks for at least two more years.  

Foot traffic will be diverted to the neighboring bridges, which means that navigating around a closure will require three bridges, not to mention extra escalator or stair time.  It goes without saying that some of these closures will add significant time to certain routes of Casino Walks.  If speed is your goal, that's not good.  

Be sure to check your trip dates, and plan accordingly folks!

Official Nevada DOT site: 
May 12, 2015

And then there were 32

As stated below, Riviera has closed its doors for the final time.  Effective May 5, the Current Configuration of casinos to visit on The Strip for proper completion of a Casino Walk includes only 32 casinos.  This Configuration will be noted as Configuration D, and differs from the previous Configuration by only the exclusion of Riviera.

Barring any unexpected closures, it would seem we will be operating under Configuration D for quite some time.  Interestingly, only two days after Riviera's closing, ground was finally broken on the massive Resorts World project on the site of the stalled Echelon Place property.  Resorts World is not scheduled to open until 2018, however, so there should be more than enough time to take a shot at setting a new Current Configuration record!

I don't imagine the closing of Riviera will impact Casino Walk strategies that much; due to its location and proximity to The Strip it was largely a walk-through anyway!  
February 25, 2015

Riviera to close its doors May 4

This past Monday it was announced that Riviera would be closing in just over two months to make way for a planned major expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center facilities.  As of late, Riviera might not have had the cachet it used to have, but it's tough to lose this icon of The Strip.  Riviera's been operating on The Strip in the same place, under the same name, since 1955.  Only Flamingo has done it longer.  If you're in town before the end, be sure to stop in and pay some last respects.

Obviously here at Vegas Casino Walk we have a unique perspective on this event.  Anyone wishing to make a run at the Casino Walk record in the Current Configuration had better start making plans.  Once Riviera is gone, I don't expect much change in overall strategies, but one less stop of course makes the game that much easier.  

The Current Confirguration of C will go down as the toughest we've had, with 33 casinos in play.  At present, we have no official times for this Configuration, and the only documented attempt (my own) ended in failure (see "The spirit was willing..." below).  Any contenders?  This is your last chance at glory!

On May 5 we will be officially operating under a new Configuration.  I'll be arriving in Las Vegas myself on that exact day, and I won't have the chance to make a declaration on the site here right away.  So don't try to sneak one in after the fact!
November 1, 2014

The Quad becomes The Linq

This past Thursday, October 30, saw The Quad's rebranding as The Linq finally become official.  Early reports of the refubrishing are largely positive, and there's some neat new features at its signature 3535 Lounge.  What impact will this have on Casino Walk strategies?  Well, none that we can see, unless getting into the actual casino area is a bit further walk than before.

The current Configuration will remain unchanged, except for the name change.  Check out the new Linq when you get the chance!
September 4, 2014

The Casino List grows by one

If you've read my account below of my failed Casino Walk attempt last weekend, then you know I was accompanied by my wife on that occasion.  My wife was new to the adventure and was maybe unsure of the exact requirements.  So we were in the neighborhood of Stratosphere when she asked me, "What about that place?  Do we have to go in there too?"

What about that place, indeed.  I hadn't even given it any thought on my way past it before, yet there it was, right on the marquee in big letters, "Casino".

So we stopped in there, and sure enough, it resembled something of a casino, on a very small scale.  Upon arriving home I did some more research, and I'm pleased to announce that Aztec Inn Casino has made the ranks of casinos required for a visit in order for proper completion of a Casino Walk.

It's a slot-only casino, just like Slot-A-Fun.  They have a restaurant and a bar, and from what I've read they will comp you drinks if you're gambling.  They even have rooms!  If that's not a  casino then I don't know what is.  And hey, it says so right on their sign!  And I think it might even be The Strip's closest casino in terms of actual distance to from the front door to Las Vegas Boulevard.

So the Casino List now numbers 33.  Aztec Inn is located just south of Stratosphere on the same side of Las Vegas Boulevard.  You might not see it on most Las Vegas guides, but you will see it here.  And anyway it's only a few steps out of your way, so stop on in and take a selfie while on your Casino Walk!
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September 2, 2014

The spirit was willing...

...But the flesh was weak.  Yesterday we returned from a memorable trip to Las Vegas.  As always it was a great time, but it's not without some dejection that I must say we were unable to complete our Casino Walk.  My dedicated wife and I set out from Tropicana on what was supposed to be a trial run (my wife was a little unsure of what she was getting into).  After departing Riviera we did a bit of running to put some speed under our belt, and then again after Stratosphere.  Shortly thereafter, knee pain reared its ugly head for both of us. 

We pressed on at a brisk walking pace, but the damage was already done.  Stepping down steps was punishing both of us, and by Aria we simply had to call it quits, in the hopes to preserve ourselves for an official run at the record the next day.

The next morning we both had not recovered enough to make the serious effort we knew the record would require, and with heads hanging we declared our attempt over.  Two more happy days in Vegas numbed the sting of defeat, but still we felt we had left something on the table.

At the pace we were making we felt we had a legitimate shot at the record, even with having made the new required stop at SLS (which is quite nice, by the way).  We hadn't documented our journey with selfie photos, however, so you'll have to take my word for it.  A couple things did become clear to me last weekend:

1. August is a brutal time to make these Walks.  Even starting at a little past 8am, by the time we made it to the West side of the Strip the sun was beating down on us unmercifully.  Our energy was being sapped way faster than I remembered on my original Walk, which was conducted in the moderate temps of April.

2. In my opinion the existing record is within reach, to a dedicated attempt.  Even so, I believe that anything under three hours should be considered an impressive feat, because...

3. ...The challenge of a Casino Walk is still a difficult endeavor.  If you think it's not, then stand outside of Mandalay Bay and look up at the Stratosphere in the sky.  Consider how far away that is, and remember you have to walk there and back, stopping at over 30 casinos on the way.  Quite simply, it's not for the faint of heart.  I had maybe forgotten this, with the benefit of time blurring my memory from when I first made the original Casino Walk.

If you undertake a Casino Walk, however you flavor it, we want to hear about it.  Even if you don't beat the record, we want to hear your story, your thoughts about the challenge before, during and after.  No matter how long it took you, I still tip my hat to you, and your just the special kind of crazy that makes you my kind of person.

My best to all!



August 21, 2014

SLS set to open August 23; Wreaks havoc on Casino Walk plans worldwide

We at Vegas-Casino-Walk.net are not above a little bit of hyperbole, but as the old Sahara rises from the ashes we can't help but think of the ramifications to Casino Walk strategies.  Anyone who was contemplating taking a shot at the existing record without having to stop at SLS only has a little more than 24 hours to do so.  Personally, I think the existing record has been ripe for the picking for some time.  If one had embarked on a Stratosphere-to-Riviera strategy (or vice versa), one could possibly have saved a significant chunk of time.

I'm headed to Las Vegas next week and that was exactly my plan.  The original date of opening was to be Labor Day weekend, but it was moved up one week when opening preparations proceeded quicker than expected.  So alas, I will now have to stop at SLS also...

In any case, we here at Vegas-Casino-Walk.net are excited to see Stratosphere have some company once again up there on Sahara Avenue.  We look forward to stopping in and checking out the new digs, hopefully for more than just a run-through!  But then it's time to get serious...

In light of the SLS opening, it's my view that any serious Casino Walk record attempt henceforth will have to begin at Mandalay Bay and end at Tropicana, or vice versa (as I've mentioned previously in Strategies under Casino Walk Explained).  I simply think too much time is lost going down to Mandalay Bay and doubling back otherwise.  With a visit to SLS now being mandatory for an official Casino Walk, it's likely that the current overall record will be very difficult to break.  

If there are any of you out there in Las Vegas right now who might like to make your mark on the Official Time Chart, now might be your time to act!  Because next week, I'm bringing my best shot!  And I don't like to lose...

Have a great weekend everyone!