Only in Vegas is not just a maxim for the ages. It’s a phrase that packs a power punch. Las Vegas has always been the place where whatever happens there stays there and the phrase remains a perennial sales tag pegging the city as the ideal spot to let loose, go wild, spend money, have fun and recharge.
So, it is not unusual to find a plethora of crazy things to do that will not likely be so available and accessible anywhere else.
“Las Vegas is a welcoming destination for both domestic and international visitors who find the hospitality options to be second to none and who discover they can do things here that they will not be able to do elsewhere,” says Michael Goldsmith, Vice President of Marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
To start, consider these “only in Vegas” experiences:
Axe marks the spot. Where else can you learn to throw axes? Axe Monkeys, in a location a few miles east of the Las Vegas Strip, has 23 axe-throwing lanes where you can aim your implement and hit a bull’s eye. Or not. And if axes are not the tool of choice, Axe Monkeys offers spears, knives, anything with a dangerous point — and safe cages where venting anger is all the rage. Rates run $25/hour.
Tanking the car. We have all had the urge at some point in our lives to tank a car – maybe not our car, but a car, perhaps in front of us, or the neighbor’s that belches smog and lacks a muffler. Well, only in Las Vegas can tanking-the-car fantasies come to life. It all happens at Battlefield Vegas, located on Industrial Road, just west of the Las Vegas Strip. Car and tank are provided, all coming at a one-time cost of $2,500. For those in need of more, there is the mini-gun range that allows patrons to fire an M-134, that unloads some 4000 rounds a minute. Other weapons include sniper rifles, sub-machine guns, pistols, shot guns. Packaged experiences start at $100 and come with free military Humvee hotel pick up.
Digging Las Vegas. Boston had its decades-long Big Dig but Las Vegas has its Dig This attraction that allows visitors to move dirt to their hearts content around an excavation site just west of the I-15 near the Strip. Guests can take the levers of a bulldozer or manage a lumbering excavator at an admission cost of around $269 for 90 minutes. Group bonding or ice-breaker options are available for rates starting at $720 and guaranteeing each participant 30-60 minutes of pure earth moving bliss.
Vegas Ghost Adventures. Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventuresis hosted by a Las Vegas native who recently opened his own scary tour where ghosts are on call and the paranormal becomes the norm. The Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum is a circa 1938, 11,000 square-foot property east of the Strip near the Downtown area. It was once owned by a prominent business man and is now owned by hostile spirits. The house is fraught with stories and replete with oddities collected from other unsavory places. Tours run 90 minutes and cost $44. Age restrictions apply.
Zombie Encounters. It’s easy to find zombies in Las Vegas but this only-in-Vegas experience keeps it all Downtown with the Fear of theWalking Dead Survival attraction based on the AMC TV series. Find it at the Fremont Street Experience and enjoy a part special EFX, part human interactive attraction that includes motion rides, mazes, incongruous spaces and an immersive preview of post-apocalyptic life in Las Vegas. Tickets cost $30 and the attraction is open until 1am most nights, 2am on weekends.
Crack the Case. Inside every Las Vegas visitor is a crime solver wannabe and only in Vegas can visitors let their inner detective out. At MGM Grand’s CSI: The Experience, individuals and groups get to test their forensics mettle at a crime scene and lab combo set based on the popular television franchise. The attraction includes special equipment guests can use in pursuit of their answers as they gather evidence and work with interactive displays. Open 9am to 9pm daily, the experience costs $28, but can be combined as a threesome with other MGM Mirage attractions for $57. Those would include Shark Reef Aquarium, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Bodies, Titanic, the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat The Mirage and more.
Golf … in The Twilight Zone. Bally’s Hotel & Casino lets guests putt and bowl in the fourth dimension at the Twilight Zone Mini-Golf arena. An 18-hole mini golf course and bowling alley (and wedding chapel) in the hotel’s lower level contains a variety of creative sets and black-lit spaces all themed around the legendary television series of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Explorers welcome to walk around for free, at their own peril. Mini-golf starts at $12.
Race a Ferrari. Or make that a Lamborghini, a McLaren, a Corvette, or a souped up race car. The Audi R8 or the Benz AMG S65 Coupe are also in the line-up. In fact, at Exotics Racing there are 23 supercars that can be tested, bested, raced, run and revved around a professional speedway racecourse with options that include lessons at a race car driving school, exotic car racing, ride-alongs and Michelin time world challenges. Two laps start at $99.
Days of wine and chocolates … in the desert. Wine and chocolate make a divine combination in the desert cactus gardens at Ethel M’s. The Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Henderson (the M is for Mars Bar — invented here) offers complimentary chocolate making (and tasting) tours that can be followed by wine and chocolate pairings. Four hand-picked Trinchero wines along with some interesting education are matched with four perfectly complementary sweets. The sessions last around 40 minutes and cost $15.
Jump from the 108thfloor. For those with a death wish or others who want to cheat the reaper SkyJump Las Vegas is a must. Visitors get to plunge at 40 mph toward the sidewalk nearly a fifth of a mile below from the roof of the Stratosphere Tower on bouncy bungee cords. Bragging rights come with the ticket, which runs $120 ($130-150 with photo/video package). The attraction is age-, height- and weight-restrictive. Only one rider at a time can jump and repeated jumps can be had for half price. The experience takes about 45 minutes with suiting and training.
For more information, check out VisitLasVegas.com for commissionable selling opportunities in Las Vegas.