Shopping on the cheap

The outlet malls, how far away from the Strip are they? Are they worth half a day away from the action? How the heck do you get there?

(Regina, Saskatchewan)

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There's no shortage of ways to spend money in Las Vegas. If gambling and shows aren't enough to fill your trip, you could do like the smart locals (and savvy tourists) and head to one of the area outlet centers, just don't expect your wild Vegas experience to continue in the stores. You'll find some good deals, but they're pretty much just like any other outlet mall you've ever visited. There's nothing stereotypically "Vegas-ey" about them.

But if cost-conscious shopping is on your agenda, the Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas, located 40 miles south in Primm, Nevada, contains many high-end retailers at up to 75 percent discount. That sounds like a great bargain, but don't forget to take into account that original prices were in the upper hundreds of dollars. A daily Shoppers' Shuttle is available from the Las Vegas Strip with departures from the MGM Grand, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood and the Fashion Show Mall (by Treasure Island). The round-trip fare is $15 and includes a coupon book with more than $800 in savings at participating stores. The shuttles do fill up -- and these are full-sized motor coaches -- so reservations are recommended for this outing.

A little closer to the Strip are the Las Vegas Premium Outlets where you can find discounts of 25 to 65 percent. There is a city bus that drops off and picks up here, but a cab ride isn't going to be too bad. I really recommend skipping the hassle of a bus ride and spring for the taxi.

There really isn't much difference between the two outlets other than the stores they contain. If you're in the market for a particular brand you'll want to check each outlet's directory before making a decision on which to visit.

However, you don't have to travel off the Strip or leave the city altogether in order to spend good shopping money. Most of the larger, newer hotels contain a mall's worth of shops, ranging from the super-pricey (just check out any of the jewelry stores in ANY of the upscale casinos) to the moderately high-end (FCUK at the Venetian Shoppes). There aren't many great bargains to be found in these places, but the merchandise is top-notch.

My personal favorite place to browse and buy is the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. The interior has a canal running through it, as the gondoliers sing opera to passengers and sometimes passers-by. There's also Le Boulevard at Paris, where you can stroll on cobblestone streets while perusing all things Parisian. And if you tire of walking, take a trip up the Eiffel Tower replica to survey the scene. The faux skylines makes it feel as if you're outdoors... but you'll be thankful in the summertime that you're not, and that Las Vegas has some of the best climate control systems in the world.

33 responses to “Shopping on the cheap”

  1. Steve the Texan said:

    Las Vegas is always busy, but you're not likely to run into any of the super-crowded conditions seen at certain other times of the year. As for clubs, here is a link that may be helpful:
    * Clubs and ultra-lounges

  2. eugzyd said:

    hello, I'm travelling to Vegas in the 2 week of october will it be busy around that time? and where is the best club to go for 21-30 age group thanks

  3. Steve the Texan said:

    The Mirage is just about right in the middle of the Strip. The location is very good. The Premium Outlet mall is about 4 miles or so away, so cab fare won't be too bad.

    The Mirage is completely surrounded by restaurants; far too many to list. I would, however, recommend stopping by Caesars Palace next door to peruse their collection of especially find eateries.

  4. Roxie said:

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Las Vegas, was thinking on staying at the Mirage. Is this centrally located on the strip? I will absolutlely be wanting to do some bargain shopping and also wanted to know how far the premium outlet mall is from the mirage? One more question, what restaurants are close to that area?

  5. pet said:

    we are attending a short short convention this january 2012 staying at the bellagio. we only have one day to shop. any recommendations (should be near the bellagio) for an outlet store/mall?

  6. Steve the Texan said:

    Anne, either of the outlet malls mentioned in this article would be fine for what you're looking for. You may want to follow the links and check out the store maps to see if there are any particular spots you want to make sure and visit.

    Do remember to keep your expectations on prices realistic. The prices at the Las Vegas outlets are about the same as what are found at other outlet malls across the county.

  7. Anne said:

    A co-worker and I are taking our daughters(8yrs old) to Vegas for back to school clothes shopping. We are only staying one night. We both work for an airline and that's all the time we could get off. We arrive at 9am and will be ready to shop. Any suggestions on Outlets with stores for kids?

  8. Steve the Texan said:

    Here's a link that may be helpful, Lofi:

    * Las Vegas weather / What to pack

    A Foot Locker store is found in the Fashion Show mall, located just slightly off the Strip near the Wynn.

  9. Lofi said:

    my partner and i are going to vegas on the 2nd week of november for 5 days.what is the weather like at that time and what r somethings that you would recommend to do there.i also like to go shopping,is there a footlocker near the aria hotel and casino

  10. Steve the Texan said:

    You're not really going to find any better deals on electronics in Las Vegas than in your hometown, Sam. There is an Apple Store in the Fashion Show Mall on the Strip, but you won't find any special discounts. There's also a Fry's Electronics in Vegas, and that's heaven for electronic geeks, but it's also no different from the Fry's found in any other city.

  11. Sam said:

    where is the best place to shop for electronic goods in Vegas. ipads etc

  12. Steve the Texan said:

    Las Vegas weather in early April is usually pleasant -- warm without being too hot. It can vary, of course, so you'll want to keep an eye on the short-term forecast as your trip draws near. Here is a link to a page with more information about weather and what to bring for different times of year:

    * Las Vegas weather; What to pack

    Old Las Vegas means Downtown. Catch a taxi anywhere and tell the driver that is where you'd like to go. If he asks for a specific hotel, the Golden Nugget is in the middle of the area.

    I love that part of town, but it's much more about gambling than the Strip. It's also small, so wandering from end to end won't take long. Visit during the nighttime hours to catch a light and sound show, called "the Fremont Street Experience" on the canopy that shades the main section of Downtown.

  13. monica said:

    We are going to Vegas first week of April what kind
    of clothing should we bring and how can we get what are good restaurants in the area. And also
    we would like to go to old Las Vegas, can you tell me the best way to get there and what to expect.

  14. Darlene Marchand said:

    I would like to know about larger size stores in Vegas. it is our first time there.and like to shop

  15. Steve the Texan said:

    Dublin Dec, if it's a limited-run show you want to see -- a big star performing only a few concerts, for example -- you may be able to book now, or very soon from now. Take a look at the links on our show page to see what may be available for your long-range planning.

  16. Dublin Dec said:

    heading to vegas just after christmas when is the earliest i can book a show

  17. Steve the Texan said:

    Short answer: It'll be hot. You might also want to take a look at the FTLV weather page for more specifics and some advice on how to deal with the heat.

  18. kim said:

    what can I expect for weather around the middle of June this year.

  19. Karina Bright and Shiny said:

    Your favorite national retailers can be found anywhere there is a mall and Las Vegas has plenty. The Fashion Show mall is your best bet as it is located on the Strip just a across the avenue from the Wynn. There you'll find Macy's, Footlocker and Victoria's Secret all bundled together alongside the designer boutiques. Take comfortable walking shoes, this place is massive.

  20. sasha said:

    Im going to las vegas next week, and i just dont knw what to expect.. do the have stores such as victoria secrets, footlocker and Macys..

  21. Steve the Texan said:

    Lindy, the National Finals Rodeo is held in Las Vegas Dec. 2-11, 2010.

  22. lindy said:

    myself and three girl friends have booked to go to vegas in December 2010 we were told a lot of cowboys would be there then? If so are there things organised for that time? We are staying at Circus Circus any hints?

  23. carolann said:

    im going to vegas in feb 2010 can you tell me if they have big stores like macy,s

  24. Pico N. Alvarado said:

    Be advised that, by law, Las Vegas cabs will NOT pick up a "hailing" fare, called a "flag" locally. Especially on Las Vegas Boulevard. Almost any place you want to leave from or go to has a cab stand, including every outlet mall, shopping center, casino and strip club in town. Every cabbie carries, by taxi regulation, a book with every street in Clark County, NV, in it. It's about the size of a Manhattan phone book.

    Unless you really enjoy the LV BLVD Death March in summer, you'll find cabs and our local city bus system to be great ways to get around, particularly in the Resort Corridor. All-day bus passes are cheap, and the double-decker "Deuce" is worth the ride down the Strip in itself.

    To drive your car from one hotel half a mile to the next one is akin to dropping a brick on your toe. Most of the parking structures are nearly a 1000' walk from the casino floor.

    So, if you were to walk out to you car to MGM, start your car (or rental car), maneuver down to the street, deal with the traffic to, say, Paris, park it in Paris' garage and walk into the Paris, you would have walked more than half a mile.

    Or, yo might have just walked out to the bus stop, paid your cheap fare, let some else drive the bus, and gotten off the bus at Paris, probably a lot faster than driving, looking for the entrances, juggling a map, waiting for traffic lights, etc.

    The Doorman at your hotel is more than happy to get you a cab at any time. It's a part of his job, but it's polite to tip him for this small service.

    If you walk past the taxis at the cab stand in front of your hotel and saunter down to The Strip then attempt to hail a cab, you have just wasted a walk. And, we all charge the same amount, set by law.

    One small tip: a GOOD LV Cabbie will not take you down the Strip unless you specifically request it. If you find yourself in a cab on Paradise Road or Dean Martin (aka, Industrial), that's because those are the fast routes that the locals and the cabs use.

    As for McCarran Airport to Resort Corridor taxis, be advised that smart cabbies ALWAYS know when flights are due in, and from where. We can access this information on-line. The distribution of cabs varies at McCarran by time of day because Arrival Times are concentrated in certain times of day.

    I have, however, never flown into town and waited more than 5 minutes for a cab, even at 0330 on a Sunday. Usually, there is a line of taxis, with official McCarran Taxi Dudes ushering you towards the Next Available Cab.

    Somewhere around 30 million people use our airport annually, and we try to get them onto and off of planes and to their destinations as quickly possible, consistent with Good Hospitality.

    We really DO Do This For Money, and, if we don't do it Well, you won't be back. So we try to make it as seamless as possible.

    P.S.: The Monorail doesn't go to McCarran. Neither do the Gondolas at the Venetian. Sorry 'bout that.

  25. tony said:

    we are going to vegas and we are staying at the luxor the first week in jan 2010 , is there a way to get these so called free coupons for meals there?

  26. Alan Lagden said:

    I want to go to one of the shopping malls outside the strip, and took your comments of get a taxi there is cheap and easy, but how easy is it to get a cab back please.

  27. jane from the UK said:

    hi we are going on christmas day will there be any taxi's at the airport or should i try and book one in advance please

  28. neil said:

    Iam going out for new year.Do they bring in the new year like
    we do?

  29. Isabelle said:

    I am going to Vegas in November (first week) and I'm wondering about the day time and night time weather. What should I pack for clothing?

  30. Steve the Texan said:


    The weather may be a little chilly, especially after the sun goes down, but not likely too terribly cold. More than likely some mid-weight layers an a medium jacket will do you fine. Keep an eye on the forecast in the days before your departure, though:

  31. Kelly said:

    I have going to Vegas in 4 weeks time and I have no idea what to take to wear. What can I expect from the weather?

  32. Steve the Texan said:

    Here's an answer from Karina Bright and Shiny:

    February can be cool in Las Vegas on cloudy, windy days. But don't count on bluster, by the end of the month the typical high temperature in Las Vegas is in the mid-60s. You can get away with long-sleeved shirts and a light sweater, and really that's only if you plan to spend any significant amount of time outside. Nights tend to be chillier and you'd do well to bring a lightweight trench or sweater coat for a little extra warmth. But if you're just going to be in the casinos, it's an even 74 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

  33. elaine said:

    im going 2 vegas in feb 2010 what sort of weather can i expect .thanks

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