The people at Vegas.com get a lot of strange questions at their call center. For instance:
``I'm coming to Vegas and I'd like to shoot my friend out of a cannon." Sorry, the caller was told, ``We can't in good conscience help arrange this."
``My wife and I would like to make a home video in our hotel room. Can you arrange for the hotel videographer to give us a hand?" Sorry, the caller was told, ``We're all about personal service but this is a bit over the line."
``Hi, I'd like to book the best ocean-view room in Vegas." Sorry, the caller -- and many others who have posed the same question -- was told, ``There will never be an ocean-view room in Vegas."
``I'd like to have condoms taped to the leaves of a tree and placed in the entryway of my [hotel] room. I'll also need the bathtub filled with beer and wine coolers." Sorry, pal.
So what kind of help can you get from Vegas.com, which bills itself as the largest city destination travel website in the world? Many things about booking trips, seeing shows, touring, and even playing golf (though not at an oceanside course ). What I find the website handy for is ways to save once you arrive in Las Vegas, which is adding upscale (read ``expensive") properties and restaurants faster than you can lose your bankroll at a gambling table. OK, maybe not that fast, but it helps to know, for instance, where you can get a pretty good meal for not much. Here are some of the site's suggestions:
The Gambler's Special at Mr. Lucky's 24/7 in the Hard Rock Hotel ( hardrockhotel.com ) for $7.77. The meal consists of a steak, three grilled shrimp, a choice of potato or broccoli , and a salad. The special is not on the menu, however; you have to ask your server for it.
You won't find Ellis Island's $4.95 steak special on the menu, either. But if you ask, you will get a 10- ounce steak, potato, bread, and green beans. I have enjoyed this meal, with a glass of root beer, brewed on the premises. Ellis Island Casino & Brewery ( ellisislandcasino.com) is a block east of the Strip.
If surf and turf is your preference, for $12.95 you can get steak and lobster at the Best Western's Mardi Gras Cafe on Paradise Road ( bestwestern.com ).
An $8.95 prime rib dinner at the Suncoast's Cafe Siena, in northwest Vegas, includes baked potato, grilled vegetables, dinner salad, and a beer ( suncoastcasino.com ).
At the Gold Coast 's Monterey Room , you can get the works for $9.95: a 16-ounce T-bone steak, baked beans, dinner salad, onion rings, potato wedges, garlic bread , and a 12-ounce draft beer. The hotel and casino ( goldcoastcasino.com ) is on Flamingo Road.
Still too rich for your blood? Then head downtown for Aloha Specialties at the California , where $2.85 gets you a chicken Super Bowl over rice with choice of teriyaki sauce or gravy; a hamburger with macaroni salad; or a teri burger with macaroni salad.
What's that? You're low on funds because you lost at the aforementioned gaming tables? Well, for 75 cents, you can buy a hot dog from a vendor's cart at the sports book at the Gold Coast, or for 99 cents you can have a shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate downtown ( goldengatecasino.net ), the snack bar inside the Plaza, also downtown ( plazahotelcasino.com ) , or the deli at Arizona Charlie's Boulder ( arizonacharlies.com ). A shrimp cocktail is also available at the Skyline Restaurant and Casino in Henderson, but you'll pay more. It's a dollar.
For more dining deals, visit vegas.com/restaurant/specials.html . (And remember that prices are always subject to change.) For customer support or calling in your own wacky question, the number is 866-998-3427 .
Visit nynycasino.com and click on Promotions.
Visit palms.com or call 866-942-7777.
When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy . Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Contact Richard P. Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org.