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Las Vegas Airport Mini Guide
What’s the Attraction of Las Vegas?
Las Vegas bills itself as the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ and with over half its revenue coming from entertainment and gambling, it’s not hard to see why. Initially a railroad town, it gained momentum after the construction of the nearby Hoover Dam created Lake Mead and then grew again after the legalisation of gambling in 1931. Initially funded by the mafia, huge casinos and accompanying hotels began to spring up in the 50s. Today, many of the themed hotels from the heydays of the 80s have been demolished or revamped into contemporary luxury hotels where although the casinos remain their life blood, they now offer a variety of top shows, exhibitions, fine dining and extravagant pools.
How do I get to Las Vegas?
From the UK
you can fly with BA, Thomas Cook or Virgin, directly into McCarran International Airport. From across the globe last year over 44m people arrived there through McCarran making it the 15th busiest airport in the world. The city is only five miles away from McCarran and there are several bus routes taking you directly to the strip. Taxis and rental cars offer alternative methods of getting to your destination.
What is the Airport Like?
The airport has two terminals with Terminal 1 being the busiest having 96 gates arranged around four concourses, whilst Terminal 2 takes all international flights. A new terminal is being built which will increase the capacity of the airport to 53m passengers. The airport is typically Vegas in having over a thousand slot machines around the site should you be unable to wait before trying your luck. Many of the hotels have check in desks at the airport with MGM being the most notable.
What can I Expect When I Land at McCarran Airport?
You’ll be pleased to hear that because of the extreme heat in the Las Vegas Valley, all arriving flights deposit passengers directly into the concourses via air bridges. The terminal is fully air conditioned so it’s not until you step outside you’ll get the full effect of the Nevada climate. From the concourses you’ll walk along to security before entering the terminal building. Down an escalator you’ll find where to collect your luggage and can then proceed into the arrivals hall. If you’ve been offered airport check in by your hotel, go to the hotel chain’s desk and present your documentation with your luggage which will then be transported directly to the hotel. Many of the hotels also offer a free shuttle but you may want to collect a rental car from the airport so you can explore the Nevada Desert and its attractions. The rental companies are in a separate building to which a shuttle bus will take you from the transportation level.
What can I do in the Airport on the day of my Departure?
Again, many of you will have your baggage taken to the airport by your hotels but you’ll need to check them in yourself. Once that’s completed you can use up your last few dollars on the airport slots or take fewer risks spending it in the boutiques and stores in the airport shopping mall. Many who come to Las Vegas are fabulously wealthy and a lot of the shops reflect that. Equally, some of the airport restaurants require a fat wallet but there are cheaper options. For online checking of what’s left in your bank account or ensuring that the casino really has deposited that million dollar win, there’s free Wi-Fi available.