Driving a 300 BHP Dodge Challenger in Vegas: 3-day trip to the Sin City
My wife wanted us to get the open-top BMW 440i as she was not comfortable with the muscle car.
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Who does not like to travel, we are no different. I like it more than my spouse, so I am the one who is always planning trips.
I, anyway, travel quite a bit for work (at least once a month) but, they are usually boring trips that are work-related and leave no time to throw in any personal stuff (except once in a while, I drive my rental cars to nice places whenever I get some time off work).
Travelling out of state/country needs a lot of time and planning in advance. Hence, it’s hard to plan vacations that are outside the state/country often.
When my wife mentioned she had a day off due to Columbus Day (Gosh, these Americans imagine up something to create a holiday- Well, can’t blame them they don’t have the yearlong festivals that we have in India, so they need to cook up something to give themselves a holiday, don’t they? Haha!)
Anyways, due to the long weekend on Oct 9th. We planned just a few days earlier that week that we should make a trip to Las Vegas. Honestly, due to family in Boston, most of our trips are concentrated in that area (Covered the entire East Coast) and we haven’t gone on real vacations to other places in the US.
This was our first-ever trip to the “Sin City” and we were excited. The plan was simple :
- Seattle to Las Vegas: Saturday flight.
- Las Vegas to Seattle: Tuesday morning flight.
I had to be back in Seattle on Tuesday as I had a flight later in the afternoon to San Francisco for a work trip for the rest of that week. So, it was a hectic week of travel.
Tickets booked, Hotels Booked (2 Nights in Hilton, 1 Night in Rio) with one night free and the other night at 50% off due to the points that I had, the next thing to do was to book a rental car.
I’m a gold member at Hertz and normally use that for official purposes. I checked with my membership and was shocked to see that run-of-the-mill cars (Small compact SUVs or Sedans) were priced at about $100/day, better cars were even more expensive.
I immediately discarded the thought of using HERTZ and decided to check out “TURO” which is a popular rental app platform where individual car owners put their cars out for rent.
Typically, TURO is also quite expensive. Best part about Turo is there are plenty of expensive car choices (you can rent a Porsche, Ferrari, BMW etc.) if you can afford those high-cost rentals.
I browsed and shortlisted the following 2 cars:
- 2017 BMW 440i which was an open top costing $120/day ++ taxes & insurance
- 2023 Dodge Challenger that was listed at $85/day ++ taxes & insurance
Wifey wanted us to get the BMW as she was not comfortable with a Challenger and wanted an open-top BWM. But I chose the Challenger obviously due to its lower price (there was a deal on it).
Thank God for my decision, as we anyways could not have used the open top as Las Vegas was scorching hot with temps hovering between 90-95F. Imagine, going from a 50F temps in Seattle to that scorching heat.
With all bookings done, it was decided we will park the Blau Rakete at SEATAC as I was comfortable parking it for 3 days and not any longer.
With this plan set in motion, we were excited for our trip.
I will break up this photoblog into different sections and keep the dialogue to a minimum.
Hope you enjoy the pictures and videos taken from iPhone 13 Promax and iPhone 14 Promax.
We landed in the afternoon and the Dodge Challenger was waiting for us in the parking lot at the LV International Airport with the keys inside the car. It was a smooth experience getting hold of the car. After settling down in the car, we made our way out of the airport and headed straight to the hotel to check-in.
It was a Hilton and we made sure to select the hotel away from the “Vegas Strip”.
We wanted to stay in one of those fancy hotels (Bellagio, Venetian, Aria etc.) but being a long weekend, they were all exorbitantly priced and were selling at $450-$600/night.
Otherwise, if you travel on regular weekdays or weekends, they can be had for as little as $250/night.
After checking in and freshening up, we decided to drive to the famous “Vegas Strip.”
What is the Vegas Strip?- It’s a 5-mile (8 kms) long strip that is full of fancy hotels and full of glitz and glamour. I heard about it so many times and thought it was over-hyped but, when we walked the strip, it just blew our mind away as it’s absolutely beautiful, glamorous, and super vibrant full of tourists and choc-o-block with folks walking the streets and fancy cars driving the streets strutting their stuff. It’s a place to show off your wealth.
Now the problem was where to park the car. We searched and decided to park in “Hotel Venetian”. Most of these large hotels have “Self-Parking” options and we parked in the hotel, and it costed as us a cool $60 for 4 hours. That was ridiculous.
For the next 2-days, I found a solution- Realized the “Treasure Island Resort & Casinos” allows FREE PARKING but, since it was at the far end of the strip, it needed a bit more walking towards the strip. I reckon this will add at least 5000 steps to the pedometer.
All these fancy hotels are right next to each other, and we exited the garage and walked on the strip. Mind you, everything looks visibly near but, there is just too much of walking on the strip and we clocked about 18,000 steps each day and in my opinion, we didn’t even walk half of the strip.
By the time we were back at night, my legs would crumble and give away from all the beating it took during the full day/night walk. LOL!!
All these fancy hotels have casinos on the ground floor, tons of premium shopping options, restaurants and their rooms for stay are on the upper floors. Anybody can walk into these fancy hotels (no dress code) and walk around and enjoy the stunning and larger-than-life ambience and walk over to the next one.
Every hotel has a different theme, and their interiors are next level. It’s hard to describe in words but, the glamour, decor and interiors are to be seen to be believed.
“Hotel Venetian” for example has canals inside the hotel where you can take a Gondola ride (a.k.a Venice) and there is a musical fountain outside Hotel Bellagio (If you remember the famous movie Oceans 11, it was shot in this hotel) and this draws people like anything.
This world-famous “Bellagio Fountain” plays every 15 minutes from 8:00pm to midnight.
We enjoyed this day getting acclimatized to the “Vegas Strip”, gambled a bit at Venetian, Bellagio and lost about $150 in Roulette and other games.
I dislike gambling and have never done it in my entire life. I don’t even know how to hold cards. But, my wife was keen on this activity. Can you say no to that???
We kept a budget of $100/day to “lose” in gambling.
It is well known that the “house wins” all the time. So, it was just for the experience, and it was super fun.
I noticed that most of the folks at the casinos (dealers and players) are mostly Chinese and they play mostly at “high stake” tables that usually start at $5000.
We called it a night at around 2:00am after an exhilarating day at the “Strip.”
Note : This post has pictures of “Hotel Venetian” and “Vegas at Day & Night”
- Hotel Venetian View from outside
- View of STRIP by the night
- Vegas STRIP drive by in Daylight
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