What one can expect from visiting Las Vegas – particularly for a major sports event

Photo Credit: Akiem Bailum

As Las Vegas continues to morph itself into a more full-fledged sports city, this means more events on the scale of WNBA All-Star will continue to find their way into the area. 

Las Vegas can proudly say it has been the host site for three All-Star weekends. It first hosted in 2019, then hosted again in 2021 – COVID protocols and all. Now, it is the host city for this year’s All-Star festivities. 

For those that may have never been to Las Vegas – either for a sporting event, business convention or other debauchery, one will immediately catch a vibe of the place from the second one lands at the Harry Reid International Airport. It was the McCarran International Airport but was renamed recently after the late Democratic U.S. Senator from Nevada. 

How often does one arrive at an airport that itself already has slot machines? That is what one will find at Las Vegas’ airport. Another thing that will already be apparent from the moment one lands is Sin City stays hot 24 hours a day. 

Temperatures in Las Vegas can be anywhere around 110 degrees as a high – and that heat can remain excessive throughout the evening. It may be easy for a tourist to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas lifestyle, but one must not ignore its geography. 

As a city, Las Vegas is surrounded predominantly by mountains and desert. It is not all that far away from Arizona and California. 

An advantage that Las Vegas offers in terms of its airport is that it is extremely close to all of the destinations and attractions that make Las Vegas what it is. Many cities are notorious for having airports that are far away from a downtown. Richmond, Virginia is one of those. Pittsburgh is another. That is not the problem with Las Vegas. 

But as one can expect, a city such as Las Vegas that is an international tourist destination can come with a hefty price tag. There are lots of luxurious hotels that offer a great deal of amenities and attractions that will not be exactly found at one’s local Hampton Inn or Comfort Inn. From the MGM Grand to Mandalay Bay to the Luxor, Las Vegas hotels offer a lot – which means one will have to pay a lot too. 

In terms of us at Beyond The W, we had the privilege of staying at the Luxor Hotel and Casino during our time in Sin City for WNBA All-Star 2023. It is a pyramid-shaped and Egyptian pyramid-themed hotel that offers so much to do one will not be exactly spending much time in a room. 

From a comedy show starring Carrot Top to a Titanic exhibit to numerous restaurants, bars and lounges to an offering that’s a local version of America’s Got Talent to an 18+ striptease show called Fantasy. The Luxor Hotel and Casino offers plenty to do. Oh, and it has a pyramid-themed pool called “The Oasis.”

An advantage as well for those that were looking to stay in Las Vegas for WNBA All-Star is that it is attached to Mandalay Bay – where Michelob Ultra Arena is located. So it was not as if we had to step outside in the sweltering Nevada heat to go through the process of grabbing credentials and working press conferences. In addition, the WNBA staged its annual Orange Carpet event at the Delano Hotel – also attached to Mandalay Bay. Similar to the MGM Grand, the Delano, Mandalay Bay and Luxor are all under the MGM Resorts umbrella. 

MGM Resorts International was, of course, the original owner of the Las Vegas Aces when they were bought from (San Antonio) Spurs Sports & Entertainment and moved to Sin City. Of course, the team has since been sold to Mark Davis, who has maintained a relationship with MGM Resorts International.

Las Vegas is a city that offers more than its fair share of attractions, of course, and it may be difficult to do a city such as Vegas on the cheap. But the experience is certainly worth it – and as the Aces and Golden Knights have shown with its recent championships, it is an exciting place to catch a game as well.