Bob Sehlinger, the author of The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas, tells us what to consider when visiting Las Vegas. When is the best time to go? Read on to find out.
Spring and fall, when the weather is pleasant, are without doubt the best times to visit Las Vegas. If you plan to spend most of your time indoors, it doesn’t matter what time of year you choose. If you intend to golf, play tennis, run, hike, bike, or boat, try to go in March, April, early May, October, November, or early December. Spring and winter can be exceedingly windy.
Because spring and fall are the nicest times of year, they are also the most popular. The best time for special deals is December (after the National Finals Rodeo in early December and excluding the week between Christmas and New Year’s), January, and the summer months. Weather in December, January, and February can vary incredibly. While high winds, cold, rain, and snow are not unheard of, chances are better that temperatures will be mild and the sun will shine. Though the weather is less dependable than in spring or fall, winter months are generally well suited to outdoor activities. We talked to people who in late February waterskied on Lake Mead in the morning and snowskied in the afternoon at Lee Canyon. From mid-May through mid-September, however, the heat is blistering. During these months, it’s best to follow the example of the gambler or the lizard—stay indoors or under a rock.
AVOID THE CROWDS
In general, weekends are busier than weekdays. The exceptions are holidays and when large conventions or special events are held. Most Las Vegas hotels have a lower guest-room rate for weekdays than for weekends. Las Vegas hosts huge conventions and special events that tie up hotels, restaurants, transportation, showrooms, and traffic for a week at a time. Likewise, major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the NBA championship, fill every hotel in town on weekends.
Conventions of more than 12,000 attendees can cause problems for the lone vacationer. For a complete list of conventions scheduled during your visit, go to vegasmeansbusiness.com and click on “Convention Calendar.” You can enter dates and get a full list or narrow it with different keywords or search terms. Although there are usually 6–12 conventions being staged in Las Vegas at any given time, the effect of any convention or trade show on hotels, shows, and restaurants is negligible citywide for conventions of 10,000 or fewer, except at the host hotel or convention venue. Note that four or five concurrent conventions averaging 4,000 attendees each can impact tourism to the same extent as one large convention. A larger Las Vegas hotel can handle small conventions without a hiccup. However, if you stay somewhere that’s hosting a convention, avoid arriving or departing on the same day as the attendees.