Photography: Courtesy Las Vegas News Bureau

If you’re going to do Las Vegas, do it grand and in December. We’ll show you how.

When money is no object, the Entertainment Capital of the World offers an embarrassment of prospects for opulent adventures, day or night, from a $777 Kobe Beef and Maine Lobster Burger at the Paris Resort’s Burger Brasserie to a $200-an-hour cruise along the Strip in a rented Lamborghini. But the best time to live large is in December, when your dollar will stretch further, reservations come easier, and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo takes over town. You just might run into Reba at Caesars Palace pool, find yourself cutting into a dry-aged tomahawk chop next to Trevor Brazile at SW Steakhouse, or pick yourself up a pair of $12,500 limited edition Luccheses at Cowboy Christmas in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Photography: Tom Donoghue/Courtesy Las Vegas Events
Photography: Tom Donoghue/Courtesy Las Vegas Events

Sweet Suites

Last time we checked, the city’s most expensive hotel room was the 9,000-square-foot two-story Sky Villa at the Palms, which is all yours for just $35,000 a night. Accessed by a private glass elevator, it offers three bedrooms, your own sauna and fitness center, and an infinity pool with room for 12. If you prefer classical elegance to party-all-night debauchery, there’s the Bellagio’s illustrious 4,000-square-foot Presidential Suite, where $5,000 a night gets you, among other amenities, your own solarium and indoor garden. Or check out the Skylofts at the MGM Grand, which is known as the “Home of the Champions” during NFR for its role as official host to Gold Buckle winners and tie-down ropers. What’s $1,000 to $3,000 a night when the digs come with your very own private concierge, a round-the-clock butler, and the kind of treatment that’ll make you feel like a champ yourself?

Photography: Courtesy MGM Grand
Photography: Courtesy MGM Grand

Grooveable Feast

There are more many choices in a city that has evolved from all-you-can-eat buffets to a destination for the world’s top celebrity chefs. Joël Robuchon’s remarkable French cuisine restaurant at the MGM Grand is the only place in town with three Michelin stars. Quiet and intimate, it was designed to resemble a luxurious art deco townhouse.

Photography: Courtesy MGM Grand
Photography: Courtesy MGM Grand

But you won’t notice the lush garden terrace and marble floors when your La Langoustine, truffled langoustine ravioli with simmered green cabbage, arrives at the table. If you don’t opt for that popular menu item, you could go for the 18-plate prix fixe menu at $445 per person. Bottles of wine from Robuchon’s extraordinary cellar (winner of Wine Spectator’s Grand Award) can easily double the cost of dinner.

Photography: Courtesy Bellagio Las Vegas
Photography: Courtesy Bellagio Las Vegas

If You Can’t See Elvis …

Follow up dinner with a big show. We suggest O, the stunning water-themed Cirque du Soleil production with a cast of 80 swimmers, daredevils, and acrobats, at the Bellagio. In its best moments, including the jaw-dropping Russian Swings, it exemplifies what theatrics can be achieved when no limits are placed on talent, budget, or imagination. Seated in a theater that resembles a 14th-century European opera house, with your eyes glued to the action in, on, above, and around a 1.5 million-gallon pool, you’ll be happy you shelled out 200 bucks for the best seats in the place.

If it’s pop culture you crave, you can catch Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood in her Piece of Me show, and then go backstage for a meet-and-greet with the star for just $5,335 per person. If you’re a little more country, stay tuned for NFR’s star-studded The Pallineup, which has included Reba, Garth, George, and more.

Photography: Courtesy Las Vegas Events
Photography: Courtesy Las Vegas Events

After the show, head over to the XS Nightclub at Encore Las Vegas and order an Ono. The club’s signature drink features Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie 1981 and Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Black Pearl cognac. Served with a pair of men’s silver cufflinks and a woman’s 18kt white gold chain with a black pearl pendant, it will set you back a mere $10,000 a memorable glass.

The Sky’s the Limit

While gambling the night away in steel and glass megaresorts, don’t ignore the wonders of the West around you. Charter a helicopter and visit the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, or Bryce Canyon National Park. For a cool $4,750, 5 Star Helicopter Tours will take you on a private flight for 6 to the Grand Canyon that includes a VIP Hualapai Indian ambassador guide and front-of-the-line Grand Canyon Skywalk passes. Specially designed forward-facing seats and unobstructed 180-degree panoramic view, naturally.

Photography: Courtesy Aria Resort and Casino
Photography: Courtesy Aria Resort and Casino

Luck Be a Lady

Still got money to burn? Here’s your chance to win it all back! The Ivey Room at the Aria Resort & Casino (named after poker pro Phil Ivey) offers no-limit poker with wagers more than $100,000 per hand. The Aria also has a $5,000 slot machine — line up red, white, and blue “7” symbols and you’ll be $2 million richer.


Read more about the Wrangler NFR in the November/December issue and visit www.NFRexperience.com.

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