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Great Deals

High gas prices may be hitting us hard, but a little bit of good has come out of it, at least for those people around the country who are visiting our town. In response to fewer people coming and spending less money, Las Vegas hotels have started to drop the price of rooms, reaching their lowest price since 2003, according to LasVegasAdvisor.com. In a survey conducted by the site of 84 casino-hotels, more than half had available rates of $50 or less in July. And it’s not only the lower-tier hotels.

Despite efforts to disguise discounting on the high end, many of Las Vegas’ luxury resorts are slashing rates — plus they’re offering additional incentives, such as meal credits, gambling free-play and even airfare and gasoline rebates.

The survey found prices below $90 at Luxor, MGM Grand, Flamingo, Hard Rock, The Mirage, The Palms, Planet Hollywood and Paris. The discounting goes beyond just rooms. Savvy travelers who do their homework are getting great deals on shows, food and virtually all aspects of a Las Vegas vacation.

Get ready for a great weekend of music as AREA 107.9 in conjunction with House of Blues presents the 2nd annual "Local 107.9 – Local Bands Jam" on Sunday, July 13, at House of Blues. It will feature the music of local favorites Otherwise, Solidify, The Day After, Leaving Springfield, and Big Beat Battalion. Doors will open at 5 p.m., music starts at 6. Admission is free.

Now for some more free stuff. The Arts & Community Events Division of the city of Las Vegas Department of Leisure Services is presenting two family films on Thursdays in July, beginning at 8 p.m., at Baker Park, 1010 E. St. Louis Ave., two blocks west of Maryland Parkway. You can bring picnics, blankets and/or lawn chairs if you want.

"The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep" will be shown July 10. In the film, a young boy finds a mysterious enchanted egg and becomes involved in the creation of the legendary Scottish sea creature.

The musical "Hairspray" will be shown July 24. In the movie, an overweight teen with big hair is obsessed with appearing on a popular dance show, but discovers that changing the show’s segregation policy becomes more important. Both films are rated PG, so you don’t have to worry about the kiddies seeing or hearing anything they shouldn’t.

If you like mariachi music, then mark Friday, July 25, on your calendar. That’s when local group, Mariachi Platinos will perform at the East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center, 250 N. Eastern Ave. The free Spanish-language performance is part of the Bandstand Jam Series and takes place outdoors in the courtyard beginning at 7 p.m.

Reservations are not needed. In case of rain, the performance will be moved into the air-conditioned ballroom. The mariachi group was founded in 2006 by brothers Juan and Luis San Juan and now comprises 10 young musicians. Should be a lot of fun.

And here’s a freebie the adults will enjoy. Twin Creeks inside the Silverton Casino is giving dinner parties a complimentary bottle of wine. With advance reservation and purchase of two entrees, you can choose from a variety of wines including Echelon Vineyards and Robert Mondavi. All you have to do is dine between 8 and 10 p.m. To make a reservation, call (702) 914-8594.

Boxing fans won’t want to miss Zab "Super" Judah of Brooklyn, N.Y., as he takes on No. 1-rated welterweight Joshua Clottey of Ghana in a showdown on a Top Rank championship boxing card at The Pearl Theater inside The Palms. It all takes place Aug. 2. Judah (36-5) has 25 knockouts, while Clottey (34-2) boasts 21. The title fight will top off a night of seven bouts.

Tickets for Judah vs. Clottey are $88, $178 and $253, plus any additional service fees. You can get them by going to any Ticketmaster location, call 702-474-4000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com. On fight night, doors will open at 4:30 p.m. and first bell is 5 p.m. An HBO-televised portion begins at 6:30 p.m. PST and will be tape delayed to the West Coast in case you might want to get the chance to see your mug on TV.

Some sad news, especially if you’re like me and love a great pastrami on rye. Stage Deli at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is no more, after serving locals and visitors alike for 15 years. Just so you don’t get withdrawal pains, take a walk down to the Carnegie Deli in The Mirage.

I seem to be getting more and more emails from visitors who are not happy with our town. This one from Martin Mazzei of Mansfield, Ohio: "Dear Lenny, I just spent June 1st thru June 6th in your wonderful town. I love Vegas and have visited an average of 3 times a year. I read about your city every day! Yea I’m one of those Vegas nuts.

"As everyone knows, the economy is in the crapper. My spouse and I have discussed only making visits to local casinos during the next year. Before I could afford to travel to Vegas, I was told of the great values for the money. Cheap food, free shows, cheap rooms! We all know the corporations have taken over and now squeeze every dollar out of the visitors. It makes a person think twice.

"If it wasn’t for the great bounce-back comp in free rooms through "TOTAL REWARDS" at the Harrahs’ properties, I probably wouldn’t think of coming back again. Examples: $3.50 for a cup of coffee at the Tropical Breeze Café at the Flamingo, $2.69 for a cup of coffee at the Victoria room at Bill’s. All the midnight specials have risen to the point that the only reason they are a deal is after 7 a.m. you really can’t afford them!

"The suits now charge you for everything! They even charge for the bottle of water in your room. Airline tickets and gambling money are hard enough to come up with, but just to be able to pay for a room and a meal make Caesars in Windsor, or Belltera in Indiana a much better deal! Sorry to vent."

Good luck and I’ll see you on the Strip. And don’t forget to check out www.valleyblogs.com. If you have a question or a Las Vegas experience you would like to share with my readers, please e-mail me at lennylasvegas@gmail.com Please include your full name and the city or town where you live.

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