It’s the entertainment capital of the world, and following the recent release of The Hangover Part III UK stag parties are set to invade Las Vegas in unprecedented numbers. Here’s a rundown of the top 10 things for stags, or ‘Wolfpacks’, to do in Sin City.
1. Have a flutter
Las Vegas was built on gambling, and every hotel on the Strip is specifically designed to relieve you of your hard-earned dollars. For a fun gambling experience head over to Flamingo and get your buddies together for a game of craps. Large parties can take over a table, and with the stakes relatively low ($10 minimum bet) and the drinks complimentary, you will be high-fiving and hollering into the early hours. Alternatively you could always try the Pussycat Dolls Party Pit over at Caesars Palace - but please try to concentrate on the cards, gentlemen.
2. Take in a show
You can’t visit Vegas without going to a show, and not all the productions here are aimed at 60-something middle Americans. Check out Absinthe at Caesars Palace - a bizarre and memorable mix of sexiness, laughter and circus performers which has been voted the Best Adult Show on the Strip. For something even saucier, Ice-T’s missus Coco recently began her run as the headline act in Peepshow at Planet Hollywood. Finally for those wanting to see some music, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks has just taken up residency at Paris.
3. Lounge by the pool
Pools in Vegas are nothing like those in Mediterranean Europe. Here bikini-clad cocktail waitresses totter along with trays of lethal designer cocktails to cool you from the hot Nevada sun, while pumping or chilling music (depending on where you are) rings out over the speakers. For a good mix of rocking tunes and relaxation to ease you into the evening’s shenanigans, splash out on a Voodoo Beach pool cabana at Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino .
4. Fire an AK-47
A trip to the gun range has become a staple of stag dos around the world. But this is Las Vegas, and Guns and Ammo Garage is no normal gun range. Owner Mark Cole carries all the biggest and baddest weapons out there - and his Zombie Apocolypse Experience gives stags the chance to fire a Glock, Uzi 9mm, AK-47 and pump action shotgun. There are currently no plans for a rocket-launcher package. Well, not yet.
5. Get a history lesson
Those few people who watched the much-maligned Sky1 TV show Vegas will recognise Downtown Las Vegas as the place where it all began. Jump in a cab from the Strip, cruise past the drive-through wedding chapels and “Elvis Slept Here” motel signs and spend a day in this historic district. Marvel at the wonders of Fremont Street, tour the brand-new Mob Museum, book in for a steak at Triple George Bar and Grill, and play retro games with beer in hand at video arcade-cum-bar Insert Coin(s).
6. Drive a Ferrari
Suit up, buckle up and prepare for the ride of your life with Dream Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After a safety video, tuition and a practice session on the simulator, it’s time for the stag and any other wannabe Michael Schumachers to climb into the cockpit of a red Ferrari F430GT for five laps of the legendary circuit. The instructors pull no punches and will make sure you are all pushing the non-street legal prancing horses to their absolute limits.
7. Take to the skies
Vegas is a breathtaking sight during the day, but at night the place comes alive and is an assault on every sense. Such is the scale of the place, there is no better way to see all the sights than from the air. A narrated Night Strip helicopter flight from McCarron Airport with Heli USA takes groups over the bright lights of Las Vegas Boulevard, looping above the Downtown area, and back again. A cheaper, and by no means less spectacular, option is taking an elevator ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower to take some snaps.
Some say “eating is cheating” on stag dos. But with food this good, Wolf Packs would be foolish not to line their stomachs. Gordon Ramsay now has his name above three restaurants in Sin City, and if you tell the staff at Sugar Factor American Brasserie in Paris that you have something to celebrate, they’ll push the boat out by preparing a special Bachelor Party menu and plying the groom-to-be with liquid-nitrogen infused cocktails.
Despite the fact that there are many clubs scattered down the Strip, they still tend to be exclusive and difficult to get into. Book early and reserve a VIP table with bottle service at PURE (Caesars Palace), Chateau (Paris), Gallery (Planet Hollywood) or Voodoo Rooftop (Rio) to avoid disappointment. Line your wallets though, as a one litre standard bottle of Absolut, Skyy or Grey Goose vodka with mixers will set you back a whopping $400, while a bottle of Dom Pérignon is a cool $50,000 in some joints.
10. And be merry
Stag party or not, if you do one thing when you are in Vegas, make sure you go to a pool party.
A crazy Sunday morning-afternoon, in beautiful surroundings, set against the soundtrack of pumping house music courtesy of star DJs.
Rehab at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - the longest running of all the pool parties in Las Vegas, now celebrating its 20th year - is still the best.