I’m a 30-year-old single city girl with a 24-hour morning-flight layover in Las Vegas. I have never visited, and I have some cash to spend. What should I do?

Breakfast at the Four Seasons’ Verandah (on the gorgeous patio, weather permitting). Morning shopping at the Forum Shops at Caesars (there are others, but this remains the place). Lunch with the power brokers at Spago. Post-Puck, check into a hotel, drop your bags and get straight to the spa for a couple of hours; both Aria and the Mandarin Oriental are center-Strip and renowned for their facilities. You’ll appreciate the relaxation later.

Despite its reputation, Vegas is a little less late-night oriented than you may expect, but the real action still happens after happy hour. Translation? Late afternoon is a perfect time for a disco nap. Time it so you can don that little black dress and hit the town around 8 p.m. Check out the urban/artsy Cosmopolitan for nightlife, including a manageably sized casino floor and a good selection of energetic restaurants where you can cool your stilettos at the bar and refuel with a solo meal surrounded by other fun people.

After eating, you can Cosmo-hop from craps table to cocktail lounge all night, or queue up for Marquee nightclub, whatever your taste. After this daylong taste of the Strip, by the time the clock hits 1 a.m., you’ll be ready to crash, and that morning flight won’t seem so bad. Get up early enough for breakfast at Eat. This new downtown diner is worth the cab fare, and should entice you to come back and check out our urban renaissance in progress. But that’s another itinerary altogether.

What’s the slowest time of the year in Vegas?

There are various ways of measuring our city’s “busy quotient,” but no matter how you slice the numbers, December is the slowest month, with the lowest hotel occupancy rates and lowest daily visitor counts. Still, it used to be that between Thanksgiving and Dec. 26 the city would almost shut down. I remember major casino restaurants closing for “renovations” during that period every year as recently as the 1990s. But thanks to the efforts of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (think National Finals Rodeo, and the courting of international travelers), December—while still “slow”— is busier than ever.

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Ups and Downs


By Mike Grimala

It looked like UNLV was in serious trouble on Tuesday night. Playing at Portland without one of the their best players, injured junior Mike Moser, the Rebels struggled through the first 20 minutes and it appeared as though they might actually lose to a Pilots team that entered the game with a 3-4 record. But thanks to a spirited performance from a pair of backcourt stalwarts, along with a frontcourt fill-in, UNLV rallied to secure a hard-fought road win.