December is traditionally prime time for value in Las Vegas, and this year brings some of the best deals I’ve seen in quite a while. Topping the list is a powerhouse offer from SLS Las Vegas. Now through December 23, locals with a CODE card get 50 percent off at all SLS restaurants except Bazaar Meat. That means you can eat for half price at Umami Burger, Northside Café & Chinese Kitchen, the 800 Degrees pizza joint, the sushi restaurant Katsuya and Cleo. The discount applies to the entire bill, including alcohol (excluding select bottles of wine). There’s enough time to try ’em all.
When was the last time you had a nickel beer? And on the Strip, no less? You can have one today at the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar in the Margaritaville casino at the Flamingo, where they serve Miller Lite for 5 cents daily from 5 to 6 p.m. There are no strings attached. It’s just one hour of nickel beers served in 12-ounce plastic cups, and as you might imagine, a lot of plastic cups cram the bar during that hour. I’m not sure how long this can last, so get yours before it’s gone. And please don’t ask me how much to tip for a 15-cent round. Let your conscience be your guide.
Here’s a good gambler’s comp brought back from last year: Get a free buffet at the Rio by earning 50 points in one day ($500 coin-in on most video poker or $250 on slots) on Tuesdays. The expected loss on this play is about $10-$15 for the average video poker player (and about $6 for experts), which is well below the price of the buffet. You can earn the points in any Caesars Entertainment casino.
With the rodeo in town, there are plenty of drinking specials out there, but I’m partial to what’s become a great holiday tradition at Ellis Island: homemade alcohol-infused egg nog. This one packs a punch and is available from the bar for $6 by the glass or $30 for a bottle.
December is the last month for $1 oysters in db Brasserie at The Venetian, but there are alternative plays. One of the best is Andiron in Downtown Summerlin, where oysters are also just a buck daily from 5 to 7 p.m.
When the new Lucky Dragon opened without video keno, I questioned how long that would last. Not very long. The bars now have both video keno and video blackjack, which was also missing.
This year’s ice rinks are at Downtown Summerlin, Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena and The Cosmopolitan. The fee for an all-day skate pass is $15 at Downtown Summerlin. It’s $12 at T-Mobile Arena, but that’s for only two hours. The Cosmopolitan has the best deal at $10 for all-day access.
After skating, warm up with some pho at Pho D’Licious on Spring Mountain Road. At $4.99, it’s the least expensive bowl in town.
Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and LasVegasAdvisor.com.