Recently, the Las Vegas Power Pass re-launched, giving you access to around 25 famous area attractions in one handy pass, good for 12 months from the time you first use it. It can be a great deal, but only if the attractions are the ones you want to see, and if you can pack enough of them into a day to make the purchase make sense.
Here’s how it works: You can buy a pass online—they start at $85 for adults, and $55 for kids 2 to 12 years old for a single day; two-day, three-day, and five-day passes are also available. You’ll get a voucher by email that you print out and redeem at the Planet Hollywood Restaurant inside Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, which, helpfully, has included a $10 dining discount on the pass.
The one-day pass works best if the attractions you want to see are all on the Strip. For instance, the math works if you want to go to the Observation Deck at the Stratosphere (normally $18), visit Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (a good deal right now, since there’s a new and very good Picasso show going on there, $17), take the Voodoo Zip Line 50 floors up between the two towers of the Rio ($28), visit Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat ($20) and get a little tour of the city via the Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Tour ($39). That’s a very full day at around a $36 discount.
But this day only really works if you use the bus tour as a 90-minute tour experience—not as transportation. It leaves every 30 minutes, so if you want to hop off and take a picture at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, you’ll be waiting 25 minutes, likely in triple-digit heat, for the next bus. Likewise, all the attractions are spread out enough that you’ll only make it to all of them if you rent a car. I’d advise this anyway, since daily car rental rates in Las Vegas are among the lowest in the nation—for comparison’s sake, just the cost to get to your voucher pickup at Forum Shops by taxi could eclipse a day of car rental.
The pass makes most sense if you want to get out of town, and thus buy a two- or three-day pass. You won’t be able to go out to the Grand Canyon Legacy Tour ($30) or the Hoover Dam motorcoach tour ($38, and a nearly 5-hour time commitment), and make it back to take advantage of your other discounts in the same day.
Remember, too, that Las Vegas is not really designed for the regimented among us. Who’s to say you won’t get diverted by the chocolate oasis that is Hershey’s World on the way to the rollercoaster at New York-New York, and end up frittering away your savings? Committed bargain-hunting sightseers should do the math.
Andrea Bennett is the Editor in Chief of Vegas Magazine, and covers the Las Vegas beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @AndreaBennett1.