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A most wonderful time of year for Vegas deals

If you’d like to take a trip to Las Vegas, one of my favorite deals is back. MGM Resorts is offering two free tickets to some of the best shows in the city when you book an air and hotel package of three or more nights. Travel is valid for arrivals from Nov. 9 through April 9.

Your choice of shows includes “Zarkana” at Aria, “The Beatles Love” or Terry Fator at the Mirage, Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo, Jabbawockeez or Criss Angel’s Believe at Luxor, “Ka” at MGM Grand, “Tournament of Kings” at Excalibur and “Zumanity” at New York-New York.

At press time tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana and Beatles Love shows were selling for as much as $150 per person, so you could get a $300 value with this deal.

You will receive two free show tickets, based on double occupancy, or one ticket if only one person is booked in a room. Guests must be 21 or older to qualify for the free tickets. Tickets must be reserved within 72 hours of making your reservation and no later than Sept. 28.

Choose days carefully

When looking for packages, remember that rates can be much higher if you include a Friday or Saturday night stay. These are peak days of the week in Las Vegas, driving up room rates and package rates.

Also, if you arrive Thursday and return on a Sunday, your airfare could be $100 more.

The free show ticket offer is valid for stays at Bellagio, Aria, Vdara, Mandalay Bay, Delano Las Vegas, the Mirage, MGM Grand, Signature, Monte Carlo and New York-New York. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. Visit to see show times.

Southwest will be a good option for this offer, with four daily nonstop flights beginning Oct. 13 from Dallas to Las Vegas. Booking is available through and other travel retailers.

Las Vegas is popular for conventions, and you will want to avoid the city when big conventions are scheduled because room rates will be at a premium.

To avoid the busy convention dates, check and look for dates with large numbers. For example, there is a big consumer electronic convention Jan. 6-9.

Another tip that could save you some big bucks: Avoid the expense of a rental car or taxis and ride the Deuce bus. A taxi from one end of the Strip to the other can cost you $35 one way, but you can get a one-day pass for the Deuce for $8.

You can hop on and hop off this double-decker bus 24 hours a day up and down the Strip, and you can even ride to downtown. Passes are $6 for two hours, $8 for 24 hours and $20 for three days and can be used for the Deuce bus, plus other buses run by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. Visit

Ride the Monorail

If you won’t be leaving the Strip, you can also ride the Monorail. It is not as cheap as the Deuce, with fees of $5 for a single ticket, $12 for a 24-hour pass, $22 for a two-day pass and $28 for a three-day pass, plus other options. The Monorail runs approximately 4 miles, from the MGM Grand to the Sahara from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday through Sunday.

If you like to see nostalgic musicians, you can see shows both on and off the Strip at affordable prices. The casinos want to get you in their doors in the hopes you’ll gamble before or after the show. To find out who is playing, search online for “Las Vegas shows” and add the month you’ll be visiting.

Tom Parsons is CEO of Email him at