Reviews by Brian & Leslie Terhorst

Ok, It’s fairly common place to jump on a plane, fly to Las Vegas, check in at an over-priced, super slick, strip resort. Proceed to… drink up, party til dawn, eat on the run, lose all your hard earned dough at the tables… A couple days later, you’re heading home with a fat hangover & skinny wallet. Been there. Done that. Not feelin’ it this time.

This trip we decided to do things a little different. We opt for the road less traveled (literally). We drove out (gas is cheap). We stay in Downtown Las Vegas. Eat where the locals eat, drink where the locals drink & gamble where the locals gamble. The money we saved, we put towards something that would push this trip over the edge. Something we would remember till the day we die… A Heli tour of the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam & Las Vegas like you’ve never imagined. Yeah, that’s something you don’t get to see everyday. 


To start off, the drive thru the desert is good. Relaxing even. Put it on cruise control & turn up the tunes. First time in… (I don’t know how long) …we just enjoy each other’s company. We take time to pull off the main & explore some back roads. Nice driving without another vehicle on ur ass. Leslie fires off frames of lonely cactus & spectacular thunderclouds while I keep my eyes peeled for the ‘coppers’.

Four & a half hours later, we’re in Las Vegas….

We gamble at some of the classic old casinos on Freemont Street. We dine at some pretty cool joints. We drink cocktails on the street. It may not be as shiny as the strip, but we had an epic time.


Here’s a few of our picks:





Live music on three stages, 1700 foot long zip lines, street performers & freakshow like no other – a seemingly endless selection of casinos, bars & attractions… and to top it off – a 1500 foot long video screen overhead with mind blowing graphics & and a rotating schedule of music from just about every musical genre you can imagine. Absolutely free. No ticket required. Grab a cocktail, pick your spot & chill… or let loose & dance like nobody’s watching. Uh, yeah… People are watching.


The Viva Vision video screen is 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and 90 feet above – it’s made up of 12.5 million energy-LED lamps.. Take a few minutes to soak it in. Incredible shows currently include music by The Who, The Doors, Bon Jovi & Heart – they last about six minutes, and run every hour. Very entertaining.


The SlotZilla Zipline tower is just past the east end of the Viva Vision canopy (you can’t miss it, it’s a giant slot machine!), On the Zipline, flyers go halfway down the Fremont Street Experience (850 feet), in a seated position. On the upper level, the Zoomline, guests ride “superhero-style” all the way down the Fremont Street Experience canopy (1,700 feet). The Zoomline’s are 114 feet up, the Zipline’s lines are 77 feet up. You can get tickets at the SlotZilla ticket office, across from Neonopolis, or online:

Most slot machines in Las Vegas now use ticket technology, but the second floor of The D Las Vegas has tons of classic machines that still take and pay out in coins. Bring that big ass bucket of change from home that’s been collecting dust in the corner. Good way to get a few free drinks while waiting for that big ‘ol payout… Patience, patience.


Top Tip – Check out some local joints ,The Vanguard, Mob Museum, Container Park, Golden Gate, Main Street Station…. If you know where to look, you can find free slot machine pulls at Fremont Street casinos. Two of the best free slot pulls are at Binion’s and Four Queens. At each, you could win up to $2,500 cash.




What can you say? The epitome of old Las Vegas. Sitting ominously at the mouth of Freemont Street. It has been featured & seen in countless movies and music videos for decades. Classic Vegas.

The Plaza has a long history in Las Vegas. The former site of the first train depot in Las Vegas built back at the turn of the century. In the 70’s it was “The largest hotel and casino in the world” and after changing ownership a few times was completely renovated in 2011 and 35 million dollars later… It was still the Plaza!

Then… In 2019, a $15 million renovation created 100-plus fully renovated Luxe guest rooms and suites on the top floors of the North Tower, offering premium guest accommodations with high end decor.

Now we’re cookin’ – looks and smells like an entirely new hotel – pool remodel is dope as hell too!





Without a doubt, the best part of our downtown experience. Although the politically incorrect moniker on the neon sign advertises ‘Beef, Booze & Broads’ – it might have you guessing that upstairs would be a seedy, rundown, obsolete dive bar & grill with watered down cocktails & old retired strippers lounging about in some smoke filled, time warp nightmare of perpetuity…. sorry, I digress. 

No, in fact you would be wrong… To our surprise, we were welcomed into an extremely polished & stylish five star restaurant. Plush leather booths focus your gaze thru huge windows, directly down the pipe of Freemont Street – We ordered fine wine & feast on delicious appetizers and prime cuts of filet. Crazy! The ‘Broads’ they refer to are models hired along with wise-guys impersonators making the rounds ensuring that you are having a great time (or else) Kinda like the guardians of the ‘Rat Pack’ era. All in all, a wonderful experience. Highly recommended. 



5596 Haven St. Las Vegas 89119


The tour of the Grand Canyon, including a champagne picnic down below, on the Hualapai Indian Reservation takes a little more than two hours. Limo service conveniently picks up and returns your party to your hotel lobby. There’s no better way to see the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas Strip, Downtown and The Hoover Dam than by air. Top professional pilot / tour guides insure this flight will be the most unforgettable experience of your getaway. Tours over Las Vegas start at $100 per person and the sky is the limit. For more information and reservations: