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The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas 2009 (Unofficial Guides) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Unofficial Guides (Book 213)
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Revised edition (August 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470285699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470285695
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,432,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

From the publishers of The Unofficial Guide® to Walt Disney World ®

"A Tourist's Best Friend!"
—Chicago Sun-Times

"Indispensable"
—The New York Times

Five Great Features and Benefits

offered ONLY by The Unofficial Guide ®:

  • Over 100 hotels and casinos rated and ranked — the most offered by any guidebook — plus proven strategies for getting the best rate

  • Complete detailed descriptions of each casino and casino hotel

  • In-depth critical reviews of Las Vegas' 60 best shows and 30 top nightspots — the most offered by any guidebook

  • Detailed reviews of more than 100 restaurants — a complete dining guide within the guide, plus the best buffets rated and ranked

  • Fifty pages of gambling tips from how to play, recognize sucker games, and cut the house advantage to the bone


More About the Author

Bob Sehlinger, a Lowell Thomas Award winning journalist, is best known as the creator and producer of the Unofficial Guide Series published by Wiley Publishing Inc. and sold worldwide.

He is credited with being the first to apply research techniques from the fields of operations research and statistics to travel guides. Among other projects, he was able to develop mathematical models that could save theme park patrons more than three hours of standing in queue in a single day.

Sehlinger and his research team (pictured) have had numerous adventures and developed some unusual methodologies. Here's a sampling from research for The Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World:

"We've slept in every Disney resort multiple times and more than 80 Orlando-area properties. Only once did we wake up covered in bugs. (It was a non-Disney hotel.)"

"We test hotel room soundproofing using a sophisticated digital sound meter and a copy of The Who's Greatest Hits."

"The first time we did Orlando spa reviews, one of our researchers had an eyebrow burned off during a waxing that went horribly awry."

"We once logged more than 700 miles in one week on buses to test Disney's transportation system, and never left Disney property. The bus drivers got so used to us being on board that one forgot we were there and took us back to the bus garage when his shift ended."

"We test pillow fluffiness using a measurement process we invented. We intended to use a fake human head as part of the test, but worried about getting it through airport security. We settled on a gallon jug of water, which is about the same size and weight as an average adult's noggin."

"When we test counter-service restaurants, we order at least one of everything on the menu, and break up in to small teams to sample each thing. We've tried every counter-service food item in every American Disney theme park."

"Our crowd prediction models take in to account everything from the day of week and time of year, to the vacation schedules of the fifty largest school districts east of the Mississippi, to weather phenomena including temperature, rainfall and humidity."

Bob Sehlinger is founder and co-owner of Keen Communications, a book publishing company that includes Menasha Ridge Press in Birmingham, Alabama; Clerisy Press in Cincinatti, Ohio; and Wilderness Press in Berkeley, California. The author of twenty-seven books, Sehlinger is a past president of the Publishers Association of the South, and has served at the invitation of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Information Service on educational missions for publishers in Hungary, Romania, and Russia.

Before becoming involved in writing and publishing, Sehlinger was CEO of SAGE, inc., a wilderness arts teaching and expeditional company that produced courses in kayaking, rock climbing, survival, and backpacking (among others) for high schools and universities in a 7-state area. During this period Sehlinger served as president of the Eastern Professional River Outfitters Association. Sehlinger makes his home in Birmingham, Alabama where he continues to be an avid river runner and mountain biker.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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It rates everything from the casinos to the shows.
D. C. Sisson
This book was exactly what I was looking for - extremely comprehensive, up-to-date, and very useful tips on how to spend my time and money wisely.
William E. Dunn
This was a great resource for me, and I am a return visitor to Las Vegas.
Nicole Jean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Boone VINE VOICE on January 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been a fan of Bob Sehlinger, the author, ever since I first discovered his other book, The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2009 (Unofficial Guides). Since I was planning a trip to Las Vegas, I decided to buy this guidebook even though I'd been to the city many times before. Partly I was curious to see if this would live up to his WDW book, and partly because I wanted input on planning which shows to see, which restaurants to visit, etc. I've broken my comments on each major section of the book into separate paragraphs below.

Hotels: This section is kind of an odd grab bag of information. The author has an extensive list of covered hotels and offers a write-up of each one. Yet the information covered is often more of a general description than a true critique that would help the average traveler. For example, the Wynn Las Vegas receives three full pages of text but in all of that, there is virtually nothing said about the rooms. When reading these entries, it's more similar to how a novelist would set a scene than how I would expect a travel writer to critique a hotel. There is a chart that shows an overall rating for the hotel as well as a room rating, but no details are offered.

Restaurants: There are far too many restaurants in Las Vegas for any guide to review them all in depth but the author does a good job of breaking down your options at the major hotels. Beginning with summarized lists that show favorites by category, coverage then shifts to more detailed write-ups for each location in alphabetical order. Each restaurant receives ratings for quality, value, and an overall score. In addition, there are helpful comments. This section is very helpful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Jean on December 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was a great resource for me, and I am a return visitor to Las Vegas. I am not an avid gambler, but this guide also helped me to understand the basics of all the table games and I had the confidence to play a few this time. Great restaurant guides, good hotel overviews, good night life guides. Vegas has so many places to visit, and this guide does a good job of covering as much as possible, without being too overwhelming. I would highly reccomend!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Clayton W. Robson on December 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this is the best Las Vegas guide because of the range of topics & the length of time it has been a sucessful product - revised annually for more than a decade. I have bever been disappointed in any of its recommendations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William E. Dunn on May 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was going to Vegas on business. I had not been there in several years and wanted a good guidebook with recommendations on restaurants and shows. I ordered two books based on customer reviews on the Amazon web site. This book was exactly what I was looking for - extremely comprehensive, up-to-date, and very useful tips on how to spend my time and money wisely. The reviews in the other book by comparison could have been written by the providers themselves and were comparable to what one finds in a free city guide.

Las Vegas is overwhelming and ever changing. This book is great for a first-time visitor or someone who visits every few years. The book is updated annually. I found the commentary and recommendations to be right on.

A Las Vegas regular would likely have their own preferences and find the information somewhat superficial. For example, the book has an excellent survey of casino games. This survey is excellent for the novice, but it would likely be overly simplified for a true gambler. With so many hotels, the information cannot be as comprehensive with as many different opinions as one can find on the travel web sites. Nevertheless, the authors make the best use of the space available.

I highly recommend this book for anyone trying to get a handle on the great range of options that Las Vegas offers. It was the perfect book for me and exactly what I was looking for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Rojas on March 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was going to Vegas for the second time. The first time Iwas in total awe of the lights and activities but this time I really wanted to take advantage of every second. So I decided to purchase this book to help with the organization process. Whoa! This book has so much information that it actually overwhelms you. This 2009 version is a must have for anyone traveling to vegas for the first time or even if your a regular to Sin-City.. It has prices, maps, convention dates, rental car reviews and even the history of vegas! Virtually every bar and nightclubs is reviewed with hints on which spots to get in. The book pays for itslef several times over..

Don't hesitate... and most importantly.. good luck!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donovan Roddy on February 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Anyone entertaining in Las Vegas or vacationing in Las Vegas would greatly benefit in grabbing a copy of "The Unofficial Guide To Las Vegas". I live in Las Vegas and have found it to be the authoritative travel guide for everyone visiting me. I buy a book each time I have a guest a give it as a gift which helps my guest and frees up a little of my time. The book isn't big on images but is filled with real reviews and tips. Before you leave buy this book I'm sure you will be happy with the savings alone that you get out of the book!
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