By Steve Beauregard
You really don’t want to walk from the Bellagio to the Las Vegas Convention Center, as it exactly 2 miles away, or roughly a 40 minute walk. While a two mile walk can be pleasant, (I do it all the time to try to get rid of my beer belly), two miles walking in Las Vegas, in the summer, on concrete, takes on a whole new meaning.
Even fall and spring days can see temperatures in the high 90’s, meaning what started off as an honest effort at some morning exercise on your way to the meeting can turn you into, a grumpy, sweaty grouch not in prime condition to learn, nor to network with normal smelling colleagues at your convention gathering.
Fortunately, there’s a much easier, faster, option to get from the Bellagio to the Las Vegas Convention Center, and that is by taking the Las Vegas Monorail. More on that in a second.
For those of you who are a glutton for punishment and want to walk to the Convention Center – here is the simple, but exhausting route:
Just go outside one of the Strip exits of the hotel and head north on the sidewalk (north is going towards Caesars Palace). You can hit either side of the Strip sidewalk, depending on what side interests you the most.
There is a free tram going from the Mirage to Treasure Island, but my belief is that this won’t save you time or steps. I’ve measured it (roughly) from aerial maps, and leaving the Strip sidewalk to walk through the Mirage to the tram station, then exiting the Treasure Island tram station and walking to the strip will add approximately 1,000 feet to your trip.
From the point where you would venture off the Strip sidewalk to enter the Mirage, to the point where you would get back on the sidewalk outside TI (Treasure Island) is approximately 800 feet, meaning you added about 200 feet to your trip. Combine that with waiting time for the tram, and you’ll see that this is not a more convenient option. Now if you have time, and haven’t seen either casino, I’d highly recommend it, as both the Mirage and Treasure Island are some of my favorite casinos. (I’m a sucker for jungle themes and pirates).
Anyway, staying on the Strip sidewalk, continue north past the Venetian/Palazzo and past the Wynn/Encore. Keep going past the first street you come across, Desert Inn Road, as you won’t want to take this route, (there aren’t sidewalks). Keep going until you get to Convention Center Drive, which is one block North of the Encore.
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From there you’ll want to take a right (East), leaving the Strip to walk along the sidewalk on Convention Center Drive. How far is the Convention Center from the Strip? About 1/2 mile. Here you’ll pass some strip malls, office complexes, and a couple of hotels (a Clarion and a Marriott) before reaching the Convention Center, which will be directly in front of you.
Las Vegas Monorail to Convention Center From Bellagio
This is the sleek, un-crowded alternative to both walking and taking the bus (see below), as the Monorail stops directly in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The Las Vegas Monorail has a station at the Paris Hotel and Casino, directly across the street from the Bellagio. You’ll just want to leave the Bellagio’s south exit, cross the Strip over to the Paris, and walk through the resort to the monorail station. (There’ll be plenty of helpful signs directing you).
They call it the Paris/Bally’s monorail stop, but it’s actually right behind Paris.
From the Bellagio hotel lobby, it’s approximately 1/3rd of a mile to the monorail station.
You can purchase tickets at the station’s kiosk. How much does it cost to ride the Las Vegas Monorail? A one-day pass costs $12, while the two-day unlimited ride pass costs $22. The ride is smooth and comfortable and will only take a few minutes (I want to say less than ten minutes). There are only two tram stops between Paris and the Convention Center.
Bus From Bellagio to Las Vegas Convention Center
First off, I guess it goes without saying, (but I’ll say it anyway), to check with the convention organizers to see if they offer a free shuttle to the convention. My wife’s convention offered this and we found it to be very convenient, (not to mention it was free). In fact, despite being a large convention with tens of thousands of attendees, we once found ourselves being the only passengers on a huge Greyhound type bus. It was like our own little limo.
If you’re not granted your own private bus, the Las Vegas Transit system is not a bad second option.
Taking what’s called the “SDX” (short for Strip/Downtown Express) will get you from the Bellagio area to the Las Vegas Convention Center in 15 to 20 minutes.
You’ll want to go to the south end of the Bellagio, and cross the street (the Strip) at the crosswalk just south of the lake. You’ll cross it the Paris Hotel and Casino, where you’ll want to walk North, (taking a left) on the strip sidewalk, just about 150 feet North of Paris Drive.
The bus stop is right near the replica Eiffel Tower, and in fact, is just a few feet south of it. You’ll be able to purchase bus tickets there at the automatic kiosk. A 24 hour all-you-can ride pass costs just $8. (A three day unlimited ride pass costs just $20).
Please be sure to only take the SDX, and NOT the Deuce. The Deuce will take you close to the convention center, but you’d still have to walk over 1/2 mile to get there. The SDX, on the other hand, will drop you off right at the Las Vegas Convention Center itself. On top of that, there are only two stops on the SDX after you hop on at Paris, (hence the quick 15 to 20 minute travel time).
The only drawback is if you have an early morning meeting or conference at the Convention Center, as the SDX may not start until 9 a.m. I say “may” because during busy conventions, the SDX stars at 7 am. If yours is a big, frequent and popular convention, chances are there’ll be 7 am service. However you may want to check with the official transit website, rtcsnv.com, to be sure.