Half-Day Morning Tours
Morning of Wednesday, October 7
Join us for in-depth explorations that take us behind the scenes at one of the world’s top leisure and meeting destinations. Designed to reveal the unexpected side of Las Vegas, half-day tours offered the morning and afternoon of Wednesday October 7 illuminate the vast array of amusements and unusual story angles this city offers—downtown, on the Strip, and beyond.
Tours will be offered to delegates a la carte—the add-on fee designed to help SATW defray transportation and meal-related expenses.
Morning Half-Day Tours:
- Active $15
- Associate $25
- Alumni $30
- Spouse $30
Except as noted, all morning tours depart our host hotel, the Downtown Grand, at 9:00 a.m. and return at 12:30 p.m. Questions? Contact Las Vegas Tours Chair David Swanson: firstname.lastname@example.org
HDA-01 — SOLD OUT
Fly as a Top Gun
After a safety briefing and training at the Sky Combat Ace center in Henderson, you’re at the controls for aerobatic thrills over the desert. SCA pairs you with actual fighter pilots to learn the art of basic fighter maneuvering. Then under the supervision of one of these highly trained instructors, you fly the plane. This tour gives provides an abbreviated taste of the Top Gun Experience, pulling Gs, executing loops and diving for a low-level bombing run. Maximum: 6.
Excavate & Exfoliate
Where else but Las Vegas — a tour that combines the excitement of playing around in full-size bulldozers and excavators and the serenity of a spa visit. Dig This is America’s first heavy-equipment playground where you don a hard hat, learn to maneuver big earth-moving machines and then dig, claw, drag and play games in a safe, fun environment. By contrast, the luxury setting of the Canyon Ranch SpaClub at The Venetian and The Palazzo invites you to relax for a conditioning scrub, providing the exfoliation. The group will split, with half doing the excavation first and the others beginning with the exfoliation; then they will trade places. Maximum: 20.
NOTE: This tour repeats in the afternoon, as HDP-02.
Saying Vows, Vegas Style
Called “The Wedding Capital of the World,” Las Vegas has been known for quickie ceremonies and wedding chapels, but there is much more to the scene today. This tour will take you to several popular ceremony sites, including a historic mansion, and an “Only in Vegas” experience. The LV Wedding Connection will share industry trends and answer such questions as: Are weddings here legal? What celebrities got married here? How many weddings happen yearly in Vegas? Are there really drive-through weddings? Why is Elvis so popular? Yes, “Elvis” can sing at your wedding and even perform the ceremony. Maximum: 30.
Laps on the Speedway
DriveVegas will put you on the track of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With the Richard Petty Driving Experience, you will do three laps at up to 165 mph in a NASCAR-style race car with a professional at the wheel. Participants also tour the speedway and have interview opportunities with driving instructors. Guests must be able to climb through window NASCAR-style, but assistance is available. We’ve been told that both NFL lineman and 90-year-old thrill seekers have done these rides. Maximum: 30.
Cirque du Soleil Behind the Scenes: KÀ and “O”
Unmask some of the wonders of two Cirque du Soleil productions. For KÀ, explore the technical wonders backstage, the decorative props and extravagant costumes with the unique theatrical landscape of this show. And for “O,” see what makes the master machine of water operate on a tour that looks above and beneath the water and all places in between. Also check out major show props and scoop drops of “O” water from the pool. Maximum: 20.
Tour de Luxury at Wynn Las Vegas
Pull back the curtain and see why Wynn Las Vegas is the first Forbes Travel Guide five-star resort in the destination. The tour will begin with a survey of the resort’s renowned fine art program (both Wynn and Encore are known for their art collection). Then guests will experience high tea in one of the exclusive Fairway Villas and enjoy butler service as they explore these accommodations, reserved for invited guests. A visit to the Strip’s only 18-hole golf course, designed by Steve Wynn and Tom Fazio, provides stunning views from another-world environment of rolling green hills and streams. Maximum: 15.
Above the Strip and Behind the Scenes at Las Vegas High Roller
In a skyline that dazzles, the Las Vegas High Roller stands out. Join Eric Eberhart, general manager of the High Roller, for an insider tour of the world’s tallest observation wheel. Take a peek at the inner workings and discover more about the design, construction and operations of the 550-foot-tall structure. After the tour, guests will enjoy the 30-minute High Roller experience offering spectacular views of Las Vegas and be treated to a special sweet indulgence at Sprinkles at The LINQ Promenade, the Strip’s newest outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment district. Maximum: 30.
NOTE: This tour repeats in the afternoon, as HDP-07.
HDA-08 — SOLD OUT
Grand Canyon Flight Tour
Marvel at the beauty of the desert and the Grand Canyon in this 70-minute flight-seeing excursion. From the fixed-wing aircraft, which has oversize windows, you get awesome views of Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the Colorado River en route to the western rim of the Grand Canyon. Watch colors in the canyon constantly shift through a palette of both vivid and subtle hues with the changing light and cloud formations. Maximum: 12.
NOTE: This departs the Downtown Grand at 6:30 a.m. and returns at 11 a.m.
VIP Vegas — Taste the Suite Life
This tour gives you a sampling of the luxury retreats where the accommodations are as impressive as the views of the Las Vegas skyline. Visit the ARIA Sky Villas, offering single- and two-story suites with panoramic windows, massage room and private salon among their enticements. At the Bellagio, step into the 4,000-square-foot Chairman’s Suite where you will find a solarium, fireplace and indoor garden with a fountain. And at the MGM Grand, see the SKYLOFTS, which provide elegant two-story accommodations, and The Mansion, modeled after an 18th-century Italian villa, with individually designed accommodations up to 12,000 square feet. Maximum: 15.
HDA-10 — SOLD OUT
Look Who’s Watching You — Behind the Scenes of ARIA Surveillance
Get a peek inside one of the most fascinating elements of Las Vegas, today’s gaming surveillance techniques. In the early days of gambling, activity was scrutinized from catwalks high above the casino floor. This tour shows you the high-tech scene now, taking you inside the surveillance center beneath the floor at the ARIA Resort & Casino. ARIA’s director of surveillance explains the technology of protecting the casino, focusing digital eyes on the movement of money throughout the gaming areas, lounges and cash-count rooms. Maximum: 8.
NOTE: This tour repeats in the afternoon, as HDP-10.
HDA-11 SOLD OUT
Micro Cities That Bring the Big City to Life
With more than 8,000 team members and nearly 4,000 guest rooms, Bellagio has maintained a AAA Five Diamond rating for 14 consecutive years. So how do they do it? Go behind the scenes of one of Las Vegas’ most iconic resorts with a peek into the inner workings. You also will see “back-of-the-house” operations at the sister property ARIA, a contemporary AAA Five Diamond resort, where 8,000 employees have their own special services. The tour also gets a peek behind the scenes at the Cirque du Soleil production Zarkana. Maximum: 8.
It’s a Desert Out There: How Southern Nevada is Conserving Resources
As a desert city that thrives on tourism and has been at the forefront of water conservation, Las Vegas has been making smart resource choices for years. Learn how the conservation practices put in place here are helping the city to navigate the current water challenges in the Southwest, at the Springs Preserve. This family-oriented, “green,” platinum LEED attraction provides guests an ideal opportunity to visit indoor and outdoor experiences that combine fun and learning, teaching guests the why and how of conserving precious environmental resources. Named “Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the 180-acre facility includes the
Nevada State Museum, botanical gardens, a butterfly habitat, and
3.65 miles of hiking trails. Wear comfortable shoes and a hat as
the visit will take guests indoors and out.
Living the Suite Life at the Venetian and Palazzo
It’s an all-suite world at The Venetian and The Palazzo resorts, and this tour gives you a chance to see several of their most luxurious accommodations. You will visit high-roller suites, such as the 8,000-square-foot Chairman or the 5,000-square-foot Presidential retreats, at each of the sister properties. A sampling of the resort amenities will include a ride on the Grand Canal in one of the signature gondolas, snacks at the award-winning Bouchon restaurant in The Venetian and a drink at the Prestige Lounge at the Palazzo. Maximum: 30.
How to Play and How to Deal
If you’re a gaming novice, or have ever wanted to see what it’s like on the other side of the table, this tour is for you. Try your hand at playing as well as dealing several of the Vegas standards: craps, blackjack and, of course, poker. The experts at the Golden Nugget will be your guides, and they will share with you some of the techniques they use to teach casino employees training for jobs, as well as the inside tips successful players use to improve their odds. Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2016, the Golden Nugget was known as the largest casino in the world when it originally opened in 1946, and remains an icon of the downtown scene today. Maximum: 30.
HDA-15 Sold Out
Hiking Red Rock Canyon
In marked contrast to a town geared to nightlife and gaming, Red Rock Canyon was Nevada’s first National Conservation Area, its unique geologic features, plants and animals representing some of the best examples of the Mojave Desert. Located just 17 miles west of the Strip, Red Rock Canyon is a perfect example of the alternatives available to Vegas visitors within a short drive. In addition to hiking, activities include rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing, and a visitor center. On this tour we’ll undertake one of the park’s 19 marked trails, a 2.5-mile route requiring sturdy footwear for uneven terrain and careful hydration. Our trail
navigates jumbled sandstone and leads to a hidden water pocket
and a great view of Las Vegas. Maximum: 25.
Landscapes and Scenery of Red Rock Canyon
Located just 17 miles west of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a scenic landscape of rock formations and desert with a dramatic 3,000-foot escarpment produced by a thrust fault. Open to the public year-round Red Rock Canyon is home to feral horses, bighorn sheep, coyotes and a variety of desert plant life. On this tour, experience the 196,000-acre park by coach, and travel along the park’s 13-mile scenic loop, we’ll keep an eye out for wild burros and rock climbers scaling the cliffs, and meet one of Red Rock Canyon’s current artists in residence. Maximum: 25.
Las Vegas Pop Culture Distilled: Neon, Sinatra and Showgirls
Las Vegas is a living museum of American popular culture, its epic personality has been fueled by gambling, tourism, and entertainment. Las Vegas Pop Culture Tours takes us on an excursion to three cultural sites that define the city’s link to the mid-century. At the Nevada State Museum we’ll get a private look at the “just acquired” costume collection of the Follies Bergere, the Strip’s landmark show that was the queen of Parisian topless reviews. This fabulous collection spans a half-century, with rare memorabilia originating in Paris—now being researched, inventoried and archived for future exhibitions. Then it is on to the Morelli House, a mid-century
architectural gem and the former home of Antonio Morelli,
renowned bandleader of the Sands Hotel, refuge for the famed
Rat Pack. We’ll hear a spirited account of Vegas mid-century by
an acclaimed local historian and get personal insights into Frank
Sinatra from his onetime social secretary. The tour concludes
with a visit to the famed Neon Museum Boneyard and its
collection of 150 neon signs, a narrative that enshrines many of
the cultural themes of the day.