TriviaCon is fast approaching and that’s got us thinking about all things Vegas – and all things not-so-Vegas. Because Vegas is the only place where you can visit Venice, Paris, New York City, Brazil, and even make a pit stop in the islands, all in one day! So bring your passport… wait! Nevermind. Just bring your natural curiosity and sense of adventure. The “Entertainment Capital of the World” will provide the rest.
First stop: Venice, Italy.
1. The Venetian Resort
Have you ever dreamed of taking a gondola ride in Venice? The indoor and outdoor gondola rides at The Venetian Resort may just be the next best thing. The Venetian is the second largest hotel in the world, the first largest being The First World Hotel in Malaysia. At The Venetian, enjoy a serenade from your gondolier as you float down the man-made canals and through St. Mark’s Square (coined “the drawing-room of the world”), where you’ll view replicas of the Bridge of Sighs, the Campanile Tower, the Rialto Bridge, and the Doge’s Palace, all under a picture-perfect painted blue sky that is so lifelike you won’t believe you’re actually indoors. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a guided tour and buff up on your knowledge of Italian architecture. It may just come in handy at your next trivia night!
Fact: It has long been believed that The Bridge of Sighs got its name from couples who would ‘sigh’ when setting eyes upon the beautiful little bridge, when in actuality it was named for the convicts who would ‘sigh’ as they crossed the bridge for the last time on their way from the court of justice to the nearby prison – where few got out alive.
2. Paris Las Vegas
You can easily travel from Venice to Paris without hopping on a plane when visiting the half-scale, 540-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Las Vegas. For the price of admission, you can take a glass elevator ride up 46 stories to the top of the open-caged observation deck which offers panoramic views of the city. The tower also features a recurring light show which repeats every half hour from sunset to midnight. In addition to the Eiffel Tower, Paris Las Vegas also contains a two-thirds sized replica of the Arc de Triomphe (the original stands at 162 feet tall).
Fact: The Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris. It has three floors, is 960 feet to the top floor of the monument, and 1063 feet from feet to tip. It was originally built as the entrance arch for the World Fair in 1889 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution and has been nicknamed “La dame de fer,” which means “The Iron Lady.”
3. New York-New York Las Vegas
If you’ve always wanted to visit the “Big Apple,” then perhaps New York-New York is the place for you? Intended to represent New York City in the 1940s, New York-New York was the first city-themed resort to come to Vegas and boasts its own roller coaster, The Big Apple Coaster. The hotel includes replicas of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Terminal, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and a 150-foot Statue of Liberty. The original Statue of Liberty, which stands at 305 feet, was gifted by France as a gesture of friendship following the American Civil War, shipped in 350 parts, and took 4 months to assemble. The French sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi, modeled the statue after his mother, Charlotte.
Fact: The nickname the “Big Apple” originated in the 1920s in reference to the prizes (or “big apples”) rewarded at the horse races and can be defined as “the best and biggest of places to be.”
4. Mandalay Bay
Mandalay Bay’s Mandalay Bay Beach offers 11 acres worth of real sand beaches, heated pools and wave pools, as well as a lazy river. You can even make S’mores over one of their fire pits. If you ace every Oceanography category at trivia night, you’ll love Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium. The third-largest aquarium in North America, it contains around 100 sharks (there are over 400 different kinds of sharks worldwide) as well as lots of other sea life – plus a Komodo dragon! If you are planning to head to the casino, Mandalay Bay offers one of the few smoke-free casinos in Vegas.
Fact: The first official recipe for a S’more made its appearance in the 1927 Girl Scout guidebook “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.” It was originally dubbed the “Some More” and somewhere along the line was shortened to “S’more.”
5. The Rio
This brings us to our final destination – The Rio! The Rio is named for Rio de Janeiro and has a Brazilian flare. The hotel is covered in red and blue glass and features bright, funky room decor and floor to ceiling windows. The casino is reminiscent of the streets of Rio during Carnival, with long, meandering pathways winding through tables and slot machines. 51 stories up, by way of a glorious glass elevator ride, is the indoor/outdoor Voodoo Rooftop Nightclub, which offers one of the best views in Vegas. The Rio is also home to the Rio Zipline, the tallest and fastest zipline in Vegas.
Fact: The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the largest carnival in the world. Two million people per day take to the streets for the 5-day long carnival which begins on a Friday and ends just before Ash Wednesday in celebration of the beginning of Lent.
Whether you decide to stay at, or simply visit, some of the attractions these hotel resorts have to offer, we think you’ll find there’s a little something for everyone in Vegas. While Vegas offers both traditional and international style fun, Sporcle will be bringing fun with knowledge to Vegas April 3rd through 5th at The Rio with our very own TriviaCon. We hope to see you there for a jam-packed weekend of Sporcle-style fun and games!