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Q & A with Aleza Freeman
A Las Vegas native, Aleza grew up totally oblivious to the plethora of slot machines everywhere she went. She always assumed that the sound of coins falling melodically into a metal bucket was a normal part of the grocery shopping experience.
Aleza is an award-winning writer with a background in journalism and copywriting as well as theater arts. Her writing has appeared in publications globally, including the Los Angeles Times, the Jerusalem Post, and on signage throughout many major Las Vegas casinos.
Why/when did you move here?
I was born in Las Vegas so I really didn't have much choice in the matter! I was conceived in Israel, which means I'm made to withstand the desert. However, I am drawn to the water, so I moved to the Bay Area after college to live closer to the ocean. I worked as a reporter and editor in Marin County and San Francisco, and even had the opportunity to travel to Israel and Argentina on assignment. I moved back to Las Vegas a few years later to be closer to my family.
When did you start at VEGAS.com, and what does your job entail?
I started working at VEGAS.com as the hotel writer in 2006. I left in 2010 to pursue other opportunities, but now I'm back (are you starting to see a pattern here?).
I am covering spas, shopping, tours and attractions for the website and blog -- and I love every minute of it. Check out my behind-the-scenes look at the Top 10 Thrill Rides in Vegas (I rode all the best Vegas thrill rides with a video camera pointed at my face). I really enjoy my job, especially when it involves testing out roller coasters or going to the spa -- I'm always willing to take one for the team!
What are your hobbies?
Yoga, writing, cooking, playing with my son, drinking coffee, talking to new and interesting people and obsessively organizing my closet (pants, skirts, dresses, sleeveless shirts, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, sweaters, coats -- all color coordinated). I used to be like kryptonite to houseplants, but I've developed quite the green thumb in recent years. I'm a bit of a thrill seeker and I love trying new things, whether it be a food, a ride, a show … anything really.
Give us a random fact about yourself
I once floated on a raft on the fountain in front of Caesars Palace during a movie shoot.
Give us your top insider tips about Vegas
- Las Vegas is an adult playground, so by all means play! Drive an expensive car really, really fast on a race car tour like Exotics Racing or Richard Petty American Muscle Car Challenge. Shoot a zombie in the face with a machine gun at one of our many ranges. Jump off the 108th floor of the tallest building west of the Mississippi on SkyJump Las Vegas. Don't be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone and make it a vacation you will never forget.
- Since Vegas is the marriage capital of the world, there are wedding opportunities everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. We offer some extremely unique ceremonies including drive-thru ceremonies (no, you can't get fries with that), an underwater wedding in the Silverton aquarium and even a Denny's restaurant wedding.
- If you don't have a car but you want to see as much of Vegas as possible, take a daytime Open Top Sightseeing tour of the Las Vegas Strip and downtown. The bus departs in 30 minute increments throughout the day from about 20 different stops, and you can hop on and off at your leisure to visit restaurants, attractions and hotels. We also have a monorail!
- Most Las Vegas hotel spas provide full access to their spa facilities for the day – including steam room, sauna and hot plunge -- if you take a fitness class. So if you plan on staying in shape while staying in Vegas, be sure to take advantage!
- Don't be afraid to venture beyond the norm. Whether it's to recreate in one of our natural settings like Valley of Fire, Red Rock or Lake Mead or to visit a fun attraction like Springs Preserve, the Desperado roller coaster or the Discovery Children's Museum, there's plenty to see and do off the beaten Strip.
- Not that I'm biased or anything, but check out Vegas.com/deals for great savings on tours and attractions (as well as shows, hotels and airfare). It's a great way to build your itinerary because there are always a variety of offerings at a discount price.
- If you're an animal lover, several programs allow you to get up close and personal with the dolphins at the Mirage's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. You can paint with a dolphin, do yoga among the dolphins or even be a trainer for the day. Although these programs are not free, they are truly one-of-a-kind.
- Ride in a helicopter above the Las Vegas Strip. This is one of the most amazing view of the bright lights of Vegas you will ever get! It's also quite a rush.
- It sounds so cliché, but you have to check out the Fountains of Bellagio. There is just something so magical about this water attraction. And best of all, it's free.