Q & A with Renée LiButti
I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Vegas.com. Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot.
Why/when did you move here?
I was born here. Instead of a 24-hour party and gambling town, Las Vegas just feels like home to me.
When did you start at Vegas.com, and what does your job entail?
I started at Vegas.com in April of 2010. I'm a content developer, which entails of a variety of things including regularly updating information in my beats: hotels, gaming, nightlife and pool clubs.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy reading and watching movies. I like hiking. There are some great trails in Boulder City and at Mount Charleston. I also travel whenever I get the chance. One of my greatest joys is sitting down to a cup of tea and a warm scone with jam and clotted cream.
Give us a random fact about yourself
I often feed stray cats. My friends, who were mad at me for feeding one near their house, have now adopted her and named her Renée.
Give us your top insider tips about Vegas
- Resort fees are a fact of life in Las Vegas. Make sure you factor them into your accommodations budget. Resort fees are mandatory charges added on top of room rates. They are collected upon checkout and generally range from $5 to $30 per night, plus taxes.
- It's better to use a credit card instead of a debit card during check-in for incidentals. The hotels often put a hold on funds (either per night or per stay) for incidentals. In addition to diminishing your budget for gambling and other fun in Vegas, this hold may take several days to clear after you've returned home.
- If you're self-parking in the garage of a resort, be aware that it can be a long, long walk to the front desk. It's often wise to valet park, at least upon arrival, so you check in and unload your baggage with ease. Usually there is no cost for valet parking in Las Vegas. Just leave a tip (between $2 and $5) for the attendant when they return your car.
- It's a good idea to carry proof of ID with you at all times -- especially in the casinos. If you plan on visiting a nightclubs or pool clubs, you'll have to show a doorman that you're of legal age (21 or older) upon entry. A driver's license, passport or government-issued identification card is usually acceptable.
- Keep yourself hydrated with water. It's no secret that the heat in the desert can rise to uncomfortable levels. In fact, the average summer temperature in Las Vegas is 106° F. Taking a few seconds throughout the day to sip water will pay off by making you more comfortable as well as lowering your risk of suffering from heat stroke.
- No trip to Las Vegas is complete without a visit to the Fountains of Bellagio because these dancing waters always evoke awe. While you're there, step inside the resort and check out the Bellagio Conservatory. Its imaginative seasonal displays are also breathtaking. (Note: Both of these attractions are free!)
- There are too many good shows in the Entertainment Capital of the World to pick just one. On my short list are "Le Rêve -- The Dream" at Wynn Las Vegas because of its unique theater in the round along with the amazing feats of strength and diving; "Jersey Boys" because of the wonderful music and uplifting message of triumph over adversity; and the "Mac King Comedy Magic Show" because of the star's charming wit and overall wackiness.
- If you have a chance to explore beyond the Strip, visit Hoover Dam. Built in the 1930s, it's still one of the greatest engineering projects ever undertaken. Also in the vicinity, you can stop off and view a more modern engineering endeavor -- the Mike O'Callaghan/Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.