by Berl Colley

This is turning out to be a very fluid year for ACB tours. Since my article last month, we have lost a tour, added a tour and made a change to a tour.

What Tour Have We Added?

For those coming early to Las Vegas, we will be going to Cashman Field to see a baseball game. The Las Vegas 51s will be playing the Portland Beavers on Friday night, July 1, 2005. ACB tours has managed to obtain seats about 50 feet behind home plate. These are front row seats where the umpire's calls, the ball meeting a bat or hitting the catcher's glove, and some other things that you might want to hear, or not hear, can be heard. The seats are also very close to the food services for those that like to snack during a game. This will be a capped tour, first come first ticketed, because we only have 20 tickets. The Las Vegas 51s are a AAA franchise of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Portland Beavers are a AAA franchise of the San Diego Padres.

What Tour Have We Lost?

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have lost the Monday night, July 4, events tour. ACB tours is looking at a couple of options to replace this tour. Please look for the next Forum or Convention Scope for more information.

What Change Have We Made?

The folks operating the jet boat services from Laughlin to Lake Havasu have decided not to run their boats on the 4th of July weekend. As a consequence, our pre-convention tour, on July 1, will be altered a bit. Current plans are to go to Oatman, an old gold mining town, in the morning. From there we will go to Lake Havasu for a great lunch and to see and learn about the London Bridge. This will give us a little more time to spend in Havasu. We will be stopping in Laughlin for supper, then returning to Las Vegas.

For Those Seeing Las Vegas Sites on Their Own

Here are some tips that hopefully will make your time a little more enjoyable. Do NOT jaywalk. Jaywalking fines often can exceed fines of car owners who run red lights. If you want a cab, don't step to the curb and try to flag one down. It is illegal for a cab to stop along a curb to pick up passengers. Cabs can be obtained at hotel and casino properties, the airport, restaurants and other places when called in.

Do not expect to see named entertainers when deciding to see their show at the last minute. You should make arrangements and purchase your show tickets before going to Las Vegas. Ticket prices will run between $40 and $100 per person.

Do not expect to find a large variety of inexpensive food. The days of cheap buffets to bring customers into gaming establishments are gone. Las Vegas is rapidly becoming known as a food connoisseur's destination. A number of the top chefs in the world have moved to Las Vegas and if you are willing to pay the price, there are numerous opportunities for very fine dining.

When you plan to play the slots or any of the table games, get a Player's Club card for that casino. This is one way a visitor can earn free perks while there.

Be prepared to tip. Many gaming property employees are paid minimum wage and rely on tips to get by.

In general, be very selective with sidewalk vendors. There are gift shops in the hotels. You may pay a little more for items, but you probably have a much smaller chance of getting ripped off.

Do not give to beggars, whether inside or outside of the properties. The hotels and casinos do not like to have beggars bothering their guests. The more money given to people at a given location, the more folks seeking a handout will return.

Women, when playing the slot machines, do not put your purses on the area next to your machine. It is best to have a fanny pack or something that you can attach to yourself. Men, place your wallets in your front pockets. In both cases you are making it more difficult for unscrupulous people to steal from you.

Be very skeptical of any person who wants to sell you something for pennies on the dollar. There is a good chance that the object is not theirs, or when you get back to your room, you will find that you didn't receive what you thought you purchased.

The convention dates are July 2 through 9, 2005. To reserve a room, call the Riviera at1-800-634-6753, and make sure you tell them that you are with the American Council of the Blind.

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