Las Vegas Shows, and where to get discount tickets
Last update: March 2021
General recipe for getting the best price
Getting the very best price involves a little legwork, so you'll have to balance how much time you want to invest for how much money you want to save. Below is the full list of steps, but at any point you can stop and take the lowest price you found so far and stop.
- Comps. If you gambled (or intend to gamble) at a casino that has a show you want to see, ask a host there how much you have to play to get free tickets. If you get them (or will qualify), then problem solved and you can stop here. Failing that...
- Attend a timeshare presentation. You'll get free tickets to your choice of a handful of shows, but the presentation will take a couple of hours. Details below. Otherwise:
- Hotel Guest Discount. If the hotel you're staying at has a show you want to see, check with the box office to see what the price is for hotel guests (which often earns you a discount). Then:
- Go to a Tix4Vegas location (see below) and get a list of the prices for shows you want to see. Then:
- Check StubHub to see if you can get a better price than above. Then:
- Locals Discount. If you live in Vegas, check Vegas4Locals for discounted tickets.
- Street Discount. Often when a show has lots of unsold tickets, there will be a salesperson on the sidewalk outside the casino offering tickets at a discount. Walk around outside the casino and see if anyone is selling.
Below are details of the above.
You might be able to get free tickets from the casino. If you're gambling, the casino will rebate some of your losses in the form of room discounts, meals, or show tickets. You should never gamble just to get comps (that's like spending a dollar to save a quarter), but if you're gambling anyway, then be sure to ask for your goodies. Once the Wizard of Odds treated me to the Van Halen show at Mandalay Bay where a casino host comped him free third row tickets. Of course, your level of gambling likely wouldn't earn that kind of reward, but do be sure to try to claim what's coming to you. See more on my page All About Comps.
Timeshare companies all over Vegas will offer you free or deeply discounted show tickets if you go to a sales meeting where they try to sell you a timeshare. If you just walk around the strip you'll likely be accosted by reps trying to get you to sign up, with their telltale mating call, "How long are you guys in town?" They want to make sure you're not leaving the next day, because if so then you won't be able to do the presentation the next morning. If you're not getting accosted, then head to the Showcase Mall (next to the giant Coke bottle, across from NY NY) and go to the desk in the middle and say, "Yeah, how do I get those free show tickets?"
In the presentation, be polite, but don't buy the timeshare no matter how good they make it sound. Timeshares aren't a bad concept, but they are horribly, horribly overpriced. A timeshare purchased from the developer is always a terrible deal. If you really have your heart set on a timeshare, buy one at pennies on the dollar from someone trying to get rid of theirs, like on eBay or the timeshare resale sites.
If you don't push back, your "90-minute" timeshare will turn into 3 hours. (Ask me how I know.) Here are tips for ending your presentation on time, or even early, based on the several presentations I've done:
- Low-ball your lodging costs. At the
beginning, they always ask how much you're spending on your hotel,
so they can try to show you that you'd spend the same amount or
less on the timeshare. (That's not really true, they fudge
their math, but that's a topic for another time.) Once when
they asked me how much my hotel cost, I truthfully replied that I
was using the $39 special at the Stratosphere. The
salesperson said, "Let me just get you your tickets. No one
who spends $39/night has ever bought a timeshare from us."
- Enforce the time limit! As soon as you sit down with the salesperson for the sales pitch, tell them you were advised that the presentation would take 90 minutes (or whatever the person signing you up said). When the salesperson confirms, say, "Great! We won't try to bail early, and we'll definitely expect to leave at the end of that time." At the one-hour mark, politely remind the agent about how much time is remaining. Do the same 15 minutes from the end of the promised end time. At the agreed-upon end time, wait for a chance to talk (because the salesperson usually talks non-stop), and if s/he doesn't stop after a couple minutes then politely interrupt, and say, "Well, it looks like the time is up. Thank you, but we're not interested in purchasing the timeshare, we'd like to collect our tickets and leave now." The salesperson will ask for "just a couple more minutes", which in reality would be another 90 minutes if you agreed (I'm not exaggerating, it happened to me), so say, "No, I'm sorry, we agreed to an end time, so we'd like to collect our tickets and leave now." Repeat that as often as necessary. The salesperson will then try to ask a different question, like "So why are you thinking the timeshare isn't a good deal for you?" If you answer then you just got sucked back into the sales conversation, so instead say, "Well, that was a question for the 90-minute (or whatever) meeting, and that time is over, so we'd like to just collect our tickets and leave now." If they still give you a hard time, say, "Well, you didn't keep your word about the 90-minute presentation, so we can't trust anything you told us in the presentation, so we're definitely not buying. We'd like to collect our tickets and leave now."
At your hotel
Most hotels offer discounted tickets for the shows playing there, to guests staying at the hotel. So, if you're not particular which hotel you stay at, stay at one that has a show you want to see.
This shop sells tickets for up to half off, and is generally an awesome deal, but there are some catches:
- Tickets are good for that night's show only.
- You have to buy in-person, and the line is often 15+ minutes long.
- You can't see the prices until you go to the booth. They're not on a website, and you can't call to check.
- Sometimes they sell only the pricier seats, and a discounted version of a pricier seat is often more than a cheap seat directly from the box office. This is especially true of Cirque du Soleil shows.
They have locations all over the place:
- Showcase Mall (giant Coke bottle), across from NY NY. There's one booth inside (where it's air-conditioned) and one outside, in the blistering heat. Now that you read this tip, you know which one to wait at!
- Planet Hollywood, right outside.
- Casino Royale, right outside.
- Fashion Show Mall
- Slots A Fun
- Circus Circus
- Four Queens (downtown)
Their website has the list of shows, but not the prices.
Tip: Keep your Tix4Vegas receipt, then go back the next day and you can skip to the front of the line.
Sometimes people can't make it to a show and they sell their tix online, with the most popular website for that being StubHub (which is way safer than craigslist, never buy there). Of course, scalpers sell on StubHub too, but scalping is far less common on nightly Vegas shows than it is for touring shows. Anyway, before heading to StubHub, check with the box office first to make sure that you couldn't get a cheaper price than what they're going for online.
If you live in Vegas, all kinds of discounts are available to you, and your state-issued ID is your golden passport. Start your adventure at Vegas4Locals.
Lists of shows
Comedy clubs: Las Vegas Online and Vegas.com.
Lounge Acts: Vegas.com and Review-Journal.
Here's my my review of Ka.
|Some Las Vegas Shows
|Show||Type||Where||Yelp stars||My comments|
|KÁ||Cirque du Soleil||MGM Grand||Incredible dancing / martial arts combo, in a wordless fantasy.|
||Wynn||[CLOSED FOREVER] The production values of a Cirque show, without actually being a Cirque show. Makes use of a stunning water-laden stage.|
|Love||Cirque du Soleil
||Beatles+Cirque, though it seemed
to be the worst of both worlds, not the best. But most
everyone else Loves it, so you probably will, too.
|Mystère||Cirque du Soleil
||A Cirque du Soleil variety
show. Very entertaining, and my favorite of all the
Cirque shows I've seen.
||Surprised the reviews are so good,
since he did the same trick over and over and over
again. It was an amazing trick, but still. Opening
comedy was great.
|V - Variety Show||Variety
||Features a rotating cast of
entertainers, so you never know what you're gonna get, except
that it'll be top-notch.
|Zumanity||Cirque du Soleil
||New York, New York
||An adult (read: naughty) version
of a Cirque du Soleil show. I didn't feel it was nearly as
good as other Cirque shows, but the reviews suggest otherwise.
Show locations last checked: August 2015Yelp reviews last checked: August 2015