Dolla, dolla bills y’all. Here’s how to spend your tax return in Vegas

This is the time of year where you’re either taking a money bath or you’re holding your head in your hands asking, “How did this happen?” Yep, that’s right, it’s tax season and the IRS is either your best friend or your worst enemy. Now that you’re done flipping your house upside down looking for receipts to turn into your tax person, it’s time to spend that hard earned money on a Vegas vacation. Vegas is where you escape the nightmares of the IRS and have a Mai Tai poolside instead. Here’s what you should do with your tax return.

Photo credit: David Clark

If you owe money:

Yeah, you might not be in the best position to spend money right now, but our motto is YOLO! Scream it with us! Live your best life and if that means booking your stay at one of our Las Vegas hotels, going to see a Vegas show you’ll remember for a lifetime or taking an adventure with a tour or attraction, so be it. It’s time to create stories that will be told for decades to come. And it just so happens that they all start with “that one time in Vegas.” Take a risk, live a little. What’s the worst that can happen?

Photo credit: Denise Truscello

If you got $0 – $500:

So you’re not swimming in the dough, but you have a good chunk of change that can be spent living it up in Vegas. First, you’re going to need a roof over your head. If you don’t mind staying off the Strip, try the Rio (around $105/night) or The Palms (around $150/night). If you’re keen on location, look for the Excalibur (around $100/night). Next up, pick up a ticket to one of our amazing shows. There’s BAZ – A Musical Mash-up at The Palazzo (around $52/ticket), INFERNO! The Fire Spectacular at Paris Las Vegas ($46/ticket) or even KÀ by Cirque du Soleil at MGM Grand ($75/ticket). If you’re more of a doer, spend money on our attractions like the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck (around $10/ticket), The High Roller (around $18/ticket) or put all your money down at Exotics Racing (around $99/ticket). If you’re really thrifty, you can do one of each. Just because you didn’t get the biggest return, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

Photo credit: Caesars Entertainment

If you got $500 – $1,500:

Now we’re talking. This is the ideal tax return when coming to Vegas. It’s like Goldilocks always said, “not too small, not too big, just right” and that totally applies to this tax return. Upgrade to a suite at MGM Grand (around $355/night), Treasure Island ($219/night) or Bally’s ($257/night). Now that your crash pad is off-the-chain, time to look into a Vegas show. Your time here wouldn’t be complete without seeing one of these bad boys. To truly make your trip one for the books, check out icons like Celine Dion at Caesars Palace (around $102/ticket), Cher at Monte Carlo (around $150/ticket) or Jenny from the block, Jennifer Lopez, at Planet Hollywood (around $170/ticket). After you’re done swayin’ to your favorite tunes, you can pedal to the metal with these adrenaline-inducing attractions. Make your way through the desert on dune buggies with Zero 1 Desert Adventures (around $224/ticket). If you want to fly like an eagle, jump off the 108th floor of the Stratosphere at Skyjump Las Vegas (around $120/ticket). Follow this guide above, and there will be plenty to talk about when you get home to Poughkeepsie.

Photo credit: Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

If you got $1,500 – $3,000:

Oh, ah, your bank account is on swoll. There’s no turning back from the suite life now. If the lower tier could get into one, so can you. Check out Paris Las Vegas (around $500/night), Planet Hollywood (around $634/night) or the wrap-around suite at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas (around $547/night). No matter which suite you pick, you’ll have a great view of the Strip and/or Bellagio Fountains. And once you’ve gotten over the beauty of your room, and realized you spent four hours staring at it, you’ll want to get your entertainment on ‘til the break of dawn *cough* 9:30 p.m. *cough.* You have the raunchy side with Absinthe at Caesars Palace (around $90/ticket), the sexual side of Zumanity at New York – New York (around $100/ticket) and the lovey-dovey side of Le Rêve at Wynn Las Vegas (around $140/ticket). And once you have those boxes checked, it’s time to get your blood pumping. But first, time to get your grub on at the best steakhouses in Las Vegas. You’ll find the best cut here and everything you order will melt in your mouth. Once you’ve got your fill, jump on a helicopter and have the best view of the city with Vegas Nights (around $100/ticket). And if you’re feeling up to it after a busy night, wake up the next morning and book the Valley of Fire Tour (around $110/ticket). Your bank account might be stripped a little bare, but every penny spent will be worth it.

Photo credit: Maverick

If you got $3,000+:

Someone has a new sugar daddy, and his name is the IRS. And you better believe he’s paying for the best Las Vegas vacation eva. First things first, find the nearest penthouse suite and snatch it up. Or look for them at ARIA (around $576/night), Wynn Las Vegas (around $1,025/night) or The Venetian Las Vegas (around $476/night). There, you’ll feel like Adam Sandler from Mr. Deeds. You might not get a private butler or a water fountain that spews Hawaiian Punch, but your bathroom will be bigger than you need and your room will feel like a home in and of itself. Don’t forget about the view, you’ll be blown away by how much you can see. After clawing your way out of your extravagant bathroom, enter the streets of Sin City and catch dinner at one of our gourmet restaurants and a show. It’s time to indulge and get those fancy seats that are front row, and center. You’ll be so close to the stage people might mistake you for a performer. The Las Vegas shows that will give you an over-the-top experience are “O” by Cirque du Soleil at Bellagio which is practically liquid magic (around $205/ticket), a sensory overload experience at Blue Man Group inside Luxor (around $115/ticket) or get serenaded by your favorite boyz in R&B, Boyz II Men at The Mirage (around $175/ticket). And after the razzle-dazzle wears off, it’s time to end your trip with an adventure of a lifetime. Head to the Grand Canyon in style with the Grand Canyon picnic with limo tour (around $505/ticket) or the Grand Canyon Landing tour (around $450/ticket). It’s one of the Natural Wonders of the World for crying out loud, you can’t go wrong with that. But if you’ve been there, done that, then choose to float down the Colorado River like Pocahontas instead. Book your Black Canyon River Adventure Tour ($150/ticket) and zip through the rapids at lightning speed. No matter what you choose, this will end your vacation with glitter cannons and sparkles going off in your head. Vegas is no doubt the perfect place to spend your tax return.


I’m sexy, I’m cute, I’m popular to boot…oh wait, this isn’t the intro to Bring It On. Hi, my name is Shaun and I’m a walking ‘90s cliché. Born and raised in Vegas, I’ve seen more casino implosions than most. You could call me an O.G. Vegas native because I’ve been here longer than Celine Dion (and that’s long). The ever changing scene keeps me on my toes and I’m always looking for those hole-in-the-wall experiences most veteran visitors don’t have till their 10th trip. If this were a superhero movie, I’d be the perfect sidekick during your Vegas vacay – you brought your tights, right? Let’s conquer this city, who’s with me?