Primm-p your trip

primm3You’re driving to Las Vegas from California and what do you see right after you cross the state line? Bright lights and a bunch of casinos!

But you’re not quite in Vegas yet. You still have a good 40 minutes left. If you’re coming to Vegas from Southern California, this is the glitz and glamour of a little town called Primm. Instead of breezing right through it, take a break from your road trip and stay awhile. You’ll be surprised how much fun this tiny town has to offer.

From rollercoaster thrills and major headlining acts to shopping and seeing amazing collectibles, a stop at Primm sets the mood before your Vegas escapade or as a memorable way to end your trip on the way back home.

Rides, rides, rides!

No matter how old you are, rides bring out the kid in all of us! If you want to begin your trip with something crazy or leave with a lasting memory, you have to try at least a couple of the thrill rides at Buffalo Bill’s.

If roller coasters are your thing, try the Desperado. Considered one of the tallest and steepest coasters in the entire country, the drop on this is insane. Not only are you plummeting 225 feet to the ground, you’re also going about 90 miles per hour.

Besides the Adventure Canyon log ride, my favorite ride was the Turbo Drop. I’ve done other freefall rides in the past and honestly, they all made me sick to my stomach. I made sure for this one, I was mentally prepared for the drop. Since it was sunny the day I went, I was able to see my shadow high above the ground. While the drop was surprising at first, the cool breeze actually felt refreshing.

If you’re still into arcades, you’ll find all your favorites here like air hockey, guitar hero, Dance Dance Revolution (a great workout, by the way!) and even classic video games from the ’80s and ’90s. There’s also a candy shop right outside the area to end your ride on a sweet note.

I did learn one lesson: My buddy and I made the mistake of getting an iced latte and hopping in the virtual, 360-degree MaxFlight 2002 ride first. I told him I felt like Sonic the Hedgehog with the way the ride spun us! I encourage you to go only if you have the stomach for it.

Shop ’til you drop

Who doesn’t like deals? Not only will you find deals on lots of clothes, I found that the selection at Fashion Outlet of Las Vegas is a lot better than the malls in Vegas. I’m a Gap and Old Navy girl, so to see a wider selection and marked down prices made me a very happy camper.

Other stores here include American Eagle, Charlotte Russe, Kenneth Cole, Converse, Bath & Body Works, 2b bebe, Juicy Couture and Kate Spade, to name a few. Sometimes outlet malls can be too overwhelming with a barrage of stores. I like how this outlet mall is smaller in size, but still features the top stores.

Also, if you’re staying at the Primm Valley hotel, the resort is conveniently connected to the outlet mall. You won’t have to worry about hauling your bags all over the place. And, if all that shopping wore you out, the hotel has a spa with massage services.

It’s showtime!

You may think that all the hot acts play at Vegas, but big name artists also perform at the 6,500-seat Star of the Desert Arena. Musicians who performed here include Snoop Dogg, Boyz II Men, Keith Sweat, The Beach Boys and Bonnie Raitt, to name a few.

If you plan on coming within the next couple of months, you’ll have a chance to see acts such as The Four Tops, Josh Turner and the legendary Rick Springfield.

If you do get tired of walking but want to check out all the different properties, there is a monorail available between Buffalo Bill’s and Primm Valley Resort. Primm will definitely keep you entertained. I was pleasantly surprised that I could spend the entire day here without once getting bored. On top of the shopping and rides, I even got to see a real life, 1931 Lincoln car owned by Al Capone’s mob on display at the Whiskey Pete’s hotel.

See? There’s more to see and do here than you think.


Most folks take their Vegas jackpot winnings back home, but my dad decided to stay here instead. That’s how I left Seattle almost 20 years ago. I moved from greenery and rainy days to hot summers, palm trees and desert. As much as I love my hometown, I decided to stick around Vegas. This city just has so much to offer. You don’t even have to be a gambler, bar hopper or an all-night partier. I love Vegas for its awesome vegan-friendly spots, concerts, swanky hotel suites and spas so big, they’re like castles. The pool scene is not too shabby either, which is why I love taking stay-cations. Besides living it up -- Vegas style -- I’m hanging out with my handsome hubby, adorable baby girl, two cats and super-fluffy Shih-Tzu. I’m also a huge fan of '90s music, shows and movies. You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.