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Las Vegas
  • $500   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $823   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1286   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southwest US)

74% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
gambling, alcoholism, dehydration, ATM fees
theater, live shows 6
it stinks right here, bezosland, lock your doors and watch yo kids, little mexico, locals be gamblin', actual culture, golf for old men, hood walmart, china town, sin city goons, you'll get robbed, north town, high profile golf people here, tupac got shot here, ethiopia, hendertucky, educated professionals, the olds, mormons and really old people are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Las Vegas roommate rundown:

Las Vegas is the largest city in Nevada, in a basin in the Mojave Desert. It's the driest metropolitan area in America.

Common nicknames include: Sin City, Entertainment Capital, The Brightest Spot on Earth, Disneyland for Adults and . . . Wedding Capital of the World.

They've also got a very famous slogan, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

And some of that is true. Some's more hype than reality.

With regard to boozing in public, walking around the Strip with an open container of alcohol is allowed. And it's always cocktail hour in Vegas. For someone. Who's probably just getting off work, possibly from her strenuous job performing, so there's a more freewheeling attitude toward partying 24/7 than anyplace else.

Gambling is legalized. Many gaming options exist all over the city.

And many Vegas stage shows are sexually suggestive.

And . . . that's about it.

Meaning, other than their unusually permissive attitude toward the previous, you still can commit crimes in Vegas that will get you in just as much trouble as anywhere else.

There are even places you can still get arrested for drinking alcohol from an open container on a public street. Usually not the Strip (if you're not obnoxious or obviously over your limit) but as other areas are possibilities, partiers need to know where they are.

And both drinking while driving and driving while intoxicated are definitely illegal here too.

But not to be negative, just constructive: If you and/or one of your roommates is new to Vegas, of course you're going to want to take a walk on the Strip. Go for it!

But locals warn that casinos are usually farther away from each other than they initially appear to be, due to their looming size within their own landscape. In addition, the extreme heat on asphalt during the day may make walking more exhausting for newbies unaccustomed to extreme heat. Heatstroke is happening in Vegas, more often than most new roommates imagine.

Take care to avoid both dehydration and overheating, especially when walking outside with alcohol in your system. Even after dark! Many casinos are connected via underground tunnels or air-conditioned shuttles. Many thought they were too hardy to bother with tunnels or shuttles, then sweatily turned back a short time later after outdoors felt like a furnace.

Las Vegas in general but particularly the Strip attracts pickpockets . . . just like most larger tourist destinations. So keep your wallet in an inner pocket and/or your purse securely closed and strapped to your body, or consider stashing purse valuables in inner pockets too.

Also FYI, casinos have security cameras over every square inch of their property, plus both uniformed and plain-clothed security officers constantly patrolling. No one should behave in any way that's against their rules and expect to get away with it, that's unlikely. But if someone is bothering you it's very easy to get them to stop.

But all that security still won't save pedestrians from being hit by cars? Yes, the Strip is uniquely dangerous to pedestrians. Some drivers become mesmerized by the gorgeous displays of music, water, and light. And some drivers become drunk by free cocktails.

Anywhere in Vegas, especially near a casino, pedestrians need to assume all drivers are out to mow them down like they're all triple jackpots. Pedestrians in Vegas need to keep THEMSELVES safe.

And in a car? Most locals avoid driving longer distances anywhere near the Strip or downtown, especially on weekends, it's almost all gridlock. Locals either park their cars nearby, then get out and walk to their final destination (when heat allows), or use nearby lesser-known streets to get almost all the way there, joining the gridlocked herd for as little mileage as possible.

As a pedestrian and in a car, you and your roommates will need similar traffic-avoidance strategies if you plan to spend much time near the casinos but would rather not spend an equal amount of time in a massive traffic jam. Basically, you'll need to figure how to go where you need to go in air-conditioned comfort while avoiding most everyone else doing same.

Figure the best route possible, maybe even involving free hotel shuttles that often cheerfully transport non-guests, even those living nearby that never stay in the hotels. Hardly anyone cares as long as you're polite. Don't behave in any way to make that free (to you) shuttle difficult or unpleasant for the hotel customers actually footing its bill, and it's unlikely anyone will boot you.

As for Las Vegas being the Wedding Capital of the World, well, that's the only nickname mentioned so often UNenthusiastically? At least for many, depends on who you're asking, but Las Vegas' legitimate reputation as Wedding Capital of the World is paired with its also legit rep as Divorce Capital of the World.

And yes, if you regard marriage as a sacrament, too many might seem sacrilegious. To you. But you might want to refresh critics on a few details: Many do get married same day in Vegas, even by Elvis impersonators, yes it's true. But unlike what's popularly imagined, you still do have to apply for a marriage license with valid government ID. While the Las Vegas Wedding Bureau is open most of the time (including holidays), and no blood test or waiting period is required, it's not happening within a half an hour or less, definitely nope.

You can actually get turned away for drunkenness too . . . though that's unreliable.

So it's amusing that some negatively judge Las Vegans for facilitating all that marrying and divorcing, because they didn't choose the participants, did they? So if anyone's making fun of Vegas for helping out, you could point out that sure, that's happening, but everyone else involved is usually coming from out of town?

This is probably a good time to point out that all these warnings are necessary because SO MANY go to Las Vegas TO HAVE FUN. And judging from repeat visits, most succeed. All the warnings are necessary because sometimes adults have a little more fun than they can handle and need to take a few more precautions.

But you wouldn't need all the precautions around all that fun if fun wasn't happening in the first place. You and your roommates should just Vegas safely.

While Las Vegas can feel more like an oven outdoors several months out of the year, the winters make everyone jealous. And while many leave it to the winters for outdoor exploring, some braver souls go year round, particularly in campervans.

Within a day's drive in your campervan are several climbable limestone canyons and peaks, plus national parks and preserves, to explore on their own, as well as for overnight stays.

Hiking, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking and skiing are all available in the nearby mountains. Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park are particularly stunning.

Given the high temps, many are also surprised that ice skating is popular? On the other hand, if you can have all those fountains on the Strip outdoors in the heat, why not indoor ice skating rinks?

They have an NHL ice hockey team (Vegas Golden Knights), and a Las Vegas Ice Center, inviting all levels, from family skate to figure. A few hotels also feature rinks, particularly for seasonal presentations.

It's really the vibe of Vegas that it is Christmas year round. Along with always time for a cocktail.

Even though it's never actually cold enough for even ice cubes to last outside, perhaps you and your roommates should do Christmas year round in Sin City too.

The rest of the Las Vegas roommate lowdown:

  • 6th most visited city in the US, with almost 3 million visitors annually, more stuff open 24/7/365 or very close to it than anywhere else
  • about 630,000 live in the city, 2.2 million in the greater metro
  • in a basin in the Mojave Desert, surrounded by mountain ranges, rocky deserts, occasional flash floods due to monsoons in July and August
  • home to the University of Nevada, College of Southern Nevada, Nevada State College, the Desert Research Institute, and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
  • famous for casinos and mega-resorts, usually lavishly decorated and neon-lit, replicas of famous architecture from around the world
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fights are their most popular in Las Vegas
  • So are really elaborate fountains.
  • typical desert climate, extremely long, hot summer, cools off at night, winters are mild, about 310 sunny days a year
  • with very low humidity and temps often exceeding 100F, newbies will need more sunscreen outdoors than many initially imagine
  • Vegas charges more absurd transaction fees than almost anywhere else, so avoid withdrawing cash from any ATM inside a casino or nightclub, they often charge ridiculously high fees. Instead check with your bank to determine where you can withdraw for free.
  • There is a Nevada state law that all gamblers must be at least 21 years old, with current government-issued ID saying so. If you look underage and have no ID saying otherwise, you will be asked to leave. Local police may also give you a ticket (probably not) but if someone under 21 wins a jackpot all by themselves they probably won't collect, as their bet will be voided as illegal. So anyone with roommates under 21 should warn them that even if they somehow sneak their way in without proper ID and win a jackpot, they probably won't actually collect.
  • Downtown Las Vegas, The Strip, Henderson and East Los Vegas are neighborhoods that are saturated with casinos. West of I-15 and North Las Vegas are mostly residential and suburban.
  • The Las Vegas economy is heavily gaming (gambling), tourism, and conventions, which in turn drive retail. The University also contributes substantially.
  • There are frequent buses on the Strip connecting to downtown. The Las Vegas monorail goes to several Strip hotels and the Las Vegas Convention Center. It'll give you a slow-moving tour of the back entrance to all the Strip hotels. But since it doesn't go very far, not even connecting to downtown or the airport, it's not practical for much else.
  • Las Vegas has been the leading entertainment hub for adults since Nevada legalized gambling in 1931. Las Vegas has no competitor in terms of amount of US gambling. Also no competitor in terms of Southern Californians crowding I-15 every weekend going back and forth.
  • Las Vegas' buses are all air-conditioned. Tickets are only 2 bucks, and there are convenient ticket vending machines. You can also buy passes. They're great for recuperating and cooling off.
  • The hotel gift shops and convenience stores near the Strip tend to be outrageously overpriced. There are no major groceries anywhere near the strip, not for a few miles away. You and your roommates should plan to do your grocery shopping elsewhere or overpay.
  • Most of the hotels in Vegas are famous for their buffets. Most feature a spread, but going for breakfast or lunch will usually be a much better value.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Las Vegas':

  • World Series of Poker: June and July, almost all top poker players attend
  • Las Vegas Aces: WNBA team that relocated from San Antonio, now their arena is inside the Mandalay Bay casino
  • America's Party: New Year's Eve, every year. The Strip is closed to cars so the crowd and the fireworks can commence. If you'd like to ring in the New Year in the middle of a massive mob doing same, this is the party for you. If NOT, definitely avoid anyplace in Vegas near any casino. You could get swept up in festivity against your will.
  • Mob Museum: Otherwise known as the National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement, its mission is "to advance the public understanding of organized crime's history and impact on American society." Experience artifacts like wiretap recordings, Bugsy's sunglasses, one of Nucky Thompson's suits, and a valise with hidden flasks.
  • Pinball Hall of Fame: Not far from the Strip, many you can play for only 25 cents, a few cost more, and there's over 200.
  • Cactus Joe's Desert & Garden Nursery: Voted Best Garden Store/Nursery by the Las Vegas Review - Would you and your roommates like some succulents or cacti to decorate your home or yard? Seven acres, including outdoor furniture, yard sculptures, and cholla skeletons. There's also a chapel, a koi pond, some yoga gatherings, and a gift shop with Indigenous pottery. Since 1989.
  • Neon Museum: Neon signs from Las Vegas' retro modern, burlesque, and kitschy iconic past remain in this storage yard. Tours are offered daily, and if you and your roommates go on yours after sunset you can see some of the signs light up.
  • KISS by Monster Mini Golf: 13,000 square feet of KISS memorabilia, including a giant Gene Simmons head. You can play a round of miniature golf and renew your wedding vows in their "Hotter than Hell" wedding chapel, all to the sounds of a live DJ spinning KISS nonstop.
  • Electric Daisy Carnival: Rave in mid-May with the world's biggest DJs. Interactive art, dancing for days, and you can chill out in between events in a "shift pod." You and your roommates should use the buddy system, and newbies need to remember to avoid getting so high you dehydrate or require medical intervention for another reason.

    Wear lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes, and don't forget your water bottle for the free refill stations.

    Then don't forget to actually use the free refill stations, then drink from your water bottle.


Here's the city of Las Vegas' official .gov for new residents, including registering to vote, local maps, neighborhood services, natural gas, and the DMV.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.