Last week, TravelChannel.com Interactive Producer Ben Breslerman traveled to Las Vegas to film 3 original features for TravelChannel.com. It wasn’t Ben’s first time traveling to Las Vegas, so what better way to get the inside scoop on the best places to stay, eat and “let loose” in Vegas!
What brought you to Las Vegas?
I was in Vegas to assist on a shoot with one of Travel Channel’s newest hosts, Shane Green of Resort Rescue. We were shooting the Day in the Life and My Hometown videos — exclusive, original online content that’s not related to the on-air show. The idea behind these series is to give viewers a chance to see our hosts in their natural settings, and to get their picks for their favorite restaurants and activities. So for this shoot, we traveled to Shane’s (current) hometown of Sin City (no one who lives there calls it that).
What were your expectations while filming in Las Vegas?
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. I had only met Shane briefly while he was in DC for the day. I had never met the director of photography. I knew the locations we were going to. I knew we were shooting the Day in the Life and My Hometown videos. And, I know Las Vegas very well. However, this was the first time I had been on location for any sort of shoot, and my expectations were pretty high (it definitely did not disappoint).
What were some unforgettable moments?
Geez, there are so many moments that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Going up in the SkyWheel at The Linq for the first time was a pretty incredible way to see the city. For those not familiar, the SkyWheel is the largest observation wheel in the world (Fun fact: It’s not considered a Ferris wheel because the gondola is enclosed). Filming inside the gondola, cruising 550 feet high, overlooking the city was definitely one of the more memorable experiences. Let me preface that by saying I’m not a huge fan of heights, so once I was able to stop staring at the floor and actually take in the view, it was beautiful. I suggest going up either at sunset or at night when the Strip is lit up.
Another memorable moment was going to Nobu restaurant in Caesars Palace. I think it was most memorable to me because I HATE seafood and I tried 3 different kinds — yellowtail sashimi, the rock shrimp sliders (They were amazing! Fun fact: They are only available via room service when staying at the Nobu Hotel inside Caesars Palace) and some other fish I wasn’t too fond of. Although I only really liked the sliders, if it hadn’t been for Shane egging me on, I never would’ve tried any of it. So thank you, Shane! By the way, Nobu may be known for their seafood and their sushi, but the filet I had was out of this world.
I don’t know if this counts, but the most unforgettable moment was the entire shoot. It was truly an amazing experience. Shane Green, his wife Sandra, his assistant and the VP of Marketing Michael Purdy are great people. My co-worker Allee Sangiolo and the director of photography, Francisco Aliwalas, are great people. Everyone that helped, from the PR teams in Vegas to the restaurateurs to the staff at Dream Racing (where Shane raced a Lamborghini), were extremely helpful, and made the entire experience easy and fun. There’s something to be said about the environment and people you work with. I worked longer days than normal, but it didn’t feel like work, and that can be attributed to everyone I mentioned above.
Do you have recommendations on things to do in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is so much more than the Strip — it’s actually a very outdoorsy town — you just have to think outside the box a bit. First thing that comes to mind … take yourself outside the Las Vegas you know, drive 15 minutes off the Strip, and enjoy the beauty of Red Rock Canyon. Hell, go for a hike, do some climbing or some bouldering if you’re really feeling adventurous. With more than 3,000 documented climbs and trails, there really is no better place.
However, if you’re on the Strip (and most likely you are), there are 3 things I would absolutely suggest doing.
1. If you can handle some cursing and a few crude jokes (ok, more than a few), go see Absinthe. It’s Cirque du Soleil meets 1980s Eddie Murphy, and it’s absolutely hilarious. 2. Go to the pool. For a single guy in his 20s, the pool scene, whether it’s at your hotel or another, is the perfect place to be (besides winning at the blackjack table). My top suggestion would be Drai’s Beach Club at the Cromwell Hotel. It’s surrounded by beauty, from the women to the palm trees to the views. And 3. See a concert at the new Brooklyn Bowl. Set up the same way it is in Brooklyn, NY, you can go bowling with your family and friends while watching an amazing show just a stones throw away. The music scene in Vegas is getting better and better each year, and the Brooklyn Bowl is getting it all.
Any tips for planning a trip to Las Vegas?
- Get a couple good nights of sleep before stepping foot on the plane to Vegas. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
- Pack some sunscreen because it gets super hot in the summer (I know it’s a dry heat, but it’s just as bad as the humid stickiness that is a DC summer).
- Grab some cash and leave your debit card in the safe in your hotel room. Having a debit card on the casino floor when inebriated … let’s just say, it’s not the best idea.
- Have fun!