OK, outsiders. You're here. Welcome to Nevada, welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, and welcome to Netroots Nation 2010!
So Erin has some advice for you. It all sounds good. Still, let me give you some more advice you'll need.
1. As Erin noted, Rio is part of the Harrah's empire. And since Harrah's is all union, 100% pro-LGBTQ equality, and good to Nevada Democrats, you're fine staying and playing at any of the Harrah's casinos on or near The Strip (Rio, Caesars, and everything from Planet Hollywood to Harrah's along the east side of Las Vegas Blvd.).
2. MGM Resorts is also good, as they're also pro-union, pro-equality, and good to local Democrats. You're also allowed to stay and play at MGM Grand, Mirage, Circus Circus, and everything from Mandalay Bay to Aria to Bellagio along the west side of Las Vegas Blvd.
3. But whatever you do, DO NOT PLAY at Venetian or Palazzo! Not only are they hosting the "right-roots" this weekend, and not only were they slated to host the teabagger convention before it was postponed, but owner Sheldon Adelson is VERY anti-union, anti-progressive, and pro-Republican.
4. RTC is fairly good for transit. The ACE Gold Line is fantastic for traveling up and down The Strip, and even to Downtown! But if you want to come out here to the 'burbs, watch out... Some routes don't do late night service and/or only run on an hourly frequency.
5. For good grub, The Rio has... Oh hell, who am I kidding! Go across the street to The Palms for Simon, or across The 15 to Caesars for Serendipity, Rao's, Bradley Ogden, Guy Savoy, or Munchbar! Oh, and don't forget the sweets at Payard!
6. For more good eating tips, check out the foodie fun files of this blog and my Urbanspoon reviews.
7. Cirque du Soleil has a number of great shows worth seeing. "Mystere". "O". "Zumanity". "Love". Now trust me on this, "Criss Angel Believe" is NOT one of them! Really, your significant other would rather have the gambling money.
8. And speaking of gambling, bon chance! No really, you'll have really good luck at the video poker machines at The Palms... They're 99% payback! Whatever you do, don't expect to win much at The Rio. (Their machines can be a little on the tight side.)
9. If high prices really piss you off, just go Downtown already and be done with it! Fremont Street is the one place left abounding in "Old Vegas spirit". That's why it often smells like puke, you don't have to venture too far away to find the "working girls & boys", and most of the food sucks. Oh, and did I mention there are tons of penny machines and $5 blackjack tables there?
10. Believe it or not, the Las Vegas you will most likely be experiencing these next few days is FAR DIFFERENT from the Las Vegas I live every day. It may be 24/7 party central at your hotel room, but my 'hood is quiet as usual... Except for the occasional rowdy kiddies at our community pools. Over here in the 'burbs, we socialize, do grocery shopping, go to church/synagogue/mosque/temple/insert-other-house-of-worship, get ice cream, and go hiking like any "normal town". But again, I don't suggest staying out here in "Real Vegas" too late if you're relying upon RTC... ;-)
(And don't worry, I'll have more travel tips ready for you in the next day...)