(Last updated June 1, 2021)
If your time is short ...
This is a rewrite of our legacy TG Guide to Las Vegas.
It is rewritten to reflect the changes over the past ten years regarding the attitudes of society, the climate and culture of Las Vegas, and the experiences of the attendees of our event in recent years.
This is written primarily for those who identify as transgender, gender-variant, nonbinary, etc. who may be uneasy and/or uncertain in general public situations, particularly in the gaming, entertainment and tourist areas in Las Vegas.
It's intended for those who wish to blend in with everyday society, and not for those who wish to attract attention to their gender expression.
The information presented is hearsay. It contains pointers to places people have been, things people have done, and shops people have used and reported good things. It is not a guarantee of attitude, quality, or service. Our annual event has occured each year (except 2020) since 1997 and our attendees have been out and about in Las Vegas each year. We have accumulated a vast body of knowledge and experience which we want to share with you with the intent of making your visit to Las Vegas more enjoyable and rewarding.
The topic of where to go to meet potential partners, casual, long-term, or professional, of any gender or any persuasion, is not covered.
A few general suggestions on going out in Las Vegas:
Overall, Las Vegas is a very mixed bag.
While the areas frequented by visitors and
tourists are very open and accepting, many of the outlying areas
tend to be very conservative.
Las Vegas, like any major urban area, has its good areas, its bad areas, its affluent areas, its poor areas, its safe areas, and its high-crime areas. Las Vegas has people from all walks of life, all lifestyles, and all attitudes.
The two major gaming areas, those being the main part of the Las Vegas Strip, and the downtown Fremont Street areas, are for the most part safe and welcoming for those who are transgender, day or night.
The major shopping areas on or near the Strip are, for the most part, safe as well.
There are several clubs and bars which welcome LGBT individuals. Many of these are near the Strip. A few are a couple miles from the Strip. These are generally considered safe, again, day or night. See the Big List for a current list of bars and clubs as well as other firms which will welcome your business.
Where to go and what to do:
Where to stay and play:
All of the larger Strip and downtown casinos are fine. With rare exception, you are a valued customer of these places, just like anybody else.
Where to eat:
Most every restaurant in the major Strip and downtown hotels will welcome your business. Our people have dined at many places both in the big casino/hotels and away from them. See the Big List for suggestions on where to eat.
Although Las Vegas has some specialty boutiques which specifically invite TG business (see list), 99.9% of the shops that cater to the general public will welcome your business.
One thing to keep in mind is that Las Vegas is a show town, and it's not at all unusual for men to be seen buying such things as lingerie, cosmetics, etc. You will be nothing new to the staff of almost any shop in Las Vegas, either in girlmode, or shopping for stuff in boymode.
There are three large mainline malls in the Las Vegas area, the Boulevard Mall, the Meadows Mall, and the Galleria Mall. In recent years, the Boulevard Mall has been declining in number of shops and in popularity.
There are two large discount/outlet malls in the Las Vegas area. The South Outlet Center (nee Belz), located a couple miles south of the main Strip area, and is very popular with the TG community. Las Vegas Premium Outlets is a large open-air mall at the intersection of Bonneville and Grand Central, just southwest of dowtown. Again, this has proven to be very popular with the TG community.
There is a another very large outlet mall about 40 miles south of Las Vegas in Primm, at the California state line. No problems have been reported there, and we've had both individuals and groups shop there.
The Strip has the Fashion Show Mall, an upscale mall that caters primarily to visitors and tourists. As you might suspect, this is somewhat pricey.
Many Strip casino-hotels have shopping mall areas, the largest of which is the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.
Planet Hollywood has a large and varied shopping mall in which a number of our people have shopped without any issues.
For a different but interesting shopping experience, try the Fastastic Indoor Swap Meet on Decatur Blvd. north of Sahara.
The FISM is a large indoor flea market with booth vendors selling almost anything imaginable. Two wig vendors specifically invite TG business. No problems have been reported. FISM is open Thursday-Sunday. Dress casual for FISM.
Many in the TG community prefer to use their own private car or rental car as their main mode of transportation in Las Vegas. There should not be any legal concerns with driving, per se, as long as it is done sober, with a valid license, and traffic laws are obeyed to the letter.
DUI checkpoints occasionally appear in Las Vegas, mainly during the weekends and holidays. When these occur, they often, but not always, appear within a mile or so of the main Strip corridor.
During the mid 20-teens, two of our volunteers put together a detailed guide for using public transportation in Las Vegas. This is on line HERE
Taxis are quite safe, usually available, very convenient, but not cheap. Drivers are not supposed to respond to a "hail" on the street, but are supposed to pick up only via radio call or at established taxi stands, such as those in front of almost any hotel.
In recent years, ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft have been used by our attendees with very good reports. However, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic there have been reports that these have become less reliable and less timely.
Public transit is available, very reasonable in cost, and frequent along the Strip corridor, but has not been widely used by our attendees.
A popular addition to transportation options is the Deuce Bus, a double-decker bus that serves the Strip and downtown areas. This is reported to be much nicer than the regular CAT busses. Unfortunately, it can't fly above Strip traffic.
The Las Vegas Monorail serves the eastern Strip corridor. Many DLV attendees have used this over the years with no reported issues. Unfortunately this only covers 7 stops, all on the east side of the Strip, from the Sahara Hotel at the north end to the MGM Grand at the south end.
The parking situation in the Strip area is one of the major changes in recent years.
Until the mid 20-teens, all Strip hotels and casinos had free and (somewhat) convenient parking.
As of this writing, most (but not all) major Strip casino-hotels charge for parking. This, unfortunately, applies in most cases to hotel guests as well as drop-in casino guests. This is often waived for higher-level members of players' clubs.
Strip hotel surface lots and parking structures are well-lit and well-patroled both day and night.
Downtown is a varied story. Some places have convenient no-hassle parking, but most have some restrictions, such as a time limit or validation (which can be as simple as a self-service time stamp or the hassle of a wait in a long line at the slot club booth). There are also public pay lots downtown. People use these, so at least some people must consider these a better option than the casino lots.
Off-Strip places (Boulder, Rancho, Henderson, etc.) almost always have free parking for all guests.
Most shopping malls and shopping areas offer free parking to guests. The major exception is the North Premium Outlet Mall which has paid parking.
Clubs, bars, nightlife:
In general, most any bar that caters to the LGBT community will welcome your business.
Some of these come and go sporadically, but our attendees have reported good receptions at Spotlight, Phoenix and others in recent years.
See the Big List for a listing.
Most casinos have one or more small bars, in the open, within the casino area. History has shown that these will welcome your business as long as you dress and act appropriately.
What about "Straight" clubs ?
An occasionally recurring topic among the DLV organizers and attendees is whether it is wise for transgender people, individually or in groups, to go to the trendy "straight" singles clubs.
No conclusion or even a consensus has been reached regarding whether it is a good thing or a bad thing for TGs to go to these clubs, however, several facts and observations have been made:
Most of the events and activities intended for grownups are quite safe. Our people have reported no problems attending trade shows at the Convention Center, concerts at Thomas and Mack, various art shows, museums, swap meets, computer shows, bridal shows, even a gun show!
What may be of particular interest:
The big list of recommended (and not-so-recommended) places of all types, with detailed comments, can be found HERE.
Where to avoid:
It's best, of course, to stick to the places you know others have been without trouble. There are, however, certain areas and certain classes of places that should be avoided, period, mostly due to such things as uncertainty, high crime, etc.
As with many urban areas, the neighborhood can change from perfectly safe to downright scary within a few blocks.
The downtown Fremont Street area and the Strip between the Stratosphere and Mandalay Bay will be safe and well-patroled, both day and night.
These areas should be avoided, expecially at night:
One "Industry" to avoid ...
If you are tempted to use one of the "Outcall Services", those adult "entertainers" who come to your hotel room, and advertise heavily, be aware that these often operate outside of the law or just within it, and incidents of assault and attempted robbery have been reported.
In a previous year, one DLV attendee was "roughed up" by the "manager" of an outcall entertainer when a dispute arose.
The overall topic of the use of public restrooms is one of the most touchy subjects there is, and one which garners many strong opinions.
The best practice (not legal advice by any means), which has evolved over the years from good and bad experiences by our attendees, is that if public restrooms are to be used, they should be used individually and discreetly.
Almost all of the restroom incidents in DLV's history came about because attendees used public restrooms in groups, loitered within them, stood in the stalls to urinate, or otherwised misused the facilities.
During DLV's early years, one of the organizers consulted her attorney regarding the legalities of using gendered restrooms in the Las Vegas, Nevada area. This was in-office, "on the clock" and legal advice in the strict sense.
A search of Nevada Revised Statutes, Clark County Code, and Las Vegas Municipal code showed nothing on the books specifically prohibiting the use of the gender-designated restroom of one's choice.
It was pointed out, however, that some catch-all laws of public conduct such as Disorderly Conduct and Trespass, could be applied, if circumstances warrant, should someone wish to push the issue.
Another attendee consulted a Las Vegas Metro PD officer who noted more or less the same information.
In 2011, the NRS were amended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in several cases, including the use of "public accommodations".
The good news is that attitudes are changing, laws are changing, and this particular law has been on the books for over a decade with no meaningful challenges and no serious attempts to repeal or modify it.
The bad news is that as of this writing, no specific case law nor authoritative written opinions from the Nevada Bench or Bar appear to exist which specifically address how this law may or may not apply to members of the TG community.
If public restrooms are use discreetly and individually, issues and incidents will be few and far between. However, if restrooms are misused, drama scenes are often elicited.