As promised earlier, this is my report on the first direct flight to Las Vegas and back using Allegiant Airlines from Owensboro.

I could say this quickly and just tell you it is inexpensive, easy, quick and fun. I could say that but I won't.  I will attempt in a few short paragraphs to give you the three day rundown.

First the flight from Owensboro was great. No parking hassles. No two hour plus drive to the airport. No connecting thru Atlanta, Chicago or Detroit. No hour long lines and unfriendly security people. Simply put if arrive on-time (2 hours in advance), check in and listen to what the TSA folks tell you things go great.

The key here is to arrive on-time. Remember the Owensboro Daviess County Airport is a small friendly airport. Things can and do get a bit crammed with the flights arriving and going out in about an hour or so. There is no time for people who are not going to go along with the program.

Once the bags and passengers were loaded, ( I do recommend paying a few dollars to check your bag as stowage room in the cabin is tight.), it was off to Las Vegas. Allegiant did the first flight with a bit of Vegas Glitter. Elvis was on-board singing and giving away prizes. Also Portia, the Allegiant Show Girl passed out prizes and posed for pictures. In no time at all we were in Las Vegas. The seats are comfortable, leather and much cleaner than many other airlines today.

The airline is a low cost carrier which means you pay for your drinks ($2 for soft drinks, snacks begin at $2 and beer/wine is about $5) The service is great with hourly trips by the flight attendants to insure nobody who wanted something went hungry or thirsty. We also had an opportunity to purchase discount tickets to the Blue Man Group show and a few other offers. These are real discounts and can save you some bucks if you plan to go to the show. Kathy and I did.

We left Owensboro shortly after noon and arrived at a bit after 2pm Vegas time. The darn city is just waking up at 2pm. A quick ride to the hotel, we stayed downtown, and the rest of the day was ours.

While many consider Las Vegas a gambling town it is much more. Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and Boulder City are about 30 miles away and offer tons of family friendly activities. The Las Vegas Strip has the new Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant for Jimmy Buffett Fans, Mirage offers dolphin shows, Downtown has the Freemont Street Experience, shopping for everything from World Class designer fashions to funky t-shirts, They even have an 800 foot zip line downtown. You name it and you can find it in Vegas.

Friday night we went to a wonderful Steakhouse, saw the sights of Fremont St. went to the free dueling pianos show at the Plaza and figured out blackjack was not my game.

Saturday morning we took a cab to the strip and attended the opening of the Margaritaville Casino, visited the historic Flamingo Hilton, walked the strip, went back to the Golden Nugget Hotel for a dip in their pool which featured a Shark Tank giving you the impression of swimming with 7 foot sharks and other salt water fish. (This place even has a 3 story water slide that runs you through the middle of the shark tank. Check out the pictures and see if you can find Kathy.)

A quick nap Saturday afternoon and we went back to the strip for the Blue Man Group show. Arriving a few hours early for the 10p.m. show gave us a chance to see the free Volcano eruption at the Mirage, stroll the shops at the Venetian and take in another free excellent show at the Palazzo.

We took a cab back after the Blue Man Group and people watched from Starbucks along Fremont Street at our Hotel. Somewhere around 1 a.m. I discovered I was not lucky with the slot machines.

Sunday morning, up early for a great breakfast. A few hours at the pool, some shopping, gambling ( I discovered that craps and roulette were not my games either). We took in some more sights, had our picture taken with one million dollars in cash, took in the Alice/Ozzy show onstage at Fremont.

We got up early and met Judge Al Mattingly and his wife Judy for the trip back to the airport. I am happy to report we zipped past TSA security, boarded the plane, took off ontime and arrived back in Owensboro at 11:23 a.m. Most of us planned on almost a full day of work.

I think this is one of the best things to happen on Owensboro in a long time. The direct Allegiant flights to Orlando and now Las Vegas are something to be proud of and it also provides another doorway for people to come to Owensboro.

One lady on the flight with us drove here from Huntsville Alabama because of the low ticket prices and the flight time. She had a big smile on her face Monday morning as she left the airport for a drive home that will take here longer that the flight back from Vegas. She said she will be back to do it again soon. That seemed to be the consensus of the group that made the inaugural flight.

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