Roberta's Las Vegas Real Estate Blog: Las Vegas Sleigh Rides

Las Vegas Sleigh Rides

 

It might be a little late for Christmas, but there are still sleigh rides departing daily from Mount Charleston Lodge, only 45 minutes from the Las Vegas Valley. Two Belgian draft horses pull a bright red sleigh along the beautiful, snowy trails. They have several teams of horses that enjoy working. If the horses are fed as much as they can eat and are bred to work, they work hard and adapt well to what they are pulling. According to the owner of Las Vegas Carriage, Robert Humphries, one of the sleighs that they use is an original sled built back in the early 1900's for transportation. So this is like a trip back in time. The tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children.

If you would like to stay overnight at the Mount Charleston Lodge, they have 23 individual log cabins with private decks and fireplaces. Here are some great pictures from the Lodge. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has spectacular mountain views. If you miss playing the slot machines, the lounge is open until midnight and offers coinless video gambling.

If you ski or snowboard, you can go to Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort to enjoy the slopes. Bring your own equipment or rent it there. Currently, they have a snow base of 29". The snow if powdery and the sun is usually shining. All lifts are open.

Just some more great adventures that you can enjoy in Las Vegas. It is a wonderful place to live with something for everyone!

< UPDATE - Las Vegas Sleigh Rides on MT. Charleston at >

< Mount Charleston Trail Rides >

 

If you are interested in relocating to Las Vegas or would like information on Las Vegas real estate, please email me roberta@search4lasvegashomes.com or call me at 702-354-8988. I look forward to hearing from you!

Comment balloon 25 commentsRoberta LaRocca • January 05 2008 03:09PM

Comments

Roberta,

On my few trips to Vegas I have not ventured far from the glitz and glamour of the strip.  My wife and I have said if and when we get back we will see what else there is to do that is away from the strip.

Posted by Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR, SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038) almost 11 years ago

Roberta...  where are you in this?  Or are you taking the picture?  In any case, I am sure that is a pretty scenic ride, especially with the snow on the mountain tops....

jeff belonger
Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 11 years ago

Roberta, thanks for the insights... I plan to be at the RE/MAX Convention in March... I'll have to try something new!

Idaho Real Estate

Posted by Don Wixom, "Looking out for your next move..."tm (RE/MAX Advantage Nampa, ID) almost 11 years ago

Dan:There is a lot to do off the strip.  Check out some of my previous blogs for some ideas.

Jeff:  I am not part of this ride so I didn't take the picture.  It is beautiful scenery on the mountains.

Don:  Glad I could give you an idea.  Let me know if you are coming in March and maybe we can plan a get together for AR members.

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Thank you for the post!  Last time we were there we did alot of sightseeing away from the strip... I think it would be fun to stay a few nights here....Great Idea... THANKS!
Posted by Mark and Tana Hunt, Born and raised in Austin, WE KNOW THIS PLACE! (Team Price Real Estate/Dan Price Broker) almost 11 years ago
Tana: It would be a great place to spend a few nights.  It could be a very romantic getaway or just a fun get away.
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Hi Roberta:  What a great way to travel in style.  The horse drawn carriage looks just perfect.  It looks like it even has padded seats.  Thanks for sharing.
Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 11 years ago
Karen Anne:  It does look like it would be a nice ride.
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Roberta- That looks like a lot of fun. You can keep the 29" base. Buurrrrrr.
Posted by Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC & (Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC) almost 11 years ago
Mark: I don't go up to the mountain too often because that snow is just too cold for me!  It is pretty to see the snow covered mountain from down here in the valley.
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

OK, that looks fun. Have you had a chance to take a ride on this yet?

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 11 years ago
Todd: I haven't had a ride on the sleigh yet but it does look like fun.
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
WooHoo!  Giddyyap!  I wanna ride! Okay....haven't been to the mainland in 11 years....it's a plane thing :)  Maybe I can find a horsie around here.
Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 11 years ago
Sally, You haven't been to the mainland in 11 years???  I have trouble with planes too but I take some happy pills and do it anyway! :)  I thought maybe you'd make it to Vegas someday but maybe I'll be visiting you first.
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

That looks like fun, Roberta. I wonder if they would let customers hold the reins? Then one could pretend we were in the Wild, Wild West.


Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Elizabeth: I'm not sure they would let you hold the reins, but it would be fun if they did!
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
I didn't realize Las Vegas got cold enough for snow. For some reason I though the climate was about the same as ours in Daytona Beach. I learned something new today =)
Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) almost 11 years ago
Lisa: The mountain is about a 45 minute drive from Las Vegas so it is a bit warmer in the valley.  Although, it does not stay hot year round like everyone thinks, it is much cooler in the winter months. At least the sun shines most of the time, though! 
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Then Roberta get out there take a ride, get some pictures and get back to us!
Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 11 years ago
Todd: I'm not sure I will get to take the ride, but if I do, I will get some pictures.
Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

 

As a journalist, I have sampled hundreds of Vegas attractions, and Mt. Charleston Sleigh Rides is hands-down the worst experience I've ever had with one.

I purchased a Living Social coupon and phoned the number listed to schedule an appointment, as instructed. I chose 2 p.m. I mentioned that I had a tight schedule, and didn't have much longer than the half hour allotted for the sleigh ride.

"No problem," the operator said.

I called at 11 a.m. to reconfirm my afternoon appointment. A man who answered the phone told me "everything is on schedule," "the roads are clear," and "see you then!"

On the 45-minute drive from Vegas to the mountain, my wife sang "it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together" to our young daughter nonstop. This was going to be fun.

Driving up Lee Canyon, we came upon two dozen cars parked in front of the location. Then a line of about 45 people became apparent. A woman in charge apologized and said they had problems getting the sled set up and "we're a little behind today."

How much was a little?

"At least an hour."

She said the owner was on the premises. I asked to speak to him. I explained that we couldn't wait, and that we had a scheduled appointment.

"So does everyone else," he said. "You're just going to have to wait in line."

Making an appointment is a ruse. They do not take reservations. This is a first-come, first-served operation. But the operators who confirm and reconfirm you do not explain this.

Later, when I called, a different operator explained that, even though he answers the phone "Mount Charleston Sleigh Rides," the operation is indeed "a separate business" and "they do their own thing up there."

"There are no working phones between the sleigh area and the call center, so we have no idea what's going on up on the mountain."

Fair enough. But then why does everyone answering that phone try to mislead people into thinking that they do? Each and every customer needs to be told, each and every time, that there is no communication and that wait times can be in excess of an hour past their reservation time. I would not have picked the day I did for my ride if I knew it might eat up three solid hours.

At the very least, Mt. Charleston Sleigh Rides should send someone up and down every hour to update the call center for anyone calling to reconfirm.

While I'm explaining how unacceptable this situation is to the owner -- and my wife is in the car, blissfully unaware and bundling up our daughter for the thrill of her young lifetime -- I'm noticing that the sleigh isn't even the Santa variety pictured on its website. Instead, it is a huge trailer on rails, with seats facing inward around the edges. Not forwards, but inwards toward other passengers, giving an experience that must seem like an uncovered paddywagon.

Before he abruptly ends our conversation, the owner asks me: "Don't you have any patience?"

Thanks, dream-crushing jerk. But I didn't spend $30 and drive 90 minutes back and forth to learn lessons about patience from someone who thinks that inconveniencing hundreds of paying customers is an acceptable business practice.

Living Social kindly refunded my money, gave me extra reward points, and indicated that it was launching an immediate investigation into whether maintaining a relationship with Mt. Charleston Sleigh Rides was in their best interest.

By the way, before he cut me off, the owner suggested that we reschedule for another magical sleigh ride.

Perhaps in hell, buddy, when it freezes over.

Posted by Corey Levitan almost 7 years ago

How do you make a review on something you've never even done? Doesn't sound like you were ever there!

All the commentors are people who liked the idea but who also have never experienced this outing.

The only one who has been there ripped them a new one! I'll go with his opinion, thanks.

Posted by ZEKE almost 7 years ago

Hi Corey,

Usually your writing is so humorous and I really enjoy it, so this is a bit of a surprise.

While it's been some time since I made this post, and only updated it as it had changed and I had so many contacts about it, I can't personally say if this is now the norm of the moment. But I can say yours is the first complaint I've heard of, and I've had many more private emails thanking me for letting people know about the rides, and that they enjoyed them.

I'd really suspect what you've experienced is the reason why I don't use Living Social or Groupon deals. It's pretty much been common knowledge that they often overwhelm small businesses, and service suffers because of it.  I've seen it in the news many times and in various postings online, and to me, it's not worth the 'savings'.  It's not much different than those 'free nightclub passes' they hand out on the Strip and in cabs.  Sure you can get in for free...after you wait in line. That's not a deal for me. Now a VIP Guest List or escorted in, that's a different story. :)

Understandably people who go for these deals want them 'right now', as they've paid for them up front. There are business owners who have posted their side of these deals, and found it often does more harm than good.  Offering a discounted price and then doing a 50/50 split on top of that, just to get slammed with too many people in the process. It costs them more than they they were led to believe, leaves them understaffed, and that results in ill-will.  It really doesn't help generate 'new customers' as these coupon outfits use in their sales pitch, and the coupon sellers have little to lose in the process.  It's no wonder there are many complaints and negative postings from both sides, and even reseller ratings giving them a 1 star.

http://homebrewexchange.net/content/living-social

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Living_Social

Combine this with being on a weekend, and just before the holidays with the kids out of school, and I'd imagine business was beyond what they would normally experience.  With you living in Las Vegas, I'm sure you know that weekends usually get a tad bit busier all on their own. With my own schedule often being tight, I try to avoid doing anything during peak times, especially if my time is limited.

It appears you may have been misled by the booking company, but to be honest, I would have expected there would be a crowd and a wait.  It would be like going to an amusement park on the 4th of July weekend, long lines to ride, and a wait even if you have a 'Fast Pass'.  While I can't speak for them, I'd have to wonder if this combination of deal, weekend and holiday may be why they were behind, and possibly had to change equipment to handle the crowd.  I would assume you would have to contact the trail rides owner for those kind of specifics.

Hopefully you do get your refund from Living Social, as there are complaints about that, as well.  Hope things work out, and have a Happy Hanukkah!

 

Zeke,

First of all, you should read a little more thoroughly, and note that this post was from 2008, when the rides were at MT Charleston Lodge.  It has changed since then.  Also note that I included Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard, and MT Charleston Lodge, and I will clarify so that you can regain your composure. 

If you must know the honest truth so that you can sleep at nights, I will confess! I discovered the sleigh rides on my way back from taking my sons to Las Vegas Ski.  I knew about the slopes from my many visits over the years I've lived here, and also knew of the lodge, but the sleigh rides were a totally new discovery.  So no, this wasn't from hearsay.

Oh, and even though this snowboarding trip and 'winter' lodge visit was during the week, it was also during school winter break and it was still very busy.  I can't imagine the weekend crowds at that time, but that's probably why they've also been working on a 10+ year expansion plan at the ski resort.  That was finally approved by the US Forest Service just this past year.  Hope that keeps you informed with more current mountain events, even though I'll offer the full disclosure that I haven't personally participated in any of the design and approval process, so the decisions made by LVSS and the USFS were purely their own, and not based on my lone opinion.

Back on topic, on the way home we did a quick stop at the lodge and while there got the details of the rides, but my boys were already beat from a day on the slopes and I had been chilled long enough, so we decided to pass that trip. And no, I'm not a big fan of cold and snow.  I lived in it for years before moving here, and that was a big reason for relocating to Las Vegas.  I can visit snow if I chose to, and for how long, and it sure does look pretty on the mountains. But I was willing to make the sacrifice of time and temperature endurance for my children, even though I prefer to visit in the summer months when it's cooler, but not cold.  I hope that also eases your concerns as to my actual presence on the mountain and my knowledge of the sleigh rides.

If it further eases your pain, I did return to do the ride shortly after this post and we did have a great time.  Forgive me for not updating that, so that you would have more clarity, truth in internet blogging, or whatever it is that appears to have created such rage that I should dare have the audacity to post about this in the first place.  As I just mentioned to Corey, I've had a number of emails from many folks who also said they enjoyed the rides.  Of course, they may have paid full price and not gone at as busy of a time, without waits or issues with their schedule pressing.

Personally I'm one that hates to wait and avoid it as much as possible, and do all I can to avoid those types of situations. While I enjoy deals just as much as anyone, some just aren't worth the trouble.  I'm sure there were people who waited in line on Black Friday, only to have their share of 'never again' complaints.  To each their own, but you won't find me camping out at Best Buy on Thanksgiving, or paying for a deal that god knows how many others will turn up at the same time to claim it.  I'd be angry with myself if I fell for it, but that's just me.

I must add that it would appear you're being a bit presumptuous by basing everything on one comment, opinion, or personal experience.  Actually it really appears to just be sucking-up to a friend.  Or is it just a coincidence that you posted in under 2 hours of Corey, on a blog post with comments from nearly 3 years ago?  Knowing Corey from his writing, I think he can stand up for himself.  Even though on multiple occasions he's admitted to being vertically challenged, he always manages to stand out in a crowd with his own skills.

But, if you'd like to continue to get him to notice your undying moral support, I can help!  You can also bash his former employer, or his former coworker, who wrote about the sleigh rides at about the same time as this post.  Even though my conversation at the lodge was brief, and I didn't post until I had some spare time, seems I came away with just a couple of the same background highlights, and had similar impressions that this might be worth the time, when you have the time to enjoy it.  A nice break from the hectic pace we often keep today, a chance to slow down and take in the scenery, just like they did when using sleighs, wagons, and horses as primary transportation not so long ago.

http://www.lvrj.com/neon/13036252.html

 

 

Posted by Roberta LaRocca, REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management (Simply Vegas Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Roberta,

Thanks for your reply. I tried weaving humor in bout my bitter disappointment yesterday, but i failed. There was no hiding it. This was a horrible experience -- not only for me but for the 45 others I saw yesterday, and for the hundreds inconvenienced throughout the day, who waited to receive a substandard ride (the vehicle was not a sleigh but a haywagon) and I would like to forewarn as many others as possible because the system is set up so that you don't discover the long waits and sled-and-switch until you've already driven 45 minutes with 45 minutes to drive back home.

I didn't consider your wisdom that businesses might be overrun by LivingSocial and that this probably had nothing to do with the snow conditions they cited. I certainly will from now on. Then again, this doesn't really appease me because Mt. Charleston Trail Rides took appointments at the sleigh ride, so they must have known about the crowds and the operators were derelict in not informing callers about them -- especially the callers who bothered reconfirming a couple of hours before their scheduled time.

Cheers,

Corey

Posted by Corey Levitan almost 7 years ago

In one word, I can say awesome. value for your money. $15(QuarterOFF.com coupon) for a beautiful experience, nothing can beat....

Posted by Andy Baxter almost 7 years ago

Participate