Hiring a baby sitter while visiting Las Vegas can ensure children have fun, too
Lisa Bower, a frequent Las Vegas visitor, enjoys everything the Strip has to offer: Shopping, gambling, fine dining and A-list entertainment.
Her 4-year-old daughter, however, does not. Since Lindsey has yet to develop a taste for such things, Bower and her husband hired a baby sitter to watch her while they were in town for All-Star weekend. Carole, from Nannies & Housekeepers USA, kept Lindsey entertained with little-girl stuff while the Bowers attended All-Star activities, shopped or played a machine or two.
“Las Vegas is very fast paced for a child,” said Bower, whose husband was in Las Vegas for work. “Having that service available allows us to feel comfortable being here.”
Though the Strip has played down its family appeal in recent years, tourists who bring their children to town can easily find someone to perform that ultimate family-oriented service. A search of the Web site Craigslist turned up dozens of baby-sitter ads with a handful specifically marketed to tourists staying in hotels.
“There’s a demand for reliable, trustworthy child care, because there are a lot of people coming to Las Vegas with their children and they want their adult time,” said Nancy Salazar, who works as a nanny by day and a part-time baby sitter in her free time.
Salazar, who sits three to four days a week on the Strip, comes equipped with CPR training, a sheriff’s card, references and age-appropriate baby-sitting materials. She has been advertising her Strip sitting services on Craigslist for about a year.
“The majority of the people who contact me are here on vacation,” said Salazar, who has worked as a nanny for 12 years. “They’re looking for a trustworthy, dependable sitter.”
Tourists will pay anywhere from $15 an hour, what Salazar charges, to $35 an hour with a minimum four-hour booking at Nannies & Housekeepers.
Lexy Capp, owner and founder of Nannies & Housekeepers, originally started the business as an employment agency that placed nannies in homes.
“Then one day, it just hit me; some of these nannies might want to work nights or weekends to supplement their income,” Capp said.
She started a hotel division five years ago, offering baby sitters and nannies to Strip hotels. Her sitters go through extensive background checks and are backed by liability insurance. Most of them are teachers by day, Capp said, and many have experience with special-needs children.
Bower first hired Nannies & Housekeepers when she and her husband visited in 2005. They found the service online and have been using it for every trip to Las Vegas. Bower always requests Carole, she said, because Lindsey loves her.
She pays $140 for a four-hour window but the cost is worth it, Bower said. When she travels with her husband, the general manager of the New Orleans Hornets, she often has to take a sitter with her. The cost for travel and salary is much more than the fee for Nannies and Housekeepers, she said.
Each nanny travels with what Capp calls a Mary Poppins bag, full of age-appropriate toys, games, music and DVDs.
The child’s entertainment is just as important as their parents’ good time, Capp said.
The baby-sitting experience “needs to be fun,” Capp said. “The parents are coming to Las Vegas for fun. The children should have fun, too.”