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22-26Nov MGM & LV Hilton

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by RossW, Dec 1, 2004.

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  1. RossW

    RossW North of the 49th

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    2,594
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    29

    My Trip Report

    Nov 22-26 4 days
    MGM 22 23
    Las Vegas Hilton 24 25

    Day 1
    Stayed overnight close to the airport in Detroit at Quality Suites on Merriman Road. It is a low-rise airport hotel that is in need of some attention. The pillows on the beds were as comfortable as a small sack of potatoes. :( Both the Mrs. and me found we didn’t sleep very well. I should mention that our neighbors came along with us. They are a much older couple than we are (late 60’s) and their stay was at Monte Carlo for the 4 nights.
    They hadn’t been to Vegas in 7 years as the costs from Toronto had become so expensive for them; it was $2400.00 Canadian when priced out early in the fall. I set this trip up from Detroit for a lot less than half that cost, doing air and hotel separately. They were quite thrilled to be able to get back to Las Vegas. They said this was Vegas trip # 11 for them. This was trip # 16 for me and # 4 for the Mrs. We drove to Detroit in Harry’s car. It kind of makes you feel good to be able to do something like that for some friends. I should mention, I work at a travel agency, and have access to some of the Great deals that come along every once in a while. When I ran the deal past them, they made the decision to go in about a minute.
    Monday morning we were all up at 6 am and to the airport on time, flew a FunJet charter on Trans Meridian Airlines (TMA). Good flight and arrived on time. I got the neighbors set up with their transfers to MC, and then the Mrs. and I boarded the shuttle for Dollar Car Rental.

    Picked up the car at Dollar, but had a small hassle as the compact we had reserved was not available. Ended up with a Dodge Stratus, but it didn’t sound too good as we were about to exit the lot. A bad tick in the motor became quite noticeable and I didn’t want the hassle if it were to go south on me. Went back to the lot and no other mid size’s were there, we were directed over to luxury section, but I wasn’t that keen on a big car as I drive a small one at home and am not accustom to city traffic. Lucked out when starting to load the big car, a Dodge Neon was returned to the available compact area - Perfect!!
    I know – I could have had the big luxury car, but I don’t take the CDW, it is covered on my credit card, the max is $60000.00. I can write off 3 Neon’s or one Pacifica or Chrysler 300. I just find a small car easier to drive in a busy city. I’m not out to impress anyone.

    Got on the road and decided to try Palace Station first off. Stopped at Carl’s Jr. on Decatur for a bite to eat and bought some beer and munchies and bottled water at Albertson’s for the hotel room. I wanted to see if the Jeff Foxworthy RedNeck penny slots were still there. Played there till about 130pm or so and then drove to MGM. Checked in for Nov 22 and 23. We were given a room on the 22nd floor of the wing going down Tropicana. View was of the Airport and MB. Was quite successful with the $20.00 trick! [​IMG] I had a bungalow suite reserved and ended up with a nice Jacuzzi Suite. I knew my upgrade, (Thanks Pimp). It was a nice room with a big sitting area with couch, chair, table etc., but you could tell the room was getting a little tired. A bit of water damage on the ceiling, and a few cracked light switch covers, but hey a Spa Tub is a Spa Tub!! It was awesome, good Jets and pressure. Well worth the extra $10.00 per night. Once settled we wandered the Strip and got some half price tickets for the Legends show at IP. It was about 645 pm and both the 730 pm and 10 pm shows were available. We got tickets for 10 pm; we then had a bite to eat at Ellis Island with a POV deal. Good meal, but the wife wasn’t impressed when she asked for a spoon and the waiter brought one that looked like it hadn’t been washed. Saw Legends and by this time we could hardly stay awake as 3 hour time change had kicked in and it was a long day, and with little sleep in Detroit the night prior, we were bushed. [​IMG] We met a nice couple from Alaska who were sitting with us. Great show, we would see it again in a heartbeat, especially when you can get a ticket for about $20.00 per person.
    Walked back to MGM in the cold, which gave us a second wind for about an hour, played some Beverly Hillbillies penny slots and turned in.

    Day 2

    We slept in till about 830 a.m. We got organized and decided to drive to Primm for something to do. We didn’t get that far though, we ended up at Silverton and had the breakfast buffet with an LVA POV 2 for1. It was quite good. Both of us enjoyed it. What a neat casino. It is billed as the Silverton Lodge and Casino. It is south of Mandalay Bay a bit and then turn onto Blue Diamond Road. It has a real outdoor lodge feel to it. The new Bass Pro Shop that was built there has just opened recently. What a great store. What a HUGE store!! Spent about an hour or so in there, bought a few small stocking stuffers. Went back into the Silverton casino, played a few games of Keno and had a 5 hour run on the 2 cent and 1 cent slots. Left with an extra $175.00 or so - compliments of Jed, Granny, Ellie May and Jethro. Those penny slots are a Hoot. The Mrs. didn’t seem to have too much luck, she was trying the VP machines, but I was in a groove so she just watched me and laughed when I would hit the bonus round. I should have got a players card, it may have resulted in a bit of mail coming my way because every bet was the max 150 coins, and playing for 5 hours or so, that’s a lot of pennies, at $1.50 per spin… but oh well – maybe next time.
    There is GREAT drink service at Silverton; we will be back in the future. [​IMG]
    Not a bad way to spend a late morning/early afternoon. 5 or 6 Coronas and $175.00 to boot, plus all the laughs the penny slots’ sound bytes provide…. Granny has such a distinctive and funny voice, and when you hit the Scatter pay, Duke the Dog howls…too funny…. The Mrs. thought it might be a place to consider staying on the next trip for a few days. She really liked the feel of the place. It will be a definite consideration. We always get a car so off strip locale isn’t an issue. We then headed back to the MGM for a rest and then walked the Strip for souvenirs.

    That evening we picked up Harry and Jean from the Monte Carlo and headed downtown to the Plaza Gourmet Room, Center Stage. We valeted, and went up to the 2nd floor. We had the best table in the place. I think we had the same table as the Hoyas’ did. (Thanks for the tip Hoya) we were looking right down Fremont when the Light Show was on. Four of us with a bottle of wine included, and the bill was only $143.00. Knock off $50.00 as I had two of the LVA POV Center Stage coupons; add a tip, and we left paying $55.00 per couple. All of us were quite pleased with our meal and service. I had the veal with garlic potatoes and veggies. It will be a place that we will return to for sure. We all went down to Fremont and played at the Gate for a bit before heading back to the Strip. After dropping Harry and Jean at Monte Carlo, we wandered again, saw the Bellagio fountain show for 2 different tunes, what a great free attraction to see, (went back later on in the trip to see it again). After the fountain show we went into the Barbary Coast for some VP. The Mrs. won $50.00 and was quite thrilled. I was up $31.00 but blew it before we left. Checked the schedule to see when Big Elvis was playing, hoping to get back to the BC, but never did…Hopefully next trip. Walked back to MGM for our last night there, had a Jacuzzi and hit the hay.

    Day 3

    Packed up our stuff for the move to the Las Vegas Hilton for Nov 24 and 25. Had the breakfast buffet at MGM. That covered the food credit we had that came with the room. $35.00 to use up. We wanted to go to Rainforest Café, but it wasn’t a place that the credit was good in. Not a biggie, as the buffet was fine, we both enjoyed it. The Mrs. played some BarTop VP at the La Femme Bar after breakfast and I used the $8.00 La Femme bar credit for a Martini on ice. I like ‘em shaken in a rock glass - just vodka, ice and a splash of vermouth...Yum ...It was a good drink; I think it must have been a double. Wandered with drink in hand up the strip again for some exercise and to see things in the daylight. Bought a nice calendar and denim shirt for me, and some things for our boys, aged 3 yrs and our 2nd little guy is just 4 months. We also found a few gifts for the Grandmas’, as they were minding the boys for us.

    We got back to room and the Mrs. asked if maybe the Rick Thomas show would be a good idea for today’s entertainment. I said it would, but that I would rather see a different show. I have seen Rick Thomas, and it is a good show, I would see it again, but I put two Celine tickets into her hand for the show that evening at Caesars’. She was SPEECHLESS…….SCORE!! The good husband that I am... ;) a huge hug…and a smile that lit up the whole room. She never figured she would ever she that show as she thought tickets were always sold out months in advance and really expensive. I had the “cheap seatsâ€, but right in the middle and only two rows up in the 2nd mezzanine. I had a pair of binoculars, so the seats actually were Primo. The Mrs. was quite pleased. She said she had goose bumps thru the whole show. She said it is something she will remember her whole life. I got a nice card when we were back home. I wasn’t really a Celine fan, but what a show. Hands down the best 90 minutes of entertainment I have seen, be it a concert, a play – whatever, I’d go again no questions asked. From here on in, I’m a Celine fan.

    We got our stuff organized and loaded up the car after checking out. We then wandered thru the Castle, as the Mrs. wanted to see it again. That was the first place she stayed at in Vegas years ago. She thinks it was the first year it was open - 1993 or so? We pulled the free slot deal at the Trop, and received the basic free deck of cards and free admit to the Gamblers Museum. Yipee!!!. Into the trash that went…

    We decided to do the run I wanted to take to see the Summerlin area and the SunCoast Hotel, but took a wrong turn and ended up way out in North Las Vegas on the Interstate. Turned around, and headed back to the Hilton to check in, it took a while, as traffic was heavy. After check-in, and a few beers in the room we had a 2-hour snooze prior to the Celine show. I must say I was impressed at check-in as they had me all signed up for the new Resorts International Players Card, which was nice. We actually both liked the Hilton a little better than MGM, after getting orientated, easier to navigate, and not a hike back to the room. They are trying to revive this old Vegas standard, and I think it will be a nice place again once the renovations and facelifts are complete. I just think it’s neat to stay and sleep in the same place as Elvis did. We had a north Tower room on the 18th floor. Good Strip view. The Hilton buffet is very good. Lots of variety and the breakfast omelets that the cook prepares for you are very good. I gave him a tip; he was quite pleased and said thanks alot. A bit more penny slot action, and we were on another roll. This time the Mrs. did well and I watched. She seems to really get a kick out of those Beverly Hillbillies. Checked out the showroom, it was closed, but looked thru the crack in the door. From what I could see it looks pretty much the same as when EP played in the 70’s, hard to really say, as I was just looking thru a crack in-between the two big doors. Bought a few things at the Gift Shop as well.

    Dinner that night at Caesars, gourmet pizza in the food court and hung out at the massive aquarium prior to the show. That Caesars Palace is a class act all the way. Got burned at slots though… After the show we had a photo taken under the sign promoting Celine’s “New Day “ show.

    After the show, a few Casino Royale dollar beers and a cheap margarita for the Mrs. (thanks for the tip doctor_al) watched the volcano at Mirage. Took a few pictures for folk at the volcano and walked a bit around the Venetian Mall and river. No gondolas going as they were closed for the evening, but a canoe ride would be fun, maybe next time. Nice place the Venetian. Got lost in parking garage at Caesars, found car and then back to the Hilton. We were one more level down and back. The Mrs. is supposed to note the level and letter. I’m the driver. Some more slots in the SpaceQuest casino area at LVH and then we turned in.

    Day 4

    I was up at 430 am, and downstairs at 500 am. I did OK on Twilight Zone pennies; Price is Right nickels, and quite good on Sinatra Nickels that morning. Frank hit the bonus round with 15 lines played but only 3 coins per line instead of 5. Old Blue Eyes sang and sang and sang…. what a wonderful Voice. It was a 75 coin max machine. I had a 45 coin bet, but yet it yielded me a small bundle, at least when considering it was a nickel machine. The bonus kept racking up the credits, Frank kept singing, and after it finally stopped on the “Collect†symbol, it was up over $148.00 in nickels. I printed my TITO. I wonder what the total would have been with Max coin?? I usually play Max coin, I didn’t for a while as I was getting skinned by Frank, I lost $40.00 in about 15 pulls at max 75 nickels, and just before the concert started I downgraded to 45 coins and “Ring a Ding Ding†- Fly Me to the Moon starts… Lots of Fun, I was by myself, but laughing anyway. All in all, I went back to the room about 630am and was roughly up about $40.00. I spent my TITO when I should have gone to the room a winner…. Oh well, I had a lot of fun. Racked up lots of comp points in the process.

    Hilton 2for1 Buffet for breakfast again, we figured if we know it’s good might as well stick with a sure thing. And then a walk over to the Strip to Circus Circus, did the upstairs Kids area thing, played skee-ball, and the water gun game that you see in Diamonds Are Forever, and the chicken toss into the pot deal. We had a blast, and best of all only spent about $20.00 in 2 hours. The Mrs. said that was one of the most fun parts of the trip. I won 6 stuffed animals for the kids.

    Animals in tow, we went to Slots-of-Fun for a dollar Heineken and a margarita. Got burned about $150.00 on slots, Roulette and Let it Ride. Not one good hand in Let it Ride. Cash went quickly. Walked south to the ‘Dust. But stopped first to buy a few Labatt’s Blue at the Ho for .75 cents, they have a big sign outside the door with the advertisement; I couldn’t pass that up, GOOD CANADIAN BEER for under a dollar. Two beers for two bucks and thank included a tip. We also did a round of Hillbillies. Cashed out for $40.00 or so, but it had to be done via a Hand Pay. The only machines other than at the airport that was hand pay the whole trip. This cheap beer thing is such a laugh. I pay $3.50 to $4.00 for a beer at home when out and about. 75 cents is a bargain. ---Only in Vegas--- We played the video Spam slots at the ‘Dust. Lost around $30.00 and went to the store (pharmacy) across from the ‘Dust. The wife bought a nice top for her Mom. We headed north again to the Stratosphere , played some Tower Nickels, and back to the Hilton, via a detour through the Sahara Hotel. Although old, it doesn’t look too bad. Last time I was there it seemed dingy, this time it seemed more lights were on in the casino. We decided to go to Sam’s Town for Thanksgiving dinner, but the line was 200 + deep. I didn’t want to wait so we went to Arizona Charlie’s on Boulder, just down the road for their Thanksgiving Buffet. Worst meal of the trip…we both felt lousy about an hour later.

    STAY AWAY FROM CHUCK’S BUFFET! [​IMG]

    After a while we felt a little better. We did the SunCoast Run after getting directions. Went across Sahara, and north to Alta and Rampart as to not get lost again on the highway.

    Nice looking place on the outside as well as inside, but the SMOKIEST Casino [​IMG] I have ever been in. I know they were offering double points to Slot Players for Thanksgiving Day, but after 10 minutes both of us couldn’t stand it, our eyes were burning from the smoke, we had to leave. The American Cancer Society should set up a booth at the Entrance. It was either the fact that it was double points night for smokers only or the El Cortez gang was all in invited to a Smoke-In at a more fancy place that night. Even during my previous visits to the ElCo, it was nowhere as bad as this place on Thursday (Thanksgiving)
    I was going to stay there in March on my golf jaunt, but am having second thoughts, and I am a former smoker. I haven’t quit; I just haven’t had one since May 30. I wanted to stop prior to turning 40. That’s how I deal with it. I’ll always be a smoker, just haven’t had one in a while. If I go back to SunCoast I may become one again without ever putting a cigarette in my mouth.

    Back to LVH - a good nights’ rest, checked out, and another small bonus. With the comp dollars I generated and the cash-back deal, (you get both at LV Hilton), my two nights cost $58.10. I put the 28-comp dollars and $12.00 cash-back I got against my room charges. I’ll be back at the Hilton for sure in the future. It could become, as some like to call my Vegas Home Casino. I don’t mind the walk to the Strip and the north end is a fun area - cheap beer, the circus acts, 3.00 tables, .50 cent roulette, etc. We turned the car in and headed to the airport to fly back to Detroit. I won $125.00 on a Wheel of Fortune at the airport, I got the bonus spin and it stopped on 500 quarters - KACHING. Not a bad ending to one of the best Vegas trips in recent memory. I was glad the Mrs. was able to go. It was a nice break for her. All in All, I spent about 500.00 the fours days. That includes all expenses, gambling, food, gas, gifts etc.

    I had a list of 25 things to do from a previous post here at T2V. I covered some. But Vegas plans are always so fluid. They can change so quickly. I never did learn craps as I wanted to, I didn’t make it to Primm, although we had good intentions, Failed to see Mac King. I didn’t even yell†Unincorporated Clark County, Baby at the Ballys’ corner. I did cover a few other things that were on the list though. I guess I can always do those that were missed on the next run. What a great town, Time to start planning the next Vegas Jaunt!!

    With the Ellis Island thing, I figured the Mrs. wouldn’t be to thrilled about going to the El Cortez to see some of Vegas’ more “colorful characters, so I didn’t mention about going there. First time I have missed going to the ElCo in about 5 trips. Sorry doc, no pictures of the new pub. Let me know what I need to do to make it up to you, I’ll buy you some beers in the new pub if we ever meet up some day, That’s the least I can do…After all I owe you…for failing my El Cortez mission… [​IMG]

    Other observations

    MGM spa Tubs are nice.
    MGM is a great area to be in to "just wander for a while.
    Prices vary widely at gift and souvenir shops.
    Belligio fountian show is worth watching.
    If you can walk 8 minutes, LV Hilton becomes a strip hotel – deals can be had here.
    LV Hilton is a nice hotel overall – Good Food, Good Service, Good Atmosphere.
    LV Hilton slots seem to be fairly loose, at least the 1, 2, and 5 centers.
    Valet parking is the only way to go in Vegas- Well worth it; all you need to do is tip, we only self-parked our car about 4 times during our trip.
    Some of the outer places are fun to see and should be seen – a car gives you this option.
    You may get cancer if you spend too much time at SunCoast…. Just kidding.....
    POV’s and ACG’s can save you some real dollars – do your research.
    Check out the ½ price ticket places for deals. Get there early for best tix’s that are still available.
    Be sure to spend some time on the strip just walking, there is so much to see: places, people, free attractions.

    Whew…Thanks for reading my report.

    RossW
     
  2. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

    Joined:
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    Great report, Ross. Thx for sharing.
     
  3. jenaphir

    jenaphir Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    great report! i keep forgetting the hilton exists. i dont know why, i just do.

    i love to spend time walking on the strip. i am so excited for my trip. i miss vegas so much and its only been 7 months.

    thanks for sharing your report!
     
  4. Thekiller

    Thekiller Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
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    Location:
    OKC
    Thanks for the tour Ross. I don't know what you missed on your to do list but there couldn't have been much left.

    The Celine Dion ticket surprise-your the man [​IMG]

    Those nickel slots are high rollin if you play max coins. Good thing it was TITO, your pants might fall down with 145 bucks worth of nickels in your pockets.
     
  5. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Joined:
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    Location:
    North Carolina
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    I always feel better when people appreciate my tips--if you'd had a crappy time at Center Stage, I'd feel bad. Glad you had a good trip!! ;)
     
  6. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Good report even without the ElCo jaunt, Ross. Besides, not sure that's a place you bring your wife anyway.

    Good info on the LV Hilton, it keeps moving up my to-do list.

    Funny thing when you put more per spin in on penny or nickel slots than you can on some quarter slots. Or maybe that's not an accident...
     
  7. joanna

    joanna Tourist

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
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    Score is right! I love surprises like that! Saw Celine last summer and loved it as well. You hit every highlight I can think of - sounds like a great time.
     
  8. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Joined:
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    Ross,
    On your recomendation, we are going to the Silverton to use up one of the last 2-1 buffets coupon we have left. We hadn't ate there in about three years and it sounds like it's time to go back.
    Fun at the Circus-Circus. Interesting. Most people (myself included) rap the CC, but perhaps it could more of contempt prior to investigation.
    I agree about the smaller cars being easier to wheel around in, while in Vegas. We did same thing - turned down a larger vehicle at same price and instead waited for a compact.
    I'm with you on the Hilton. Nice buffet and rooms.
    It was a lot of fun reading your TR.
     
  9. RossW

    RossW North of the 49th

    Joined:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    chef,

    Silverton is worth the trip, it is a neat place. They are also doing some Reno's close to the Bass Pro Shop entrance. Looks like a new bar area or something like that. Both of us thought it was a great place. The slots treated us very well. I hope you have a good experience like we did

    RossW
     
  10. Typhinie

    Typhinie Tourist

    Joined:
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    Los Angeles, CA
    Sounds like a great trip, Ross! Thanks for sharing!
     
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