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A walk down memory lane...

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by JRRestoule, Oct 22, 2015.

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  1. JRRestoule

    JRRestoule Low-Roller

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    Ontario, Canada
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    My Trip Report

    I'm kinda new to this board, I've been creeping it for a little while now and I think the posts are great and the people here seem pretty cool! I am a real Vegas lover, and have made the trek out to Vegas 2-4 times annually for the past 10 years. I was a member on another board in the past and had posted fairly regularly there, but it changed and as time went on I didn't post as much.

    I love reading trip reports. What I like about trip reports for myself is it gives me a chance to go back and re-live my trips, and remember some of the details and memories I had made.

    With that being said, I wanted to share my trip report from my first ever trip to Las Vegas. It was November 2005 and I stayed at Wynn Las Vegas. Since then I have been to Vegas probably about 25 times give or take. I like to go back and read about my first trip because it is interesting to me to remember how I thought about things and how much of a magical place it was on that very first trip.

    So, I hope you enjoy reading about my first ever trip to the best place on the planet :)

    -------------------------

    This was our first trip to Las Vegas and I can honestly say that no matter how many pictures you see, books you read, or movies/shows you watch on television, nothing compares to actually being in Vegas.

    Our plane landed in Las Vegas on November 21, 2005 at about 10:00 am. Getting off the plane and seeing those slot machines right at the gate put a huge smile on my face. I don’t even play slots at all but hearing the ringing sounds of the machines just raised my level of excitement.

    We got our bags and headed out to catch a shuttle to our hotel. The cost was about $4.50 each and the wait was about 30 minutes (the longest 30 minutes of my life). We finally got going to our hotel ~ Wynn Las Vegas.

    We waited about 10 minutes at the check-in counter and although we were early (I believe normal check-in is at 3:00 pm) they had rooms available. They offered an upgraded room for $50.00 and we declined. Our next offer was whether we wanted a view of the golf course and pool or a view of the strip. My wife thought it would be more relaxing to overlook the golf course and pool so that is what we ordered (by the way, she was/is pregnant… looking forward to the little one arriving). I asked the lady at the check-in counter if we could have a room as high as possible and she said the highest room they had available was on the 12th floor.

    Off to the room we went. The room was unbelievable. By far the nicest most relaxing room we have ever stayed in. The floor to ceiling/wall to wall windows are something I believe every hotel should have, just loved them. Unfortunately our view was of the parking lot/garage on the north side of the hotel (where the new Encore Tower is going to be built). We had to kinda push up to the window and look as far to our right as we could to see part of the golf course and the pool was not at all visible. But that was ok because I was in Vegas! :D

    A quick clean/change and down to the ‘strip’ we went. We stopped across the street at the Fashion Show mall food court for lunch. We heard that food on the strip was expensive so we figured fast food would be cheap. After a quick bite we headed down the North end of the strip.

    The goal of this trip was to visit every hotel on the strip. I wanted to go everywhere and see everything. Believe it or not, gambling came in second to this (and I love to gamble).

    We walked all the way up to the Stratosphere and back stopping in at every hotel along the way… New Frontier, Stardust, Circus Circus, Sahara, Riviera, etc. I went to the players club booth at every hotel to get a players card (which was something else I wanted) and quickly used whatever freebies they gave out (usually $5.00 or $10.00 in slots or tables). The walk took about 5 hours. I really enjoyed the older hotels down this way. My wife thought they all started to look the same after visiting about 3 or 4 of them but all I could think about was the history of these places. It was cool to me just being there (and I’m glad I got to visit the Stardust ‘cause I don’t know if I’ll get back to Vegas before it’s destructed).

    We ate dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy, which is just outside the Fashion Show mall entrance. The food was great and the prices were reasonable.

    Back to our home at the Wynn we went. By the way, the hotel itself is absolutely stunning. Everything is top-notch quality and detailed. I can see where a good chunk of the $2.7 billion went. To build something as beautiful as the Wynn… well, for those of you who have been there you know what I mean, and for those of you who will visit in the future you’ll know what I mean.

    We went up to the room to do a little relaxing and staring out the window. I decided that I was going to go down to the front-desk and see if we could change rooms. After all, our view wasn’t really what they told us it would be and I figured I’d splurge if I had to, to get a better view. I decided that I was willing to spend the extra $50.00 for the upgraded room and we decided that a view of the strip might be better. So down I went.

    I explained to the lady that I wasn’t dissatisfied with the room we had but that I was hoping to move to the other side of the hotel to get a strip view. I might have mentioned that the view of the parking lot wasn’t exactly what we expected when we checked in. I also told her that we would be happy to stay in the room for the night and switch in the morning if that was easier for them. She was very nice and checked the computer to see what she had available. She told me that she had one room available, an upgrade from what we had, and that she would give it to us at no extra charge for the inconvenience to us. She also told us that we should move over to the room that night as it may not be available in the morning. That was no problem for us. She gave me a new room key and said my room was on the 57th floor!

    We made the move and I was anxious to get in there for two reasons. First, to see what and “upgraded room” was and second, to look out those floor to ceiling/wall to wall windows that I fell in love with a few hours earlier. We opened the door and Voila… the room was exactly, and I mean exactly the same as the other non-upgraded room. BUT, before I made my final decision that the extra $50.00 I almost spent was not worth it, I had to push the button beside the bed, which I forgot to mention earlier, to open the curtains (which is one cool thing) and reveal the view of the ‘strip’. Well, I then fully understood why someone had to spend, and would be willing to spend, an extra $50.00 for an “upgraded room”. The view was, well, something you can’t put into words. I must have stood in front of the window for an hour with my jaw touching the floor.

    I then picked my jaw up off the floor, did some sort of “I’m so excited” dance around the room and asked the wife if she wanted to go down to check out all the amenities our hotel had to offer. Off we went. Around 11:00 pm my wife decided that she was ready to turn in for the night. We went up and found our room turned-down, which we weren’t expecting, but was a nice feature. I gave my wife a kiss, her belly a kiss, and down I went to hit the tables.

    I played blackjack at the $25 table for about an hour and a half and ended up with an extra $150 in my pocket. I know it’s not a huge win, especially at a $25 table, but it was a win and it made an excellent cap to an exciting first day in Vegas.

    I was up bright and early the next morning and went down to get some breakfast. We ate and got ourselves ready for another day of walking and visiting. The goal for today was to go down the strip visiting the hotels on the west side of the strip.

    We started with Treasure Island and 6 hours later we found ourselves at Mandalay Bay. Wow, the hotel/resorts are really little cities in themselves. We walked through each and every one (and I got a players card at each and every one) and we even did a little gambling in a couple. We had lunch at Cypress Street Marketplace, which is in Caesar’s Palace. It was good and fairly inexpensive. I played a little blackjack at a $10 table in NYNY. I drank a couple beer and left ahead a whopping $10 (still better than losing). My wife played some slots at various casinos and had no luck. She didn’t play very much though (maybe $10 here and there).

    We seen the white tiger at the Mirage, visited the Forum Shops at Ceasar’s, spent some time cruising around the Bellagio, etc. We stopped at the Boardwalk, which I think was not very special but cool now that they have closed (I had to get my players card). By the time we got down to Mandalay Bay my wife was ready to pack it up for the day. It’s true about the walking. You really do a lot of it in Vegas. When I looked out from our hotel room at the Wynn I could see Mandalay Bay and it was “just over there” but walking all the way over there is another story.

    We took a newer double decker bus called “The Deuce” back to the hotel. We each bought a 24-hour pass for $5.00 (which I think is a super deal). Once at the hotel we grabbed a quick bite for dinner at Zoozacrackers, which was good. While we were eating we were looking out at the people playing the slots in the casino. There was a block of nickel progressive machines just outside the restaurant. A lady sat down, put in $20.00 and hit the jackpot. She won almost $10,000! I thought it was pretty cool to see somebody win that kind of money right in front of us. She was so excited.

    After about an hour of relaxing in our room we were on our way again… this time we were heading down to the Freemont Street Experience.

    We jumped back on “The Deuce” and headed for downtown. We hung out for a couple hours checking out the hotels/casinos and the light show. Did a little gambling at a couple different places, drinking the free beer they provided, and again not losing but not winning a whole lot either. I got my players cards from the casinos downtown including the Lady Luck, which we veered off track to check out. Nothing special to me but after reading a couple of other tips (from people who say not to try and walk from Freemont Street to Lady Luck after dark) I was happy we were not confronted by anybody. It is true though, that it’s a scary walk. There are no lights or anything in that alleyway.

    A little after 10:00 pm we got in this huge line to jump back on “The Deuce” to go back to the strip. This was the only negative about “The Deuce”. Trying to get on one from downtown at night takes forever. The line of people is huge.

    Back at the Wynn we played a little before heading up to the room for the night.

    On our third day in fabulous Las Vegas we started with a stroll through the pool area at the Wynn. It was absolutely beautiful. If we would have had a little more time we would have spent a couple hours lounging by the pool. But, we still had much to see so off we went.

    We took “The Deuce” down to Tropicana where we started our journey back to our hotel. Again, the hotels are just amazing. I really enjoyed the MGM Grand, Paris, and the Venetian. We did some shopping at Desert Passage. We ate lunch at the Aladdin buffet which I thought was great and again, fairly inexpensive. This is the only buffet we ate at in Las Vegas so I cannot compare it to others but I can say that I would definitely eat here again.

    We stopped at one of those half price ticket places to see if there was anything interesting. We wanted to see Danny Gans but he was not doing shows at the time because of a surgery he was having. Our second choice was “Le Reve” at the Wynn. The people at the booth said that they didn’t get any tickets for that show because it was still fairly new. So we didn’t purchase anything at that time.

    We got back to the hotel around 5:00 pm and played some blackjack. This time we both played and we didn’t do very well. We each lost $100 at a $15 table. Al least we played for an hour or so.

    Up to the room to shower and change for our last night in Las Vegas. We made the trek back out to the Bellagio around 7:30ish to see the fountain show. It really was something to see. We loved it.

    We stopped at a place outside Caesar’s Palace for dinner. It’s almost right on the street across from the Flamingo. I can’t remember the name, sorry! The food was good and prices reasonable.

    Next was the volcano at the Mirage then the pirate show at Treasure Island. We enjoyed it but my wife thought it was a little too grown-uppy for children (which there were a lot of). Following the show we went back to our hotel and gambled for awhile. I played a $25 blackjack table and about an hour later when my wife came by to tell me she was calling it a night I was even on the session.

    About an hour later I went back down to the table I was playing at earlier. I was surprised to find that it was now a $50 table. I sat down and played anyway. It was my last night in Vegas so I figured what the hell. It turned out pretty good. I played for about 2 – 3 hours and made about $400.00 plus all the beer I drank (by the way, the waitresses were really nice and they came by often). By this time it was after 3:00 am and I was tired. It was kinda neat at the table ‘cause they wanted to close it for the night so they kept raising the table minimum so nobody else would sit down. By the time I left the table was at a $500 minimum bet.

    On my way up to the room I was approached by two ‘ladies’ who cut right to the chase and offered to come up to my room with me. What’s a trip to Vegas without some sort of “escort service” so I figured what the hell. We were quiet so the wife didn’t wake up. I’m just kidding… hahahaha :D I didn’t take the ‘ladies’ up to my room, but they did offer for which I politely declined. I was surprised to get approached by them right in a 5-star hotel, does this stuff happen all the time???

    The next morning we checked-out at 10:00 am. Check-out went smooth and quick. There was actually one thing at check-out that caught me off guard. The lady said that everything was fine and that we had two-hundred and forty something dollars that we had to settle. I couldn’t remember anything that we would have charged to the room so I asked about it. She said we charge a meal to the room from one of the restaurants (which we didn’t). I explained that we didn’t even eat at the restaurant and she had me sign something and everything was fine. It almost seemed that this type of thing happened often.

    The cab from Wynn to the airport was under $11.00, which I thought was cheap. I was sad to leave but I knew that this would not be the last time I would be visiting Las Vegas. I’m in the process of planning my next trip already.

    A couple tips: If you’re going to be moving around a lot buy the $5.00 24-hour pass for “The Deuce”. It well worth it. It’s good for a 24-hour period from the time you purchase it, it runs from the south end of the strip right to downtown and back, and you could get on and off as much as you like. Also, it runs 24 hours so if you like to move around at night you are still able to.

    Take a cab from the airport, especially if you are two or more people. If I would have known the price of a cab before I went I wouldn’t have waited the 30-45 minutes for the shuttle. I was under the impression that a cab was $20 - $25.

    That’s the whole trip in a nutshell. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed living it! :)
     
    First ever New Years Eve Trip! Maroon 5...and more!
  2. Tbone3336

    Tbone3336 VIP Whale

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    Hey JRR! Great report and welcome out of the shadows! As you have seen there are many great people on this board, and thanks again for the report and hope you report many more!
     
  3. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

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    That was a fun read, it's amazing how much has changed and how many of the places you mentioned are gone in just 10 years.

    If anyone knows the place in front of Caesars you mentioned, I'm curious. I know Serendipity hasn't been there that long, can't recall what else used to be there before it got developed up.

    Welcome to the board, glad you joined in.
     
    Vegas Just Because...
  4. Rodent Pack

    Rodent Pack S.S. Minnow

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    Fun read. I feel the same way about Encore. We've been fortunate to have stayed at the Encore several times and it feels like home, but I'll never tire of the incredible views and the spectacular job that Mr. Wynn has accomplished.

    Please post more of your trips, I'll look forward to following along :beer:.
     
    Christmas comes early
  5. JRRestoule

    JRRestoule Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the kind words... glad you enjoyed reading about my first time in Vegas :)
    I have a couple other trip reports from the trips following the first one which I may post at some point as some of them are kinda funny, but unfortunately I didn't keep track of every trip (I kinda wish I did)
    I'm debating on taking a trip at the end of November/early December and may try out a 'live' trip report as those seem to be the thing to do now and I find them interesting!
     
    First ever New Years Eve Trip! Maroon 5...and more!
  6. TheNewUnion

    TheNewUnion Tourist

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    Nice report. Reminds me very much of the "wonderment" of my first trip to Vegas and very much the wonderment my girlfriend has every time we go (she still has this level of joy even after 15 visits).

    I love it when people get the Vegas bug.
     
  7. LindaP

    LindaP Low-Roller

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    I enjoyed your TR - a lot has changed in 10 years! I had to laugh at your mystery $240 charge for dinner at Wynn. The same thing happened to us at Encore in 2009. We had to jump through some hoops before they would take if off the bill. That's quite a racket they've got going!!!

    - Linda in TX
     
  8. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    I enjoyed your retro trip report. A lot has changed in 10 years. I wish I'd done what you did and visit as many casinos on the strip as possible. A lot of them you visited are just a memory now.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  9. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Yeah, I'd also be interested to know, if he/she could remember. According to this "Vital Vegas" article, serendipity 3 was only open since April 2009.

    http://vitalvegas.com/serendipity-3-expansion-way-caesars-palace/
     
  10. npom

    npom High-Roller

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    Thanks for sharing!
     
  11. JRRestoule

    JRRestoule Low-Roller

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    That's interesting, I wonder if people actually don't notice and pay this? I wouldn't think the hotel would purposely do this, but I do think that people would find a way to charge their bill to someone else's room.
    It's too bad you had to jump through hoops to get the charge off your bill. The reason I remember them not giving me a hard time was because I thought after it happened that it was such a simple process...I said I didn't charge the meal to the room, she gave me a paper to sign, and it was taken off. No questions asked.
     
    First ever New Years Eve Trip! Maroon 5...and more!
  12. JRRestoule

    JRRestoule Low-Roller

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    I'm happy I visited them all as I got some cool souvenirs by way of the players cards from some of the places that are gone now (Boardwalk, Stardust, Lady Luck, Aladdin, etc.) I just wish I had started my $1 chip collection back then as it would have been really cool to get those chips!
     
    First ever New Years Eve Trip! Maroon 5...and more!
  13. Jaci2014

    Jaci2014 Low-Roller

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    Enjoyed reading this!
     
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