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AC Trip Report 07/18-07/19 Food & Wine Festival

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by CCaroleann, Jul 29, 2013.

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  1. CCaroleann

    CCaroleann Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50

    My Trip Report

    Mom and I went to AC on 07/18 to the Food & Wine Festival. I was lucky enough to get an offer from CET for a free room at Showboat for the weekend along with entrance for 2 to the Grand Tasting and a Dinner at Harrahs with Chef Rocco Dispirito.

    When I got the offer in the mail months ago I instantly called up to make reservations. UGGG The CET call center was a nightmare and it took 4 phone calls before someone could even find the offer and another transfer before it could be booked. I so wished it could have been booked on line but unfortunately for this offer you had to call. It may have been hard to book but there were no issues or even any lines associated with redeeming the offers so that was a good thing.

    Traffic from Philadelphia was heavy as to be expected as it was a sunny Saturday in July when lots of local folks go to the beaches. What is normally an 1 hour drive was a 2 hour drive. Once we got past the Garden State Parkway it was clear sailing. Totally normal for the area just be prepared. What blows my mind is the number of folks that don't have/use EZPass. We would pass over 100 cars waiting at toll booths to pay.

    Once in AC we headed to the Grand Tasting. It was held at Ballys on the 6th Floor in the Ballroom. Massive space with what had to be over 100 tables. If you had bought a ticket it was $55 per person. They should called it a WINE & Food Festival as there was way more wine, beer, and liquor than food. I was joking telling Mom it was really a $55 all you can drink feast. Very few tables "selling" junk/non food wine related items which was great. They had a large area set up and did food demonstrations though out the day. The entire space/area was well set up with wine glasses, tote bags, trash and water stations located in numerous places. We went in at 12noon when it first opened and the by the time we left around 2pm the crowds were just starting to build and there were lines for some of the more popular tables. All in all I would recommend it, IF you drink. Otherwise $55 is a lot for 5 small plates of food and a cooking demo is a bit much.

    Walked over to Caesars to play the slots as we both had some free play. We found a 6 seat Sex in the City Community slot machine. Minimum bet was .50. Must be new as I had never seen it before and didn't see it in any other CET while in AC. I turned my $40 in Free Play into $100 and earned almost 400 tier points in 2 hours on that one machine. Mom did well too. I know she didn't lose any money but she didn't walk away with any either. Lots of play for the buck and a way fun machine with lots of different bonuses. Loved how you could change your "character" in the community bonuses unlike some other slot machines of that type. We liked it so much we went back the next day. It was early in the day and the bank wasn't full. Not as many community bonuses and the machines kept breaking. It would come up with an error of "Peripheral Tilt" and freeze. You couldn't play and you couldn't cash out. Slot service was painfully slow and when someone did finally come the slot tech's did not seem to be familiar with the machine and what to do. Lots of door opening and closing. Rebooting. Bringing over other slot tech's to stare. At points in time 4 of the 6 machines in the bank were on "Peripheral Tilt" status. We finally gave up and left to play other machines. I have no idea what the issue was and I don't think they did either.

    We left Caesars and drove over the Showboat to check in. The room was booked using both Mom's and mine players cards and they did require ID from both of us. On this trip all CET's properties also required a players card and photo ID for the free valet parking. As of May 2013 you use to just be able to scan your valet ticket or players card for parking. Those machines are now disabled. Not sure if this is a permanent change or if it was due to Food and Wine Festival. No line or wait for a room checking in at 5pm. They did have signs up everywhere in the check in area "advertising" early check in for $10. Our room was in the Bourbon Tower. There were no issues no standouts. It was clean, functional and had a side view of the ocean. Our favorite part, being 2 women, was the bathroom and the vanity with 2 sinks. A short burst of loud drunkenness was heard from neighbors around 4am but that is to be expected in AC on a Saturday night.

    After checking in and dropping off our bags we drove over to Harrahs for the dinner with Chef Rocco Dispirito. It was held on the 3rd floor in the ballroom. When checking in for the dinner you were given a wrist band with a table number. At 8pm when the doors opened everyone went to their table. Very well organized. While the Grand Tasting was open to the public this dinner was only for CET invited guests. There were over 1000 invited guests. Chef Rocco talked about the meal and walked around talking and taking photos with folks. He also did a food demo during desert. Very personable, funny young chef. After dinner, when he spoke, he said something to the effect of "So hows does if feel to be in Harrah's for over 2 hours and not to have lost any money?" The crowd loved that. CET really went all out for this dinner. The room was beautiful with all the decorations and fresh flowers on every table. There was an open bar with waitress service. I'm not sure how many tables our waitress had but we never wanted for a thing. These servers were working were working their tails off. The way our girl was moving she probably lost 5 pound that night. Guys in suits were helping clear the tables and pour coffee. Dinner was a Fennel and Orange Salad with Tuna, Beef Filet Pizzaiola with a Cod/Crab Cake, and Panna Cotta for desert. Everything was good and piping hot which I didn't expect given the shear number of people at the event. I really give Harrah's a lot of credit for the way they handled this this event. Something of that size could have gone horribly wrong but it was perfect in every aspect.

    Later while walking around Harrah's we saw they had this massive round slot machine. It was absolutely HUGE and spun around. It was called Titan 360. It always had a crowd around it and we were never able to play it. Seemed like those that did were having a good time as lots of hooting and hollering going on by the players. If you are there it is worth a look as I've never seen anything quite like it.

    Played and just couldn't do anything on the slots at Harrah's so we went back to Showboat and called it a night.

    Checked out of Showboat in the morning and went back to Caesars to play the slots. Played for a few hours then went to Brunch at their Boardwalk Buffet. At 12noon there was no line. We had a coupon for 2 free buffets but if you paid it would have been $25. It was okay. Great freshly made waffles and omelets. Cajun, Old Bay and Regular steamed shrimp. No Beef but sliced Turkey and Ham. Drink service was slow but the table was always cleared by the time we returned.

    After brunch we drove home. A little traffic on the way home due to an accident but way better than the drive in.

    Mom and I both came home with less than we went with but we did come home with some of our money so that is a good thing. We had fun, some nice meals and we got to get away. It's all good.

    AC seems to be alive and well. I don't know why they are crying about revenues being off. The casino was doing a booming business over this past weekend. Maybe weekdays are different?

    Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my trip report. Please let me know if I can help or answer any questions you may have.

    CC
     
  2. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,414
    Where in Harrah's was this? I just read about this machine somewhere else as a big new kind of thing in machine gaming but I was at Harrahs a couple weeks ago and don't remember seeing anything. I'm staying there next week too.


    Yes, weekends are VERY different in AC. Especially in the evening/nights. Its way harder to get comp rooms in AC on weekends than it is in Vegas on weekends.

    Thanks for the AC report!
     
  3. flysrb

    flysrb Hey Now!

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Gloucester,VA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Hey Now!!!!

    yet another reason to play Resorts. Easy to make Epic level, and even tho they cut back on my rooms to Sun.-Fri. during the summer, it's never been a problem to book Thur., Fri., and Sat. thru my Host. He just called me today to confirm Aug. 22-25- Rendezvous Tower.
     
    HEY NOW! NYE in AC!!!!!!!
    Hey Now! 6 days in Biloxi....plus early Mardi Gras Parades!!!
  4. CCaroleann

    CCaroleann Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    55
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    It's near Bill's Burger Bar. If you were looking out over the casino from Bill's it's to the left. Not too far in. Look for the crowd.

    Good luck, I hope you get a chance to play it.

    CC
     
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