Hello all! I won't bore you with every single detail of our annual anniversary trip to Vegas, but I'll go over the highlights, and, unfortunately, a few lowlights. 1st of all, this was our 4th year of staying at Aria. There will not be a 5th. We had issues 2 years ago with the customer service at virtually every level (except for Craig and the pool staff). i wrote a letter and the VP of Hotel Operations called, we had a great discussion about the trip and some personal stuff (we have a mutual interest in soccer and talked about that most of the conversation), and he offered to set us up the next year. I didn't ask for that in my letter but gladly accepted. It was great. This year, back to the same garbage we dealt with 2 years ago. We were staying on both a marketing offer and myVegas nights. It literally took the clerk 45 minutes to figure out how to check us in. Went to his manager 4 times for help. Sorry, but after the 2nd time, she should have stepped in. We requested a high floor overlooking the back of the property (mountains and the valley), and got a middle room floor overlooking the Strip...I'm not sure how many people ask for the view we requested but I can assume not many. Anyway, we didn't make a fuss and just unpacked and looked forward to the trip. I could take hours describing every single negative experience we had, but I'll sum it up as quickly as possible: 1. Despite the clerk's efforts, we kept getting locked out of our room every time the myVegas night ended. Had to go to the front desk on 3 occassions to get it resolved. Finally, the last clerk apologized and gave us a $50 credit. Didn't know it expired after the evening, so when we charged breakfast to the room the next day, surprise, we were charged for it. 2. Bartenders, restaurant personnel, and cocktail waitresses were downright rude and would ignore us or treat us like s*it even when they took a drink order. 3. Went to ask the doorman at the Deuce lounge a simple question, and before I even asked, he said "I can't let you in dressed like that, sir!" Well, I'm an overweight 43 year old middle class white guy, asshat, so I'm not interested in coming into the club in the 1st place...didn't even ask my question, just walked away. 4. Slots were friggin' terrible. I'm guessing the rate of return on those machines is below 90% now. I used to be able to play on a 20 and get a drink or 2 for half hour; this time we barely got 5-10 minutes. And table games were $15 minimum now. So yeah, Aria is removed from our list of future stays. Pretty obvious they don't need or want us there anymore... Then ended the trip with 3 days at Mirage. What a great way to end the trip. Hadn't stayed there in a few years, and even though the place is a bit dated, we had a blast! Pool wasn't nearly as crowded as it had been the last time we were there. Seems like they added some chairs without sacrifing space. Every person we encountered was friendly and helpful. We had a problem logging into the internet, and a technician was up within minutes. We had figured out the issue before he got there, but he insisted on doing a check to make sure everything was ok and that we wouldn't have an issue again. Had a couple of nice conversations with other people staying there, which my wife pointed out we've never had during our time at Aria. Mirage folks were definitely more our speed. Lots of kids at the pool but they weren't bothersome at all. Were having fun and I'd much rather get splashed by them than get smoked on, had a drink spilled on me, or get smacked in the face by an idiot on one of those ridiculous rafts at previously mentioned place. Still didn't do table games as even $10 a hand is a bit much (I do my table games at Casino Royale or off Strip now), and the slots were enjoyable. In fact, a few hours before we left, they had installed the brand new Rolling Stones slot machine (my favorite all-time band). Put in $20 and expected it to go quickly. 1 hour later and I was cashing out at $278. Nice bonuses and great music playing throughout. Other highlights, went to a few shows: 1. LOVE (hadn't seen it in 3 years and forgotten how much we loved it) 2. Zarkana (loved it last year, but they totally changed the storyline and now it's just circus acts for 90 minutes...if I wanted just to see that, I'll go to Ringling Bros. for 1/2 the price). 3. Aerosmith and Slash. Incredible show! I've seen them both a few times before, but the wife hadn't. She knew more of the aerosmith songs than she thought she would, but she can chalk that up from me making her listen to them for 20 years. Seeing both Slash and Joe Perry in the same night was definitely a concert highlight for me. Sorry, this was a bit longer than I had planned. Like I said, I could go into further issues at Aria but they've taken enough of my time and money. Mirage is our home base again, and we mentioned that to an MLife person as we were leaving. He gave me his card and said to make sure to call him before our next trip. Told him he could review our play and know that we were low-middle rollers, and he said he didn't care about that. Sure, we know his job is to get us back and hopefully gamble more than we did, but it was nice of him to take a minute to chat with us. Made us feel appreciated. So there you have it. Thanks for reading! Mark Bushman Fredericksburg, Va.