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Aria or MGM - 3 day comp

Discussion in 'LV Strip Hotels & Casinos' started by Polemarch28, Jan 21, 2014.

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  1. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    I'm going on a last minute trip this weekend. I checked fares (from ORD) as I frequently do, and expected everything for this weekend to be around $650. I was stunned when I saw $237 RT nonstop on American. I figured it was a system glitch, but didn't hesitate. Booked. Checked a few minutes later, the fare was gone, so clearly I got really lucky so far on this Vegas trip.

    Looking over my comp offers, there are only two reasonable options:

    - Aria for 3 nights in an Innovative Room, $100 F/B comp
    - MGM for 3 nights in their newly renovated Room, $200 F/B comp, 2 free tickets to KA.

    This is a debate I've had many times. I may have even created a thread about the exact same thing in the past. But this trip is a little different.

    My plan is to mostly play poker on this trip. Aria has a good poker room, Bellagio's room is decent, and the Venetian or Wynn are probably the best rooms IMO.

    I'm extremely familiar with the MGM, as I've stayed there dozens of times. I've only stayed at Aria once.

    Here are what I see as the pros/cons of each property for me:

    Aria

    Pros:

    - poker room in the building that I would actually consider playing in
    - close to Bellagio, Cosmo, and PH, places I'd be likely to frequent when I'm not playing poker
    - the pool area is open, so I can go to the hot tub
    - good restaurants on site for me to use my comps (I also have express comps saved up that I may use to splurge on some nice meals)

    Cons:

    - has a weird vibe in the casino, especially at night, becomes deserted
    - poker room, while very nice, spreads $1-3 NL, instead of $1-2 NL. I'd probably prefer the tighter game on this trip
    - that smell is overpowering

    MGM

    Pros:

    - It's generally my favorite hotel on the strip, at least in my socioeconomic bracket
    - Has a great vibe all the time, lots of people in my age range (early 30's)
    - I've been to Hakkasan, and it's a pretty nice club. Even if I don't go there on this trip, the club brings a lot of people to the property, makes it the place to be
    - larger F&B comp

    Cons:

    - During the summer, the pool area is off the hook, but it's winter, and the whole pool area is closed. No lazy river no hot tub
    - MGM is far from everything; there's nothing in that part of the strip I particularly enjoy. A lot more cabs.
    - The poker room there isn't even a room, it's more of a corner of the casino. I don't think I'd play there. Which means, every time I want to play poker, it has to be deliberately planned, and contain a long walk or cab ride.

    I've probably overthought this to infinity and beyond, but I'd be interested in input about things I might not have thought about. Given my familiarity with both properties, this is more a question of your opinions than the facts.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

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    IF the show tickets are not important to you....I would definitely choose Aria. I like the location much better and should be more convenient for you based on where you plan to play poker. As you said, you have Aria comps saved up to use and that may negate the higher FB at MGM. Although I've not stayed there, a friend that usually stays at 4-5 star hotels around the world really enjoyed her room at Aria. Whatever you decide.....have a great time! You already had a big "win" on the airfare. :)
     
  3. DeMoN2318

    DeMoN2318 The DERS

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    MGM for the higher F/B, get the tickets and scalp em...
     
  4. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    Thanks!

    on the comps though, I'm referring to EC, which I'd be able to use at any mLife property. My point in mentioning it was just that the extra $100 of F&B I'd have available at MGM wouldn't be completely decisive, because even if I exceed my allowance, I have EC's sitting in the hopper that I don't mind using.

    I've stayed at both rooms, and after the recent MGM room renovations, I believe they are roughly equal in my estimation. The Aria certainly has a more refined style and a more expensive mattress, and a nicer shower come to think of it, but the MGM room suits me just fine. I think MGM is a deceptively nice property now.

    But what you said about poker rooms and location in general - that's really what I'm struggling with right now. If the MGM were located closer to center strip, this would be an easier choice for me. On the other hand, if the MGM were located closer to center strip, I don't think they'd be giving me $200 F/B comp either.
     
  5. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    MGM seems the obvious choice moneywise.
     
  6. firstkill

    firstkill High-Roller

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    if you want to play a lot of poker, and that is the focus of this trip
    then Aria.

    I assume when you play poker its for hours at the table. There not really a hit and run style of 1-2 NL as the pots are usually small.

    I think the travel time to and from each place is annoying, and cosmo is close enough for that younger vibe if you want it.

    fk
     
  7. meyers67

    meyers67 High-Roller

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    How did you get those comps? Can't be from playing poker.
     
  8. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    I used to gamble, back when I had lots of money available for the purposes of gambling. So no, it wasn't from poker. My bankroll sucks right now, hence the poker.

    Most of my comps are starting to dry up. MGM and Aria are the only ones still offering decent comps, because those are the properties where I've concentrated my play. I've used some Bellagio comps, but essentially low-played them the last couple of trips so those are gone. I'm massively overcomped, and I'm going to drain out every last one. It balances out the years when I was massive undercomped and didn't realize it.
     
  9. gpenguins67

    gpenguins67 High-Roller

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    is there any freeplay involved as well? I usually have similar offers at MGM and the offer doesn't show the freeplay on the Mlife page but it usually includes $100-150 in freeplay.

    I say go with MGM.... more F&B and if you wanna take a break from the poker tables and play other table games you can find lower stakes tables. Also, since it isn't the summer and 110 degrees outside the walk wont be too bad to head to center strip to play poker. If it was July I would say Aria would be better b/c you wouldn't wanna walk any further than 1 property next door.

    Personally I've never stayed at Aria but I am right there with you when you talk about the weird vibe. I personally just feel a lot more comfortable at MGM.
    Also, are you sure the pool is completely closed in the winter at MGM? I've gone in mid November and they still had the one pool in the center and the hot tub open.
     
  10. AceTen

    AceTen Low-Roller

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    I'd say go with Aria based on location. What you would be getting in additional comps at MGM you'll spend on cabs getting to the other poker rooms.
     
  11. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    No freeplay. I rarely get freeplay offers, because I wasn't really a slot player. In my heyday, I was a $200-300 average bet table games player, with surges upward of $500, and usually bringing a BR of $5-10K per trip. Not anymore!

    Yeah, it should be around 60 degrees this week, so I'll be happy to walk a lot more than I do in the summer. Still though, I'm probably just too lazy to walk from to MGM to the Venetian on the regular. Last time I was in town by myself, I busted from a Venetian donkament and needed to steam for a while. So I walked back to the Aria from the Venetian. The walk was enjoyable and head-clearing. Lots of fun street performers outside CP. Plenty of tourists outside B. The weather cooperated that time too (it was also in winter, so mild). The MGM wouldn't have really been much further in theory.

    I called them the other day and confirmed the entire pool area is closed. I was bummed, because I thought the same thing, that with such a huge megaresort, they had to keep at least one pool and hot tub open. But I was told it's fully closed until late February. I even asked "so there's not a single hot tub on property I can go use", and she told me I could go pay for access to the Spa and use that one....:nono:

    That is also probably true, and weighs heavily in my thinking. The more I think about this, the more I realize it's just a coin flip and I probably will never solve it.

    Full disclosure: I actually booked Aria before I created the thread, but I had immediate remorse when I did, because I still felt like MGM might be a better choice. If I want to cancel Aria and switch over to MGM, I'd need to do it today (48 hour cancellation policy), but I'm still positioned squarely on the fence.

    All of the feedback has been great. I think what I'm left with is simply location v. ambience; and I know that's what the debate was from the beginning.

    Since it's a poker trip, and I might theoretically play at Aria, I think I'm going to just keep that reservation. I have been to MGM a bazillion times, and I'll definitely pick MGM every time in the summer, so I may as well change it up this time. I enjoyed last year's winter Aria trip, so maybe this is a good tradition to uphold. Plus, Haze had a lot of easy pickings :)
     
  12. 18000rpm

    18000rpm Tourist

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    Aria, AINEC.

    Since you'll be playing poker mostly you'll have a fair amount of comps for food ($2/hour) anyway.
     
  13. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    I'd also say Aria based on that you're only in town for 3 days and want to play a lot of poker. In this case I'd stay where I want to play.
     
  14. kps

    kps High-Roller

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    Love Aria poker room but in this case I would stay at MGM.

    Pay for the monorail ticket and cross the street to Aria.

    Now give me $200 in F/B also. For me it's already a win with that offer so $20 for a 2 day pass to monorail it back in forth, I can deal wih that.
     
  15. RiddickBull

    RiddickBull VIP Whale

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    As stated from others, Aria may be the best choice if you play poker. I remember seeing MGM poker room, it was not that great.
     
  16. guapoxxx

    guapoxxx High-Roller

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    Since you're only there on a 3 day comp and you want to focus on poker play, I'd choose Aria.
     
    Annual Golf Trip
  17. Polemarch28

    Polemarch28 Tourist

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    Update:

    I chose Aria and stayed there for three nights. In summary, everything I thought about, and everything we discussed at the beginning, was correct on all counts. The location did benefit me, because I was within range of anything center strip. I even walked to/from the Wynn without too much difficulty. MGM would have been just far enough away that I probably would have cabbed it every time.

    On the other hand, while I was perfectly happy with my room at the Aria, I had no desire to be in the casino at all. I left the property every day when I got up, and came straight back to my room every time when I returned. I really dislike the vibe in that casino, and unfortunately, I think it's enough of an issue that I probably won't stay there ever again.

    If it were summertime, the MGM would have been a very easy choice. I like the vibe there so much better, and I can just deal with cabbing it a bit more.
     
  18. spicole

    spicole Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the follow up. I enjoy reading the results after polling the board. I really enjoy the vibe of Aria, but this is a great example on how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Vegas is big enough for all tastes and preferences.
     
  19. herder

    herder Tourist

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    I feel the exact same way. I like the rooms at aria and the pool area was decent but I didn't feel gambling there or hang around the resort. I also liked the vibe at mgm better. That's why I booked mgm this May. I know it's older, cheaper and farther away from centre strip but I just enjoyed being there.
     
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