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Atlantic City trip report 6/27-6/29

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by hammie, Jul 1, 2013.

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  1. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    We are low rollers, yet my wife's slot play generates Sunday-Thursday room comps at the Tropicana in AC, so we decided to drive down last Thursday after work. We checked in and didn't ask for any upgrades and received a room in the West Tower. It was on one of the lower floors with a view of the roof and a parking garage, but we could see a few waves rolling in. The room was clean with a large bathroom and a mini fridge. Think of your average Holiday Inn room. We had a cocktail in the room then headed down to the casino like lambs to the slaughter. Along the way, we ran into a lot of young singles going to some nightclub at The Quarter, the retail /restaurant part of Tropicana.

    I went off to find a $10 blackjack table and my wife headed towards her favorite ATM, errr, slot. There is a machine that has treated her pretty well and this time it did not disappoint. On the other hand, my blackjack skills didn't fare so well and I zeroed out my wife's win. I found it kind of odd that I had to be a rated player to get a bottled beer at the BJ table, so I settled for Bud, but at least it was served in a glass, a whole 8 oz. We finished the night at the sports bar, hoping to get a snack, but the kitchen was closed.

    In the morning we went to the deli for breakfast, checked out, and walked down to the Atlantic Club to run some coin through the slots and see if we get any room offers. The Atlantic Club is one of the smallest casinos, but the slot machines seem fairly new and there was a $5 BJ table and at least one $5 craps table. The Atlantic Club seems to be remodeling the high limit room and also an area near the boardwalk. I guess they are using the $15 million forfeited deposit from Poker Stars to spruce up the joint a bit. Played for about two hours and had a losing session, but it was a beautiful day, so we decided to walk up the boardwalk to Resorts and have lunch at Margaritaville. We saw lots of folks heading to the beach and we regretted not packing our beach chairs.

    The boardwalk was fairly crowded and as we passed the Tropicana again, I noticed some remodeling, there will be a new Tony Luke's opening up soon, the home of the Roast Pork Italian, a four napkin sandwich. There will be a new outpost of Philly's Chickie's and Pete's, a sports bar that trademarked "Crab Fries", thin, crinkle cut fries with old bay seasoning served with a runny white cheese sauce for dipping. Gotta love a place that takes $.50 worth of ingredients and sells it for $6.

    On the way up the Boards, we take a detour to Bally's Mountain Bar for a beer, $2 Miller Light and Coors Light draft pints, 24/7, one of the best deals in town. They also have Jim Beam shots for $3. But before we get to the bar, we ran $20 through a penny slot and worked it up to $85, it helps make up for the morning drubbing at the Atlantic Club. Properly hydrated, we resumed our trek northward, but stopped at a WOF slot that had the couples seats, ran a $20 through, hit two bonuses and cashed out with a $80 profit. We passed Caesars but didn't stop as we were hungry for lunch.

    Finally, we make it up to the Landshark Grill, a brand new outdoor restaurant and bar right on the beach in front of Resorts. The place was packed and had a great vibe. I've been going to the Jersey Shore my whole life and there are few pleasures in life that can beat sitting in an outdoor bar in the summer, watching the waves roll in with the salt air ocean breeze, drinking a beer with your sweetie. It really doesn't get much better than this. A nice selection of microbrews and, of course, Landshark Lager. There is a current promotion that offers $20 free slot play to new or inactive members if you spend at least $20 at any of three Margaritaville bars. We took them up on the promotion and turned the free play into $90 on another WOF machine. We beat a hasty retreat and start back down the Boardwalk to Tropicana to grab the car and pick up $20 in free slot play. We made a beeline to my wife's favorite ATM/slot and were rewarded again.

    Weekend hotel rates can get kind of crazy, so I decided to gamble on a Priceline booking in Absecon, just west of the city, and ended up at the Clarion for $64. It was clean and a better value than the $150-300 rates in Atlantic City. The Marina casinos are about 15 minutes away down the White Horse Pike.

    The next morning, we were a little gambled out, so on the way home, we made a detour to the Renault Winery and toured the second oldest winery in the US. After the tour and sampling, we had lunch at Robert's across the street. Thanks to jerseyguy for the idea. I'm bummed, didn't get to try the Blueberry Champagne, though.

    Observations: Resorts has put some money into the casino floor, the property shines, but it didn't seem as crowded as others. The Margaritaville themed area of the casino is near the boardwalk and adjacent to the restaurant of the same name. The Landshark Bar is gonna rock this summer, it will be standing room only on weekends, just an awesome bar. Decent food.

    Didn't make it up to Revel, I hope to use a Sunday-Thursday room comp in a few weeks. I mentioned to my wife that we could theoretically get comp rooms for 5 nights among three properties, Sunday-Thursday this summer so we don't have to rent a week at the shore this year.

    Good crowds on the beach, great weather and 72 degree water temps, just perfect. Bring beach chairs next time.

    Tropicana seems always busy, good crowds, a great mix of young and old, plenty of dining options, but the Deli on the ground floor is a complete clusterf*ck in the morning, the guy has a license to print money but the service and wait time sucks. The sports bar in The Quarter sells $5 forties, Sunday-Friday, and serves them in an ice bucket.

    We tried to practice "hit and run" a little more on this trip, but its tough to break away when you just know the bonus will show up next pull.

    A few weeks ago, we stayed at The Chelsea through Priceline, I would absolutely stay here in the future, it is adjacent to the Tropicana, but it caters to a much younger demographic.

    I don't get it, but why do all of these bankrupt casinos feel its necessary to charge $10+ for parking?
     
  2. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Hammie,you have the whole thing down pretty well.

    The Golden Nugget has a nice outdoor deck overlooking the marina also. They have bands from thursday night on and prices arent too outragous.
     
  3. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Yes, the GN has a great deck and several of the restaurants have happy hour from 4-7 with buck a shuck oysters. Sadly, we didn't make it. Also, didn't make it to Tony's Baltimore Grill, adjacent to Tropicana, next time.

    Another observation, my wife mentioned that she kind of liked it in the off season when the crowds were smaller. Now that school is out, we saw more kids with their parents. September is a great time to come down, smaller crowds, great weather,

    Finally, I realize this is a Vegas board, and there's no comparison between the two, but we can roll down here in less than two hours, passing four Pennsylvania casinos much closer to home. We like to casino hop between properties as we walk up the iconic Boardwalk, something we can't do at the single PA casinos.

    The market in AC is off 40% or so from its highs in 2007, and driving in on the AC Expressway, passing acres and acres of vacant employee and tour bus parking lots is a sobering reminder of how much business is down. But, through restructuring and bankruptcy of non-CZR properties, these casinos have been able to shed debt and re-capitalize their balance sheets to reflect the new normal and lower their break even points. Hence, Trump Plaza is being sold for $20 million (if Carl Ichan signs off on the old mortgage). The new buyer will need to invest in refurbishing, but its a fraction of new construction. This is how Landry's bought Trump Marina for $39 million and turned it into the Golden Nugget after investing $150 MM.

    I guess that's how low rollers like me get off-peak room offers.
     
  4. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Were pretty close and retired

    Could be a recipe for disaster if we got too addicted. Glad you enjoyed the Winery,another spot to get away from the casinos is Smithville ,most women love the shops there,I like the tavern .Mrs. already said we have to go next week to AC.
     
  5. GilGunderson

    GilGunderson Low-Roller

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    Although it's only a couple hours away from me, i don't go to AC as often as i used to. Next time you go, make it to Revel. Excellent dining options, pool is nice, Casino and property is just plain awesome. Tables are more than reasonable, and slots are all new. Next time i go, i think that's where i'll stay. Everything else besides borgata is not worth the price IMO, unless completely comped. for the money i'll spend, i'd rather save a little more and take 5-6 days in vegas. Glad you had a nice trip.
     
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