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Aug 21-25

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by chef, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    4,984
    Location:
    Illinois

    My Trip Report

    Flew out of Rockford, IL on Allegiant, waiting to board the after everyone was on and then bagging a row of seats all to myself near the front. Arrived ahead of schedule, ran into neighbors of mine on same flt in the terminal (always nice to see a familar face in a different place), and then walked from airport to Silver Sevens, as is my custom.
    Checked in and walked across the street to see if Rehab at the Hard Rock was still a happening event and perhaps play a little outdoor BJ. Rehab continues to be a mass of humanity around the pool area, with a name-brand DJ helping to draw 'em in.
    My curiousity satisfied, it was off to the UNLV outdoor track to run laps for a couple hours. The track is only a couple blocks from Silver Sevens and a nice place to exercise one's legs after sitting on a plane for 3-4 hours.
    Got a strong dose of runner's high and retired to the Silver Seven hot tub.
    Felt so good laying on pool lawn chair, that my appetite left me and I felt like I was floating in mid air. It may have been the most relaxed state I've been in for several months. Love that balmy dessert night-time air.
    I've been to most every pool area in Las Vegas and SS remains my fave. It's peaceful, small, nicely appointed and has a hot tub that is actually hot.
    The next morning it was game on, as I took the SS shuttle back to the airport to do battle with Payless Car Rental. My plan was to rent a car for a couple days and head north to Zion National Park
    Payless' rate of $44 total for both days couldn't be beat, but I knew I would have to stand my guard against the upsell techniques. It was only an unpleasant experience for a couple minutes.
    A quick stop at Orleans for the breakast buffet and then onto Zion. My plan was to do some trail running/hiking and also to explore Zion for the first time.
    The 3-hour drive got me there later in the afternoon, but with enough time to do Angels Landing and part of the Narrows, both well-know hikes. If you are unfamiliar with Zion, be forewarned that you likely will need to take a shuttle from not only inside the park, but also from outside the park to even get there.
    For anyone considering Zion, I highly recommend it with the caveat of allowing yourself plenty of time. Doing it in one day might be preferable to those that want to get back to the gambling tables of Vegas or don't want to play the high prices of local lodging. Be sure to get an early start on the day, though.
    My plan was to stay overnight and do a 32-mile trail run to the West Rim, but it started to rain a bit that evening and the forecast didn't look to promising the next day. Instead, I head south and pulled into Mesquite, after four minutes after a major storm hit the area.
    Stayed at the Virgin River Casino for $27 a night, happy to be out of the elements instead of camping out. Left with nearly that much extra money after hitting 5 of a kind on Dueces Wild on $5 free play for new member sign up.
    The storm cleared out and I decided to hit up Valley of the Fire and Mt. Charleston on the way back to Vegas. I didn't quite get in my 32 mile goal, but close to it between running trails at both locales.
    After not eating much since the Orleans buffet the day before, I hit up what I consider one of the under-appreciated buffets in town - Sante Fe Station. Or it could be that it is so far away from anything, that few tourists go there. Good as always.
    The next morning, I returned the car to Payless and had to do battle again - this time over a the roadside assistance charge that I declined. Please folks, look your contract over closely. Those bastards will try to
    screw you.
    Rest of day was spent exploring the Strip and taking a day off the running regimen. One of my usual summer stops is the Wynn to play BJ at the pool. Sadly their outdoor table game program has declined.
    Instead of two sets of gaming areas set up on a daily basis, only one side remains and it was closed the day (Wednesday) I went there.
    Not much else to report on my day's activities other than a few observations - enjoyed playing BJ at the Cromwell, the lunch buffet at the Aria remains good and Ellis Island's LVA slot free play netted me $38, helped by a straight flush.
    The next day was back to running, with a lap around McCarran before heading back to Silver Sevens to get cleaned up for a Frontier flt to Salt Lake City to run a race up in the mountains that weekend. All told, I put in about 50 miles during my Vegas stay and absolutely loved running in the dry heat, after being pounded with midwest humidity all summer.
    A very medioce, but handy SS lunch buffet was my send off before jumping on the free SS airport shuttle. Following my Allegiant strategy, I waited until everyone had boarded and locked up another row to myself near the front.
    This was my first trip to Vegas since a miserable experience in January. Felt good to be back, but doubt if I will ever recapture the excitement of my many trips circa early 2000s.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
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  2. TomTWI

    TomTWI High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Interesting trip report. Much different/healthier than the norm.

    I've only seen Zion from the car and would like to go back and actually see it hiking. I'm just worried that it would be too difficult for my conditioning/age. I hike the easier trails of Red Rock canyon. Any idea if there are easier trails at Zion also?

    TomTWI
     
  3. joaks

    joaks Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    275
    Location:
    TN
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Nice TR Chef. Sounds like the type of trip we do. We always try to fit in a few parks when we fly out west.
     
  4. joaks

    joaks Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
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    Location:
    TN
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    Tom,

    Zion has a broad range of trails for young and old. They have very good facilities at different points through out the park and a tram system that stops at all the major trail heads along the Virgin River.

    Everyone hears about the Narrows, Angels Landing, etc...... Or the slot canyons on the east side of the tunnel..... But there are lots of trails that I would classify as easy or intermediate that can be done over the course of a day or two that are just as stunning.
     
  5. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
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    Location:
    Western Washington
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    18
    The NPS is great about having a range of trails available. Usually in that newspaper they give you at the entrance kiosk, they break down some trails by difficulty level and distance. If not, the rangers are great at giving suggestions if you talk about the kind and level of hike you're looking for.
     
  6. Jimbucc

    Jimbucc VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Messages:
    1,692
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    45
    Thanks for the report Chef. I'm a car rental veteran and know all of their tricks, but Payless snuck that roadside assistance charge in on me once also. They told me it was mandatory which was B.S. If I remember it was only 5 or 6 bucks but it was the principle. Santa Fe Station buffet is one of the better station buffets. Nice atmosphere also. As we get older we will always remember Vegas for a time period that was our favorite. I look at each trip now as a new adventure. I'm staying for 2 nights at Silver Seven for my upcoming trip. Never did their pool but I might give it a try.
     
  7. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
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    1,338
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    My compliments to the chef! :feedme: Great TR!
    It's nice to read about places/activities that are not a part of a lot of the other TR's shared here.
    Thank you!

    RICHARD
     
  8. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    40
    Thanks for the report. I keep hearing of all these tricks that rental companies have about adding little fees. It's crazy, but all the years I have been renting from Dollar, which is the only rental company I ever use, never has there been even a penny overcharge from them. Sorry to hear about that.