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Bringing Vegas to its knees or at least a bend at the waist 2/23 - 2/27

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by vegasvette, Feb 19, 2016.

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  1. vegasvette

    vegasvette Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    My Trip Report

    I’ve been going to Vegas since the early 70’s. To me, nothing says “fun” like a few days of warm weather in the middle of my normal upper Midwest winter. Oh yea, there seem to be a few other diversions in Vegas. Golf is one, and I have two rounds set up this trip. Gambling is another one, and, although I’m not in the same atmosphere as some very readable VMB members, I still receive room offers. BJ and slots are my gambling focus.
    Like all 50 or so trips to Vegas before this one, planning started early. Southwest is my airline of choice, but only because it offers several non stop flights to and from Milwaukee each day, and fares include a couple pieces of checked luggage. Once I book my trip, I like to check several times each week for reduced fares, but this time, after I booked my flights in mid October, there were never lower fares for my trip.
    I’ve played MyVegas for a couple years and accumulated enough LP’s to redeem some nice awards. The one that caught my attention was a helicopter ride over the strip at night. I’m deathly afraid of heights, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to see the strip from a different point of view. The Vegas lights have always been impressive to me. I remember the days in the 1970’s, during the energy crisis, signage in Vegas was restricted. Hotels and Casino’s had to remove about every other bulb. I was also able to get buffet offerings from GVR, MGM, Monte Carlo and The Mirage from MyVegas. In addition, I got $10 match plays at GVR and Palace Station. Palace Station also provided a free T Shirt (what a nice Christmas gift for someone, huh?) and $30 off their Charcoal Room dinner.
    I will be armed with an ACG book as well. I only plan on using the ACG match play and free play coupons. I rented a midsize car from Thrifty once again. As a Blue Chip member, the vehicle is located in a parking space you’re directed to, while avoiding the desks and lines in the lobby. I also check rental rates frequently. This trip, I found rates at Thrifty fluctuated from $14 per day to $45 per day. 5 days will cost about $110 all in. Renting a car gives me the freedom to go where I want, when I want, plus I need it for golfing.
    This trip is primarily solo, but I have relatives in Vegas, and a friend will be in town Friday and Saturday while I’m there. We’ll have a couple meals together on Friday. I have golf reservations at Legacy and Rhodes Ranch. I chose Legacy for its location. I plan lunch at GVR on my arrival day, and dinner with some relatives in Henderson on that evening. Legacy is located very near the Green Valley Ranch Casino. Thanks to MyVegas for the GVR lunch and a $10 match play.
    I’ll spend the first night at the Orleans on an offer. The next three nights will be at the Gold Coast. I’ve gotten completely turned off from MGM properties because I prefer BJ to other games of choice. I will not play a 6:5 BJ game. I hope it’s not fact, but Vegas is becoming less appealing to me versus other locations that offer very similar choices in weather, golf, gambling and ease of access. I’ll give it another chance though.


    Wish list:
    Bring home more money than I take
    Graciously accept my first W2-G in Vegas
    Avoid pools
    Avoid the Pinball HOF
    Listen to some good bands downtown one night
    Enjoy wonderful weather as an escape from an upper Midwest winder
    Meet another VMB member in Vegas
    Look for a Royal Flusher calling card
    Play in a poker tournament for the first time

    I probably will not do a live trip report, since I’m not a social media type guy, but I’ll take enough pictures, and attempt an in depth summary report when I get home. I’ll be back soon enough.
     
  2. casinokid68

    casinokid68 Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    brooklyn, ny
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    Have a great time!!! Hope you get more than one W2G!!!! Will be waiting for the full report when you return. Let us know how the helicopter tour went.
     
  3. TomTWI

    TomTWI High-Roller

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    good luck!
     
  4. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Have a great trip; when you are ready to post photos and trip report, shoot me a pm and I'll move this back to Trip Reports for you. Good Luck!
     
  5. Char1

    Char1 High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Sorry to hijack, Breanna61 I noticed on you countdown timer "Vow renewal" which anniversary is it you are celebrating?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
    May 28-June 2
  6. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    We are debating this same thing with our point and would appreciate feedback on this once you return.
    Have a great trip.
     
  7. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    It's our 10th.
     
  8. Spivderman

    Spivderman Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    I am looking forward to ready your report vette. I enjoy a number of things you mentioned including occasional golf, staying at the Gold Coast, and redeeming match play and free play coupons. I also do the rental car directly to the kiosk/spot thus skipping the lines. If your game of choice was roulette rather than BJ, and car rental was from Budget rather then from Thrifty, I would think I was reading my own report. Best of luck and give us a full write-up upon return.
     
  9. Char1

    Char1 High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Congrats on your 10th.
    We will be celebrating our 40th this summer.
     
    May 28-June 2
  10. JA12

    JA12 Tourist

    Joined:
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    Good luck.
     
  11. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Congrats Char....not many can say they are celebrating their 40th!!
     
  12. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Good luck!
     
  13. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

    Joined:
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    Good luck on the trip!
     
    Downtown - Wanker Returns after baby!
    Wanker Returns After Baby
  14. vegasvette

    vegasvette Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60
    THE RESULTS:
    There are times in life that plans and reality align. This trip, for the most part, it worked out that way. I had planned a pretty tight schedule on my arrival day, and the weather, SWA, Thrifty and The Orleans all accommodated my schedule.
    TUESDAY:
    The flight from MKE to LAS arrived a half hour early at 8:30 am, with a gate available. After retrieving my luggage, I had a short wait for the bus to the car rental center. Being a Blue Chip member, I found my snazzy red Chevy Cruze (mid size) in it’s assigned space. I arrived at The Orleans before 10:00 am and was able to get into remodeled room 1436. I only stayed at The Orleans one night, and found the entire experience on the plus side of average.
    strip from Orleans room.jpg
    I immediately headed over to GVR to use a MyVegas buffet coupon and match play coupon before my tee time at Legacy Country Club. I bought in for $20 to play two BJ hands and won them both, cashing out $50. The buffet lunch was above average. After lunch, I had a little time to kill and proceeded to lose about $35 on slots.
    GVR buffet.jpg
    I got to Legacy and got paired up with three other golfers. One was a local, but the couple I joined actually had lived about three miles from my home in a very rural area near Milwaukee. Talk about a coincidence. Golf was better than I expected after four months of winter rust.
    Legacy.jpg
    My plan to meet up with a BIL and SIL who live in Henderson went off as expected. We ate at the Emerald Island in Henderson. It’s a locals casino and café. The food was very good actually, and I won about $85 on slots and VP. I played DDB VP and got about 6 quads, but none of them premium.
    I drove back to The Orleans and won $100 on BJ but lost $100 on slots before retiring about 10:30.
    chips.jpg
    WEDNESDAY:
    I was down in the casino by 6:00, still not adjusted time zone. I won $140 on BJ and lost $100 on slots before breakfast in the café. After breakfast, I lost $50 on Pai Gow Poker, won $145 on BJ and lost $80 on slots. I had $25 of free play and turned it into $34. About 11:00, I went over to the Gold Coast to check in for the remainder of the trip. I realized I had been in town over 24 hours, and had only been in four “locals” casino’s at that point. Believe me, as a south strip guy, that was a first.
    Premium and updated Room 623 was available, so I got organized and went down to check out the casino. I was lucky again, winning $125 on BJ and $20 on slots. I found a new and different slot near the hotel check in area. The free spins on this machine were fun, and can get to be decent in payouts, for a penny slot.
    GC cash bonus.jpg
    Lunch was at the Gold Coast Subway shop. One thing I found unusual about the Gold Coast was the fact they had 16 Baccarat tables lined up, and ALL of them were filled nearly every hour. I was surprised the Bac players outnumbered BJ players 5:1.
    I planned to go ACG coupon hopping today. First stop was Palace Station. I lost my $10 match play and got my free tee shirt. Their shirts are great for yard work. I went to Ellis Island and won my $10 MP, and turned $10 FP into $12 cash. I was wearing a Harley Davidson shirt, and the rewards club attendant talked me up big time about his imported “oversized scooter”. He then gave me one of their tee shirts so I can do even more yard work.
    I then used valet parking at Paris. I had a BOGO at Hexx for candy. Quite the deal in that they sell bulk candy by the ounce. The BOGO bulk candy deal is certainly no deal. $18 for two pounds of stuff you can get at your local store for less than $5 per pound. It turned out to be a nice gift for the housekeeping staff. I lost $10 in slots at Paris, then headed over to Cosmo to see what other VMB members rave about. I found the casino to be long and narrow, making it a little unwelcoming. I refuse to play 6:5 BJ, and won about $20 on various slots. The slot that paid me a $70 bonus was Aladin. I liked the various levels in the bonus game.
    A buddy called me and I told him I had won every BJ session I played up to that point. I went back to the Gold Coast and proceeded to lose $100 on BJ. I used a MyVegas reward on the Monte Carlo buffet. If you have to choose MGM property buffet rewards, I recommend you skip this one. The BBQ ribs were among the toughest I had ever attempted to eat. The carved turkey was very dry. I had a little time to kill for my next reservation, and won $60 on slots.
    Monte Carlo buffet.jpg
    Okay, now for some fun stuff. Another MyVegas reward I got was a comped strip ride in a Maverick helicopter. I highly recommend this to any Vegas visitor, rookie or veteran. The helicopter holds 8 people, including the pilot. The entire operation appears extremely well run, with great customer service. I was lucky enough to get a seat right behind the Jared, the pilot. That allowed me an unobstructed view of the strip for the entire lap. Everyone in the chopper wears a headset, and we’re told ahead of time to be careful what we say, since everything is recorded by the FAA. Jared did his best impression of a Blue Angels pilot by pulling up quickly so we could all have our stomach’s in our throats right away. He did a couple other maneuvers on the flight so we could experience different sensations, like a hard right, diving bank, and hard left climbing bank. It was really, very much fun. Their pad is located just south of the Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas sign. We travelled from there on the east side of the boulevard, all the way to Fremont Street, then back to the pad on the west side of the boulevard. The full moon added to the experience. The lights on the strip have always brought a smile to my face, and from our vantage point in the chopper, my smile was even bigger. On the way downtown, Jared stated he likes to play a game. As we headed directly toward the Stratosphere tower, he said he’d close his eyes until one of us tells him to turn. As we got close, I’m not sure if anyone in the tower soiled themselves, but we banked away safely and had a good laugh. I attempted to video the entire trip, so you could all see it. Unfortunately, my incompetence prevailed. I failed to hit record on my phone. I held my phone up the entire time, and only got the photo below. I apologize. The overall experience was outstanding.
    strip from helicopter.jpg
    I drove back to the Gold Coast and lost $75 on BJ and $80 on slots. Still tired, I was back in the room by 11.

    THURSDAY:
    The day started early with a $100 loss at BJ. I drove to the MGM to use a MyVegas comped buffet for two. Being alone at this time, I bought breakfast for the person behind me in line. I played on various slots winning $100 overall. I used $25 FP and won $70 on the new I Dream of Jeanie machine. The buffet was very good, and contained the usual breakfast items. The only disappointment I had was the eggs benedict I had. The egg looked poached properly until I broke the yoke and saw all the undercooked egg snot.
    I went across the street to Hooters and lost my $10 MP on BJ, and played for a while, winning $50. My $10 FP on slots netted me a cool $1 on a quarter reel machine. I went over to NYNY to visit money I left there over the years. I won $17 on Pai Gow, but lost $80 on various slots, with no bonus games at all.
    south strip from bridge.jpg
    NYNY casino.jpg
    Excaliber from bridge.jpg
    I got to Rhodes ranch about 11 for another round of golf. I was informed that some idiot thought it would b
    e a good idea to do donuts on three greens, leaving two of them unplayable. Overall, course conditions were very good, and the two gentlemen I played with made for a fun time. Once again, bogey golf was acceptable, given my rust.
    Rhodes Ranch.jpg
    I lost $75 in BJ at the Gold Coast before I left to use another MyVegas reward at the Mirage buffet. I was very disappointed in this buffet. The quality was lower and variety less than I remembered from a previous trip. I then lost $80 in slots there.
    Mirage buffet.jpg
    A friend had arrived in town, so I drove over to Mandalay Bay to meet and hang out a bit. A couple pictures on the way.
    Venetian from street.jpg
    NYNY from street.jpg
    Thank goodness he met me at valet because a room key needed to be shown to use their valet. My buddy used to be a big player, and has since stopped gambling all together. He did enjoy a cigar while watching me play various slots and losing $45.
    I drove back to the Gold Coast and sat at a $25 BJ table to play the extra $500 I brought along for such an event. My plans were to triple my buy in. Sadly, the Gold Coast had other plans. I love their double deck BJ. However, at this moment, I was dealt stiff hands, no BJ’s and lost nearly every double bet I made. I left in disgust after losing $400. The $10 I won on slots thereafter did little to make me feel victorious. Once again, I was retired by 11.

    FRIDAY:
    My last full day in Vegas. Did it really go by this quickly? I went across the street to the Palms for a quick McD’s breakfast. I won $27 on slots, lost my MP coupon, but won $20 playing BJ.
    I stopped at Wynn to visit my pit critter nephew. I only get to see him on trips to Vegas, and it’s always great to visit with him.
    Wynn.jpg
    I went downtown for a while. I always valet at the Golden Nugget for convenience. I played BJ at the D for a while, using my ACG coupon to push on 22. It’s a coupon you have to remember to use because you’re accustomed to giving up chips when you bust. I had a $10 MP coupon from the D and lost that hand. I jumped around to the Plaza, Cal, Binions and Golden Nugget, losing a total of $65. I had planned on playing the Plaza poker tournament, but when told it might take 3 hours to play, I declined.
    I had to switch cars at Thrifty this afternoon, and gassed up at $1.97 per gallon. Gas at home was $1.64 per gallon when I left. Weird thing about Thrifty is, an hour more than a four day reservation requires a weekly reservation. Switching cars this afternoon required two reservations, but saved me $50 in rates. After getting another Cruze, I drove to The Orleans to witness something I just shook my head at.
    I knew in advance The Orleans was hosting a dance competition for young kids this weekend. That’s why I didn’t stay there beyond one night. I walked in to see literally hundreds of little kids, and their dance mom mom’s all over the property. In my opinion, Vegas is not a town to bring little kids. Just being exposed to taxi advertising, moving billboards, and the rest of us gambling degens is not a plus.
    I drove back to Palace Station to meet my buddy and a friend of his for a steak dinner at The Charcoal Room. I used my last MyVegas reward for $30 off our bill. I was pleasantly surprised at this restaurant. It ranked equal to Gallagher’s and Ruth’s Chris, and far better than Smith and Wollenski’s in my opinion. All of our meals were prepared and presented perfectly. I had a Filet Oscar, with a chopped salad and baked potato. The others had the bone in Ribeye. We shared shrimp cocktail, mushrooms and asparagus as well. I had a crème brule while my friend had a scoop of ice cream. Service matched the meal’s excellence. Sorry, no photo of the best meal of the trip.
    I drove back to the Gold Coast and proceeded to lose another $200 at BJ and $100 in slots. BJ was particularly brutal. The first 12 hands I played resulted in one 9 and 11 stiffs. At that point, I was positive I jinxed myself by declaring my winning streak on BJ to my friend back home on the phone call on Wednesday afternoon. Even on my last night in Vegas, I was in bed by 11.

    SATURDAY:
    My flight didn’t leave until 3, so I had plenty of time today. The Java Store had fresh donuts and hot coffee so I could start my day. I find it amazing that in Vegas, the first ride down in the elevator each day really does make it a new day, with new beginnings. I took my coffee to various slots and broke even. I bought in for $100 at a BJ table, only to get down to $40 in a short time. Then, things turned. Remember, this is a double deck game, and I was playing one on one with the dealer. Within 10 minutes, I cashed out $300. I asked a host to look at my play, and she wrote off the entire stay. I expected only two days comped up front.
    I gassed up the car, and drove over to the Silverton, so I would be closer to Thrifty, and I could use my last ACG half price buffet coupon. I won $12 playing BJ for a little while. I then ate at their average buffet. I lost about $20 playing a few slots, then decided to try BJ for the last time this trip. There was one other player at this shoe game, and I noticed him playing two spots for $25 per spot, so I offered to wait out the shoe. He played only one more hand, then left me to the dealer one on one. She was very personable, and I hovered around my $100 buy in for a while. Then, I got hot. I had had horrible luck with my doubles this trip. I got lucky, and within about 10 hands, I cashed out $320 and left. I lost my last hand, but the hand before, was a double $40 bet with a double $5 tip, and won, 21 to 20. I love those.
    The SWA flight back home was uneventful, as all flights should be.

    OVERALL:
    The only goals I accomplished were that I avoided pools and avoided the pinball HOF. Oh yea, the weather was perfect for this time of year, affording me a wonderful break from winter in Wisconsin. I looked for green wrist bands, but saw none. And I’m beginning to believe that Royal Flusher might be related to the Easter Bunny, since there was non evidence of him once again.
    I only spent about $800 this trip, so a very cheap vacation in my books.
     
  15. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    You sure got around and made some good use of myVegas rewards. Very nice of you to pay for the person behind you in line. I bet that made their day. Only $800 spent is a win!
     
  16. les303

    les303 Tourist

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    Sounds like a great trip.. and I always love playing Vegas golf courses.

    Thanks for sharing your trip!
     
  17. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the feedback on the helicopter ride.
    Sounds like you made out ok on this trip.
     
  18. codingkw

    codingkw Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    I haven't used many of the myvegas rewards, but I thought the rule was 3 rewards can only be used in 30 days. It seemed like you used more then three.
     
    Time to get married and have fun
  19. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    If you have purchased chips in the game, then you may have up to 6 mLife rewards to use. The Maverick also is a different 'partner' vs. mLife, and has it's own limitations. (One flight & one promo per flight such as the free photo).
     
  20. kkinwi

    kkinwi Low-Roller

    Joined:
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    Enjoyed your report....jealous that SWA is so far away from us. It's funny how BJ can be so fickle....supposed to be such good odds, but if you don't get your cards, it's tough.
     
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