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Did not win but great trip (Long report)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by fred711, Mar 25, 2010.

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  1. fred711

    fred711 Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Rock Island, IL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20

    My Trip Report

    I started my planning three months ago. I am picking up all the costs on this trip to include everybody's gambling budget (pitiful amount, 300 a day per person) so I can report the total costs but I will round up or down a little to make it simple. And none of us had any booze while we were there, so the figures will probably be close ha ha. I got the ACG and Advisor coupon book.
    From Chicago I am taking my sister Ellen (64) who has been to Vegas numerous times and her son Wade (38) who has never been to Vegas and me Fred (62). numerous times to Vegas
    Watched the ups and downs of Airline prices all January and then about 1 Feb Delta went down to about 220 R/T but with a stopover and then started back up and United all of a sudden dropped their price down to 187 R/T with direct flight. I used Orbitz and grabbed two tickets on United and they came to 209 each with all the taxes etc. I could not buy mine until I checked on some stuff and went back the next day and had to settle for 309 total price to get on the same plane as Ellen and Wade going out, but I had the flight right after them going back to Chicago. but since I booked another flight on Orbitz I got 25 dollars back with their "book with them again deal"
    I had checked the flight a couple of days before we left and Ellen's and Wades seat were now not confirmed and said they would be assigned at the airport, I called Orbitz and someone in India or somewhere said I would have to talk to the people at the airport when I got there, I asked for a supervisor and he said what the other person from India or somewhere said, I felt like I was in a sitcom. So I called United and they said the same thing with no explanation, I said, So when I get to the Airport I can stand there and argue with the people at the counter about it, and they really said YES
    I then booked a compact rental car through Budget for about 27 dollars a day. I kept checking on any drop in price and it never happened in fact I think it was about 50 bucks average by March, I did not use any discount codes I just did not feel like spending any more time checking on deals or codes.
    I signed up at just about everybody's Casinos websites and was getting unbelievable offers, but my sister was adamant about staying at the Flamingo because she has never stayed there and is afraid they might blow it up before she can stay there. Flamingo offer was 45 bucks a night for a basic room, I got two rooms for 3 nights 4 days 21-24 Mar
    Before we left I called the Flamingo and Budget to let them know we were getting in late at night Budget did not seem to care about it. Then I checked in on line and printed out our boarding passes and now there was seats assigned for everybody
    Our flight out was at 9:20 PM. We drove out to O'Hare Sunday afternoon 21 March and parked at Economy parking lot E. As you drive toward the airport the sign to make the turn to economy parking is like the first sign and you can miss it which I did and had to go into daily parking and turn around through the pay turnstiles they did not make me pay anything. I know the ins and outs of the airport and still missed the turnoff to economy.
    The flight was 1 hour late taking off so we got to Vegas about Midnight
    At our arrival gate it was empty and quiet It felt weird. Anyway there is a Shuttle bus that takes you to the consolidated car rental center. I do not know why but there was a giant line waiting. Three buses pulled up and loaded us all. There was about 5 people in the budget line and we waited for about 5 min before a middle aged clerk called us up I slipped a 20 dollar bill under my drivers lic and asked for any complimentary upgrades available and he put it aside so I knew I would get a upgrade from compact. I only have a debit card so I used my sisters credit card to keep from putting up 250 cash. He just did everything in her name. Then he asked what we wanted a Marquis or a Mustang convertible. My sister asked what color they got, I almost started laughing, I could care less. Anyway we drove out with a Gray Mustang convertible at compact prices.
    We parked at the Flamingo about 1 AM and there was no line at check in. The clerk was some 21 year old kid or close to it, I thought maybe it was bring your kid to work day. I put 50 under my licence and asked if there was any complimentary up grades. I do not think anyone had ever offered him 50bucks. He left to go somewhere behind the windows for 5 min and came back and put us in a regular 2 bedroom on the 15th floor and a suite on the 28th floor. I thought OK my sister will have a top floor view in a suite, great. Now, since I had a debit card and was supposed to give the Flamingo 200 dollars a room to hold until checkout I asked if that was necessary. He said I could just pay the total for the rooms which was 300 and that would take care of everything. So I paid my total bill right then. I did not figure I was going to gamble that much so I would not be asking a casino host to take care of room or food or any charges to the room.
    We got up to the 28 floor and opened her door and there was a roll away in the center of the entrance and towels and junk around, we did no even turn on the lights . They did not know it but I did, that this was like a mystery bonus on a slot machine, for this screw up, what will we get out of it. We went down to the check in and our kid was still there with no line , he heard our story and we all moved over to a young lady who punched up her computer and said for our inconvenience she was going to consolidate our reservations and move us to Go Room 26079 a two bedroom suite.
    Unbelievable
    We went up and it was so nice I did not want to leave to go eat, There was a little half bath in the entrance, There were Flat screen TVs everywhere including the bathroom, It had a marble topped Bar area, Dining room area seating for 6, A giant curved couch in front of a flat screen TV. Floor to ceiling windows overlooking the pool area. The Master bedroom had a King bed with jacuzzi in its own bathroom, The second bedroom had two queen beds with a jacuzzi in its own separate bathroom, Nice digs
    I set up our gambling budget at 300 bucks a day for each of us and I would pick up all other costs
    So we went to the Burger Joint in the Flamingo for the 5.99 steak and eggs special, the steak was tough and a lot of gristle and our cups of coffee was 3.50 each. bad deal
    It was 4AM Vegas time but 6AM Chicago time so we went to the room and we all crashed.
    We got up about 9 AM and I needed to pick up some tickets for Mystere that I had already paid for so I figured we would take Wade on a Casino run, We would just wander through not really stopping for any length of time, no player club sign ups or coupons usage, just a little slot play as we moved along, so he could soak in the ambiance of a lot of casinos. We hit Bills then Ballys and stopped to eat at Paris buffet, there is a little crepe place next to the buffet but it is 9 dollars for a couple of crepes so we went to the buffet, for 17 dollars you can get the crepes with a buffet thrown in. I had gone to the Paris buffet years ago and it seemed maybe a little less great but I think chili out of a can for dinner is great. So I am not a good judge of what is great. The line at the crepe station was long which was kind of a nuisance.
    Then we went to PH, then Bellagio, then went to see the Atlantis show in the Forum shops at Ceasars, then Mirage and finally Treasure Island. I have a retired Military ID card and that is what I used for booking the Mystere tickets, They took half off and it came to 187 for three tickets in the 203 area. I did not know if they wanted an active duty ID or not. The girl asked for the military ID I flashed it and she said OK without hardly glancing it.
    Yea. I had booked the 930 show but they had us in the 630 show when I picked up the tickets and the girl said there was no more seats in that are for the 930 show so I am glad I did not have any other plans
    We were all exhausted, it was quite a lot of walking, so we went back to our room and crashed for a couple of hours.
    Then we went to the Mystere show. The show was great. The seats 203 BB seat 1, 2 and 3 were the only seats in the row (203 AA seats 1 and 2 are the only seats in the row ahead of us. the railing was not a factor and we were up high enough to see everything and perfectly in the center to catch all the peripheral stuff, Ellen and me have seen the show a couple of times and still think it is great and Wade thought it was great too.
    After the show we thought we would show Wade downtown. I never have quite figured out where to park or how to really navigate expeditiously through downtown, so downtown is always a jumble of casinos in my mind. Wade got to see the Light show on Fremont street. Oh yea up to this point Monday had been a bloodbath on the slots for everybody, Everybody was down about 300 for the day. Then the old magic happened and Wade and Ellen hit a couple of slots that paid well and they were even for the day, I was still down. We went over to use a coupon at the Bay City diner, The food was atrocious, there were loud drunks in the booth across from us and the service was bad. Then we went back to the room to sleep.
    Tuesday was more laid back, We started at the Tropicana, To me the Trop is like an old pair of comfortable shoes, I have stayed there a lot and have had a lot of wonderful gambling runs. Anyway I guess the old CEO of MGM has bought the Trop and is pouring money into to fix it up. I know they moved the table games back under the Tiffany glass and got rid of that horrendous trapeze shit they had. They took out the little sports betting counter they had and keno lounge I don't know where they went. They are putting marble in the walkway to the back tower. The pool area is one gigantic construction site. It looks like there are going to keep the pool area about the same configuration as the old one but I doubt if they will get it ready for the summer crowd, I really like the garden rooms and when they get the renovation of all the rooms done I hope to book one overlooking the pool. I faxed a casino credit request to the Flamingo for Casino credit and they said my credit report was bad and refused credit. They said I could put a minimum of 3000 in the cage to draw on if I wanted to cash checks. I faxed an update to the Trop of my old Casino credit limit of 1000 which I have not used in 4 years to the Trop and gave me a new limit of 2500 Go figure
    I really wish the Trop luck I like their place
    Then we went to MGM, I like their selection of slot machines. Then we went back to the Flamingo to hang out there since that is where we are staying, For dinner we went over to the Rio buffet, They asked for the ACG ID card to use the coupon. The desert area seems to be half of what it was and they have someone giving out gelato instead of an ice cream machine, I liked the ice cream machine. and the whole stay I could not find any chocolate cups with custard and fruit at the desert areas, they have the ones with little pie crusts but no 100% chocolate cups. The Rio buffet deserts were a lot of pies and not much of anything else. The food was OK but they shut down the Wok station for some reason after we got there. After the buffet we figured we would see the parade in the sky show, and found out that it only has shows Thus through Sunday WTF.
    Then we went over to the Stratosphere , I love the Big Shot where it shoots you up in the air. I talked Wade into it. It was great
    Then we went back downtown, I only make one trip downtown per vist to Vegas just because I like the Strip better, but since Wade and Ellen won there in their minds the machines pay better . I read all the percentages of which area has the better paying machines but at the small amount of betting I do, I do not think it matters that much versus where I like to gamble
    No big wins but they are staying even.
    Then back to the Flamingo. I had been hit and running the whole stay win 10or 20 on a slot and quit, On roulette I put 20 in dollars around on a 6 or 7 numbers and had hit a couple of times and colored up right away, so I was even, but now this was the last night and I wanted to hit big. When you are tired and push your winning strategy aside , You basically tell yourself if I lose this money I can go to bed, Well i immediately got up 200 dollars on roulette and thought myself invincible, after losing that 200 and 200 more I called it quits.
    The next morning I got up about 8am and ran over to the Encore, I had to get some world series bets down for my brother and thought I would swipe my Wynn red card and get credit for making 100 dollars worth of bets. The encore sports book is a tiny booth that is open only for a couple of hours a day, So I went over to the Wynn casino. So now I will see if that is enough to nudge something out of them, the casinos have Marketing not talking to Casino Promotions who don't talk to Casino Hosts and it makes any offers you get from the casinos almost seem like they have schizophrenia. Then I went back to the Flamingo. We had the Flamingo breakfast buffet not bad, Wade thought it was the best out of all the buffets. We drove over to the Riviera, that casino was always full of energy and crazy promotions, you could get cups and t shirts etc and they always were a crazy place to gamble. they even had SicBo which is really an old carnival game Chuck a Luck, but now it is subdued and all the fun spots were gone like Nickel-town What a disappointment.
    Well then it was check out time I left 30 dollars for Rosa the cleaning lady and since I did not use a credit card I had to go to the front counter to check out . The guy that punched up my account was an aristocratic fellow and when he saw what had transpired with my account on his computer screen his facial features did not change except his eyebrows actually raised a half an inch and his tone of voice tweaked up a bit and his exact words were "Quite a savings" then he made an aside remark "about 1700 dollars I believe" I didn't have any reply in me. I asked if he had change for a hundred and I said just give me back 80 dollars, 20 is for you. He actually shook my hand.
    And then to the airport, there are lots of gas stations along paradise road so I always tell them I will fill it up with gas before I bring it back. The drive from the strip to the airport is like 5 mins but then you have to drive another 15 min to get to the car rental drop off and the signage to get there is terrible, I could have done a better job of showing how to get to the car rental return with a big black marker and pieces of cardboard nailed to telephone poles, I asked the guy with the electronic check in device to let me pay at the little booth with my debit card so as not to put the charge on Ellen's card, He said fine just go pay at the little booth, no problem, at the little booth they said he had checked it in and and the charge was on my sisters card, no big deal but everything on this trip seemed like any confirmations or promises from people did not matter. oh well
    We got to the United counter and Wade and Ellen checked in and I went standby on their flight. Another good reason to not have checked baggage besides 25 dollars a bag each way. United does not charge to change flights. I do not know if that is just on the day of the flights or not. Anyway I got on their flight and we all left together. I naturally got a big fat giant sitting next to me that had to actually had to wiggle into his seat to fit into it. His belly pushed his arms out sideways so that his elbow almost came to my center of my chest. He did me the kindness of not putting his seat back so that when I put my seat back I did not have his arm laying on me. I was in an exit row so there was tons of leg room. We left on time and got in on time and skidded right up to the gate. The signage is really bad for the way to the monorail that takes you to parking lot E , we could not remember the exact way and got a little lost and then found it. Drove home
    Thoughts on the trip
    Ellen broke even
    Wade down 300
    Fred down 400

    Total trip cost
    170 for the Mustang Convertible rental car
    300 for the Flamingo 2 bedroom suite
    60 for three days parking OHare airport
    200 Fred gambling
    300 to Ellen for gambling (she gets to keep it)
    300 to Wade for gambling (lost his)
    700 for United tickets
    190 for Mystere
    50 for Las Vegas Advisor sign up
    20 ACG

    Gambling winning paid for the next stuff
    130 (about) Rio, Paris, Flamingo buffets
    200 T shirts, odds and ends, light meals, snacks
    200 tips (Flamingo check in, etc)


    The Casinos were pretty full with gamblers at all times except late at night, so they might weather the recession OK,

    Did not even think about going to see the City center. It looks like a time waster

    When you are showing someone the town for the first time it is hard to use coupons because you would have to bring your whole stash with and it would change how you want to present the town because places you want to see are not the same as good coupons you want to use and also the time it takes to use them. I gave up on any coupon usage except for a couple

    Everybody good luck
     
  2. Gambler15

    Gambler15 Tourist

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    Sounds like an awesome trip Fred! Nice score on the room- wow!

    What a nice Uncle/Brother you are...I need an uncle like you, are you adopting? LOL
     
  3. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    Great trip report. It sounds like you had fun. When we went in Dec., I lugged around two ACG books. I had one for my husband and myself. It did change up the trip for us somewhat. I, too, won't do that again.
     
  4. HOUtoLAS

    HOUtoLAS Low-Roller

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    Nice report. Good job getting that suite. Any pictures of it?
     
  5. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Sounds like your family had a pretty good tour guide! Glad you had a good trip. I think any gambling loses were made up for on that first night when you scored the sweet suite.
     
  6. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Great score on the room upgrade!!! I'm looking forward to seeing the Trop reno when completed........spent a few really fun trips there back in the day; at the time the Trop pool was the best! I'd love to give the Trop another whirl when the renos are completed. I really hope they turn the old Gardenview pool rooms into suites, then I'd definitely give it a go. You are a real doll treating your sister & nephew to a Vegas Vacation!:eek:
     
  7. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    What a guy!

    I'm not sure I agree with Wade that Flamingo buffet beats out Paris, but I always find Flamingo a decent breakfast buffet. I also definitely skip the crepe stand at breakfast & head to the buffet - sitting on those little seats with a line up of people waiting for you to rush thru your food - and I always want coffee with breakfast too - puts me right in line with just paying for the buffet.

    That was an awesome upgrade.
     
  8. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Wow...that is everyone's dream...scoring a suite upgrade and you did it!

    Thanks for the report!
     
  9. fred711

    fred711 Tourist

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  10. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

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    awesome video!!! i didn't know they had those two bedroom go suites available. is that the neopolitan or some other named suite????

    we love the flamingo and want to go back....possibly for one of these suites!!!

    score!!! :beer::beer::beer:
     
  11. fred711

    fred711 Tourist

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    As far as I know it did not have a name just GO room 26079
     
  12. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Excellent trip report and sweet video / suite! Sound like the three of you will always have a great Vegas memory to look back on due to your generosity.

    United offers pre flight day of flight standby for all flights which I have taken advantage of numerous times and they have been my preferred Vegas (and just about everywhere else) airlines over the past two years with their great sales like the deal you received.
     
  13. jdub7

    jdub7 Tourist

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    Nice report. You are a nice guy! Sounds like you had a great time and scored a Nice room. Def want an Uncle like you!!! The car looks fun too. Your sister chose well, gray is a nice color! But, any color would look nice on that car!:thumbsup:
     
  14. Aero

    Aero Low-Roller

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    Wow! Too cool about the room upgrade! [​IMG]
    Thanks for the pics and video.
     
  15. HOUtoLAS

    HOUtoLAS Low-Roller

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  16. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the TR.

    later, GVJ
     
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