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Downtown and Punk Rock Bowling 2014 - Memorial Day Weekend

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Blatz, May 30, 2014.

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  1. Blatz

    Blatz Low-Roller

    Dec 12, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Long Winded, and a tad dry...proceed at your own risk!

    Because I’m a cheap bastard, I’ll be sitting in Mccarran airport for the next four hours in exchange for a $479 flight voucher courtesy of Southwest Airlines. Might as well knock this out while I don’t have shit else to do!

    Here we go, the annual pilgrimage out to Las Vegas for the Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival. Non stop flight out of AUS scheduled to leave an hour late, ended up taking off 40 minutes late, and we land 40 minutes late in LAS. This trip I decided to try something different and picked up a rental car through Budget for just a day to get downtown, and it worked out great and I plan on doing this moving forward. Made it through the rental facility and out to the car via fastbreak in 5 minutes flat.

    **Sidenote: The cost of the rental car through budget was 30 bucks all in, with a pick up at the airport, and a drop off at the Golden Nugget 24 hours later. I would highly recommend this for anyone staying downtown as it’s cheaper than a cab and it gives you a little freedom for the first day of the trip.

    After pulling out of the airport, I scoot over to Food4Less to pick up the room supplies consisting of a few cases of water, a few bottles of whiskey and some solo cups. Drove the strip north to The D, hit the Valet. The majority of the stay was comped via a mailer, which also included 50 bucks F&B and 50 bucks slot play. Checked in around 7pm on that Wednesday. No line. Asked for the lowest non-smoking floor, near the elevator and was granted 6th floor. Elevators as usual were a mess as they always have been. I hope that’s something they work on in the future. After setting up the room, I head back down and pick up the vehicle and meet a few local friends over at the Silver Sevens since I have a buddy coming into town at 11, and I want to be close to the airport for pickup.

    I haven’t been to this property since it’s been Terrible’s, and nothing much has changed. I did notice that it was more filthy than previous visits, with overfilled ashtrays and trash everywhere. It had a fair amount of folks hanging out for a Wed evening. We played a little bartop bonus poker for a couple hours, with no notable wins.

    Around 11pm I get a call, and my buddy has landed, so I head over to the airport for pickup. This was my first time driving to passenger pickup since the new terminal has been built, and I did not realize that there was a separate passenger pickup for terminal 3. After a long day, it was a bit frustrating, and I found him, and we were off for a drive down the strip for the Vegas virgin that I had just picked up.

    Again, strip down to The D, Valet in(Always Valet, that parking lot is sketchy), and up to the room for a quick Whiskey before heading down to the 2nd floor of The D for some Sigma Derby. As usual, The D is clean, comfortable and friendly. It appears that they have done some work to the hallway decor since my last visit, with some paintings on the walls and new hard/carpet floor combinations. It’s lookin’ pretty good. The 2nd floor was near empty, but we managed to get a little excitement going around the track. Played out a roll of quarters and hit the sack. We’re old men.

    Thursday 05/22

    Shit, showered and shaved by 7am, and out and about for a quick walk up and down Fremont. Everything is pretty much intact and lookin’ the same as my trip last year, with the exception of the stage on the west end, and the operational launch platform for the zipline on the east end. After a quick walk, we pick up the rental car from the valet and head over to Ellis Island over in the ole’ Super 8 on Koval. It appears that they raised the cost of the 20oz house brew to 2.00. Still a good value in a sea of shitty beers that is Las Vegas. We didn’t plan on gaming much in this area, but I happened to pull a $400,00ish win on a 7 spot nickel keno machine while we were drinking. Not too bad, and we vowed to drink the winnings by the end of the day, and I’m pretty sure we accomplished that task. The only new change for me was the movement of the BBQ restaurant to the other side of the casino, but other than that, it’s still the same old place. Good times. I’d have liked to spend a bit more time, but we were in a time crunch for activities outside of downtown.

    After Ellis, we head over to the Bellagio for a Buffet lunch courtesy of MyVegas. Used valet for the vehicle, and checked out the Chihuly ceiling and the botanical garden. Had a cocktail and then headed over for lunch. Comp included line pass, but at 11am, it wasn’t needed. Overall, pretty pleased with the quality of food. Highlights were the calamari salad and smoked salmon. Not a bad meal for two for the low cost of Free Ninety-Nine!

    Since we were going to be on the strip for a short period the next day, I decided to drive north and take a drive past my old pad in Green Valley. Then we went down Eastern to Trop, Trop to Boulder and Boulder to the mecca of shitholes, The Longhorn.

    Ever since The Western has shut down, The Longhorn is the new king of shitholes in Las Vegas. It’s dirty and small, and I love it. Cheap beers, great BJ rules and super friendly staff. We just dropped in for a drink and played a few slots...but I was itching to ditch the car so we could let off a little steam.

    We roll out of The Longhorn and take Boulder back downtown and dropping the car off at The Nugget. Since this was my first time dropping downtown, I had no idea where to roll that piece of shit Chevy Spark. The employees weren't very helpful in locating the parking spaces or kiosk, but it was pretty easy to figure out once we hit the parking lot. Budget counter clerk was busy on a personal call when we arrived at the counter, and acted bothered to do the return. I guess they aren't so busy over there.

    Freedom! Time to start drinking. There is a lot of wandering and drinking. Manhattan’s at the Golden Gate. Loving the vibe in this place, and the cocktail was mixed perfectly. Had some great banter with the security guards and bartenders.
    Manhattan’s at the Plaza. Don’t bother ordering a Manhattan at The Plaza. Now, I’ve never really liked this place, but on this trip in particular, I really didn’t like the place. It felt awkward. I don’t even really know what that means, but it did. We watched Indian Elvis for a bit, and walked around playing a few slots. The upkeep at the tables and slots wasn’t all that hot, the cocktail waitress service was pretty much non-existent, and there wasn’t much of a vibe in the place. It kinda felt like a casino night at an assisted living center.

    A couple of Manhattan’s down, we decide to get a few beers over at Main Street Station. What happened to the bathroom with the Berlin Wall? I’m sure it has to do with being a bit buzzed, but I couldn’t find the damn thing. It feels like they took a wall down somewhere, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Regardless, went to 777, had a couple beers and some fried green beans and loaded chips. Great bartender, and had a great time on the property. If I ever decide to stray away from staying at The D, this would be my hotel of choice.

    After the stop at MSS, we walk over to The Downtown Grand for a quick peak. This is quite a step up from the old Lady Luck. Clean look and everyone on staff seems to be friendly. The players desk is on the same row as the cage, and with the two next to each other, the area felt a little hectic even though there were very few people in the casino. As nice as it was, It didn’t have much of a vibe for me, and I’ll probably take a rain check on future visits.

    We’re feeling pretty good at this point, and we decide to head across the street to Hogs and Heifers, which is one of those fabricated shit kicker bars with the bartenders who dance on the bar and what not. We thought it would be cool to grab a shot and a beer and play a game of pool.

    And play pool we did! The gals got on the bar, screamed in the megaphone and poured booze down each others throats. Next thing I know, there are several gals on the bar, ripping their shirts off, and there are floppy sausage tits flying everywhere. It was a bit much at this point in our drinking marathon, and we decide to roll out and head back to the hotel. 11pm, I paint the porcelain, and get some much needed sleep. Day one: Success.

    Friday 5/23

    Get up around 8am, and take The Deuce over to the Mirage for a MyVegas free lunch for 2. We wandered around the property for a bit, then grabbed the passes from Mlife after a short wait. There was no line at the buffet, and the food was decent for a free meal. Good asian station, and steamed and cold crab legs at lunch. No table beverage service unless you’re doing cocktail service from the menu, but unlimited pours of Goose Island IPA, as well as wine and Bud at the walk up bar for the cost of a tip.

    After lunch we walked over for a quick tour of the Venetian, as my travel partner wanted to stare at the ceiling for a bit. At this point, the strip was getting pretty crowded, so we grabbed the SDX back downtown for a much quicker ride than the deuce. Overall, I probably wouldn’t take either bus again...but then again, I don’t plan on spending much time on the strip anyway.

    Back downtown we headed over to the drink pushers over at Mermaids where we were bombarded by cocktail waitresses for drink service. I always like going to this place to sit and people watch, drop a few bucks in the machines and get really good drink service. We literally have to fight off the cocktail waitresses to get out of there, as they try to ply us with one last drink as we walk out the door.

    This evening we’d be heading over to The Plaza for the Altercation Punk Rock Comedy Tour at the plaza showroom featuring Kyle Kinane and Joe Sib. This was my first time in the plaza showroom and it was comfortable, and I was surprised at the inexpensive 6.00 price tag for cocktails. I think there were 4 comedians in all, and the show was riot. Great way to spend the early part of the evening, and the price was right at Free Ninety Nine!

    At this point, more of the crew have arrived in town, and we meet up for a beer over at The Griffin, which is an okay spot for a quick drink, with decent conversational booth seating. After a quick drink, we head over to Beauty Bar and catch Western Addiction and Off With their Heads play a fantastic show on the outdoor patio. After the show, everyone else goes off to play the Sigma Derby, and I head off to bed after a long day!

    Saturday 05/24

    This is where it will start to get real boring for most of you, which is the music portion. I’ll try and keep this part short. Woke up, grabbed breakfast at the D Grill, had the Crab Cakes Benny, which is always pretty awesome. Headed over to the Plaza pool to catch The Potato Pirates, a throwback punk/ska band, and the pool was packed. Super reasonable drink prices at 5 bucks for a large selection of tall boys. As fun as it was, you couldn’t pay me enough to get in that pool with all the dirty punkers. A few of us wandered around for a bit, and decided to have dinner over at Pizza Rock. Excellent Bloody Mary mix in the bacon bloody mary, and the pizza was decent. Not mind blowing, but decent. I think we split a meat pizza called the Downtown. The Gorgonzola fries were pretty amazing though.

    After dinner we headed over to the Zappos parking lot where the music festival is held. I’m an older man, so there’s not a chance in hell I’d stand out there all day in the sun watching bands. Caught good sets from Angelic Upstarts, The Slackers and Anti-Nowhere League. Again, decent festival prices at 5 bucks a beer.

    After the day portion of the shows, headed over for the night show at the Beauty Bar to catch reggae legend Roy Ellis. Super amazing session band Thee Hurricanes from the Angel City stable backed all of the artists. It rained a bit that night, and it was great times. The show wrapped up around 2:30, and we headed over to the bar at the El Cortez for a nitecap. I really used to enjoy going to the El Cortez for some cheap beers, but at 5 bucks for a PBR draft, there are many other places I’d rather go. Finished the night off with a Dog from the D Grill and called it a night.
    Sunday 05/25

    After a late start, grabbed breakfast over at Island Sushi at The Plaza. We had planned on going to EAT, behind container park, but the wait was outrageous. We also tried the cafe at the El Cortez, but after being seated for over 10 minutes without service, we wandered over to Island Sushi, since we had a decent breakfast there last year. A bit has changed since my last visit, and it’s now counter service vs. Table Service. Sushi Rolls were half price, and most of my party ordered sushi and were satisfied and it was a good value. I went with the oxtail soup and it was above average and a huge bowl at 10 bucks.

    The D now has a few super fun 21 tables up at the vue bar(and we did spend a lot of time meeting, drinking and hanging out in this space over the weekend...one of my favorite spots to relax) and we decided to sit down at a quiet table and play for a bit. No big wins to speak of, but we had a great time taking over the table. The dealers were fun, and it was cool to be off the floor and away from the dance music below.

    The remaining part of the afternoon was spent over at Banger Brewing, just east of The D on Fremont. I absolutely loved this place. Started with a flight, and settled on the Pepper Brew, El Hefe. Not at all what I expected and a super refreshing beer to drink while sitting outside. The staff were incredible, and we took over a few tables and had a great time with staff and friends. Also tried the dill pickle popcorn and the buffalo ranch. Popcorn is the only food they serve there, but it appeared that the couscous place next door was happy to deliver food over. This will be a must stop for every trip from this point forward.

    After Banger, we headed back over to the Zappos lot and caught great sets by The Addicts, Face to Face and The Descendents.

    A couple of us opted to skip the night shows, and went over to Four Queens, where I hit a small 4oak progressive on the bartops. We wandered around there for a couple hours, and ended up finding a good spot at the D with good cocktail service on a couple machines that allowed us to stretch our dollar for a fair amount of time. Hit the sack happy after a Gyro from Coney Island.

    Monday 05/26

    Last Full day in town! Got up early, and did some solo walking in the beautiful vegas sun. Wandered past the mob museum and down to container park. The BBQ smelled good, but as a resident of Texas, that was off limits. Played a good long session of video poker at the 4Q with nothing to show but a few bottles of water, and at this point the rest of the crew was starting to wake up. We all ended up over at Banger again, and a few people went over to the day show. At this point, things were starting to heat up, and a couple of us decided to skip shows all together. We wanted to hit Le Thai for lunch, but they were closed for the Memorial Day Holiday. We ended up eating at Nacho Daddy, where the food was mediocre at best. The margaritas were tasty but felt a little watered down at the 12 dollar price tag.
    The remainder of the evening was spent people watching and beers and horses over at the Vue bar in The D. A great way to end the trip with awesome friends and bartenders.

    Tuesday 05/29

    Travel Day!

    Met a few from our party for a final breakfast at The D Grill, another order of Crab Cakes before the flight home. We also did the annual stop to the Jerky Store to pick up goodies for home. That place is always a treat, and right across from the hotel.

    Back up to the room to pick up the bags, and took the WAX over to the airport. In my opinion, the best way to get over there for two bucks. Uneventful and quiet ride, and ZERO security line to concourse C. Flight was overbooked, and I took the volunteer spot and scored a $479 voucher for my next flight. I was originally supposed to be back to the ATX at 7PM nonstop, and ended up landing at 1215am with a quick stop in El Paso. Storms in Houston screwed travel up pretty good. I relaxed in a seat near the ticketing counter and watched all the stressed out passengers complain at the desk. Life is good.

    To wrap things up, this wasn’t the most exciting trip I’ve ever had, but it was fantastic fun! Downtown is just as fun as it ever was, even with the changes I don’t necessarily care for. As usual, pleased with The D. No real complaints, but I’m easy to please. The staff there was accommodating and fun.

    As for gambling, even with a few decent hits, I came home empty handed, but satisfied that I got my money’s worth. If I enjoy the gambling, it’s always a win in my book. I never plan on coming back with any money. You advantage gamblers can thank me later for keeping your free trips intact :)

    Sorry for the wordy and mundane trip report, but without these awesome reports you all write, I’d go insane on the countdown to my trips! Thanks for all you do, and I hope that your next trip out to Las Vegas is filled with big wins and fun!
  2. jimboguy

    jimboguy My sloppy joe is all sloppy and no joe.

    Nov 15, 2010
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for the report. I stayed downtown that weekend as well. While I did not attend the Punk Rock Bowling tournament or attend any of the shows, I did enjoy seeing some punk rock chick eye candy.

    The El Heffe was not what I expected either when I first tried it. It is excellent.

    I'm totally with you on taking the WAX.

    Did you try the sour IPA at MSS? It was a different taste, but it grew on me quickly, as did the buzz it provided.
    Thanksgiving Weekend
    I like fall
  3. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

    Apr 3, 2008
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    We are all about getting bumped for hours or a day for some free return flight cash!

    Nice report...thanks!
  4. Jameezy

    Jameezy High-Roller

    Jul 6, 2012
    Sacramento, California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I absolutely love longhorns!! It's a hole in a wall joint but had really good ribs for a good price. Def one of those hidden secret type of spots. Just found out about it when I headed over to samstown one time
  5. mescalita

    mescalita old and in the way...

    Dec 29, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I've seen lots of crazy things in Vegas, also thought I had seen every shape and size of womens' breasts, but can't for the life of me picture "floppy sausage tits....."
  6. spicole

    spicole Low-Roller

    Oct 7, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Excellent trip report. Thanks!
  7. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Aug 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Now that's forward thinking, get a voucher for your next trip and knock off your TR while waiting. I have a craving for crab cakes now, lol.
    Lady Gaga and Dierks Bentley Concert Trip
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