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Early March trip Flamingo/Tropicana

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Jinx, Apr 6, 2011.

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  1. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    I started to chronicle the 7 days of my trip and ran out of steam about two days in, there are some things I wanted to remember though from my trip, so I just broke the format down into categories instead of blow by blow. I travelled on this trip with my brother (J) and friend (B).

    Hotels:

    Four Queens for one night. My first time staying downtown. Not bad, the room had newer carpet and looked to have been remodeled recently. The room was on the small side, but I was prepared for that. All in all not a bad first room to have downtown. I’ll probably return for a stay at some point, I need to stay there 2 days rather then one as I got in late on my arrival day and left fairly early the next day.

    Flamingo: Very solid this trip. No issues with the room, although I did seem to notice, that how hot the water in the shower got seemed to change from a weekend temperature to a weekday temp. Not sure if it was occupation or something intentional, but found it bizarre. My deluxe room was average, but better then my last stay here, when I continuously had issues (dirty hallways, backed up drains, heating issues). I had a pool view room in the elevators near the spa (which were remodeled and clean compared to the buffet elevators from last trip). Even with the pool view, I still love the floor to ceiling windows at the Flamingo, I still don’t understand why every Vegas hotel doesn’t have them.

    Tropicana: I won a contest at vegastripping.com for 2 free nights at the Tropicana. The rooms were nice, it was a remodeled deluxe room and I was impressed. The furnishings were actually a bit better quality then I had assumed from seeing the website pictures. The bathroom is a very nice size, after spending recent trips at the Mirage and even the Flamingo, the Trops bathroom relieved my claustrophobia.

    Food:

    Bradley Ogden lounge: It’s almost tradition for me anymore, the lounge prixe fixe special, 3 courses, salad, steakburger, and butterscotch pudding. It’s $30 and in my opinion it’s awesome. The Caesar salad is delcious, the steakburger is always cooked perfectly and the pudding is a perfect end to the meal. I highly recommend this, J and B were impressed, which was nice as it was their first time there and had heard me talk about it forever. One note, Caesars.com still lists this as a Mon and Tues special, it runs all week in the lounge, and they are actually closed on Mon and Tues.

    Max Brenners: Second trip for me here and it didn’t disappoint this time either. This was our backup plan due to Bradley Ogden being closed. I had the steak and mushroom quesadilla and it was full of flavor. I also had a chance to try one of their waffle fries from my brothers meal and they were cooked perfectly. To the point I’d highly recommend them and yes I know they are just fries.

    KGB: This is Kerry Simon’s burger joint at Harrahs. We ate here late in the week and I wasn’t exactly starving at this point or ready to fill up more, but the food was pretty good, to the point where I’d definitely return. I had a grilled chicken sandwich that was cooked perfectly and well dressed with condiments. The only minor complaint is I think the marinade they used had an herb I couldn’t place and didn’t love, which brought the sandwich down in taste a level or two. The dining room for a casual joint is very nice though with very high ceilings, something I love at Harrahs as I always feel enclosed on their casino floor with the crowd of people, machines, and ceiling height.

    Todd English Brew PUB: We visited here twice, J and B did the pint challenge, drink a pint down in 7 seconds and it’s free. You can do it twice a visit and my brother did his 2, B did one. Staff was friendly, food was average, but it was a nice place to relax at the bar. Noise level in here when it’s busy is high, but I chalked it up to trying to recreate the PUB experience.

    Biscayne: Steakhouse at Tropicana. I had a two person comp through the vegastripping.com contest at Biscayne, upon arrival I asked how we could accommodate the third and they decided to add him to the comp too. We each had a steak and split the side dishes, all of those were good to very good. Our appetizers were average (braised short rib mac and cheese sticks and kobe sliders) the sliders were much better then the mac and cheese sticks. I had two mojitos here (a ginger one and a regular one) and they were awful. To the point where if I was paying for them, I’d have sent the first back and not ordered the second, which is something I typically would never do. They were gross. Overall this was a nice spot though, tables are a little too close together for my liking, especially since there didn’t seem to be any room for servers to get around either which only made it feel like they were on top of us more. (I’m sensing a trend in my issues with space this trip)

    Toby Keiths: Food continues to be worse then average. Steak sandwich was way too tough a piece of meat for a sandwich. We continue to return, as we can play VP at the bar and drinks are good (even though they aren’t comped). Plus on certain days the crowd is interesting.

    Chicago Brew Company (4Q). I ate here on my night downtown. Food was ok, bartenders were quick to pour drinks (playing VP) as with everything else downtown it’s certainly affordable. There was an overserved kid at the bar with his friends to the point where I thought he might rolf all over the place. His “friends†kept trying to ignore the obvious state he was in and talking about how he needed to ride the zipline or the fact that their other friends were still playing and they couldn’t go back to the hotel. They finally decided to stick him in a cab by himself, write his room number and hotel name down on a piece of paper so he could give it to someone if he couldn’t find his way. As I noted on Twitter, guy needed a new group of ‘friends’

    Other meals: I grabbed a couple slices of pizza on occasion at the Flamingo food court, it wasn’t bad. I do like where they put the food court, it’s far enough back to not affect the casino floor and even changed some of the traffic on the floor as that area where they put it never had much traffic when it was a slot tourney area or just older slots.

    Entertainment:

    I didn’t see any shows, but I spent some time at Bills, IP, and Cabo Wabo (Planet Hollywood) for karaoke. Not much to report as I didn’t spend a ton of time there. For some reason I’ve never felt comfortable in Bills and these nights were no exceptions, but there was a good crowd there. IP was pretty dead on the 2 nights I went, a shame as it used to be the place you could count on for a decent crowd on weeknights and a big crowd on weekends. Cabo Wabo continues to amaze me, they have a huge dining room that’s never filled when they have a band or karaoke in there, and the reason? They don’t allow people to sit at the tables unless they are ordering food. Which means they typically have this huge room filled with a handful of people at the bars and dinner holdovers but a bunch of empty non revenue generating seats. I understand protecting the dinner rush and even going a bit later, but 9pm on weekday nights, trust me if someone wants to eat they will at the table, but you are losing a ton of inflated drink price revenue, not to mention, those hanging out for something like that often order appetizers and such as the night goes on.

    Rhumbar: We spent some time at Rhumbar on a couple occasions, having some cocktails and enjoying some cigars, great spot, although I will say they appeared under staffed at times this trip, waits were just simply too long for initial service or to check up on next round. Hopefully it was just a factor or change in seasons or staff turnover.

    Gambling: I gambled a lot this trip, as a group we played a pretty fair amount at the same time. (VP and PaiGow).

    I played some Mississippi Stud and hit a 4oak at the Mirage on their virtual dealer machine, which paid out $1200 ($3 initial bet and max bet on dealt pair of Jacks), which then required a W2. Attendant was a bit scattered in trying to get me paid and then took my license and players card with her even though I asked before she left whether she was sure she gave them back (she returned about 5 minutes later as I was going through pockets looking for it). 2nd attendant that showed up kept asking me to play off win, (it doesn’t really say what you won, it just says how much was paid out on the machine, no different then buyin in for 1000.) Anyway I had no interest in doing so and told her. After playing for an hour with 3 waitresses that walked by the 3 of us playing with no service and the fact that it took a half hour for the minor hand pay, I just wasn’t in the mood to do them a favor. Not to mention, MS stud has a fairly high variance and is rather easy to chase one more hand.

    I played a fair amount of the Lord of the Rings slot, brother and I camped out some mornings playing and we were well taken care of at Paris by the waitresses. 2nd day we played after ordering just our 1st baileys and coffee and giving her a $2 tip each, she brought back another round in about 15 minutes, said she wanted to get us another since her shift was ending and then refused the tip we were going to give her for that, as she said she just wanted to do something nice for us, since we took care of her. I was sad then that she wasn’t our waitress the day before, we each probably had 5-7 baileys and coffees during our session at $2/piece.

    I also played more VP then I have recently (mostly due to my mainstay the virtual dealt Ultimate Texas Hold’em being gone from the strip). I broke even for a lot of sessions, lost my small buy in on a few and won on a few others. I’m pretty sure I threw away a royal, playing at the Flamingo Paradise bar one night, the noise was getting to me down there and I was tired from the trip (about mid way through). I was sort of mindlessly playing Bonus poker .25 and am pretty sure I had A of hearts and 10 of hearts where I only kept the Ace and then was dealt the other 3 in the first three spots. No guarantee I would have had the royal as timing would have been different, but you never know. I only had 1 4 to the royal where I dealt for the 5th card this trip. Had plenty that I had 4 to the royal at the completion of the hand though.

    Other thoughts and notes:

    My first visit to the Cosmopolitan and I loved it. I like the layout and the smaller space with everything going up. I also enjoyed playing there, vp at the bar was 7/5 BP which for the strip isn’t bad and they served premium cocktails. Waitress service on the floor was fantastic. We found a spot at a heads up texas hold’em game (against the computer) off in the corner and once the waitress came by the first time we never waited for a drink the rest of the time, on my return solo trips it was the same case. It didn’t hurt that they were extremely friendly, a bit flirty, and many on par with Wynn/Encore for looks. I did have one rather inexperienced and the bartender must have been too, late one night, when I received a salted rim mojito, when I asked the waitress about it, she said, you didn’t want it that way. Um No. All in all though, my experience with the property was very good and I’ll be returning (often).

    We visited downtown as a group on my fourth night in town and I don’t know why, but every time we do it sucks. This trip was no different, our visit downtown was a gambling blood bath. It sucked too as we were fairly even for the trip prior to our downtown venture and my brother and I were already thinking about the shot we were going to take with a chunk of our trip budget before heading home. It didn’t help that the losing downtown continued for another day and a half. I’m pretty sure that my group trips downtown with brother are over, as he may not go back for quite a while. For me I think staying downtown is the only time I really enjoy gambling there. Going there from the strip is like driving to a casino in Michigan from here in Ohio. If you get there and you win, great you are kind of stuck there still so you might as well gamble, if you lose, it sucks as you can’t readily go back to the strip. There just still aren’t enough diversions downtown for us to regularly visit.

    I didn’t do a lot this trip outside of gambling, the nice thing was I just didn’t feel like doing much else this trip. J and B don’t get out there as much as I do, so they like to gamble pretty regularly when they are there, it was nice as outside of downtown none of us had horrible runs over the trip and got a fair amount of play in.

    Day at Qua: Still one of my favorite things to do is hit Qua at Caesars for a day and get a massage. This visit was a good one as my therapist was great and I didn’t feel completely run down for a day or so after the massage. It was a bit busy as I went on a Sunday, but by later in the afternoon it had cleared out some.

    Tropicana: The changes are nice, but the crowd still skews fairly old. That’s not a knock on the crowd, it just makes me laugh with their constant marketing to the hip. I’m still not sure it’s ever going to be a ‘hip’ place to be again. In my opinion if they marketed themselves a bit differently they could bring in a bigger crowd, but right now it seems like a lot of hold overs from the old Trop are still there, and I didn’t see much of the young crowd, if they are staying there, it’s because of the room rates and then they are heading over to MGM.

    I’m looking forward to my Summer trip, currently set for mid-July, hopefully a lot of pool time and some more time spent at Cosmo. I’ll also probably do a little less gambling on that trip and hit up some of the things I typically do on solo trips.
     
  2. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    nice report Jinx!
     
  3. booker

    booker High-Roller

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    I appreciate the report and my feelings about Bills mirror yours.
     
  4. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    Great trip report. Jinx, I have a question for you. The showers at the Flamingo, were they hotter during the week or weekend? We'll be there from a Sunday to Thursday. Thank you for your help.:thumbsup:
     
  5. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Thanks all,

    denluvslv, weekdays were hotter, it seemed to make the switch in the evening on Sunday. Took a shower when I first got in the room and couldn't get hot. Then that evening took another and things were fine, through the rest of the week. Could very well have just been that room. My trip last April, had a horrible time getting hot water in my room at Flamingo weekdays. Just seemed weird this trip only because evening shower started off mild and then hit the right heat about half way through and for rest of trip.
     
  6. denluvslv

    denluvslv Low-Roller

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    Jinx, thank you for your answer. It will be nice to have hot showers.:thumbsup:
     
  7. macker69

    macker69 Canadian Ambassador for Sully's Bar

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    As I said on another board, great trip report and sorry we're missing you in May!
     
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