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feb19-22 trip

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by chef, Feb 28, 2005.

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  1. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Apr 20, 2002

    My Trip Report

    This trip started poorly, but ended up fairly decent.
    Upon our arrival Saturday evening, it was rainy and cold. And, the forecast for the next few days was not too promising.
    After enduring a northern Illinois winter, you're kind of in the mood for sun and warmth. On top of that, our first night would be camping at Red Rock, and we did not bring a tent.
    After hitting up the Hilton buffet, we headed to the mid-Strip. I should have taken an alternate route - the traffic was terrible. We even got caught in a 20-minute traffic jam in Caeser's parking garage.
    After losing a bit of cash at the tables and enduring bad weather and traffic, the prospect of spending Saturday night at Red Rock was even less fun for us.
    The campsite at Red Rock is only about 10-15 miles from the Strip, but you feel much removed from the lights and noise of Vegas. You can't beat the price ($10), but dry weather would have helped out.
    It was windy and rainy throughout the night, but my son slept outside. I gave him my extra sleeping bag and I tried to sleep in the car.
    Car-sleeping can be done, as long as you don't have a compact Ford Focus, like we were driving.
    We both got up before the crack of dawn and gladly headed back into civilization, glad to have survived the sleeping ordeal.
    Sunday included MSS brunch and then a road trip out past Boulder City. We checked out a quiet hotel/casino (Hacienda) a few miles east of Boulder City.
    It was a decent place that overlooked Lake Mead and had a hiking trail nearby. It was good just to get out of Vegas, especially after the crowds and traffic from the night before.
    Feeling somewhat refreshed, we stopped at a couple places in Henderson in hopes of finding an open crap table, but we were there too early. Most places out that way don't get going until the afternoon for craps.
    We headed back into town for 11:00 am check-in at the Las Vegas Club. We got a 15th-floor South Tower room. We've always had the North Tower before, but lately they want an extra $10 a night for the North. I couldn't tell much of a difference between the two.
    The thing about the LVC is this - it gets the job for you. It's not fancy, but it's quiet, the rooms are adequate and it's a decent locale.
    At 4:00 that afternoon, for the first time ever, I finally met a fellow T2Ver. The famous author, ken2v and a few LVA members had a get-together at the Monte Carlo.
    Chatting with Ken, you can tell the man knows his stuff. He's kind of funny to listen to, his descriptive manner of things.
    My only disappointment that afternoon was hoofing up to the Bellagio at 3:00 and having the opening water show cancelled (winds). That 3:00 show is my favorite. Oh, well.
    Actually, I did have another disappointment, but did not realize it until a couple days later. The Atomic Testing Museum (on Flamingo) had it's grand opening from 1-5 on Sunday and I didn't know it. I had been there in the past and was looking forward to the time when it would all be done.
    Sunday night dining consisted of a trip to In-N-Out on Tropicana. My son was amazed as the traffic that place generates. We also stopped off at Chinatown. I would have rather eaten there, but he had never tried In-N-Out.
    Lost a little more money at the crap tables that night.
    On Monday, we visited the Gamblers Book Store (630 11th St.). I recomend this to anyone. About any book on gambling and Vegas can be found here. It is a research repository for folks from all over the country. For example, if you're doing a gambling movie, this bookstore is where you might come to get info.
    Another side trip to check out the resorts and golf courses at Lake Las Vegas. I don't know if it was the weather, the time of day or what, but those places were dead.
    Very attractive properties, though. My wife, who refuses to come to Vegas, would probably opt for a stay at the Hyatt out there.
    I felt bad for the folks trying to golf in the rain. You know they probably planned their trips around golfing.
    Later that day, we drove north into the flooded regions of Vegas. We took the car through a few flooded area and it handled things well. We figured since the weather was crappy, we might as well make the most out of it and check out the flooding first hand.
    I was supposed to meet a friend of mine later that night, but he couldn't get out of his road (Ann road, northwest Vegas) because the rain had deposited so much mud on it.
    We took in the Orleans Monday night seafood buffet with ACG 2-1 coupon. Even at full price, the Orleans' buffet is solid value.
    We went back downtown and made a foary into the Plaza. Quite an improved sports book, among other things. Barrick is really serious about upgarding the Plaza.
    The distinctive Plaza odor was also gone. I asked John, one of the craps supervisors I know, what happened.
    He explained the smell was a coconut oil scent purposely used by the Plaza. The new management decided to put an end to the practice of scenting the casino. Apparently, they heard all about what customers really thought of the "smell".
    Tuesday as our last day and it was spent gambling and taking in the new Mirage buffet. We caught the end of lunch and beginning of dinner. I know it gets either 'you like it' or 'hate it' reviews. Add us to the like it people. An eclectic offering of food. It was fun and quality was there. I'd put it up with Alladin, Bellagio, Rio.
    The final day of playing craps made the trip worth it. We hit up the Bellagio again and made several hundred dollars each.
    My only regret was not leaving when I was really up big. After awhile, they raised the limit to $100 on our table. We were grandfathered in, but raised the stakes to discourage others from playing. They eventually wanted to shut the table down.
    Interestingly, the three days we played there, the Bellagio had one crap table reserved for a high roller. No one else could play on it and they had dealers available 24/7 for him.
    One of the dealers told me they had to keep thattable ready until he got on his private jet and it took off. I don't know how many days he was there for.
    We did see him play Monday night and he had an unbelievable amount of chips in front of him.
  2. Jack21

    Jack21 Guest

    Thank you for the trip report, chef- enjoyed it. I've hiked around Red Rock when my non-gambling wife came with me one year, and we enjoyed the break from the noise as well as the wildlife. And glad to hear you did well in craps. I tend to be a hit-and-run player, turning and fleeing once I have a few bucks of Steve Wynn's $$$$.

  3. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

    Sep 18, 2003
    Central California Coast
    Andy, is Red Rocks in the rain worse than the IP??? Thanks for the TR. Great meeting you.
  4. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

    Sep 21, 2002
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Wow, Chef you certainly have the strangest first night experiences in Vegas.

    Didn't you crash in your car at a casino parking lot on one of your last trips?

    Don't get me wrong, I like reading about your adventures. Glad your trip ended with an up note. Thanks for sharing.

    I've been to the Bellagio and have seen a couple of high rollers at the craps tables. It was a $5K minimum table. They did allow his wife/girlfriend to bet $1k while he was playing though. It was amazing to watch him go from his last $20K on a passline/odds bet to what looked like over $100K in a matter of minutes.
  5. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Nov 25, 2002
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    That was a very cool report, chef. Personally, I liked the coconut oil scent at the Plaza, but then again, when folks talked about the odor, I don't think that's really what they were talking about...

    About the golfers in the rain - before I started playing, I had no idea how real that Caddyshack scene with the bishop was. Its like watching smokers shivering outside a door in winter, they can't help themselves.
  6. Jer

    Jer VIP Whale

    Jan 20, 2002
    San Diego
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Yep, I agree with Al on the smell. Go outside to the Valet when it rains and that "smell" is alive and well...

    Love the high roller tables, especially craps!
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