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Finaly - 6-8 thru 6-10

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Shane, Jun 17, 2004.

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  1. Shane

    Shane Tourist

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Minnesota

    My Trip Report

    6-8 to 6-10 (Tue-Thu)

    I really hate coming home from Vegas!!! Before I even get started I want to know if there are other people out there that start thinking about their next trip to Vegas while they are at the Airport waiting to leave. I couldn’t even wait to get home to start daydreaming of my next trip. I always have a great time and always seem to be counting down to my next trip.

    Okay enough whining, on with the report. We actually started our getaway Monday evening. We live in the mountains about 45 minutes from Denver. We went into Denver for the evening and had a great time walking the outdoor area downtown, eating out and staying in a friend “flat†high in the sky. I kept waking up all night long looking at the alarm clock making sure we hadn’t overslept. Finally the 430 alarm goes off. We had little trouble getting up and going. Got to the Airport and parked in the old econo lot but we got a great spot and one of the shuttle came right up to us so we didn’t have to hoof it to a bus stop. Next surprise was checkin. It was all electronic since we didn’t have any bags to check. Tooks us all of about 2 minutes to check in. Now we and everyone to know that we were flying United’s new econo airline “Tedâ€. Check in was great and again were surprised by the flight. The Ted planes are great. Onboard music, everyone has FREE headphones. They played a movie as it had the drop down screens. No first class but seats were normal size, not the “cattle car†type you get on those charter flights. We got into Vegas on time at just before 8 am!!! We headed PAST the baggage claim  and straight for the “Dollar†rent a car shuttle.

    First hiccup occurred on the Dollar shuttle, told him I was “Fastlane†and he did have my name on the list BUT I had to check with the front counter because of a Credit Card problem (oh boy). We get to the Dollar hub and WOW there were SO many people there. Must have been 50 people in line but luckily being Fastlane members we bypassed them all (online free signup, more people should wise up). The problem was minor has it was a card that had been renewed so the old EXPIRY was bad. Five minutes later and he told us our car was in A-4. Now this lot is BIG and you could get stuck walking a ways. We were literally 20 feet from the front door. Was a RED Sebring convertible (WOOHOO). I didn’t even get out of the parking lot before I had the top down and was cranking Vegas ALL 80’s station.

    Its 8:30 am and we are FREE, there isn’t a better feeling in the world when you are finally there and done with the BS and on the road. My wife called her friend who was in town for a bowling tourney at “where else†but the Orleans. So we decided to meet her for the Orleans buffet but we had to CRUISE the strip first. Was awesome, drove all the way past the STRAT and turned around. So we definitely took the long ways back to Tropicana Ave and over to the Orlaeans. We met up with her but with waiting for all the crew to arrive it was 1020 am and too late for the buffet (close 10-11). So we all headed to the Courtyard Café there and it wasn’t too bad. Not great by any means but have had a lot worse. After we ate we drove out to the Oasis RV park where they had their camp set up. We helped them get ready to leave as they were head to Wyoming. We chatted for a bit and then said goobye. Now off to the Riviera to checkin. It was 130 in the afternoon by now and traffic on the strip was getting pretty slow going. That’s just fine as we love to people watch and what a better place.

    We got to the Riviera at 2 PM and went to check-in. Okay this was a little crazy. The girl invited us to use their automated check-in. We are not techies by any means but love to embrace the latest in technology when it presents itself. So we swiped our card and first problem was it could recognize us. So we called out and a lady came over, did something behind the counter and said “try againâ€. So we did and it DID work this time but told use we had 2 double beds!!! So we asked again for help. She did here magic again and voila, 1 king non-smoking. So we went to process the check-in and it said, PLEASE see attendant. GRRRR!!!!!! So we are sent to the end of the counter where they were training a new girl. Well needles to say they started OVER and by the time it was all said and done check-in took almost 30 minutes and we didn’t wait in any line. We were place into the newest towers of Riviera passed the pool in the back. Nice new rooms, nothing fancy but clean, new and a nice bathroom décor, not just the formica countertops.

    After settling in and freshening up it was time to hit the casino floor. My wife loves all the coupons, special games and all the other crap that the casinos offer to keep you there. We spent probably 2 hours getting a club card and doing all of that kind of stuff!!! I have to tell you that they have GREAT cocktail service at the Riviera, during our three days we spent a good amount of time during all times of the day and the service for drinks was amazing. A couple of them wouldn’t even ask and just bring me a new one when it was getting low. They also had Jack Daniels, a few places will just serve you cheap bourbon if you ask for Jack. My wife was new to this part of the strip so we ventured out of the Riviera and spent some time in Circus-Circus, Slots of Fun, Westward Ho (looked at the gargantuan dogs, didn’t buy, still settling the food from the Orleans), and then the Stardust. On the way back we were approached by one of the Time share guys.

    Let me set this up. We love doing the time share stuff, we do own and like to see what other companies are doing and compare to our property. Mainly we love to get the free crap from them. This trip we wanted to see La Cage and Crazy Girls since we were staying at the Riviera. We kept pushing and he then offered us a free vacation to either Vegas or Mexico and some Sahara Buffet tickets. He said the best buffet on the strip (I was able to hold back my laughter). So we agreed and were going to meet at Circus Circus at 9am Wednesday morning.

    So with that out of the way we decided it was time to eat and we NEEDED the Deli at Golden Gate. So we went to Valet and fetch our convertible. We parked in the Four Queens parking lot because of its location and I know how to get my ticket validated easily there. We headed straight for the Golden Gate. The line was moving pretty slow as they only had two people working and the line was long. My wife had a sandwich and a combo shrimp and I just had two of the .99er shrimps. I love their cocktail sauce, again no complaints. Hung out at the Gate for awhile playing Craps and BJ with no luck so we headed across the way to Las Vegas club. They have changed since last November. They were more professional uniforms and have all new chips. I had no luck their and quit after only 15 monutes at BJ but my wife was doing well at the same table so I went over to La Bayou to get a “refreshmentâ€. The beautiful young lady working this night was SQUEEZING the bottle for all the “extra shot†requests. I got Watermelon something, all I know is that it had Southern Comfort and Vodka in it. I asked for the extra shot in Southern Comfort and I got the squeeze that everyone else got. I got a small one for my wife and headed back over to deliver. She had left the BJ table but was playing at the Craps table. As soon as I got there the table went cold. She blamed me but still colored up and she left the LV Club up around 300. We visited Binions, again my wife did well at the BJ table and I held my own at the Craps table. Then over to the Four Queens where I finally had some luck, turned 100 into 400 at a BJ table. Got a good run and ran my bet from 15 to 75 bucks at one point. Had it at 500 but lost a couple of 50 dollar hands and colored up. I also had my parking ticket validated there which saved us about 15 bucks.

    From there we spent a small amount of time in the Nugget, Fitzgeralds, Freemont and the Plaza. We didn’t make a point to see the FSE but just happened to be outside walking during three of the shows. They are new but if they are done with the upgrade I didn’t notice it. I think it is still the old lights. Still a great show. We finally headed back to the Riviera at 1 AM.

    Wendnesday – June 9 – We were up and at Circus Circus at 9am and they picked us up in a nice Lincoln Navigator. I won’t go into details but we were there from 9am till about noon and enjoyed watching the salesman beg, beg, beg. Especially as current owners, they really try and get you with special owner discounts. They are nice but we always say no. If you can be disciplined then these can actually be fun. We may be a little warped but we enjoy them. We got our freebies and then got a ride back to the Cricus Circus. We went immediately to the box office to redeem our vouchers for La Cage and Cray Girls. From there we gambled in the Riviera for hours, this time playing a lot of slots and doing there slot frenzy tournament. That’s a lot of fun, basically you pay ten buck and there are 5 machines that you can have all to yourself for 2 minutes. At the end of the day the 3 people with the most points win cash. First place is 250 so its not a bad investment. Nice thing is you don’t have to be present at the end to win, you just check at the players club for the results. After spending much of the afternoon at the Riviera we headed for the Sahara to get our free buffet. Not too far away, you pass the water park and then the Sahara is right there. We ate the Buffet, wasn’t too bad actually. For a budget property their food was pretty good, definitely not the BEST on the strip. We stalled time there until it was showtime. I had a pretty good run at the Craps table there playing the Don’t. I left there up almost 200 but gave it all back at a $25 BJ table. Went to find my wife and all this time she was playing a 5 cent wheel of fortune video slot. This is really unusual, we usually play only dollar slots and up. Sometimes .25 cent if our luck has been bad but a nickel machine is really rare. I must have watched her play max credits on that machine for 30 minutes, she hit a bunch of bonuses to allow here to keep playing. She had it up to 2000 nickels at one point but cashed out at 1200 so 60 bucks isn’t bad for a 20 dollar investment and 30 minutes of play. Time to see the shows.

    We have been to Vegas numerous times and have seen our share of shows. From Blue Man group, Mystere on the strip to shows downtown at Fitz and the Nugget (Spirit of the Dance). Let me just say that we were NOT impressed with either show. Mr. Marino that plays Joan Rivers was good but the talent they had to back him up was not that great. Show was dull except for the one impersonator they had the had fun with Madonna and Tammy Wynette. Other than that we did not care for it. Also seating was horrible. The seats are NOT sloped so if you are in the back you better be tall or you can’t see anything. Okay one flop down lets try Crazy Girls. We have seen Midnight Fantasy at the Luxor so silly us we were expecting something close, especially since the ticket price were comparible. This show is BAD, I didn’t like the songs, the skits and the girls were not in sync. The performer in the middle of the show was incredible. He was VERY talented juggler and very funny as well, he used a lot of crowd participation and was very funny. He saved the show for us. Looking back we don’t regret seeing the shows because we had always wanted to see them so we can now mark them off. We wish now we would have seen Amazing Jonathan or their comedy club. So after the show we headed back over to slots-of-fun and eventually over to the westward ho. We only had 20 bucks each left on our daily budget so we decided to play the 20 bucks and go to bed. It was 11 pm so I am thinking it will be an early bedtime. Wel their craps table was only 1$ and only double odds. I dropped my BIG 20 down (usually never drop less then 100 on the table so it felt a little weird) and have gave me a stack of singles. Now I watched before I drop my money and despite the table being pretty full noone was hitting numbers. So I decided to play the Don’t and since for the first time on this trip I got the Stick Right 1 spot that I would be pass on myself. Well the 5 people before me all sevened out and then it was my turn. I turned my tray of white chips to red ones in the next 30 minutes as I hit number after number. At one point I hit my number immediately 3 times in a row. It was great for me because I got everyone a bankroll to keep on playing. I kept my strategy all night, only 1 person hit more than 3 numbers in a row so playing the don’t was profitable, and nobody minded because I rolled pretty well all night. Never 30 minutes like the first time but would get a couple or three almost every time. It seemed like forever and I was getting tired to I colored up. I turned 20 bucks into 500 bucks!!!! Of course thinking to myself how much it would have been if I would have stepped up with my usually 100 or 200 and my usual bet levels. My bet levels for the first part of the session were small since my bankroll was small. Oh well no complaints. Now I figured this long my wife must have went to bed. Nope I found her playing a .25 cent slot machine. All this time she played on 20 bucks and had a couple hundred as well. We left the “HO†wishing we had players cards!!! When we got to the room it was 445 AM, we were shocked. We played at the HO for almost 6 hours!! We also had a sinking feeling because we had to checkout by 11 as we were leaving TONIGHT.

    We got up right around 11 and asked for a 1 hour checkout extension, no problem. We checked out in the room of course and then headed for the Valet to get our convertible. We drove up and down the strip once more and then ended at the Stratosphere as my wife had never been there. The crapless craps table was HOT, chip trays heavy and the BOX was looking low. So I crammed in on the hook right next to the dealer. Well I came too late as the table ended its hot streak and I watched over the next 20 minutes probably 20,000 in chips going out to patrons. This one fella had 4K and a host came up to him and asked if he needed anything and the guy wanted a Limo ride back to HIS hotel. They walked off together so I don’t know if he got the ride but it would surprise me. Back to reality, I hit the table at the wrong time and lost 200 pretty quickly. I played a little BJ as well but kept losing hands because of bad decisions by other players. I never say anything to them but I did walk way. From the Strat we headed for the Hard Rock and my wife hit 2 higher payoffs on the .25 cent machine and pocket about 400. We ate at the Pink Taco. Huge portions and the food was okay, again nothing to write home about but not bad either. From the Hard Rock we headed back to the Orleans to end our trip. We had a slot ticket from the first day to the tune of 13.75 and felt we needed to go back there. Well that was a HUGE mistake as we basically lost our daily budget at the Orleans after doing so well at the Hard Rock. We actually had lost our money and still had an hour to kill before going to the Airport. So we stopped at the Sushi bar and ate. Our friends have turned us on to the cuisine in the last year so we thought we would try it. It was GREAT, they made everything up right in front of you and everything seemed so fresh.

    Well off to the Airport and return the rental car. We had wanted to see Hoover dam this trip and didn’t but we had a wonderful time at any rate. Returning the car was a snap and the shuttle was right there. Check in again was electronic and super fast and even the security had no line. We must have hit it at the right time. When we got into Vegas Tuesday morning the Security lines were ridiculously long, when we went through Thursday evening at 6 there was no line at all, we even asked if they were even doing screening. Flight left on time and we got home safe and sound.

    Thoughts
    - The Riviera surprised me, from all I have heard over the years I was impressed by the service, the rooms and the staff. Now we stayed in the newest tower so I can’t speak for the other rooms. We stayed their for free from a time share company but would go back there again.
    - I do not recommend La Cage or Crazy Girls to anyone. La Cage could have been good with the right talent. Crazy Girls is just bad!!!
    - If you rent a convertible in Vegas USE it. We didn’t use ours enough to really justify the extra money!!
    - Don’t take your kids to VEGAS!!! Take them to Disney!!!
     
  2. boxcars

    boxcars High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    North Dakota
    Nice report Shane!

    I'm glad you weren't waiting at the 4 Queens Wednesday night at 9pm. We had discussed meeting there prior to both of us going. I forgot until two hours later. We were dowtown June 7-11, and likely crossed paths and maybe even played craps together at the Golden Gate Tuesday and never knew it!!!

    Sounds like you packed a lot in for a relatively short trip.

    Great news on your craps success too!
     
  3. Ay Caramba

    Ay Caramba Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    385
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    Same here. By the time we got the rental car and got to the hotel then up to the room, it was already after 9:00p.
    We probably crossed paths quite a bit because we were at Hard Rock, then we were at the Dollar Car Rental drop off on Thursday. Don't remember seeing any bald guys, though. :D

    Glad you had a good time.
     
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