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First New Years Eve in vegas trip report 12/28-1/2

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by koltunowicz, Jan 11, 2015.

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  1. koltunowicz

    koltunowicz Tourist

    May 2, 2010
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    I wasn't feeling the live trip report vibe this trip, and losing on your last day puts a damper on things, but I finished my first week back to work after a Vegas trip which is always the toughest. This week is usually spent trying to think of a way that I can get paid to be on Vegas Vacation full time. Then by week two I get back to reality and start saving for the next trip.

    Here's a short report over my 5 nights in vegas

    December 28th

    First night in, flew from Flint to Vegas (45 minute delay as the pilot said that had something flapping in the back they had to secure down?) Flew southwest, first trip since earning the companion pass so I airfare was cheap this round. Landed, grabbed luggage, shuttled to rental car facility, hit avis booth. First time renting with Avis, they assign a specific car at booth as opposed to Alamo where you get a selection to choose from. I booked a full size and was given a Kia Sorrento SUV, not bad I guess. Received an email offer for 2 free nights from Cosmo, the only night that wasn't blacked out was Sunday, so we only got one night and paid $50 to upgrade to a fountain view terrace studio-well worth $50! Most amazing view I've ever had in Vegas and while we had a balcony before at MGM signature, having one on the strip is extra special. We ate secret pizza, gambled on the 10c 50 play machine, playing 7 hands or so and hit a royal. $400 bucks, but when I'm used to the $1000 royals on a quarter machine, it was kind of a let down. Played a bit of $1 JOB in high limit room to get a lagunitas, I guess I shoulda tipped more than a buck, I never got a second beer.

    December 29th

    Called and was able to get a 12pm checkout time at Cosmo to enjoy the room a little longer. We attempted to eat a the Cosmo buffet but it was over an hour wait in line to be seated once you stood in line to pay. We trucked it over to Caesars and with the Diamond line get right into the Bacchanal buffet. Apparently Vegas calls the entire week leading up to NYE a holiday as the lunch price on a Monday ended up being 47 bucks a piece but they threw in mimosa's so I guess that made it "special". Went to get my room keys at Ballys to find out that my Jubilee tower premium room suddenly turned into the shitty outdated North tower room. I tried to get out of it but was given the all booked line and was told for $50 a night I could get back into the room I reserved? That didn't sit right so I kept the room. Love the fridge in the Jubilee room so I called the desk to have a fridge brought up to our room. I left the wife to play while I drove over to Mandalay Bay to check in and she managed a quarter royal playing the 7/5 triple play bonus poker machines at Ballys! I almost like it more when the wife hits a nice jackpot as it ensures she will have funds to play with for the trip and ensures I will not be needed for any withdrawals! We dropped our bags, packed an overnighter and headed to Mandalay Bay. I had a 2 night and $50 free play comp offer here as well. The 30th was blacked out so again I only get 1 night on this 2 night offer, but I was thankful as it would be 1 less night in the motel 6 room at Ballys. Never stayed at Mandalay before, really liked the place, room was big and spacious, comfy bed, big bathroom etc. Mandalay Bay comps craft beer on the main casino floor so I love that. Played some 8/6 JOB for a while and then at some nasty Johnny Rockets for dinner (We really need to plan our meals better going forward).

    December 30th

    Called in the morning for a late checkout and the recording before I even was able to talk to someone mentioned the hotel at capacity and no late checkouts were being given, bummer. We checked out, came back in to play a little more. I was surprised as we ordered coffee from the waitress and they came in to go cups and was very good coffee. This is another simple positive that makes me want to stay at this property again. After we finished our coffees, we hit the road for SAMS TOWN. Haven't been here in over a year but I read they had 10X points on video poker today which is extremely rare so it lured us over. I kept it simple with some 9/6 jacks at 50c and only put about 3500 points on. But that was a quick $35 in comps! We grabbed some dunkin donuts and headed to visit the brother in law who recently moved to Vegas and checkout his new place. He lives near the Nacho Daddy in Henderson so we ordered that to go and took it back to eat. I had the steak tacos and the wife had some nacho plate (I should have went with nachos). My meal was delicious but you get more bang for your buck with the nachos here, will have to try it again next time we hit downtown. I had received an email for the first time from a host since I hit Diamond and had never required anything from one before. For a shot in the dark attempt I emailed her with my sad story of not getting the Ballys room I requested, but was told the same thing, bigger players took my spot. She mentioned in the email that next time I should book through her as that would give it some kind of pull I guess. So I guess Ill try that next time. Or I will make my next trip during an off peak time to have more Vegas for myself.

    December 31st

    I didn't want to drive anywhere today knowing the strip would be shutting down so we played a lot at Ballys and monorailed/wallked to the food court at Caesars. I read a new Smashburger opened and loving Smashburger on Maryland PKWY we went to try it out. Food court was crazy packed but we got it to order. I was bummed they didnt have the full menu. I liked the sin city burger I had last time, so I had to settle for a basic smash burger. Even the smash fries seemed a little less special. I guess they can't duplicate on that kind of scale, so I will pass on this version of Smashburger in the future. We gambled a lot more at Ballys until 11:15 or so and decided to start heading out onto the strip. It was really cool to see everyone in the road and as crowded as it was it didnt feel claustrophobic like I thought it might. We each bought a big red bull/vodka from the guys in front of Ballys and took some cool pictures. The fireworks were really good and standing on Flamingo in front of Ballys was a decent spot to view fireworks from most spots with the best view of the ones coming from Caesars. We had a good buzz going and even though temps were low 40s/high 30s we were comfortable (its the Michigan blood) and having a good time. The trouble came about 12:10am once the fireworks were done and everyone wanted to get inside. I read online that having a room key would allow me to get into our hotel while others will be turned away. This really wasnt the case. The worst thing was we had to pee sooooooo bad! Waiting for 15 minutes or so getting close to the side gate a security guard shuts the gate saying "that it" and everyone had to rush down to where the free shuttle usually boards further down the property. We came in through the food court area to find the restroom in there was closed! Everyone went upstairs to the casino to find a HUGE line at the bathrooms. We immediately ran through the casino to the restrooms next to the poker room and were able to get in quickly! If we ever do this again, either we don't drink or we wait unit 11:55 to leave the hotel so our bladders can handle it. The monorail was open till 3am for NYE so I talk the wife into heading to SLS to play. It was pretty dead here and I played for a 1/2 hour or so but she was ready to go. We rail it back to Ballys. Surprised to see at 2:00 in the morning the food court was all open and buzzing. We grabbed some pizza rolls and headed up to the room.

    January 1st

    I didn't really sleep in and surprisingly didnt have a hang over so I let the wife sleep in and took the monorail back to SLS for some more full pay bonus poker. The monorail advertises $5 in free play to SLS if you have a monorail ticket. Be sure you have your receipt for your monorail ticket because I didn't and received no free play (who keeps their monorail receipt?) After playing for 10 minutes or so an alarm system starts going off with a recorded voice saying their is an emergency in the building, do not use the elevators and vacate the building! Being a casino I don't expect the gamblers to leave their seat until they are forced so I got up and started walking. I was watching the employees to try and get a read on what might be happening. I finally over hear a worker say that their was not an emergency (good enough for me, I went back to gamble). What bothered me the most was that no one got on the overhead system to let the patrons know it was a mistake and to disregard, they just ignored it? Hit quite a few quads including 4 aces and ended up about $200 bucks after an hour and a half and decided to end it there. I walked over the bonanaza gift shop after hearing rumors a while ago it would be closing, but I really could care less after taking another trip inside. I snapped a couple pics for memories and bought a $1.99 calendar and called it good. Back to Ballys, we decide to walk to Planet Hollywood for some more video poker. Here was the demise of my trip. I had been up or even until this final day. I started chasing and playing dollars. I tell myself why play dollars on a short pay machine when so many strip properties offer full pay at the dollar level? Well like an idiot I do it anyway and only manage 1 quad out of a long session. Lost half my trip bankroll in that session which was ridiculous, but it is what it is. Inquired about the $100 diamond dinner I was supposed to get and sure enough I was told it would expire March 31st, so I had it printed and we decided to use it. We went to KGB at Harrah's for our dinner. I wrote a review on that on my blog (www.compedvegas.com). After dinner I brought the leftovers with me and visited the brother in law one last time. We rented The interview and it was pretty damn funny and a nice break after my losing session at Planet Hollywood. After the movie, back to Ballys. We play the final night on the usual Super Times Pay bonus poker machines and I drop another $200 bucks. I smartly left the rest of my bankroll in the room and that was to come home with me. At that point (and after a few Sierra Nevadas) I called it a night.

    Final day was an early flight so we dropped car off, went through security ( I got to keep my shoes on and went through the normal metal detector this time?) and boarded our plane. Was happy to have the seat between us empty and had a smooth flight home.

    We enjoyed New Years in Vegas but probably will not do it again
    LOVED Cosmo and really hope to get more comped room offers to visit again
    Like Mandalay Bay alot and want to visit here again as well
    Was pissed at Ballys but eventually got over it and realized Im the small fish in the sea.


    Wished we would have went downtown, I missed Pizza Rock, we ate like shit this trip and aside from the Bacchanal buffet nothing was stellar. IMG_1301.jpg

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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
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