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First Stay Downtown - Observations

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels & Casinos' started by ImaLouigi, Mar 27, 2015.

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  1. ImaLouigi

    ImaLouigi Tourist

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    After 9 stays on the strip, my buddies and I decided to stay downtown for the first time for last weekend's opening round of March Madness action. Overall, it was a great experience and nice change of pace from the craziness of the strip. Here are my observations about the GOOD and BAD of staying downtown. Hope anyone considering a downtown stay finds this to be useful!

    GOOD: Booked at the Golden Nugget and the price was much more affordable than even the lower quality (Bally's, Luxor, etc.) Strip hotels

    BAD: $45 cab from the airport

    GOOD: $20 sandwich trick worked for upgrade from Carson Tower to Gold Tower

    GOOD: Quick breakfast options (McDonald's at the D, Dunkin Donuts at Fremont) for those looking to hit the ground running in the morning

    BAD: Not a lot of $5 dollar tables (blackjack or craps) during March Madness. The only $3 table we saw was craps at the Fremont. Table minimums at the Golden Nugget were often $10-$15.

    BAD: Lots of 6:5 blackjack starting to pop up downtown. Make sure to check your table before sitting down.

    GOOD: Most craps tables offer 10x odds. The $3 table at Fremont is only 2x but it's probably one of the most fun tables downtown.

    GOOD: The new poker room at Binion's looks awesome. Didn't play any poker there this trip but it's nice to see Binion's have a poker room that reflects the rich history of it's place in poker history.

    GOOD: The casino bar at the D is awesome, especially during sporting events. Probably has 25-30 seats & 15-20 big flat screen TV's side by side. Easily my favorite casino bar I have ever been to in Las Vegas.

    GOOD: Had a ton of fun of fun playing Sigma Derby in the upstairs area at the D. Very fun and cheap entertainment. I think it's really cool that they have so many Coin machines and celebrate the "Old Vegas" feel.

    BAD: Golden Nugget dinner buffet (I ignored all of the advice on this message board. This one is one me!)

    GOOD: Fremont breakfast buffet

    GOOD: Pizza Rock. I would say this is a must visit and it's just two short blocks off of Fremont Street. It's a cool atmosphere and a nice break away from the casinos for an hour.

    GOOD: Downtown Grand. Like the layout of the casino and it has a very new feel to it.

    GOOD: Golden Nugget March Madness viewing party. It's a free viewing party with 4 MONSTER projection screens to take in all of the action. They also set-up betting windows and table games inside the event center. Food and drinks were not that expensive either.

    BAD: Way too many unused reserved tables inside the GN March Madness viewing party. Why save so many seats for people who aren't showing up?!

    GOOD: Golden Nugget pool. It's a fun atmosphere and the slide through the Shark Tank is really cool. Make sure to get in the water and put your face right up against the tank and see the sharks swim by just inches from your face!

    BAD: All of the freaks on Fremont Street. Seems worse than ever.

    GOOD: Slotzilla zipline. We didn't have time to try it on this trip but I will next time for sure. $20 for half ride or $40 for a full ride over Fremont Street.

    BAD: Where are there so few table games at Binion's? Missed opportunity in my opinion.

    BAD: Las Vegas Club is a joke of a casino. Literally walked in and out without sitting down.

    GOOD: $5 blackjack at Main Street Station on Saturday evening when everything on Fremont Street was $10 minimums.

    GOOD: Pit comped $15 food vouchers to us at Main Street Station after 3 hours of playing $5 blackjack.

    GOOD: Good beers and burgers at Triple 7 Brewery (Main Street Station)

    BAD: Missed 2 decent parlays by losing the last leg both times :(ARGH!)

    GOOD: Booked a winning trip for the 9th time (10 visits!)
     
  2. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

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    thanks for these observations. glad ya enjoyed it!

    winner 9 out of 10...not too shabby...
     
  3. seviay

    seviay High-Roller

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    Thanks for the feedback. I've been tempted to stay at the Nugget or the DTG some time, so the more info I can get, the better.

    $45 for a cab seems way too high. I would expect the fare to be about $25 before tip, maybe $30. Can anyone else shed light on this? Did the OP just get long-hauled?
     
  4. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Good report! I like the "format" you chose to do. I too am a BIG fan of the Long Bar at the D.
     
  5. Trailer666

    Trailer666 Tourist

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    It seems to me that the cab fare is higher if they take the freeway. I have learned to tell the driver to take Paradise instead of the freeway to downtown. It cost me around $27 to the Main Street. If you really want to save money take the WAX Bus from the airport for $3. It only takes an extra 10 minutes than a cab. My last trip cost me $10 to downtown and back using the WAX Bus. I bought a 24 hour pass for $5 each time. I had a cab driver long haul me last year from downtown. Instead of taking the Tropicana exit he continued south and did a loop to the airport. The fare was $41. I only gave him $42. I usually give around $4 to $5 for the cabbie for a tip. I agree about the freaks. It seems to be getting worse. I also find the Freemont noise from those crappy bands in afternoon annoying when I try to have a nap. Even with ear plugs I can hear it as they turn it up so damn loud.
     
  6. Sipsey

    Sipsey Tourist

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    I'm a cheapskate. I don't cab to or from the airport to downtown. I usually take one of the shuttle buses, much less expensive. Only problem is downtown customers are the last to get dropped off so it does eat up some time.
     
  7. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

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    Do we just want to throw around "Long Haul" because of the negative connotations? You can get longhauled to TI or Harrahs, as there's simply no logic in taking the tunnel for these properties. If you're headed downtown, the tunnel will save you as much in fare due to I-15 as taking sidestreets would cost you in redlights and delays.

    No such thing as a "Long Haul" when headed downtown. I don't know if its been awhile for you, but $25 gets you to the North Strip or Center Strip during busier times.

    Nick:beer:
     
  8. Mooda

    Mooda Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the info. What the heck is a 1/2 ride on the Slotzilla??????
     
  9. ziggyzambo

    ziggyzambo Tourist

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    That's what I was wondering too. 1/2 a ride on a zip line sounds like a bad deal at any price!
     
  10. nhcris

    nhcris High-Roller

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    Thanks for all the observations! I'm headed Downtown on Monday and bringing people that haven't stayed there before, and your list reminded me of a few things I need to be sure to show them.

    Cabs to Downtown have been a crap shoot for me, so I have started taking a Towncar. Yes, it will cost me a little more than a cab should, but I have had some cab rides that were more than your $45. So $102 round trip (plus tip) and they usually offer to make a stop for beverages or whatever. And it's stress free. Besides, I enjoy their disbelief when I tell them I am going to 4 Queens - haha!

    Congrats on another winning trip!
     
  11. LAURLUVS2BOWL

    LAURLUVS2BOWL Low-Roller

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    What kind of food is offered at The D's bar?
     
  12. seviay

    seviay High-Roller

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    Going the tunnel to downtown generally adds an additional $10+ to your fare depending on traffic -- and where you're coming from, of course -- and can be worse during any rush hour or other traffic backup.
    I go to Vegas 4-5 times a year, but I haven't taken a cab from the airport to downtown, ever. That was the reason for my question. I simply want to know what to expect if I ever decide to stay downtown instead of on the strip.
    Let me try again, :
    Is $45 a pretty normal amount to pay for a cab downtown from the airport?
     
  13. LOCALGAMBLER77

    LOCALGAMBLER77 Tourist

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    No, sadly that is one thing in Vegas that is too high. Our taxis are among the most expensive in the U.S.
     
  14. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report ImaLouigi.

    $45 for a cab downtown seems high to me. Taking Paradise should come in somewhere around $30 to $35. If the cab goes through the tunnel and takes the freeway, you are correct, it's approximately $10 more.

    Can't agree with you Nick. The tunnel and freeway route is always more expensive. Faster - yes, cheaper or the same price - never.
     
  15. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    +1. When I stay at the GN I take a cab via paradise. It is usually around $30. Going to the airport from the GN I take a shuttle from the GN to the airport for $8.

    I'll be there in July and arrive around noon on a Tueseday, wondering how clogged up Paradise gets midday on a weekday?

    Nice report OP, thanks for the info.
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  16. xmarksx

    xmarksx VIP Whale

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    For those asking, the Zipline of Slotzilla (1/2) only takes you partway down Fremont, think it is $20 vs. $40 for the Zoomline all the way.
     
  17. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    No, it is not. I stay Downtown and when the cabbie takes the "long" route it is between 37 to 43 dollars. When he takes paradise it costs between 26 to 28 dollars.

    I kid you not. But to put this in perspective, I took the cab during non peak traffic hours.

    I don't confront the cabbie if he long hauls me. I prepare in advance. If he takes the long route, he gets exact fare to the nearest dollar. No tip. If he takes paradise he gets a 20% tip.

    My Vegas vacation is too precious to stress out on an asshole cabbie.
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  18. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Paradise flows pretty darn well most of the time. It's one of the main reasons I stay at Hard Rock... I'm often in and out of the hotel to get to meetings and appointments and to do so from a strip joint is just time consuming. Hell it takes awhile just to get your vehicle. I travel Paradise a couple times a day when there and rarely have I ever seen it bog down... they even do most construction at night and then it can slow way down.
     
  19. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Is $45 a pretty normal amount to pay for a cab downtown from the airport?

    Like you, $28 was my last fare from the airport, taking Paradise to 4Q. Cab rates have had an increase in the past month or so, so that's why I suggested $30-$35, depending on traffic. In all my trips, I've never seen Paradise congested. It seems like a pretty steady route but if it gets congested, I think $35 would cover it.

    Couldn't agree more. $10 in the scheme of things in neither here nor there. But it's nice to know what to expect.

    To answer the question though, you should be able to tell the cabby to take Paradise and be comfortable knowing your fare should come to $35 or less.
     
  20. FullBoat

    FullBoat VIP Whale

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    I paid about $26 from GG to the airport about 3 weeks ago. I had him take Paradise. Granted, this was at 5am, but shouldn't be too much more during the day.

    And, it's only $2 for the WAX to downtown. Like someone else said, it's only about 5-10 min longer, but a lot cheaper. It drops you off at the Walgreen's. I've taken that for my past few trips, and no issues at all. I think I'm going to be brave my next trip, and take it back to the airport. I've taken the cab back to the airport since my flight always leaves at 7:30am. But, with the bus I think I'll get there about 6am.

    And, sounds like you got around downtown pretty good, and I have to agree with everything you've said. Well, can't talk about Pizza Rock yet, but that's on my list for next week.
     
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