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First time at the California downtown

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Little Bob, Aug 6, 2007.

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  1. Little Bob

    Little Bob Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Just got back from a weekend in Vegas. Stayed at the California downtown and was really impressed. we usually stay at the Imperial Palace but wanted something different. The Cal was a big step up from the IP. Got a great player's rate from one of the pit bosses over the phone with the promise of maybe a comp night.

    Check in was a snap. The room was spacious, clean and well appointed. King bed was comfy. Towels could have been a little plusher---but overall very nice and a bargain at the player's rate.

    We play mostly blackjack at $10/hand. It was nice to be able to find tables all over downtown at $5 even on Saturday night. We usually play $10/hand, cut back to $5 if the cards are cold and occasionally press it up if we are doing well. Don't know exactly how many hours we played at the Cal. Had one session we played 5 hours and made $20 between us. Don't know exactly how many drinks we had but plenty. We tried to give the Cal most of our business but had several good sessions at the Fremont and a great time casino hopping Saturday night hitting $5 tables at Fremont, 4 Queens, Binions and Golden Gate. The dealers were always pleasant with good drink service and for the most part competent and friendly other players. We moved tables a time or two to get away from players that did idiotic things like splitting 5s or hitting 13 or 14 against the dealer's bust card. Overall, we really enjoyed staying and playing downtown.

    We rented a car to travel to shows on the strip and spent some time at Red Rock Casino and the Orleans. Got the car for 3 days on Priceline for $90 including all taxes and fees and put in $10 for gas. Drove about 100 miles and figure I saved at least $50 compared to cabs and never had to wait in a cab line or smell the inside of a Vegas cab in August. Parking at MGM, Venetian, the Cal, Red Rock and Orleans in their garages was always free and easy.

    Saw two great shows at great prices due to posts on the entertainment section. THANKS TO THE FOLKS WHO POST THAT TYPE OF INFO!!! Saw KA at MGM Thursday night for $50/ticket and had good seats. Saw Gordie Brown Saturday night at the Venetian for half-price and sat in the second row. I would recommend either of these shows to people looking for quality entertainment.

    Ate several different places with various levels of satisfacion. Ate Thursday night at the Pasta Pirate at the Cal. It was OK but I don't think we will be back. Had dinner Friday night at the Redwood Grill at the Cal. I had the porterhouse special which was quite good and a bargain. My wife had a chicken and shrimp dish which she enjoyed. We will definitely eat at the Redwood Grill again. Saturday night we ate at Canalettos in the Canal Shops at the Ventian. We requested patio seating and sat where we could watch the musicians performing on the stage in St. Marks Square. The food was good. My wife had a chicken dish and I had a shrimp in white sauce on angel hair pasta. We had a bottle of Chianti, tiara misui and coffee. It was a delightful meal and we would do it again. Enjoyed a breakfast buffet at Main Street Station (a bargain at $5.99) and a comped coffee shop meal at the Cal (they gave me a $30 comp ticket the third time I asked during the 5 hour session mentioned above). Ate the Sunday brunch at the Red Rock. My wife and I thought it was a slight notch below Paris weekend brunch but very good. $17.95 with your player's card and only a short line at 11 AM Sunday morning.

    Never saw any porn slappers downtown. Is that a strip only phenomenom? One of the things my wife dislikes about the strip is the aggressive porn merchants.

    When we got ready to check out Sunday I went to one of the pitbosses who looked up our play and comped two nights. Our 3 night weekend stay and 3 meals including 2 evening meals at signature restaurants cost us $124. WHAT A BARGAIN!! We lost more than that over our entire time gambling at the Cal but I was very pleased with how we were treated. WE WILL BE BACK!!

    I see the Cal as our Vegas home for the next few trips. We had a great time!!
     
  2. Jack21

    Jack21 Guest

    Bob, as a recovered former strip snob, I too had a surprisingly pleasant experience at the Cal, and would stay there again any time. One thing though- I am mainly a dice player so I walk over the bridge to Main Street Station for the 20:1 odds.
     
  3. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Thanks for that report! You don't hear many reviews of the Cal. I have had excellent experiences with the Fremont. BOYD ROCKS! :)
     
  4. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    Bob, wait until you see the mailers the Cal and Boyd properties start sending you. They just keep coming and coming. Downtown has been my home away from home for many years.
     
  5. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    I'm guessing you have to stay there first before the mailers start? I've given significant play at MSS, Fremont & the Cal, but still haven't received any offers. I did check with the players club to make sure they had my correct address and email.
     
  6. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Actually no. I started getting mailers after just playing there. One night I must have sat there for 5 hours straight playing quarter Blazing 7's. That must have been enough to trigger the mailers.
     
  7. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    Ahhh...thanks. I guess they just don't like me then. :evillaugh
     
  8. 21wins

    21wins VIP Whale

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    Sounds like a great trip. All that for $124. Can't beat it.

    I too give the Cal and MSS a lot of play when I go downtown just so they remember me. I received room offers regularly for free nights from MSS for about a year and a half, but haven't seen any for the last 2 months. Hopefully, I'm still on the list.

    I really like the feel of MSS and the Cal. Dealers are very friendly.
     
  9. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Great report thanks for posting!
     
  10. tnkc

    tnkc High-Roller

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    I, too, really appreciate the Cal trip report. I haven't heard much about the place, either. We're staying at Binions in a couple of months and I plan on putting in a lot of time at the Boyd properties. The Cal sounds like just my kind of place, really.
     
  11. Little Bob

    Little Bob Low-Roller

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    TNKC, We played some blackjack at Binions. They have signs up that they rate $5 table players. Get their card and see what happens. I would like to hear how they treated you on comps. I don't think we would have been shown much "love" for our level of play on the Strip. Bob
     
  12. hula96717

    hula96717 Tourist

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    California hotel is great if you want a relaxing no pressure trip... the rooms are clean, the workers are very friendly, and the comps are incredible... i also like the connection to MSS, the 20:1 odds are great and so is the triple seven brew!!

    We've stayed at the Cal many times... there was one time i remember making a complaint regarding the room... they took it to heart... the next time we were there, we booked a regular room and to our surprise when we opened the room door it was a beautiful parlor suite!! They really know how to take care of their customers...
     
  13. Sallymander

    Sallymander Low-Roller

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    I too have been very impressed by the Boyd properties. I was lured over to the Fremont from the Golden Nugget by one of their hosts. I already had one of the players' cards and when she looked me up on the computer it apparently showed my "home casino" as the MSS...I suppose that's where I had originally signed up. So she changed it over to the Fremont as we intended to stay there on our next trip to Las Vegas. One thing that I was told was that even though that one card can be used for MSS, Cal and Fremont you'll want to play the most at your "home" casino. I have been regularly receiving 3 day comp'd offers from the Fremont for awhile now but it wasn't until I stayed there and put some points on the card at the Fremont that I started to receive them.
     
  14. Reston

    Reston VIP Whale

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    You might want to try creating an online account with them, using your existing card number. (Main Street Station)

    They're beginning to get their act together re: online booking and using offers online. Although I have yet to get an email offer for rooms from them yet (although they've send a couple of other marketing pieces as I recall), I'm thinking that day is coming soon and also that creating an online account might help to trigger something in their system.
     
  15. Reston

    Reston VIP Whale

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    I got put up at the Cal one night earlier this year on a comp stay at MSS when the latter was full. I was pleasantly surprised at the room as well. Not luxurious, but clean and nice.
     
  16. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    I will try that. Thanks.
     
  17. VPmiracle

    VPmiracle Tourist

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    I enjoyed your trip report. I switched from blackjack to VP a couple of years ago but it's great to hear about a blackjack trip. I agree with your assesment of the Pasta Pirate. I often stay a few nights at Main Street Station. I like the Hawaiian place on the walk towards the bridge upstairs.
     
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