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First Trip Report, Westgate and DTG June 21-25 (Just a little late)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by SideTrackTap, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    SW Michigan
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    My Trip Report

    WOW!!! I give everyone credit that does a trip report. I REALLY wanted to do a trip report, but kept pushing it off. Well, I'm here to start and finish it tonight. I've read so many trip reports and enjoyed each and every one of them.

    I started a VERY detailed report a while ago and it was clear early on it was gonna be TOO long. So, I've decided to trim it a little bit; give you the "cliff notes" version. I think I'm also going to do each day in a separate post. Also, this will be coming from memory, so wish me luck and I hope you enjoy!!

    P.S. I'm drinking while I write this.

    Chris


    Preamble:

    After Vegas last year, I really hadn’t planned on going in 2016 due to it being a rough trip gambling-wise. I mean, it was like the scene where Clark Griswold is playing BJ and everyone else gets BJ’s dealt to them and he gets a 12. Well, maybe not exactly, but it sure felt like that; and the option of the dealer taking half of my money, going out back and getting kicked in the nuts started to look more appealing.

    Seriously though, it was so bad at one point last year; when my buddy and I were at the LVC, I went and cashed my chips out, and started tipping random workers there because I figured they could do better with the money than I ever could at that point. I tipped the Cashier and a Janitor. No lie. The smiles on their faces rewarded me more than any gambling did that trip. But… from what I’ve read, sometimes we all have trips like that.

    Anyway, my buddy I went with last year texted me earlier this year asking if we were going and long story short, here we are.

    I [think I] love Vegas; it’s definitely an abusive relationship, and lately, especially this year, the anticipation and hype is magnified by reading all of your trip reports. It’s long past time for me to share and payback all the work you all have done that I have enjoyed.

    Trip Planning

    Flight:

    I generally start dreaming about the Vegas trip the first night I talk about it, but once we have dates set, I start exploring flights and rooms about four months out. Three months out seems to be the sweet-spot for flights for me. I usually fly Southwest out of Midway, Chicago. I usually check flight prices every Tuesday until I book. This time I found a direct, round trip airfare for about $240. In addition, I used gift cards I bought off eBay ($100 for cost of $90) my buddy tipped me off about to pay for it. SCORE. That’s probably the best I’ve paid for airfare out of MDW. I felt I was so thrifty, I even paid for the Earlybird Check-in ($30 roundtrip). While nice not having to worry about checking in 24 hours beforehand, I’m not sure it’s worth the price. I dabbled with the idea of flying out of Detroit because I have family that could bring me to, and fro the airport to save on parking, but they only have two direct flights, one each way (I strongly detest connecting flights), and the times weren’t the best out of DTW. Plus, after the steal on airfare (IMO) out of MDW I found, I figured paying for parking wasn’t the worst thing.

    Hotels:

    Generally we enjoy Downtown more. It’s more of a party atmosphere and cheaper gambling for BJ (our main game of choice). I play a little Craps here and there and this year I’ve been training for VP. I like to hit the Strip at least once just to keep up with what’s going on, but there is not much gambling going on if we head to the Strip.

    If I’ve done nothing else smart in my previous trips to Vegas, at least I signed up for players cards. Four years ago friends and I stayed at [that time] the LVH for 311 Day. To my surprise, I got an offer from the now Westgate for a comped, two night stay in a 28th floor suite, plus RC’s and some freeplay. Booked that sh*t (Tues and Weds). Free.

    Last year my buddy stayed at the DTG for a night until I arrived. He really enjoyed it and I liked the casino when I checked it out last year. Their pool looked nice too, so we decided to book them for two nights after the Westgate. With a 15% off coupon from Vegas.com, I booked it (which I now realize was probably a mistake. More on that later) for Thurs and Fri. About $150 prepaid through Vegas.com, not including resort fees to be paid at Check-out.

    Before this trip, I’ve always been loyal to GN. But that love affair has been slowly fading starting with when they went to a resort fee and last year I felt the Carson rooms are really needing an update (the other rooms seem out of my price range). Also, I think in my old age, I’m tired of having to walk all the way back through the casino for the Carson rooms. Anyway, time to try something new!

    Airport Parking:

    Since I got a flight out of Midway, I had to get parking for my car. I live in Michigan, about halfway between Detroit and Chicago; Midway being about 2:15 hours from my house. My buddy turned me onto Midway Park, Ride, & Fly years ago, and if you sign up for email promos, you’ll usually get emails for 10% off three days or more. Five days (7:30a on Tuesday to Midnight on Saturday) cost about $53. I really have no complaints about this service and I’ve used it easily a half dozen times or more. It's offsite, so you use their shuttle to get to and from the airport/parking lot.

    That’s it. Besides what we’ll actually do in Vegas, flight, hotel, and parking have been arranged. Now… the wait.

    Next: Day One.
     
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  2. worldtraveler

    worldtraveler Tourist

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    Following along.
     
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  3. Brando95

    Brando95 Tourist

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    Good start. Looking forward to hear more about DTG. Might give them some play in October in hopes for a comp for my spring trip.
     
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  4. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

    Joined:
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    The Trip Begins

    Although I wasn’t leaving until Tuesday, I think it’s safe to say the trip really begins about 24 hours before the actual departure for Vegas, be that car, train, plane, or foot. Driving to the airport on Tuesday morning, I was packed Monday night (mostly) and readying myself for bed; including flossing, which I only do so often. But heck, when you’re about to embark on a week of debauchery, it always feels good to try and be responsible beforehand.

    Anyway, as I floss at about 10p at night, low and behold, by tooth pops out. Yes, my tooth. More specifically a crown I have (had). Seriously??? Well, sh*t. I realize I’m not going to cancel or postpone my trip over this (there wasn’t really any pain, the crown just came off). So after I regain my composure, I head to Google to play Dentist on the web. Seeing I can put the crown back in with some toothpaste, I refit the tooth and am satisfied, but scared that I might swallow it while I sleep and take it out, and head to bed.

    Day One:

    4 am Tuesday:

    Groggy, but out of bed, I shower, grab my luggage (and tooth) and hit the road. Roughly two and a half hours later I arrive at my intermediate destination for breakfast. El FARO!!! This burrito place in Chicago (6136 S Archer Rd, Summit, IL 60501) is awesome. The burritos are easily over a pound and about $6. Used to hit this place all the time when I worked in and out of Chicago. Check it out if you’re in the area. It’s kind of a dive, but damn good. This stop is pretty much a tradition now either departing for Vegas or coming back from it.

    With a quick stop to Walgreens (my tooth popped off while eating my burrito, so after some research and a quick call to the dentist I found out about a dental adhesive I could use), I head to the off-site parking. Pre-paid, they direct me to a spot and shuttle picks me up.

    Roughly 10 minutes later, we are at Midway. After checking my bag (I HATE doing carry-on) and skating though TSA, I of course have roughly two hours to burn before my flight. I’m deathly afraid of missing my flight, and with the recent reports of the TSA delays, I was even more concerned. Turns out TSA was not a concern, at least not at that point in the day (around 8a).

    So what does a person heading to Vegas do with two hours to spare before their flight? THE BAR of course!! Two 16oz beers later, I’m feeling good (even though I’m missing a tooth) and head to the gate. Early bird check-in treated me ok with A36. I board choosing the front of the plane, aisle seat [because I’m gonna have to pee because of the beers and] so I can exit the plane sooner.

    Flight was good, uneventful, a little bit early. Part of my Vegas flight tradition is to Watch National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation on my iPad. It helps pass the time. I also love Southwest for the free TV. Works great on my iPad.

    McCarran baggage claim is a bit of a mess as others have reported, but nothing that isn’t navigable. I get my bag and head out for my ride.

    My buddy was taking Amtrak from Chicago to LA for something different. The train actually got delayed a bit and he decided to get off at Barstow, CA, got a rental and drove to Vegas. It worked out perfectly and I waited no more than a minute before he showed up. Gotta love it when a plan comes together…

    About 11:30a Vegas time when head to the Westgate hoping for a early check-in. No luck. Check back in about an hour and a half. Well, by that time it will almost be 3p, normal check-in time. Rather than risking another early check-in denial, we decide to get lunch and roam the strip to burn time.

    This is where I left off. The rest should be shorter...
     
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  5. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

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    Day One (part two):

    Since my buddy had a rental car, we decided to go for a drive to get lunch (I hadn't eaten since Chicago). We found a Jimmy Johns not too far away; a little N/W of the Westgate.

    Lunch consumed, we decide to not even bother with the early check-in since it will be so close to regular check-in. Enter MyVegas rewards. We redeem my 2 for 1, 2-day Monorail coupon. Two, 2-day passes, with coupon cost us each $11. That really is one of the best things about the Westgate; being right on the Monorail stop and easy access.

    We take the Monorail down to the MGM, wander to the NYNY where I have a 2 for 1 big beers at Tom’s Urban. After redeeming at the MLife desk, we find the bar and drink. Two 33oz beers about $7.50 each after coupon (not including tip). The beer selection was quite good; roughly 20 you could use with the coupon, and not your usual Bud Light, etc (but they did have that). I had a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy (can't remember what my buddy had).

    My buddy and I didn't really have any set plans, so we try to decide how to play out next couple days at the Westgate. Since [with the free room offer] we get free admission to the Westgate Concierge lounge, we decide to use that for the next day to get full value of the breakfast and evening drinks and hors d'oeuvres. He had bought a Groupon for the Spice Market Buffet that included beer and wine (sorry can't remember the price), so we decided it was best to use that today.

    We head back to the Westgate via Monorail to check-in. When I inquired about early check-in the first time, they directed me to the VIP check-in. So, naturally, I returned there. Man, I could get used to being a VIP, lol. Nice little lounge, no lines. We check-in, get our room.

    The hallways seem nicer on the 28th floor:

    [​IMG]

    We had a two room “suite.” I use quotes because it was really a large suite with a Murphy bed in the parlor (their term, not mine) and an adjoining room.

    Main room with Murphy bed:

    [​IMG]

    TV was nice. Bigger than mine at home. New. HD, many channels. I didn’t get a pictures of the adjoining room, but the decor was similar, with a queen bed and bath. Here are some other pictures of the suite:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We get settled in and my only request was that I repair my tooth before we head to dinner. I head to the gift shop to buy a travel size of mouthwash for $3.99 (I also bought some 25oz beers). Cleaned and sanitized, I proceed to play dentist (that’s a Snapchat picture, FYI):

    [​IMG]

    With a seemly successful crown repair, we head down The Strip via the Monorail and work our way to the Planet Hollywood. We actually get off at the Linq stop and I show my buddy around the area of the Linq and how it’s changed. Since I need about 1-3 hours for my crown to set, we waste some time here and there, then stopping that the Cromwell for some 9/6 JoB. I think I left up a little bit and we head to PH for dinner.

    The Spice Market Buffet was ok. I wasn’t overwhelmed, but it was better than I previously remember (from years ago). It was quite busy, and we had to wait for a table on a Tuesday evening. Good selection, variety. I actually found the desserts to be lacking. Part of the Groupon deal was the unlimited beer/wine. We had bottles of Bud Light and Coors. That was a nice perk. The server was pretty generous, actually bringing us two each at one point. I think we got our money’s worth out of that. I don’t think I’d pay full price for it, but with the Groupon, it was a good deal.

    Because we both had long days, we decide to head back to the Westgate, but because I’ve barely gambled at all, I stay downstairs to play some 9/6 JoB and my buddy goes to the room. I seeked out the 9/6 JoB listed on http://www.vpfree2.com/ (which I was pleased to see was very accurate) and drop a little coin. It was kind of late and drink service was nonexistent, so after so VP and some slots, I head up to the room up about $30 (roughly).

    Not a bad day to start out. Got some drinks, some sights, and some gambling in, and ahead a little for the day.

    Ok, this should start to speed up a little after this...
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
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  6. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

    Joined:
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    Day Two:

    Since I'm on Eastern time and in Vegas, I'm up by around 7a. Tooth still on and my buddy up, we decide to hit the Concierge Lounge.

    Whether anyone is aware of it or not, the Westgate has a Concierge Lounge available to anyone in the hotel for the price of $40 per person, per day. It includes [per the website], "a full hot breakfast, snacks throughout the day, nightly cocktails with hot hors d'oeuvres, computers, printers, and an assortment of newspapers and magazines for your convenience." This was free to my buddy and I, and we chose to cash in that coupon on Wednesday to get the full day.

    We started with breakfast. While the pictures on the website are a little more fancy than what is available, it was a pretty good spread. Eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and CTUG, cereal, various pastries, juices and coffee.

    [​IMG]

    Not a great picture, but it was a decent spread. Filled up, we head to the sports book. My buddy wanted to check sports bets for the Cubs.

    The new display in the Westgate sports book is AWESOME. The last time I was there the projection TV's were getting tough to see. This new screen is great and I believe they can customize it any way they want as it really is ONE big screen/display.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to play some VP. Going back to the bank of $.25 9/6 JoB from last night, I play a little, nothing special happened. I decide to belly up to the bar (after talking to a gentleman and he mentioned the 8/5 Boner Poker at the bar). Within the first couple hands I hit a regular 4 OAK. I consume at least 3 Bloody Mary's and a at least one Bud Light. I honestly can't remember what my VP results were. It was nothing special, I know that. But I was feeling good from the booze.

    My buddy made a bet for the Cubs and we head to the room to regroup and plan the day. At some point either the day before, and/or this day, I did cash in my FP from the casino. It was $10 a day, so $20 total. I must have done it the day before and today because I got both days. Either way, I think I was up a little for the trip at that point. (Sorry, doing this from memory now).

    For today, The one thing I DID want to do was find a certain slot machine. I had got some information that there was one Top Gun slot still in existence; in the Venetian. So, with that, we hop on the Monorail to head to the Venetian. We also decided to hit the Stage Door Casino (don't ask, my buddy picked it) at some point.

    SUCCESS!!!

    [​IMG]

    HOLY S**T. I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN HAPPIER. One of my first trips to Vegas, when this game was new, another friend I had made the trip with and I played this game for HOURS. I hadn't seen it in YEARS. I'm not proud of it, but I dropped almost three bills in it. On the positive side, the drink service was excellent, and I scored at least five beers while I was there. No big hits. I had about two like this:

    [​IMG]

    I had such a great time playing that game. I had a few bonus rounds, but just couldn't pick the right bonus and never got anywhere. I had a video on my phone, but it's gone for some reason. :( Anyway, I'm so happy I found this game. :)

    My buddy and I headed down the strip to find some place to play and drink. Wandering in and out of casinos from the Venetian south, we just couldn't find anything VP-wise with good rules to belly up to and get drinks. So we finally made our way to the Stage Door Casino. Wow. I wish I had taken some pictures or at least saved my Snapchats, hahaha. Dive casino. Music, locals (I'd guess), terrible VP rules, but cheap beer. We stayed there for a little while, people watching and drinking PBR's. It was entertaining to say the least.

    After that, we headed back to the Westgate. We wanted to take advantage of the Concierge Lounge for hors d'oeuvres and free booze; this runs from I believe 4:00 until 7:30p and I think the lounge closes at 9p. This is where the night started to go downhill...

    The spread was good. Mostly snacks and finger-foods, like wings. They also had soup. It was ok. BUT, the real winner of this deal was the open bar. We only had domestic beers, but I believe they had mixed drinks too. After we stuffed ourselves, we chatted up some others nearby as well as our server. We had a great time. Our server advised us that we should start "double-fisting" the beers before the bar closed at 7:30p (because the lounge was open until 9p). So, about every 15 minutes, either my buddy or I got a round at the bar. At one point, I think we had at least 4 full beers a piece when the bar closed. They lasted us until the lounge closed, haha.

    The Concierege Lounge is nice, but I question the $40 value. I know we got our money's worth out of it, but unless you take advantage of the open bar, it's questionable.

    Part two next...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016
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  7. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

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    Day two (part two):

    Pretty well lubed up, my buddy and I decide to get an Uber downtown to check out the scene. I don't remember where we actually were dropped off downtown, but we headed to check out the acts performing on the multiple stages.

    There really is some decent talent playing music and such downtown. There is also a plethora of freaks. I used to find it entertaining, but now... Meh. I don't know. Maybe I'm just getting old... I guess it's all in how you take it. I still enjoy downtown, just less at night now.

    I think we probably wandered through a couple casinos here and there. After I bought a ginormous lemon drop frozen drink (which I was skeptical on how much liquor was in it, but proved wrong) in front of the GG, we headed inside to check the gaming out.

    We scoped out the BJ tables, and found a decent table to play (can't remember the rules, etc). We played a little while, my buddy gave up faster than I after getting hammered pretty quick. I left down a little I think (maybe a $100). We bellied up to the bar and played some VP with shitty rules. There, at some point, a girl from the UK joined us and we ended up chatting for quite a while. She was with friends for a bachelorette party where she only knew one person. Anyway, she stayed with us a while and it seemed like we were all getting along, then she just disappeared. Why do women do that?? She got one free drink, but I don't think that was her motive. My buddy and I were drunk (more so myself), but we were on our best behavior. Oh well, whatever.

    Anyway, after that, we headed back to the Westgate via Uber to call it a night. It was about 1-2a. We had drank a lot.

    Overall day two was a good day too. Had fun, met a lot of cool people, drank a lot, gambled a little. I think I was down a little for the trip, but not too much.

    Tomorrow (day three), MOVING DAY to the DTG!

    I'm gonna save day three for tomorrow. I had hoped to get it all done tonight, but it's taking longer than I had hoped. :) Night all...
     
  8. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Great job on the TR so far! Thanks for the insight and pics of Westgate. I was last there near the end of the LVH days.
    I agree with your observations on Spice Market Buffet. My favorite food the last two times we visited there was the cotton candy!
    I'm waiting to see if the tooth made it through the whole trip, or if the rest of your trip was "ruthless and toothless!" :D
    Thanks again for the excellent report, SideTrackTap!

    RICHARD
     
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  9. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Good start so far!

    For 2 people the Spice Market Groupon is around $50 or so.

    And yeah that "Top Gun" machine is the last one in Vegas I think and probably one of the few left in the entire country. I probably should try it sooner than later. I hope I would do better than you did though! :(
     
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  10. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

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    Day Three, moving day!

    I always pick the worst nights to tie one on. Like the night before you change hotels? Moderately hungover, I awake groggy. Find my phone on the floor, almost dead, and see that it's about 10:40a. Let's see, check-out is... AT 11A??! Crap. I b-line for the phone and request a late check-out. They were very accommodating and gave us a 1p check-out. Phew! Crisis averted.

    Also, my buddy had already been awake for some time and had texted me. He had to pick up his next rental car that morning (He was leaving early Saturday and just felt it was easier to have a rental to take himself to the airport). He was already on the way back from the rental place.

    (Side note: I forgot to put this in yesterday's section. My buddy's first rental was from Enterprise and he was able to return it at the Westgate. They have a little kiosk at the entrance to the casino to the left of the cashier cage along that wall. It proved to be very convenient. We just left the car in the parking garage (3rd or 4th floor I believe was Enterprises' spots) and dropped off the keys at the kiosk).

    Once my buddy gets back, I run downstairs for coffee at the Starbucks for us and a bagel for me. Planning for the day, we decide to use my LVA coupon for 2 for 1 buffet at Red Rock. Since we have a couple hours until we can check in at the DTG after checking-out here, we figure this is a perfect fit.

    So we get our crap together and do a last sweep of the room and head downstairs. I proceed to the VIP lounge to check-out (because I'm spoiled now). I realize I could have just checked out on the TV, but being comped an entire stay is kind of new to me, so I just wanted to make sure there were no charges. Sure enough, no charges. I also take a moment to tell the front desk lady about the leaking ceiling I had in my room that morning (more on that in a second).

    We load up the rental and hit the road to Red Rock for lunch...

    Parting notes on the Westgate. It was nice. The room was okay, kind of plain. It was lacking some maintenance - bathroom could use some updating and a new shower head; about three or four ceiling lights out. Also, one whole ceiling light fixture was missing in the hallway leading to the bathroom. This was also the spot of the waterfall that morning. The morning before, in this spot, I could hear what sounded like water dripping on the ceiling, also, maybe laundry machines running? Anyway, I thought nothing of it. However, this morning, I heard it again (when I had to pee in my hungover stupor), but then a steady stream of water poured from the hole where the light fixture had been. It eventually stopped and I just threw towels down to soak up the water. I assume since the light fixture was missing, this wasn't the first time it's happened. Anyway, upon check-out, I reported it to the front desk. We were in the West Tower I believe. It was kind of a hike to the tower elevators from the Casino, but not too bad. The elevators seemed slow, but tolerable. They are still doing some remodeling to the retail area along that hallway to the elevators, but it seems to be coming along. I've never been wow'd by their casino, but no complaints, it seems about the same as when I was there before. Their Sports Book is by-far their crown jewel, and with the new screen, it's really top-notch. We had RC's, but never got around to using them, and the Buffet was closed when we were there (I think they were finishing up a remodel). There are a lot of employees walking around pushing the time shares, but they never once approached my buddy and I. Guess we don't look like we can afford it, lol. Per a VegasBright article, they did install parking gates and pay kiosks, but they were not active at that time. Obviously, that was June, it may be different now. Overall, a good stay. I did use my slot play offer from them as well as a coupon from the LVA for slot play. Didn't gamble much there, but I think I left up a little bit.
     
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  11. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

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    Day three (part two):

    Arriving at Red Rock, we find our way to the buffet. You did have to sign up for a players card (and I think that may have added to the discount?) to use the coupon; I didn't realize that beforehand, but luckily there was a roving slot attendant who can also sign you up for a players card. Players card in hand, we head into the buffet. I can't remember what the regular cost was, but after the LVA coupon, it was only about $5 per person. I thought it was quite the deal.

    Sorry I didn't take any pictures, but I was actually a little wow'd with the buffet. I mean, for a lunch buffet, they had a decent spread. A really nice salad bar with many selections of fresh bread, a decent selection of sushi, and just about anything else you could want in the "normal" buffet realm. Nothing fancy, but a decent all around selection with a good spread of desserts (and Gelato). I mean for $5, it was definitely a no-brainier. Filled up and ready, we find the car and head to the DTG.

    We found the parking garage for the DTG (directly across Ogden St.). Man, I wish I had taken a picture of this elevator. It was easily the scariest elevator I've ever rode in. It was well lit, but in ROUGH shape, but alas, it got us to ground level and we walked over to the DTG and check in. By the way, when you park at the parking garage, you take a ticket, then get that validated at the front desk to park for free (and I think you have to do that with a new ticket every time you leave and come back).

    Just walking into the casino and check-in area, I love this place. It's small, but not confined in anyway. The open ceilings, and modern touches give it that modern-contemporary-industrial (is that a thing??) feeling. Also, it didn't really click (until tomorrow morning), they have doors, with windows, in the casino! You can see daylight! The check-in is only about four front desk people wide. Depending on how busy it is, and how many people are working, it can take a little bit to check-in. It wasn't too bad this time. We get our room key, and head upstairs, over the bridge to the the west tower (not sure if that's the official name). I think we were on the 6th floor, west side of the tower, so our view was the parking garage. o_O No biggie, we weren't planning on being in the room much. We get settled in and chill in the room for a bit to regroup and set plans for the day.

    Their deluxe rooms are nice, but a little tight. I imagine they are probably a little more roomy with one king bed. The TV even welcomed us upon arrival, I thought that was a nice touch. :) The accommodations in the room were very nice. Beds were good. A/C worked great. The bathroom... seriously, what's with the showers and not having a door?? I knew what we were getting into from reading other trip reports, but it's just weird. Beyond water going everywhere, often times my ass was freezing because all the heat from the hot water escapes the shower. Oh well, it was an adjustment process, and I guess in the end, it's not that bad. Just weird.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Eager to get my gamble on, I head downstairs to find some $.25 9/6 JoB. I also wanted to get a new players card and I had slot play coupons from the LVA and a matchplay from the casino. Really my only gripe with the DTG is, depending on the time of day, there may only be one person in the cashier cage. This person often does the work of two people, be it cashier or players club employee, so sometimes the line will get long for the cashier cage. However, I will say there are usually two to three slot attendants on the floor and they come by the cage often to help if they can.

    FP loaded and matchplay in hand, I head to the Roulette table. I picked red or black (can't remember, sorry), and I think I bet $10 with my matchplay, and won! Woohoo!! That's a good start. I go cash my chips and find a VP machine. I must say, again, I'm quite impressed on how accurate the http://www.vpfree2.com/ is. Everything was exactly where it was listed on the website. It's crazy how they put a full pay machine RIGHT NEXT to a short pay machine in the same row. It's tricky, but I found one and played a little. I scored a couple beers while playing too. I found the drink service to be quite reliable in the casino.

    I believe I hit at least one 4 OAK and probably left up a little. My buddy finally made it downstairs and we headed out for a stroll. I'm going to apologize for this part here. I honestly can't remember what we did during the afternoon. We didn't gamble much, so I'm guessing we just walked around Fremont St. At some point we came back to the DTG to plan for the evening. We decide to check out the Taboo party sometime that night after chilling in the room for a bit.
     
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  12. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Day three (part three), and beginning of day four:

    Let The Sh*tshow Begin

    Sidenote: My tooth was still good and it appears my repair job worked. I was definitely favoring the side without the repair, but all was good.
    :)

    We decide to check out this Taboo party at the DTG pool. The DTG is really trying to push their pool and it's events in the nighttime hours, and it appears, this is by far it's most popular event. Walking in, I immediately notice my buddy and I are the minority, but we proceed and get a couple beers. I'm really just an observer at parties, so that's what I did. It actually was a great party. They first had a live R&B band that was really good, then they brought out a DJ. Everybody was having a great time. My buddy couldn't get over this cute little number that kept walking around, so we kept buying beers.

    After about three beers each, we decide to jet. Mind you, since we had a big lunch, we didn't have anything else to eat, so for me, this usually spells trouble. We walk Fremont. Checking out the performers, etc. and all that. You know, I used to really enjoy all of this, but now, not so much. Fremont St. is SO much better during the day IMO. At night, between the freaks, performers, and the people that completely let go and get trashed, it's all just a bit much for me. I guess I'm just getting old... :( Fremont St. does have a good assortment of bands playing on the stage and such, that's cool. But people really get crazy at night down there. I won't deny I like my booze on occasion, but I'd like to think I maintain my composure (Maybe that's just how it SEEMS, I don't know).

    I'm really itching to gamble. I mean, come on, I'm in Vegas. So, I ask my buddy (he just doesn't gamble as much as me) if it's cool if I go into the GG for some BJ. He agrees but says he's not playing since we got hosed on the previous night. That's cool. I find a table and play a bit. I keep an eye on him as he's at the bar. The thing is, we are here together and I'm not gonna blow him off, but dammit, I want to gamble. So anyway, I keep an eye on him, and start texting him if he want's to leave. I don't get any responses. Next thing I know, I look up, and he's gone. Sh*t. I keep texting, but nothing. Finally, he replies, says he's back at the DTG scoping BJ table. WTF? So I cash out (broke even), haul ass back to the DTG. Oh, and I also forget to cash out my GG chips because I'm in a hurry to catch up to him. According to my time stamps on my texts, this is around midnight.

    So I find him sitting a $10 BJ table (ok rules) at the DTG. With one spot open, I buy-in. I start to give him sh*t for not texting me back, but he says he never got them, then I tell him, "Why didn't you just come by and say you were leaving??" Anyway, we go at it like an old married couple. The table is quite amused. We play for a while. It was a great table. We won, we lost, everyone had fun. I drank, a lot. Around 3a he disappears again, but he texts me he's back at the room. Ok cool, I'm having a lot of fun, so I stay.

    I'm gonna be honest, I don't remember everything from this point on. How much I bought-in for, how much I bought-in for again, but I have a some ideas. At some point I am smart enough to stop drinking beers. But, instead, I start drinking coffee with Baileys and whipped cream. Holy crap!! Those were awesome. So I kept drinking those.

    Something you should know about me. When I'm having a good time gambling (and drunk), like I was here, I start tipping like a Rockstar. The waitress was getting a $5 chip per round. The dealers were getting their share too when I bet for them. It was awesome. I really just enjoy when everyone is have a great time, including the casino employees.

    The table thinned out. I held my own for the most part. I was up and down all morning. I Snapped (Snapchat) this during the morning:

    [​IMG]

    I kept playing. For the most part it was just me and the other guy in the picture above. He had left, but came back. After a while he left again, which I was happy about. He was a nice guy, but kept wanting to do stupid things like splitting 10's. The dealer and I tried our best to persuade him not to.

    I started to notice daylight through the doors in the casino. At some point the Pit Boss wants to change the deck. So I asked if it's okay to walk outside. He says it's cool, and I go out and take this picture and post it to Facebook to document my being a degenerate. This was at 6:21a per my phone:

    [​IMG]

    Soon enough the party was over. I had played for about six or seven hours? And finally I was out of money. I said my goodbye's and headed to the room. BUT.... I wasn't done. Being all hopped up on caffeine (and still drunk), and that I was having so much fun, I head to the ATM. Too bad I had already withdrawn my limit, all except $100. Screw it, I'll take that $100. I grab that and head BACK to the table. The dealer and pit boss surprised, as they thought I was done, as did I. I sit down and play some more. Luckily I had earned a decent rapport with the dealer and Pit Boss, so when I asked to drop the limit to $5 (so I could play longer), they did without any questions. Unfortunately, before I knew it, I was out of money again. Didn't matter. I had a GREAT time. Again, I said my goodbye's, for REAL this time.

    HOWEVER, in case anyone doubted my true degeneracy, before I headed up to the room, I called my bank. Yea... To get my ATM limit extended. The good thing, I still went to bed after that and didn't take any more money out. I believe this was all around 9a. I got to the room and my buddy said he woke up and see I hadn't slept in my bed. I said something, then crashed....

    **Best I can recall, I had about $300 in cash when we arrived at the DTG that day (Thursday). I HAD to have gone to the ATM after midnight for more money in order for it to affect my limit on Friday. My limit is $600 a day. So, the first trip to the ATM I must have taken $500 out, then the second trip to the ATM, I could only take out $100. I would guess I dropped about $900 that night, on BJ and tips. I wasn't over budget, but I was losing. I still stand by my original statement, I had a GREAT time.**

    Sorry, this is STILL longer and taking longer than I hoped. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading!!
     
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  13. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Day four, last full day:

    So I had been up for roughly 22, 23 hours? I know I woke up at the Westgate Thursday morning right before check-out around 10:40a. I hit the bed at the DTG around 9 or 10a on Friday morning. Phew!! 40 years old and I can still party like a Rockstar!! Or can I...?

    I crashed, HARD, for about two hours. Unfortunately, I couldn't sleep much more because I had consumed about a 100 coffee and Bailey's w/whipped cream. There was no denying I was in a funk. I needed sleep, but couldn't. I was hungover too. My buddy decided to get some rays at the pool. I decide to get some sleep. I sleep for a few minutes here and there, but nothing worthwhile. I was screwed...

    A couple hours later my buddy comes back to the room. I'm in a serious hangover funk. I decide to try a hot shower and beer (hair of the dog?). This is early afternoon at this point. I HATE feeling like crap in Vegas. I mean it's my own fault, but I'm only here a short time, I want to make the most of it. The shower and beer help. We decide to head to the MSS for happy hour at the Triple 7.

    MSS is a great place. I guess I've only really played VP here at the Boar's Head bar, but the Triple 7 is a great restaurant and bar and they have some decent happy hour deals; their brews are good too. Trying to get out of my funk, I go easy. I have a couple High Roller Gold's and Pretzel Bites. Gradually feeling better, we head back to the DTG to plan the rest of our last night. On the way back to our room, in the lobby, I get a buy one, get one drink coupons for the evening pool party.

    Back at the room, we decide to stop by the pool party because 2 for 1 drinks. Why not? We head to the pool. It was DEAD. We get our 2 for 1 beers and go hang out on the pool deck overlooking downtown. Great view. I wish I had saved some of my Snaps (Snapchat) that I took. A waitress comes by asking if there is anything we need. We are good, but we ask about the Friday pool party. She says it's pretty dead most Friday nights. I give the DTG credit; like I said, Voodoo on Thursday is their most popular night, but they are trying. We enjoy our beers with a good view; I'm finally out of my funk. :headbang:

    We leave the DTG and go to the Fremont for $1 frozen margaritas (at the main bar?). The Fremont seemed VERY busy. I guess it was a Friday night. I pay for the first round. The bartender advises my buddy to play a little VP/VBJ and the drinks are free. We do, and pay a lot more than $1 and a tip for the drinks. o_O Couple of dummies right here, haha.

    We wander back out to Fremont St. Pass by, pause, and observe the various bands or DJ's playing. There really is some decent talent on Fremont St. Passing by the street performers, etc., we head to the far west stage in front of the GG. I think there was an 80's band playing; they were pretty good. We pay for a large beer in front of the GG; enjoy the band while people-watching, and boy-o-boy, were there people to watch...

    Unfortunately, my sleep deprivation caught up to me. After I finished my big gulp beer, I advised my buddy I had hit the wall... It was a sad moment; to admit defeat. But, I was working on little sleep; in addition, my buddy had to fly out decently early the next morning. It was probably the best to call it a night.... We head back to the DTG and call it. :(

    I hope to wrap this trip report up tomorrow...
     
  14. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,887
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Nice degening! I tend to have a few nights like that per trip...

    My last night in Vegas at those Cromwell full pay VP machines looked like this...


    [​IMG]

    Then go back to Flamingo to wrap up.
    [​IMG]

    And don't worry it's taking awhile. Details are good!
     
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  15. johnnytwofingers

    johnnytwofingers Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    Fantastic trip report, sounds like you had a blast and I for one love TR's that go into details.

    So how do you like the atmosphere of gambling at GG compared to DTG, any preference?
     
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  16. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Bah! Well at least you left with something, that's good right? o_O Nice pic of Caesars, looks like a beautiful night. I hope it's a little cooler there now than when I was there. It was hotter than balls. Glad you're enjoying the report, thanks!

    EDIT: I see from the Ticket that was back in Feb. Probably was a lot cooler then! :)

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
  17. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
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    Location:
    SW Michigan
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    19
    Glad you're enjoying the trip report, thanks! The GG atmosphere is mostly party-like. The music is louder and they have their dancing girls... It's ok. Really when I'm playing BJ, Craps, or whatever, I'm not looking at the dancing girls (well, maybe a little, haha), but I do enjoy good music. The DTG is a lot more mellow I'd say, but I don't feel it's boring. I DO remember they had really good music because I commented on it to the Pit Boss (80's-90's stuff I think, good mix). I also like a place that it's easy to have a conversation if you so choose and you don't have to yell over the music to talk. It's a little more difficult at the GG because the music is cranked up in there (kinda like, but not as bad as The D). Really, that night at the DTG, if I hadn't been up all day, and hadn't ran out of money, I would've gladly sat there longer. I had two great dealers and an awesome Pit Boss. The CW was awesome too (maybe because I was tipping well, but who cares...).

    It might just be that I'm getting old too. :confused: And I don't like the loud music party life like I thought I used to. It's worth mentioning that during the day, the GG doesn't seem as rowdy. Also the GG has a lot of BJ tables too (a lot of them 6:5 I think too, so beware), where the DTG only has a couple. I honestly don't remember what the rules were on the tables I played at GG, but I don't think I would've sat down at a 6:5 table. The table I played at the DTG was ok rules.

    Hope that helps!

    Chris
     
  18. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    SW Michigan
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    19
    Day five (departure day):

    While part of me was disappointed we made it an early night, a larger part of was not. Finally, I got some sleep. I needed it, too bad I still felt like ass though. My buddy was flying out early so he was gone around 6a. I tried to figure out what I wanted to do. Since it was my last day, I decide to stay up after he left; make the most of it. First thing, coffee. So I head to the commissary for free java. This was my first trip there (and sadly, only one). The Commissary is REAL nice. Free coffee to guests, and a lot of sitting areas. Great atmosphere. I'm sad I did not make more use of this. There is also an area to order breakfast sandwiches and such. I will explore this more next visit.

    Back to the room. I didn't think was gonna be able to sleep, so I showered and got ready for the day. Every morning I had posted a different picture to Facebook, so I set out to find this morning's shot. But first, I go to find my dealers from the previous morning to say "hi" and, er um... apologize.

    I'm a pretty controlled drinker. I don't get belligerent, I just have fun. And I talk. A LOT. The dealers from the previous morning worked Friday night/Sat Morn, so I wandered by and said "hi" and apologized for the sh*itshow. He was cool and said not to worry about it. Still though, I felt the need to say something. I may have had fun, but I know I was drunk, and I'm sure I said a few stupid things. Anyway, off to find a picture! This was Saturday's pic:

    [​IMG]

    Also, only three days left!!

    [​IMG]

    Fremont St. is so nice in the morning. With the exception of at least one hooker that wanted to talk to me. Hardly anyone there, peaceful, it was nice. But DAMN, it was STILL hot at that time of the morning (see above picture, it was 98. This was like at 7a...

    So I try to gather myself and get a game plan together. Food. I need food. Back to the DTG, I grab breakfast at S+O. It was pretty quiet in there (I guess it was kind of early). I sit at the bar. Ordered eggs over medium, bacon, potatoes, toast and OJ. It was a real good breakfast. I can't remember the price exactly, but it wasn't too pricey, for Vegas. Oh, and as I wandered through the casino, I spotted the other dealer from the previous morning (she was on break from earlier), and pleaded my case. She was cool too. I know these dealers probably see a lot worse, but... I just have to say something because they were ultra cool.

    Looking for some comps.... So, when my buddy and I booked the room, we were concerned about cost (Why? I have no idea, because it was only two nights and I was gonna [and did] lose more money gambling). My buddy is a pilot, he travels a lot, and he's good at finding cheap rooms, so he hates paying high prices for rooms. It wasn't until everything was booked that I started looking into comps and deciding to try and get some decent coin-in while I was at the DTG. The room was about $150 prepaid, but we were going to be charged the resort fee upon checkout. At that point, I had about $2500 coin-in (VP and some slots) since I had been there, and my play at the BJ table that morning (I know, it's not much, especially spread out over a couple days. I'm still learning on THEO and Coin-in). So I decide it can't hurt to ask about getting the resort fees comped. There was no hosts on duty, but a slot attendant/players club employee called the host on duty. She said she would call the front desk and have it taken care of. Sweet!! That was about $45 right there. Better than nothing...

    Back at the room I pack up everything for the most part. A late check-out would've been nice, but I didn't want to get greedy since they just comped my resort fees. With only an hour or so until check-out, I decide to depart the room, check my bags at the bell desk and get my gamble on. I fire up the TV to check out, no charges showing, done and done!
     
  19. SideTrackTap

    SideTrackTap Tourist

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    19
    Day five, last day (part two):

    Bags checked at the bell desk I head to the casino floor. As I walk in, I see the waitress from the morning I was at the BJ table. As she is quite attractive, and god only knows how much of an ass I made of myself that morning, I duck behind a bank of slot machines and plop my ass down at the new Hangover machine (which is fun, but I think I like the original game better). Before I can even put my money in, the same waitress walks by. Shit... "Oh hiiii Chris!" I'm embarrassed to say the least. She remembers my name, but I don't hers (even though it was probably on her name tag). She remembers what I was drinking, and asks if I'd like a Coffee with Bailey's. I say, "No, I better stick to black this time." She comes back with my coffee and I tip her, but only a dollar or two (can't remember, but I know it wasn't a $5 chip). I feel bad about tipping less, but I had just started playing and was down for the trip. I hope CW's understand why I was tipping so much the morning before (I was winning a little, drunk, the service was great, and having a good time), as opposed to the dollar or two I tipped her just then (I was sober, just starting to gamble, etc). I'm pretty sure she was ok with it as I'm sure she did well that morning I was at the BJ table. I think her shift had ended after that as I never saw her again.

    The rest of the day (before I left for the airport) was pretty much spent on VP ($.25 JoB and some $1 BP) and some slots at the DTG. I played a little of the Ted slot. Man, that is a great game, I could easily play that game for hours. Caddy Shack was fun too, but it kind of gets boring with the 3 x 3 reels. I may have hit at least one or two 4 OAK's but I honestly can't remember. My best hit was this:

    [​IMG]

    I also had this decent hit on Ted:

    [​IMG]

    BUT! I had one more must-do thing on my itinerary; a Greek hot dog from Mermaids. It's a Nathan's hot dog with feta cheese and black olives (and peppers, but I skip those). I've tried to recreate them at home, but they are never as good than the ones I've had Mermaids. So I make my way down Fremont for lunch at Mermaids. It wasn't too busy, and I get my Greek dog with fries and a pop. Man was it good! I took a picture too, but for some reason it's not on my phone. Anyway, I eat lunch and head back to the DTG. I'll miss Mermaids for the eatery, but not much else. I had planned to walk though La Bayou, but.. Been there, done that. I was happy I got to get a Greek dog one last time before Mermaids closed. :)

    Back at the DTG, I finally get the nerve to order a beer. I'm finally starting to feel normal from my little morning of debauchery a day ago. I also finally order a bloody mary for the first time at the DTG. I LOVE bloody marys, but for some reason I wasn't drinking them. It was really good. I mean it was a typical bottom shelf bloody mary with olives, but had a good flavor. I instantly kick myself for not having more.

    Unfortunately not much more to report. I played a little more. I switched to $1 BP to hopefully hit something to recoup some money, but nothing. Oh well.

    I had grand plans of using the WAX to get to the airport to be frugal. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling it. I didn't feel like dragging my bag to the bus stop, etc. This trip was the first time I used Uber and Lyft. I gotta say, it's quite convenient. And since I still had credit on my Lyft account, I just used that. I ordered my Lyft, and guy shows up in a newer Landrover, and off I go to the airport.. :(

    I get to the airport, check my bag, and head to security. There was hardly anyone there. I was glad, because I had heard the TSA lines at McCarran were bad. All checked-in and nowhere to go, I find a sub shop for a sandwich (I know the hot dog I had and snacks on the plane are not gonna get me back to Chicago). The sub shop in the gate area was in one of those kiosks (if you will). Can't remember the name, but it was ok. Pricey, but it was the airport.

    All fat and happy, I play a couple $20's though VP. Nothing. I played one other slot too, nothing. I'm done for gambling.

    My Early Bird Check-in got me A22. Not bad (but worth the $15?? Not sure). Boarding, I sit up front, window seat. Bored as all hell and depressed I'm leaving Vegas, I try to make the best of it. I give credit to Mr. Flusher for this Snapchat I took:

    [​IMG]

    With the rest of the Vegas degenerates aboard, the crew batten down the hatches, and we take off... Turns out, I got a great seat to wave goodbye:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Overall, it was a great trip. I set aside $500 a day for five days (the most I've ever set aside for Vegas). Up until my all morning gambling stint, I had only spent about maybe $400 of that? When I had left, I was down about $2200. However, some of that money was used for tips, meals, etc. I wish I could keep it separate, but sometimes it's just easy to pay in cash, with the money I have in my pocket. I estimate that of that $2200, about $1900 was lost in gambling. But, I didn't go over budget and I didn't spend it all, and I had a great time. ;)

    I'm going to offer a summary of the trip and the DTG here tomorrow hopefully. I know I missed a couple details on the trip. Thanks to all that have read. I know it was long, but I hope you enjoyed it if you made it this far!

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
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  20. Brando95

    Brando95 Tourist

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
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    Location:
    Mesquite, TX
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    Great report!
     
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