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From Dump to Trump (actually Wynn, but that doesn't sound too catchy...)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by MikeE, Jun 9, 2005.

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  1. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    My Trip Report

    Many of you read about my last trip/review of Wynn a month or so ago and I thank you all for the positive responses. I can't figure out how to directly link to it with the new set-up, but it's back a page or 2. When I got home from that trip, all I could do was rave about Wynn Las Vegas to my parents and of course, my dad started dropping hints about how we ought to go together. We’ve done the father/son thing before and I had a blast so I was more than happy to oblige. Now, buying a Father’s Day gift for this man is about the hardest thing in the world so I figured I’d give him his gift early by treating him to a stay at Wynn (sort of reminds me of that Simpson’s episode when Homer buys Marge a bowling ball). Dad gets home from work at about 7:30pm and we’re off.

    The drive is uneventful and we’re at the Gold Strike in Jean by about 11. Yeah, that’s right: Gold Strike. If I’m heading out to Vegas so late, I definitely don’t want to pay for a room that I almost immediately go to bed in so I want to go cheapo. Downtown rates were absurd for some reason and I’ve stayed at Gold Strike before—the $20-per-night rooms are clean and comfortable, the gambling is good, and breakfast at their 24-hour café is awesome for the price. Anyway, we gamble for a bit and crash rather early.

    We’re both up by 7, repack the few things we have to repack, get ready for breakfast, a bit more gambling, and the rest of the drive to Vegas. We’re out of there by 10 and are at Wynn in about a half hour. The entrance is nowhere near as packed as it was last time and we breeze right over to the valet. I walk over to check-in, but there’s a problem: although they allow me to check-in, the computer was not printing the room keys for some reason so they ask me to come back—no worries. I give my dad the grand tour of the place which happens to be dead at this time of day. His reactions always seem to be of complete indifference, but I know he’s impressed when he can’t stop looking around the place. For those of you who watched the first few episodes of A&E’s reality show “Caesars 24/7â€, the most predominantly featured character was a high-roller host (can’t remember his name) who proclaimed his loyalty to Caesars on the show and even supposedly got married to a dealer there. Well anyway, either he hates Harrah’s and/or Wynn’s offer was too good to pass up because I saw him working Wynn’s high-limit “salonâ€. I haven’t seen the show recently (if it’s even on the air), but I’m curious how that’s affected it. We then checked out the Ferrari dealership which was closed to the public last time I was there. Now you can get in for $10 and you also get a baseball cap. It’s not worth it unless you’re really into cars which fortunately I am. The highlight isn’t the new car showroom, but the used car showroom 4 stories underground. There you see the service area and what has to be one of the world’s nicest garages housing “used†Ferraris, Maseratis, Bentleys, etc. that have something like 200 miles on them.

    After the tour we go back to pick up our keys. The receptionist offers me an upgrade to a strip view “panoramic†room on the “55th†(actually 45th) floor for free and guarantees that it’s 2 beds. I’m stoked and we head on up only to find just one king. I called the front desk from the room and the guy told me that there are no double beds that face the strip so I guess it must have been another computer glitch. He’s able to reprogram my key that very instant and moves us up to the next higher floor with a golf course view. Before I leave though, I want to take in one of the best views of the strip I’ve ever seen. I look down to see the villas. There are 36 fairway villas on the golf course, but then there are these 6 super crazy villas in front of the main tower that have got to be the best accommodations available in Vegas. Private pool? Yes, but not the tiny dipping ones like the villas at Mirage or Bellagio—we’re talking damn near olympic-sized with jacuzzis on each side and expansive gardens. If you can’t tell, I’m fascinated with the ultra high-roller life and their insane accommodations… Anyway, we’re up to the right room now and my dad actually likes the view more—to each his own, I guess.

    We head down to the Country Club Grill for lunch and are seated outside near the waterfall. This has got to be one of the best restaurant settings in all Las Vegas—pity that the golf course isn’t going to be on the property very long. My dad and I have the same burger I had last time. It’s now a little more expensive at $14, but about twice as big and impossible to eat without a knife and fork. I’m no golfer, but I would imagine that someone who pays $500 for a round of golf is experienced enough to enjoy it—that didn’t seem like the case with one person we observed putting on the 18th green. I just about turned red from laughter after seeing this guy miss his shot about 4 times and then go “Happy Gilmore†and start slamming his club repeatedly on the green. It was hilarious.

    After lunch, we head out to the spa and then gamble for a bit. I try Pai Gow Poker for the first time (which for now at least, is never less than a $25 minimum at Wynn). I can finally say that I’ve found my game. I absolutely love Pai Gow! Anxiously watching the outcome of a larger bet for a couple minutes is much more fun than playing 5 hands of $5 blackjack in the same amount of time—there’s just much more suspense involved in Pai Gow. My dad is strictly a slots player which basically means he leaves for half an hour, blows off a wad of cash, and then watches me at the tables. I hate that! Not only do I feel very uncomfortable when my dad sees how much I’m betting, but also I know he’s bored out of his mind and is too stubborn to learn when I try to teach him. I order some drinks for the both of us and while up $50, leave after only an hour on the table since we have a reservation at SW Steakhouse.

    SW is one of only 2 restaurants on the main lake and I’d say the terrace is about a fourth the size of the entire restaurant so it’s very hard to get seated there. Even though I made a request to be seated near the water, I didn’t get it unless I wanted to wait another 2 hours—no thanks. I’m pretty chill about outcomes like these, but I couldn’t believe the fuss some other people were causing. When you call for a reservation and make a request to be seated on the patio, they pretty much tell you that they can’t guarantee it right off the bat even if you made the reservation months in advance. Anyway, the service was awesome and my New York steak was insane! Well worth the $45 (and that’s just for the steak and nothing on the side). When the water show started, our waitress told us to follow her to the terrace at a spot with an awesome view. I think it’s a really great show and everyone seemed very impressed. Overall, with a hefty tip, one dessert, glass of wine, cocktail, steak, salmon, and a baked potato, the bill came out to $145 which I thought was very reasonable.
     
  2. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    Report continued...

    To help us digest, we went walking the strip for a bit. I saw the new section of the Forum Shops at Caesars. It’s pretty incredible, but smaller than I thought. We made our way down to Bellagio and watched the fountains. It’s still a great spectacle, but most recently, I’ve only seen shows with cheesy country and patriotic songs that don’t seem to fit. Call me a snob, but I don’t think songs sung by dudes in tight jeans, massive belt buckles, and cowboy hats does much to help Bellagio’s class. Oh well. We then walked our way back to Wynn to unexpectedly find turndown service in our room. We relaxed there for a bit. My dad decided to turn in, but I went down for some alone time. I walked into Lure and got a drink. Word is getting around about this place. It was packed and people were dancing everywhere—near the DJ, outside at the fire pit, and on the tables. I ordered a “Passion†and chilled at the patio for a bit. I’m usually able to start a conversation with a complete stranger at any of these places, but not tonight unfortunately. I left after about half an hour, but I wasn’t bummed since hotel guests don’t pay cover.

    I found my way to a Pai Gow table with 4 other Chinese players and had a blast! These guys did not speak a word of English but they caused so much commotion for each hand that the dealers and I were having a ball with them. Another person sat next to me for a bit and after a while asked, “What does Pai Gow mean anyway?†As I understand it, it means “nothing†and you’re basically hoping that the dealer has Pai Gow so you can beat them. Well, one of the Chinese dudes decides to answer him and in the thickest accent you could ever imagine says, “It means, ‘Oooh shit!’†I got a good laugh out of that.

    It’s about 3:30am now and my $500 buy-in had turned to $325. I’ve been at the table for about 3 hours now and have had 3 drinks. I’m down, but I’m just having a blast with a perfect buzz. Little did I know, I was about to have a very memorable Vegas experience… I’ve never been comped anything other than drinks and room discounts given to all who sign up for cards at lower-tier hotels, but when the pit boss gets near me, I ask if he could comp me a buffet or at least a line pass. I was expecting something like, “I’m sorry sir, but this is Wynn Las Vegas and you’ve been playing Pai Gow, the slowest game we offer and for only 3 hours at a $30 average bet. There’s nothing I can do.†Instead I got, “Sure thing! For how many?†WHAT?! The Mirage would hesitate to do that at a blackjack table! Even cooler is that I believe the comp was discretionary so no points were taken out of my balance. I color-up and go to bed feeling very proud.

    The next day we pack up everything but our pool supplies. We check our luggage in with the valet bell desk and head over to the buffet. My dad doesn’t know I was comped last night so he was wondering how much it was going to be and if there’s going to be a big line. I don’t answer him, but just keep walking towards the buffet with a huge smirk on my face. There really was no line, but I kind of wish there were just so I could tell my dad, “Oh no, we don’t have to wait there. We’re invited guests.†Oh well. Last time, the buffet was very good, but this time around it was just superb. As some of you read in my last report, my biggest complaint was the dessert section. Now it’s one of the best in Vegas. The coconut gelato is to die for.

    After the buffet, we head out to the pool. The weather was just perfect and we spent most of our time lounging at the topless pool (even though nobody was topless). It was very relaxing. This is the best pool in Vegas and I’ve been to them all—no attractions or waterfalls which means there was about a total of 3 kids in the entire pool area, the chaise lounges have comfy cushions on them, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a great spot anytime, the water is the perfect temperature, and the grounds are exquisitely landscaped.

    After a few hours poolside, it’s time to head on back. We get the car from the valet, but before we hit the I-15, we stop by the Gambler’s General Store to see what all the fuss is about. This place has everything; it makes me want to start an illegal casino in my garage. Overall, another great trip!

    Final Thoughts:

    Despite a shaky start, things at Wynn are running much smoother than my last stay there. All of the common complaints from previous guests have been resolved to my knowledge. It just looks like they’ve got some faulty software issues for now. Plus, maybe it really is $500 per hand for RFB, but I think they’re pretty generous as far as comps.

    Bellagio: stick with operatic and Vegas classics (Sinatra, etc.) for the fountains.

    Are dress codes even enforced at clubs and restaurants? From what I saw, no.

    Caesars will never improve no matter how many “improvements†they do.

    The first car currently on display at the showroom is a Ferrari Testarossa. What up with that? This ain’t the 80s!

    Pai Gow Poker rocks! Slow, exciting, and with a little practice, you can play perfect strategy even when you’re completely trashed! What more could you ask for?

    Thanks for reading!
     
  3. RossW

    RossW North of the 49th

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    Good read Joe. Sounds like you and Dad had some good father/son time.

    Never thought about Pai Gow, I guess I had better do some reading from all those bargain priced books I bought from LVA a few months back. Sounds interesting, I learned craps at MM2, maybe Pai Gow at MM3???....We'll have to see if it pans out....:)

    Well Done
     
  4. bigalbr

    bigalbr VIP Whale

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    I like PGP too. There's enough strategy to make it interesting, you never have an evil 3rd base, and you can still play decent trashed off your a$$.
     
  5. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    Wynn has a topless pool, huh? Interesting to note for my upcoming stay there... I think I'd need to pull a quick Tonya though... burning would hurt quite badly!
     
  6. blackjack

    blackjack Monkey!!

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    I've preached this for years. You don't even have to be a rated player. It helps if the boss sees you shortly after you sit down so even if you are not being rated, he has some idea of how long you've been there. I have, however, had good luck at Mirage doing this. Every time I've asked, I got the comp & line pass without hesitation. It never hurts to ask. One time at Casino Windsor I forgot to ask but went back a while later & pulled the pit boss aside & asked. He remembered me and gave me a couple of certificates for something like $15.00 off any restaurant.

    Great trip report Joe. I will definitely try Pai Gow next time!!
     
  7. Typhinie

    Typhinie Tourist

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    I really enjoyed your report! I have never been to Vegas with my Dad, but I am sure it would be a fun experience. I wouldn't want him to know how much I bet either...

    And I can't say this enough, I CAN'T WAIT to stay at Wynn!
     
  8. LVLady

    LVLady Tourist

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    Joe did they rate you at the Pai Gow Poker table? It was my understanding why rated all players. Now I am patiently waiting for someone to tell me if he comps cigarettes or not for those of us who are lowrollers.
     
  9. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

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    Yes, I was rated at a $25 minimum table. I just presented my room key when I sat down (which also doubles as your player's card).

    Edit to add: Last trip, I played blackjack at $10-25 and nobody said anything about there being a minimum. That could mean one of two things:

    1. RFID chips makes tracking very easy and they'll rate everyone or...
    2. The pitboss/dealers weren't jerks enough to embarrass me by constantly reminding me that I'm below the minimum (which was a refreshing change).
     
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