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Golden Nugget - 7/13-7/19

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by MikeOPensacola, Jul 24, 2014.

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  1. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    This was my second trip to the GN in the last eight months. I had a great time and the GN remains the class of downtown and it could hold its own very well on the strip.

    The weather was very nice. It averaged between 105-110 during the day and mid 90s at night. I spent a lot of two days on the strip in the midday heat but it didn't seem that bad. I am from Florida and believe me when I say 90 degrees with 80% humidity is WAY worse than 105 degrees with 20% humidity.

    I'm 51 years old and wanted to challenge myself and relive a little of my youth. Back in the 80s I could walk from one end of the strip to the other (Hacienda, now Mandalay Bay to Las Vegas Club, now Stratosphere ) on one day and on the next I would walk from The Tropicana to The Riviera. I decided to give it a go. Day one I went from Mandalay Bay to Stratosphere. At each casino I played one $10 hand of BJ, purchased a $1 chip as a souvenier from the cage and got a bottle of water at pretty much every other casino. It was a long day from Mandalay Bay to Stratosphere, especially between Circus Circus and Stratosphere. The next day was easier and got to some casinos that I hadn't been to before. I got a chip from each one and probably spent about $70 in two days in water - well worth it by the way. I went to a casino antique store and purchased a piece of wood which came from the bartop at the Desert Inn and I'm going to have the chips inset in the wood so they're flush with the surface and then varnished over. Looking forward to seeing the finished product along with the chips that I collected from all the downtown casinos.

    Had a blast downtown. Some general observations about the scene downtown:

    1. DTG is basicaly in the same shape as it was when I visited in November. Very nice place with a very friendly staff but very dead. A lot of the restaurants have closed or have reduced hours.

    2. The Plaza is much busier. I don't really know what they are doing different but there were a lot more table gamers there then previous trips. The Plaza also has a pretty good lounge act, by the BJ pit, each night. The lounge is kind of cheesy but the talent isn't bad, mostly mowtown tunes.

    3. LVC music is still loud but not as loud as it used to be. I didn't spend a lot of time there.

    4. Golden Gate is where I did the majority of my table gaming. The dealers/dancers are great. Besides being easy on the eyes they are also very friendly and nice. I played a ton of BJ, a little Free Bet BJ and a little craps during the week. This is my favorite place to gamble downtown. $5 3/2 BJ games during the week, at nights, with good music (not as loud as it used to be) and very friendly pit personnel. Dupars is still superb. Try the French Toast, awesome.

    5. Main Street Station. Fun place to gamble but I really liked the 777 Brewery. Great and reasonably priced food with good beer. I had a sample of a pseudo-Guinness and asked the bartender how much it was. He told me, "$4, but at happy hour they're only $2." I asked him when happy hour was and his reply will forever be etched in my mind, "Happy Hour is between midnight and seven AM sir." Awesome............................

    6. The restrictions on glasses and bottles on Fremont Street is much ado about nothing, IMHO. Basically you can not carry liquor on the street except in a plastic cup. Bottled water in plastic is fine, not sure about soda. There seemed to be the same amount of dressed up performers but I noticed a steep decline in panhandlers from my trip last year. BTW, the best line from a panhandler that I heard came from a guy on the strip. He actually yelled at me, "Hey, give me money and I promise to waste it on Alcohol!!!!!!!" Style points for honesty.............

    7. I hung out at the Golden Nugget Rush Lounge a lot. Its a fairly small area with a circular bar and some aditional seating with three HL BJ tables with live entertainment. The entertainment there is always good. The week I was there they had a four person band with a guy who played the guitar that looked like a doppleganger of Bruce Willis. The Rush Lounge always has good entertainment and is fun to drop in have a drink and listen to some talented musicians.

    The Rush Tower rooms are exceptional. They are better than any other downtown and many, many properties that are much more expensive on the strip. The bathrooms are large, nice tub with good water pressure and temperature. Housekeeping was great. Word is that the Carson Tower rooms will be getting an upgrade sometime in 2015, not sure if the pricing will be different or the same as the Rush Tower rooms.

    The food scene at the GN has also been revamped. Same so-so buffet, which I ate breakfast at a couple of days. Their new 24/7 Claim Jumper restaurant is really good, but kind of pricey. Claim Jumper is a chain according to the waitress that I had, but the food is really good, service is a little slow though. I will repeat.

    8. Fremont Street is alive and well with lots of free bands on the 1st street and 3rd street stages. The stage in front of LVC basicaly had dancers with canned music that was mediocre at best. I got to see Yellow Brick Road, Thursday Nights at the 1st Street Stage, which is a classic rock cover band. I've seen them before and made sure to see them this trip. Sat right next to the stage at Binion's Whiskey Licker Bar, I got there about 7:00 pm and they played from 8:00-11:00 PM. Awesome band.

    Not as many beggars and panhandlers as previous trips. Lots of costume characters, but they are harmless and didn't seem to bother anyone.

    9. Binions, alas continues it's slide. Crappy drink service, crappy BJ games and mostly dead. I did see a cool thing though. I was shooting craps there and got there at about 3:00 in the afternoon. There were two girls who each bought in for $100 and were playing the darkside. SIX hours later I was walking by Binions on my way to Benny's Bullpen for a burger and they were still there. I asked if they were still at their initial buy in and they both said yes. After about a 45 minute dinner they were still there and by my estimate had about a fifty dollar profit each. Entertainment value for these two ladies for sure........

    10. Four Queens disappointed me. Lousy BJ games with even lousier drink service. I'll probably skip it on my next downtown stay.

    Overall I had a great trip. The Cromwell is really nice; I like what they've done with it. It kind of reminds me of the old Barbary Coast, which is indeed cool. I had never been into Aria and Cosmopolitan until this trip. All I can say is wow...............they make the Belagio look merely average, and I like the Bellagio.

    If you have any questions about the scene downtown (this is where I spent the majority of my time) feel free to send me a PM or post it here. As always, I'm more than happy to help out any and all VMBers.

    Big props to Curt, aka Feodolphus, at The Plaza. I stopped in to see him and introduce myself. He showed me a couple of rooms in the north tower and offered me a casino rate for my next visit. If you're interested in staying there he's a great guy and you can get in touch with him and he'll do whatever he can to help you out.

    Cheers,

    Mike
     

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    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  2. atcmurph

    atcmurph Watcher Of The Skies

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    Great report. I love me some DT as well. Thanks for the update. :peace:
     
  3. M0rtyC

    M0rtyC Low-Roller

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    Great downtown report. Tks
     
    Annual end of the rodeo trip
  4. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    Thanks for the trip report! I'm looking forward to trying Claim Jumper. We don't have this restaurant back home. I don't care if it's a chain. I want to try it.

    I'm anxious to see how the Fremont canopy is, now that you reported less panhandlers and beggars. The costumed people never bothered me, and I never walked around with a drink in hand anyway. I can wait till I get to the next casino for a drink. It's only a couple of minutes away.

    That scene of the two girls playing at Binions for hours on a hundred dollar buy-in is awesome. Not winning much but not losing much either. And all this time the drinks keep coming. Win!!
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
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  5. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    I had several meals there. Great French Toast, HUGE burgers which are very, very good. Wings were so-so. You can get a table by one of the Keno TVs and ask them to put it on any channel and they'll gladly do it for you. A little pricey, but not terribly so. Nice atmosphere. Service can be kind of slow so if you like a lot of refills on your tea, soda or water just ask for a carafe along with your first drink and they'll provide it no questions asked. If you like a side salad with your dinner they have a creamy ranch dressing that is out of this world, probably the best side salad I've ever had and I've had 1000s of them. Enjoy!!!
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  6. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    What's the story behind the BJ picture? thanks for the report!
     
  7. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Nice report. Thanks for taking the time to share.
     
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  8. northerngirl

    northerngirl Low-Roller

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    Thanks for my favorite kind of report...downtown. I will be there for seven days in seven days. My Houston son always meets me and the sisters and he will agree with you on the heat difference. He is looking forward to the low humidity and highs in the hundreds.

    Your observations regarding the Four Queens and Binion's table games and the downward slope of both....couldn't agree more. It is sad for me to watch as I loved playing at both places in their heyday.

    We haven't stayed at the Plaza since the renovations.....this trip we are splitting our stay between the Plaza and The CAL (huge Boyd fans). Happy to read that the Plaza seems to have some activity and we will make it a point to introduce ourselves to Curt.

    Thanks for your observations.
     
  9. Jordan

    Jordan Caveman

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    Also interested to hear the story behind the BJ pic...
     
  10. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I enjoyed your report... I like your honestly... you're one of the few on here who calls it like you see it!!!
     
  11. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    This happened on my second night in Vegas and owe it all to a dice shooter at MSS. He held the dice for about an hour and I walked away with a little over $2,100 after a buy in of $200. Later that night I'm at the Rush Lounge at the GN having a drink and listening to a pretty decent lounge band. I bought in for $500 during a break and soon went on a roll. I was converting my nickels and quarters to blacks and almost decided to call it a night because I wanted to get over to MSS for happy hour. Since I was playing with my craps winnings from earlier I was more aggressive at BJ. I finally decided to go all in with my non-black chips and then head over to MSS. The first hand was a draw.......ugh, very grueling. So I decided to give it another shot. When I saw the ten I was relieved. When I saw the dealers 9 and my A I was ecstatic. Went to the bank the next morning and got a certified check for $3k and mailed it to myself at home. It was a great start to my trip and I'm going to Best Buy today to get a Samsung curved 4k 3d TV. The band was playing a great cover of "Sweet Child of Mine" when that BJ hit so I'll have a great tv and a pretty cool song to remind me of an epic afternoon/evening in Vegas.
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  12. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Great report!

    Regarding your #5 point. 777 has a happy hour M-F 3 - 6 PM. Food discounts and the house wine, well drinks and tap beers are $2.50. Not valid on Monday night Football or holidays.

    Midnight to 7 AM, yes the drinks are only $2.
     
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  13. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    I'm beginning to see why you like MSS so much Joe. The 777 has great beer and awesome food. The wings are great with real cool bartenders. Didn't make the buffet there yet, but it's on my todo list on my next trip.
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  14. queentata

    queentata High-Roller

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    Nice TR. I'm not much for DT, but your report was enjoyable. Love that the girls played so long on their money. Good times. I am in love with The Cromwell. Great job they did on that place.
     
  15. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    What's funny is that I knew that's what you were doing just looking at the pic! Playing out the reds on one hand. :beer:
    Congrats on the win, and thanks for a nice TR.
    Since you were just there, can you tell me what the 2-deck BJ rules/limits were/are at DTG?
    There seems to be mixed info here on VMB about that.
    Thanks, in advance!
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  16. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    Top, I didn't play the two deck games at DTG, but I believe they are $25, definitely 3/2 with DAS. I don't think insurance is offered but I could be wrong.

    You're right about that pic, I stacked my green and red in my haste to get to happy hour, had to wait a hand with the push, but it was well worth the wait.....
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  17. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    The sad thing is that the 4queens does have a single $10 2 deck game(3/2) most of the time, and hardly anyone plays it. Instead there at the crappy switch or 6/5 games . I used to play at the 4-queens more than anywhere and now I give them at most a couple sessions per trip.
     
  18. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    That's the only BJ table I play at 4-Queens anymore. Sadly, just as with Boyd, no DAS permitted.

    Perhaps nobody has told 4-Queens that Fremont, the Cal & MSS have gobs of 3:2 double-deck at $5 & $10 minimums. So - going to 4-Queens to hopefully get a seat at their one playable BJ table vs. having dozens of identical-rules tables at the Boyd casinos...hmmm...let me think... :rolleyes2:
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  19. FullBoat

    FullBoat VIP Whale

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    That's what I didn't like about 4Queens. That, and their drinks are pretty week. So, while I'm there I'll probably stick to craps, or VP. I'll have to check out Golden Gate when I'm there next. Eye candy always helps when you're losing. :wink2:
     
  20. SandsFan

    SandsFan VIP Whale

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    We were there end of June and were surprised to see a lady with only a tiny swimsuit bottom and star shaped pasties up top. We had a seven year old boy with us who was instantly taken by her extravagant attire. Of course we had to whisk him away and provide an explanation about her clothing....or lack there of.
     
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