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Golden Nugget, CTI, CSI, The Casino trip report 8/16 - 8/20

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by goldil, Aug 21, 2004.

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  1. goldil

    goldil Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Michigan

    My Trip Report

    Players --

    Goldil (me, 35)

    Mr. Goldil2B (fiance, 44)

    Trina, downtown virgin, 33, (old HS friend of mine). Lives in the Bay area and met us there to help me scout wedding locations so Mr. Goldil2B could gamble and I didn't have to listen to "How many more places are we gonna look at?" all day. Just shut up and show up, I'll take care of the rest!


    We flew Allegiant out of Lansing on 8/16 and had no problems. As usual, we landed about 30 minutes early. We had a 3-night package with the Golden Nugget but we added the 4th night since our return flight is a redeye. It came to $274 per person before taxes.

    I joined Dollar's Fastlane and reserved a car using the CTI code about a month ago. I knew from reading this and the LVA boards that many bus drivers were sending Fastlane members to the desk (where the CTI use could potentially be questioned), but the driver had our name and dropped us off at the intermediate lot. I also know CTI is supposed to be exclusive to the travel industry, but I already had a perfectly plausible backup plan in case we were questioned -- fiance is a private pilot. Anyway, the CTI code worked fine for me! The original total estimated charge was $72.96. I got out of there for $14.06 for 4 days!

    We got a red Stratus, and they wouldn't let me add Mr. Goldil2B as a driver at the lot (they said I had to go in to the desk, and we've already established that that wasn't going to happen). I said thanks but no thanks, I'll add him at the hotel. Never ended up doing that. Anyway, I did the driving this trip. I hated that Stratus. Hated it hated it hated it. The immobile headrest is as wide as the seat back and about 3 inches from the ceiling of the car. I could NOT see behind me to my left if I was changing lanes. My passenger had to be my eyes if I wanted to change lanes.

    We used valet for the first time this trip. They're kind of slow at the Nugget when you pick it up. Anyway, we couldn't check in yet since it was about 9:00 am. We did see Tom (The Cute Owner) at the VIP desk when we were trying to check in. It wouldn't be our only Casino sighting.

    Trina was landing at 11am and also staying at the Nugget. We checked our luggage and used the 2/1 VegasResource (FKA Billhere) coupon for the Upper Deck since we were starving by then. Trina cabbed it to the GN and called me at about 12:30pm from her South Tower room. Since it was her first time downtown we decided to just play that day (Monday) and do wedding stuff on Tuesday. She'd been to the Mecca twice before, staying at Aladdin and the Hilton.

    We left Mr. Goldil2B at the blackjack tables, got Trina some grub from the Bay City Diner, and then went drinking/reminiscing. We got the yardlong drinks from La Bayou, had cocktails near the patio at the Fitz, had a few drinks at Binion's, and ... I'm not sure where else we went, to be honest! And mad props to Murray, the bartender at Binion's. I had a raging case of the beer hiccups and he hooked me up with some bitters and lime. He was my hero that night. We went back to the Golden Gate deli for food. I had a shrimp cocktail, I have no idea what Trina had.

    Since we had lost Mr. Goldil2B, I decided that I needed to find out if we had a room yet so I went to the front desk, handed them my license and asked if I was checked in yet. Turns out I was and somehow Mr. Goldil2B got us a North Tower room (reservation was for South). Like the boys at Cheapovegas say, the North Tower rooms are nicer, barely. We were on the 16th floor and had a pool view. The shorter walk to the casino was nice but I don't think I'd pay an extra $25 a night for it.

    The next day was wedding scouting day. We valeted at Harrah's. Seemed pretty central and worked out well, actually. Actually that's not true at all. We intended to valet the car at the Flamingo but it was my first time driving in Vegas, blah blah blah, we drove around the block until we got kicked out of the Harrah's private garage and directed to their valet. I'm usually the navigator when Mr. Goldil2B drives.

    The plan was to check out suites for a ceremony and cocktail reception (I don't want to get married in a chapel) for no more than 40 guests, probably more like 25. Anyway, the plan was to check out the 1700-square foot suite at the Flamingo, the 2-BR penthouse suite at MGM, and a Masquerade Suite at Rio. I had emailed all these places weeks ago to see if I needed an appointment to see these suites, and they all said no, come on in, we'll probably have one to show you, don't bother with an appointment!

    *Bangs head against the wall*

    We walked over to the Flamingo, stood in line at the information desk, no suites available to show. Then we took the monorail to MGM, stood in line at the information desk for damned ever, and finally the guys that were actually being waited on told us they were going to be there for a while. So we went to Diego for lunch. Overpriced and not very Mexican. Went back to the information desk, stood in line, no suites available to show. We took the monorail back to Harrah's and took the shuttle over to the Rio. Lo and behold the Rio had a suite available to show us, but alas it is too small. We shuttled back to Harrah's and headed back downtown. It took us all day to accomplish almost nothing.

    Our hotel packages came with free tickets (plus a $5 fee) to Spirit of the Dance at 5:30. Trina wanted to see it, so we bought tickets for it (Mr. Goldil2B wisely chose to gamble). These tickets are free for a reason. The show is 1 hour 20 minutes, and we left after 30 minutes. I had one of the 2 obstructed view seats in the whole showroom, so I could only see half the stage. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise. It was rather amateur.

    At some point during the day Trina and I rode up in the elevator with Zach, Tim and Tom's Whipping Boy. He was heading for the penthouse apartments/executive offices on the 18th floor.

    We had dinner at the buffet at MSS (T-bone night). I didn't read the POV coupon close enough to realize you have to redeem it for a voucher at the players' desk, so we used it later for breakfast. Trina is totally a downtown convert. She said she'll never stay on the Strip again if she can help it. The only down side she saw was there aren't any good sportsbooks downtown. We drove her to the airport Wednesday morning for her flight back.

    We always stop at the Luxor for the camel races every trip (and it was our virgin hotel), so we went there after the airport. When we got back to the GN we found CSI was filming there near where the Big Wheel thing usually is. We saw Gary Dourdan (Warrick). Now I'll have to keep an eye out for the episode next season. We didn't hang around to watch what they were doing.

    The street vendors are still at FSE (the spray paint guy, the musicians, etc). We kept catching the same new light show every time, the Area 51 alien show. We like the old shows better. The new resolution is like night and day though.

    The last time we were in Vegas Binion's was closed, so we took a walk through and it was very empty. Sad. This is only our 7th trip to Vegas, but I remember when that place would be packed to the rafters. We always felt fortunate to get a seat at any BJ table and often stayed there the entire day. We ate at the coffee shop a couple times and played some 6-deck BJ. We got to talking about how bottom-line Vegas has become and the dealer agreed that the Mob was good for something.

    Mr. Goldil2B played BJ at Binion's one night and said the drink service was non-existent, even though his table was right by the bar. I don't think they click for the drink bitches anymore. I looked for the clicker but didn't see one. Little Lady Godiva is still working there.

    We had dinner Wednesday night at the Bay City Diner with the POV 2/1 coupon and got a free show to boot! See, there was this young drunk girl there with her fella, both probably early 20s, and she was on her cell phone talking to her sister while her obedient betrothed ate his dinner and stared at his plate, only at his plate, eyes always on the plate.

    She was very, shall we say emotional as she was telling her sister that the reason Sister wasn't invited to the wedding was because Sister wasn't happy enough for Bride when they broke the news of their impending nuptials. Sister's emotions were not what Bride thought they should be. (I should probably tell you that I HATE when people use cell phones in public like that. Walk outside and make your stupid phone call! I am not impressed by your imagined self-importance! I also hate when people hang cell phones off their belts. Unless they're surgeons or heads of state. End of rant, sorry).

    I was enthralled by this show. I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me. I turned my plate and my body so I was staring straight at her and watched the entire thing unfold. I gave play-by-play to Mr. Goldil2B because his back was kind of to the action. Apparently Bride is well aware that people have judged her mother, and that they are judging Bride as well. She is not too young and immature to get married, and if Sister wants to be a part of the wedding, she is basically going to have to beg for Bride's forgiveness and stop judging her.

    Well, by about this time Groomy grew a set and tore his eyes from his plate to scope out the room. He noticed that he had a very attentive audience of one and realized that Bride was making a total ass out of herself. He said something to her that I didn't catch, threw a $20 on the table and stomped out of the room. She sat at the table with her head in her hands for a few minutes and then went after him. Bravo, bravo! That more than made up for Spirit of the Dance, and I'm sorry that Trina missed it!

    We did a little gambling everywhere, mostly $5 BJ. Some guy plays the keyboard and sings cover tunes in the Fitz. There's a little dance floor and we caught the freak show when were were playing BJ there Wednesday night. Two guys were particularly amusing. Like the singer guy said, they had no shame. Mr. Goldil2B was at first base and the band/dance floor was behind third base so he was having trouble concentrating on the game, he was laughing so much.

    At some point on Wednesday Mr. Goldil2B rode in the elevator with Bally the Rotweiller.

    Thursday was our last day there so we mainly played slots, trying for the big jackpot. The closest we came was when Mr. Goldil2B hit 1000 quarters on an Elvis slot. Not quite enough to retire on. We also drove out to Sam's Town, another tradition. Used the POV 2/1 buffet coupon.

    At some point on Thursday I rode in the elevator with Joe the Arsehole Entertainment Director. He's shorter than I expected.

    The flight back was uneventful and on time, and we finally got seats on the right side of the plane (three seats for the two of us). I've never seen 3 people in those seats on an Allegiant flight and we have always been on the 2-seat side before. I sprung for two travel pillows at the gift shop near the D-gates (2/$20, way worth it).

    Observations:

    -- The quarter flip-it machine at the Golden Gate is gone! We were so bummed. We would always drop a few quarters in it on our way to dinner (one of our guilty pleasures). There's a flip-it machine at the 4 Queens but they payout area is smaller and it jams a lot instead of paying out (no money for you, so sorry).

    -- The only time we saw homeless people on FSE was in the early morning (still plenty of security on bikes around too). Since we don't try to change from Eastern time when we're out there we eat breakfast around 6 or 7. We had one approach us on the way to breakfast at Main Street Station (no go), and we saw one walking by the GN on our way back. It was a short fat black lady (I think) and the inseams and ass of her sweatpants were all torn to shreds, so her ass was hanging out for all to see. Thank God she had underwear on.

    -- This was our first time using POV and VegasResource coupons. Those are great! I don't eat much at buffets and Mr. Goldil2B eats a ton, so it actually makes it worth it for us to go.

    -- I'm making appointments to see suites right now for our December trip. The wedding is in April, so I need to nail down a location.

    T-122 for the 4 Queens!
     
  2. blondie49

    blondie49 Member <a href=http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/fo

    Joined:
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    Ah yes, people watching in Vegas! It's amazing the little stories you drop in on.
    I think you should look at the MGM 2-bedrm suite. We had one for our 25th anniversary last March, and easily fit 24 people in the living area for after-ceremony toasts. Plus the bedrooms and baths were nice. The wet bar was a plus too, we ended up having a cocktail party every night in the suite.
     
  3. YoungGun

    YoungGun VIP Whale

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    Very funny trip report. Thanks for informing and entertaining! [​IMG]
     
  4. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

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    Thanks for the excellent downtown report. So sad to hear that Binions is floundering so badly.

    Good luck with the impending nuptuals.

    Mikey
     
  5. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Nice report. I had to listen to one of those conversations last trip, and I want a cell phone jammer real bad. I'm sure they're illegal as heck, and Homeland Security is updating my file even now, but I want one. It should be small and innocuous, and have two modes: either general interference or transmit a piercing high-pitched tone.

    Oh, and I'm one of the cellphone-on-the-belt guys, and I'm not that kind of a doctor. But wearing it on the belt instead of in a pocket helps keep the pants from riding down, which benefits all levels of society.
     
  6. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Joined:
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    Although I agree that cell phone use is outrageously overdone, I was going to question what men should do with their cell phones if they don't put them on their belts--my husband would never be able to keep a phone in his pocket--I think it would be so annoying and bulky. Since they don't carry purses.....
     
  7. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    "Do you need a belt clip for your phone or are you really happy to be in vegas?"
     
  8. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Although, given that my husband carries a very small flip phone, that mught be sort of insulting :eek:

    Goldil--did you see the post Sonya made last year of the suites & other places she investigated on her marriage search? I recently posted the link to the thread somewhere here because someone was trying to find a decent sized suite for a business meeting. I think she may have made appts before she viewed the suites, but I'm also pretty sure she mentioned apathy on the part of the hotel employees to be of assistance. That boggles my mind!!! Vegas is supposed to be the premier place of customer service....Oh well--good luck on your next wedding scouting trip [​IMG]
     
  9. Jer

    Jer VIP Whale

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    FINALLY! Someone agrees with what I thought about that place...

    Nice report, I enjoyed it!
     
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