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GolferTrav (3/4/11 - 3/7/11)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by GolferTrav, Mar 4, 2011.

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  1. GolferTrav

    GolferTrav Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    I’m writing this trip report in Word. Any break in writing the report will be represented by an eclipse. I’ll insert photos as I can, but otherwise will be represented by “//Photo†to note that I took a photo and need to upload/post it. I might also be posting to my Twitter & Facebook accounts as I go along. If you’d like to follow me, I’m @GolferTrav
    …
     
  2. GolferTrav

    GolferTrav Tourist

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    Friday, March 4, 2011
    Left the house around 7:15am and stopped in Temecula, CA to get gas and ice before jumping on the highway. Stopped in Barstow, CA to use the bathroom (too much coffee) and to grab some Burger King for breakfast. Stopped again in Primm, NV to fill my tank with gas. Used about 9 gallons of fuel on the drive out here to Primm, so I averaged about 29 MPG. I thought the drive would be busier because of the NASCAR race this weekend, but it wasn’t. The only slow down was once I go into Vegas due to construction.

    Got to Planet Hollywood just before Noon. Valeted the car and had the bellman take my suitcase & cooler. No line at the Diamond check-in. I had a Hollywood Hip room comp’d Friday through Sunday night. $20 trick didn’t get me the Resort Vista room I hoped for/asked for when checking in, but that was due mostly to him not noticing that it was in the ‘sandwich’, but he did give me a Resort Room. It’s the first time that I felt that the $20 trick didn’t ‘earn’ me an upgrade, but I appreciated it none-the-less and it was a worthy tip in any case.

    Got into my room and settled in. I was told this was a “Diamond Floor” (21) and that it had a coffee maker & “Priority Housekeeping”, not sure what that means. Bags came up promptly after I called the Bell Desk. I’ve stayed in a Resort Room once before with a buddy, therefore there were two queen beds. This time, I’m by myself and the room is a lot more spacious with just the one king bed. It’s nice. There’s no proper closet in these rooms, just the furniture with the TV, only two small drawers & a small ‘closet’ to hang items. I had to remove the ironing board & luggage rack from the ‘closet’ in order to hang my clothes in there.

    //Picture of Coffee Maker
    //Picture of Closet Closed
    //Picture of Closet Open

    I went downstairs and made a lap around the Miracle Mile Mall. Stopped into Fat Tuesday and got a 32oz 190 Octane. This is a new tradition for me. I’ve never heard of Fat Tuesday until the trip I took in December with a buddy. He said this was a must-have. Basically, it’s 32oz of 190-proof grain alcohol in a mango slushy. It’s $14 and you get to keep the cup. Refills are $11. It’s the perfect way to ‘get the ball rolling’.

    The purpose of this trip is to have fun and to try to hang out with a good friend from Denver who’s in town on business. I also found out that an old employee of mine is in town too, so we might meet up for a drink. It’s his first time in Vegas, and judging by his Facebook posts, he’s having a great time. I love it when people realize what makes this town so special and why I love it so much. The thrill of winning, the lights, the commotion of the Strip, the booze…

    As I’m writing this, I’m debating walking over to Qua at Caesars Palace to use the spa. I had a slight headache when I got in and I love saunas. I’ve been Diamond for about 3 years now and don’t use nearly as many of the perks as I should. This would be the first time using the spa anywhere without getting a treatment. I love the Diamond Lounges, the free shows and the line cuts, so I’m thinking about branching out!

    Other than that, if the guy who used to work for me calls, I might see if his group wants to go to Downtown. If not, my buddy whom I planned this trip around is staying at the Cosmopolitan. I might put some play in there and check out the place and try to meet up with him after his work dinner. Otherwise it’s the usual plan… lots of Craps, plenty of Blackjack and possibly some drunken Roulette.
     
  3. GolferTrav

    GolferTrav Tourist

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    Coffee Maker:
    [​IMG]

    Closet Closed:
    [​IMG]

    Closet Open:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. GolferTrav

    GolferTrav Tourist

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    I’m on my 2nd 190 Octane. I miss my wife and my dogs, but I LOVE the silence of getting away. I like the GO Rooms at Flamingo because I can tap my iTunes in via my Airport Express. I don’t have that luxury here at Planet Hollywood, but I enjoy the silence. There’s some major earth moving going on down below. I have no clue what they are doing, but they aren’t using Tonka Trucks down there. It’s the real deal. They seem to be moving the grade up! What in the hell could they be building with that? No sign of foundation. Just moving dirt. And I have no idea where they’re getting the dirt from. Front-loaders & dump trucks keep showing up and dropping it off. When I looked online, I didn’t see anything notated for that area… interesting.

    //Picture of Tonka Trucks

    ...
     
  5. GolferTrav

    GolferTrav Tourist

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    Moving earth just south of PHo...
    [​IMG]
     
  6. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

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    I think that's where they are building the new Walgreens, but they should be digging, not bringing dirt in if that's what they're working on.

    I also heard they were working on the walkway in front of PHo: could be using the lot as a staging area for the fill??
     
  7. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    I think you are right on the Walgreens. Counting down here - under 48 hours now!!! I'll be planting my tush next door at Paris.
     
  8. GolferTrav

    GolferTrav Tourist

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    Made my way over to Caesars Palace to use the spa facilities. Was told it would be $20. I thought it was complimentary for being Diamond. I pressed the issue a little, but ended up paying the fee and tipping the girl at the desk. The ‘manager’ wasn’t rude, but mocked my inquiries about it being complimentary. He kept laughing slightly under his breath. He was an odd fellow.

    Enjoyed the saunas and the hot tub. I’m not sure of the purpose, but in the cold sauna, it was spitting out foam. At first, I thought it was snow, from the cold/moisture, but then a ‘flake’ landed on my arm. It was foam. Additionally, the showers had multiple ‘boobie washers’. You know, the showerheads that are below your head level on the wall? Anyway, the controls did not exactly explain what they controlled and there was no way to get all of the showerheads working at the same time. Either your ‘boobies’ got clean, or your head got clean, or part of both. Nothing got completely clean at the same time!

    Went to the Diamond Lounge at Caesars and had some beers. My buddy came over and we shot the shit. My favorite bartender Rich was working, but he was going on vacation the next day, so that was the only night I’d see him.

    Went back to Cosmopolitan with my buddy. Took a cab because it looked like too much effort to walk for the Augustus tower of Caesars. He had to sort something out with the front desk, something about adding his rewards number to his room. We did that in the VIP registration room. Work was covering this trip for him. It seemed to take a while because the girl at the counter didn’t know what she was doing. She was nice, but hadn’t run across this issue yet. Another girl came over to help her out. They offered to get us drinks and I asked for 2 Macallens on the rocks. She went in the back and seconds later was back with our drinks.

    My buddy had to go back for a work function. I went to the Identity Club desk to sign up. The girls there were very nice. They got me signed up and I asked about getting matched to my Diamond card. She assured me that they would match my level, but needed to call a host. The first host she called was busy with a guest. From what the girls said, this host was their favorite. I don’t know that means. She called a second host and he was on his way. For what it’s worth, she had a list of the casino hosts on an Excel spreadsheet. I didn’t count how many names there were, but it filled nearly an entire screen. On my system, that’s over to 40 rows.

    The host came up and immediately granted me a Gold card after the receptionist explained the situation. I was not happy with this. I wanted lounge access. I pleaded my case and I was granted Platinum. From what I could gather, it was just a matter of printing my name on a different card. I might be wrong, but I didn’t get the impression that there was a change made in the system. Not when he granted me Gold, nor when he finally gave me Platinum. Oh well, I have two shiny Platinum Identity cards.

    Five minutes later, I’m getting a call from a 702 area code (Vegas). I answer, and it was security. They never gave me my license back, and I didn’t notice. Dumb. Anyway, they used my info from the system to call me. I went back to the Identity desk and the security guard was there and gave me my license back.

    With my license now on my person, I went in search of a blackjack table. I found a single deck game with a $25 minimum that looked inviting. I don’t remember all of the rules of the table, but I do know that I wasn’t allowed in until a reshuffle. I bought in for $500 and averaged $50-$100 per hand. I was up for quite a while, nearly doubling my buy-in, but I lost it all back in a hurry when I started chasing after the first couple of bad hands. Didn’t buy in for any more as I hadn’t brought any extra money with me. I had assumed I’d be back by my room at Planet Hollywood before I went out to gamble.

    Interesting side note, I was able to get my Macallans at the table, but it required me pulling out the business card of my new host to get it. The Cocktail Waitress had to ask the Pit Boss and he asked for my host’s information. I had just bought in at this point and hadn’t made a bet yet, so I understand. But once he saw my host’s name, it was no problem. Apparently, I got a host that has some rank!

    …

    Somehow, I made my way back to my room. Must have been by 10pm by my missed calls. I haven’t been sleeping well at home, so I wasn’t surprised by my early crash.

    Saturday, March 5th, 2011

    I never take bathes, but the tub here looked like it would fit my 6-foot plus frame. I don’t think bathes get you ‘clean’, so I opted for a shower afterward. Sadly, when I drained the tub, it backed up into the shower drain and sink drains. I called down and they said they’d have someone up to fix it.

    Took my buddy over to Hash House a Go Go for breakfast. There was a 45-minute wait, at least, to get in. Skipped the line and were seated right away using the Diamond line. He had the Sage Chicken Benedict and I had the Salmon Hash, plus a Bloody Mary each. The Bloody Mary’s were great and the food was good.

    //Picture of Sage Chicken
    //Picture of Salmon Hash

    Made it over to Lagasse Stadium to watch the MSU/UofM game. We lost. Between my bets and my tickets from my last trip, 9 out of 12 drinks were comp’d. Not bad. Unfortunately, the audio for the entire place is determined by which game has the most money bet on it. Our game wasn’t it, so we only had audio when the Big East game went to halftime and ended.

    …

    State lost and probably won’t make the tournament. I sent my buddy off and I came back to my room at Plant Hollywood. I wanted to get a nap it, but I couldn’t fall asleep. I’m not sure what time I did fall asleep, but I woke up around 12:30am. I wanted to go out and gamble, but felt like I was forcing the issue. I went downstairs and wandered around, and then made my way over to Caesars to try to find a table. I know I’m not the only one that thinks this, but Caesars thinks they’re something they’re not. There were $100 minimum Blackjack tables that were empty and their number exceeded the number of $25 tables there. The $25 tables were getting play, the $100 were not. You would think supply and demand would dictate them lowering the limits, but I guess their ego gets the better of them.

    From there, I made it over to the Flamingo. Stayed out pretty late and got quite a bit of play for my money. I don’t remember exactly what time I got back, but it was after 5am. Was up and down the whole night and ended up down. I did put something like 2800 tier credits on my account that night.

    Sunday, March 6th, 2011

    Woke up around 10am and made my way over to the buffet at Harrah’s. A while back, I had a coupon for 2 free comp’s there. Since I’m normally out there by myself, I only used one and convinced the manager to let me use the 2nd another time. He wrote a note on the back of a business card at the time. That’s what I used for brunch. They offered me champagne, but I declined. I only got one plate of food and it was 90% bacon. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but didn’t sit well later on. It doesn’t help that I hardly eat in Vegas. Heck, at home I only eat one meal a day. With all the booze and the lack of sleep, my poor food choices catch up with me.

    I came back to my room at Planet Hollywood and wanted to relax for a little while. The view out of my window actually allowed me to see runways 19L & 25R. I love listening to ATC chatter and pulled up www.liveatc.net to listen to the tower while I watched. It was slightly delayed, but once I figured out the amount of delay, it was fine. The tower would give clearance for take-off and the plane would already be halfway down the runway.

    Finally got off my butt and made my way back over to the Cosmopolitan. I banged at a few slots for a while and didn’t get anything out. I walked over to the Identity desk and asked if my host was working. He had offered to take care of any future stays and I decided with my play from the other night, I’d see what I’d be offered for my September trip. When he showed up, he jumped behind the desk and banged away at the computer. He offered to comp me up front for three nights in a Terrace Studio room. I accepted and he booked it.

    From there, I made my way to the Platinum lounge. When I walked it, I wasn’t sure they were open. There wasn’t a single soul in there. I pulled out my card and asked if I needed to be checked-in and they told me that all they needed to do was see the card. No swiping in the computer, no comparing to my license. We’ll see how long that lasts.

    I found a seat on a couch in front of a flat screen TV. A gentleman approached me and took my drink order and then asked if I would like some hors d'oeuvres. I accepted and he brought out a small plate that has 2 BBQ shrimp, a mix of olives and something else, which I can’t remember. The shrimp was good. The olives were not pitted.

    They had music playing in the lounge, but no sound from the TVs. I was assured that, if I wanted, they would get the sound switched for me. I appreciated that because of the issues I’ve had at the Flamingo Diamond lounge last year during a Sunday night football game.

    I wandered around the shops for a little while. I’m in need of a pair of jeans that I can wear with a sports coat. Unfortunately, the two shops that I went into didn’t carry my size. They must only sell to 15 year old boys. Other interesting things I saw while wandering around was that the pool table had balls on it, but the cue rack was empty. There was no sign of a single cue. Not far from there was a turntable with a shelf of vinyl. There was a young man trying to figure out how to operate the thing. I saw him struggle for a few seconds then had to tell him that there was no power cord there. Next to the pool table was a large red chair that looked like it might be quite comfortable. Unfortunately, since opening nearly 3 months ago, many other people probably thought the same thing as the chair was heavily soiled. The black of dirt stood out against the bright red of the chair. The chair was the only thing that I saw where they missed the mark for what they were trying to achieve. Otherwise, I was quite impressed with the place and am looking forward to my stay in September when my wife will be accompanying me.
    I went back to my room and decided to change to go down to the casino. I decided on the Flamingo again because I know a handful of the employees there from over the years and I have a lot of fun. I know a lot of people’s favorite place, but I don’t mind it at all, and am actually booked there for a tentatively planned trip in April. It was more of the same this night. I ended up running through the remainder of my bankroll and I went back to the room somewhat dejected. It always seems like I’m up big or down big. I can’t tell you the last time I made a weekend trip and nearly broke even. Bummer.

    I didn’t stay out too late (considering) as I wanted to get on the road at a reasonable time. I usually leave on Mondays to avoid Sunday traffic. I knew it would be busier than normal because NASCAR was in town and the race was on Sunday, so I assumed most people would be leaving on Monday.

    Monday, March 7th, 2011

    I was up, packed, and out of the door by 9:30am. I had my bags taken down by the bellman. I then needed to head over to Caesars to retrieve my backpack with my belongings from when I went to the spa on Friday. I contemplated leaving it because the only thing of real value in there were a pair of swim trunks. On my way there, I stopped into Sugar Factory to buy my wife some sour jellybeans. The bulk candy was overpriced, in my opinion, but I haven’t been able to find sour jellybeans in a while. As I came out, it was just starting to sprinkle. I got to Caesars and gave my ticket to the bell desk. It seemed to take forever for them to grab my bag at the main valet. I guess it was because I checked it at the Augustus tower. Didn’t have any clue that they operated separately. They still went and got it for me versus sending me over there, so that was nice.

    I walked back to Planet Hollywood and only felt one or two more rain drops. I went to the bell desk there and gave him my ticket and told him I needed to get my car from valet. He took my ticket and said to come back when the brought my car up. It took about 10 minutes, but the valet delivered my car. A few minutes later, I had my bags and they were loaded into the car. I hit the road by 10:45am.

    The drive back home was brutal due to the wind. It was blowing me around quite a bit and it had killed my gas mileage. Traffic was heavier than normal, but it wasn’t too bad since I left before noon. I passed a bunch of the NASCAR toy haulers on the way. I’m guessing they’re heading to somewhere in California next. Made my usual stop in Barstow for Popeye’s chicken. It’s never usually that busy and it took a while for everyone’s food to come up. Back on the road, I had to stop in Perris for fuel, but finally made it home by 3:45pm.

    The wife and the dogs were happy to see me. It wasn’t a winning trip by any stretch of the imagination, but I had fun nonetheless. I got to see and hang out with a very good friend that I don’t get to see very often anymore. I got 1/3 of the way to Diamond and got upgraded and comp’d for a future trip at Cosmopolitan. A different buddy had to cancel in April, so now I’m questioning if I’ll made that trip. I might need to lick my wounds a little after the hit I took… but we’ll see!

    Thanks for reading!
     
  9. GolferTrav

    GolferTrav Tourist

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    Salmon Hash:
    [​IMG]

    Sage Chicken:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. bubbamsu

    bubbamsu Low-Roller

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    Nice trip report. Too bad our Sparties are laying an egg this year. The last game was brutal to watch.:vomit:
     
  11. DirtyFrizank

    DirtyFrizank Tourist

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    Great report. thanks for posting.
     
  12. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

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    Too bad about the bankroll, but at least you scored a win on the Platinum Identity Card and comped nights at Cosmo. I'm sure you'll turn it around then.

    Thanks for the TR:wave:
     
  13. jdub7

    jdub7 Tourist

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    Enjoyed your report. Sounds like a good solo trip even though it was not a winning trip! Funny, I never seem to eat in Vegas either! Too much to do and to many places(machines) to see!:beer:
     
  14. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Nice report, looking forward to hearing about the stay at Cosmo in September.
     
  15. Sam in Ut

    Sam in Ut High-Roller

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    Very interesting report and thanks on the tip for the air traffic control site. I will be staying at the PHO on my next trip and plan on attempting a "trick" for the resort room (I need two beds this time). If you remember, what room number did you have for I would love to do the plane thing this time. Thanks again for the great read..
     
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