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GVR: 8/14-8/17 (the $20 trick worked!)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Blast Chamber, Aug 18, 2006.

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  1. Blast Chamber

    Blast Chamber Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10

    My Trip Report

    We travel to Vegas about once each year playing and staying at Station, Coast and Boyd properties, but this was our first time staying at Green Valley Ranch. We received an offer for Monday and Tuesday at $59 per night, with Wednesday night free. Airfare was on Northwest nonstop from Milwaukee, and the rental car was from Dollar.

    The trip started out poorly when Northwest decided to delay our outbound flight due to an equipment change. In short, they gave our plane to another flight that had emergency landed in Milwaukee due to cabin pressure problems (the air masks had actually dropped mid-flight). Our flight was delayed by about 90 minutes while we waited for another plane to arrive. Then, because the new plane was a different model, there was all kinds of confusion about seating, and several people (including us) wound up double-booked into seats. We ended up getting exit row seats for the two of us with nobody in the third seat, so it turned out OK, and the remainder of the flight was smooth.

    Upon landing around 11:00pm, we went to baggage claim, which was a DISASTER. Thanks to the increased security policies about liquids and gels, many more people are now checking luggage. McCarran has never been a good airport for baggage handling, and this additional strain on the system is making things much worse. The entire baggage claim area was jammed with people waiting for their bags to arrive, and we stood around for over one hour waiting for ours. So take your time walking from the gate to baggage claim, as rushing won't help you get out of the airport any quicker.

    We hopped the Dollar shuttle and got their lot. We had an intermediate reserved through the Express program, but they were out of that class. The guy offered us our choice of Chrysler Pacificas, and I found a newer one with only 2k miles on it, so we were off. It's a nice vehicle and drove very smooth, but seemed a little underpowered.

    Upon arriving at GVR around 1am we valet parked and went to check in. I held a $20 bill discretely in my hand while I asked the gentleman if he could find us a room away from the Whiskey bar noise, and that anything else that he could do for us would be greatly appreciated. He smiled knowingly and checked his computer. Then, he winked and said that he'd be right back. He went into a back room for a few minutes, and upon his return he said that the hotel had very few rooms left, but that we would "really enjoy what he was going to give us". I took his word for it and gave him the $20 along with our thanks. Our room keys said 5025 in the west tower.

    We got to the 5th floor and walked down the hallway. We stopped at our room's door, which was the only one that had double-doors instead of single, so I knew that we had scored something nice. Upon opening the door we stepped into a large foyer with a marble tile floor and an antique china cabinet as its focal point. To the right was a huge sitting/dining room complete with a full-sized granite bar and a dedicated half bath. A large crystal chandelier was hanging over the table, and there was also a couch with two chairs and TV/stereo/CD system in an entertainment center. To the left of the foyer was the master suite with double closets, a beautiful king-sized bed with ornate wood headboard, and electric powered drapes. There was also a bathroom suite consisting off a 2-person whirlpool, a huge shower with 18-shower heads, plus a toilet/bidet room and a TV in the wall between the two marble sinks. The bedroom and sitting room each had french doors that led to an outdoor balcony with seating for eight and a fantastic view of the strip. We later learned from the GVR staff that this suite is one that George Clooney often requests when he is a guest, although there is another suite in the newer east tower with a pool table that he also likes.

    ON EDIT: Here is a link to some pictures. Sorry that the picture quality isn't great (and they don't do the suite justice), but it's the best I could do with a disposible camera and scanner.

    http://www2.powercom.net/~breyerdealer/vegas.htm


    Needless to say that we were blown away by the accommodations, so we stopped back in the lobby to thank the check-in staff for making our day. We then went to gamble for a few minutes and picked up some FatBurger food to eat out on the balcony while watching the Vegas lights. It was a really nice way to end a really screwed-up day.

    The next morning we ate at the GVR breakfast buffet which was excellent, and then proceeded to play for a while. The Jumbo Jackpot had just passed $140k, so there was a good chance it would hit during our stay. Now, we are fairly low rollers, and generally take about $100 per day per person for gambling. Normally we both play penny slots, but I wanted to try VP this trip to see if I could increase my winnings. I reluctantly purchased the WinPoker software since I wanted to learn DW, and I practiced diligently during the weeks prior to our trip. The practice really paid off as I got a tremendous amount of play off the VP machines everywhere we went. Although I didn't hit a Royal (several near misses), I did hit two 4-deuces for $250 each, plus a multitude of smaller wins. My play definitely wasn't perfect, but I was comfortable 95% of the time that I was making the right decisions, and the other 5% I did the best I could and it worked out pretty well. We ended up coming home with most of our gambling funds still intact, which is almost unheard of at our house!

    We then headed to the Silverton to play and check out their new buffet. When we were there last November the old buffet was not very good, but their new buffet and location are MUCH better! The quality and selection of the food was vastly improved, and the new dining area is fantastic, with an outdoor theme that was spectacular! We used an ACG 2/1 and were totally pleased with the buffet, but it would have been a good deal even at full price.

    After eating at the Silverton we stopped at a Wal-Mart to pick up some bottled water, snacks, and a disposable camera since we forgot ours. The bar in the room had beverages and snacks available for purchase, but we didn't feel like paying $7 for a box of gummy bears or $17 for a disposable camera for taking pictures of the room. Perhaps "Danny Ocean" can afford to pay those prices, but we sure can't. ;)

    Upon our return to GVR my wife went to lay by the pool in the 100+ degree heat, but I chose to stay in the suite and enjoy the good life and air-conditioning. We had several day trips planned out during our stay, but our plans changed after getting the suite to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Therefore, we spent much more time at GVR than we originally planned, but it was both relaxing and wonderful.

    The next day after breakfast we headed downtown to play at MSS, the California, and the Fremont. We didn't have much luck at any of these places, but it was fun. We also walked through the rest of the downtown casinos and checked out the progress on the GN renovations. We have stayed at the GN several times in the past, but it just seems so crowded now with hardly any room to move around in the cramped casino. To tell the truth, I don't think we'll ever stay downtown again, but it is still a fun place to play, especially at MSS. That afternoon we headed back to GVR for more gambling and relaxation.

    The following day (our last day in Vegas before catching the red-eye) we stayed in the room until checkout time, and then headed to Red Rock Station. This place is fairly remote, but the drive was worth it. The casino is just beautiful, with a very modern and contemporary style. The fact that it is brand new made it very enjoyable to play in. All of the machines are new, and the chairs are nice leather with height adjusters. Unfortunately, the machines also seemed very tight, and we just couldn't win anything there. I still prefer playing at GVR even though it isn't a fancy and new. It just seems more laid back and relaxing than at RR.

    We then headed to the Orleans, which is where we usually stayed before trying GVR. We ran some money through the machines just to say "Hi", and noted that they seemed loose compared to the Red Rock.

    After Orleans, we parked at Bally's and headed over to the Bellagio to see the conservatory. It was decorated in a model train theme out of all natural wood tracks and buildings. Someone spent a lot of time building this display and it showed. We then headed to the Barbary Coast to see Big Elvis. During our past two trips we stopped at BC to catch his show, and both times he was on vacation. This trip was the same story. In his place there was some goofy guy dressed in the same costume that Austin Powers wore when he was in Vegas. We high tailed it out of there, and it's now "three strikes and you're out" for Big Elvis. We just can't waste any more time trying to see his show, as he takes more vacations than anyone I know. It was a real disappointment.

    We headed back to GVR after gassing up the Pacifica and had the dinner buffet. All of the buffet meals at GVR were excellent, and the crab legs and shrimp made it extra nice. We played there until it was time to head back to the airport. The Jumbo Jackpot was at $148.5k when we left, and it apparently hit later that night somewhere as the web site shows it has reset back to $100k.

    The Northwest red-eye flight home was uneventful, although the security lines at the McCarran D-terminal were long, and the baggage claim service in Milwaukee wasn't much better than in Vegas.

    I apologize for being so long winded, but this was our best Vegas trip so far, and I wanted to spell it out in detail. To summarize this lengthy and blathering report………


    Northwest: Thumbs down for stealing our first plane
    McCarran: Thumbs down for terrible baggage service
    Dollar: Thumbs up for the Pacifica upgrade
    GVR: GREAT BIG THUMBS UP - an unbelievable suite for $130!
    Silverton: Thumbs up for the nice buffet, but fairly tight machines
    Red Rock: Thumbs up for décor, but really tight machines
    Big Elvis: Thumbs down for never begin around when we need him
     
  2. vegasdrea

    vegasdrea Buckle Bunny

    Joined:
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    wow, sounds like you two had a great time!!! did you get any pictures of the room at GVR, I would sure like to see it! I agree with you on the slots at RedRock, they were very very tight.

    I couldn't even imagine waiting so long for a plane, especially when you're headed for a vacation-especially if you're headed to Vegas!! I have a side story--I was leaving Vegas for the weekend and my flight was delayed for 4 hours! I felt so bad for the people on the plane that we were waiting on, those poor people just wanted to get to Vegas!!

    All in all it sounds like you had too much fun, thanks for sharing!!

    Andrea
     
  3. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    4,984
    Location:
    Illinois
    Agreed about Silverton and GVR buffets. I think the dining room at the Silverton buffet may be the nicest in town. And, I was pleasantly surprised by the food. GVR is always one of our faves.
    It's funny how life works some times. One minute, you're bummed out by a delayed flt and the next, you're delighted by a room upgrade.
    There's always that anticipation of heading up the elevator and down the hallway to see if you've scored. Upon seeing those double doors, you guys knew you hit the jackpot. Something like that can make the trip.
     
  4. Souette

    Souette Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
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    Location:
    Rural Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Wow!

    18 shower heads?! That would have been worth the trip right there for me!
    Glad to hear you had a taste of the high life.
     
  5. Blast Chamber

    Blast Chamber Tourist

    Joined:
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    WI
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    Thanks for all of the nice responses. I've edited my original post to include a link to some pictures. Hopefully they will give you an idea of what the suite was like, but they really don't do it justice.
     
  6. vegasdrea

    vegasdrea Buckle Bunny

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    Thanks for the pictures, it looks absolutely breathtaking, much bigger than my condo I'm sure. I love that shower and the view from the balcony.
     
  7. Blast Chamber

    Blast Chamber Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    10
    You're welcome, Andrea. The shower and balcony were my favorite things as well. When all of those shower heads were running it was like being in the middle of a typhoon! :) Plus, sitting on the balcony first thing each morning while reading the paper and just thinking was very peaceful.
     
  8. PrnsessMoi

    PrnsessMoi Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
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    Location:
    Clovis, CA - Fresno area
    Just "WOW"

    Again, "WOW". That suite is AMAZING!!! I've never gotten the $20 trick to do anything for me, but I guess reserving the $59 special at the Plaza doesn't lead to much chance of a room like that.

    Great score...those memories will be something to cherish.
     
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