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Imperial Palace, Grand Canyon, and Luxor

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Scott R, May 12, 2004.

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  1. Scott R

    Scott R Tourist

    May 13, 2003
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Ok here it is. Part of this report is about my experience at The Grand Canyon, if you are not interested please just skip past that part, I have included it for those of you that are interested.

    Trip report 5-1 to 5-8, 2004 Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.

    I was alone on this trip.

    Had direct flights both ways between Columbus, Ohio and Las Vegas Nevada on Southwest Airlines. Both flights were about 10 minutes late but no other problems.

    Rental Car
    Used Thrifty at Las Vegas Airport, after a 20 minute wait at the counter got a nice Ford Taurus. Thrifty is not as efficient as they were when they were located on Warm Springs Road. There were about 30 people waiting for a car and only 2-3 agents at the counter. Return of the car was simple, just drive up and the attendant wrote out the return slip and I got on the airport shuttle.

    Day 1
    Drove to Monte Carlo to meet my Aunt G before her flight home.
    Had time to visit with her for about an hour. She was there with about 40 of her friends and she had a great time.

    Imperial Palace

    Check in at Imperial Palace for 3 nights. No wait at check in. They had the room I requested and had my new players card, a Host’s business card, and a book full of coupons waiting for me at the desk. Great coupon book had four $5 black jack match plays, four free drinks, two free buffets, 2 free auto collection passes, and some other stuff.

    The parking garage is a challenge here especially with the monorail construction that is going on. Also the routing from the garage to the casino is kind of screwed up because of this, but after making a trip or two back to the garage it wasn’t that bad.

    Mikey, thank you for telling me about the entrance to the garage off of Koval, it made it a lot easier than using the strip entrance.

    Room at IP was large and clean, I liked the balcony with the pool view. The shower has great water pressure.

    Cocktail service at Imperial Palace is great, the waitresses are friendly, and they come around about every 10 minutes. The uniforms are not the most revealing in town, but they were all really good looking ladies.

    Headed to the casino for some VP and a drink, Ray at the Geisha bar kept my glass full of Crown & Ginger for the next three nights. His service was great, each time I sat down at the bar he would have a drink coming my way before I could get my players card in the machine.

    Had breakfast at the Emperors Buffet with 1 of the free coupons. It was pretty standard fare, but I don’t understand why some people say it’s so awful.

    Went to the Albertson’s grocery store on Tropicana to stock up on water and snacks.

    I then headed to Luxor to play some very low limit Hold’em. Got there in time for the daily lesson followed by a 1-2 game for beginners. Bought in for a hundred and played for 4 ½ hours. Cashed out for $82. Didn’t figure I could spend that much time at the table and only loose $18. It was a lot of fun for what it cost me.

    Back to IP for dinner at the Emperors Buffet, again with 1 of the free coupons. I liked the dinner better than breakfast.

    Walking through the casino I notice that they are opening another craps table, so I bought in for 2 hundred. At first it’s just me and one other guy playing and we are both doing pretty good. I’m making pass line with odds bets and come bets with odds and very quickly I am up about hundred bucks. Then its my turn to roll again, I set the point at 4 and make a couple more come bets, so now I have money on the 6 and 8 as well. So now three drunken jerks decide that its time to step up beside me and buy in, bump into me and distract me. Guys the whole damn table is open so why do you have to stand on top of the shooter? Anyway you all know what happens next, that’s right 7 out. I decide to leave the table and take what is left of my winnings with me.

    Decided to play some black jack.
    Stay away form the Legends Pit it’s a 6/5 game dealt from a shoe.
    I played at the Champaign Pit, it’s a 2 deck hand held game that pays 3/2 on black jack, the dealers are wearing cool looking black hats, shirts and ties. When you get a black jack the dealer will give you beads too. Over the course of my stay I accumulated 19 sets of beads, my 7 and 11 year old daughters loved it when I got home and gave them the necklaces. Ok, I bought in for 2 hundred and started playing $10 a hand, the pit boss came over and gave my card back and wished me good luck. The dealers were friendly and seemed to enjoy their jobs. Played for about 3 hours and was up about $50. Asked the pit for a meal comp, and without even thinking about it he said yes, but it will have to be a coffee shop comp because the buffet is closed. That was fine by me, went and had steak and eggs, then back down to the table for another 30 minutes. I thanked the pit for the meal and he told me to just let him know if I needed anything during my stay. WOW I was really happy with the way I was being treated here, and decided I was going to do most of my table playing at IP for the rest of the trip.

    Day 3
    Headed to the Stratosphere for a late breakfast and to play some slots. I have received some offers from them in the past but nothing lately, so I wanted to put a little play on my card so they might send some in the future.

    Went to the Mirage, TI, and Barbary Coast during the day, played a few slots and vp.
    Just kind of goofing off, people watching, sight seeing, having a couple of beers.
    Isn’t it great to be in Vegas with no real agenda to follow?

    Had dinner at the Pizza Place at IP, it’s cheap Italian food that will fill you up, that’s all.

    Got cleaned up and decided to walk south to Paris. Lost $20 in the slots and still hadn’t seen a cocktail so went over to Bellagio. Listened to the band at Fontana Lounge and played some vp won about $30 then back to IP for a drink at the bar, then turn in so I can get up early for my move to the Grand Canyon.

    Day 4
    Check out of Imperial Palace, I asked if I had any comp dollars coming, the guy checked my card and said you sure do. I had enough coming to me that they took 1 night off my room bill. That does it. I am definitely coming back to IP. I was very happy here, all the employees that I had contact with treated me great. Fair gaming, comps, and great cocktail service. This is what I have been looking for on my last 6 trips. I think I found a new home base in Vegas.

    Grand Canyon
    Hit the road and get to Grand Canyon in about 5 hours.

    Check in to my room at Bright Angel Lodge, walk around the rim for a few hours enjoying the view. It’s beautiful at sunset the color and size of the canyon are breathtaking.

    Had supper, loaded my pack, requested a 4:15 am wake up call and hit the rack.

    Start hiking down the South Kaibab Trail at 5:30 am, destination is Phantom Ranch bottom of the canyon across the Colorado River. Distance 6.9 miles, average grade 21 percent. There is no water available on this trail, there is very little shade, and my pack weighs 25 pounds. The view is unbelievable. At 41 years of age, with little hiking experience, I know immediately that when I complete the hike down and back up that this will be a lifetime achievement for me.

    After 4 hours of brutal downhill hiking I made it to Phantom Ranch, my knees still hurt.
    Stayed overnight in the dorms, the meals were served family style and were fantastic.
    Visited with other hikers, went to a ranger talk about the California Condors, and enjoyed the beauty of it all.

    Day 6
    Up at 4:30 am get breakfast at 5:00 am and start hiking up the Bright Angel Trail at 5:30 am.

    Destination is the south rim, distance 9.8 miles, average grade 14 percent, there is water available at 3 rest areas along this trail, made it out in 9 hours.

    The hike out is harder work but not nearly as painful as the hike down.

    For anyone that ever considers doing this, please be in good physical condition, it is not easy. Also research your trip before you go and know what the dangers are.

    Day 7
    Up a 5:00 am have breakfast at McDonalds and hit the road for 1 more night in Vegas.

    Drove part of historic route 66, it was cool to see the old motor lodges, diners, and gas stations in the towns along this road.

    Went through Laughlin as I had never been there, went into the Flamingo and stayed long enough to go to the men’s room. Ok, I can say I have been there, now on to Vegas.

    Got there around noon, they would not let anyone check in yet, so I headed to IP to play some BJ.

    Picked out a table in the Champaign Pit where nobody was sitting, bought in for a hundred and started winning. I tipped the dealer after every shuffle and every time she dealt me a BJ. After a couple of tips she asked if I would bet it for her, because in her words “I’m with youâ€. It must have been good karma because the first hand dealt to me three shuffles in a row where Black Jacks. I was up $200 and the pit boss came over and talked to the dealer and me for a couple of minutes. He was watching me I’m sure, but it should be obvious to anyone that I’m no card counter. I was just having a good run of luck. Then a guy sat down on my right and started to play, he was friendly and I didn’t mind that he chose to play with me. But it changed my luck. After losing three hands I decided to color up. The pit came over and said jokingly “why are you leaving now, your upâ€. I told him “Because I’m up $180 and I need to go check in my room, maybe I’ll be back laterâ€

    Ok, check in at Luxor I asked for non-smoking king in the pyramid facing Mandalay Bay. The Gent behind the counter says he only has a king in the tower, but if I take a double queen room he can meet the rest of my request. So I said that is good enough. He put me on the 10th floor facing south and I tipped him a few bucks for his effort.

    Room was really nice and had a great view of MB including the new tower.

    Bought a ticket to see Midnight Fantasy with a $10 off coupon and the ticket included a free drink at the bar in RA. They also gave me a VIP line pass for RA in the coupon book at check in.

    Took a nap for a couple of hours, then got cleaned up and ate at the coffee shop at Luxor.
    Service was very slow but the food was acceptable.

    Went to the show, it is open seating so I found an isle seat in the third row and sat there hoping to get an eye full. The show was pretty good, tastefully done. The ladies are beautiful and the comedian was funny as well.

    After the show I went to RA, had to wait a few minutes even with the line pass, ordered a beer at the bar, walked around and checked things out. It was crowded a lot of 20 something’s having a good time. The ratio of guys to gals was about 3 to 1 and it seemed like most of the gals were already with someone. Not the happy hunting grounds I remember as a single guy. Finished my beer and departed.

    Sat down at an open BJ table at Luxor and bought in for a couple hundred, the pit tells me you have to bet green chips to get rated so I tell him to forget rating me. Played 5 hands at $10 and lost $50 quicker than I can think about it. Time to move along.

    Went to MB and played some vp, had a little luck and won about $50. So between Luxor and MB I’m breaking even.

    Call it a night, head to the room and see two guys and a working girl by the inclinators arguing about what it is going to cost.

    Day 8
    Up at 9:00 am pack, and shower then get some breakfast.

    Check out and head to IP to hang until flight time.

    Stuck my card in a machine and it says I have another $5 in comps already.

    Had a great time, probably the best Vegas trip sine my first time.

    Total winnings $180, that made my out of pocket expense not counting rooms and air fare $209 for 7+ days. Wow I can’t stay at home that cheap.

    Scott R
  2. Dougie

    Dougie I am IN!

    Sep 18, 2002
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report, Scott. Kudos on the Grand Canyon hike. I usually don't like to hike across the room to pee. IP seems generous, I would like to spend more time there in the future.
  3. No Sevens

    No Sevens Tourist

    Mar 28, 2003
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Great report. I agree with on the IP. I will be staying there from now on when it is me and the guys on a trip. Unfortunately my wife doesn't like it as much as I do so it will be Caesars for us in Sept. But I do plan to go over there for my "late night/early morning" craps sessions while she sleeps.
  4. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Jan 25, 2002
    Southeast of Sin City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Hey Scott--

    Great Report! I'm glad to hear that somebody else out there digs the Imperial Palace as much as I do. [​IMG]

    I also enjoyed hearing about the trip to the Grand Canyon. All I've ever done is peer down the side of it and chucked a rock when nobody was looking... :rolleyes:

  5. Heathcat

    Heathcat Tourist

    Apr 9, 2003
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I really enjoyed your report! The more I read about solo trips to Vegas, the more appealing it sounds! I'm impressed you made that hike into the Canyon- it sounded a bit grueling- reminds me of when I hiked Killington Mountain and a portion of the Long Trail with a frame pack- way back in fourth grade!

    I am intrigued by your reporting of IP comps- it sounds like you gamble at the same level I do, and I've yet to ask for anything- good work! [​IMG]
  6. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

    Jan 8, 2003
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Time for new glasses. After reading Bazootch's comment, I read Mikey's as "all I've ever done is PEE down the side of it..." [​IMG]

    :::shaking head:::
  7. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Nov 25, 2002
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    ... which makes you wonder if "chucked a rock" is a euphamism for something else.
  8. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

    Sep 21, 2002
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Good trip report.

    I haven't been down into the Grand Canyon since I was a kid. It would be interesting to see what it would be like doing it now.

    You've got to love the comments from the pit boss "(my translation) Wait, you have our money, where are you going?"
  9. NEON

    NEON Tourist

    Mar 12, 2003
    Santa Fe
    Great report Scott,
    I too like the IP and have been spending alot more of my gambling time there the last few trips.
    [​IMG] I am hoping to get a free room offer soon, but so far just the slot tourney offers are coming. :rolleyes:
    I usually play $10 BJ or a $100 on slots a day there and have gotten typically $20-$40 in comps a day!
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