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july 30-6 a frugal jaunt

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by chef, Aug 7, 2008.

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  1. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    My Trip Report

    Flew from Peoria on Allegiant (Buy 1, Fly 1 Free) package for $220, all fees included, a person. However, only opted for two nites lodging on package. Very satisfied with pricing and free parking at airport.
    Stayed at the Strat on Wed-Fri and the Imperial Palace ($32) Sun-Wed. In between, we camped at 10,000 feet up in the mountains near Mt. Charleston.
    If you add the room cost at the IP, a rental car for the weekend, 2-1 buffet meals, a few Cliff bars and CAT fare, the total weekly expense was about $350 apiece.
    This was definitely a frugal trip, but a very satisfying one, as well.

    Highlights included:
    1. Hiking the 22-mile Bonanza trail and sleeping under the stars while on the Spring Mountain range. We virtually had the place to ourselves. Hardly anyone hikes this trail, as it has some brutal switchbacks and numerous elevation changes. The farthest most people go is the Bristlecone Trial (a 5-mile loop preceding it). The weather couldn't have been better. It was about 50 degrees for sleeping at nite and not much higher than 80 degrees or so during the day. No thunderstorms or that dreaded lightning either.
    2. Playing blackjack at the Wynn outdoor table games. My favorite place to gamble in all of Vegas. Great atmosphere, friendly dealers/pit bosses, favorable Strip BJ rules and good scenery. It also didn't hurt that I left with a comped buffet and a positive bankroll.
    3. Making a nice buffet run.
    Sure the Wynn was tops, but Rio and Red Rock also came through.
    Note on the Rio buffet - they discontinued accepting the free 10 oz. Black Angus steak coupon. That was a good piece of meat, but the prime rib took care of my hankering for rare beef.
    Red Rock also had a standout prime. I can eat that stuff every day. A suggestion about the Red Rock - show up about 3:30 and pay lunch prices ($10.99). At 4:00, they bring out the dinner items.
    The buffet that surprised me was Palace Station. They have refurbished this room, added a few new twists and ended up with a real value play for $6.99 dinner. At the pasta station, have Mario whip you up some noodles with capers, artichokes, garlic, tomatoes, olives, broccoli and clams.
    After getting off the trail Sunday, Texas Station's brunch fit the bill. They have the best Mexican and chili section of any buffet in town. That's all we needed.
    Leaving for the mountains on Friday, we did the buffet lunch at Rampart and were pleased. Loads of crab legs in the cioppino.
    The only relative disappointment was Silverton for dinner on Sunday nite.
    We did not eat the Imperial Palace buffet, but out of curiosity, gave it a look-see. Now, I can see why this place gets ripped so much. It's a hard-to-find locale, the room sucks and the food is uninspired. It has to be one of the most depressing buffets I've visited.

    Lowlights:
    1. Attempting to traverse the Strip sidewalks at nite. Supposedly, this was a slow week in Vegas, but one couldn't tell by how crowded sidewalks were.
    2. Attempting to traverse the labyrinth know as the Imperial Palace. If you've stayed there, you know what I mean. This is not a fabrication - it was much easier to find our way around the trails on the Spring Mountains than it was find our way around the IP.
     
  2. SCRATCH73

    SCRATCH73 Assman

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    Nice TR Chef! I totally agree with you about IP, I have yet to find that piece of cheese at the end of the maze! :evillaugh
     
  3. dean_1492

    dean_1492 High-Roller

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    chef- I always look forward to your buffet reviews! I am surprised you were not happy with Silverton, you must have gone on an off night. Next time I will try Red-Rock. Nice report!
     
  4. CFioren317

    CFioren317 Low-Roller

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    IP

    The IP is a real pain in the butt....you have to go up one escalator to get to the buffet and a different one across the casino to get to the regular restaurant. The "Dealer-tainers" are OK, but when you are hungry and want something to eat late at night, they are a loud annoyance, especially when go up the WRONG ESCALATOR!!!!!!!! At least the idiots trying to sell you something didnt bother us as much as the last few times we went there. Maybe they were told to ease off on the people on their way to the Monorail?
     
  5. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    dean,
    As a matter of fact, it was on a Sunday, probably the worst nite of the week for a buffet. By then, the kitchen crew is usually burned out from the weekend.
    I remember eating there a couple years ago for lunch and being very satisfied, even touting it at the time. This time, it didn't meet my expectations.
    I'll give it another shot in the future as Silverton is decent getaway from the Strip.
     
  6. Beach Crazy

    Beach Crazy Hostess With the Mostess

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    Another great report! Thanks Chef. :wink

    I need to know more about these Wynn outdoor BJ tables. You said they have favorable rules, what exactly would those be? And what kind of limits are we talking?

    I also see you took my old flight out of Peoria on Allegiant, I always enjoyed that flight until they changed the departure/return times. Hopefully one day they will change them back to what they use to be.
     
  7. Coaster Kikky

    Coaster Kikky Tourist

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    I agree totally about the IP. God help you if you want to find the spa or sports book there!
     
  8. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Angy,
    The rules on multi-deck BJ are as good as any place on the Strip, such as 3-2 pay, unlimited double down or splits, etc. They usually have a couple $15 tables, one $25 and a $100.
    One of the tables deals single deck, but that pays 6-5.
    There is also a crap table and drink service is excellent.
    If you did play there, I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you took advantage of the European pool, as well.
    Another big selling point for me is how spacious the gaming area is in relation to other outdoor tables such as GN, HR and Trop. Plenty of room to sit without feeling cramped.

    I was happy with the departure (3:55 pm)/return times (10:00 am). We're used to a 6:00 am return flt on Allegiant back to Rockford. Allegiant also cut back on Rockford to two flts a week. Peoria has much more flexibility. That combined with the price savings made the extra hour and half we had to drive worth it.
     
  9. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    I cant even fiure out how to get into Imperial Palace off the strip! I haven't been in there since I Rode the monorail one of my first trips.
     
  10. Beach Crazy

    Beach Crazy Hostess With the Mostess

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    :haha: Oh, now I see why it's your favorite place to gamble. :wink2:

    Might have to give that a try...the BJ that is...I love playing BJ outside. In warmer months, you'll usually find me at Carnival Court on the tables. Can't believe the table limits aren't any more at Wynn than Carnival Court.

    Yes, I use to love that flight out of Peoria. Basically what they did was flip flop the departure and return times. Glad it works out good for you but no way am I getting up to catch an early morning flight home! :wink
     
  11. Souette

    Souette Tourist

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    That's always a PLUS in my book!
    I also like the coolness of the 50's at night under the stars. Glad you got to experience a little solitude as well as enjoy the town.
     
  12. Jamie in PA

    Jamie in PA High-Roller

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    Please give the Silverton another chance. Thanks for the trip report.
     
  13. gmoney590

    gmoney590 VIP Whale

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    As always a great TR. Chef, how are the rooms at the IP? We've got friends who may want to stay there(why, I don't know) and I was wondering what the rooms there were like.
     
    Back where we belong
  14. duffelbag don

    duffelbag don Low-Roller

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    Yeah, I agree with you on the whole maze-like IP. It seems like they threw it all together without really thinking it out. It's not all bad if you get one the deluxe rooms. That saves you the aggravation of walking a country mile, thru doorways, up escalators and down a slide to the rooms in the back.

    I remember searching out the sports book one night and found it to be...well...creepy.
     
  15. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Chef - thanks for your TR. You did hit the buffett line a few times!

    later, GVJ
     
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