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Laughlin & Downtown & Strip --- 4-22 / 4-28

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by eksantirik, May 2, 2016.

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  1. eksantirik

    eksantirik Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    353
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11

    My Trip Report

    I spent one night in Laughlin (River Lodge), two nights in downtown (El Cortez), and three nights on the Strip (Mirage). I will post three messages, otherwise it'd be a lot of pictures in one post.

    Laughlin

    In one of the past Vegas trips, I signed up for a Laughlin tour but I skipped it. So, this time, since I was coming into town via Sedona area (road trip), I wanted to spend one night in Laughlin. I was pleasantly surprised.

    I found the town to be more fun and nicer than Reno, mostly due to the beautiful river passing by the city. I stayed at Laughlin River Lodge. The room was huge, clean and comfortable. Everything in Laughlin was easy, not much lines, service was pretty good and the river walk was fun. The only problem was that river walk was blocked at some points. I wish it was all the way from Harrah's to Riverside.

    Gamblingwise, I did OK, spent some time at almost all the casinos west of the river. Minimums and conditions were mostly similar to downtown. Lots of card sign up required though, since all hotels were separate entities. Some pictures from this beautiful town:

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  2. eksantirik

    eksantirik Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    353
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    Downtown

    I then drove to Vegas, stopped by the Sunset Station on the way, to use buffet and matchplay coupons from MyVegas. Next stop was El Cortez. I got a Tower room, for a Sat and Sun night at $108 after everything. Which was a pretty good deal I think. And this didn't have any players club discount, just booking through a promotion on their website (in advance though).

    Check in was a breeze, I was basically the only person. Got a room on 4th floor, not much of a view, but clean, large room. The room seemed old, but it was a very good value for the price.

    One thing with the El Cortez was, I couldn't find a single JoB VP machine. I asked the slot attendant and she was not much of help too. I pretty much checked every bank of machines and no luck. So, except some blackjack, I didn't put much play in at El Cortez.

    I then spent the two days wandering around various downtown shops, to use my LVA coupons. I did OK I think, but the highlight was that I won all three of the $25 matchplay coupons!

    Another highlight was popping up my royal flush cherry, unfortunately at 1c level :( I have been playing VP for a while now, and had yet to get a royal flush, let alone a straight flush. I went to Four Queens, put in $5 at a 1c 100 play machine. I was playing a total of 50c per bet, so, 10 hands. I held two cards to a royal flush, and boom it was there. I cashed out $45 :)

    I stayed at downtown before, but just briefly for one night. This was the first time spending this much time. Overall I liked spending the weekend at downtown, as Fremont Street was a lot of fun at night. And Prince was always there on the canopy at the end of every hourly show.

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  3. eksantirik

    eksantirik Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    353
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    Strip

    Time for the strip now. Almost all my trips were exclusively on the Strip, but I think I kind of liked the change this time. It makes you feel like you go to a completely separate trip. And I made it a point to not travel to Strip, while staying in downtown and vice versa. This made sure that I experienced two totally different trips.

    On the way to Strip, a little more LVA hunting at the Westgate and some Win Cards promotion at Circus Circus but overall, unlucky.

    I then arrived at the Mirage around 1 PM, and was able to check in to the room very easily. For some reason, I kind of feel home at Mirage, and this was my third time (out of 11 trips). Highlights were eating lots of food and smarter gambling on almost exclusively craps and VP.

    I got Aria and Mirage lunch buffets via MyVegas, and loved them both. I think they might have improved in quality in the last couple of years. I also went to Spice Market Buffet, using $10 LVA discount, but hated it. Most stuff was inedible or downright untasty. I do not recommend Spice Market to anyone. I also had the usual Pastrami sandwich at Carnegie Deli, a big juicy burger at Grand Lux, lunch buffet at India Oven, and dinner at Gandhi's. Except the last one, I liked them all.

    Gambling wise, I almost didn't like the video slots anymore. I used to love them all, but it looked like Craps and VP were giving me more excitement this time. This is good news, as I am now enjoying games with the lowest house edge in the house (and I don't do any sucker bets on the craps). I played $5 craps at Harrah's, lost about $175. But $10 craps at Mirage and Aria were really good to me, and recouped $150 of it back. Aria is a really cool place to play craps. Clean and nice environment, with fun people all around. Mirage was OK too, but the dealers seemed to be very serious, not much fun. I also played bubble craps almost everywhere, but mostly at Luxor and Monte Carlo. On the last day, I also got my first straight flush on VP, at the Bellagio 5c spin poker JoB.

    At the end of the whole trip, I ended up $140, mostly thanks to LVA coupon book, and playing less and less slots.

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  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,889
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Nice report! Congrats on the Royal! Hopefully the next one will be higher than pennies. My first one came on pennies too while playing 10 lines.

    As for El Cortez, that's pretty crazy you didn't find JoB at all. VPFree2 says they have one dollar machine at 9/6 JoB. Generally speaking though, you can play Bonus as a substitute for JoB with using the same strategy. Strategy differences are very minimal. And at many casinos where 9/6 JoB isn't available, Bonus is often the game with higher payback.

    Sucks to hear that Spice Market wasn't good. It wasn't the greatest on our last trip either. It's gone downhill a bit.
     
  5. ace1020

    ace1020 Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Sarnia, Ontario
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    Enjoyed your report as that is exactly the way I enjoy my Vegas vacations. Laughlin, downtown and strip usually spread out over ten days.
     
  6. aggie182

    aggie182 Off Key and Out of Tune

    Joined:
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    Nice! We're spending a night in Laughlin in a few months. Glad to see a bit of info. Thanks!
     
  7. King_ryan

    King_ryan Tourist

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Yeah, thanks for sharing all of this. I'll be at the Mirage Thursday and Laughlin for the weekend, so I too appreciate the great info.
     
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