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Longtime Vegas travelers: What has gotten Better?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Wolfman619, Feb 11, 2014.

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  1. Wolfman619

    Wolfman619 Low-Roller

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    I've seen it brought up on the boards quite a bit, that vegas isn't what it used to be, its too expensive, this and that. . . so I ask to the people who have been going to Las Vegas for the the past 15+ years: What has improved in Vegas since your first visit? Room quality? Entertainment? Dining?
     
  2. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    IMHO entertainment options are better than they used to be. Perhaps too many Cirque and Cirque wannabe shows but overall there is something for everyone. You've got headliners, production shows, musicals, comedy, magic, some great afternoon shows. Something for everyone and every budget.

    There are a lot more food options too. Gone are the days when everyone was seeking out cheap buffets and shrimp cocktails. There are still cheap (affordable at least) buffets and shrimp cocktails but also a much broader range of food choices. I'm not much into the celebrity chef thing but for those who are you have a lot of choices. High end buffets, some of them are excellent. Virtually any kind of restaurant experience is available and that wasn't always the case. It used to be coffee shop and buffet and a few places had a higher end restaurant. Not anymore.
     
  3. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    For sure room-quality, as I have a much higher position in the company, so no more Circus Circus Manor for me! But that's a "me" issue... there's no question the room product is vastly improved across the board in Las Vegas. Those properties that haven't been able to re-model or improve are now the bottom tier. Far more and improved dining options than when I first visited in the late 80's. Service has for the most part steadily declined in many areas, except for the top properties like Wynncore, Palazzo and the like. I don't think the training or expectations are put in at mid-tier properties. That's one of the reasons I decided to concentrate my stay/play at one joint. I get really good service, except for my stupid host who won't return e-mails, because I've gotten to know so many at the Hard Rock.
     
  4. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Room quality In wall ac/heating units, wafer thin walls, big TVs, drab bathrooms have been upgraded substantially, even at the lower end resorts. Also, the inflation adjusted price of rooms are generally cheaper than what people paid in the 1980s and 1990s. Better quality at lower costs - a Wynn Wynn.

    Dining Gone are the $0.99 foot long hot dogs and $3.99 buffets. Miss the coffee shops late night (Barbarry Coast specials), but as a whole dining options at all price levels have improved substantially over the years. Not only has the food improved, but visitors also have exponentially more dining options. You can find just about any kind of ethnic or dietary food option within a few minutes of the Strip/Downtown (if not on the strip).

    Information Places like VMB did not exist 20 + years ago. You booked based on the limited knowledge / persons you knew at the casinos or via a travel agency. Now, you can compare & book flights, room coasts, comps (well except for the sad MILFe website), rental cars, club or buffet costs and anything else you could possibly think of in a few seconds. Inflation adjusted flights are substantially lower today than they were 20-30 years ago.

    Resort Quality I miss the old Stardust Sports Book and the relaxing atmosphere of the Desert Inn, but at the end of the day, your gambling experience is much more enjoyable today. Strip resorts are much nicer, off-strip accommodations and resorts are nice throughout the valley. For those who didn't have the chance to visit downtown pre-FSE, it was deteriorating, the casinos were smoke filled and in need of upgrades and the rooms where poor. Today, nearly all downtown properties have remodeled their rooms and casino floors.

    Throw in the (mostly) great changes in the Fremont East area, and Vegas in many ways is much more enjoyable today than back in the day.

    The main two disappointing changes over the years have been customer service (large cut backs in staff - cocktail waitresses and other front line staff) and deterioration of gaming conditions (Video Poker & Blackjack) and the North Strip. Love the Wynn, but wished it was built where the Frontier was, with the Stardust and Desert Inn still in business. Miss the small town feel of old Vegas as well.

    [YOUTUBE]CXkokyBlktA[/YOUTUBE]
     
  5. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    While I haven’t necessarily liked seeing what has happened to Vegas dining over the past five years or so (the dumbing down of many of the fine dining options and the “me too” strategy of hopping on whatever trend is hot – gastro-pubs, burgers, pizza, “haute” comfort food, whatever), I still think that the dining options in Vegas today are still far superior to those that were available 15 years ago.

    I also like the changes that have occurred recently with regards to booze and beer. There are dozens of places today where you can get a well made, well conceived cocktail. Sure, it won’t be cheap. But at least today “craft cocktails” are an option if you want to splurge. And while Vegas is far from what anyone would consider a “beer town”, it has improved in this regard by leaps and bounds. Gone are the days when your only options were Bud, Miller, Heineken or Guinness. Plenty of restaurants and bars have great selections of regional craft beers and imports. You can even get some great beers comped on the casino floor or VP bar.

    But I think the biggest difference (for the better) between today’s Vegas and the Vegas of 15 years ago, is what I’ll call “frugal luxury”. Wynn, Encore, Palazzo, Venetian, Bellagio, Aria, Cosmo, Caesars Palace…for $150-200 a night? That’s a freakin’ steal. And even if you go down a notch on the luxury scale, you have some fantastic options for around $100-150/night. Where else are you going to get that? Hell, even some of the cheapest Vegas hotels have great rooms these days.


    There’s no question that good gambling is getting harder and harder to find. And I can certainly understand the frustration of folks who just want the most basic room for a rock bottom price. But there are many ways in which the Vegas of 2014 puts the “good old days” to shame, in my opinion.:peace:
     
  6. jackincols

    jackincols Guest

    Only thing I can think of that's gotten better is many of the casinos you see now weren't even on the drawing boards 15-20 years ago. While it gives the tourist more to look at and choose from, when the majority on the Strip are owned by 2 mega corps, there's very little competition and that's bad for the gambler.

    And yes, many more dining options than there used to be, but in many cases have come with them over inflated prices just because a chef's name hangs over the entrance.

    One thing that I miss today verses years back is the major headliners that used to perform in Vegas.
     
  7. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    Good point about beer. I love a good craft beer and many. many places now have them.
     
  8. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    That is somewhat coming back with the "residencies".

    One thing I regret is never having seen Wayne Newton. I can't say his music is really my milieu but I can't believe I never saw Mr. Vegas even though he was performing regularly until his last gig ended at the Trop in 2010. Given his money problems (he's had them for over 20 years), maybe he'll keep performing and hopefully he'll return to the strip (or somewhere in town).
     
  9. luvstp

    luvstp High-Roller

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    Like others, I think the food options are so much better than they used to be. I wouldn't know a famous chef if I ran into him, but I can appreciate high quality food.

    I also like that I can get a great glass of wine at the wine bar in Tower Suites/Wynn. What's served on the casino floor usually gives me a headache after too many.

    Another thing that's better is the view of the strip at night......even the new High Roller adds another beautiful set of lights to what is already a magical sight.
     
  10. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    I am a low end type guy so i like the grind joints with low expectations.

    the best thing about new and improved places is that it makes the lesser places more affordable. They simply cant close the town and renovate everything at the same time so there will always be places in need of work which is the ones I stay at.

    It wasnt too long ago that the stardust was a top notch place where you went to be seen. in the end it was one of the worst dumps around and was replaced with an empty lot.

    Its hard to imagine that some day Bellagio will go out the same way but it very well could happen.

    I remember the Imperial palace was a nice place when it opened too.

    Riviera used to be a hot spot. Its ok now, a survivor but not like the Wynn by any stretch.

    Thats ok though, the nicer the nice places get, the easier the older places are to drop their prices.
     
  11. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Although this is the only board that I participate in, there are many and they get the word out abut prices, things to see and do, and prices. Startup low cost airlines like swA have dropped prices and made flying from many places not only cheaper but more convenient. the computer of course, has made research easier for deals and they we can broadcast it to the world. I think the brokers are more numerous and better at what they do. I am paying less now for airfare than I did in the 90's and early 00's, and find much better quality rooms at the same or less cost. Food prices have increased but dinners in LV can cost less than the price of the meat at home.

    One bid improvement has been public transportation esp with the SDX and WAX and even the Deuce, using double deckers. One thing that has seemed to bite the dust though are the inexpensive afternoons shows like VIVA LAS VEGAS. I saw it my first time, then with each of my kids, same with Am. Superstars, Ron Lucas, and several others. Biggest bummer for me was changing to paper slots. That removed all interest in slots for me. I know real gamblers love it, as do the casinos, but it removed all temptations for me.

    I find improvements downtown enhance my LV experience. It's like hometown within a big city. One of the things I hate.......RESORT FEES!!!

    Jimbo338
     
  12. luvstp

    luvstp High-Roller

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    I forgot all about TITO technology being new in the last 15 years.....sorry, Jimbo, but I LOVE TITO and can't imagine ever going back to coins. We were in Reno a few weeks ago and one of the downtown casinos still had slots with coins.......I must admit that I bypassed those. :peace:
     
  13. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    This was actually the first thing I thought of. I don't miss coins at all. No more grubby hands. I always forgot and would touch my face. I'd head into the ladies room and I looked frightening, I had so much black crap on my face.

    No more waiting to get paid. Most machines would pay out 1,000 coins or less, so your choice was to take it under 1,000 and hope the machine wouldn't run out of coins, or hit the cash out button, and then have to wait for an attendant to pay you.
     
  14. Wolfman619

    Wolfman619 Low-Roller

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    i've only played coin slots once or twice when I first turned 18...TITO came along shortly after. However, you guys just killed whatever nostalgia I had for them, haha. All those coins were nasty, and a PITA.
     
  15. luvstp

    luvstp High-Roller

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    :grrr:
    In addition to what Josiecat said above, let's not forget getting shorted on coins. I can't tell you how many times after I got a hopper fill and brought my coins up to the cashier that I was told I was "2 quarters or 2 dollar coins" short of what I thought I was getting. :grrr:

    Good thread Wolfman--nice to talk about what's positive in the last 15 years! :wave:
     
  16. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    I like that it is going back to being an adult destination rather than families. Still plenty to do for a family, but that isn't the focus anymore. I'm not sure when the peak was. Most likely it was before I even started going.

    Food I feel is both better and worse. I think the quality of the food is better in general, but the selections either got worse or stayed the same. Every hotel seems to require a burger bar, a steakhouse, a cafe, and a buffet. I can't recall a mid/high end Indian restaurant. Milos is the only Greek place I know. Nothing from the middle east.


    I was never around to enjoy the North Strip(Stardust, ect..) so I don't know if that was better. I do like how city center filled in a spot though on the north side. I like the fact that I can walk from MB down to TI and on that side of the street never feel I'm in a bad section. Now all I want on that side is something between PH and MGM Grand. I don't care if the shops stay, I just want it not to feel like a run down strip mall.




    I know you didn't ask for worse, but I just have to mention getting deals is harder in general I feel. Even the excalibur charges $150+/night on weekends. The cheap buffet is truly a cheap buffet now vs cheap and ok. Outside of downtown and a few rare places on the strip, getting a beer for under $5 takes effort.
     
  17. jackincols

    jackincols Guest

    Saw him one time over at LVH, in his waning years, and only because a gal I took out wanted to see him. I'm glad we went. Even though his voice was shot, he was still the best showman I've ever seen play Vegas. He certainly played to the crowd and the women loved him.
     
  18. worldtraveler661

    worldtraveler661 VIP Whale

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    I personally feel the food choices have gotten way better. I know most of us wont do all the fancy expensive restaurants every meal. But the choices of all levels of dining has improved and increased through the years. There's so many choices now that its impossible to ever try them all.
     
  19. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Things have really changed since the early 80"s

    Thats when we took our first trip to LV. At that time AC was really booming ,prices were high in the new casino hotels as I recall .
    When we first went to LV we were amazed by places like Slots o Fun and all these basically cheap shows and food and drink specials.
    My fantasy is to be able to turn the clock back to 1960 or thereabout and go to Vegas .Be able to see Elvis,The Rat Pack etc. rent an Impala convertable, be able to cruise around without all the traffic,eat a great steak for next to nothing
    and be able to walk the strip or downtown with no concerns or anyone bothering us.
    I know you can live like a king there now,but obviously you have to pay big time . Whats better? Big money luxury stuff for the well healed ,but give me the old days anytime.
     
  20. worldtraveler661

    worldtraveler661 VIP Whale

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    People always say that. I passed through Reno awhile back and it still has this old time feel. I dont know why people dont just go there if thats what they want. :p
     
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