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Madness at Gold Coast, White Castle, Laughlin and more Madness

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Kemosabe, Mar 29, 2015.

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  1. Kemosabe

    Kemosabe Newbie

    Mar 29, 2015
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Madness at Gold Coast, White Castle, Laughlin and more Madness

    Trip Dates: Tue March 10 thru Wed March 18, 2015

    Have not done one of these for a while and it is a bit long so if you don’t want to read the whole thing, here is the Cliff Notes Version Below.

    Got a DEAL on Southwest Airfare was $69 per person Nonstop each way daytime flights. Haven’t seen it that cheap since when we went just after 9/11.
    Car Rental was Dollar. Never paid so much for a car than this trip. Was higher than the Roundtrip Airfare cost for both of us TOTAL. DOLLAR now furnishes you with a slip to show damage you observe on car prior to exit on initial rental. They also ASK to see the Gas Receipt upon return even though gauge shows FULL.

    Hotel was first 2 nights at Gold Coast, then one night in Laughlin (Edgewater) and then 5 more nights back at Gold Coast with a slot tournament tied to the end.
    Lost at Gold Coast Slot Tournament. 15 minutes per day is 10 minutes TOO LONG to keep hitting that button without your hand cramping up later on.
    Not Happy with Gold Coast anymore. For whatever cheap room offers they send us, the $14.55 Daily Resort fee is NOT Justified for the issues we had with rooms.

    Used MANY coupons for 11 buffets and Free Slot Play from ACG and Adviser coupon books. Made some profit on most slot play coupons but still ended up losing at gambling (slots and video keno) of under $200 total for the 8 days gambling. Never really had any big hits, more like a slow steady drain.
    We ate at the new (expen$ive) White Castle on the strip just to say we did and even though we have a W / C by us a mile away and 2 others a 10 minute ride.
    They don’t seem the same taste as at home (but smell the same).

    Weather was wonderful in the 80’s compared to our rough and cold winter at home. Upon our return, back to using our furnace and 4 inches of snow a few days later. Even a losing day in Vegas springtime weather is better than the cold and snow we face at home. Had a good time (except for our Gold Coast rooms).

    End of Cliff Notes Version. Detailed version below. Ya better
    make yourself comfortable if you are going to read it all.

    First off, we are very low roller slot players, so if you are looking for facts about table games or a big drinking binge or sportsbook, you need not read any further. New places visited this trip...White Castle on the Strip and Edgewater and Laughlin River Lodge (the old River Palms) featuring DOTTYS Casino.

    Day 1 March 10(Tuesday): Day started off by getting up at 2:30 AM in preparation of the drive into Midway airport for our 7:00 AM nonstop flight out. Caught a deal for $69.00 per person (both ways) approx six weeks prior (which is a short window for us as we plan usually about 5 months out.) So we were on the road by 4:30 to try to beat rush hour traffic into the city but still quite a few cars out at this early time. Dropped the wife off with the carry-ons at Midway and was off to park the car.

    Security lines were maybe about 20 people per station, but wifes boarding pass had TSA PreCheck on it but MINE DID NOT (and it was the same reservation made at the same time on my credit card for the WHOLE Round Trip purchase. Go Figure), They would not let me go with her in PreCheck so she waited in line with me since we did not want to separate. Got thru security in short order with their usual inefficiency of a pat-down for me. We landed 30 minutes early but had to sit on the tarmac for 25 minutes waiting for our gate to open so no win there.

    As stated above, car rental is Dollar. We got on the shuttle right away with temps being around 55 but we are from the Chicago area so this is shirt sleeve weather so we had no coats on. Being enrolled in Dollar Express, you don’t even check in at the clerk as your car is already assigned and waiting in a numbered stall. When I first made the reservation, cars were coming out around over $500 with all the taxes and fees (no insurance even) from the base price and car barn charges. It later came down to about $350 for a Full Size or Economy (so I chose the Full Size since we were taking a trip to Laughlin) since gas at home was just over $2.34 a gal and figured LV would be about the same. About 2 days before we were to arrive, car (for a MidSize) came down to just under $300 so changed our Full Size in for a MidSize but that was still actually MORE than our whole both ways round trip airfare and we never paid that much for a car ever. We normally travel the same timeframe to Vegas in March and this rate was about 40 percent higher than it was last year same company and same amount of days rented. Anyway, we were assigned a VW Jetta and while our lower price came thru, they still call the Jetta a FullSize car (not in my book) but we went with it. It was a 2013 with high mileage (53000) and seemed in good condition until you get a good look at it in the light (and not the dark car barn). They also now give you a damage slip for you to fill out prior to exit at guard gate. I kinda hate that Dollar PRE-Assigns you your car now because had I seen this car in a better light, I probably would not have taken it. The tires gave me a bit of cause for concern as they were pretty worn and long past how long I would wait to replace them tread wise but we were not buying the car so we just took it as it was. Lets just say they would not be good If it rained. The only other issues with the car is that it shifted the first 2 gears jerky and was pretty slow on acceleration. Only managed to average approx 23 mpg on it over 2 tanks of gas while we had it. Would not buy one based on how this car performed. Das Auto (more like Das CRAP). (At least, the color was "SILVER", in keeping with my namesake here).

    We were still too early to grab lunch so our first stop was at the .99 cent store to pick up water and supplies we would use throughout the week and then on to Silverton to use the ACG 2 for 1 food coupon. Our first of many buffets in Vegas. Lunch with the coupon totaled $10.80, for 2 people, our 1st deal of the day. Played a bit at Silverton afterwards and both of us cashed out a few bucks to the plus. Got approached by timeshare people (Never before at the Silverton) on the way out but told them we were leaving today (not). Seems Silverton has sold out to the timeshare buildings going up on or near their property now.

    Still too early to check in so we headed across the street from the Silverton to stop at Target as the wife wanted to pick up some other stuff that the .99 cent store don’t carry. From there we headed over to the Palms to play a bit and put us in the area of the Gold Coast, our home for the next 2 nights.

    When I say ‘madness’ in the reports title, I actually mean being upset at the Gold Coast. We tried to check into the room at 2:00 PM since that early start to the day was starting to catch up with us. Nope, room was not ready. Go play for an hour and come back at 3:00. I did but wife waited with the bags near a table by checkin and all sorts of people it seemed were getting their keys and getting in with no wait. I came back to her about 45 minutes later and we went back up to check. Nope, room not ready. We don’t ask for much except a Non-Smoking room away from ice and elevator for the noise issue. Finally at 3:00, go up and room is ready.

    Head up and the room we waited an hour for was pretty musty from the A/C upon entry. Hell NO…. we didn’t wait that long for a room like this, especially since my wife is very sensitive to this. Went down, but by now line was growing so waited and finally got assigned a different room down the hall. This one was better but some lights were out in the bathroom and A/C fan was a bit noisy but we were so tired, we just wanted to rest and figured we could live with it for the next 2 nights.
    After living with this noisy fan room for a bit, we decided this is not a room that we would want to stay in again, especially on the last leg of our trip.

    We never had to wait for a room prior in our many times before at the Gold Coast (on a Tuesday yet) and most times we were able to check in as early as 11:00 AM or noon even. Took a short nap and didn’t move outside the casino that night.
    Stayed (and ate and played) the rest of the evening at Gold Coast. End of day 1.

    Day 2 March 11(Wednesday): We had a lot of things scheduled for this day so we wanted to get an early start. Had 7:00 AM half price breakfast at Gold Coast since it was their Young at Heart Senior promotion day and then headed out towards the Strip. The RIVIERA is going to close early May to be demolished and we wanted to visit to say our last goodbye to the old girl. Parking at Riviera was always a pain so we opted to park behind Circus Circus (play a bit) and walk across the street to the Riv. On the way there, we also branched off to Slots A Fun and boy, I think this is the next to go as it was pretty gutted of machines. They always had machines that took actual real dimes in there that I wanted to get rid of what I had but those and many of the slots were gone in Slots A Fun. No need to even go back to see that one ever again. So we stopped into the Riv and was IMMEDIATELY approached by TimeShare Sharks. Same story I gave at the Silverton…. Leaving today…. Just go away. Spent about a half hour looking at different nooks and cranny’s of the Riv but some are already sealed off. Cashed out keeping a 1 cent slot ticket from them as a memento. Goodbye old girl.

    Our next area to hit is the White Castle located inside Casino Royale. We drove and parked in Venetian and walked out to the strip from there. Foot traffic is starting to pick up now but we make it over to WC and before you approach the door, you can already smell them. Not a big place but it is part of the Casino Royale on the North side of the casino and the smell wafts throughout the casino when you are playing. They got lots of grills and help to get the orders processed but we play first to see if the line will die down. Wife had to say she had a Slider on the strip so we finally decided to get in line and after about a 10 minute wait, ordered (just a few each). No we have White Castles at home and I can drive one mile away from our house to get them but this was something wife wanted to cross off her bucket list this trip. Needless to day, STRIP PRICES for White Castles is in place here. At home, they are 69 cents but on the strip, they are 1.29 each. Had to get some anyway. OK been there, done that, time to move on as we got other stops to accomplish today.

    So off we headed to our friends house in Henderson. He holds stuff for us that we don’t bring with us back and forth on the plane like our cooler and coffee pot and our gallon bag of slot cards for all the other casinos along with whatever extra clothes I brought from the previous trip that I did not wear (oh and my walking shoes) among other things like our larger aerosol cans and such. From there, we head out to DOWNTOWN Henderson where there are 3 tiny casinos, Emerald Island, Rainbow (a Peppermill property) and Eldorado (a Boyd property).
    Small joints (smaller than downtown Vegas properties) but sometimes we do well gambling there than on the strip or outskirt Stations propertys. We may have broke even this time (but that is almost a win). Headed back towards the Gold Coast to put our feet up but first we gotta stop at the place to pick up our Pocketbook of Values (POV) coupon book for all the freeplays it offers besides the food coupons. This place is near the Gold Coast right behind the RIO.
    Got the book and headed to Gold Coast to rest. Almost 3:00 now and ROOM NOT READY…. We left before 7:00 AM. Caught the maid down the hall and just had her do towels and trash with no other cleaning or bed fixing, took her a whole 3 minutes so we could nap. Did dinner at Gold Coast buffet as we still had a 2 for 1 buffet coupon as it was still their Young at Heart Senior promotion day even good for dinner (unlike the Orleans).

    While I was playing the rest of the night at Gold Coast, I sat down at a slot and put in my card and something looked out of place on the chrome top of the machine below the slot card area. I picked it up and it was a smartphone that somebody left there. Well, there is nobody anywhere around me and of course you are on camera all over (they also got my slot card usage) but I knew I had to turn it in. I don’t own a cell phone and never will. Don’t like the idea of being tracked all over with it and besides I think the radiation has got to affect peoples brains over time as they do stupid things (that they know are wrong) and continue to do it all the time. There are laws in my state about talking or texting and driving (because YOU are an impaired driver when you do it) and yet people’s brains are fried as they still continue to do it. That and they won’t put them away even in the dark movie theaters even though the show tells them to step outside. That and also same on the plane when instructed to TURN THEM OFF. Their brains gotta be fried as nobody can be that stupid unless they think they are above the law.

    Anyway, got the phone and now looking for a guard to turn it in at lost and found. There are always guards walking around but cant find one right now for the life of me. Finally caught a SUIT walking past and I asked him if Gold Coast has a lost and found. He asked what the problem was and I told him I found this phone and wanted to turn it in. Seems the lost and found at Gold Coast is VERY WELL Hidden as he said he would need to take me there rather than give me directions. I would have never found it if he didn’t. It is OUTSIDE the Casino off to the side and around the corner after you walk outside by the car valet. SUIT walked me over and there were all the guards and other employees either taking a break or waiting for their shift to start. Turned it into the guard (behind bullet proof glass) and he looks at me with a BIG SMILE. Somehow I got the feeling I just handed him an early XMAS present. I asked, don’t you want the info where I found it? He said, OK, where and I told him the Slot machines name (a very unique old slot, perhaps the only one Gold Coast has of this model) and the Slot Machines tag number that I noted before I left. Not a thank you or nothing . I hope the actual owner got it back and that there is some way that Gold Coast could call one of his contacts to let the guy know but afterwards I had some doubts he will never see it again. Since I don’t use these, I didn’t even know how to turn it on let alone use it to even try to contact somebody on the memory. Was also hoping for some good karma for turning it in (the right thing to do) but I still continued losing thru the trip. Well at least I knew in my mind that I did what I thought was right. End of day 2.

    Day 3 March 12(Thursday): Moving day. We 'checked out' about 6:30 AM and had our 2 for 1 breakfast at South Point (coupon again that I printed at home from my wife’s previous years subscription to the POV (we alternate years to do this)) and then headed down to play a bit in downtown Henderson casinos on our way out to Laughlin for the one night. Laughlin is about a 70 mile easy drive from downtown Henderson and arrive Laughlin roughly around 1:00 PM. We normally used to get great room deals at the RIVER PALMS from Kayak (if you booked 90 days in advance) in Laughlin but this trip came up in under 6 weeks time from the great airfare we got at $69 ea and besides, River Palms is a new owner now (Laughlin River Lodge with DOTTYS Casino tied to it) and it seems the good room deals are long gone. Our First Laughlin stop was our old River Palms haunt as we wanted to see what they did to the place. I gotta say, I was impressed. Casino floor is smaller but all re-done and layout is different. Dottys is now a separate alcove where the bingo used to be and some of their machines actually have a river view. Dottys also offers you self serve FREE (well if you are losing it is not really free) candy and nuts. Drinks are offered for the cost of a tip. We both actually did OK in Dottys/Laughlin River Lodge. I did not sign up for the club card but they had all sorts of point multpliers on certain machines from 25X up to 100 times if you had a slot card from them. Maybe next time if I catch a room deal and stay there but we were only spending about 45 minutes there. Headed to Tropicana (the old Ramada Express, another old haunt of ours) to play a bit before trying to check in at the Edgewater, our home for the one night in Laughlin.

    We booked at Edgewater because wife wanted to stay at one of the NEW remodeled rooms in the SEDONA tower and the rate we got at Edgewater with tax was almost about what you just pay in resort fees at some strip propertys. There are no resort fees in Laughlin (yet). We played (and ate) many times at Edgewater but never stayed there. Check in line was about 15 minute wait and we got a nice quiet room on the 23 rd floor. No musty smells and no noisy A/C. All remodeled but room is pretty small (about 300 sq ft) and smaller than the Gold Coast. Not much room to put stuff but we were only staying overnight. Room lighting was poor, especially the bathroom which had these bulbs that look like a regular lightbulb but have a tiny CFL curly bulb inside it. Takes those babys about 4-5 minutes to get to half decent brightness. Otherwise, if you are going into the bathroom and just turn on the light, it is like walking into it with a 4 watt nightlight for the first 3-4 minutes until they get hot.
    If you stay here, leave the lights on or bring your own bulbs.

    Our dinner for tonight was going to be at Harrahs buffet (using a 2for1 ACG coupon that is only good Mon-Thurs). Another reason we went so we could use this Thursday coupon as there is not much coupons good in Laughlin that you can use on the weekends. So we get to Harrahs (no line) and with coupon in hand, ready to pay. Cashier stamps our coupon USED and before she takes our money, other side (high roller side) cashier calls over to her that our dinner is comped by the gentleman in the preferred player line. Seems he had a comp good enough for 3 people and it was only him so he bought us both our dinner. We were a winner already for the night. We thanked him but couldn’t even follow him into the special high-roller dining room to pay for his tip (the very least we wanted to do. We did lose our ACG coupon though since our cashier already marked it USED. Thank you again nice High Roller man. Perhaps this was payback for me turning in that Samsung phone to Lost and Found the night before. Dinner at Harrahs is one of the better buffets (as far as Laughlin buffets go).

    Played at Harrahs (and lost) and before coming back to Edgewater to play for the rest of the evening, we decided to cross into Arizona to get gas for the car. Now I mentioned that we had a full size car that seemed to use more gas. We figured that gas would be reasonable in Vegas since it was about 2.39 at home. That was not the case as it was almost 3.00 a gal in Vegas and usually Laughlin is even higher than Vegas prices. That is why we cross over to Arizona (a short 1.8 mile ride) to buy gas there. Surprisingly, Laughlin gas is usually about 20 cents higher than Vegas but it was the same price as Vegas this time. Gas in Arizona was 2.26 / gal so it was an outstanding savings per gallon compared to Vegas/Laughlin prices. Just wish I could have needed more. Figured out fuel mileage and it came out to approx 23 MPG this first tank. Terrible for our gutless car. I can get better fuel mileage in my 10 year old V6 Sonata with the handbrake on.

    Headed back over the river toward Nevada again and got back to the room just before sunset. We found that the bed (and pillows) we had at the Edgewater were one of the most comfortable items we have had in a room away from home in a long time. The pillows were really (and I mean really) wonderful.
    If you don’t mind the small room (and dim lighting) I would recommend the remodeled Sedona Tower rooms in the Edgewater. Room numbers are the floor plus a 3 digit room number. YOU DON’T WANT any room that the last 3 numbers ends in 911 thru 915 as those are right by the Noise of the Ice Machine.

    Day 4 March 13(Friday the 13th): Moving day. We had early breakfast at the Edgewater using one of the few coupons that was actually good on a Friday there. Breakfast here is just OK as far as breakfast items go… just the basics. Checked out and headed over to the Colorado Belle to do our feed the fish ritual out front but mostly the fish were too slow and the ducks got most of the food we threw.

    Back to Vegas and something told me to mind the speed limit (even at 75). Some people who passed me were stopped further up. Maybe because it is Friday 13th.

    Decided to make our first stop at another Henderson haunt, Club Fortune just to keep the points on or cards current. Machines were really tight so off we head to Fiesta Henderson to play a while and then just bumped around a few places killing time before we arrived back at the Gold Coast at around 2:00 PM to check in for the last 5 nights. Hoping that history did not repeat itself from the beginning of the trip (but it did and worse this time) again OUR room not ready. Go play for an hour and come back at 3:00. Find out that at 3:00 they want to give us the SAME ROOM we turned down the first time. I doubt the musty smell was eradicated. Said no thanks, give us something else. Well that would be another wait. Now I know it is a Friday but it just seemed that it was difficult to believe that no other room in the hotel was available since other people seemed to be getting their keys. Finally after about a half hour wait, got a room.

    Went up with hopeful expectations and our first indication of a problem was that not one but FOUR light bulbs were out. It was dark in the daytime! A bit warm in the room so turn on the A/C and call maint to get the lightbulbs replaced as room even with all the bulbs working is still pretty dark. Obviously the maids are not monitoring if the lights work or if they are, then maintenance is dropping the ball on keeping up with the replacements. (Did I mention that they are getting $14.55 extra in addition to the Weekend Higher room rate for a daily RESORT FEE on this sort of upkeep).

    While waiting for maint to arrive, notice that the A/C compressor is not functioning even though I got it down to 66. Room is not cooling and is currently at 75 degrees. We cannot stay as it is too hot (and dark) so go down to change the room again. They give us another room down the hall and we walk in and check stuff out and there is a wad of hair in the shower drain about almost as big as to make me a toupee (except it is not my color). I just lost it after that to the point that it was not going to be a pretty site if I had to go down again. My wife did instead and they decided to give us a higher cost PREMIUM room (at no extra charge) on the other side of the elevator wing on a different floor now. This whole ordeal amounted to almost 2.5 hours wait just to check in. The premium room was in better condition but still had 1 light out (some things never change) and the A/C was fine as long as the compressor was running, else it was a bit noisy with just the fan. We would just run it until it got meat locker cold and then turn it off for a few hours. Even the premium rooms were starting to show a bit of wear though. As of this moment, I think we are done as far as staying at the Gold Coast in the future from this trip forward. We have stayed here many times over the years and never seemed to have issues until this trip. We are probably room blacklisted anyway now. One last thing is that Gold Coast was advertising 13 times points for Friday the 13 th but when I noticed that it was not coming up on my card, went to the club to ask and in small print they showed me LOCALS ONLY. What a Ripoff. Another nail in the Gold Coast coffin for me.

    This being a weekend night, the halls were pretty noisy with drinking college kids carrying on late in the hallways and the rooms either sides of us. We couldn’t sleep with that going on so we just watched TV for a while. We had payback when we finally woke up the next morning and took our showers.

    Day 5 March 14(Saturday) Up early, made our coffee and had donuts and snacks before breakfast. College kids are finally quiet and asleep in their rooms. Well, not for long. Forgot to mention that the premium room we had has a tub and not just that quirky open panel shower. Well anyway, take our showers and I guess the water restrictor somewhere in the line gets to a certain pressure or temperature and it starts to resonate to the point that it SCREAMS like a smoke alarm going off. It starts sporadic but gets worse over time. Seems nothing you can do can stop it other than shut off the water to the shower head. To get around it, we did the shower in spurts since the longer you ran it, the louder it got. Did I mention we are paying $14.55 PER Day in Resort Fees for this MADNESS in addition to the room rate? Well college kids, when we got done, we left the shower run a bit longer with the bathroom door closed as payback for your carrying on in the hallway at 2 AM. Needless to say, we did not have the same college kid neighbors for the Saturday night. We got no complaints either because it was not our fault our shower in the PREMIUM rooms work like this. If the hotel don’t like it, then I dare you to move us again.

    So we left the room early and headed out to the Sun Coast for breakfast. Again one of the few coupons that allow Saturday morning use. Get there early and have a great breakfast. Both of us ate for about $7.60 total. 10 times points there but could not win crap so off to Rampart next door to sign up at their club to get $10 free play from the POV coupon book. We have played there before but never bothered to get a card before. Well that $10 free play cashed out into about a $39 profit (that I shared with the wife). She was just happy that she had her lox at the SunCoast breakfast so this was icing on the cake to keep her happy. We actually continued to play quite a long time at Rampart as we seemed to be holding our own there, a far cry from all our previous days at other places. Afterwards, we headed back towards or room but stopped at Orleans to get the $10 in free play from the coupon book but line was at least a half hour wait at the club so we just decided to play and check back later. Then back to Gold Coast to put our feet up and even though it was a premium room, it was not done yet. Finally got the maid to change out the towels and empty garbage (3 minute turnover) so we could nap before dinner. We had no useable coupons for Saturday dinner so we just winged it and went out for burgers and then wife did not feel like going anywhere so I dropped her back at Gold Coast and headed out back to Orleans to see if I could do the $10 slot play that we didn’t get to earlier. Line was much shorter now and got it and turned a slight cashout profit on it (but nothing like I had a Rampart.)
    This was the first day that we both were up a little for the day gambling wise.

    Day 6 March 15(Sunday) Up early after a restful, college kid free night, made our coffee and had donuts and snacks before breakfast. Showered with the screamer again, our poor new neighbors, but tried to make it quick. While we have coupons for Sunday-Thursday for buffets, most places have BRUNCH on Sunday so they don’t consider it a buffet (until dinner) so coupons are useless until after 4:00 PM on Sundays. This mornings breakfast would be at Rainbow (a Peppermill property) in Downtown Henderson. It’s not a buffet but what they give us is usually all we can eat anyway. Breakfast for the weekend is a bit pricier as the ‘casino special’ is $2.29 on weekends as opposed to $1.89 on weekday mornings. Coffee is extra at $1.50 each. They have all sorts of other things on the menu too but we always opt for what we know and love. What a deal.

    Play for a few hours in downtown Henderson and then decide to hit boulder Hwy places like Cannery and Sams Town (using the $10 Free Slot Play at Sams.) We are meeting our Henderson friends for dinner at Fiesta that evening (using 2 for 1 buffet coupons) so we decide to head back to the room first to put our feet up for a few hours before heading out again. Get back to the room at about 12:30 and of course room not done and maids at the far far end of the hall. I also needed to be back to register for the Gold Coast Slot Tournament that I enrolled in to get a 3 night special room rate. Did that and got a 1:00 PM window for playing which meant we had to be back at the Gold Coast for Monday and Tuesday prior to 1:00 PM for the tournament play. Would have preferred a bit later time but it was what it was. Relaxed and read the paper and watched TV figuring the maids would show but nothing so we left at about 2:30 and headed back out to Henderson Fiesta. On the way out, I noticed there was not a maid in sight and had a bad feeling about this since our room had not been done yet. Had a nice inexpensive dinner buffet $17.98 plus tax total for the FOUR of us overall with the 2 coupons usage, and after we said our goodbyes, we headed over to the M Resort to play and keep both our cards current. I usually do OK at the M but not this time. Getting dark now so head back to Gold Coast after a full day. Get back to the room and what a surprise….. ROOM NOT TOUCHED AT ALL. Did I mention we are paying $14.55 Daily Resort Fee for this MADNESS. WTF. Called downstairs and they sent new towels and supplies up right away but of course that did not include a cleaning of any sort or even taking the trash of the days accumulation.

    Day 7 March 16(Monday) Up early, made our coffee and had donuts and snacks before breakfast (notice a pattern here) Showered with the screamer. Today’s breakfast would be Main Street Station in Downtown Vegas. We always parked at the Main Street Station garage in the past for free but now they got a guard at the gate and parking ain’t free unless you are a level above RUBY (the lowest level) or you are a hotel guest. Otherwise you must pay $3.00 at the entry gate. Paid our entry and he said if you dine or play (he didn’t know how much) that we go to the cashier and get our $3 bucks back. We were eating on a 2 for 1 coupon anyway so we had that covered. Later found out that you need to play at least 50 points ($50 bucks thru the machine) to get comped for parking if you are not eating there else you just eat the $3.00 ( which is cheap anyway because in Chicago, street parking meters are as high as $6.50 for just an HOUR parking.)

    Main Street breakfast was good for the money as usual and afterwards I headed over to Plaza to get my free Slot Play from the ACG coupons and later we met at Four Queens and then Binions to get the $10 Free Slot Play at each. We split up and I was then headed to El Cortez to use the $10 Free Slot Play there. We eeked out a small profit on the free slot play at all places except Binions which netted us absolutely nothing and took it all. Of course it could have been just a bad choice of machines my wife picked at Binions as she is always trying to hit on the ZUMA ones and it can be a real money grabber it if ain’t paying. We stayed downtown until just before noon as I had to be back at Gold Coast for the Slot Tourney.

    I actually did OK on the first days Tourney segment but each segment (once per day for 2 days) is 15 minutes long and hitting the spin button as fast as you can for 15 minutes is about 10 minutes too long. I placed in 8 th place the first day over maybe 150+ players total. I was headed for a $100 prize if I maintained it the following day. Looks good so far. Maybe I can win my 7 days of resort fees back.

    Rested in the room a bit afterwards as for the first time of our stay, our room was done being serviced when we went back up to it after the tournament. Since it was still light outside, we decided to head to Palace Station to do dinner since we had a 2 for 1 coupon. Dinner was cheap but you got what you paid for as only certain things were actually edible. Perhaps would go back there for breakfast (what can they do to ruin breakfast) but not dinner. Play just a little bit as we wanted to get out of there before it got dark as the area is a bit sketchy for us.

    Day 8 March 17(Tuesday St Patricks Day Our last full day): Up early, you know the routine even down to the screamer shower by now. Wore the only green shirt I own that I saved for this day. Seems NO 2 for 1 coupons that we have are useable today because they state not valid on Holidays and seems St Paddys day is considered a Holiday (at least on the menus). (When I worked, I never got holiday pay for St Paddys Day and I even asked some of the workers if they get time and a half for St Paddys Day and they said nope). We asked all around previously at places we frequented and all said 2 for 1 coupons would not honored. Many casinos also seemed to raise their prices for the HOLIDAY Menu buffet.

    Only thing left to do to get a meal deal is to eat using our slot points somewhere then. I have tons at Emerald Island in Downtown Henderson but is that a place I even want to go to (hate crowds) on St Paddys day. How bad could it be for breakfast. Well surprisingly not bad at all (at least for breakfast) but they were gearing up for a big party later in the day. Just on a whim, I went to the slot club and just asked if I could use the ACG 2 for 1 entrée coupon for todays breakfast (being a holiday and all) and she said SURE CAN. She wrote me up a 2 for 1 comp ticket and we had no issues using it. Breakfast was not as cheap as Rainbow (4 bucks each at Emerald Isle) but with the 2 for 1 coupon and I was able to use points to pay for the other breakfast, it was a win win for no charge except the tip. Again, played in the 3 downtown Henderson casinos and stopped at my friends house to get our boarding passes (he prints them for us) for tomorrows flight back to winter. Again, wifes boarding pass had TSA PreCheck on it but MINE DID NOT (and it was the same reservation made at the same time on my credit card for the WHOLE Round Trip purchase. Go Figure again),

    After a week we were getting used to those 80 degree days here and did not look forward to going back to where it was lots colder. Said our goodbyes one last time and dropped off the stuff we leave with him until next trip. Headed back to Gold Coast to do the last leg of the slot Tourney at Gold Coast. While I was going to stop for gas for the car, I decided time was getting short as traffic was really really bad today (must be the Holiday) and we barely made it back in time but did make it.

    You don’t get to choose your machine, you pick a ball out of a box and the number you pick is the one you have to use. Was hoping I got the same good machine I had yesterday but the one I got turned out to be a real dog. I saw my 100 dollar winning position fading away with each losing spin over the 15 minutes. I didn’t do well at all but would not find out until after 4 PM when they had everything tallied up. Our dinner tonight was at Gold Coast since we also had enough points to pay for our meal and Gold Coast did not raise their dinner prices for the special Holiday menu. Corn Beef was good and did enjoy some of the other different things they offered. Afterwards, went to check where I placed and found that I came in at 58 th place so I won nothing because prizes only went up to 50 th place. Oh Well. I don’t think that I would do it again though.

    Since we had such a early depart tomorrow morning, I did not want to get gas in the dark prior to return so we headed over to Orleans and got gas for the car on the way. Again figured the gas mileage and it came in at the same 23 mpg so I guess that is it. I thought Volkswagen's were known for being stingy on gas,… guess not this one. Both tanks averaged the same consumption.

    Day 9 March 18(Wednesday Our departure day to back home): Had to get a wake-up call as we were up REALLY Early for a 6:30 AM flight departure. We turned in our coffee pot to our Henderson friend and I don’t use the one supplied in the room (don’t know what the previous college kids did with it as a prank) so no coffee until we get to the airport. There is a 24 hour restaurant at Gold Coast but even though the sign says they serve LATE night breakfast, every time my wife tried it (twice) this trip (she is a creature of the night), there was a excuse that they could not do breakfast but you can have any other fried food item we got on the dinner menu. What a rip. Anyway, had to use the screamer shower earlier than we ever did (sorry neighbors) and checked out, turned in the car at dollar (they asked to see a gas receipt (good thing I had one handy)) and off we go to the airport..

    We always try to get to the airport early since you never know what the security lines are at McCarren airport, and at that hour, it was a breeze but still more people leaving than I would have thought. We decided to have something for breakfast because the plane gives you almost nothing now so we decided to have breakfast at Burger King in the airport. OUCH, we could have had a buffet somewhere for the prices they charge here for a little nothing muffin / biscuit sandwich each plus a senior coffee but we had to eat something.

    OK, we are expecting originally that the plane would be empty (who leaves Vegas so early on a Wednesday morning) but based on our boarding passes (B 53 & 54) plane was pretty full. We still got in row 15 but could not find 2 seats together so we ended up with 2 aisle seats across from one another which was still OK. I think there were 2 empty seats overall on the plane so again the $69 flights are working to fill the plane.

    Flight was uneventful and arrived a bit early. Back to jacket time. We both headed towards the Orange Line Midway public transit station from the airport and a short walk across the street to the self park car lot. At least all the snow had melted as I had parked between 2 piles on departure morning and it was gone revealing that I was not inside the lines (that I could not see initially). Don’t you hate people who cant park inside the lines but I had a snow excuse. Anyway, car is absolutely FILTHY from sitting for 8 days there with the pollution and the soot from the airplanes taking off and landing. Glad I didn’t wash the car beforehand.
    Parking bill for the car totaled about $95.00.

    At least we got home before rush hour and stopped for lunch along the way and also groceries for tomorrow. All in all, it was a routine trip that came off as planned except for the bad times we had with the Gold Coast rooms.

    Not our cheapest trip (by our standards) even with the $69 one way fares, as the car was overly expensive this trip and total daily room prices (plus the daily $14.55 resort fee) were by far the biggest expense. Gambling losses were minimal for both and food was downright cheap with all the 2 for 1 coupons we used from the ACG and POV books. Our total cost for everything came in just shy of $1400.

    > > > Final Summary: Weather was nice and no need for a jacket even during the night. It sure beats the cold we left behind and then came back to.
    > > The POV (Las Vegas Advisor) coupon book more than paid for itself ($37.00) in just slot freeplay and of course 2 for 1 Buffet coupons. Of course, you need to have a car to go to all the outskirt places the coupons are for but we always do.
    > > Gold Coast rooms were a disaster for us. They are NOT maintaining the rooms anywhere near to justify charging a now higher daily $14.55 resort fee.
    > > Gold Coast slot tournament sessions being 15 minutes each for 2 separate days is just too long to keep hitting the spin button. We wont do that again.
    > > Edgewater Laughlin room (Sedona Tower) was comfortable, clean and quiet.
    > > We liked the newly remodeled Laughlin River Lodge casino (Dottys) in Laughlin (the old River Palms) and would try to stay there again in future trip to see if they upgraded the rooms there too besides the casino.
    > > On the one day we went to the strip, the strip was packed with tourists (and time share people) In my opinion, the strips skyline is now destroyed by all those tall buildings in place around the casinos. That and the open air marketplaces we saw now in front of various strip casinos make it look like a cheap flea market.
    > > White Castle burgers don’t taste the same there as they do at home. Just something is off on them that I cant place and buns are harder than at home too.
    They still smell the same though.
    > > If renting from Dollar, make sure you get that gas receipt for the return.
    > > I still love Southwest for on-time performance.

    If you stayed with me this long, thanks for reading.

    Oh and last note, I got so used to showering with the screamer that I actually missed it at home the next morning and started making noises similar to it whistling thru the gap in my front teeth. My wife wasn’t amused.

    Hi-Yo Silver(coins)... AWAY!!!
  2. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

    Aug 4, 2001
    averill park (near albany) ny
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report. And it included places like Laughlin where I rarely see any detailed reports on visits. Very fine reporting and great information on the Edgewater rooms and where to go to escape noise.
    And downtown Henderson is very rarely, perhaps never, mentioned.
    I thought that feeding the carp was now against the rules. What did you feed them? Something bought machines? Perhaps the scarcity of carp has lifted that rule.

    I think that you can rest easy on the security of Gold Coast. I've lost and gotten things returned there. I think they are pretty honest..
    I'm deciding between the premium and the regular rooms at Gold Coast in September. This moves me to the Premium, but even there you had issues. So I hope I am more lucky.
    Thanks for the report.
  3. Kemosabe

    Kemosabe Newbie

    Mar 29, 2015
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    The Carp were in the MOAT around the Colo Belle and we did have some crackers from the buffet and also bought the fish pellets out of the gumball machine in front. Nobody bothered us feeding them. As I mentioned, the ducks seemed faster than the fish and got most of the grub we tossed.

    We have been going to the downtown Henderson casinos since our friend moved to Henderson (10 years) and showed them to us. The place with the best food (and value) is Rainbow but we get so many points at Emerald from playing during their 25X and 75X points hourly promotions that I have a ton of them on my card so we just wanted to use some of them for meals. 1500 points equal a dollar there. They are small places but mostly we do good there (but sometimes not).

    Since they put in the 4 lane hwy to Laughlin, it is an easy drive now without worrying about passing all the RV's and slow pokes when it was a 2 lane. Ya do have to be mindful of your speed though as they do monitor from somewhere and come out of nowhere. Never EVER go over the limit in Searchlight.

    We have been visiting Laughlin since the rooms were going for about 10 bucks a night and we were the youngest people in that town at one time. Now we have sorta caught up in age to the oxygen tank crowd (almost). Gastly hot there though in the summer months... much hotter than Vegas.
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