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Main Street Station – The end of my love affair…

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels & Casinos' started by Sonya, Nov 8, 2012.

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  1. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I am still waiting for some permissions for the trip report, but I’ve had a few people ask about my problem with Main Street Station so I thought I’d make a separate post.

    Some background:

    Long, long ago, on an internet far away, there was a scary world called the usenet where flamewars were plenty. I got into an argument with someone who I am choosing not to name who insisted that MSS was a “total dump”. I wouldn’t call it a 5 star property, but it was far from a dump. What resulted was a geocities site with some pictures from my recent stay at MSS. I added some articles and a FAQ and moved it to its own domain name. From those embers, Travel2Vegas was born.

    Main Street Station was the first property to offer my $0.25 Video Poker play full RFB. I loved having those free weekends to get away and the garlic fries and VP at the Triple 7 Brew Pub made it that much better.

    Years ago I had gone to Vegas to have some meetings and tour some properties for the board. Dan had planned to join me for the weekend downtown. I had moved to MSS and somehow managed to throw my back out a couple days before Dan arrived. Because there is no room service at MSS, I was stuck in my room, wondering how a girl could get a sandwich. Luckily, Dan was able to change his flight on Southwest and fly out a day early to keep me from starving.

    I’ve heard all the complaints about the noise in the rooms. Get a high floor and you can avoid the worst of the train noise. The freeway noise isn’t an issue because I travel with a white noise machine and I have eye shades if I get an east facing room because it’s true that those wooden shutters don’t keep out all the sunlight.

    I arrived at Main Street Station two weeks into this trip. The goal was that I would take 2 days downtown to play some VP and relax before the long drive home. I never had to leave MSS so no walking. Everything I needed was there. Right? Ahh… maybe not.

    I checked out of TI and after a quick errand off the Strip, I headed over to Main Street Station. It was only 11am so I wasn’t sure I could check in.
    The front desk clerk offered me room 1602, which was ready right then. Like I said, I had my white noise machine and eye shades, so I was ready for any room there. I said that would be fine, got my key and headed out to the car.

    The bellman came with me and loaded up my bags. I had 2 suitcases, one tote, a cooler and a jug of water. He asked if I was heading up and I told him I needed to park the car first. He offered to put the things in my room and I could take my time getting up there. That sounded perfect, so I gave him $5 and said thank you and was off to move the car into the parking garage.

    I stopped in the casino to play a little VP before heading up. I hit the first of what I hoped would be many 4OAKs and got my scratch ticket. I cashed out, up $75 and headed off to find some lunch as it was approaching 3pm.

    I walked over to the brew pub and looked at the menu. I wanted to have dinner, so I just wanted something light. I really just wanted a sandwich. I asked the girl who seats you if I could get a club sandwich, but substitute a salad for the fries. She said that she didn’t think they could do that. I asked if I could pay for the sandwich, but not get the fries and she wasn’t sure. While she went off to ask, I was annoyed and decided to wander off to find something else.

    I headed up and over the walkway to The Cal. I didn’t want anything from Aloha Specialties because I had sandwich on the brain. Lapperts.. nothing there because ice cream is not lunch. :) Down towards the coffee shop I saw a big crowd of people figuring out what they were doing. UGH.. I kept walking over to the snack bar.

    I looked at the menu for a long time and nothing really sounded good. I thought I could make do with the ham & cheese croissant so I got in line. At one point there is a sign that says “Order Here” and I stood there for several minutes. Some older ladies were behind me in line and kept prodding me to move forward. I told them I had to order and they just kept pushing me forward. Eventually an employee who was not the cook asked what I wanted and I said the Ham & cheese croissant. The cashier didn’t know what that was, but eventually rung it up and I assumed it was being prepared so I sat down to wait with my number.

    After about 5 minutes another employee came up to me and asked what I ordered. I told him and he left. A few minutes later a different employee came up and told me they didn’t have that available, but I could pick something else. I looked at the menu but nothing else sounded good. I said, “I just wanted a sandwich”. She suggested the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and I said “Ok”.

    The sandwich came after another 5-6 minutes and I took it back to my room at MSS. I ate about a third of it and decided I didn’t want anymore. I took a little break in the room, but nothing was on TV and I couldn’t seem to sleep. I was really restless.

    I went back down to the casino, taking the leftover sandwich to toss in the first garbage can I saw so I didn’t have to smell it for the next 24 hours.

    I bounced around between some different VP machines and collected a handful of scratch cards. I was up, but I couldn’t seem to get excited about it. I got a drink and it tasted funny to me. I moved to Boar Bar hoping for better drinks, but even those didn’t taste good to me. I presumed it was a Coke/Pepsi issue and sipped my drink while I played. After about 30 minutes I started to feel really awful so I cashed out, took my TITO and headed upstairs for a nap.

    I was in the bed for about 15 minutes when it became clear that this was not going to be good. I will spare you the worst of the gory details by saying that I spent the next several hours in various positions in the bathroom, sometimes with the garbage can strapped to my face, other times just lying in a pile of towels on the floor wishing I was dead.

    Around 2am I was feeling well enough to take the garbage can and move to the bed. I was up and down a few times, but I was able to get a little bit of sleep in between vomiting.

    I said I was prepared for the road noise with my white noise machine, but it was really bothering me. I’m not sure how many times I woke up because of big truck or motorcycle noise from the road. I would have asked to change rooms if I was at all human, but instead I just turned up the machine and tried to sleep.


    In the morning I was spent. I knew that I needed some food, but also knew there was no way I could get downstairs. I took stock of the snacks I had in the room and decided tuna fish was OUT. I had some butter crackers, but I wanted toast. Just some lightly buttered toast and an electrolyte drink of some kind.

    I knew there was no room service, but thought that these were extenuating circumstances and some concession could be made for me. I was wrong.
    I called the front desk and explained my situation. They said I needed to come down and order my own food. I called the Food & Beverage manager and she told me that they had some union rules that prevented any employee from being able to bring food to my room. I called the Casino manager and he told me the same thing about the rules, but did have housekeeping bring me a bucket of ice.

    When housekeeping arrived with my ice, I offered to pay the guy to go down to the store in the lobby and buy me some Gatorade or other electrolyte drink. He said he couldn’t because he could lose his job. I was flabbergasted.

    I took inventory of the friends I still had in town, but pretty much everyone was leaving and one set of friends was on their way to Red Rock. Not exactly convenient to bring me toast. ;)

    I talked to Dan and nibbled on my crackers and chewed ice. I started to feel human enough to get in the shower. After the shower, I decided I was ready to get out of town. Dan was insisting I just move to a hotel with room service and rest another day or two. When I’m sick, all I want is my bed at home. I decided I could get to Ely and that would put me just 2 days away from home.

    Okay, maybe this wasn’t a sane decision, but I was ready to go and nobody could talk me out of it. I got the bell desk to pick up my luggage and I loaded up the front seat of the car with Kleenex and plastic bags for drive time emergencies.

    It wasn’t pretty, but I did make it home in one piece.

    So that’s what happened. I am not sure I can blame MSS for any of that because I knew about the lack of room service, but now I know that I can’t stay there by myself. It’s just too hard without any kind of backup.

    I’m sure I’ll be back to gamble when I’m downtown and I’m sure that I’ll spend more time at Boar Bar as it’s a great place for a meet-up, but I won’t be staying in that hotel again unless they change their food policy.

    That makes me a little bit sad. Like it’s the end of an era.
     
  2. SandPete

    SandPete Low-Roller

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    Awful getting something like that and being alone, feel so miserable, vulnerable and weak... you probably got sick from something bought there, and... rules or no rules... just got some ice... :mad:
     
  3. S'AllGoodMan

    S'AllGoodMan High-Roller

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    I'm so sorry to hear you were sick. That policy is stupid and should be changed. I hope the rest of your trip was better...

    Beth
     
  4. Kainoa

    Kainoa Tourist

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    Sorry to hear about your experience at MSS. You should seriously consider posting your experience on Trip Advisor. As a 25+ year vet of the hotel industry if I were a manager at the MSS I'd like to know when this type of situation arises. Then again the levels of hospitality may be different in Hawaii vs. LV.
     
  5. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Man, being sick on the road sucks. I've had it happen to me in Vegas a couple times, and when my appendix decided to go nuclear I think it happened when we were back in DC, but that's another story. Sorry, Sonya. Each time I had Terri with me. Goin' it alone sucks.

    MSS is what it is. Your tale reminds me of some LVA flamefests involving MSS, not that I was ever part of any of those. Anywho, that's always been one of the things that always had me keep MSS on my marginal list, even through a number of stays. It's not necessarily the level of service as the lack of services. Sadly it's a decision that Boyd made long ago, and for them I guess the business model works.

    Vegas obviously is a huge oyster. Lotta pearls out there.
     
  6. dbueler

    dbueler High-Roller

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    Horrible. Clearly the worst case of customer service I've heard of in a very long time. As much as it hurts to believe it, they just did not care. It just boils down to helping another person in need, and they did not.

    As a business traveler each week, I've had my share of sickness-in-a-hotel-room stories. I am nearly always alone, and usually are in Hampton Inns which do not offer room service. I've never been in one that wasn't helpful in these types of situations, even though they have little expectation of my returning to that particular hotel, and certainly didn't have a long history like you with MSS.

    Shame on them. Glad you made it home, albeit a hellish trip.
    diane
     
  7. nhcris

    nhcris High-Roller

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    Oh Sonya, I feel so bad for you and even worse because I might have been there at the same time. I would have brought you toast and soup and Gatorade and whatever else you needed. I hope you are feeling back to normal now!
     
  8. Film-Noir

    Film-Noir High-Roller

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    Ouch Sonya

    Soo sorry about the bad Experience.

    It's Sad in America, the home of the free & land of the brave.
    That a Casino in the Freest Country in the world, can't send a Sandwitch to a sick patron,
    because of STUPID Union Rules hamstringing the Casino.

    Sandwitch:
    Next time call Jimmmy Johns, bet for a nice tip they will deliver almost anywhere.

    Sick:
    On our Superbowl 9 Day Extravaganza, I was sick with a sinus infection,
    After a trip to http://www.harmonmedicalcenter.com/Default.aspx
    on Friday w Dr. Qureshi, Meds, + an allergy shot, by Superbowl Sunday night I was feeling great, & Playing Lions share @ MGM!

    Best place if your sick, its right behind PH & Paris on Harmon & they take Insurance.
     
  9. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Thanks for the sympathy. It was pretty awful, but I'm over it now. I have written a letter to the F&B manager about my situation and how I think it's a poor example of customer service at a place I've been frequenting since the mid 90's. I'm not sure that they can do anything about it, but I let them know I won't be booking another room at the hotel.

    I didn't think about delivery from a place like Jimmy John's. Doh! *facepalm* But yeah, next time recovery will be at a place with room service. In hindsight, I should have just stayed at TI for another couple days. Canter's Deli was such a great place for me to buy lunch/dinner and the fridge made keeping leftovers so easy. I got spoiled. :)
     
  10. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Too bad about your experience. I also understand MSS's situation. Unlike others I don't blame the union for a hotel policy (I think that some employees just use that as an excuse, to put the blame on someone else for a bad policy and it gets them off the hook so they don't have to help you out). We all know that the downtown hotels do not offer much in amenities and it sucks when you get in a situation like yours.

    Yeah, you probably could have called one of those take out places to deliver something to you but I know that when you are in pain it is hard to think straight. I remember downtown someone dropped off a flyer about eateries that deliver. Slipped them under my door, forget where I was staying, probably EC. I never thought much about it until I read your situation. hmmm, I wonder if calling a host might have helped you get some food and drink. Also wonder if you called the bellman and explained your situation (and mention that he would get a BIG tip lol) if he might have helped you out. hrrmph. so much for the "aloha" spirit they keep talking about. As someone else mentioned, maybe a mention in tripadvisor might be good so others are aware of that customer service problem.

    If you were on one of those boyd charters from hawaii (vacations hawaii) they always have someone on call to assist people in the group (lots of old old folks travel to vegas), I hear of them coming up to help someone that needed help or something. I wonder if one of them might have been nice enough to help you out.

    I am not sure if you would get better service at the other boyd properties or other downtown properties, hard to get something if they don't offer it. Still I would hope that someone would be understanding enough to your situation and help you out, so hard nowadays to find good customer service anywhere.

    I think we all have our bad experiences (not as bad as yours though) that causes us to not stay at a hotel, sometimes even enough to cause us to not set foot in an establishment ever again. My bad situation was at a mall near seatac airport. I needed assistance and tried to ask someone for help and directions. I tried to ask asian people because I thought since I'm asian they would be more helpful. nope, no one helped me. I was up there for a job interview (boeing) and that (along with the rainy weather) caused me to decide that I didn't want to live up there although I received 3 job offers with them paying my relocation fees. One bad experience can ruin everything.

    I never had any problems at the MSS, had some at the Plaza (before renovations) and LVC. Still stay there though. Had some bad experiences when I stayed at the 4q and although I never stayed there since I would still consider staying there again if the price was right. Never matters because I usually find better deals elsewhere (usually EC).
     
  11. Bazzito52

    Bazzito52 Low-Roller

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    Sonya,

    That experience sounds just horrible! Glad you're feeling better. It couldn't have been any fun at all.

    Still, I have to ask:

    I was looking at some other threads and came across a reply from you that said something like, "I decided to move to the Seafood Shack bar for better drinks. Had about 6 Captain & Cokes in an hour..." You wouldn't think that had anything to do with your ailment now, would you?? (I'll dispense with the little "smiley" - you know the one...)

    Anyway, glad you're back among the living and next time - remain at TI! Even if you are sick, the maozo ball soup at Canter's Deli has got to be good for what ails you!
     
    NFL Divisional Playoffs!!
  12. redzone

    redzone Low-Roller

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    Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Totally unacceptable.

    Union rules may have excluded him/her from bringing you something but there was no reason he/she could not have asked what you needed and offered to call somewhere and have it sent to you.

    Its all smoke and mirrors with these corporations as long as you do not ask for them to go outside their set work perimeters then it becomes too much of a hassle to show a little empathy.

    Glad to hear your doing better.
     
  13. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I've tried to stay out of this thread, but...we stay at MSS 5-6 times per year, for over 14 years. We don't use housekeeping the entire trip, but I do call down to housekeeping for extra towels, Kleenex etc, to be brought up to the room.

    In 50-60 stays at the hotel, not once has the person who brought up what I requested had English as a first language. There is nothing wrong with that, I'm just saying communication may not have been clear with the person who brought up the ice.

    I can understand the front desk not being able to help, sometimes there is only one person there. As far as the two managers who couldn't help, that just seems really odd. They are normally so helpful with everything.

    Sonya, I also passed along your post to the GM of MSS.
     
    Christmas
  14. KellyLovesVegas

    KellyLovesVegas certified personal trainer/retired space nerd

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    I'm sorry you had such an awful experience, Sonya. It sucks to be sick when you're not at home, but the incompetence of that property made the situation even worse than it had to be.

    I can't imagine ANY hotel ignoring a guest who was sick and needed assistance. If you had fallen and broken your leg, would they have bothered to call EMS or would they let you lay there until your friends came along? SHEESH!

    As severe dehydration can be life-threatening, I cannot believe SOMEONE in the entire incompetent management chain (and staff) didn't make a command decision to do the right thing and provide to you some Gatorade and food.
     
  15. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Like Joe, I've been debating whether to comment on your situation. I felt your pain of being sick and alone. And I wish for you that it worked out better.

    However.... and I mean this with the utmost respect Sonya...Have you considered that on any given day, probably 50% of the customers staying at any casino, wake up not feeling well? If you were in any other non-gaming town, then I would hope and expect the hotel management to have some mercy on you. But you were in Vegas, where it's normal for customers to wake up unwell.

    I don't think you can ask for MSS (or any other hotel) to change their policies just because you are travelling alone and don't feel well. MSS doesn't know whether you overindulged or had the flu. They probably get requests every day from guests who are under the weather. After all it's Las Vegas, were people get sick 365 days a year. It's not pretty but it is the reality.

    MSS doesn't offer room service but their room rates reflect that. They also don't have concierge service or runners to cater to guests in their room. Again, that's reflected in their room rates. And you knew that going in.

    I'm sorry for this happening to you Sonya but it is what it is. Look around a casino in the morning, you can see the people who should have stayed in bed but instead dragged their sorry ass up so they could get some food. Does it make any difference because your illness was the flu compared to someone who overindulged? Sure, to you and me it does, but it doesn't to the hotel because they see it every single day. Like I said, if it happened anywhere else you might have a beef. But this happened in Vegas, where sick guests are not at all unusual and in fact, quite common.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  16. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    replylue

    Fastest response I think I've ever received, but the GM of MSS got back to me and he said he has no clue why a "care package" wasn't sent up to her room.
     
    Christmas
  17. shiny

    shiny Low-Roller

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    Sonya, you may want to write a formal letter to the top management of Boyd Gaming Corp for voicing your concerns and complaints (in addition to mailing a letter to the F&B manager at MSS; because this guy and his staff didn't do anything for you anyway). Their behaviors and conducts were really cold, rude, inconsiderate. Being a human being, I will go extra miles for helping an ill person with my very best efforts and under all circumstances.

    I always stay on the Strip. Occasionally I will visit a few off-strip casinos (i.e., Palms, South Point, Orleans and Gold Coast for playing their full-pay VP machines). I have never been to MSS or California (Boyd's downtown casinos), as I seldom go downtown.

    I remember that Boyd Gaming acquired MSS, California and Fremont several years ago. Wonder why MSS is still under the strange "union" rules while other Boyd casinos are not? My impression of the customer services at Orleans and Gold Coast has been nice and pleasant. The top management of Boyd Gaming needs to become aware of what happened to you at MSS. Also, Boyd Gaming should standardize their policies and rules across their owned casinos and properties.
     
  18. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    I couldn't agree more!
     
  19. keno60

    keno60 VIP Whale

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    sorry to hear about your plight, glad you managed to make it home. take care of yourself.
     
  20. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    With all that said, regardless of whether they should help her or not, if it's something she doesn't like, why would she stay there again?

    It's not like she came on here and recommended that other people don't stay there. She said it's the end of HER love affair with the place. So she's moving on.
     
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