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March 12 to 17th report!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by tvon, Mar 19, 2004.

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  1. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    March 12-17, my first “official†trip to Vegas, although I had been there briefly on a road trip before. Went with a crew of 4 others, most of which where just interested in sightseeing, not gambling. I gambled a bit but I’m an extreme low roller. We’re all in our lower 20’s (aside from me, im a whopping 25). Warning, I tried to make it short but it turned out to be pretty long.. Check out the end for my summary.

    Got in late Friday night, no problems flying in (aside from the flight seeming like it was taking forever). Before we landed, the plane flew parallel to the strip, so we got a great first view of Vegas. We all got a cab to the In and Out Burger on Maryland pkwy first thing. The cab driver looked at us like we where nuts. “you sure you don’t want to go to a hotel? Nightclub? Bar?†“nope, in and out please†“theres better places to eat, why don’t I take you to the bellagio?†“its ok, in and out is where we want to goâ€. He was bummed I guess since the fare was only $9. In and Out was heavenly as usual, got to call friends back east and rub it in!
    Caught the 109 bus downtown to the Plaza from there (had ACG 2-1 coupon). We all stayed in the same room, of course not mentioning it when we checked in. We had to be careful not to all come and go from the room at once. The room at the plaza was real big but we had a view of n. Vegas, not Fremont L . Boy the Plaza has a distinct odor, cheap deodorizer over smoke I suppose. Hit the sack, and woke up super early (still on east coast time).
    First thing we checked out the champagne brunch at the Main Street Station. No line but it was pretty bad. Nothing in particular, just poor waiter service, bland food and to top it off, our “non smoking seat†was basically in the smoking section. After eating we walked around Fremont, checked out the casinos and I signed up for some slot clubs and used some ACG coupons. There was the st patty’s day parade and celebration going on so it was packed downtown. I checked out the el cortez and was expecting a lot worse, and same deal with the gold spike. Really liked the Lady Luck, tho it was small, it was clean and nice. Lost $5 on the “$5 for $50 slot tournamentâ€. Played some $2 roulette and lost $20 right off the bat. Went back to the Plaza, hit the pool. Its on the 7th floor between the 2 towers. Pretty bland, tons of little kids and lots of rowdy drunks making unwelcome comments to the girls in our group. Got dressed, ate subway and went back out seeing if I could win some money back. However Fremont was even more crowded. Stopped in the Golden Nugget, saw the pool (no chance in getting in) and saw them filming for the “single in Vegas†show. Went to the “Sprit of the King†show at the Fitz. Free admission with drink purchase.. sweet $7 watered down soda. Cheesy show, a lot of people left mid way through. I thought it was pretty ok, he can play guitar well and sing, plus he looked better than most impersonators. Later on, played some BJ at the Cal and lost $15 right away with the meanest dealer I’ve ever seen. A few of us decided to try the roulette table and all did poorly once again! Bedtime.
    Woke up and some of us hit the plaza breakfast buffet. Only $3.95 for slot club members. While in line, some old lady cut me, and then offered her free buffet passes to a middle age couple in front of me. The food was eh, but for $4 it filled me up for cheap. We weren’t even waited on so we went up and got our own drinks, but I guess that saved us from having to tip! Checked out of the Plaza, took the bus down to the strip and checked in at the Sahara. What a pleasant surprise after the dingy experience at the Plaza. Really long line so I used the auto check in kiosk. Got a really low floor on the tangiers tower facing the LV Hilton, should of waited so I could of haggled. Smaller room than the Plaza and the a/c pointed right down on our faces while we slept, that was super annoying. We where either really hot and stuffy or our faces froze. Pool was super nice, no waterfalls, but very pretty, nice clientele and a big hot tub. Big nice clean casino, friendly people and nice theme. Went to the Hilton, got a 2 for 1 to the star trek ride. Borg ride wasn’t open, but some VIPs got to check it out. Waiting in line for the other ride, fire alarm went off, we all had to evacuate outside, with all the characters dressed up! Funny experience but I guess it closed the borg ride down for the day. Boo hoo VIPs! Walked the strip later on, hit the Ho, Riveria, Circus Circus (too many damn kids!) and Slots of no fun. All pretty busy. Went back and hit the Sahara buffet, and was pleasantly surprised. Lots of good “standard†food, nothing was too bad, but nothing was too fancy. The ACG 2 for 1 coupon made it even tastier. I wanted to ride the coaster there, but it was $10! I wish I had a coupon or got a discount cuz we stayed there.
    Went for another walk down the strip, went as far as Caesars. Boy I was impressed with that place (won some money on the munsters slots), and was let down by the Venitian. Saw lots of drunks dancing at the outdoor pavilion at Harrah’s. After peeping out a bunch of places we made the long tiresome trek back to the Sahara.
    Woke up early and played $2 BJ at the Sahara (they only have $2 early in the day, some $3 in the afternoon and always have $5 – didn’t see any $1) did well, cashed out and hit the brunch buffet at Sahara. Still liked it a lot. Walked up to the Stratosphere , looked around, thought about going to the top, but it was too pricy. Played $5 single zero roulette, came out with $40 ahead after only 20 minutes. Liked the casino, gave me a good vibe. Picked up a rental car from us rent-a-car. Van picked me up from the hotel, nice driver, mean people at the counter. Warned me if I didn’t’ buy their $15 a day insurance plan (which didn’t’ cover normal wear and tear or theft) I would have to pay cash on the spot for any damage. Looked at me crazy when I declined. They gave me a bright yellow Suzuki 4 door (I only paid for a 2 door econ). $40 for 2 days including tax. If you are staying on the strip, I highly recommend a car. Picked everyone up and cruised the strip. Hit the In and out again and checked out the Excalibur, Luxor, NY NY and Mandelay. Really liked the Luxor, great looking place. Lots of girls dressed up waiting for a club at Mandelay and I couldn’t even get a look at their pool. However it is a classy joint, saw some people playing $500 a hand BJ. Drove mid strip and hit the casino royale to bring it down to our level, lots of rowdy fun there, won some money on some video slot while waiting outside the bathroom. Went back to the Sahara, playing more roulette (I know the odds suck but its fun!) and went to bed.
    Woke up and went to in and out again, hit a few thift stores near there then checked out the Hard Rock. Small casino, beautiful pool filled with beautiful people. Easy to walk right in too! Checked out the Tropicana, was really let down, what a dump! The pool was closed too. Hit mid strip, checking out the Aladdin, Paris, and the Bellagio. Bellagio’s pool looked real nice, but security wouldn’t let me go in to look. We took at look at the Alladin buffet and decided it would be worth the $23. Went back and changed into nicer clothes and went back only to find a huge line. We toughed it out, while I went over and did the Alladin slot tournament. $25 for to play, $10 in regular slot money and a $20 food coupon. We stuffed ourselves and this buffet was really first class. Nothing was bad here and the desserts where top notch. Our waiter was sort of slow and spilled water all over my friend and didn’t even get an apology. Before I left I played my $10 in free slots and won $20!. Good deal! Hit the casino royale for the $50 in free slot play, but its really a tournament type deal, you need to hit the jackpot to win anything. Played some $2 roulette and lost $10. Saw the Mirage volcano and the Bellagio water show. We drove to Sams town and Palace station looking for cheap gambling, but they didn’t have any. Stopped in at the Palms and was let down.. small casino and bland surroundings. Tons of VP machines, many marked with signs that said “FULL PAY!†Left and played Bj at the Sahara and came out even, then lost it all at $4 roulette. Another tiring day.
    Woke up with minutes to spare to check out, I literally threw on clothes and used the check in/out kiosk. Handy little buggers. After waiting for the slow people to finally get packed (and getting weird looks from the maids) we hit the hard rock again, but this time we swam. The water slide is amazing and they play pretty good music out there. Listening to the Ramones, Stooges and Breeders while you swim is pretty good. J Plus LA’s beautiful people all there in skimpy bathing suits. Found Sex Pistols and Hendrix slot machines, so cool.
    Our companion’s flight was early so they wanted some In and Out before we took them to the airport. One of them got really sick on the way there and was puking in the bathroom the whole time we ate. On the way to the airport we even had to stop to yak on the side of the road. I was told she almost was not let on the plane while puking at the gate. Apparently she puked the whole way home, I feel sorry for the guy sitting next to her! Must have been sick or something at the Aladdin buffet didn’t agree with her.
    After that we searched out the Outlet mall way far down on the LV blvd. Then looked at MGM, saw the lions and went to M&M world. $8 for a pound of m’s, yikes!. Hit the Luxor again to get a better look during the day. Stopped to get gas before returning the rental, however after it was full, it still said it only had half a tank. Fortunately US rental tried pumping gas in and it overflowed on the curb, so I wasn’t charged the $6 a gallon fee. Got the van to the airport and found out it was snowing back in Massachusetts.. greaaat. Flight on Song was delayed an hour, so I used that time to lose money on the machines in the airport (yea I knew it was dumb).
    The Song flight went very fast. The seats are all leather and all have tv’s in each seat. But I slept a lot. Got in at 6am to snow and freezing cold. The captain said “I bet you wish you still in Vegasâ€.. yea no kidding.

    Summary
    - the Plaza is a good joint to stay at downtown, but the casino smells funny.
    - In and Out Burger is the best fast food ever, I wish it was in the east.
    - The Sahara is a great hotel to stay at for cheap. Very nice inside and great casino
    - The Buffet at Sahara is good if you like basic fare and not expecting gourmet. I liked it.
    - I walked so much my legs are still sore and my feet are blistered up. Rent a car, you will not regret it
    - The Downtown is a good place to gamble but isn’t as flashy as the strip (obviously)
    - The Lady Luck is a nice casino, I thought it would be dingy-er
    - Caesars is way more impressive than the Venitian. Bellagio is good but Caesars gets my vote.
    - Luxor is also very impressive, seemed like a good place to gamble too
    - Hard Rock has the best pool I’ve ever been in, definitely easy to check out even if you don’t stay.
    - The Sahara and Plaza are equally easy to swim in if you aren’t a guest.
    - Westward Ho and the Casino Royale kept me coming back, though I couldn’t tell you why
    - The Tropicana seems like a huge dump. The Sahara is way nicer and cheaper.
    - Saw the monorail stations and trains running. Even saw the kiosks in the hotels to buy monorail tickets. Too bad it wasn’t open. \
    - The Aladdin buffet is great, top notch. A must try. Hostess told us they rake in 60 grand every 6 hours.
    - Going from 80 degree weather everyday to 25 and snowing, sucks.
    - Overall left Vegas -$75. not too bad since I didn’t gamble too much. Next trip will be with gamblers.
    - I WANT TO GO BACK!!

    [ April 15, 2004, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: tvon ]
     
  2. 3cats

    3cats High-Roller

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    to quote an ole expression

    momback

    this time use Jim to drive you around
    3cats
     
  3. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    also want to add..
    hotel and car rental + half tank of gas = $65 each!
    my airfare was $144 one way on Amer West and $109 one way on Song plus a $100 off voucher from AW = $153 airfare! [​IMG]
     
  4. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    ok finally some pictures.. its been a month but here goes..

    The Pool at the Sahara

    [​IMG]

    our view facing north las vegas at the Plaza hotel downtown

    [​IMG]

    Saturday morning fremont st.

    [​IMG]

    St pattys day (actually 4 days before it) festival on freemont
    [​IMG]

    Our Room at the Sahara, smaller than Plazas but nicer.
    [​IMG]

    Our view at the sahara (2nd floor) facing the valet enterance and the LV hilton
    [​IMG]

    some japanese couple getting married, japanese tv press took pictures and filmed it.. must of been famous. [​IMG]
     
  5. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    last 3

    The empty sahara monorail station
    [​IMG]

    The Hard Rock pool [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    the airport terminal.. managed to lose there too..
    [​IMG]
     
  6. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    I missed your TR the first time around, somehow, but nifty pics, tvon. Especially morning on Fremont Street - wish i was there now...

    I was pleasantly surprised with the Sahara casino when I stopped in last time, and I keep hearing good stuff about it. Gonna have to try it out next time.
     
  7. milehiman

    milehiman VIP Whale

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    Great trip report - kinda goofy what they were trying to get you to do at the car rental agency.

    Boy, you guys must love In and Out. If we have a car, it's a must do, but other than that it's something we catch next time.

    Next trip, you should try to stay at the Luxor.
     
  8. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    also want to mention, our companion who got sick.. she also played the machines at the California half way thru the trip.. She was violently ill, vomiting the whole trip home.. So i'm pretty sure she had the norwalk virus.. stay away from the cal!! its a crappy casino, so you aren't missing anything
     
  9. Rhonda1290

    Rhonda1290 Guest

    Great pictures!!! You've got me all excited for our May trip!
     
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