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MyVegas Vacation Sept. 9-14

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Hyperfocal, Sep 9, 2013.

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  1. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

    Joined:
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    My Trip Report

    Heading back to Vegas for trip number something mid-teens. It's the first since last September and I'm hoping to do better in following through with a real trip report. I'll have wifi for the first four days and a company-paid phone with tethering for the last day.

    I got really into MyVegas and earned enough points for some good rewards before they changed the rules and point values.

    Monday, I have two nights in a 750 GR Suite at Mandalay Bay. Hoping for some decent pool weather, although the forecast is sketchy.

    Wednesday, I have two nights at Aria. I had the City View room booked with a MyVegas comp, but got an offer for an upgrade to a Corner Suite for $60/night. I jumped on it, but realize I may have lost my comp. I will fight for the discount, but am ready to just pay for the room because it will still be a good value even if I have to pay. No sense letting something like a couple hundred bucks ruin a vacation when you will have an awesome suite waiting for you.

    Friday, I have a vintage room booked at El Cortez. It was the best value on a fight weekend Friday night. I stayed in one last year and was happy with it. There is nothing like Friday on Fremont Street and all I need is a bed and someplace to... uhm, wash up.

    Shows, I have a MyVegas comp ticket to O at Bellagio booked and will grab a couple cheap shows to keep me out of the casino.

    If I get full value of the three MyVegas comps, it will be well over $1000 in value. Even if I pay for Aria, it's about $600. Not bad for a free Facebook game.

    I also got a 2 for 1 2 day pass on the Monorail, which I like using even though it isn't all that convenient. The LVH sportsbook is one of my favorite places, so the monorail is useful to me. Also picked up a free bag of popcorn at Sugar Factory just so I can cost money to the place that had the Paris Fountain torn down.

    Coupons. I used to be a big LVA/American Casino Guide guy, but the value got less and less, and it wasn't worth going to off-strip properties. This year, I limited myself to printable coupons I know I'll use. Just the Auto Collection at the Quad free admission and $5 off at Spice Market.

    Gambling. The budget is pretty limited. Non-marketing offers are liberating. I don't feel any obligation to play, but I have about a $100/day budget, so there will be some low-rolling. A few bucks are budgeted for the Lion's Share, but most will be 3-play nickel STP.

    If you're looking for Banana Chips, HL rooms and limos, this won't be the TR for you.
     
  2. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Hey, have a great time. I used that same MB award back in May, room was fantastic, if I remember I was on 31st floor, didn't even try the $20 trick. BUT one word of warning, when you wake up your first morning, check on the TV to make sure you weren't charged for the room. I was accidently charged the daily rate, just glad I had checked. Only took a 5 minute phone call to get it all straightened out.

    Have a great trip!
     
  3. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Thanks for the heads up. The woman at the front desk said I was on a comp, so I should be good.

    Day 1

    This is primarily at travel day. Saved a guy from leaving his laptop at security, so that seems like good karma. Took Southwest nonstop out of Milwaukee. A27 boarding position, so I got the seat I always want on the right side of the plane near the front. Uneventful flight until we got near Denver where there was a massive storm and a bit of a new flight plan.

    Arriving Vegas, there were storms everywhere, but we were landing. The plane was on a normal approach until we got over the Boulder Highway, as I watched Sam's Town and the East Side Cannery go past, the plane began buffeting and yawing. The pilot hit the throttle and gained altitude. We did a couple orbits over Primm before making an approach from the south. It was a little white knuckle, but we got on the ground in the middle of rain.

    Took a shuttle to MB. Had a car reserved, but decided to bail on the reservation because I didn't want to deal with Vegas drivers in the rain.

    Got a new Mlife card because I'd read people weren't able to check in with their MyVegas reservations without, but the check in was uneventful. Paying the resort fee, but they said that at the time I reserved.

    Got 750 GR suite on the 19th floor. It's right at the center spine, close to the elevators, but has a nice view of the Strip and McCarron. LV Sands 747SP and the Janet flight aircraft are right across the street. Can see all the way to Treasure Island from the dining area. Nice room, but IMHO this sort of mini suite should at least have a fridge and preferably a small wet bar.

    Ate at MB's buffet. Very disappointing. Average food and modest selection. Nothing really bad, but just not a good value for the $30. One positive is dinner includes bottomless beer and wine.

    Gambling was meh. Down $35. No big wins, no big losses.

    Edit: Went out and played at MGM's dingy castle. Hit 4 queens with a 10x multiplier on STP to regain the losses from that smokey pit and a few from earlier, leaving me down only $20.10 for the first day. I'll take that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  4. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

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    Here's the view from my suite at MB. Not bad.
     

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  5. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

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    Tuesday

    This was supposed to be a pool day, but the sky was grey and ominous. Since it was a little cool and cloudy, I went out on a construction examination.

    NYNY has completely removed the fireboat and the water features from the front of the casino. They are still in the demolition phase. It has always been the most perfectly themed place to me, but I have to admit there has been little to draw me in to stay, play or drink. They have a few decent restaurants, but they are in the back where you won't necessarily stumble across them. Their strip frontage is just eyecandy, but doesn't really give people a place to hang out. I would like them to build a new 9/11 memorial area just because it is so much a part of the NYC experience and because I almost always am in Vegas over 9/11.

    Monte Carlo has a lot of steel up for their new northern thing.

    Linq and Quad. The High Roller is very impressive, but will people spend enough to make it profitable? Maybe ferris wheel raves or weddings. Linq is really coming along and looks like it should be a nice area. The Quad casino looks much better, but the back by the garage still smells like IP, with the customary emphasis on the "P." It's still an odd place, there was a dog dressed like Elvis lying next to his owner as his owner played blackjack. Elvis Poochley. With the new Quad port cochere, there is no room for vendors in the old Carnival Court area.

    Additionally, MGM Grand is putting up what appears to be a massive new video board on their marquee. YESCO is out with a huge crane putting framework on the marquee.

    Aria's new sign is impressive. It makes Cosmopolitan's sign look like a cute little also-ran. Hope it leads to a competiton to make the biggest, glitziest sign.

    ...and one other bit of construction that surprised me. They are adding another wing to the Marriott Grand Chateau. Yeah, it's a timeshare, but it would seem to indicate that things are moving again.

    Once I got back from the surveying trip, the sky had cleared and it was decent pool weather. Hit the Mandalay Bay pool in beautiful weather. Mid-80s, but only a sparse crowd at the pool. Counted 15 other people in the wave pool. Plenty of room in the pool and no lounger drama. Septembers are awesome.

    Gave the Bayside Buffet a second chance because it was convenient. Lunch was better than dinner. Many of the selections were identical, in fact, the main difference was the lack of unlimited beer and wine and "striploin" substituted for the mediocre prime rib at the carving station. They had great pecan sticky buns at the dessert station.

    Gambling. Went out to the LVH to the superbook. The entire place was really dead. As you walk into the old Space Quest casino from the monorail station, recorded cricket sounds greet you -- honest. It's like accidentally walking into a closed business. OTOH, they still have 9/6 jacks as low as nickels in the sportsbook, so it's a good place to play video poker. ...and the bored, untipped waitresses are very attentive to the few players around.

    Otherwise, I played a lot of low-rolling games. Hit enough quads to stay even, although I did donate $21 to Lion's Share and had one true rookie move. My secret shame is Gems Wild Tiles. MB has one and I just looked at the 1, not the denomination symbol. Put a $20 in, hit play and "won" 3. Hit rebet and nothing happened. It was a dollar penny slot. Ugh, stupid $17 loss for no good reason.

    Otherwise, I did OK. So far, I'm down a grand total of $14.01 for the day. $34.11 for the trip. This I can afford.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  6. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

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    Gems Wild Tiles is one of my go tos when I just want a morning coffee. I put in a $1 and play a penny until my coffee comes from the CW. One time I actually cashed out at $6. :thumbsup:
     
    40th Birthday Bash!
  7. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

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    Checked out of MB and into Aria. There was no resort fee on the comped suite. :)

    Being a real cheapskate, I took the tram to Excalibur and walked to Aria. Dropped bags with bellman and had lunch at Wicked Spoon. Almost worth the $27 for lunch. Lots of great items, but it is really loud and busy. The desserts were great.

    Went back to Aria and checked in to my Corner Suite. Had booked a city view room through MyVegas and got an email offer for a $60/night upgrade. They honored the upgrade and the free base room. Will have to pay resort fee, but the suite is beyond my expectations. It's only on the 10th floor, but the view si great. The living room has a panoramic view from Cosmo to MGM Grand, along with a big view of Monte Carlo. The bathroom has strip views in one direction and pool views in the other. Bedroom has a pool view. The turndown service is unexpected. The maid even untangled my charging cables.

    The only downside is that the room is at the far end of the hall.

    Gambling. Down about $15 for the day after hitting quad 3s with a 4x multiplier on nickel STP.

    Weather was good during the day, but it rained in the late afternoon, stranding me at PH. Even worse, the storm knocked out the DirecTV in the sportsbook.
     
  8. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

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    Thursday, second day at Aria. The corner suite has substantially better service than the regular rooms. Wall Street Journal and Las Vegas Review Journal both at the door. After schlepping down the hall for ice, I noticed that the mini-fridge has an icemaker. It's the little things.

    Gambling was up and down. Hit my Jets-Pats pick, but lost my baseball bet. On the plus side, my game analysis was good, it just went to extra innings and those things happen. I was picking the underdog.

    The real positive is that it's early Friday morning after my fourth night in Vegas and I still haven't touched an ATM. :p

    Saw O at Bellagio. It was OK, but I would rank it near the bottom of the Cirque shows I've seen. There just isn't one signature moment you will take with you. I'm really glad the $170 ticket was comped through the MyVegas game.

    One thing the crowd made me understand... Cirque shows are great for international visitors, since they don't need to understand English or US pop culture to enjoy the show.

    Tomorrow, it's downtown and El Cortez for one night. It will be a big change from a 920 sq ft Corner Suite to a Vintage Room.
     
  9. Hyperfocal

    Hyperfocal High-Roller

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    Last night in Vegas.

    Checked out of Aria.

    Went to the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Store on Spring Mountain Road to pick up some souvenir stuff for a zombie-obsessed friend at work. It's a cute little concept a little way off the strip. They have their own mugs and stuff that is pretty expensive, probably due to the low production runs. They have other zombie stuff at OK prices. They also have a lot of survivalist stuff i.e. rations, knives and ammo.

    Had lunch at Holsteins at Cosmo. I had initially intended to walk through Cosmo and go over to PH and have Earl of Sandwich, but there was a union protest and the ringleader started heckling me and calling me names for going in. I ignored the union jerks, but spent my money in Cosmo because I don't take kindly to having some idiot with a megaphone call me childish names.

    Took the WAX bus to Fremont and checked in at El Cortez. Got one of the rooms at the top of the stairs with a little, odd balcony.

    I have to say, Fremont is really overflowing with costumed characters, buskers, aggressive Christians and beggars. Far more than in the past. They are going to have to do something about it, since it is becoming an issue. There are rows of Kiss impersonators, multiple transformers, a topless woman in a devil costume (OK, she can stay), along with a lot of individual musicians with little amplifier setups. There are even some porn slappers.

    There is definitely a new noise problem on Fremont East. My room faces Commonwealth, which has an open rooftop area with some sort of live performance. It's not a band, but it's very odd and intermittently loud. It's not so loud I won't sleep, but it will make me rethink the cheap vintage rooms.

    Gambling was bad today. Had to hit an ATM for the first time. Just lost and lost. It was maybe $120, but after dealing with the Strip with moderate losses, I felt a little bad going downtown and dropping more than I has all week. Looking forward to flying home tomorrow. Five nights is a long time for a solo trip on a budget. Catching the WAX bus to the airport, but maybe going to the Mob Museum before I go.
     
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