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Need help from VMB’s Frugal Ninja’s

Discussion in 'Las Vegas for the Frugal (not Cheap)' started by LolaDoggie, Sep 12, 2013.

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  1. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    It’s a very long story but my next trip to Vegas is all set for March 2nd to March 9th. I am completely, 100% stuck with those exact dates. There is a large convention in town that week that is pushing mid-week strip hotel prices up quite a bit. I also have to entertain my brother and his wife from the 7th to 9th so I have to be near Caesars.

    My usual budget is blown to bits. I’m OK with it but I’d feel better if I could try to minimize the damage a little bit. I’m hoping to keep my Sun to Thurs budget down to partially make up for Thurs-Sun. It’s going to put my Frugal Vegas Ninja skills to the test.

    I do bring a soft sided cooler to Vegas with me for drinks and snacks and we will have a rental car for the week. I’m a coupon user and specials hound. I’m not comp’d. I get the odd bone thrown to me via email or snail mail but nothing special. I’m not on facebook, hate it, won’t do it.

    So, my questions and what I’m weighing out. I’m hoping for some feedback and ideas;

    -I think my best strategy is to stay downtown Sunday to Thursday. We like downtown, lots of bargains all around (food-booze-rooms), and we wanted to split the week anyway. Am I right there? Four Queens is around $40 a night and ElCo is probably less than that. Pools aren’t a factor that time of year.

    - Will strip prices come down that weekend? Is March Madness that serious so early in the month?

    -I’m looking at Bally’s and The Quad for Thurs to Sun. Should I be looking at Mirage? Flamingo? I would have gladly stayed at Bill’s if it had stayed open. Jerks. Should I even consider Caesars? How low can those rooms go? I’d like to keep it at or under $200 a night, am I delusional?

    -Any advice for airfare? It looks on the high side as well. We fly direct out of Detroit. I don't have the option of getting an airline credit card to get their deals. And I don't fly enough to have points to play with. The email deals require flexibility and speed that I don't have. I'll suck it up with the airfare if I have to.

    Anyhow, if my brother ever says I never did anything for him, I’m gonna kick him square in the gonads with a frozen workboot.
     
  2. kps

    kps High-Roller

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    March Madness has the play in games on the 18th and 19th so that won't be a problem. The 11 or so conferences during the time there is the problem which will if anything raise hotel prices as it gets closer to the dates.

    I stayed at Monte Carlo last year and the Deluxe Room wih 2 Queens for 3/2 to 3/6 is $722 While the 3/6 to 3/9 is $636 right now. Not adding taxes or anything, just right off of their website directly, no MLife card or special codes. Only thing close to what you want to spend on $200/night.

    Now the Devil's advocate....Went on Southwest airlines vacation page and on the non stop from Detroit Wayne Metro to LV at 11:50 AM and non stop return leaving LV at 8:55 AM on the 9th you can stay at Treasure Island for the entire time for a total of $1851.96. That is the total cost for a basic room and non stop each way for 2 people for your time period. No special codes, mileage number or using a special credit card. Straight up right off the site. Not sure if there are any resort fees there, if so prob $20-25/night on top of the cost.

    Just taking the same non stop alone for 2 people will cost $907.60. If you take the cheapest hotel on the strip I see with Monte Carlo and add the weekend plus that you are at $1543 and still need to fill Sun-Thurs morning. Even at $40/night downtown for 4 nights another $160 so $1703 is what you are at. For $148 more I get the strip to replace the 4 nights downtown, I can walk to 2 blocks to Caesar's to see the brother and you still have the rental car in play.

    Just a thought.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  3. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    You bring up a few good ideas there. I had written off Southwest because the last time I checked they didn't have direct flights dtw-las. Monte Carlo and Treasure Island are close but not close enough in this case. Bally's-Quad-Flamingo-Mirage is as far as I want to go from Caesars. And we really did want to spend more time downtown, it's not a hardship to stay at the Four Queens before my brother arrives. I'm going to take another look at SWA because I know there's a lot of fans on here and I really didn't like Spirit last time.
     
  4. BlueSkadoo

    BlueSkadoo VMB Sweetheart

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    Just to build on kps' stuff, TI does have that tram that drops you off at Mirage if that's any consolation.
     
  5. vegasqc

    vegasqc VIP Whale

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  6. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    I'll take another look at Casino Royale. From what I saw, the prices were high. But, I'll take another look.
     
  7. vegas3

    vegas3 Low-Roller

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    I hate Facebook myself, BUT play the game! You are turning down free money that will greatly ease the expense!

    BTW, we pack a soft sided cooler, wouldn't leave home without it.
     
  8. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    You know, I think the lesson I am re-learning here is not to write things off. You have to check everything, every which way, every single time. Very valuable reminder. I appreciate the replies so far. I knew my Frugal Vegas Ninja's wouldn't let me down.

    Well Vegas3, I must hate facebook more than you. I quit facebook as a free Xmas gift to myself 3 years ago. I would rather do a few little side jobs (I make beaded jewellery) or sell my my husband's kidney than go back on facebook.
     
  9. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    Must you entertain your brother and his wife?:evillaugh

    I think you may have found the best strategy for yourself...but "best" may not mean least expensive. How "frugal" are you willing to get?

    I don't know how averse you are to a place like Days Inn ($100 bucks total for Mar 2-7 including Dennys breakfast for 2 for each night and pay no deposit on booking.com...it's also $70 bucks total for that weekend).It is a great bed honestly with a cute little casino. But it might not be up your alley.

    Golden Gate is going for $28 the same nights and El Cortez is $32, with FQ being $39. These rates are on priceline so we found the same rates there. I love FQ establishment more than GG establishment, but I love GG queen room more than FQ room. I also like EC tower room more than GG room. Overall I like EC better than the rest to stay but it's just so far out. But I am most in love with FQ establishment and location more than the rest. Right now you can get EC Cabana suite for $164 total for Mar 2-7 on booking.com.

    There's a lot of nice off-strip properties that's cheaper than the strip on the weekend (like a Grandview suite, which is a most highly rated place at 9/10 on booking.com is $250 total for those weekend nights). Downtown is of course also cheaper, with most hotels being $130 total for those weekend nights (note: for weekend nights, I only included friday 7th and saturday 8th-checking out Sunday 9th).

    But if you must be on the strip, I am probably seeing rates no lower than you found! However, if you do not mind staying at the Travelodge on the strip across the street from Aria in between MGM and Planet Hollywood, that's $215 total for the weekend on booking.com....not sure about your feelings about that either lol.

     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  10. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    Thanks for all the responses and ideas.

    I think I've found a compromise that lowers the cost closer to my comfort zone. Do an air + car package with either Southwest or Spirit. Sunday to Friday at Four Queens. Friday and Saturday at Bally's.

    I'll have to see about booking it. We have to replace the roof this weekend. We were so happy to get the paperwork for the roof when we bought the house. Done in 1997, 25 year warranty, one less thing to worry about. We were such amateurs. I'm sure the shingles are still good but it was a really terrible roofing job. You can't tell from the ground and it looks fine from the street. My husband got up there and it's pretty bad. I guess he's known for a while and was trying to nurse it along. Now it's leaking. And it's ugly on top of that. Don't get me started on home ownership.

    Anyhow, I'll try to at least lock down the hotels.
     
  11. vegas3

    vegas3 Low-Roller

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    I did not think you would go for it, but had to present it just in case.
     
  12. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    I would have totally gone for Casino Royale. I've had many of their finest $1 offerings. The rooms look really good. But, without going all tmi on you and sounding like a whiner, I've had a lot of surgery the last 5 years, my most recent big one a few months ago. I'm still off work with complications from it. I can't count on having the stamina to walk that much. I'm going to make a decision about renting a scooter a week or two before we get there.
     
  13. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Saw your tag. Noticed it didn't mention the buffet at Circus Circus.

    You have a car. Lots of good choices off-Strip, although some places (like Orleans) are booked.
     
  14. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    Circus Circus buffet is on my to do list for March, don't you worry :evillaugh

    I'm not looking at off strip because I want to be near my brother and we like to have a drink. I didn't get to drink nearly enough last time and I really want to correct that this time!
     
  15. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    "A square kick with a frozen workboot" now, that one may end up in my archives for a future use.

    As for frugal, I just checked out Spirit Airlines for a trip in early October, the rate from Philly is $58 each way, no joke. Spirit is always running some kind of special. My "all in" airfare with one checked bag and an exit row seat would be $210 round trip. Spirit is always running some kind of promotion.

    I was also looking at the Riviera, they have a midweek deal on Suites for $59. Standard rooms are less. I got a loyalty card from the Riv two years ago and ran a few twenties through a WOF slot and as a result, I occasionally get free room offers.

    As for entertaining your sibling and in law, are you always the one who makes it easy and runs runs down to meet up? Are you the middle child peacemaker? I think that is me, BTW.. How about one day down Caesars (use the Deuce or another bus) and one day at your place. Flip a coin for the third day or meet up in a neutral place.
     
  16. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    Hammie, I'm glad you can make use of the frozen workboot saying. It's not mine. It came from one of my husband's old bosses. He's quite a character, he has plenty of these little sayings.

    I'm not the middle child and I'm for sure not the peacemaker. I just feel I should make the effort this time. It's a long story man. Long.

    Anyhow, I figure I've done my due diligence by parking myself at Bally's while he's there. He can run to meet me.
     
  17. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Haha! I am the middle child. I believe in this saying attributed to Confucius: Its better to forget some things than to remember everything.
     
  18. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    No, my brother is the troubled middle child trying to make peace. It's my sister, then 21 months later him, then 11 years later me. I was an accident. Same 2 parents, although that's hard to believe when you consider some of my sister's antics. My sister is the problem child. My role depends on who you ask.
     
  19. ValerieJo

    ValerieJo Low-Roller

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    Hi Lola. At work so I couldn't go through the whole thread shhhh....

    Anyway, we fly out of DTW, but have you considered Flint or Toledo? I'm pretty sure SW now flys direct out of Flint.

    We've also had pretty good rates in the past with Frontier Airlines, however there is a stop in Denver.

    Not sure if Harrah's is cheaper than Bally's, but maybe check it out. We've stayed there in the past and it was just fine. We had no issues and the location is good.

    Sorry, I couldn't do more research before I posted.

    Have fun.
     
    First time at 4 Queens
  20. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    Allegiant used to fly to Vegas out of Lansing. That was pretty sweet. I'm an hour away from Port Huron Michigan and about 2 hours away from DTW not counting border crossings. I only do non-stop or direct flights. I know I'm repeating myself terribly here, but Harrah's is too far from Caesar's for this particular trip. I will look into Southwest out of Flint though.
     
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