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Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by cjwillwin, Nov 27, 2013.

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  1. cjwillwin

    cjwillwin Tourist

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    So definitely new here. I'm planning a trip to Vegas for February (Mon-Wed) for my birthday. This will be my third trip to vegas and none of my traveling companions (3 friends) have ever been here.

    I stumbled across this site as I was trying to google up interesting things to do. There's so much on here that I hardly know where to start. A lot of this trip is going to be stuff they want to do, because as it's there first trip and we all have relatively similar tastes I'm willing to sacrifice a little to make it special for them.

    I don't know if this is where I'm supposed to post it, but I have a few questions and am open to any tips or if I'm posting this on the wrong board a redirect to a more appropriate place...

    Just a little bit about me and Vegas... My previous two trips I stayed in a timeshare off the strip, went to marquee twice, gambled very little, but made an effort to walk through every hotel and went to Cheetah's strip club. The second trip I stayed in the quad last May. I did a lot of gambling, saw sin city comedy, and did a “club crawl” (which kinda sucked).

    This time so far... I've booked the Tower Spa Suite in the MGM... Reading around it's not the nicest room, but it'll be nicer than anywhere I've been in Vegas and I'm sure my friends will like it. The location isn't the best, as like I'm sure most do, I prefer the central location, but I do like the MGM and I'm kinda excited about a decent room. Is there any way I can get a room with a balcony (don't know if they have any), a smoking room, or a room with a good view? Or is that all random?

    Our basic itinerary so far is check in, gambling, the Help show (Beatles tribute show) on Monday, and my friend was saying that he wanted to go to a club that's supposed to be on a rooftop. Don't know where that is, but I'm gonna try and track it down. None of us are club people and I'd rather see Jersey boys, but this is sort of my friends day and those are what they want to do.

    On Tuesday all we really have planned is the Spearmint rhino. That's where I wanted to go for my birthday, as my uncle said its the best strip club in vegas, but I'm open to other suggestions.

    We're looking for more to do on Tuesday and restaurants we can eat at. The only current idea for food is heart attack grill. I'd be interested in a nicer, but not rich steak house to go to if you have a suggestions. Right now looking at Craftsteak. Are they good? Can I just order a steak and a drink or will they get pissy if you don't get appetizers.

    As far as gambling goes I don't plan to spend a whole lot, but playing against a simulated dealer I can usually make a decent amount of money. I can count through two decks in about a minute-a minute and a half perfect every time and don't lose the count in multi deck games either. Is it worth it to try and make a few bucks or should I just run basic strategy or play craps/roulette. Don't want to come home with a broken arm >_>

    Just so you know our basic budget, I think I'm gonna try and bring 1500 (after plane and hotel) one guy 1000 and two guys around 700. We want to have a good time, but are defintiely on a budget. I'm trying to feel rich without being rich.

    Random questions.

    I've heard from some people that rewards cards are scams and some people say they're great, is there anything I should sign up for?

    I'm trying to be the “vegas expert” of the group like I'm supposed to be, but I dont' know all that much.

    Any suggestions or redirects to the correct board would be great.

    I love Vegas, I love the drinking, I love the smoking, I love the debauchery. I love tipping everyone. I love being in old casinos and pretending the mobs running it lol. I'm excited to be going back and plan to stay on this forum until I am a vegas expert!

    Sorry if this post was too damn long >_>

    Lastly I don't think we made it clear enough. We're really here to party, at least at night. We're all 21-23 range (me being the 2nd oldest for my 23rd bday and the youngest being 21 and 2 months at the time of the trip). We want to drink, see boobs, and have a lot of fun. I would love a nice meal, see a nice show, or see something touristy, but at the end of the day it's kinda a trip that give us an excuse to drink too much. So you can keep that in mind during any tips and that'd be great.
     
  2. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Welcome aboard.

    I certainly can't answer everything. But I'll take a shot at a few topics.

    Balcony/smoking/view room: MGM does have suites that have balconies, but they are pricey. I'll let the MGM experts expand on that as I've never stayed there. You can certainly request a smoking room (if you've already booked, call them up and have them add that request to your reservation), though they won't guarantee that you'll get one. I would say that 90% (or more) of the time they'll be able to accommodate your request (I'm a smoker, and I can count on one hand the number of times I wasn't able to get a smoking room - out of 40-ish trips). I do seem to remember a few years back that MGM was offering to guarantee such requests for a fee. I don't know if they still do that, but if it is a must for you, you could look into that.

    Usually, rooms with good views go for a few bucks more. But being friendly with the front desk clerk - and mentioning that there are Vegas virgins in your group - can sometimes get you the upgrade for free. As can a $20 tip/bribe, occasionally.

    Craftsteak: I'm a fan. It's one of my favorite joints in Vegas. And yes, you can just get a steak without ordering an app. Though, as with most nice places on the strip, everything is a la carte. So you might want to order a side (the four of you could split two sides if you're looking to save $) or you will literally just have a hunk o' meat.

    Rewards/Players Cards: I think getting one for any casino you'll be playing for a decent amount of time is a must. Obviously, you guys aren't whales. So don't expect them to give you the world. But you'll get something - a free buffet, a few bucks off your bill, some freeplay, maybe even a night or two taken off the bill if you play enough. Plus, some cards give you a % off things you buy at that property. And some places have new player "gifts"/incentives.

    Cosmopolitan has a great deal going now. They'll give you $100 worth of freeplay after you lose your first $100. You need their card (Identity) to participate, though.

    Card Counting: I'm far from an expert on this subject. But I can say you won't get taken out to the desert if you're caught. Though that doesn't mean that you won't be seriously inconvenienced if you aren't careful. Being barred from the casino you're staying in would suck. If you're serious about wanting to try it, you might want to post a separate thread so you can get some advice from the experts.

    Also, it sounds like you'd enjoy the more "old school" casinos downtown. If you haven't been yet, I'd recommend you guys spend an evening DT.


    (For some of these questions you might get more answers by starting a thread in the appropriate forum for that question.)

    Best of luck and have a great trip! :beer:
     
  3. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

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    Welcome to the board. At a minimum, get a player reward card for the MGM properties and also CET....Caesars / Paris / Bally's / Harrah's...etc. CET seems to be the easiest to receive free room offers and like thecarve stated....many properties give you a discount on purchases. Your group may enjoy Planet Hollywood....a lot of your age range stays there & parties it up. If you want a snack, The Earl of Sandwich is right there (open 24 hours ??) and is very popular....isn't the Beatles show in the Miracle Mile shops behind PH? There is also BurGR there which is great.
    Hope you have a really great birthday trip!
     
  4. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Welcome to the board.

    The first time I counted cards, they were on to me in less than 30 minutes. It's not like my lips were moving, but probably close. What they did (this was in Tahoe) was that the pit guy stood there and stared at me. Nothing was said. I went back to flat bets and basic strategy, but was so uncomfortable with the attention that I left the table a few hands later. It's a lot easier to count at home than it is in a casino. At home you have no distractions, can see the cards better, and don't need to cover.

    Blackjack, like craps, is more fun with a full table. Find a table with decent rules and don't start counting until they get used to you. Get up and find another table if you don't like the dealer, the crowd, whatever. It's a bad idea to use a player card at the blackjack table if you count, but it is smart to use a card at all other games in the one or two casinos where you plan to play the most. The Cosmo offer is good as a hit and run sort of thing but I would not play there on a regular basis.

    Please be considerate of other players when you smoke, both at tables and at machines. Try to keep it to a few per hour rather than having one burn constantly.

    If you're there to whoop it up with buddies, do a little extra and get the room you want, whether it be to ask very nicely about upgrades, slip a folded bill under your driver's license, or just pay extra for it. Ask for specifically what you want- do not hint around and hope for the best. It helps to know the layout of the property so you can request room number groups or locations. I could help you with a couple places but not MGM. Maybe someone who knows MGM can tell you what to ask for there.

    The most important tip, in my opinion, is the one you leave for your housekeeper each day.
     
  5. cjwillwin

    cjwillwin Tourist

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    I didn't even think about tipping the maid and now I feel bad, although I never even let the maids into the room anyways and keep the busy sign outside 24/7.
     
  6. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Housekeeper does the most work for the least pay. Of course, if you didn't let them in, they didn't earn a tip.
     
  7. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Seems like most of your questions have been answered already.

    I might also suggest scanning through posts from the past few weeks and you will find most of these answered in more detail.
     
  8. jackincols

    jackincols Guest

    In reading your post, I would offer this...

    Yes, you're all on a limited budget and a Mon-Weds trip will be hard to fit in everything you may want to show your first timers.

    First, I would break up Vegas into 3 sections..
    A. What I call upper Strip which would be MGM, NYNY, Luxor, Mandalay Bay (including Excalibur and Trop if you've got time).

    B. Mid Strip which would be the "must sees" Bellagio, CP, Venetian/Palazzo, Mirage. Others would be Wynn/Encore, TI, PHo, Flamingo etc, but I doubt you'll have enough time to show them all to your buddies.

    C. Downtown. Looking at your budgets, this is where I'd do the bulk of your gambling because of the lower minimums and drinking should be cheaper as well if you're not gambling.

    Avoid the ultra clubs like the plague unless you want to see your money disappear quickly due to their stupid drink prices and cover charges.
     
  9. cjwillwin

    cjwillwin Tourist

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    Yea the only club were planning on going to is probably gonna a short trip. See it and bounce. I'll definitely take them downtown, because only two of us have a flexible budget. The others will literally just have 700 or so and I don't want my checking acct paying for their trip.

    On the strip I figured I'd show them nyny, Paris,ph, bellagio, cp, flamingo as well as going to touristy stuff like Fat Tuesday. On my first trip my group wanted to go to the Cosmo only and I thought it was too prissy and girly so I want them to get a chance to be at a bunch of them and see off they like any.

    Is downtown close enough to walk to the mgm at the end of the night? I'm thinking the most time well spend down there is after the strip club on Tuesday.
     
  10. PAS

    PAS MIA

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    If you Google directions between MGM Grand and Downtown Las Vegas (near where Fremont St meets Las Vegas Blvd), the distance is roughly 5.5 miles.

    The Vegas Strip itself, forget about downtown, is deceptively long if you're just standing on one end of it and looking down to the other. Huge buildings with huge well lit signs more or less within the same line of sight make the Strip seem walkable, but if you walk from say, Mandalay Bay (Southern end of the Strip), to Wynn/Encore (Northern end of the Strip), that distance is about 2.5 miles.

    I'm a handsome, fit gentleman who jogs virtually every day and walking non-stop from one end of the strip to the other was manageable but not completely comfortable. Perhaps energetic young kids in their early 20s who are used to walking long distances on college campuses would be able to walk 5.5 miles, but likely not. There are other options.


     
  11. Mac62398

    Mac62398 Tourist

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    MGM does not have balconies except for the Skyline Terrace Suites which goes for $600+ (during the off-season) and 2 of the skylofts. The Signature behind MGM has balconies.

    Walking to Downtown from the Strip is a bad idea and not recommended. Distance-wise, it's long, but it's also not the safest route to travel by foot, especially at night.

    If you're going to a strip club, call ahead and get them to send you a free limo to take you there. The nightclub on the "roof" might be Ghostbar at Palms.
     
  12. atcmurph

    atcmurph Watcher Of The Skies

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    I was thinking maybe Voodoo Lounge at Rio. But, being old and not at all hip that is the only one I know. :thumbsup:
     
  13. msujen12

    msujen12 Low-Roller

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    RE: getting downtown - the bus will take you there for 2 bucks or so a person, which would save you about 50% on cabs back and forth.

    I may be in the minority here, but it seems like if your group is on a limited budget, you might be able to find a nice room that costs less then what you are set up to pay at MGM. Have you looked at Bally's, Monte Carlo, Flamingo, etc.? A little more center strip and you could probably swing some of their nicer rooms for what you will be paying at MGM. Since you will spend so little time in the room, it might give the other guys more budget room.

    Definitely get the players cards...who knows, maybe your next trip you'll get a free room offer instead of having to pay.
     
  14. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    The answer is basically "no". It's not impossible, but it's a hell of a hike, and there are definitely stretches of that area that are sketchy enough that I wouldn't want to be wandering around (let alone possibly drunk) in the middle of the night.
     
  15. cjwillwin

    cjwillwin Tourist

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    Where would you get a players card? Just at whichever casino youre at? I already booked the mgm room. Don't know if there's a cancelation few but I told my friends to give me 50 bucks and id pay for the room before booking a room. I'm the one not strapped for cash and don't mind subsidizing a little.

    I also looked at the flamingo and Monte Carlo, quad and a few more but the other ones but couldn't find any nice rooms. I booked on price line, so maybe rooms were already booked or just can't be sold via Priceline.
     
  16. smac

    smac Tourist

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    I haven't been but I've heard that the view from Mix (see: http://www.mandalaybay.com/entertainment/lounges/mix-lounge/) is pretty spectacular and relatively close to MGM Grand. You can take the tram from Excal to MB (free) or walk (also free). I've only been to Vegas four times and have stayed at MGM Grand each time and have no complaints. They updated the rooms in the last year and a bit and I think they did a great job. The place is huge which I know is a turn off for some but I love it. I hope you have a great time!
     
  17. Fiend4vegas

    Fiend4vegas Tourist

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    This is most likely Ghostbar at The Palms or Voodoo Lounge at The Rio. Do some research about the both of them. I hear the Voddo is dead nowadays so look into it. Be forewarned though, with your limited budgets, drinks will still be pricey at any lounge or club.


    I have heard this is the best joint also. Again call ahead to get their limo to pick you guys up. When the limo picks you up, the cover charge is waived. There might be a 2 drink minimum though so keep that in mind. FYI... Any strip joint will have limo service if you decide to go to another one. I have read on a TR that a guy swears the Rhino's women's eyes were glowing red. (ie vampires that want your money)


    With the limited budgets of your 2 buddies there might not be a whole lot of things to throw around money on. Look for deals, coupons, etc... on anything you are planning such as entertainment and meals. Lots of coupon books out there to score some deals on.

    If any of you are doing any type of gambling then most definitely sign up for the players cards at the places you are gambling. It might score you some some free rooms on future trips or even some other comps.

    Remember...drinks are expensive in Vegas. If you're gambling you might score some "free" drinks but any drinks you pay for will be Vegas prices. Keep in mind, open containers are allowed on the Strip and downtown. Buy a 24 pack of beer and throw it in a backpack while sightseeing. That will help keep your costs down. Or even stop by the CVS/Walgreens that are everywhere. Stop in, grab a couple "tall boys" to hold you over till the next store. If hard liquor is your drink, buy a bottle and mix it in with your mixer in a pepsi/coke bottle. Search around for happy hours and drink specials.

    Damn...I wish I was going now too.:beer:
     
  18. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    Welcome to the Board.

    I suggest spending some time at Margaritaville Casino inside Flamingo. It may be cold outside but the CW's will be "dressed" in beachwear. Bikini's, high heels, and a wrap. I highly recommend it......LOL.

    Also, Voodoo Lounge on top of Rio is a nice place to hang out, incredible views of the Strip. The Zip Line, opening on Dec.15th, is a "ride" high above street level where it brings you from the Voodoo Lounge in the Masquarade Tower all the way across to the Ipinema Tower.
    WEEEEEE!!
     
  19. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    I've been a lot of times, and only once was I NOT able to get a smoking room. Don't pay any silly fee to guarantee one!
    As for hotels, I would seriously consider making a change to something more central - Mirage, Bally's, Harrah's or even the Quad again.

    Personally, if this were my trip to plan, I'd have everyone get their own room at Fremont or Four Queens downtown. I know Fremont will accommodate a request for adjoining rooms, if there are any available.
    Everyone's gambling budget will last longer downtown than on the strip.

    With a group, taking a cab to and from the strip will be very reasonable if you split it up among the group, (or take turns paying)...and the strip-club limos will still pick you up "free' from downtown!

    There are a slew of bars now on the 'east' end of Fremont - and I think you'll find these far more inviting than than the whole "I'm hipper than you are" clubs on the strip, but that's just the opinion of an old guy, so I could be wrong.

    You will most definitely find your "old-casino-mob" vibe downtown, and at lots of the properties - even the Nugget...and, I've been playing a simple plus/minus count on two-deck, 3:2 games, with $5 & $10 minimums, for many years downtown - and I've never been backed-off or barred - and I use my player's cards every time. (Of course, I only spread my bets 4 or 5-times my base...I suppose that helps).

    The 777 at Main Street Station is a great food option, and I hear that the steaks at Binion's and Hugo's (at 4-Queens) are very good. I've heard good things about the El Cortez's steaks as well.

    I just prefer downtown in a lot of ways, so know that I'm biased that way. But you and your friends can do all of the 'newbie' stuff on the strip using cabs, and still come out way ahead (budget-wise) by staying & gambling downtown.

    However, if you're committed to doing the strip, then try Bally's for the room, and do your gambling in the early hours before the minimums all go up.
    Do me (& your friends) a favor and do NOT let your friends anywhere near a 6:5 blackjack table.
    If you want low-limit, good-rules blackjack near the strip, go to Gold Coast...a cheap and quick cab ride away from any strip property, or take the Rio shuttle from Bally's and walk across the street to GC from the Rio...or take the Gold Coast shuttle.

    If you go to the Rio, then that's the night you want to hit VooDoo lounge (on the roof). Do yourself a favor & ask the Rio concierge for some passes. If you have a TR card, you should be able to score some instead of paying the cover. If VooDoo is 'dead', the Palms is within a short walk.

    Good luck & have fun! Report back to us after your trip and let us know how it went, ok?
    :beer:
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  20. cjwillwin

    cjwillwin Tourist

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    With the limited budgets of your 2 buddies there might not be a whole lot of things to throw around money on. Look for deals, coupons, etc... on anything you are planning such as entertainment and meals. Lots of coupon books out there to score some deals on.

    Yeah, I'm actually thinking that I'm gonna be the one forking over a bunch of money. I can easily quadruple my budget, but was trying to keep it lower so as not to make them feel bad about not having much money.

    We'll probably spend sometime downtown and also have drinks in the room. The show we were going to go to is gonna be paid before we leave.

    Trip doesn't start til February so I'm gonna get on their asses to save up more.

    The most expensive thing we're gonna do is probably the strip club and with that it's up to the person how much they want to spend.

    As for the club, I don't think we'll be going anymore, my buddy said it was supposed to be a European pool, but even if I could find the place I'm sure it'll be closed in February.

    I'll definitely come up back with a report and thanks for all the advice.
     
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