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New to board - First Vegas trip - Tons of Questions

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself!' started by abandapart, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. abandapart

    abandapart Tourist

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    So many questions. Please be kind to me....

    Background
    39yr male – Michigan - I have been a gambling degenerate at local casinos for many years but finally get to take my first trip to Las Vegas. Since making the reservation a month ago I have been a VMB addict reading all of the TRs trying to figure out the best way to jam an entire Vegas experience into 3 days. You folks are great fun and I am hoping to learn from you.

    My games of choice – Roulette, Blackjack, VP, random slots. Maybe some low limit Hold em (wish 7stud tables still existed).

    Bankroll – around $1000 for gambling only. Room paid. Food separate but not too extravagant.

    No shows, no clubs, no pools. Only sightseeing and lots of gambling. I will relax when Im dead and my feet will recover while I am sitting at work the next week. Im also a craft beer fanatic.

    Details
    I will be landing in Vegas around 11pm Friday night – Dec. 2
    Leaving on the red-eye Monday night – Dec 5
    Staying at Ballys with a buddy of mine

    Goal
    I want to somehow jam as much of Vegas into these 3 days as I can. Perfect mix of sightseeing and gambling.

    Initial Idea I have in my head -
    After checking in at Ballys, cross the street and start Friday night by watching the fountains at Bellagio. Get my Oceans 11 groove on right away to put me in the proper mood. Then start at Bellagio and walk in and out of every casino while making my way all the way to the Vegas sign. Cross the street and head back down towards Ballys. This will take up all of Friday night and Saturday.
    Food thoughts – Nine Fine Irishmen, Earl of Sandwich, Twin Peaks, Tom’s Urban
    Drink thoughts – Whenever I get thirsty

    Sunday – Recover a little, sleep in and hit the sports book all day. Watch all the football games and lay as many bets as I want. Hopefully hit some tables afterwards with all my winnings

    Monday – Wander the other direction of the strip. Hit every casino on one side while making my way up to Circus Circus and then cross the street and head back, doing the same thing. Unfortunately I don’t think there will be enough time to make it into Downtown this time. Food will be BYGO Bellagio buffet from myVegas before the start of the MNF game and then home. I might try to hit Mon Ami for breakfast first, any other idea from anybody?
    Drinks – Anywhere & everywhere

    I have no problem killing my feet with all that walking, but I want to make sure there is no wasted steps and nothing missed on my travels

    With all that planned, is it even worth trying the $20 trick at Ballys or should I just stick with the cheap room I have? Should I try to get upgraded to a room with a view or is it just not worth it? I heard rooms with a view also might be louder, but if the view is worth it I am more than willing.

    What I am hoping to get from you –
    I think I have learned from all the TRs enough to be dangerous, now I am hoping to narrow down my thoughts and learn from your experience what places I must make sure to hit and those that just aren’t worth the time even though they may look interesting.

    Where are some hidden gems in different casinos (maybe one cant miss spot in each one – ex: a great bar, a VP machine, long lost slot machine, hot waitress, you get the idea)?

    Tables or machines that seem to have some extra luck or good pay scales (3:2 BJ, VP in row 802 in Aria, etc)?

    Is it worth leaving Ballys sportsbook to go over to another one (I just want some place comfy) or could I get away with staying at home base?

    Is it even worth spending an hour at – Titanic, Dolphin habitat, Shark Reef, NY NY rollercoaster, The Linq, Chandelier Lounge, top of Eiffel, any of the above?

    Could I just hit the top of Skyfall to get a great strip view (free) or is it worth my time to go to top of Eiffel or somewhere else for that view?

    Im guessing walking the strip isn’t as simple as going in and out the front door and moving on to the next, it seems there are walkways and tunnels that would make moving around a lot easier – help with those would be appreciated. If this is layed out somewhere else already I would be fine looking at that.

    I am well aware that this will be a whirlwind, but I love to explore new places. I want to treat this like it will be my only trip to Vegas. Knowing it wont be, I will take it easy next time.

    This also seems like a fun way to get a list of everybodys favorite Vegas spots.

    Thanks so much for your help. Really looking forward to hearing what the group has to say.
     
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  2. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Welcome to the Board, @abandapart--and congrats on your upcoming first trip to Vegas!

    A lot of the casinos on the east side of the strip--at least PH up to Harrah's--are more conducive to quick in-and-outs. A lot of the west side casinos (excluding MC and NYNY) are set back quite a distance from the strip and can be quite the workout to get to and fro.

    Best wishes for a great trip :beer: and the fun of counting down to your first Vegas adventure!

    RICHARD
     
  3. 93 Octane

    93 Octane Low-Roller

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    If your a craft beer fanatic then Craft House at the Venetian is where you want to spend Saturday afternoon :beer:

    You also should hit at least one dive for an hour or so and I suggest Ellis Island as they have a in-house brewery featuring hefe's, very good
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
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  4. Edserv

    Edserv Low-Roller

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    Welcome to VMB!
    Hope you have comfortable shoes cause it sounds like you're going to be putting some miles on them:)
    Just off the top of my head, thing's I'd recommend seeing at some of the casinos: (you could spend a lot of time in many of them just trying to see some of the highlights)
    1) Bellagio- Conservatory and Chihuly Sculpture in the lobby
    2) Caesar's (and Forum Shops)- spiral escalators, Antiquities (a great autograph/signature gallery,) the huge fish tank by Cheesecake Factory (also right next to a Fat Tuesday- try their 190 Octane with an extra shot,) and a walk through the casino
    3) Mirage- the huge fish tank in the lobby (were the Griswolds checked in in Vegas Vacation) and if you're a Beatles fan, the Love gift shop has an autographed Hofner base on display by all four
    4) Venetian/Palazzo- worth seeing both the lobbies as well as the escalator from the casino at Venetian up to the exit area (also by a Fat Tuesdays lol.) You could spend a lot of time at VP just looking at the artwork/murals. And Public House has a huge beer selection as does Yardbird although I haven't tried it yet.
    5) TAG at Linq has a ton of craft beers @tringlomane posted a lot of info on his last trip report (just installed unTappd app)
    6) MGM- This has been my homebase for a majority of my trips. Fun to walk through the casino and to the lobby. Pub 1842 has a nice beer/food selection.
    7) NYNY- Haven't tried the roller coaster but my daughter loves it. Pour 24 supposedly has a nice beer selection and I'm definitely hitting Beerhaus next time. Plus it's worth seeing the Bliss Dance sculpture especially if you're a Burning Man fan. Nine Fine Irishmen is really good. I've eaten there several times. Next trip I'm planning on using the BOGO on MyVegas.
    8) Luxor- worth seeing the inside, very neat architecture. Haven't tried the Titanic exhibit
    9) Mandalay Bay- some fun restaurants/bars (Aureole is worth a trip to see)
    10) Excalibur- you'll be walking through here if you go to Luxor or MB, worth seeing because who knows when they'll re-brand it and it will be a part of LV history
    11) Monte Carlo- The Pub (wait... just kidding, it's gone now, so I may not be back to MC for a while:(
    12) Cosmo- Chandelier Bar. I tried the Verbena last time. It was o.k. but maybe my expectations were too high. I'm going to try to find Secret Pizza next trip, but may be over-hyped.
    If you get a chance, the top of the Stratosphere is awesome, especially if you're into thrill rides. I haven't been to Circus Circus once my kids outgrew the Adventuredome deal. Wynn/Encore is nice but I don't venture there often.
    O.k., I've rambled enough! Have a great trip!!
     
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  5. Big dan

    Big dan Low-Roller

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    Welcome abandapart! Sounds like you have really researched your trip. My advice to you would be to not try and follow a strict schedule as you might drive your friend crazy with your Vegas obsession (trust me I know from experience:eek:) besides I can almost guarentee you won't accomplish as much as you think. I would just casually walk the strip and take in the sights at a leasurly pace, anything you don't get to see is just another exuse for a return visit. If you want to take in the view I would second the recommendation of the stratosphere but do it at night, as far as gambling goes I would not expect to find great odds on tables or machines. i hope you will do a post trip report, I like to hear first timers experiences. Have a great trip and don't hesitate to ask any questions
     
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  6. MacAttack

    MacAttack Tourist

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    Totally agree with what Edserv and Big dan say above and would add the following:
    • Definitely check out the Wynn and Encore (and if you around at night go see the Lake of Dreams - it is pretty special)
    • I would personally skip Circus Circus and Mandalay Bay (they are both at the extreme ends of the strip and it is longer than you think!). Mandalay Bay is nice but if its you're first trip you will have plenty to do in a pretty small radius of where you are staying!
    • Cheap eats in Shake Shack for a burger (near NYNY), and also a beer in the park beside NYNY
    • The sports Book in Caesers is really comfy - Big leather chairs, massive screens.
    • Rollercoaster in NYNY is fun and I think worth doing once
    • Dolphin habitat is depressing - anyone who has seen any documentaries on Seaworld or anything similar would stay away.
    • Must sees (as the guys have said above) - Bellagio Fountains; Forum Shops; Bellagio Conservatory; Chandelier Bar; Treasure Island Sirens show; Mirage volcano erupting
    • Must do's - Get that HANDPAY !
     
  7. abandapart

    abandapart Tourist

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    Thanks all, this is what I was hoping for. Narrowing down some of my choices (although I have now added a few too! lol)

    A few suggestions were made to go to Strat for the strip view. However, thats even farther down the strip than Circus Circus and would probably require getting a lift to get to. Is there anywhere mid-strip that I could get a decent enough view from?
     
  8. MacAttack

    MacAttack Tourist

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    The bar at the Mandarin Oriental has a great view.

    The rides at the top of the Stratosphere are crazy - if you have any interest in shit-scary rides then it is worth getting an Uber up there to check them out and then take in the view too.
     
  9. FuzzyDiceCraps

    FuzzyDiceCraps High-Roller

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    Welcome to the board! This place has been a wealth of knowledge for me on everything Vegas.

    I love your plan. My wife and I frequently walk the whole strip in a day (takes all day) and play at each of the casinos briefly. Its a good way to ensure you don't win anything, but also limits your losses if its more about the sight seeing than anything else.

    A few pointers from our experience:

    Nothing in Vegas is a straight line, they make it hard to get out of casinos for a reason. What on paper is a X.X. mile walk from Casino A to Casino B is in fact a 2-3x the distance. It takes a LONG time to walk the strip. I'm not discouraging it, we love doing it, just make sure you give yourself plenty of time.

    We walked all the way up to Strat once, it isn't a terrible walk, but there isn't much to do. I also don't recommend doing it at night. There were a few encounters that were less than comfortable in the void between Stratosphere and Circus Circus. Same goes for south of Mandalay Bay. its a bit of a walk to the Vegas sign IIRC, and I wouldn't recommend doing it at night.

    My recommended strip walk would be from Mandalay Bay up to Treasure Islland on the one side and Encore down to Tropicana on the other. If you want to see SLS, Westgate, Strat, either monorail up to Westgate and walk over to Strat or just uber to Strat.

    Once you've walked what I outlined, Strat/CircusCircus/SLS, etc don't really add anything to the experience IMHO.

    I'm not sure who is recommending the TI Siren Show, that hasn't existed for about 5 years, but I do recommend obviously the Bellagio Fountains, Mirage Volcano, and some of the other free entertainment. I wouldn't bother with paid admission anywhere given your schedule, you'll either wish you had the time back or rush the experience so much you'll waste your money. Those are things better done on repeat visits IMHO.

    Other than that, enjoy and take it all in. Vegas is all about doing what you enjoy and love, and you never get another first trip to Vegas. We come several times a year and as much as I love it I always wish I could come back for the "first" time again. I take for granted things that blew me away my first trip - the architecture and design of Venetian, the enormity of Area, the elegance of Bellagio, the theme of Paris, the neon of Flamingo, and the unique fragrance of Harrah's and LINQ. Take it all in, take pictures, and share them with us! :)
     
  10. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    You aren't there for very long, so your tendency is going to be to plan, plan, plan and put as many things on your itinerary as you can. But your first trip to Vegas needs to be a bit loose so you can wander and get distracted by some things you won't even know interest you until you get there. And most of all, HAVE FUN!!!
     
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  11. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    I'd just say skip Circus Circus and that walk to it..And the Strat also..Maybe the High Roller at night if you really want so see a view from the strip.
    Also you mentioned sleeping in on Sunday..No to that as the games start at 10am remember and the lines to place bets get huge after 9am.Get your bets in on Saturday at bally's or whatever book you see on your Saturday trek..(You can always go back on Monday to cash or mail them in..just shop around to get the best odds and don't settle for where you are staying.) An it's also a way to envision where you want to watch the Sunday games from the college ball going on.

    And remember the best-laid Vegas plans can be interrupted in a heartbeat.so just go with the flow of it..You sit at a BJ table with the thought of just a short session here and we'll head elsewhere for dinner,and the next thing you know it's 2 hours later at a fun table and you don't want to leave!!
     
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  12. kps

    kps High-Roller

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    Welcome to the board!!

    My suggestion is have a loose itinerary, enjoy the walk and see what happens. Everyone has given you great advice. I always tell our friends who go to Vegas for the first time to try to understand odds are you will need a 2nd trip to do everything you hope to accomplish.

    One place I love to visit every time is Bauman Rare Books as I am a book geek. The collection of rare books is unreal and the fact they are for sale at the price some of them cost is mind blowing.

    Have a great trip.
     
  13. BobK89

    BobK89 Tourist

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    You don't need to walk to Circus Circus. IMO, the Strip "ends" at Encore.
     
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  14. abandapart

    abandapart Tourist

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    The only reason to head down to Circus Circus is because my buddy wants to show off Slots-A-Fun. I know its the dregs of LV but he thinks its kind of hilarious. He has been to LV many times so I dont need to worry about having to drag him along with me on any part of my journey, so I could just skip it. Sounds like thats the best idea.
    I am still wondering about trying to get a free room upgrade with the $20 trick. I do love me an amazing view, but if I am trekking around the strip the entire time is it worth it? If so, what room should I ask for and where (Ballys)? Remember it has to be 2 queen beds as we are sharing a room, not a bed lol Is it really that much louder in Jubilee vs. Indigo towers - especially being early December?

    Oh - How do I set up one of those countdowns so many of you have? Would love to load up VMB and see how close I am getting to the trip.
     
  15. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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  16. abandapart

    abandapart Tourist

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    You're the best!
     
  17. DESPERADO

    DESPERADO Low-Roller

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    :wave:hello from central CA, great advice from everyone @ VMB!! enjoy ur trip, good luck & be SAFE! :beer:
     
  18. abandapart

    abandapart Tourist

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    I realize that everybody has their favorite casinos and everybody seems to get paid out at different places, but I am wondering if there are certain types of games at different casinos that are known to be either loose or tight? Like, the VP at xx seems to pay out more but the penny slots at xxxx seem to never hit for anybody i know, etc etc.
    I get that this is all subjective, I hit on local machines that I know none of my family likes and vice versa, but over time there might be some generalizations that can be made. Anything there?
     
  19. abandapart

    abandapart Tourist

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    By the way, the Bauman Rare Books suggestions is perfect. The GF loves old books. This will be a great way to pay her back for letting me do this run to Vegas. This thread couldnt be going better.... thanks all so far!
     
  20. smerrian

    smerrian Low-Roller

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    Very good advice from all above. I would add the recommendation to see the replica of the Statue of David just off of the casino floor in Caesars...unless you're planning on being in Florence, Italy soon. :) Note how his hand seems a little out of proportion to the rest of him. Michelangelo purposely made it slightly large to represent the power of God in it...or so I've read. Have a great trip!