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Questions from new visitor

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by ecrispy, Dec 19, 2013.

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  1. ecrispy

    ecrispy Tourist

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    I'm not technically a new visitor, I've been once before but it was a long time ago and the memory is hazy :)

    My brother and dad are visiting and I'm taking them for a Vegas trip, they've never been there. Wanted to go for NY but its too expensive, so I've decided to go 1st week of Jan. After searching through many sites, I finally booked rooms at Aria, since I wanted a nice hotel, it has great reviews, and it came with a daily $50 credit. We'll be driving from San Jose since I live here, its a 8-9hr drive. Flights again are too expensive at this time.

    I've been reading this forum, lots of great info, and have a few questions -

    - the trip is for 4 nights/5 days, on last day we'll just check out and drive back so its really 4 days. Should I consider a trip to Grand Canyon, or is the trip too short for it? Is a bus tour better or should I drive? I'll be the only driver on the trip.

    - we are not going to gamble. Maybe try a few slow machines/hands of blackjack for fun. But with the high minimums I'd rather save the money for food/shows. Plan to stay on the strip, and go to a few places like Fremont street experience.

    - We are also vegetarian, so will try a few of the recommended buffets like Wynn, and also plan to use my resort credit for food. Even the Spa costs too much for the daily credit to be any good.

    - I'll try to use the $20 trick. Is it also worth it to tip the concierge and ask for show tickets/buffet pass etc? Or should that be done with the checkin person?

    - How much walking is involved in the average day? My dad has lower back pain, I don't want him to walk too much. I'd like to plan my day accordingly, since Aria is a bit off the Strip and we don't want to go back and forth from the hotel multiple times. I understand its not worth it to drive, should we be taking the tram/monorails?

    - I haven't booked any shows yet so I can check the tix4tonight booth when we get there. Would like to see O, lowest discount I found online is 10/15%.

    - is it worth joining players clubs if we don't gamble? From what I read the benefits only come after a few hours play. I also read about some things like 2 for 1 buffets just for signing up but don't see that anywhere.

    Very excited for the trip and the stay at Aria! Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Many of the questions you have asked have more answers if you scroll down. But I will hit a few for you.

    1 - If walking is an issue, not sure I would do Aria. Others may disagree, but something like Paris that is right on the strip would be great.

    2 - Grand Canyon is a trip in itself. Check out the travel section for some good options with that. My ideal advice is a helo trip there.

    3 - Players Cards - almost zero benefit unless you play hundreds/thousands for current trip comp - or you think you may return within a year or so, and may get a free room to entice you to return.

    4 - Doubt you will see any deals for "O". Check out the entertainment section about that.

    5 - Walking? Hard to say. I have back issues and 10-15 minutes standing is a killer. Walking 5+ miles each day in Vegas is a non issue.

    6 - Back to Aria - that $50 credit will gone in a hurry. Everything is expensive there. Most of Vegas is, but they are a bit more.
     
  3. AceTen

    AceTen Low-Roller

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    I would double check the offer you booked for Aria. I've heard of a $50 resort credit before, but it's typically a one time deal, and not a daily credit. Just don't want you to have any unnecessary surprises when you check out.
     
  4. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    I can't help with most of your questions but have a few thoughts.

    I wouldn't do the Grand Canyon at this time of year. It will require some walking and it could be very cold. There was still snow there in April when we went so I would expect some there now.

    As to the players card, you have nothing to lose by signing up. Since you won't gamble much, you're not likely to get free room offers, but you will probably receive 2 for one room rates or at least some reduced rate if you come back again.

    With downtown player's cards, you will also get 10% discounts at some restaurants. I know for sure at 4 Queens they give a discount (their Chicago Brew Club has good food). Also, if you spin the big wheel at 4 Queens (in the area by Fremont closest to the D) before you go get the card, they will give you a coupon for food deals at Magnolia's and a free gift (key chain or a deck of cards). Also, if you show them a player's card from another downtown casino, 4 Queens will give you $10 free play. It's loaded onto your player's card so you just have to go to a machine and play. My husband won $2000 last month while using his free play, so while it is rare, it can happen!

    You really have nothing to lose by getting player's cards. Have a great trip!
     
  5. ecrispy

    ecrispy Tourist

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    Thanks, that is very useful advice and certainly cannot hurt!

    I am a bit miffed at Aria. They sent me an email to sign up for the rewards card, but the link in it doesn't work. I guess I will sign up for MLife myself, also Total Rewards which Ceasar's uses.

    I really wanted to do visit the Grand Canyon, based on what you said may have to rethink.
     
  6. kps

    kps High-Roller

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    Couple of suggestions/ideas:

    You'll love Aria. Great choice for the 1st timers joining you.

    For vegetarian definitely go to Pura Vida. I am in no way vegetarian, lucky if I eat a salad, but went there this past July as a friend and his wife are that live in Vegas. They picked us up and challenged me to try it, did grilled cheese with the chutney and shared the salsa. Great food. Link to the website:

    http://www.puravidavegas.com/

    Link to reviews of other vegan/vegetarian places in Vegas if you haven't looked at this one already:

    http://www.happycow.net/north_america/usa/nevada/las_vegas/

    Are you looking for free tix for shows with the $20 trick? If so I wouldn't bother.

    If you are not going to gamble much don't bother to sign up.

    Bus tour is a fulllllll day. We did it 2 years ago and 7am to get back around 9 pm. We were in Vegas a lot longer than your trip so up to you. Never drove there.

    We do a ton of walking and for newbies it is a mind blowing overload especially the lights at night. I reccommend tram whenever possible but there still will be walking up and down steps to get to it in each location.

    I would reccomend doing Fremont Street at night. We just bus it to ($5 for a 24 hour pass) and cab it back. The bus is fun as hell but be prepared as the weirdos/drunks/partiers are all together. Don't know what parking costs if you are not staying at their hotel down at Fremont. A lot more people and great vibe plus the overhead show that covers Fremont is very cool.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    Agree about Grand Canyon. It will take a whole day of your trip, not worth it. Hoover Dam would be 3-4 hours and is pretty cool.
     
  8. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Oh yea... on tickets - not gonna happen. Even Hosts are tight on tickets. They do not even have them to hand out. As a upper mid level player, I might get them comped based on my play. They still go through the box office. Not like they have tickets in their pocket or anything. Concierage? All they can do is book tickets through the computer.

    As to signing up in advance. No advantage at all. You still have to go to the counter and show them your ID. CET casinos have run some newbie bonus things from time to time - $5-10 freeplay or something. So, you do not want to become a NEW player in advance for that.
     
  9. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    My buddy signed up online a few months ago for Total Rewards. He then got better rates booking online while signed into his account than he could get online without being signed in. Same with MLife. So there can be a small advantage to signing up early IF you are still looking to book a room.
     
  10. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    I agree your trip is too short for a tour of the Grand Canyon. Save it for another trip. Everything about LV is walking......and it is all on concrete. Over the years it has become more tiresome for me but even using buses extensively, LV is the only place I have ever had blisters.....and I walk leisurely in my most comfortable shoes. You might consider staying downtown at the Golden Nugget for the luxury and there are loads of buffets, restaurants and casinos within minutes. Get bus passes and bus down the Strip to see shows or check out the sights.

    Get a book on LV like the Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas to use as a reference. make a list of things you would like to see or do, group them by location and make a tentative schedule including restaurants for meals. You will see and do more if you have a schedule but be flexible and don't feel bad about making adjustments. Tix4TONITE are very helpful. I always check their boards and they sometimes have some great last minute deals. However, I find Travelzoo and Goldstarvents a bit cheaper and you can order tickets in advance. Keep in mind that these brokers give you confirmation and / or vouchers and you will have to go to the box offices to redeem them for the actual tickets. While you have some choices as to price and seating, the box offices generally pick the actual seats according to when you pick them up (best seats in each section first). If you buy direct from the hotel, you can pick your actual seat and they will hold them for you, but, of course, you have to pay full price. That being said, most of the theaters on the Strip are wonderful for being able to see and hear .

    Hope you have a great time!

    Jimbo338
     
  11. ecrispy

    ecrispy Tourist

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    Thanks for all the tips everyone. On the last day as I drive back, we'll visit Hoover Dam. I've since found out there are 4 options for the Grand Canyon visit - drive yourself, bus, helo and airplane. Helo is not in our budget, but I will think about the airplane trip which is only 7-8hrs and still includes time to spend in the actual canyon. Since the dates aren't going to be in demand, I guess we can make this decision once we are there and if we have enough to do there, we can skip it.

    If we get a $5-10 freeplay when signing up for players card etc in the casino, I'd prefer that. Can then use that for the cheap slots etc. I like to plan a lot, I'm taking printouts of the helpful things I find (like the 'things to do' and 'travel times' threads here).

    A stupid qn - is valet parking free only for hotel guests or for everyone in Vegas hotels? Don't plan to do a lot of driving but since I will have a car would prefer to take it over a cab.
     
  12. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    It's a legit offer. I can't give out the code in the thread because of the board rules, but it's $50 a day, up to $250 for a 5 night stay.

    I'm going in January, and I probably won't end up staying at Aria, but I booked two rooms under that offer just in case, because it was so good on top of reasonable rates for my dates. It basically brought the average price per night of a Corner Suite City View down to $138 for a 5 night stay including a Friday night. There are a couple of extra restrictions of what you can use it for, like you can't use it in the gift shop, which is normally what I would use about half of it on. So it's basically limited to restaurants, room service and maybe incidentals like if you had a fridge put in your room.

    Also for the OP: You say the first week of January - if it's the week of the 6th, that's the week of the huge CES show/convention, so the $20 trick probably won't get you anything.
     
  13. AceTen

    AceTen Low-Roller

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    That's awesome! I just worry with mlife properties regarding the fine print… glad to hear it's a true offer!
     
  14. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Since you like to plan, you might want to take advantage of this good offer too if the timing works out for you.
    http://www.fourqueens.com/popups/2013/oct/football_match_up.html

    If you do go down to Fremont Street, the Downtown Grand has free valet I've heard. Also you can park in Binion's parking garage for free. Once you park, take your receipt into Binion's and validate it. There is a machine to do this yourself if you go to the back side of the Binion's cashier booth. There is no requirement to gamble there and the parking garage is in a central location.

    Hopefully someone else can chime in on the strip valets.
     
  15. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Not stupid.

    ANYONE can use valet. See the tip thread about tipping before, after or both.

    I think you will find that you will walk more than drive and cab.
     
  16. paperposter

    paperposter VIP Whale

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    I've been reading this forum, lots of great info, and have a few questions -

    - the trip is for 4 nights/5 days, on last day we'll just check out and drive back so its really 4 days. Should I consider a trip to Grand Canyon, or is the trip too short for it? Is a bus tour better or should I drive? I'll be the only driver on the trip.

    grand canyon is a day plus advanture you have to much to do in vegas so skip the whole in the ground:thumbsup:

    - we are not going to gamble. Maybe try a few slow machines/hands of blackjack for fun. But with the high minimums I'd rather save the money for food/shows. Plan to stay on the strip, and go to a few places like Fremont street experience.

    - We are also vegetarian, so will try a few of the recommended buffets like Wynn, and also plan to use my resort credit for food. Even the Spa costs too much for the daily credit to be any good.

    - I'll try to use the $20 trick. Is it also worth it to tip the concierge and ask for show tickets/buffet pass etc? Or should that be done with the checkin person?

    conceirge has access to the best block of tickets. so you will not get a discount for O they will run around 225$ a ticket plus a tip to him but great seats.
    im not sure what a concergie will actualy be able to do for you.

    - How much walking is involved in the average day? My dad has lower back pain, I don't want him to walk too much. I'd like to plan my day accordingly, since Aria is a bit off the Strip and we don't want to go back and forth from the hotel multiple times. I understand its not worth it to drive, should we be taking the tram/monorails?

    rent him a scooter they will drop off and pick it up at ur hotel .he can use it or not depending on how he feels.

    - I haven't booked any shows yet so I can check the tix4tonight booth when we get there. Would like to see O, lowest discount I found online is 10/15%.

    thats the best you will find for O and its usually mostly sold out'


    - is it worth joining players clubs if we don't gamble? From what I read the benefits only come after a few hours play. I also read about some things like 2 for 1 buffets just for signing up but don't see that anywhere.

    yes sign up tr i belives gives u free 10$ to each sign up. each place will vary so sign up for all

    Very excited for the trip and the stay at Aria! Thanks for any advice.

    ps rember have fun i know its hard:beer:
     
  17. ecrispy

    ecrispy Tourist

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    Since you know the offer, that code only shows the King/queen room as an option, the next higher one is the sky suite. How do I get it to offer me the Corner suite? $50 will get us 1-2 buffets a day or a meal at one of the nice restaurants, which I might otherwise have skipped. I'm also going to ask for a buffet comp pass, although I'm pretty sure they'll just say no :eek:

    My dates are Jan 1-4, which I think should avoid CES madness, eps since lots of people I'm guessing will leave right after NY.
     
  18. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    If those are the only rooms that come up, then that's all they have left under the offer - they've sold out of all the other rooms types they allocated under that offer for those dates. It's too late in the game now.

    You could keep checking on a daily basis. I imagine they gets lots of cancellations for NYE, so inventory for your dates might open up a little starting next weekend when people start cancelling before the deadline.
     
  19. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    You are right about that. I have heard too many stories about people playing for an hour or more at the tables asking for a buffet - no luck.
     
  20. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    In the "old days" before player cards and you had to ask for comps (non high rollers) I'd see guys buy in for $100 at the craps table, make a $2 pass bet and ask the pitboss for a meal comp. Then get ticked off when they didn't get one.
     
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