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Riviera 4/23-4/26: changing all sorts of stuff up!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by tigershark, May 1, 2012.

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  1. tigershark

    tigershark Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    The past 10 or so times that I've been out to Vegas, it's been either by myself or with a girlfriend. My friends are all broke and can't get time off, so my options are limited to flying myself out or flying myself and my girlfriend out. Paying your guy friends' ways out just isn't okay. I love the place no matter who I'm out there with, but I was looking to switch it up and managed to convince my buddy to go out for a few days. We found a package for flight and hotel for $180 each at the Riviera and booked it up. He'd never been on a plane in his life and he'd only been to Las Vegas a couple of times as a kid and stayed at Circus Circus the entire times, so I knew it'd be fun showing him around.

    Monday, 4/23:
    We got in pretty early, around 9AM. My friend doesn't like walking as much as I do, so I figured we'd be footing a cab to the Tropicana and walking it in from there. Thankfully, a "Biggest Loser" competition had just started at his work and he was dead set on winning it, so he said that we should walk it in. I normally head down Paradise to Tropicana and take that into the strip, stopping at the Paradise/Tropicana gas station to grab a beer. This has been my tradition for years and years, but I decided to mix it up. We kept walking down Paradise and stopped into Hard Rock for their steak and shrimp for $7.77 for an early lunch. I've had it before and I think that it's gotten better. For $7.77, you get a steak, three shrimp, mashed potatoes, and a salad. Well worth it.

    From Hard Rock, we headed toward Planet Hollywood. Seeing that "HILTON GRAND VACATIONS" sign on the PH Tower"s" made me puke in my mouth a little. Whatever, though. We stopped into Miracle Mile to grab a couple of brews at the ABC Store and played some video poker. I had decent luck, getting up about $5, but my friend was killing it on his first ever Vegas machine with a couple of quads and a straight flush. We were playing at the bank of machines outside of the heart bar that go around that big glass disco ball chandalier looking thing over a stairwell and drink service was awesome as usual. We both left with some extra cash and a few extra drinks in us.

    From here, our shoulders were a little sore from trudging all that way with our backpacks on, so we decided to B-line it to the Riv to drop them off ASAP. I like the $20 trick because it's fun to be ridiculous with it and act like a completely phony high roller, so I was bummed that I couldn't do it this trip because Riviera had completely automated their check in system. After navigating to the reception area, the check in machines were turned off with real people at the desks! Walked up and let her know I had booked the presidential suite reserved, with my hand halfway covering a $20 spot on the counter. She laughed a little bit and told me how much smaller my reserved room was than the presidential suite, looked down at the $20 bill and goes, "oh you're going to try the upgrade!?" Hahaha... we got a couple of choices and ended up going with the smaller Monaco room that included a refrigerator because my friend had insulin that he needed to keep cold. The room was nice enough and the fridge was very handy.

    Now we were back on the strip, heading back south to look at the stuff that we had missed by skipping passed Tropicana to go to Hard Rock. The goal was to hit MGM as soon as possible to donate some cash to Lion's Share. We eventually made it, stopping to grab beers every couple of casinos. I forgot that the damn thing doesn't take new 10s and fed it one. It made some grinding noises, spit the bill out half way, and as I reached for it, yanked it back in most of the way, leaving just part of it sticking out while making paper shredder noises. The attendant came by pretty quickly and got my mangled $10 bill out. It was hilarious, she just gave me a new one. I told her I'd make it worth her while to get my money out and that I'd tip her huge when I hit the jackpot. She joked about how she'd heard that before. First spin, I got one of the symbols on the pay line and hit $40 or so. From there, I quickly pissed it back. We hit Sigma Derby for a little bit after that and it was a good time. I forgot it pays in quarters hahaha...

    After this, the night starts getting blurry. I have pictures of us walking through Excalibur/Luxor/Mandalay Bay, but I don't remember it. Thankfully, I apparently decided to sober up for the walk home, because I do remember stopping into Circus Circus to play some $3 blackjack. Man, people at the Hooters $3 blackjack tables are bad, but people at Circus Circus are BBBAAAAAAADDDD. I quickly rolled over to the $10 table and ended up making about $75. We called it a night around 2AM and headed back to the room and passed out.

    We had some big plans for this trip: going to Stratosphere , riding the NYNY rollercoaster, hitting the Rio buffet, jumping off the Stratosphere, and some other stuff. I explained to my friend that everyone thinks the Stratosphere is a great idea until they get to the end of the strip and see how far away it is and then everyone turns back around. We talked about walking there when were at Circus Circus, but he agreed with me that it was too far away...

    Dang this is long. I'll put the other days in separate posts.
     
  2. letsgotovegas

    letsgotovegas Low-Roller

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    Wow, you walked from the airport to Riviera?

    Enjoying the story so far, keep it comin'!
     
  3. Gchyld308

    Gchyld308 Tourist

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    Yeah, my first thought, "Is he walking from the airport?" Second thought a few Seconds later, "Wait, is he carrying his bags too?".

    That's crazy. Wouldn't be bad walk if you didn't have bads and were stopping for beers. :beer:
     
  4. Gchyld308

    Gchyld308 Tourist

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    Duplicate post
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  5. Mooseton3

    Mooseton3 Tourist

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    Wow that's a lot of walking with a backpack. I didn't know you could physically walk from the airport up paradise. I don't think there's a sidewalk. Is it reasonable to do that again or is that the last time you'll ever do that? I've always thought about doing that.
     
  6. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Not to derail the thread, but one time on the road to laughlin, I passed a bum pushing a shopping cart south a few miles south of searchlight, if you've ever been on that stretch of road, there nothing but empty desert for at least 20- 30 miles, then if he turned towards laughlin its another 20 miles, if he goes straight its way longer to a town!
     
  7. steamboater

    steamboater Tourist

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    wow walked to riviera and then after dropping bags, straight down to the mgm and then back to circus circus. That is some serious mileage
     
  8. xXGetLuckyXx

    xXGetLuckyXx Tourist

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    That is way too much walking! I walked from Circus Circus to MGM once. Stopped in almost every casino along the way. That's as much walking as I'll do. I was so sore from that I didn't even stand in the cab line to get back. Walked outside, saw a town car waiting and grabbed that back to Circus Circus. Didn't even care about the cost at that point. Lol.
     
  9. raraavis

    raraavis VIP Whale

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    i'm definitely not that good at walking! looking forward to reading the rest :thumbsup:
     
  10. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

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    I like this TR! Sounds like fun...can't wait for more!
     
    40th Birthday Bash!
  11. LushLife

    LushLife Tourist

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    Love this TR, kind of my style. I assume you're around my age? Mid 20s? I have the same issues with my buddies with money or unable to get time off (because I'd go twice a year more often if they had the resources). I also like the walking. I prefer to walk and have beers and see the sights, and save money.

    Cheers, looking forward to the second part.:beer:
     
  12. rhazet

    rhazet Tourist

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    I complained about walking from Harrahs to the Riv in March. I guess I'm getting old.
     
  13. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Post some pictures. :beer:

    What did they do?
     
  14. Sin City Sinner

    Sin City Sinner Low-Roller

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    That walk to the Circus,Circus - Riviera area is brutal. My wife still makes fun of me for our first trip. We walked from MGM with several stops along the way; and once we left TI to meet a friend at the Circus, Circus it appeared to me to be a short walk, but that damn clown face kept getting farther and farther away. Finally as we approached what I thought was the Circus, Circus I was disgusted to realize it was just the Slots O Fun, and even though that is just a few yards from the front door I said "F*** IT, I'm sitting down" and we called our friend and told him to meet us there instead. :poke:

    Can't wait to read the rest of this TR and hopefully see some pics.
     
  15. tigershark

    tigershark Low-Roller

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    It's a very reasonable thing to do; I've been doing it for years now and it's just become a fun tradition. I fly in super early, start walking toward Paradise, hit the gas station that's right on the corner of Paradise and grab some breakfast booze and head toward Hooters from there. It's really fun seeing all of those buildings from so far away and then inching up on them and once you hit that first casino, it feels great to stop in for some $3 blackjack! It's only like a 40 minute walk from the airport to Hooters, including the small detour to the AM PM gas station.

    This is the place right here: 4916 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV

    Yup, I'm 24 and buddy's 25. He's never been too big on walking so I really didn't expect him to be down for it, but he was stoked about saving that cab fare for a slot machine when it came down to it!

    Normal stuff like hitting hard 17s, staying on 12s against 10s, staying on 11s, etc. I wanted to puke! And when I called homeboy out on his 11 and gave him crap, I ended up busting, then the dealer busted and he was making fun of ME for not knowing how to play! Classic!

    I'm uploading pictures to Facebook now, so I'll see what I can include for Part 2...

    :beer:
     
  16. tigershark

    tigershark Low-Roller

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    Tuesday, 4/24:

    We woke up at about 1:30PM on Tuesday feeling like hell. I was out hard because had I woke up at all before that, I for sure would've been up for the day. The plan was to head down to NYNY to ride the roller coaster, so we found our way out of Riviera and started heading south. First thing to do was grab lunch at Tacos El Gordo just south of us. After looking at the menu and seeing the fabulous selection of pig colon, brain, and skull tacos, we opted for the Indian place, Bombay, next door that had a $8 lunch buffet. There wasn't a ton of stuff on the little lunch buffet, but it was good and well worth the money. Indian's something I have to be in the mood for, but if I ever am craving it in Vegas again, I'd definitely stop in for lunch.

    After lunch, we kept heading south, walking passed Wynnn and Encore to get to Venetian and decided to stop into the shops. After getting lost in an ocean of stores that neither of us could afford a single thing from, we were frantically trying to escape. Walking past one hallway next to the river, I heard a young lady ask, "would you like $20 to watch a TV show?" We spun around real quick with a, "HELL YES." We had to watch some hour long BS crime drama garbage about some coke head who died or something and answer some survey questions and then we got a $20 bill each. Well worth it--more than likely more than I would've made in an hour at a slot or table haha. Seriously, if this gets offered to you, you might as well do it. Free money!

    $20 richer, we decided to get south of Planet Hollywood as fast as possible so that we could check out some of the sights that we had missed the previous day by walking on the west side of the road. We stopped into the M&Ms store, which is always fun. From the top floor, I could see into a window one floor below that had what appeared to be a bedroom in it. Can anyone tell me what this is and how I get to sleep there? That view would killllllll!

    [​IMG]

    After the M&Ms store, it was straight to NYNY to accomplish one of our goals! Man, I love that rollercoaster. I went on it once when I was like 10 and always remembered it as being really mediocre. When I went back on it at the beginning of April, I couldn't believe how awesome it was. It was also amazing this time. The only downside was that we couldn't ride up front. You're allowed to form lines for the seat you want to sit in, but they won't let the train leave until there are at least 10 people in it. We had about 20 people in the station, but everybody was lined up for the front row! Eventually everybody gave in and settled for lesser seats. It was necessary, but still disappointing. Homie was so proud of himself for seeing a camera coming up and flipping it off that he bought the picture:

    [​IMG]

    We immediately left NYNY afterward and crossed over to the MGM side. MGM and the whole area south of it was a complete MESS. It looked like they were tearing up the lion fountain, and that entire walkway was closed off, forcing people to walk through MGM to get from the walkway down to the lower level. The inside's a joke, too, covered in black tarps everywhere with tons of empty space where slots and the poker room used to be. After telling my friend how cooL MGM's casino is for years and building it up, he was pretty disappointed haha. Anyway, Canyon store is always good for some cheap booze, so we picked up a couple of their finest Jello shots and a couple of tall boys and continued back north.

    A quarter or so of the way back, we stopped into Flamingo to pick up some more beer (since that's where the Carnaval Court liquor store moved to) and noticed signs pointing to a "Wildlife Habitat." I've been to Vegas A LOT and I really never even knew this place existed! I have seen people on here talk about getting rooms with "a view of the birds," but I never realized how awesome that view would actually be. It was dark when we got in, but it was still awesome. My old tradition of taking a Jello shot with the lions first thing when I get in has been replaced by taking a Jello shot with the flamingos. I'm stoked. Check it out if you haven't because flamingos are rad with their backward legs.

    At this point, we were pretty exhausted and decided to walk it back to the room for the night. We got there some time around 2AM and I called the girlfriend to tell her goodnight. She was pisssed that it was 4AM her time, but hey, she told me to call her every night before bed no matter what. While talking to her, my proposed something crazy: hitting the Stratosphere before bed! I said goodbye to the girlfriend and let her know I'd be up a while longer and would call her again later. She hung up angrily.

    I figured we'd back out once we got outside and started heading further north, but nope, we didn't. We walked through the nothingness, eventually ending up at the abandoned and dark Sahara. Poor place. I have so many good memories there and seeing it so quiet and dark all late at night is just kind of depressing. Seeing the $1 blackjack signs on the side of it that had been shredded by the wind brought back a lot of memories. Was interesting seeing it again. RIP, big buddy...

    [​IMG]

    According to the timestamp on my camera, we arrived at the Stratosphere at 3AM. I hadn't been to the place since I was probably 10 years old, so I was really excited to get there. Surprisngly, I was a lot more intrigued by a building next to it that I had never heard of before. A strip casino that I had never heard of before! We both agreed that we HAD to stop into the El Aztec on our way back from the Stratosphere.

    I like the Stratosphere's casino. It's nice and clean. I can't say anything about the crowd since it was 3AM on a Tuesday and it was obviously dead, but I'd like to check it out again. We played some craps and got up a few bucks, then headed over to play some blackjack. I lost $40 or so over the course of an hour and we decided to check out the El Aztec.

    The El Aztec... the El Hellhole is more like it! You walk in and there's a tiny bar area right in front of you with VP at each of the seats, five or so slots to your left, and five or so multigames sitting in the middle of the place. It's TINY and it's A W E S O M E! I sat down to play some video blackjack for novelty and found this:

    [​IMG]

    PENNY BLACKJACK! Oh man. The lowest I have ever seen video blackjack is $.05 and that's what I always turn to to kill a bunch of time after a losing night. I can sit on a $5 bill at nickel blackjack allllll night. At this bad boy, I get just as many credits for a fifth of the price. Hell yeah! And then, as far as I could tell, there wasn't a max bet. Hitting that "Bet One" button 178 times felt AWESOME. And then I won and cashed out, up $1.56. I was amazed to see that there was a "cage" and not a cash out machine. I put cage in quotes because it's tiny as hell. About the size of a bathroom counter with a cage over the front of it. I really should've gotten more pictures of this place, it's a riot. Check it out if you get the chance!

    By this time, it was nearing 5AM and we had a hell of a walk ahead of us, so we started heading back south again, this time on the west side of the road. Man is that side of the road scary, lol. We stopped into the Circle K on the way so that my friend could grab some smokes. I looked around while he was checking out and found out that they had $1.50 tallboys. I was wasted off of my ass and really didn't need anymore booze, but for that price we each had to grab a tall High Life. We talked with the cashier for a while about tweakers and how the Sahara is supposed to be reopening in 2014. Apparently Bling Bling from Bum Fights likes to hang out around that area and we had just missed him. Damn!

    Heading south again, we manage to pick up a vagrant who wandered for us for probably 15 minutes or so. His name was Joey and he was from Denver, so we had a lot to talk about. As we said our goodbyes, he offered to sell us some weed out of a napkin and requested change. He got no change and we bought no napkin weed. From there, it was straight back to the hotel to wake the girlfriend up and get to sleep. Hell of a night!

    This was an awesome day, but in my opinion, night three passed it up by a good margin. Stay tuned....
     
  17. Gchyld308

    Gchyld308 Tourist

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    Love this trip report. I've spent many Vegas trips in similar style. Wandering the strip and picking up booze at all the cheap spots.
     
  18. LushLife

    LushLife Tourist

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    Sounds good. Looking forward to the next day. I love the cheap booze and gambling reports. It's more like me. I like to dress up and go out, but I'm cheap at heart haha.

    The bed at that place looks cool, very curious about it!
     
  19. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    Sounds like my kinda trip!! Ill go with you next time since all my friends are broke/cant get time off as well.
     
  20. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    Thanks for this trip report. I enjoyed reading it. I wasn't crazy about the idea of walking from the airport. It's not for everybody and it's not for me. But, I like how you did it. No hurry. Stopping for beer and lunch.
     
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