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Sahara and NYNY: February 2002 (Better Late Than Never)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by SH0CK, Feb 10, 2003.

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  1. SH0CK

    SH0CK Stylin' and Profilin' Quasi Tech Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    12,918
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    37

    My Trip Report

    OK, so this is almost a year old, I'm just a slow typist! I swear there's Luxor notes laying around here somewhere from last August as well!

    Sahara and NYNY

    February 2002

    A group of friends (Dustin and Rocky) and myself, made my third and their second trips to Vegas.

    Flight:
    The flight was with American, flying out of Knoxville on Friday at 4pm courtesy of Priceline ($144 each). The security increases were evident as I got to take my shoes off at the Knoxville airport.

    We flew through St. Louis, then onto Las Vegas where we arrived after 7pm. Both flights departed late and left a bad taste in our mouths with the quality and service. Both flights were old TWA routes, and we hoped the return flights (regular American flights) would go better.

    Car Rental:
    For this trip, we rented a full size car through Priceline ($20/day) at Hertz. Unlike our experience with Alamo the previous year, we just walked up to the counter and were in and out in less than 10 minutes. We got a gold Ford Taurus, which was awkward to drive, but had plenty of room.

    Sahara:
    As soon as we got loaded up into the car, we headed to the Sahara. Check in went smoothly as it was after 9pm by the time we got to the hotel. This late at night, there was hardly anyone checking in.

    Tangiers Tower:
    We got our room through Expedia for $35 for Friday and Saturday and $25 for the other three days. Our room was on the 21st floor and was what I would consider an average hotel room. It had two double beds, average bathroom, closet, table and two chairs, and an ironing board and an iron. The window opened up 1/4 of the way, and at night, we had a great view of the lights on the strip. On Monday, we discovered that the lock on the bathroom door was broken when Rocky got stuck in there. We were able to get him out by using his slot card. We placed a call to the desk and waited for someone to show up to fix the door. An hour later, a handyman showed up, took a look at it, said he couldn't fix it, and that they would send up a locksmith the next morning. The following day, we checked on the room on and off all day and thought no one would ever fix the door. Finally, someone showed up late that afternoon right after Dustin had just taken care of some business!

    The only other problem that we had was with the maid service. The first full day we were there, the maid only left us one towel. A nicely worded note the next day took care of this problem.

    Gambling:
    The previous year, we did a vast majority of our gambling at the Sahara, so, we figured we would be doing the same this year. Unlike last year, we did not have as good luck at the tables. We played our fair share of $1 black jack and I even tried my hand at Deuces Wild, Hold'em Fold'em with a $2 minimum. I believe I had more fun at the poker table than with a lot of the gloomy $1 black jack players. One fellow I had the pleasure of sitting beside several times was playing $25 hands ($100 total bet) and was having a good old time. I enjoyed sitting beside someone who didn't care if he won or lost, especially betting more money that I planned on betting all night.
    My "heart failure moment" came while playing Hold'em Fold'em as well. I was dealt the first three cards, 2 deuces and a five. Everyone else dropped out and I put out the remainder of my bet ($8 total.) I got my next card, another deuce. My heart raced with the anticipation of getting another deuce (200x1 odds.) I showed my cards to the fun loving friend beside me, who, I believe got more excited than I. With the next card, the dealer dealt it face down, unlike the previous hands. The table went ballistic. With a smile she turned the card over and I got a four. Oh well, four of a kind paid 8x1, but it sure would have been nice to have that fourth deuce.

    Dining:
    We ate at the Sahara buffet multiple times and came to the conclusion that the late morning/ early afternoon meal was the best. We tried the late night buffet and found it to be terrible. Even though we had just gotten off the plane and were staving, the selection and appeal that late at night was horrible. There was a no service, as they had it set up where you get your own drink. The only employees that we saw were the bus boys.

    We ate at the Caravan Coffee Shop, and found the food to be good, but the service was lousy. We ate here several times and at different times of the day, and found that the waiter/ waitress came around maybe 3 times total; get your order, bring your food, and bring your check. You could just forget about getting a refill. Dustin and I enjoyed a late night steak and eggs deal for $2.99, which was outstanding.

    On the other hand, we thoroughly enjoyed eating at the Paco's Bar and Grill. The food here was delicious and the service was superb. I don't remember his name, but our waiter, a tall, black gentleman, seemed to enjoy his job. He was smiling and cutting up with us the whole time we were there.

    Entertainment:
    We enjoyed the Star Trek Experience and even tried to swing free tickets to a WWA wrestling pay-per-view at the Aladdin. On a side note, we enjoyed the beauty of the Desert Passage.

    We took a drive out to the Hoover Dam, in which we all enjoyed.

    The most fun, in my opinion we had, activity wise was driving out to the Nevada Pistol Academy and shooting pistols. We rented the gun and 50 rounds for about $25 each and got a nice souvenir in the form of the targets we shot.

    Tipping:
    Once again, we took care of the dealers at the Sahara. One thing that bothered me was, here I sat, betting $1-$10 and I would tip the dealer a buck, on average, every 5 hands or so. Here these other sat, betting $5-$50 and they wouldn't even toss the dealer a bone.

    Tipping according to service, we did not tip at the buffet, rarely at the Caravan Coffee Shop, and $10 at Paco's. We tossed down a couple of bucks a day for the maid also.

    Comps:
    First thing we did was sign up for the Sahara slot card. We were extremely excited with the aspect of getting something knocked off of our bill due to our table play. Not until AFTER we signed up for the cards, were we informed that they were only good for the slots and not for the tables. We did learned that you had to play at least $10/ hand before they would even look at you to rate you. Being the low rollers that we were, we said forget about that, and played on our slot cards sparingly. At least we got on their mailing lists.

    Check out:
    Check out went smoothly as we used the express check out on the television.

    New York, New York:
    Off we headed to New York, New York for our 2 free nights courtesy of Wagerworks. Check in went rather smoothly and we were off to our room in the Century Tower.

    Century Tower:
    Our room was on the 21st floor, the same floor number as the Sahara (a good omen.) We had room 2135 and the view was great. We could see down the strip, even though the room really faced away from the strip. At night, the city looked beautiful. The room itself was spectacular. We had two queen beds, a table and chairs and a cabinet where you hung your clothes. The room was, by far, the biggest room we had ever stayed in. Needless to say, we were pleased with the room.

    Gambling:
    We took a look around New York, New York and could not find any games that caught our eyes. We made our way over to the Luxor and, after I signed up for their slot card, proceeded to have the most fun we had all week. Rocky was playing video black jack, Dustin was playing for a Mercedes on some quarter slots, and I switched between the two. I noticed a guy at a dollar machine behind us that looked to have been playing there for hours. I could tell he was winning and, once he got up, we started playing on it. I put $20 in and lost it in about 15 minutes. Dustin put his $20 in and walked away with $80 five minutes later. Then he proceeded to put that back into the machine instead of taking it to the booth. He kept this up for the next 2 hours. In the end, we made him quit the machine, but not after he was up only $30.

    We tried our hands at the black jack tables at the Luxor and Excalibur, but could not duplicate the fun we had at the Sahara tables. I can't put my finger on it, but it "felt" different.

    Dining:
    While we were on that end of town, we stopped by the In-N-Out Burger over by the Interstate. I had heard from several of my friends that live on the West Coast, that this was THE place to get a burger. The line inside was at least 15 minutes long, but they were fully staffed. I couldn't believe how busy this place was. We enjoyed our burgers, which are better than other fast food hamburgers, but I don't think they are worth all of the fuss. We also ate at the Excalibur Buffet for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Entertainment:
    Two words: Coyote Ugly. We stopped into this bar before they started taking a cover charge so the boys could enjoy some drinks. The hot waitress came by and asked us for our drink order. The boys ordered up and I said I didn't want anything. She double-checked to make sure I didn't want anything.

    "Well is there ANYTHING I can get for you?" To which I got this look on my face, and, I KNEW the boys had the same ideas. "Coke, water... how about a hug?" A hug? I could think of several more things other than a hug, but that, I accepted. Of course there was the gratuitous butt grope, but I didn't mind being felt up. It was a fun atmosphere, and we enjoyed the women getting free shots straight from the bottles on top of bar.

    After spending a fair amount of time at Coyote Ugly, we headed up to the room to rest. Later on, after doing some more gambling and losing Dustin, we headed up to the room for the night. About midnight, we got to wondering where he got to. A few minutes later, we hear a thud at the door. I open the door and in walks Dustin, camera in hand, and takes my picture. This boy was three sheets to the wind. He giggled and went on for at least 30 minutes about his exploits at Coyote Ugly and how he got threw out for getting on the bar and asking for a shot when they were giving them to the women. I can not put into words how funny it was to hear him retell the story, and I can't do it justice. He eventually passed out on the bed.

    Comps:
    No comps at New York, New York, unless you count the room from Wagerworks. Later, I got a free two nights stay offer from the Luxor.

    Check out:
    We tried using the express check out on the television, but were unable to due to a computer problem. We were able to check out rather quickly at the check out line at the front desk, though. There was a lady with a clipboard standing in the line itself doing express checkouts. You told her your name, room number, and she said you would get your receipt in the mail.

    Returning home:
    On the way to the airport, we stopped and filled up the rental car to return it to the agency. Due to the smog-hindering device on the gas nozzle, the nozzle jumped out of the car and leaked fuel on the ground and my shoes. I just knew that security would stop me for the smell of gas on my shoes. Well, it seemed as if security was no where as tight as it was in Knoxville. I went through the security check point without even taking off my shoes, even though they had set off the detector in Knoxville, and not in Vegas. We made our way to the terminal and bought some smoothies from a stand beside the gate. With about 10 minutes until boarding, Rocky realizes that his driver's license is missing from his wallet. We check his carry on and everywhere else we could look and could not find it. He remembered having it at the security checkpoint, but that was a long walk and train ride away. He checked with the gate agent, who said that is he didn't have it, they would have to search him and all of his carry on both in Vegas and in Dallas. They checked his through at Vegas and later in Dallas with no problems. He later got a card from the LAS airport saying they had his ID and that if he wanted it, he would need to contact them about it or they would destroy it in 21 days. By this time, he already had another license and thought nothing of it.

    One event, which just signified the sign of our times, was when we rode the American Airlines train at the Dallas airport. We got on the train and rode from station to station until we got to our stop. At one of the stops, a man of Middle Eastern decent got onto the train with a box, wrapped in newspaper. I swear you could feel the tension in the car until he got off the train. I doubt it was anything other than a present for someone, but with the events of 9-11 still fresh in everyone's minds, it was an eerie feeling. To make matters worse, when the plane took off, I saw alot of fire trucks and other flashing lights on the ground. A bad feeling to end the trip, no doubt.
     
  2. Steve in RI.

    Steve in RI. Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
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    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Enjoyed reading your trip report. I liked NYNY except for the high table minimums. Is Wager Works still in business? I thought I heard it went under about a year ago.
     
  3. SH0CK

    SH0CK Stylin' and Profilin' Quasi Tech Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    12,918
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    37
    Unfortunately, in May 2002, Wagerworks discontinued their points system. It sure would be nice if some other company stepped up and took their place.
     
  4. Booger

    Booger Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
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    Location:
    So.California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    000
    Thanks for the report.I love to walk around
    NYNY,Just hav'nt figuered out why.

    Booger
     
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