I last visited Las Vegas on the 2004 Labor Day weekend. The good time vibe seemed to be absent for the last few weeks leading up to my departure. While I was looking forward to returning to Las Vegas, a part of me was sort of blaise about it.The last 3 visits were fruitful from a gambling perspective. I donâ€™t necessarily go to Las Vegas for the reward of winning; winning is just a pleasant outcome. Iâ€™m a cheap ass, low stakes gambler. Perhaps it is because with each visit, Las Vegas loses some of its allure. Each time I walk along Las Vegas boulevard, I see the sameness that can be found anywhere. Each time there, I think less about returning. After 14 visits over a 14 year period, a break from Las Vegas may be in order. Las Vegas has become too familiar. My gambling losses were approximately $600 (insignificant). My losses were well within expectations. For this trip, any luck playing black jack was short lived. If I didnâ€™t win early and end a session within a dozen hands, I inevitably would be richer for the experience and poorer for the result. I staid 3 days at the Imperial Palace, and later 1 day at The Orleans. I didnâ€™t see any shows except if you count the Duelling Pianos at Harrahs. My buddy doesnâ€™t like attending shows. I nearly had him talked into visiting a comedy show. Almost. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred. I departed Toronto at 12:15 p.m. EST on Thursday, July 28 with a 2-hour stop over in Denver before going to Las Vegas, arriving after 4:30 p.m. PST. The landing delay was due to the weather. For someone who always arrived via the international terminal, I didnâ€™t realize the domestic terminal was so big and so busy. The shuttle bus ride to the Imperial Palace took close to 90 minutes. The line up for a cab was long and may not have afforded transport to the hotel any quicker. About the Room: I was unsure what to expect with a room (#2168) in the IP's East building, a three-story motel-like structure that wraps around two sides of the parking structure at the back of the property. All rooms are for smokers. The rate was an incredible $60 per night for Friday and Saturday (and $50 for Thursday). The good rate is primarily due to the dated and worn decor. The air conditioner worked well and was fairly quiet. The extras included an iron and ironing board, a compliment of shampoo, soap and body lotion. My buddy arrived at midnight. We played exclusively in the Imperial Palaceâ€™s Champagne Pit until 6 a.m. This would be the only day I would be up more money than down. At 10 a.m. Friday morning housekeeping decided to visit. We neglected to put out the Do Not Disturb placard and engage the deadbolt. She knocked once and came in startling my friend, a tall, broad shouldered Texan dressed only in his underwear. He was half asleep and jumped out of his bed at the sound of the door opening. The lady screamed and took off running at the sight of this bear of a man mumbling incoherently in her direction. My buddy lost sight of her and fell back into bed. We never did see housekeeping again for the remainder of our stay, but the beds were made each day. Little else was done to the room. Friday was spent at the NY NY casino. We signed up for the ESPN Zone on-line promotion, and enjoyed a free lunch plus a nifty looking 6-pack vinyl bag, plus $20 in non-gambling gaming credits. (We used some credits and handed them over to some parents trying to entertain their kids.) The rest of the day was spent at The Orleans with brief stops at Gold Coast, Rio and Harrahs. Nothing much is remembered of this day because not much happened unless you count losing gaming sessions in which a few hundred bucks were pissed away. We grabbed a quick bite at Subway in the back of The Orleans because neither of us felt like eating anything close to a large meal. Besides, we are sort of cheap. My buddy would rather buy gifts for his wife and kids. While shuffling through Harrahs we stopped to enjoy the dueling pianos. This night featured a hot blonde and some dark haired guy. The banter was good, the song selection was enjoyable, and the crowd was rowdy. Time passed quickly. (The next night my friend discovered the hot blonde who had the room rocking the night before is actually one half of a gorgeous twosome: identical twins.) Feeling the effects of a long night prior, we crashed by midnight and got up at 7 a.m. Saturday and headed downtown. After enjoying the breakfast buffet at Main Street Station, we visited most of the casinos in the area. My buddy was eager to play Let It Ride and 3 Card Poker, games I was familiar with, but he was new to, and later picked up on video poker. By mid-afternoon we were on the Strip and looking for a place to eat. Nothing at Caesars Palace interested us, so we hiked over to Ellis Island to enjoy the off-the-menu steak special and the excellent $1 brewed on the premises draft beers. This place has cleaned up a bit in the past year. Before it reminded me of a basement rec room. Today it is less stinky and more upbeat. Jerry the BJ dealer from NJ is a sourpuss. Avoid him if you can. The two women barteneders are hot. There appeared to be one cocktail waitress, and she seemed to be too busy to take drink orders. this angered Jerry, in part, because the new-to-the-game players were tipping him nearly every hand, and he was afraid they would leave if they didnâ€™t get a drink. I could reach over from my seat at the table and touch the bar. When we left Jerry was trying to convince the floor supervisor to go to the bar for a few drinks. Sounded like Jerry was ready to pay for the drinks out of pocket. Sunday morning was soon upon us. A bad run of Black Jack sent me scurrying to my room by mindnight Saturday. Best to sleep than chase my losses with more cash. I had spent the dayâ€™s gaming allowance, and I still had two days left. My buddy had a flight scheduled for noon Sunday morning, so we were up by 7 a.m. We got a quick breakfast at McDonalds located on the other side of Harrahs. I would have preffered something else, but my friend wanted something quick so he could gamble a bit more before leaving for the airport. This was a first for me -- excellent customer service when I least expect it. While I collected my things from my IP safety deposit box, my friend got in the check-out line. He was talking up Pauline at the front desk. She processed our bill quickly. If that was the extent of it, I would have been happy. Just when we turned to leave, she asked if we had players cards and whether we had used them. I recall using mine on maybe two occasions whilst playing $5 BJ in the Champagne Pit. We told her it probably wasnâ€™t worth the hassle. She wouldnâ€™t hear it. She promptly investigated whether we earned any comps that could net us some extra cash. She got a host on the phone and determined that I earned $19.99 and my friend earned $14.84. Pauline then went through the hassle of processing paper work, seeking sign-off from a host and forwarding us the cash. There was quite a line up building behind us but she was intent on helping us in every manner. While she had stepped away from the counter, my buddy -- a notorious non-tipper -- and I -- a decent tipper -- pooled some cash for a tip. Many wonder if the $20 tip will net them a good room. My friend, a salesman, proved countless times that a few sincere comments and a couple harmless jokes can net you just about anything. (As the crowd gathered more staff came out of nowhere to process the check outs. Imperial Palace may have a less than stellar reputation in some peopleâ€™s minds, but I would recommend that you give them a second chance. They are identifying the bad and fixing it. Gone is that stale smell that hit you when you enter the casino. The old worn stained carpet is being replaced one section at a time, the casiono floor has been revamped and reorganized. The staff attitude is excellent. It is a fun place to visit. Oh, I cannot comment on the food at any of the restaurants there as I ate elsewhere.) Sunday was spent at The Orleans. It cost me $11 plus tip to take a cab from the IP to The Orleans. I booked Sunday here for a reasonable rate of $52 a night. I spent the day and evening here and did reasonably well with Pai Gow poker, BJ, 3 card poker and video poker. I hit quad Aces for 800 quarters. This would be my best hand this trip second to the Royal Flush I hit at The Orleans last year. As well, a quick session at 3 Card Poker netted me a decent win. In a dozen hands I hit a few straights, flushes and pairs. I had more winning hands than losing hands. Unheard of in this game. I find with 3CP, one must win early and get out fast in order to enjoy the spoils of the game. Or risk giving it all back to the house. Monday was a scramble to get in the rest of Las Vegas I wanted to see before heading to the airport at 4 p.m. I took the shuttle bus to Barbary Coast and walked down to the NY NY casino before heading down to Mandalay Bay. I got my ass handed to me playing a 6-deck shoe of BJ at the Luxor. I played a bit of BJ and made up for my losses playing video poker. Hitting quad fives helped me double my buy-in. I had lunch at Don Miguels @ Orleans. I love this place. The food is great, plentiful and cheap. The cab ride from The Orleans to the airport was $12 plus tip. The United Airlines line up at the airport was super long. Check-in took close to 1 hour. Passing through security in Las Vegas was fast. My travel plans included a 3-hour stop over at LAX before flying to Toronto. The 3-hour stopover was not as long as I thought it would be considering the time it took travelling between terminals at LAX, passing through a much busier security detail and hiking to the far end of a terminal to get to my gate. The trip home was nearly 12-hours in total from the time I left The Orleans until the time I stepped into my own home. I hope you enjoyed my trip report. Thanks for reading.